The Easter holiday here at the coast is in full swing now, with guests arriving at all the hotels, and there will be work for the boats as many take their families out for a day at sea and the chance of some fish. But it is late in the season, and the Rips have gone quiet as the billfish move on in their migration pattern, so the action moves closer in and boats are back trying the Banks area.
There are still some sailfish being caught, but wahoo and yellowfin are the main target, and of course the dorado, or felusi as they are called locally, become a major catch on light tackle, and very spectacular they are too, with their green and gold colours leaping all over the ocean on the end of the line! And cooked fresh, these are one of the best eating fish from the sea, an added attraction after a day at sea!
A week ago, Tarka tagged a blue marlin and a couple of sailfish, a good day to end her season as the boat has now come out for overhaul – once again, skipper Callum Looman would appear to be leading the marlin catches with over fifty for the season, only about half the number he had last season, but the score include many much bigger fish. The same day, Alleycat had three sailfish, with one nice one of 35kgs, and the following days saw both Tega and Castle Lager with a pair of sail while Peter Glover holidaying from upcountry tagged a sail on Black Widow.
As April started, sail seemed to become hard to find, but White Bear, with eight wahoo and fourteen dorado showed that skipper Jack Jackson hadn’t forgotten his way around the Banks after months of fishing the Rips further out!
Last Tuesday, however, Josh Baxter on Black Widow, found a sail as well as a couple of wahoo and a yellowfin, while Unreel also tagged a sail, and these sailfish can continue near the Banks into May. Giant trevally are also around this month, while the occasional black marlin can often be found live baiting in this area, so it is still interesting fishing, and the renewal of the south monsoon due any time now can improve the fishing here so we can expect some activity until the end of the month, when many hotels close for a month or so.
The African Billfish Foundation, which supports and encourages the tagging of billfish, as well as sharks and giant trevally, is run by voluntary effort and donations from donors, and supplies tags free to anglers. Encouraging to report that over 2500 fish have been tagged this season with more than seventy recoveries, around three percent which is good. They have also been given some very expensive satellite tags which send information via satellite of the fish’s movements for several months, of great interest to scientists and anglers alike.