Yellowfin Tuna time in Mozambique
Fresh in from Bazaruto Island: Captain Duarte Rato has been hard at all February, and rounds it all off with a fantastic trip he got together with his Dad and his son. Spanning three generations, the effort was serious enough, but with the help of Duarte Jnr’s mom Gretha, those yellowfin were really in deep trouble!
An exerpt from Duarte’s uber cool post,just recently published on http://fishbazaruto.com…
“As all who fish with us know my Dad, Jose Duarte, is a true salt, a real old man of the sea who spent his life in the Ocean, mostly on commercial vessels. He took me to sea from a very young age and, from a very early stage in my life, when my friends wanted to be Doctors, or fireman, or engineers, I knew I wanted to be a charter Captain. My oldest son, Duarte, who just turned 5, as definitely inherited the passion of the sea from us. Or should I say obsession! The boy dreams fishing, watches fishing videos as opposed to cartoons, spends huge amounts of time looking at my BlueWater, Ski-boat and Marlin Magazines and, at five, can easily identify between a Blue, a Black and a Striped!”
Read the whole post and see the complete gallery…
Quick Mozambique fishing report…
The yellowfin tuna have also made an appearance of Tofo recently. Acres of birds enjoying the feast of small sardine-like fishies all over the place right now. Judging by some of the smashes going on, visible over a few kilometres even, there were some big fish on the hunt. Voracious attacks on the surface!
In the backline at Tofinho were the bonefish again. They looked like they could have been spawning as every now and then one lolled over another and a flash of underbelly was occasionally seen. Very cool to see them all so tightly knit and floating along just shy of the waves. If they were not spawning, then I am not sure what they were getting up to?! And no, they were not lemonfish!
Along the beach at Fatimas the bonefish pros were baiting up with prawn and squid and getting a handful of foot longs each. These guys just seem to know exactly when and where these fish decide to show up. This was a few days ago, as a front came through.
The markets are overloaded with lovely gamefish like couta, kingfish and tuna. The weather has been crappy, but aytime the row boats get themselves out there, they bring back nice fish.
Catching Yellowfin Tuna in Mozambique
Well the biggest one caught up in these tropical waters here so far, has to be this 72kg monster, by Duarte and crew, taken on a marlin rig, a few years ago. This fish caused quite a stir, as on this same day, they were all over the place. These huge yellowfin tuna, out of nowhere! And on a mission to smash into everything they could. Luckily this fish held on right to the end. Quite a few got away!
At around the same time, bigger class yellowfin tuna were being encountered up and down the East Coast seaboard of Southern Africa. Even Durban got a fish over 50kg’s. A new club record for all the years of that clubs existence.
Traditionally, yellowfin tuna just don’t hang in these tropical and warmer waters at all. Once they reach sexual maturity, which is 35 to 40kgs, they shoot over the horizon and into the “tuna lanes”.
But, tuna, all of the species, are well known for their feeding patterns. They can stick to a regimen like clockwork, often traversing hundreds of kilometres in a day as they migrate between feeding spots. Feeding spots that these highly intelligent fish know are going to produce at those times. And they can change feeding habits and patterns, completely.
Bluefin tuna used to use False Bay as one of their spots. These fish were most likely Southern Bluefin, which we still get in quite prolific numbers, right off our coast. The Transkei Wild Coast regularly sees legal longliners from Japan, there are two of them, catching Southern Bluefin Tuna, within cellphone signal distance from shore. These ships are based out of Durban and can be monitored on any AIS app, anytime. They catch serious fish. Billfish and Southern Bluefin. but the Bluefin that vacated False Bay in the seventies – have never come back!
Weirdly enough, Bluefin started pitching up off Ireland a while back. After a very long absence. Local anglers were amazed to see these huge fish coming right up to them, as they plied their regular fishing techniques right offshore. Soon, these guys were posting online, questions on how to catch Bluefin Tuna. And sure enough, they caught quite a few!
So the influx of bigger tuna to these shallower and more tropical waters, could be seen as an adjustment to their feeding patterns. An adjustment to the adjustments made as so many variables have to line up for natural events like sardine runs to occur.
So tackle up this next season. Keep that heavy duty popper at the ready!
Or better still, a Mydo SS Spoon. Heavy duty…
More about The MYDO SS Spoon range can be found here…
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