Catch of the week, and perhaps of the season, must go to 12- year- old Pierfrancesco Golinelli who,fishing on Instedda with skipper Ali al Harazi, landed a 715 pound (324kg) blue marlin. This monster which on Wednesday out in the Rips off Watamu engulfed a lure on 36kg line on a 50W reel, jumped all over the ocean for nearly an hour before it appeared to lie beside the boat. But it was not exhausted, as it then dived under the boat and was badly hurt by the propellers, so it was boated rather than being released – but what a fantastic catch for the young man, a day he will always remember.
The fishing has been rather mixed this week with the Rips quieter as green water starts to run down with a southerly current, a bad sign for angling. But in Malindi waters closer inshore, the conditions have not deterred the sailfish and some good days have been recorded. Sailfish seem to be widespread this season, and now at Shimoni marlin are starting to be caught.
Peter Brainch, Colin Church and Mickey Baxendale out in Kamara II at Shimoni had a great day with Colin completing a personal grand slam – starting with a sailfish, he then tagged a 90kg black marlin and followed this with a stripey, while Mickey also had a stripey and Peter caught a sail then had a stripey on which fell off, so they finished with three marlin and four sail, good fishing by any standard. Cheza, a visiting boat which usually fishes out from Manda, at Lamu, had two striped marlin and a sailfish.
Broadbill also had good fishing with Ian Thorp and his son James and Robin Holland -Smith, with Ian getting a big 80kg stripey on 15kg line and James hooking into an even bigger fish which eventually threw the hook near the boat. A couple of days later, on Kamara II, James caught his first marlin, a stripey, and Ian first tagged a good sized stripey about 75kgs, then another stripey to give them three marlin for the day, so Pemba Channel fishing hot now.
At Watamu and Malindi boats have the option to tackle the sailfish closer in, or try further offshore for marlin, depending on the wishes of the anglers. Better still is to catch both, as B’s Nest showed with a black marlin and eighteen sailfish for an Italian party, while Black Widow and Seastorm found eleven and ten sailfish respectively and Instedda capped them with twenty-one sail.
At the beginning of the week Alleycat had a good day with both a black and a striped marlin, and Sand Dollar, a private boat doubled up with a blue marlin as well as a stripey, but later in the week sailfish seemed to be the main catches with Tega finding ten, six and nine on consecutive days to finish the week with a stripey and three sail.