Bazaruto´s Marlin Season 2019 kickoff…
We highly enjoy the prodigious Santa Maria Blues, Bazaruto´s Marlin Season from March to mid-May, or it´s tremendous wahoo run, it’s excellent GT popping or the madness of the Malagasy Sailfish. Matter of fact, we love any of the many other top destinations we are privileged to fish at, but without a doubt, Bazaruto´s Giant Black Marlin Heavy-Tackle Season between September and December, is for us, the most anticipated time of the year.
As usual it all got into gear in late August with rigging and boat & gear work on the Island.
A late cancelation for mid-September really put the spanner in the works, but fortunately we managed to partially fill it up, although the lads from the UK will be highly missed by myself and the boys this season.
Our first guests arrived on the 12th. Seeing the vast majority of our clients are return´s, these days we normally only have one or two new groups every Bazaruto Marlin Season. And, it´s great when they turn out to be such cool company, as Hannah, Gazza, Simon and Jay where. They come on a short, 3 day, first ever trip to fish with us (but certainly and hopefully not last).
Bazaruto´s Marlin Season 1st day…
A fairly strong Northeasterly was predicted for our first day, the 13th of September and both, Simon and Jay decided to stay at the lodge. Hannah and Gazza where aboard Vamizi by 6am and apart from an uncomfortable short ride into it as we made our way to VI mile, it turned out to be a beautiful, albeit cloudy day. However, regrettably the constant northerly that had been blowing for the past 3 days did churn out the Ocean and it was extremely frustrating to find green water to start with.
We game fished in the morning but unlike what is usual in September and, certainly had been the case the previous few week´s, there was little surface activity. September is the start of our Marlin Season and the small Blacks actually start showing in August. But most of all it’s normally a time of mayhem when Yellowfin are all over the place, big wahoo, dorado start showing, loads of bonnies and a few skipjack and probably the best time for big Geet´s.
Last year was no exception as you can see from the reports below;
But, the green water had certainly taken its toll and although we did get some cuda and YFT, it was hard going. We then went deeper and had a triple Yellowfin hookup and baited two.
Most of the surface activity we had seen so far where hammerhead fins ripping the surface (which at this time is a really good sign) but eventually they taxed both our baits.
We set the lures and worked south but it was slow and the water went from bad to worst. At Giant´s we picked up a skipjack which we bridled and as we were pulling in the lures the long right starts screaming off. Really fast run and for a moment, and even though the lure had been taken at idle speed, I tough but refrain to mention….that it might be a Marlin.
Hannah sat on the chair for the first time in her life. Fifteen minutes and it clear it’s a very big shark and so I asked her to push it to sunset. Taking it all in no stride she complied and she was an absolute natural.
Over an hour into it myself and Alex discuss what the hell was going on. Hannah is doing a great job in the chair, we had about 60 pounds of drag on it. I mean we get some Gigantic Bulls, hammers, Java´s, Silky´s and many other BIG sharks but even the monster Bulls are subdued in a maximum of 15 to 30 minutes by an average angler. Either this was monstrous tiger or foul hooked.
Hannah looked so comfortable and confident that I told Alex that I would create some slack so as to back off the drag, turn the preset and put it back in the corner. As soon as it tightens again Gazza´s first questions was…is that rod not going to break!!!
Absolute maximum drag, rod was arching and the line singing as it come of the reel.
At least we started to make some impact.
Hannah did not break a sweat with all that drag.
Into the two-hour mark and the fish is now sitting just under us for a while, all of a sudden, a few jerks and then it goes limp and comes up. It was a big hammer that was foul hooked on the dorsal fin, but only half of it, the head part all the way to the dorsal had been eaten, right at the end, by what must have been a monster tiger shark.
2nd Day and first Marlin for Vamizi´s Bazaruto´s Marlin Season and for Simon Rudland
With the NE blowing through the night it was no surprise to find even greener water as we started down at the Canyon. We had decided to change tactics and go and have a look all the way down south.
We set the lures at Big C place and headed south with the current.
Did a couple turns at Best but it was quiet and few showings.
Worked deeper and around the 100 meter mark the water still looked horrible, but slightly better.
Just before 8am Lourenco screams Marlinnnnnn….
A small Black is all over the short corner bait. It was there for ages just billing it, eventually releasing it from the clip but no actual bite.
Then we saw some big YFT busting in the distance and although they come up a few times, it was for very brief moments. We got two bites both coming off. We went to have a look at Marlin pinnacles which was sterile but outside of it we found slightly better and warmer water, seeing the gauge jump to 24c for the first time.
Worked that area for about 45 minutes and eventually we stuck gold when the long left was taken and we hooked up.
Simon got in the chair for his first ever time.
Eventually the fish jumped in the distance.
Then it gave us a nice show by the boat.
We tagged it and released our first Marlin for the Bazaruto Marlin Season and had a shorter day.
Light tackle delight on the last day…
We had a brilliant light tackle session on the morning of the 15th with Hannah and Gazza experiencing what is Bazaruto´s normal September scenario.
As soon as we put the four bait rods out we were on but got taxed. We then caught a few bonnies and cuda around lighthouse and III trees area. As we moved with the current and just south of Nhangosse there where loads of jube jube schools, birds working, dolphins feeding and it just wet mental with heaps of Yellowfin Tuna and bonito´s on the bite.
Such good fun and for a long period we never managed to put all four rods out before getting a double or triple strike. Every time we got a nice size YFT or bonnie we were about to put them on the tubes and run out, but, the water looked so terrible that it made sense to just get on with it and enjoy the light tackle mayhem.
Eventually, with the boat in gear as we fighting a couple of YFT, the small lure / stripbait combination on the #50 stinger gets taken. Obviously, a shark and Gazza gets in the chair. His first ever time, but again, an absolute natural and in no time at all brings the Zambi for a release.
Later we set the lures and went to have a look out wide. But, when we got to 350 meters and the water was as filthy as it was inshore we just gave up.
Coming into 220 meters and as we spotted some minute flotsam, but with some small runners and triple tails around it, we had a bomb explode on one of the long´s. It completely missed the lure and never got to see the fish, but moving that much water it could not be anything but a decent Marlin.
That was the end of our three days of difficult but good fun fishing with great people.
Hannah & Gazza will be back in September of 2020 for another run, really looking forward to it.
The last supper….
We had a superb dinner with some YFT sashimi and carpaccio for starters followed by some seared tuna and kind size grilled prawns….all washed down by some chilled Casal Garcia.
We have a short break to see the family in Vilankulos and will be back at it from the 21st, from then on, its back to back to early December for our 19th Bazaruto Marlin Season…
Obviously as we wait for it, the weather has been absolutely stunning and we only hope that this light Southeasterly pushed some good, warm water in.
We reported the Grander fish caught in the Azores a few weeks ago. Well, they are having a phenomenal Season and just this week habitat got a #833 and Brazilia some really good days, the best going 3 for 6, all of them over 500.
Despite very few boats still fishing Madeira, it’s still producing on what must be their best Season since the heyday´s of the 90´s and this past week Blue Makaira released a 900 plus and the next day had a #899 die on them.
As with Bazaruto, the boats on the GBR are just making the switch from light to heavy tackle and a couple of days ago Hellraiser reported the first big fish of the season at #850.
The next few weeks will certainly be interesting…
Duarte A. M. Rato
Sportfishing Charters @ Vilankulos & Bazaruto Archipelago
FB: MarlinMoz Sportfishing & fishbazaruto.com
Phone: + 258 84 639 0466