A near Grand Slam for Craig Sherrah
Last year was Craig Sherrah´s first trip to Bazaruto along with girlfriend Ruth Vorster. Although he come early in the Season we managed to catch him his first Black and Blue Marlin along with some good game fish especially some big wahoo. It was a pleasure to have him back once again this year and he was very unlucky not to, at least, get a rare Grand Slam in Bazaruto on one of the day´s. But a great trip anyway!
You can read about Craig´s last year trip here;
Craig´s first day was the 22nd September. The morning was blowing a ESE of about 14 knots as we made our way north. The plan was to try and get some Yellowfin live bait which has been plentiful. We put the light sticks out and again there where fish everywhere but unfortunately only bonnies. After catching a bunch of them and no Yellowfin we gave up and put the lures out.
Worked between Aladdin’s and Nhangosse for a couple hours but we only picked a good size wahoo and then, finally, a Yellowfin out of Nhangosse. Our happiness was short lived. The bait got taxed within a couple minutes. We went further south and worked a tad around Sailfish Bay area. And, as the name suggests had a sailfish come knock one of the Halco´s and then the shotgun lure. But no hookup.
The plan was to work Giant´s at the end of the incoming. And it come together. Just before 1pm we hooked up on the Short Corner lure, the Wriggler by Pulsator. Only a small fish about 80 pounds. But it saved the day. We pretty much come back after that. A short day seeing we had to do Oil Change.
Decided to go and have a look way down south the next day.
Horrible ride into the wind and in the shallows at Benguerra on the outgoing tide. Finally, we set the lures and started heading south. We got a wahoo at Best and then a Yellowfin at Marlin pinnacles. It was badly hooked we tried to bait it for 10 mins but it was lazy and we decided to take it out. Then at Wahoo.com we picked up another YFT and put it out. This one lasted longer than yesterday´s but not much and it was taxed within 20 minutes.
We set the lures and worked the area. Picked up a wahoo.
Then we hooked up to a 150-pound Black, which pulled the hook just as we had cleared. Nose job!
Worked the area for about an hour and then we started to make our way back.
At Marlin pinnacles picked up two bonnies and live baited one.
Again, it got taxed within 30 minutes. This time we hooked up. Crack up on the drag and Craig brought in a 400 pound Zambezi (Bull Shark) for a release.
It was slow going south until we got to about 2 miles south of Sharkville.
We raised a sailfish on the LC Ruckus which then knocked the Express. As we turned to starboard to circle the area the right long green Marlin Magnet goes off. We all expecting to see a sailfish but instead a 300-pound Black starts jumping towards the boat. Pretty awesome display and within a few minutes we had it within 50 meters from the boat ready for the release, when the hook pulled.
Really unlucky day but still pretty exciting.
The weather forecast for the 24th was excellent and my plan was to go and have a look out wide.
What a day it turned out to be.
Worked Giant´s for about an hour waiting for Game Changer to join us as we planned to go out wide together. Only raised a nice Bull dorado that did not stick.
We made our way out and got to the area just before 9. Nothing happen but at the tide change a striped come charging on the Lobster by Makaira lures. It missed it but fell back to the long left and we hooked up and released the #140 fish. Craig´s first ever striped Marlin.
We worked the area for another hour and then decided to go to another area I have picked many Blues in the past, about 5 miles NW from it. Half way there in 380 meters the one we been waiting for showed up on the SC Wriggler. Missed it the first time but then it come with a vengeance and we hooked up. Blues are fast. No doubt there. But this thing really took off. Straight down. I was trying to get the line past the long´s but impossible. Start getting an angle to starboard. She´s coming up and with 400 yards out Craig was quick to come back on the drag as she started jumping and greyhound like a missile. Probably just shy of 500 pounds. But, we will never know as she come undone on the second series of jumps. Hard luck!
Great hookup ratio with Craig on the lures (8 for 8) but really unlucky to have the 3 out of the last 4 fish come undone, pretty unusual.
We set them up again. Worked the area and then moved to another spot in 250 meters. Here we saw a free jumping sailfish. Work towards it and next thing it takes the biggest lure in the spread. Jumps twice and comes off, never really hooked up. Move in close to work the last two hours of the incoming at lighthouse. As we come in at Nhangoose we raise another sailfish but got no bite out of it.
Moved to work Alladin´s where it looked really good and lost a wahoo. Minutes later a crazy fish comes into the spread. This thing as hungry and aggressive. But very confused. It knocked every single lure on the spread before coming tight on the long left.
Craig released his second fish for the day, a 150-pound Black. With a Striped and a Black (and already missed a sailfish and lost a Blue) I decide to put a small shotgun lure and work a tad shallower to try for a sailfish and the Grand Slam. With only half an hour it was high hopes. Sure enough, next thing, that little Ahi Pussy on the SG goes screaming. But not a sailfish but another small Black. Hooked on the operculum, it puts on a mind blowing jumping show before we released it.
1 for 1 on Striped Marlin
0 for 1 on Blue Marlin pulling hooks on a fish just shy of 500
2 for 2 on Black Marlin
0 for 1 on Sailfish and raised another one.
Once again, really bad luck not getting, at least, that Grand Slam.
The next day we went out wide again in the morning.
Shortly after getting to the area, and not far from where we got the Striped the day before, at 9h30 a #250 Blue comes crashing the Lobster by Makaira on the long corner. The fish peels 200 yards and on his first jump comes undone – nose job.
We picked up 4 nice dorado out there but otherwise it was quiet and we come in to, once again, get the last hours of the incoming at lighthouse. But, disappointment as we got there. With a knot of reverse current and NE wind for two days the water had taken its toll. Gonne green and very quiet. We picked two YFT which we baited and both got sharked and that was it for the day.
The 26th was Craig´s birthday and he decided to spent it with Ruth back at the resort!
It was very disappointing to find pea green water soup as we rounded up 2 Mile and started trolling south outside Sharkville on Craig´s last day. To make matters worse the sea was really messy with all the NE wind and outgoing tide. We decided to have look out wide. But, it was impossible to go where we had the action the previous days, straight into it. We went out deep of the canyon and despite there being loads of flying fish and frigate birds not much happen. We worked the area for three hours and caught a nice bull dorado and a smaller one. We made it home early.
All in all, it was good going in some adverse conditions due to the lack of current and the constant NE wind. We had good fun and a brilliant day where Craig almost got a Grand Slam and had nonstop action for the day. We raised and had 8 Marlin bites for his 4 ½ days, hooked all but one but where unlucky to have three come undone and released 4. Altoigh, except for two the fish where on the smaller side it was a pretty diverse trip with Blacks, Blues and Striped Marlin along with sailfish bites and catching some good wahoo, dorado and Yellowfin tuna.
Thanks for the good time Craig, looking forward to late October 2020, we will make that Grand Slam happen or more important… that Grander!
Next up, we got our good friend and long standing client Carl Jankowitz, along with Howard and Vaughn for the next week.
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