Just like the end of July, the fishing off Vilankulos and Bazaruto started with a bang with lighting fast game & sail fish action in early August. This was particularly true with the nice size wahoo that where on the roll and savagely attacking the plugs, lures and whatever else you offered and more often than not in packs!
Most fish where in the 12-20 kilo range with a few going close to 30 kg being caught as well. On our best day over this period we had over 50 bites of which more than half where from nice size wahoo and we caught / released 27 game fish – with the wahoo ranging between 14-28 kg´s – and missed a couple sails – absolute insane action!
The bite was especially good down by the St. Sebastian Peninsula and complimenting these speedster´s where some other game fish species mainly king mackerel and bonito and the odd YFT, barracuda, skipjack, jobfish and kingfish. Just for good measure a few sailfish where showing up on an almost daily basis along with a few small Blacks.
Right on the other side of the archipelago, by Bazaruto lighthouse and further north there where some good cuda catches and sporadically some very entertaining days with decent size Yellowfin´s. My boys also reported a few successful plugging and jigging charters and really good fishing on ultra light spinning gear, mostly on kingfish (Jack´s). On some day’s huge schools of bludger´s also showed up off the Bazaruto sandspit providing great but difficult spinning sessions with all the sharks around them. One of our guests even managed to hook up to a 30 kg Black Marlin on a small spoon and spinning outfit with #30 braid and 5000 Stella on these schools, but the experience was short lived!
Things went slower as we went into neaps in the middle of the month. Most of the large schools of jube-jube´s and other small bait-fish going deep and there was a general lack of surface activity. Wahoo where still around and being caught but nowhere as aggressive and numbers dropped. As one does in times like this, slow trolling live baits produced some good action with good cuda (king mackerel), great barracuda and a couple good prodigal son (cobia). The time was right for the English group we had who´s main interest was shark fish – has it does year round Bazaruto did not fail them with a few XXL zambi´s (bull sharks) and other number plates.
It was hard going for a few days on the surface and the boys working the jigs, fly´s, drops-shot’s, etc on the water column did better. However, and even tough the numbers where not exceptional for those wanting to put the time in trolling, there was good sailfish action on a daily basis over that week. We had a group that fished with the boys aboard VAMIZI for a couple of days and they caught a few really nice wahoo, YFT and bonnies and on their first day, and went 2 for 3 on sailfish. The next day they raised the same number of sailfish but only managed to release one. And they finish it off with a 2 for 4 conversion on their last day. On the 13th I took out a group of guys from Maputo on the GAME CHANGER. It was glass calm and beautiful but the action was non-existent on top and although we picked a few game fish (dorado, wahoo, bonitos, cuda) it was slow compared to the previous weeks. However as we moved to the canyon to finish the day we immediately had a sailfish triple-header. One fish pulled the hooks but we released the other two, one of which a nice fish of about 40 kg. It was very late but we set the spread again and within 10 minutes had another sailfish that this time missed the hooks and we made our way home. A few other boats reported some sailfish releases over the week.
We did not fish for a week and a half after that and neither did the boys has VAMIZI was high & dry installing two brand new engines, replacing the two year old one´s that already had 3 700 hrs on the clock! Will be nice to start the season with brand new machines 🙂
There was not much fishing done by anyone during that period and the weather was a tad variable including a huge southerly blow that clocked 40 plus knots. Unfortunately this brought the water temperature down by over a degree. However by the fourth week the fishing started to pick up once again and best of all (and although no one is yet seriously targeting them) the first big Black ladies started to show.
On a game fishing charter on the 27th the boys on Vamizi had one big lure out on a #80 and hooked up to a nice Black Marlin they estimated at over 500 pounds. Unluckily the fish pulled the hooks 10 minutes into it. Two days later Nemo got one around 200 pounds and Watamu another at 500 pounds. Charles out of Inhassoro also reported a few fish and Quo Vadis released two fish up to # 300 a few days ago.
We ended the month on a two-day game fishing charter with Doug Bates from the UK who was a real pleasure to have on board. The first day started with a YFT and pulling on a big wahoo right off the bat. We had good action the rest of the morning with a bunch of bonnies and cuda. There where some really nice crocodiles but we where unlucky to have the two biggest one´s sharked – fish head soup! At noon we pulled lures up to fish the incoming at the canyon but it was pretty slow there.
Our second day was even better and with consistent action throughout the day in beautiful flat calm seas. An early 20kg + wahoo started the day and in the morning we got a bunch of bonitos, dorado, Yellowfin Tuna and king mackerel. After a slow hour spell at noon the bait started to show thick on the pinnacles as the tide changed. Time to change tactics and we started catching small jube jube´s and live baiting and it hardly too 10 to 15 minutes for a bite on some decent size cuda. Once again using the light tackle the two biggest crocodile’s where sharked but we managed to land a few decent size fish for the table. Although we where not specifically targeting them there where a good number of sailfish about tough very lazy fish. We saw 8 for the day (3 free jumpers), raised five, had three half hearted bites and hooked / released one for Doug´s first ever billfish release. Next to us Sliver also found them and released two out of four.
A great way to end a really enjoyable light tackle month and all looking good and in very high spirits as we finally bring out the heavy stuff out of their long overdue hibernation – the last few months have been great but from now on it get´s MUCH BETTER!
Elsewhere in August…
Olaf & Marty caught the 5th grander of the year aboard the Xacara in the Azores. The 1 042 lbs Blue took a Moyes large Argus. Yesterday the Nola released another potential Grander in the Azores, a fish they estimated at 1 100 lbs which was caught on the Bonze Violator. Besides these, eight fish over 500 pounds where caught during the month by the small Azores fleet. This included two 800 pounders for Nola and one for Xacara.
Madeira also had another great month with some superb fish right up there. There where three 900 pound Blues reported by Flipper, Blue Makaira and Xareu along with another three reported over the 500-pound mark.
Although tapping off the Canaries had some good fish with six over the 500 pound mark, Kona had 5 and Steve Campbell in Tonga also seeing some good fish including three that where estimated at 700, 850 and 950!
There´s still no grander Black for the season and there where only three reported Blacks over 500 reported in August. Two fish from Panama and one from Bazaruto – but has we all know that´s about to change very drastically 🙂
Tight lines and warm blue water…
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