October started with the two remaining days from Carl and Peter´s 5-day charter. Has reported before the previous few days we had great fun on light tackle with loads of game fish, especially Yellowfin tuna that seemed to be everywhere. We also had a brilliant plugging session and some great light tackle spinning on these amazing bait balls with sharks and game fish gorging themselves on this tiny oceanic anchovy we where privilege to see.
However and although we did put some time in with the heavy tackle the Marlin fishing was rather quiet. So, it was good news when the other only other boat fishing, Spanish Fly, reported losing a nice 600 pound Black early on the 1st October. Pity they pulled the hook on the fish but, at least there where some good fish starting to show…
The 2nd October was their last day and although we did not get one, conditions had definitely changed and despite them being lazy we saw five Marlin and had bites from mid-rangers for the day.
Started with the bait rods working close in as sheltered as possible against the stiff north-easterly. Where quick to get two king mackerel and then got into a much bigger one which Peter eventually subdued to land his biggest ever cuda at 20 kg´s. Next we got a bonnie and run out to bait it, tacking south to work VI mile, V mile and Giant´s corner. The poor bugger survived a hammerhead attack and at the northern end of Giant´s we raise two small Black´s at the same time on it. The distressed bonnie trashed on the surface as the fish swam around it, but bizarrely they lost interest and started to tail down sea!
At the southern end of Giant´s the water started to go off color due to the out pushing tide from II mile, so the bonnie got it´s well deserved freedom and we switched to lures to work back north. Fifteen minutes later we almost run over a snoozing # 400 Black, the fish got such a fright that jumped clear out the water before vanishing deep.
At VI mile we picked a couple of 8 kg YFT and all plans to go plug for GT´s where hastily abandoned! Hardly twenty minutes elapsed before we got the bite we where waiting for…or maybe not! Hardly a second after the bite while free spooling the #400 Black starts jumping signalling not all was well. We pushed up slow but only come tight for a short tens seconds. We had let go to early, a big NO with the big YFT and evidently she got wrapped on the leader trying to grab the now `free“ swimming bait!
Anyway, you win some and loose some and back to lures to troll around the tuna schools which, by now, where thick between V and VI mile. With all the activity the taxmen was on the prowl so after having a couple more baits sharked we where back to lures. An hour later and a few YFT in between, right in the middle of a skipack and YFT school, we get a YFT and a Marlin take the shorts simultaneously. The fish took over 200 yards at warp speed but and when she was looking to settle the hook pulled – nose job!
By now the sea had gone flat and metallic grey, towards the south we could see the front was moving in earlier than forecasted. Time to start working back to II mile and just north of it we felt the first gusts coming…. between that and taking the lines out and getting ready to go it was blowing over 30 knots!
Good to see that many fish, sadly due to that low-pressure system that moved in we could not fish the next day and the 4th was the only lay day we had for the whole season ´till mid December. But Emmet from KBE Angler´s Hub in Dubai and his mate Patrick arrived that day and where keen to get on it straight after…
After that big blow and expecting it to be wild out there we had a late start on the 5th. But, where pleasantly surprised as we got to V mile. There was a big swell but well spaced apart and not uncomfortable at all. However the water was a tad of colour with a strong reverse current and temperature down to 24.3c – way to cold for this time. We got a YFT and live baited with the current, surviving two sharks attacks but only as far has Nhangosse where there was a clear blue / green water line. Not wanting to bait against the current we switched to lures and made our way south. We picked a Yellowfin tuna, followed by a wahoo and at 2pm we got a double strike. A sailfish on the bait rod and a Marlin on the long left! Unfortunately we did not connect on the lure but Emmet released a nice 40 kg sailfish on light tackle to end the day on a high note.
The next day saw us earlier at V mile and we quickly picked a two 8 kg Yellowfin´s around the many schools. We baited those for a couple hours until we hooked up to a 300-pound hammerhead that Patrick released. The guys had never really gotten sharks so where happy to have a go at them when they come on the baits, which was on my books, way to often J
We put the lures and decided to tack south to check the canyon. Halfway I worked the area out of Sharkville and get a fish knock the long left out the rigger. Alberto started winding the lure, teasing the fish all the way to the short and this the bite was aggressive and stuck. Emmet jumps in the chair as the fish greyhounds all over. Fifteen minutes later, and after some close jumps, we get her boat and let her go at #300. Happy days. By this time the NE was blowing 20 plus knots so no plan pushing further south. Work the area for an hour to no avail and then make it back. we At II mile picked up a beautiful skipjack but had no luck baiting it for the next hour before heading back.
On the 6th Cool Runnings also got one on a live bait that died on them and went 546 pounds (pic below right)
On the 7th it was blowing stiff form the NE and we where the only boat to brave it out there. It has been an unseasonal windy beginning to the season, but where rewarded for our efforts, going 1 for 1 on Striped Marlin, 0-1 on Black Marlin and missed a sailfish out of two raised.
We made bait and plugged at 9 mile early morning but only got a bigeye kingfish. As soon has we started heading deeper the skipjack where tick and we immediately got two which we baited and got a hammerhead an hour later. Put the lures and did a deep tack and not 15 mins later we get a crash bite from a Black on one of the long´s but never stuck or come back for seconds. We got a YFT and 30 mins later a sailfish takes a swipe at one of the plugs on the bait rod, then knocks the long left and fades. We raise a second sailfish a tad later on the same lure but never even get a bite out of it. Late in the day I decide to work out wide and we finally get a fish up on the Short corner Pulsator Predator but no hook-up. Then it comes on the long right Phoebe 50 and we go solid. The fish makes a blistering run but never jumps. Patrick get´s in the chair and a tad later it´s clear the fish is tail wrapped. We go to low put on the drag and get the 140-pound striped Marlin in good shape to the boat for a release.
It´s not on fire and been fishing in pretty harsh conditions and water, which looked absolutely electric blue today but still very low at 24.6c – but hey, one a day keeps the doctor away!
The forecast for the 8th was much better than the previous days so decided to go down and check out the canyon area at long last. We worked a live YFT for an hour and hook-up to a big 450-pound hammer we release.
Put the lures out and at 9am we hook up on a frisky 200-pound Black that comes undone just after we clear. We work the area for a couple hours pick a skipjack that get´s sharked but the bait is scarce and the wind starts pumping from the ENE. Time to start tacking back. It´s slow and only south of II mile do we see the first signs of life and quickly get a triple YFT strike. We get them all and bait two. It´s 15h15 and I do the last tack into the point, the sun and the swell from behind.
What happen next non of us on the boat will ever forget!
It´s 15h30 and I tell the boys to start getting everything ready to go. Ten minutes later we are in 45 meters of water and I tell Alberto to bring in the bait. He starts winding the bait from the reel, the 8kg YFT trashing, almost skipping on the surface. And then, 15 meters from the transom this great fish piles on it. With the sun right behind it, it was a fast aggressive, but truly memorable strike. The fish literally open its mouth, shoulders out the water and took the bait sideways and then we just saw this massive tail trashing and we on. For the first 15 minutes the fish just stayed on the surface has we aggressively tried to keep on top of her and have a shot at the leader. She was not going anywhere but working around in circles right up. Then she did a series of jumps, showing all her girth, massive fat fish.
On her second series of jumps, closer to the boat I get a good look at it and the hair on my arms stood up – it´s amazing what your body can, from experience, tell you instinctively what you take a few seconds to process in your mind…
Then she went down and, has the vast majority of the big girls do, started heading straight east – you could set a compass by it! She would not bulge on her course and just swim at an incredible speed out to sea. By now we on the corner and Emmet doing a great job, knowing exactly what to do on the drag and gears. I had seen she was hooked on her right side and figured the angle she least liked being pulled. Three times she came up, once right to the surface but as we got on top of her she just went down again. Twice we had the double a couple meters from the rod tip…but she just would not give up those last few meters.
I changed tactics and pulled her from slightly the same angle but aft and although she did not come up to the surface, she slowly come up has we gained more and more line. That went on for about 15 minutes at a steady rhythm and we could all sense the momentum. Close to the surface the angle change, spin the boat and right there we on top of her. Again we just missed the leader has she changed direction, but still right on the top. Again we got on top of her, and this time, just before the two-hour mark we got a solid wrap on the leader. I had instructed Alberto not to let go once he got hold of it good. The sun was low on the horizon and for her and our sake we did not want to fight this fish all over again. The #650 did not snap but the circle actually pulled out. Later, looking at the pictures it all made sense. She had been hooked on the operculum from the outside (and this explained why we had an instant hook-up) and of course with the extra pressure on the leader it just pulled out.
My feeling was she was over the mark, but having only seen her jump rather far and without taking a good look next to the boat I was happy to call her a conservative 900… maybe at Emmet´s expense, who did an absolute fantastic job applying exceedingly heavy drag without a sweat for the all time. Probably, and especially after so many people that looked at the photograph saying it´s a Grander, he was not that impressed with the call.
What the hell mate, it´s just a mythical figure…. that was the fish of a life time – huge congrats!!!
The celebrations where on that night but at 6 the next day we where back at it. We run north to lighthouse before the wind come up. We made bait and got two bonnies followed by a 6 kg YFT which we baited, tacking south with the swells which where now starting to grow considerably.
Twenty minutes into it, in 80 meters out of Nhangosse we get a bite and hook-up to a nice 500-pound Black. Patrick jumps in the chair and within 30 minutes brings the fish for a release. We then work the skip/swim baits all the way south seeing a fish tailing at sailfish bay. We had decided to make a half-day as the guys wanted to have a break and do an Island drive in the afternoon. As we got to Giant´s just before 12h30 we pick up two YFT and decide to bait them and give it another half an hour. Within 10 minutes this amazing electric blue fish about 800 pounds comes aggressively on it, missed it and never comes back…. leaving us all in awe.
That was pretty much it for a great half day…
The 10th of October was their last day and it ended in style releasing one out of two Blacks on baits. The fish was a good 450 pounds. On top they also released another shark.
Awesome week with the guys!
It´s not amazing numbers but we did have an excellent conversion ratio, some good quality fish and of course that one very special fish which right up there…
All in all, in their 5 ½ fishing days aboard VAMIZI they saw / raised 11 fish, with seven bites and 5 releases. Four Blacks at 300, 450, 500 and 900 + and a 140 pound Striped Marlin.
Then there where the sharks they released and which they where keen to do, a few sailfish raised and one released and of course a bunch of game fish especially YFT, but also bonnies, skipjack, cuda and wahoo.
Besides the quality fishing the week was a real pleasure, Emmet & Patrick just chill on the boat, waiting for the bite but not anxiously, knowing you got to put the time and that the time will come….and appositive, never give up attitude. All one can ask for…and that´s when you get them 😉
Thanks for the good times guys….hope to see you next year for the grander 😉
Tomorrow we start with Ian Du Plessis and the boys for the next 6 days, will report then…
Cheers & tight lines…
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