The wind swung into the north for the last few days of the Capt Morgan Rum tournament at Hemingways, Watamu, resulting in an immediate improvement in the fishing with thirty sail and a couple of marlin tagged and released on the final three days.
Gilly Roberts, who tagged a blue marlin on Ol Jogi on the Wednesday also caught two sailfish on Tarka on Thursday so with an earlier sail she totalled 1400 points to take the Individual Prize, with Rob Roberts close behind with 1100 pts from his striped marlin on Jasiri plus a sail. The winning team of Mike and Gilly Roberts, Sean Bushney and Lindsay Austin scored 2900 pts in all, with Sean in the fourth spot in the Individual list – an impressive lead over the second team of Johan and Arulene Small, and Chris and Marie van Rensburg, with 2300 pts where Arulene was the strongest performer with a striped marlin on Seastorm and a sail on Ol Jogi on the last day, which also put her in third overall in the Individual ratings.
Third in the team ratings were Bobby Graham, Tim Widdecombe, Wally Beelbers and Martin van Ghent, with 1800 pts, just a hundred points ahead of the Jacques Potgeiter team so a close finish there. The ten teams fish on different boats daily, so while the skills of the individual anglers are important finding and raising the fish counts heavily, so the boats themselves were rated with Tarka, skippered by Callum leading with 3300 pts, Ol Jogi, with skipper Stuart a close second with 3100 points and B’s Nest not far behind with 2700 pts with skipper Mahomed at the helm.
Half the fun of competitions like this is the social side, and the whole party of visiting anglers really enjoy the festive spirit, with a memorable final prizegiving dinner before they fly back to South Africa, and most of them vowing to come again next year.
From Shimoni Simon Hemphill writes of the wind swinging in to north in the Pemba Channel, and like flicking on a switch striped marlin immediately appeared in the rips which mark the surface waters when conditions are right. With four boats out, all saw marlin activity and Martin Matiba, Raymond Matiba’s youngest son, caught his first marlin, a stripey of 64kgs from his dad’s boat Pika-Pika skippered by elder brother Bryan, a great day for this well known fishing family. Another boat from Diani, Zuri, in the same area saw about ten striped marlin in the day, so good portents for the fishing there as the ‘kaskazi’, the north wind, strengthens.
But the winds have not settled yet, November being the month of the monsoon change, and after a few days blowing from the North, the wind was back south this Monday at Watamu with an immediate drop in billfish catches. But boats find wahoo, dorado, tuna and kingfish, and many choose to do some bottom fishing for snapper and grouper as a variation.