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A light tackle Marlin for Stella´s first ever. Late afternoon bite on a slow trolled skip bonito, the fish gave a great show for 45 minutes on the #30-pound tackle…

Vilankulos – 2 for 2 on light Tackle Marlin

light Tackle Marlin

After our Tiger Fishing mission to Zinave we come back to Vilankulos to start a two-day charter with Craig Edwards & gang and, in very difficult conditions we ended catching a few gamefish including some wahoo, YFT, cuta, bonnies & released 2 light tackle Marlin.

Azulik pick up

Craig, Stella and another two friends couples stayed at Azulik Lodge on the San Sebastian Peninsula and so we had quite a late pick up seeing it was a tad difficult to deal with the changing sandbanks and channels to get in and out of there at low tide.

It was a beautiful calm weather day as we went pass the washing machine. Still pretty chilly for the time of year and this has got to come down as one of the coldest Mozambican winters we remember.

Craig Edwards and the Gang aboard the 38ft Game Changer for some light tackle Marlin fantasy times and a few game fish on the side line for a bit of extra fun… from the early morning clothes one can see its not the usual sunny and palm trees scenario in Mozambique @ the moment 🙂
Difficult conditions & slow fishing reports

At 23.7c the water temperature was not the best and had dropped considerably. Reports from the previous week while we were away where slow and not very encouraging. It’s been a terrific fishing year so far but it seemed to have eased down the last couple weeks.

It certainly looked dead out there as we trolled south. We did not see any birds and apart from Humpback Whales jumping all around and a few scattered jube jube schools there was hardly any surface activity for the day – very unlike Bazaruto waters!

The water did look a beautiful blue with a 1.5 knot current from the North.


We tried to catch some jube jube live baits and although they were scarce and finicky, we finally managed a couple and got a nice cuta on the first and then Craig hooked a shark that kept him busy for while on the second.

We then set a trolling spread with a few rappies & Halcos short and a few lure / ballyhoo combinations on the riggers.

First up was a YFT and a few bonnies followed by a quadruple strike which produced two wahoo and two kawa kawa.

Next up out came the barbecue for some seared tuna and wahoo, prawns and some delicious calamari washed down with some chilled chardonnay – as we made our way south.

Despite difficult conditions besides the light tackle Marlin everyone got a go at some good and tasty fish which we barbecue on the boat -loads of bonnies, wahoo, YFT and cuta where on the cards!

Best for last…

We had trolled down to Best to work the area with the afternoon tide.

Surprisingly, and very unlike that reef at the end of the incoming, it was dead slow.

When some jube jube´s showed up we were quick to put the pulsator daisy chains and hooked and rigged a deep live jube jube and put a dead one slow skipping on the surface.


Within 10 minutes we have a bite on the surface bait, followed by a blistering run on the #30-pound tackle and a Black Marlin jumping at the of it.

Stella is on the light tackle Marlin rod fighting her first ever Billfish – what fun driving the boat on that #200-pound fish as it teared the Ocean apart as we gave chase and Stella picking up and working like a seasoned pro.

45 minutes of great fun and eventually we get the leader and chase back fast as the fish is still screaming down current a couple meters from the transom. I tell the boys to hold on and we break it off…

Considering the hard conditions, we did really and that was just a very special bonus to end a great day…
A light tackle Marlin for Stella´s first ever.
Late afternoon bite on a slow trolled skip bonito, the fish gave a great show for 45 minutes on the #30-pound tackle…


Very late start…

The next day the guys had to come to Vilankulos to do their COVID tests for traveling.

The clinic was not the most efficient and we only left Vilankulos at mid-morning for a snorkel at II mile.

It was well past noon when we finished and now, we were on the other side of where I felt we had the best chances. Hour drive down south and we finally started at Best to work down with the current.

We got to the area we wanted to fish with a couple hours left.

The two boats fishing did not have much to report.

We caught a few jube jubes, missed a cuta and decided to troll for the last hour.

Again, we had some rappies & Halcos a couple half beaks on the riggers and we put a big halfbeak on a Black & Purple Ilander on a bird in the middle of the spread, pretty close in.

We could have pretty much only have had this lure on the water as every single bite was on it!

We caught a wahoo and missed another.

Last tack bite to finish off the charter…

Then, coming into 4pm, last tack coming deep into Marlin Pinnacles.

Craig come up for a chat and I am looking aft when his face, looking back drastically changes!

He got the bite right on as a small Black pilled on the Ilander!

Crazy missile jumps towards the boat then going from left to right all across the spread!

Some cracking moments trying to get it past the spread and pick all that belly but soon we had it all under control and got Steven Squires on his first Marlin.

He made short work of it, not before we had some crazy jumps on the leader which the guys took a few great pics which we will get later.

Some pics by the boat and release…

No better way to finish a charter than to close it with a light tackle Marlin right at the end…
A nice light tackle Black Marlin for Steven´s first ever released late afternoon on their second and last day. The magic lure was the Black & Purple Ilander which also produced the two biggest wahoo for the trip…


Sipping some champagne on the way back Craig remarked something which left me quite startled… do you realize we have a 100% record on Marlin!
So, over the years we have caught as many Marlin as days we fished together and most remarkable his never actually been here during the peak of the Marlin Season.
This one is from a half day a few years back with Craig (on the far left)….
Well, he certainly should…
2 for 2 in a day and a couple hours.

It’s been an amazing year so far, with many fish and we not even on the season yet.

This is the time for those small fish to start showing before the big girls arrive in a month or so…

Can’t wait for it…

Anyone interested remember we have had a cancellation and have 4 days in the peak (10 to 13 October 2021) available in the upcoming Bazaruto Marlin Season…

Too see our package rates go to;

Or contact us at
Charles’s Lee Marlin also getting into the action on the small light tackle Marlin, releasing a Black a couple days ago for his clients up north…
The GT fishing has been surprisingly good for the peak of winter and the popping brigade bringing in some good fish.
Above Lande´s daughter from Gale Force charters with her PB Geet up to date and below Alex´s guest fishing aboard IBO with one he caught on a popper yesterday up north.



Thanks to Wantie Burger for this beautiful shot of a winter sunrise ic of the view from the house…


Duarte A. M. Rato

Sportfishing Charters @ Vilankulos & Bazaruto Archipelago



FB:                 &         MarlinMoz Sportfishing

Skype:              duarteamrato

Phone: 00 258 84 639 0466








Duarte Rato

Captain Duarte Rato spends his life chasing billfish of all colours and creeds - around the planet. Duarte has released more marlin than most of us dream of is possible - he grew up fishing the waters of Mozambique for billfish since he was a teenager.

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