Captains Log

BAZARUTO MARLIN SEASON REPORT – NOV 2015

 

Big Black Marlin for Mat...
Giant Black Marlin were on the bite off the Bazaruto Archipelago during November 2015

After all the big Marlin seen and released by the small Bazaruto fleet in October to early November, including Matt´s Bishop 900 pound Black with us on October´s last day, we were eagerly looking forward to see what November would bring…

LET´s JUST SAY – IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT!

After our 8 day charter with Ali & Benn that we mixed up between Marlin and light tackle fishing we had a 3 day-break to go and see the family but were back on the water on the 6th. The next couple weeks produced some of the best Marlin fishing we had for the season.

Black Marlin in flight...
Black Marlin in flight…

We got two mid rangers and a little guy (450, 400, 150) on three consecutive days for resort guests and then started with Matt & Luke from the States, who were to experience a phenomenal bite over their four day charter.

Their first day was the slowest; we saw four and missed a good 500-pound plus fish on a big YFT bait. Then for their remaining 3 days we raised 7, hooking 6 and releasing 5 – one little guy on a lure and four nice fish on bait at 800, 500, 500 & 400 pounds.

Another nice size fish for Luke on a live yellowfin tuna bait
Another nice size fish for Luke on a live yellowfin tuna bait

Their first fish took a big YFT live bait at 10h30 and after 15 minutes of sweet mayhem Luke released his first ever Black @ a good 800 pounds. Providentially a smaller shy fish refused another bait an hour later, seeing 30 minutes later a mean 500-pounder come charging and we hooked up. Mat cranked the heat with 60 plus pounds of drag for a cracker of a show. This thing was on heavy steroids, jumping & changing direction has it run on the surface like a maniac! Yeah, this is what it´s all about and what a blast for everyone! We had run out of bait and non was showing on the surface or sounder so we set the lures and within half an hour had a 200-pound fish take the long right tube that come unbuttoned after a series of jumps.

The next day we just had one Marlin bite & made it count releasing another 500-pound fish on a live skipjack tuna, this time for Luke. Our other boat IBO also had a good day with angler Jose Carol from Spain going 2 for 2 on the lures with fish of 350 and 250 pounds.

2 for 2 Marlin for Jose on the day. This one a 300 pounder on a lumo Pulsator lure
2 for 2 Marlin for Jose on the day. This one a 300 pounder on a lumo Pulsator lure

We started the last day catching bait, which was all over VI mile reef. Eventually we put a YFT and a bonnie out and the latter was immediately gulfed by a massive Bull shark. Trying to get rid of it as fast as possible, Matt (with a tad of encouragement from my side-LOL) went to absolute full taps, so much that the rod snapped! First time I have ever had a #130 rod break on me. But we did eventually get rid of the bloody thing, put the juicy 4 kg yellow fin out again and worked south with he current. Not 30 minutes elapsed when we had a mesmerizing bite and hook-up. Another really fun fish as Mat put the heat, bringing the 400 pounder for the release in less than 10 minutes – well, Alberto did have to deal with it on the leader for a few more arm stretching long minutes. With one rod down we had to use a #50 on the long right when pulling lures in the afternoon and as Murphy would have it, that was the outfit the last fish for their trip hooked up on. Fortuitously it was a small Rat that Luke brought for a quick release to finish an absolute amazing charter.

Luke, myself & Mat. #800 & #500 lbs for the day. The smiles say´s it all!
Luke, myself & Mat. #800 & #500 lbs for the day. The smiles say´s it all!

We had a lay day on the 11th, but took out Nick Scott and his newly wedded wife who were here all the way from Australia on their honeymoon. We could not get any bait in the morning so put the lures out and within an hour had a mid ranger miss one of the long´s & then had another knock on the tube from a fish we did not see. Then it went dead – very slow– until 2h30 that is! In the last hour of fishing we saw 5. We were working the top end of II mile reef and all of a sudden the bait was on the surface all over the place. We quickly got a YFT and put it out live with a small bonito skipping (shark decoy) on the port rigger, 12 meters from the transom. Within a few minutes we did not get one, but two freaking fish ignore the live bait completely and come up right to the boat looking at this semi-skip bait. Both fish were about 300, swimming

Another Bazaruto usual suspect taking off...
Another Bazaruto usual suspect taking off…

together and light up like a Christmas tree looking at this small bait – eventually I pushed the throttles to get the bait skipping properly & see if they would react, but to no avail. Fifteen minutes later we get a bite but immediately the enormous head of a 700+ plus fish start shaking out the water while we were still in free spool and the bait went flying. The fish where there so there was no time to waste trying to catch bait, we started to put the lures out and even before we put the first long on the rigger clip it had a crash bite that did not connect. Fishing out wide our other boat got a 400 on a lure, again for Jose.

Another Giant Black Marlin off Bazaruto in November 2015 - Baz Explorer
Another Giant Black Marlin off Bazaruto in November 2015 – Baz Explorer

Over this period there was some really quality fishing with everyone getting into some fish. It also coincided with the Bazaruto Tournament and although the boys fishing up the northern end did not experiencing such a good bite has we had down south some good fish were caught. Bazaruto Explorer took top honours on the comp with a few fish including two really nice one´s. An 800 and then a 900+ on the last day – the same day Copper Bullet lost one estimated over the mark.

We then had Aaron Atkins from the States on his fifth trip to fish with us – a great guy who is always a pleasure to fish with and who really deserves a BIG Bazaruto Black – but unfortunately the bite slowed. We did however see a couple of decent fish, but were unlucky – in total we raised 8 fish for the five day trip, got four bites but only released a striped Marlin on the tube.

Beautiful Striped Marlin for Aaron Atkins
Beautiful Striped Marlin for Aaron Atkins

On the second day we had a really wicked situation. We were pulling lures out deep when I saw a skipjack school working just inside of us. As we approached we had a bite on the long right tube and a 600 jumped & the hook went flying. We had two bait rods out and right after we get a double skipjack bite. One comes off but the other fights quiet sharp with a few strange bursts. Eventually it start coming in and I got my rigging needle ready except when I look down into the water it´s not a skipjack I see but a Marlin (that had obviously engulfed the skipjack) and was simply free swimming not knowing it was attached to the 20 pound line. Obviously it got a wake up call by the boat and as it accelerated the 50-pound leader broke. The other good fish we missed was a ruthless mistake from our part – sincere apologies Aaron. Our live baits had been either sharked or chooped by wahoo the all morning. We had just gotten another skipjack and were slowly pulling it up current to the area we wanted to be. I was on

Bazaruto Golden magic! Mozambique magnificent fishing!
Bazaruto Golden magic! Mozambique magnificent fishing!

the phone to a client in SA and not paying full attention to the bait when Alberto shouted Shark and the elastic broke. All I saw was a big swirl so we proceed to deal with it as a shark (which is to try and get the bait away and if taken, as in this case, put the drag to sunset and wind fast so the circle does not set). Unfortunately we did all of this perfectly. However, as we come tight, line started to peel of the reel and then a nice size Black starts swimming on the surface. My immediate thoughts were that it was probably wrapped in the trace and that if I just kept his tail to us we could get lucky – no chance and on his first jumps it come undone.

 

Bazaruto Big Marlin jumping on the leader!
Bazaruto Big Marlin jumping on the leader!

The next three days we fished with resort guests and got a couple fish (250 and 400) on the lures and then had a great half-day of light tackle spinning with a some kingfish, barracuda and jobfish.

Our next group was Nick Chalk and his mates from work from the UK. Really nice guys and we had a blast of a time. We only fished for two and a half days for their trip due to really bad weather on the third day and in that time (and even tough we did also spend some time light tackle game fishing) between the two boats the boys did manage to get a total of 7 Marlin up and releasing two Black´s of 300 and 250 lbs.

Big Marlin on the leader eating the paint work of the transom!!!
Big Marlin on the leader eating the paint work of the transom!

The first two morning were absolutely insane on the light tackle game fishing with the guys getting spoilt with non stop action catching and releasing loads of fish including; yellowfin tuna, skipjacks, Giant Kingfish, bonitos, yellowspotted kingfish, blackspot kingfish, rainbow runners, etc. On the second morning within a couple of hours each boat got in excess of 20 fish. On that same day and after all the game fish chaos we got a bonnie and decided to live bait deeper. That bait got sharked but within 10 minutes we got a small YFT and as we put it out a 800 plus pound fish pounded on it, one of the most amazing strikes ever! It dropped the bait but it come for seconds and inhaled it again. This time we were on and the fish pulled a bunch of line before coming off – the circle obviously never found the spot and the fish was just holding on to the bait. We also had a couple sailfish on the big lures but as it happens they failed to hook although we did have one that only come off after a series of jumps.

Jumping dorado...
Jumping dorado on a flat calm beautiful day..

On the 24th we had Ian, Neil and Dean start fishing. Good clients and friends who used to fish twice a year with me for years but not so for at least 6. They are heavy into their Popper / GT fishing but, and although we did through some plugs, this time they wanted a Marlin. Unfortunately the weather changed and it was bumpy and slow. There was absolute no surface activity, even the odd wahoo, YFT or dorado strike on the lures was rare. There were few fish around and the one´s that we raised were extremely lazy, as it was to be for everyone for the next two weeks. We raised four but only got two bites, non of which stuck – but one was the real deal.

Portrait of a circle hook caught Bazaruto Black Marlin
Portrait of a circle hook caught Bazaruto Marlin…

We were into our fourth and final day (although most days we did not fish a full day). We had a late start but were lucky to catch some YFT as we got out but had all the baits sharked. We then put the lures but except for a wahoo outside II mile all was quiet and it was tough going, with a stiff NE breeze blowing. I was working deep off VI mile when out the corner of my eye I see these gigantic shoulders come from the outside, side on to the long right lure. They do not miss it when they come as hot from the side, especially when they that big. In my kind I knew we were going to hook-up and and the line did scream for a few seconds only to stop! I could not believe the fish

Yellowspotted kingfish, one of many species on a morning session of mayhem...
Yellowspotted kingfish, one of many species on a morning session of mayhem…

did not hook-up! I worked the area and must have been three minutes later and there she was again, this time under the long left lure. She was moving huge amounts of water but would not take the lure. Twice she come hot towards the lure but still swimming deep, throwing water everywhere, but after two long minutes she faded not to be seen again. Upon inspection of the first bite the leader was chaffed for more than a meter right in front of the lure, obviously the fish had missed the lure and grabbed the leader for a short while. I saw the bite from the corner of my eye and my immediate feeling was the fish was 800 or better. Alex was on top and saw it much better and reckons she was well over a 1000.

Well, a few days later the boys on BIG BOB got a really nice one on a lure that they estimated at 950+ (from the photographs conservatively) just south of that area. It was their second last day of the season so a great way to end it off for them and a big reward for all their hard work & effort.

Then the few days after that we started finding a good body of fish but as within that period in October they were exceptionally lazy and when you did get a bite it was a half hearted one, billing the lure and fading off. It was just myself and Morgan (on Spanish Fly) fishing and we were both tearing our hairs out after a few days.

Small Marlin caught on a lure late afternoon...
Small Marlin caught on a lure late afternoon…

Eventually he was something like 1 for 9 and I was not doing much better.

We had Vivian Serret and Samuel his son from Mauritius for 4 days from 2nd of December. The most pleasant people one could have on board just appreciating this place´s beauty and fisheries and it was a absolute pleasure to spend some time with them on the water. We saw fish, plenty of them, but they would just not stick.

There were still very few signals on the surface and live bait was difficult to catch. We spend some time in the mornings getting queenies to swim and rainbow runners and bonnies to skip, but they were scarce as well and we had a few wahoo cut offs…so it was mostly lures.

Another lure caught Bazaruto Marlin in flat calm seas.
Another lure caught Bazaruto Marlin in flat calm seas.

The first day we got a dorado, cuda and wahoo and live baited a couple skipjack and YFT that were sharked. On the Marlin side we had a 400 pound fish take a swipe at a lure miss it then come to another lure and do the same trick before fading off.

Then for the next two and a half days we had 8 up, but only 4 decent strikes but they would just not stick.

 

The second day we only fished a half day and it was on fire and after doing some bait catching we put the lures out and within 10 minutes had a small fish come twice to two different lures and fade off. An hour later we had another fish around 250 pounds come on the long right, start peeling line and the lure went flying on it´s first jump. We decided to put the baits out, a queenie swimming and a big rainbow runner skipping but after two hours both our quenies had been chopped off by wahoo and we resorted back to lures. Just before noon a really nice one come hot, once again on the long right Pulsator Marlin Magnet, and this time we hooked up. Samuel got in the chair and this fish just never stopped jumping towards the boat. Eventually all was under control and line was peeling when the fish did another jump and we come undone.

The next day we again raised 3 but the fish were even lazier and only one fish took a swipe at the lures. Their last day we decided to go and have a look up north, we raised one but it looked dead so we decided to come back all the way down south. We worked the area hard and at 1pm had a fish take two swipes at the lure, peel off 30 meters and off on the second try. Then we had a blind strike on one of the shorts on what looked like a good fish. This thing was peeling and again Samuel got in the chair just to have it come undone once we got cleared.

 

Massive garfish for Nick Chalk on ultra light tackle
Massive garfish for Nick Chalk on ultra light tackle
Big Eye on popper, one of many kingfish species on Bazaruto
Big Eye on popper, one of many kingfish species on Bazaruto

Absolutely insane but still good action and as Vivian put it, it was anything but boring…I just wish they would stick. Looking at my stats, this period and the one in October were the worst I have ever experienced in hook up ratios here. So far we raised the same average of fish we raise every season but the numbers are just not there ´cause they just lazy as shit. It made sense in October when there was tons of bait around but now it´s so quiet out there you would expect them to pile on the baits & lures…but nada! I can only assume he fish were feeding deep on very small baitfish. Anyway, it’s the way it goes and everyone was suffering from the same syndrome!

A close grander for the boys on Big Bob at the end of November...
A close grander for the boys on Big Bob at the end of November…

Bloody lazy fish…….but, what a fun month we had with some great people to share it with. I absolutely love what I do and blesses with all this awesome people that come fish with me but this last month was just something very special…it was just absolute fun out there every single day!

We on for a break to spend time with the family but still pretty busy with a number of groups fishing with the boys…so hopefully the fish will continuing biting over the rest of December and into January and everyone will enjoy an epic time as we did in November.

 

 

 

 

Enjoying a Yeast and a Bazaruto sunset after a day´s fishing...
Nothing like enjoying a cold one and a magnificent Bazaruto sunset after a hard day on the water chasing big Marlin!

Tight lines…

Duarte

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