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Dancing the jig with

Dancing the jig with

Dancing the jig with The Bazaruto Archipelago is not always all about marlin. Or is it?

On the 9th we had Neil and Doug arrive from the UK, with a week of fishing ahead of them mostly for jigging. This time, Brian came along as well, who joined us on the boat for one day but was more into just chilling and taking long walks on the beach and drinking beer, what a character!

Anyway, Neil and Doug had first fished with us on the Archipelago way back in 2003. They brought along some great pics for Alex who was then a young twenty years old. Real gems…

Then about 10 years ago they had done another couple trips to the Archipelago fishing with Diplock and also to Rio Azul.

Last year they came back and fished with us in September as well.

A trip they had booked for 2019 and had to postpone twice due to the pandemic.

We had a great time and much warmer weather.

Caught one from a few Marlin bites, a sailfish from a double, loads of Yellowfin, wahoo, some good cuta, a few GT´s and other game fish and again, had some great jigging sessions where the boys, not being able to stop some BIG Geet´s, felt they were a bit under gunned… this time around they brought some heavier gear and close to 60 jigs!

Here´s Neil & Doug last year´s trip report…

From what I had seen the previous few days I was certainly hoping to put in some time for Marlin as well as the fish certainly seemed to be around in good numbers and quality.

First day!

Started light tackle trolling outside V mile but it was slow so we slowly moved north and had a pretty uninteresting popping session at 9 mile followed by a jigging session outside of that produced some good size Green Jobfish.

We put the light conventional rods out again and headed to Sailfish Bay, the area I had seen all the YFT and skipjack the previous days and certainly enough they were there in huge numbers.

Got a double on a Yellowfin and a skipjack and put both livies out.

We got the bite in less than 10 minutes…

Actually, the longest we had to wait for a Marlin bite the last two fishing days and we had a greedy fish about #300 take first the short and then the long bait. We were not sure if the fish was hooked or just wrapped on the long bait rod so just let it as loose as possible. Neil got in the chair but, besides sticking its head out the water a couple times, this fish did absolutely nothing and we had the leader and let him go within 3 minutes of hookup.

Nice one…next!

Bait was plentiful and all around us and easy to catch and what a great time we had catching loads of yellowfin and skipjack on the spinning gear with the 2-ounce GT ice creams.

But with all this surface activity the taxman had also moved into the area and after losing 4 baits to them and with jigging in mind we decided to move up north.

Although in retrospect and if we knew what conditions awaited us for the rest of the week we should and would have concentrated more on the Marlin fishing as they certainly were on.

But, what a great end to the day we had up north anyway!

Absolutely amazing jigging…

The first reef produced some good yellow spotted trevallies, Bludger Kingfish, loads of big bonnies and three Geet´s…

Then the second reef again produced many big kawa kawa´s as well and loads of Yellowfin tuna, a species we don’t normally catch so much on the jig but they were certainly there and in big numbers.

Almost two hours of hours of non-stop jigging action with many fish released and a good number lost!

Great first day!

Neil and Doug first day produced some World Class bazaruto Jigging with many species including Giant Trevally, Yellow spotted trevally, Bludger Kingfish, bonito, skipjack, kawa kawa, green jobfish & many yellowfins tuna and to top it up a 300-pound Black Marlin that took the both lives baits we had out on Vamizi, a Yellowfin and a skipjack tuna!

Next day we decided to go north and it was amazing that after 45 minutes of very quiet light tackle trolling as soon as we stopped on the pinnacle to jig, we had a triple up, something that happened time and time again over the week.

Another quick Marlin Bite!

After releasing a bunch of fish, we decided to take one of the big Kawa´s out on the tubes and live bait it.

It was in the water for 2 minutes when Alex shouted…


And proceeded to try and bring the bait as it could.

In all honesty I did not even look back, the program in this instance is to try and save the bait, put it on the tube and run to another spot. While I was fumbling putting live bait pumps and the other engine on Lourenço screams…



I look back and here´s Alex pulling the bait away from a little #130 Black desperately trying to eat this thing!

We obviously put the bait back, this little fish came around the transom, this time flashing all kinds of neon! On the bite Alex says that it was so Black and with the low light and the way it was swimming behind the bait he really thought it was a hammer head – man and he’s seen plenty of both!

I was hoping this fish would go away and a better one would show up but anyway, two minutes later we got the bite from the little fish on the big bait.

As it happens, it immediately jumped all tangled up on the leader, and after a few seconds pulled out!

The rest of the morning was spent jigging and again it was nonstop action between a couple reefs.

Hot fishing…

Dancing the jig with
Dancing the jig with

Shark attack…!

Shark attack on the jig!
Shark attack on the jig!

At noon we decided to have a break and pull the lures south.

Had a bite on the Pulsator Bonito Smoker but we never hooked up or ID and we then had a popping session and another jigging session and did an early return to the resort.

Another great day…

But as we knew the next two days were non-fishable with a very strong SE pushing through which materialized that night.

Now, anyone that knows Bazaruto was, as we were, excited about this. If the fish were biting as they were, this blow would for sure bring in even better water and man we were excited!

We got out there and could not believe our eyes.

The water had gone an unbelievable river brown and even more dumbfounding was that the temperature had gone down from an already low 23.7c to 22.2c

That’s the lowest I have ever seen the water in September by a long stretch!!!

Total Disappointment!

Well, everything had disappeared on the surface, we certainly were not going to have a good Marlin bite with this crap water but at least…

The jigging was still wild!!!

And, that was what the boys had come for, so although it is always nice to mix it up a bit and do different stuff, we certainly had some great fast action in the morning.

It was wild and crazy and non-stop, every single drift everyone was on but then the tax man, which up until then had been pretty good, showed up.

When it’s like that there really is no point so we decided to move.

Bonito also jump on a well-presented jig.
Bonito also jump on a well-presented jig.

Again, the reefs up north provided some unbelievable jigging, that is until the taxman arrived at which stage we decided to move places but not before Neil released a big bull shark.

But first I want to catch one of these things, decided Neil!

Well, we caught yet another kawa on the jig, put it on a wire live bait trace on the marlin rod and within 20 seconds of it being out we hooked up…easy!

Fifteen minutes or so and we released a big Bull shark for Neil.

We trolled the lures for a while and went out wide to 250 meters just to see if there was any real significant change in the water and despite it being a tad better it was still disgusting!

We finished that afternoon with another epic jigging session, this time on a reef further north and again had great action catching bonnies and big Kawa´s, yellow spotted trevally´s, Bludger´s and a GT!

Brown water!!!

Well, we knew the water would not improve overnight and thus our disappointment was not as blatant as we got north the next day.

Still pretty bewildering and demotivating…

Well, that is until we started jigging…

All negative thoughts vanished as rods were bending, reels screaming, bearings bursting, arms stretching and braid being demolished as it ran down the reef with some brutes at the end!!!

Yeah, this morning we found them really nice…

So decided to go even a bit further north than we had finished yesterday.

Banh bang Bang…that was what happened with the first jigs that went down!

Triple up, first drift, first down!!!

Yeahhh baby!

Yeah, this morning we found them good and although we got a decent GT we got busted by some seriously XL models. The reef topography where we were getting the bites did not help as well; The bites were very close to the bottom but also on the edge where the ledge goes straight down from 45 to 65 meters and those big boulders did all the nasty work!

Well, it was good fun and in between we also caught some big kawa´s and a few more number plates!

Alex with a small GT on jig, we caught a total of 8 for the trip some much better size but the XL models broke us off as they were taking the jigs way to close to the bottom on the deep reef´s where we found them and the gear we were using where not match for these brutes of the reefs!

Unfortunately, the bite slowed down as the tide started to push out and as we moved further south where we had such good action the previous afternoon it had gone pretty slow.

We put the lures and moved further south.

Although still absolutely terrible, the water certainly improved the further south we went but there were absolutely no signs of life on the surface. No bait patches, birds, current lines, just dead.

At Sailfish we raised a small Black on the long left. Shy, snake like and wind shielding. The lazy rat marginally touched the lure, never even pulling an inch of drag.

We jigged and popped all the way from sailfish to Giants and apart from a bite here and there and as had been the whole week down there it was slow and we made an early return!

Last day!

Against my better judgment we went north.

We had obviously had all the action there for the week but I just knew with these massive spring tides those reefs were not going to work with the outgoing.

I was proven right and it was dead.

The water had gone even worse as well with the NE wind from the previous day.

Absolutely nothing was happening as we moved south which as we knew had been very quiet the whole week.

Hum, going to be one of these days I tough to myself – as did everyone on the boat, I am sure!

Grand Finale!!!

By the time we got to the top end of Sailfish Bay, we did a very wide tack to see if there was any water improvement but at 240 meters it looked exactly the same shit (no other word for it) than it did at 40m.

Ohhh lets just have a look at this pinnacle here…

Been there three times over the course of the week and it was dead…

Ohhh look at these showings!


Go down boys!

First down, triple up!!!!! Yeahhh baby….

That was basically how it went for the next 3 hours.

The boys had not eaten anything and that’s how it went – fasting and jigging – until 2pm when we gave up and said enough, time to go!

Although we did not get any giant fish it was just absolute chaos and a very modest guess, we released anywhere between 50 to 60. Out of the 30 odd drifts we only had three we did not get a fish (and two where the last) and most we got 2 to 4 fish! Most drifts everyone was on.

The fish were eating funny as well and we missed / lost way more than we released.

Only a couple or so were taken by the taxman and we still had to catch two of those on the jigging gear.

It was mayhem

To cut it short it was absolute jigging madness!

Of those 60 fish or so we caught, the vast majority were yellow spotted, but also other trevally´s along with many jobfish, rainbow runner´s, barracudas, etc…

If not in quality certainly in quality – the last day gave us one of the best jigging sessions we ever experience of the archipelago and more than half the 60 odd fish we got where average size Yellow spotted trevally´s we a few one´s in the mix for good measure.

But also some other species such as the bludger and the green jobfish below…

At 2pm we decided enough was enough and made our way home for yet another sunset round at the Clube Naval deck.

The perfect day to end any day on the water!

It was a week with very harsh and difficult conditions.

Green, almost brown, very cold water, which was the lowest we had ever seen in September and very windy conditions that kept changing which made for uncomfortable swell mixed in with an extremely big spring tide at the end of it.

It was a pity not having the conditions to have more diversity fishing but all in all we did extremely well and some of those jigging sessions were absolutely World Class.

We still released a Marlin and had another 2 bites and great fun and laughs.

Well, when you bring 60 odd jigs and take less than a handful back home at the end of 5 days you can’t say it was that bad!”

Like Neil put it – fun times and great memories!

Thanks for the good times and all your effort lads, you certainly pulled your weight and worked hard for the week.

Always a pleasure Neil and Doug and already looking forward to the next one.

Back @ it on the 22nd starting heavy tackle…just hoping for Blue water to move in as well as those huge YFT and skipjacks we had the previous week!

Fingers crossed!!!

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