This week has seen the Wildfly tournament being fished out from Hemingways. Wildfly are a South African company which specialises in fly fishing safaris, and makes a series of films widely shown on TV, seen in Kenya on Multichoice satellite TV, and they have brought six teams of anglers fishing four days with the scoring emphasis on sailfish caught on regulation fly tackle, a sport that has it’s own strict rules.
But the sailfish have been hard to find, and while there are sail both at Watamu, mostly in the Sail Alley area close to shore, and in the Malindi area, wide spread from Malindi up to Ngomeni, they are very difficult to raise with only one or two lucky boats coming home each day with a single flag.
On Sunday, the first day, Stef de Beer was the lucky angler, fishing on B’s Nest, with a sail tagged and released, while the next day Gareth George on Instedda released a sail.
The next day was an official rest day but many of the anglers opted to venture out and try by more traditional means, and Ol Jogi returned with a striped marlin tagged and released by Francois du Plessis as well as a good catch of bottom fish from out in the Rips, while Bamara, with Garry Cullen and friends, had a busy time fishing deep with five grouper and over a hundred snappers, these latter in the two-three kg range.
The third day of the tournament saw both David Coutzer on Ol Jogi and Cornelius Vermeulen on Simba scoring with a fly caught sailfish, so it remains to be seen how it works out the last day, Thursday, tho’ no sail had been reported by the 10am callup.
Earlier, Mr Beugels had two days on B’s Nest with a pair of sail each day, and later tried on Blue Eyes and got another sail, so he had a better run, although it is much easier to find sailfish on traditional rods and reels than on the specialised fly tackle. Contagious had a pair of sail, and Castle Lager also had sail, a pair of singles, while Tega released a black marlin, the only one of this species caught this week. A 77kg bull shark was released from Tarka, and most boats find a wahoo or two and some dorado, prevalent when there is a lot of weed in the water.
When fish are hard to come by on the surface, as is often the case when the wind does not get up at midday then fish deep is the answer, and Unreel came in with four giant trevally tagged as well as some bottom fish which points the maxim ‘fish for what is there, not what one hopes is there!’ With the wind now swinging north some days, we must wait for the north wind, the ‘kaskasi’ to blow properly to get the fishing going!