Weather is an unpredictable factor in fishing, and following on the good showing of the marlin at the recent Kilifi tournament the wind started to blow hard, by day and night. This brings cold green water down in the area of the Rips off Watamu and the billfish go off the feed.
While marlin catches are down this week some interesting fish have been caught. Seyyida, out in the Rips, hooked into a huge mako shark which they fought for several hours till it was eventually brought to the boat and released. Estimated at 300kgs, this could have been very close to the Kenya record, now 293kgs held by R. Douwma caught at Shimoni. Previous to that the record was a fish of 289.4kgs, held by the late Bob Cronchey, also at Shimoni in 1964 – this was the biggest fish of any species ever landed in our waters on rod and line at the time, an epic fight detailed in Pat Hemphill’s book ‘Strike’.
Another notable catch was on Alleycat which was hooked and caught and released while on a deep-drop search for broadbill – a big-eye thresher shark, estimated at 100 kgs – very rare in our waters, with only two or three having been recorded. Caught in deep water of over 500 metres outside the Centre Mlima, one wonders what other rare species may be lurking down near the bottom of the ocean! The same boat lost a big blue marlin which jumped a few times and threw the hook, and released a couple of sailfish.
Neptune, also fishing the Rips, has had a good run this week, releasing a black marlin and a sail , and another trip saw them releasing a big blue marlin estimated at 230 kgs, while on an earlier day they released four sailfish. Snowgoose also released a sailfish, while Tarka had a striped marlin and Soolyman caught and released two blacks. Instedda tagged a black marlin and two sail, and several boats have had strikes from very big marlin in the Rips, where the water is now clearing up as the wind has dropped, and the current is slowly northwards, a good sign.
The Mtwapa Cup is due to be fished from Mtwapa on Feb 14th, an open tournament which also features inter-club rivalry betweem Mtwapa and Kilifi boats, while the Captain Andys sponsored Kilifi Classic is on the 27th/28th February.