Mozambique Giant Trevally – GT
The infamous Giant Trevally has many names; Ulua, Bagat, Kikao, Giant Kingfish, Barrier Trevally and many other´s! Worldwide it´s known as GT and most well-known amongst old time anglers in Mozambique simply as Ignobilis (from its Latin name Caranx Ignobilis). This brute needs no introduction to the salt water fishing World, this is unambiguously, the King of the Reefs!
Giant Trevally fishing on the Bazaruto Archipelago is almost a religion and has been for many years. When I first started guiding in the area in 2001, day dreaming of its Giant Marlin, I was incredibly disillusioned that we hardly got any hard-core Marlin anglers. It took me (too many) years to get the place going in that direction and build up a solid client base. Understandably for its immense diversity and quality of game fish, what we had was a lot of tourist wanting to fun fish on conventional light tackle, fly fisherman, spinning enthusiast, a fair number of guys for sailfish season, but most of all, and thankfully, some serious popping fanatics! Some of those, where the chaps that in time, I introduced and slowly (or not so slowly) converted into some serious obsessive Marlin anglers!
But still today, after many great Marlin, like me all of them still love the absolute thrill of seeing one of those brute’s crash on that popper and invariably that is how we start and finish our day! Not surprisingly…despite really enjoying all manners of fishing, after Marlin fishing nothing gets my blood rushing has much as plugging for GT´s. Like with the upper range of the Billfish species, your tackle and terminal must be a 100%, as a Captain you get to learn how they move, feed and behave at different tides and times (and they fucking do that differently from reef to reef), then it´s the technique, stamina and freaking enormous effort of working those popper´s (although easier with the stick baits nowadays), but most of all and not even going to digress on actually fighting these beasts, it´s the visual shit. The bite…that awesome insanely gluttonous bite!
Anyway, I have really rambled away here seeing I was just planning to report all this awesome Giant Trevally fishing that has been happening in Mozambique.
Although caught year round on all the coastline, they are known to be more prolific in the stretched summer months between September and May. Although the warmer months are theoretically the peak, from experience I find that they definitely are for the most numbers but that the real whoppers, those 40 plus kilo fish tend to be, at least on the Bazaruto Archipelago and down south at Inhaca Island, caught more often on the season´s edges! Our biggest three fish the last couple of years where caught in mid to late September. Our biggest ever GT here in late April and down south at Inhaca in May.
Anyway, the last couple weeks we have had some great Giant Trevally reports from North to Southern Mozambique!
My boys at Bazaruto have not been specifically targeting them but have caught a few on the troll, especially around IV and VI mile. They have also got some of the miniature sizes on spinning sessions on the way out in the early morning. Fishing from Inhassoro some mates from SA over the silly season also reported some great success further north by 25-mile and the surrounding reef´s with fish estimated up to 35kg.
Fishing out of Vilankulos over a few days last week, Christian Kruger (the new boy on the block @ Bazaruto) had some exceptional fishing. He put his client´s from Big Blue not only on some great GT´s but also a variety of other great species (as you can see on the photographs). But, that is the norm and so exceptional at Bazaruto and elsewhere, you bound to catch a large variety of species while plugging! Again, although they did not get any massive fish they were solid and consistent with Christiian releasing the biggest fish on a Bobara stickbait at 115 cm, roughly 30 kg´s!
Far up north I had two different friends / clients fishing Lazarus (where a 190-pound fish was commercially caught in the 80´s) and Quililea recently. Both reported some awesome GT fishing. Again, both told me there where not many big fish around (although they did get a 127cm and another two over 120cm) but a lot of fish, respectable GT´s around the 100cm or 20 kilo mark. Along with it there where some bid great barracuda, doggies, Malabar, bohar snapper, a sailfish, cuda and a variety of other species.
The story was the same while on a trip down to Inhambane / Barra area recently. The guys I met and spoke all said the fishing been great. A lot of small Black Marlin around, some sailfish and big wahoo with the biggest I heard of being 36 kg, but invariably their stories centered around the GT fishing. The guys that have been longer told me they have not seen GT numbers like this in years. Even more interestingly was seeing some local fisherman bring in some good fish on to the market and when speaking to them finding out they been regularly catching Geet´s in places they had not consistently seen the for years…food for tough!
Even more interesting was recently talking to Justin Jahme who recreationally fishes’ out of Beira and who sent me a bunch of photographs of what they getting there. I was taken aback about the diversity of light tackle game fish they get (and I will post on that shortly) but again amongst those photographs there were lots of Geet´s!
Not much fishing in southern Mozambique the last week seeing at long last we getting much needed rain. After months of drought we talking nonstop showers for days on end in the whole of southern Mozambique! Looking good for next week tough and I am sure those king of the reef´s will be waiting…
Duarte A. M. Rato
Sportfishing Charters @ Vilankulos & Bazaruto Archipelago
FB: MarlinMoz Sportfishing & fishbazaruto.com
Phone: 00 258 82 805 7160 / 00 258 84 639 0466