The boats started to go out again after a week of solid rain when about 350 mms, or fourteen inches, had fallen from Sunday to Sunday, with over eight inches on the heaviest day – not much fun fishing on a day like that! The end of the week also saw two power outages, the first just under a day and a night long followed by a second lasting over twenty-five hours, making problems for the hospitality industry as well as private homes.
However, some sailfish were around on Wednesday last week, when Simba and Alleycat both released one each, as well as catching wahoo, dorado and yellowfin tuna. Simba had a better day five days later with three sailfish and half a dozen yellowfin with the crew fishing, while Unreel tried bottom jigging successfully with two amberjack of 48 and 28 kgs, as well as some snapper and grouper. Next day the latter boat found two giant trevally which were released – these are resident fish and could easily be fished out if no effort were made to conserve them. They live on the edge of the reef down deep and concentrate in particular areas, so with GPS precision and downriggers they are particularly vulnerable.
This week the fishing at Watamu seems quiet, although Tarka found a sailfish on each of two trips, and Blue Eyes had a good day on Wednesday with three sailfish, while B’s Nest also released a pair of sail with Niel Trestrail fishing as well as boating a couple of wahoo and a yellowfin. Alleycat released a big bull shark, estimated at around the 230kg mark – most sharks are released now since the majority of the species are on the world’s endangered list.
Jasiri had a four day charter up at Lamu during which they tagged eleven sail with anglers Yob Achthoren and Henk Vermela, so it looks as if the sailfish are gathering up in that part of the country. November usually sees a fantastic run of sail at Kiwaiyu, but whether boats will be fishing there this season must depend on the security situation.
This weekend the Herbie Paul Memorial Festival Tournament is being fished out from Malindi over the Saturday and Sunday, with the Churchill Light Line competition on the preceding Friday – in this latter, lines are restricted to 10kg breaking strain, with the weight of the fish caught being divided by the breaking strain of the line on which it was caught – when one sees a 3 or 4 kg line it is amazing to think of sailfish of perhaps 25kgs being caught on it, as it is little thicker than the leader used for a two or three pound trout.
I mentioned last week the Capt Morgan Rum Tournament, but got muddled over the dates, as this will be fished from Hemingways starting 19th November for a week. Organised by the vendors of that same tipple, groups of anglers who have won tournaments and caught the biggest fish of various species all over South Africa converge on Hemingways Resort for several days of sailfishing and socialising, and is a very popular annual event.