While there were sailfish around in both Malindi and Watamu waters this last weekend when the Malindi International Festival was fished, they were hard to find and elusive when they were raised, with several teams having quite a few shots at the fish that attacked the baits. The winning team of anglers on Tarka , Phil Revett, Paul Worthington and skipper Callum Looman, managed to catch and tag two sail on each day of the weekend fixture, which with 712 points put them ahead of the second team, Craig Griffiths, Jon Cavanagh, Brett Ayton and Peter Darnborough, on Alleycat, who also got four sail but the winners had a better bag of small fish including a giant trevally which put them well in the lead.
Clueless,fished by Paul Dawson, B.Ogden, Eric van Vliet and Jamie Walsh was third with 385 points, while the Top Angler award went to Phil Revett and the Lady’s prize to Sara Huth. The weather was warm and calm, and the sailfish were widely spread out over the Watamu, Boiling Pot and Malindi areas. The event was kindly sponsored by Capt Andy’s Fishing Supply, Raymarine and Civicon, to whom all thanks.
The previous Friday saw the light line Churchill Cup being contested by six boats, with the winner being Clueless, fished by R. Duff and D. Ogden, with a sailfish and three dorado. Second was Unreel, with Phil Revett, Rob Hellier and Steve Webb fishing catching four giant trevally. Rob Duff and Phil Revett shared the Top Angler prize each with 1000 pts.
An interesting catch was recorded on White Mischief, which with the sail so hard to find decided to go for broke and try for a broadbill swordfish, using the deep drop method. A swordfish has not yet been caught by this method in daylight in a local tournament, and indeed they were not lucky in finding one but they did catch two species unknown in local waters, a sickle pomfret and a black snoek, both while angling on the bottom in 1600 feet of water. Neither score points in tournaments where only species listed in the IGFA record charts count, but it would be interesting to find out more about some of these deepwater species.
Neptune, earlier in the previous week, took out Dave Lewis and Terry Smith, well known British fishing scribes, who were particularly interested in deep jigging and surface popping methods of catching fish, both increasingly popular styles amongst experienced anglers from overseas. Whilst getting facts and photos for their articles, they tried these two methods with skipper Angus Paul near various reefs in the Malindi area, and were rewarded with a variety of different species, seven different species of trevally including over twenty giant trevally, groupers and snappers as well as wahoo, kingfish and dorado. One does need experience for these different styles of fishing and such anglers usually bring their own specialist tackle.
There have not been a lot of other trips out, with clients short on the ground, but B’s Nest with skipper Mahomed Fadhili found a pair of sail for Helena Galmander and Yngue Norgren this Wednesday, and Kipapa also had a pair of sailfish earlier. Ol Jogi released a big bull shark, estimated at 600 lbs, for Greg Breckenridge and Castle Lager has continued catching sailfish, with three released on Monday.
From Shimoni skipper Simnon Hemphill writes he caught a spearfish, his first personal catch as these fish are rare here, ‘tho he has has about eight now altogether on his boat, and White Otter tagged a striped marlin.