Winter-time King Mackerel with FishBazaruto.com
Winter-time King Mackerel with FishBazaruto.com: The last two months have been utterly remarkable, it’s the beginning of winter and thus not the diversity one expects of the warm water summer months. But it certainly has not been dull – we have had some amazing fishing in what we consider, after the heavy tackle September to December season, the most exciting time to fish offshore waters of the Bazaruto Archipelago.
As we have been saying for a few years, mid-April to mid-June seem to be a great time to target Blue Marlin in the area. It’s unfortunate that we don’t get as many charters to go out wide as we would like during this period. But its slowly being noticed by a few anglers and this year´s Blue Marlin bite was unreal all the way from mid-April to late June when the water finally dropped from an amazing 26.5c to the mid´s 23´c
We did not have a single day out wide – and most were 4-to-5-hour sessions – when we did not have one and up to 5 Blue Marlin bites. We also found some good bull dorado out there, a few sailfish, a couple stripes and even caught an elusive Short Bill spearfish.
April to late June again produced a consistent Blue Marlin bite out wide of the Bazaruto Archipelago and as usual we had lots of flat calm seas which is usual for this time of year.
This year has seen the best Sailfish numbers we have seen in years. Until the late 2000´s we had a prodigious sailfish run between late April to September with May and June normally being the peak. Raising 30 to 40 fish a day were common and our Sailfish season used to be booked up way ahead of our Marlin Season.
Then around 2008, as it did in Kenya and all along the East Africa Southern coast numbers started dwindling. On the other hand, numbers soared in Madagascar which might have explained a shift in migration patterns – the reasons which are a discussion for another post!
What is interesting is that from late April this year we started seeing better numbers of Sailfish and then from Mid-May and especially into June we saw numbers we have not seen in years and so exciting to have those aggressive, high number pack attacks, one after the other as we did those many years ago.
Since late April and especially into late May and June we have seen numbers we have not seen on the archipelago for many years with aggressive pack attacks being the norm on these acrobatic fish which can be targeted on light conventional tackle or fly.
King Mackerel aka ´Couta
King mackerel, cuda, couta, narrow barred mackerel (which is the correct name) – well the fact is that over the last two months we have also seen an exciting number of quality Scomberomorus commersoni.
It’s also been a few good years since we have experienced such good couta fishing and with such quality fish in the 20 plus kilo mark frequently caught…including some much better specimens.
And, the best of it is that we have not really been targeting them specifically. They were mostly by catch and we caught them on poppers (such exciting bites), spinning, slow jig and on the fly. And, of course also with those drift or slow trolled live baits which they are so addicted to!
The last few months have also seen a great number of cuta of the Bazaruto Archipelago and amongst those some very good specimens which we call crocodiles… they have been prolific and caught on popper, spinning, fly, jig and slow trolling live baits…
After the great week with Anrich at the end of June our good friend Debbie Barnard from NBSafaris joined us for three days along with some American clients that had been hunting with them in SA the previous week.
Here’s the report with Anrich´s fishing week @ bazaruto…
Ted is an avid fly fisherman and over the last few weeks I had discussed and spoken to him a lot on WhatsApp about what to expect and the way we mostly fly fish here using what we call dredging! Along with him was Jeff who was keen to catch anything…
It was a pity that, after a long stretch of gorgeous glorious flat calm and warm weather (which is the norm for the time of year) they arrived with a blow from the south. Nothing humongous but still pretty breezy. Having seen the way the bite slowed down the previous two days I knew this low pressure would not in any way improve the fishing.
But, as the eternal optimist´s that we are…
…we made it out there for an afternoon incoming tide session on the first day!
It was difficult and hard going with the swell being big and messy. But we caught a number of different trevally species, queenfish, jobfish, snappers, scads and a few other models on the dropshot and on the fly but the best was yet to come…
While drifting we had the small 20-pound conventional stick with a dead carapau and missed two fish on it. So, when we got the next 5-spotted quennie we put it out live on a wire trace and within the first drift it got taken followed by a speedy run signaling a truly nice crocodile couta.
Jeff was on the rod and this thing did all the trick in the books and once it got by the boat another 2 or 3 surface runs for good measure.
We got the fish and I estimated it at around 22 to 24 kilos but seeing I am normally quiet under once we looked on the measurements at 151cm it was more likely close to 30 kilos.
What a great fish for the boys on the first day…
Alex and Jeff holding a really nice cuta caught by Jeff on light tackle using a live queenfish as bait. The fish measured 51cm which not being a very fat fish puts it at just under 30 kilos!
The next day was again breezy and a mess and although we caught some kingies and other species it was slow and hard on the short afternoon session we managed out there…
We came back earlier but tried for a GT @ the GAP and just after Lourenço raised a medium model Debbe hooked into a XLL model and this is what happened after a few seconds…. Brand new popper, not a single rust mark! So frustrating to lose a fix like this!
The last day we tried to get some more big couta on live jube jube´s which were plentiful up north. We were unlucky to miss one and pull the hook on another before hooking up to one of those big bull Zambezi sharks the northern pinnacles are so well known for.
On the light tackle, that kept Ted busy for just over an hour and by the time he had finished boxing the jube´s had gone down.
We still got another couple of couta, one a fairly good fish and again, we caught a number of kingies and some other species including some very nice size salads – which of course will come very handy in a couple months’ time during our Marlin season!
Marlin candy!!! ????
We also spent three hours trying to raise and tease a Sailfish on the fly for Ted but it was slow and only caught a dorado.
The bite came on that afternoon when we were fly fishing and slow jigging and Talang released two.
The next day and down south where the water was cleaner, they came on and Salt Shaker released 3 from 13 until they ran out of bait and Ahab also released one further north.
Now we have a week off until we start next week out of Vilankulos on the 38ft SuperCat – Drop Your Rods…
PS: Blue Marlin World Cup
Congratulations to Apex for their win on the 4th of July BMWC with a 834.5 pound in Kona, Hawaii…which gave them a record winning $ USD 1.2 million!!!!