The Latham Island Tournament, held annually out of Dar-es-Salaam, was a great success with large catches of yellowfin tuna from most of the boats. Tarka from Watamu won first place with over 600kgs of tuna, retaining the title which the same boat won last year, while Unreel, also from Watamu, took third place to follow her second place last year. They also scored a huge haul of yellowfin, including one monster of 92.5kgs caught by Matt, which is being claimed as a new Tanzanian record on 36kg line, and they fought a very big broadbill for over five hours before the hook came out. They did release a smaller swordfish on the run back to Kenya however.
Second place went to local boat Aldabra, with former Watamu skipper Ali al Harazi at the helm, which had two broadbill swordfish as well as tuna, while in fourth place came Shuwari, a charter boat from Diani, so Kenya fishing made a big impression at this venue.
Tarka has had a great run recently, releasing a black marlin the day before she went to Dar, and on a practice day before the actual tournament she had a couple of sharks, as well as 150kgs of tuna and some wahoo. Then on the way back to base, three broadbill were released on the night trip, and after a day’s rest, another black marlin was released around the banks at Watamu, as well as a 40kg yellowfin and a few wahoo – fantastic fishing – well done skipper Callum Looman!
The yellowfin are not only showing well in Tanzania, on the North Kenya Banks east of Malindi boats are having busy days catching these tuna. White Mischief from Watamu ran out there last Sunday, and ended up with 650kgs of tuna, while Eclare from Malindi weighed a huge fish of 99.5kgs – internationally, sport anglers traditionally use pounds to weigh, so this equates to a tuna of 219 pounds, about equal to the Kenya record. There have been some enormous yellowfin caught recently, interesting as fish this size have not been seen since the fabled run of mantis shrimps some years ago. Clueless from Malindi has also made a couple of trips with huge catches of tuna each time, so there seems to be a busy day ahead for anyone wanting to take this long run offshore.