January Marlin Bite at Bazaruto

by Captain Duarte Rato

After all the wind, messed up water and slow fishing the boys experienced on the Island while I was chilling and partying my head out in tofo conditions started to look better on the first week of January. Even tough the water was still green there were some good patches and in 3 half days, we released a 600 pounder and lost another 3 fish, one of which estimated at over 800 lbs on a yellowfin tuna live bait.  By the way, as usual the tuna were running wild and school size yellowfin between 6 to 12 kilos were everywhere.

Last weekend we our good friend and guests, Carl Jankowitz for two and a half fishing days but unfortunately the water had gone much worst and, in the Marlin department, we only missed a fish around 300 on the first morning – actually the first bite of the charter. But even if the bill action was slow it does not mean the fishing was and we had some serious fun on gamefish and Saturday was a day non of us will forget anytime soon!!!

WE spent a good part of the morning live baiting two yellowfin tuna about 8 kilos each. The first lot got sharked. All it took was 10 minutes to get another 2 tuna and we live baited again. But, after nothing happening for an hour and the counter current taking us to greener water up north we decided to switch to lures and make our way south – or at least try but it was diffcult.

Working deep between 120 to 180 meters of waters there were countless small bait balls of oceanic anchovy being fed up on yellowfin tuna and as my guest said we could have caught hundreds of the fuckers if we wanted to. We were happy we a dozen or so and after that actually run away from them to try and give us some time to look for that elusive Marlin.

But the best was yet to come.

At about 1pm when we got deep off V mile we found another bait ball, but this one was different – it was massive and the feast on it was unlike anything I have seen before.

On top of it looking like Whales gorging down plankton were Dusky, Blackfin and huge Zambeze sharks munching on them. They would just open their mouths and gulp down zillions of the tiny poor anchovies by the gulp. We pulled in the big lures, stopped up wind and just drifted into this awesome exhibition of nature. And when we got on top of it we were simply dumb fouled to see the mayhem of game fish feeding below. There were big eye and bludger kingfish, amberjack´s, bonito´s and yellowfin tuna by their thousands. The excitement on board went to new levels as everyone run for the jigging and spinning outfits. It was every men for himself as spoons and poppers were flying, jigs going deep and even baits going overboard. Time after time everyone onboard, including myself and my two deckhands, hooked up simultaneously time after time.

There were so many fish that we were even cut off with fish swimming into the tight braid. That is what happen when I lost our last jig on the boat. Using the heaviest spinning outfit on the boat, which was a stella 20 000 with 130 pound braid I hooked a gigantic amberjack I could not stop. I put that drag right up there and that is a lot when you using 130 pound line but still this thing just smoked me. Eventually I turned it’s head around but started to feel some bumps as other fish swam past the line and then the inevitable happen as the braid was cut off.

Two hours of absolute insane fishing madness….what a blast!!!

After a strong SE that kept us on shore for a couple days the last few days have again seen some good game fishing with yellowfin tuna making for most of the catches especially up north. That is were we have been finding most of the action but also where the water looks worst.

Yesterday we decided to work down south and despite there not being much action we at last found some good patches of cleaner water deep of V and VI mile and again had some good Marlin action.

Early morning started with a hookup and release on a 350 lbs Black, a first for our guest. Things went quiet with only the odd YFT when all hell broke loose at 10pm when the short rigger lure was taken by a massive fish which we estimated at over 900 lbs. Unlike most of the big fish that don’t tend to do much after hookup, this one just bolted for neverneverland straight away and in less than 10 seconds we were on to the backing and had to turn the boat and chase very very quickly as we almost got spooled. Unluckily as we started to gain momentum and with over 600 yards of line out the hooks pulled. It was only a half day but half an hour later and just before we made our way home a fish around 300 come in on the long left but despite slashing the lure five time it failed to hook up.

But it’s starting to look good out there and amazing to still have so much Marlin around this late in the season…or maybe they are always here in January but we don’t fish for them!!!!


Water still green with some better patches deep off V mile and that is where VAMIZI found some action today releasing a fish about 350 early morning, then pulling hooks on a beast about 900 and missing one about 300 at noon. All the fish on lures and the YFT action still wild!!!!

We missed a 300 early morning on a lure @ VI mile yesterday. Then had 3 YFT baits sharked, catching one of the dusky´s before heading for shelter. Big SE blowing so we probably not fishing next two days, hopefully it will sort the greenish water out!!!

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