Fishing Benguerra

Fishing Benguerra: 2 Black marlin, one brown – on same live bait in same minute!

Fishing Benguerra: 2 Black marlin, one brown – on same live bait in same minute!

We had been catching and tagging Zambezi sharks. And recording humpback whale and calf conversations. For three weeks straight. In all kinds of seas and conditions. And so it was absolutely great to be out to tag marlin again. The core BCSS crew were aboard. Captain Bento and crew Pedro and Mario. Dr. Mario Lebrato. And me. We are all fishing mad and this heaven-sent day was just what we all needed to unwind and blow off some steam.

I wanted a marlin for Dr. Mario but when we got down to business, the sharks had eaten our entire box of 22/0 circle hooks. And we were left with our sailfish sized models. But there have been loads of small fish about, and sailfish. So when that beautiful little very unlucky skipjack found itself on the deck. I rigged it up with the small circle and let it go.It took a while to find a frigate bird way up on top, circling with promise. The bird was way above a flock of terns enjoying the action down below. And as we sneaked up on the bait ball, with action all around us, I got a solid strike. Then the fish picked up the bait and headed off with purpose. When the lines and smoke got cleared, I looked down to see the heavy shark purposed braid already melted off towards the half way mark. I pushed the lever forward and felt that almighty power as a huge black marlin took to the skies. Her bill was soooo thick. By now the reel was down to a third and it was with some relief that we all saw her throw the bait, still kicking, way through the air. We would never have turned that boat in time to give chase. But we were out for a laugh and we have been seeing so many marlin that we really, just had a laugh about it.

Then. The bait righted itself and there it was, kicking away merrily. Slowly I brought the bait back towards the boat, when bang, another strike. I was hoping it was not the same fish! And it wasn’t. A fish half the size of the first one greyhounded around us. A spritely male that also regurgetated the bait. Completely intact and still kicking determinedly we watched the unlucky skipjack fly through the again. Hitting the water with a splash we heard over the water from 30m away!

When I felt the bait still kicking again this time, I just handed the rod to Dr. Mario. Who promptly hooked a hammerhead of about 120kgs, that Mario broke the rod on, and we had to handline up. Easy job with that heavy braid.

It was super to encounter that first real big fish. She was so thick and fat. Compared to the rat that took the skipjack the second time. The reel wasn’t big enough either, even with that power braid, we would never have stood a chance. So in the end, the hook matched the tackle just fine. And it’s great that the fish got away scot-free.

Everyone else around us is also getting marlin every day. It’s an incredible scene. You can keep up by staying on top of The Sardine News’ various channels…YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.

You can also check out Captain Duarte Rato and his marlin taming antics on their website and social networks too. Duarte really has raised the bar and produces excellent results by global standards as he consistently releases marlin after marlin, species after species, up here in the waters around Benguerra Island and surrounds.

If you would like to join us fishing like this, The Sardine has many options on offer. From super budget camping and small boats. To luxury lodges and sportfishers. To live aboard mothership with 24ft gamefisher and a huge range.

You might also be interested in the goings on at the Bazaruto Centre for Scientific Studies. It’s exciting times as scientists and researchers have begun utilising the facility.

Get in touch on or try the menu item Trips and Travel above.

Bananas - banned on boats!

What do boiled eggs, oranges, and bananas have in common, on a boat?

What do boiled eggs, oranges, and bananas have in common, on a boat?

Boat superstition! That’s what!

We were travelling into a head-sea, and had gotten 5 miles off Maputo, past Xefina Island and nearing the turning channel buoy, when caotain of the good ship Joker Bino Nordine shouted – “What’s to eat?”

I readily hollered back – “You want a banana?”

The boat nearly came to a dead stop as Bino hauled back the throttles, eyes widened with dismay.

“Bananas!, Where are they!”, he cried.

I jumped forward and got my food bag, and before I could react, Bino had my hand of delicious finger bananas, and threw them overboard! In a flash!

His expression came back to normal. Julio Rito, guest on the boat – was on his back, rolling with laughter. And there I stood, gobsmacked.

“Very bad luck bananas bru! We never take bananas!”, went Bino as he grabbed a cheese roll and smashed it.

And so off we went, and had a great days fishing!

Now down in the Cape, I know that boiled eggs are out. And on some boats in Natal – oranges. But wondering what other forbidden fishing fruit or food might be on the list, I did some research.

Bananas are definitely out! Boiled eggs do get a mention. Oranges turn out to be good luck. But bananas take the cake.

Turns out that in days gone by, of sail not steam, bananas were a logistical challenge for maritime personnel, to say the least. They were the first to ripen and therefore could hasten the ripening of other fruit on the ship. They stink when they rot. They carried poisonous spiders in the bunch with them and bit the crew, sometimes fatally. When a ship sinks, all it’s bananas float to the top, so when other seafarers come across a wreck site, all they find are the bananas suspiciously in amongst the flotsam! And then the dedicated banana boats – as they were termed, had to go really fast, and so could never put a line out to fish. Hence if you worked on a banana boat, you never caught anything!

To come on a dream fishing trip (with or without bananas) with The Sardine team, click on over to our tour offerings here…

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Pumula Local. Surf and shad check.

Pumula Local. Surf and shad check.

An Instagram feed journal of the activities of The Sardine News activities…

The KZN South Coast is brimming with character and characters – like this evergreen shad killer checking things out down at Pumula this week.

Pumula Local. Surf and shad check. Super stylin'. More at the #thesardine - Instagram Journal

The shad have been jumping out if you find yourself at the right spot on the right tide, up and down the KZN South Coast lately.

Try the new MYDO SS Lanispoons out, available in the MYDO Online Factory Shop. Click here for more. The shad love them!

Solar eclipse from Pomene Lodge

Solar eclipse from Pomene Lodge

This shot of young “Buddy” at watching the Solar eclipse from Pomene Lodge last week nicely captured the lunar moment out there. Our team jacked the welding helmet from the workshop at Pomene Lodge and facilitated the live show for all present out on the remote peninsula.

Solar eclipse from Pomene Lodge

Solar eclipse from Pomene Lodge

Buddy was enthralled at the concept of moons and suns. He couldn’t stop grinning. Such was the effect on the local people who would have passed the moment without knowing at all why is was darker at mid-day, that day.

Our attempts at capturing the moment fell way short of the media’s abilities…but we had fun trying! Pomene is quite far up towards the equator and so the eclipse was quite substantial.

Pomene is quite far up towards the equator and so the eclipse was quite substantial. Lasting for a good few hours through the mid-day, the light was discernibly dimmer. The flamingos and other marine wild-life in the estuary that day thought nothing of it and continued their playful existence.

The Sardine and it’s partners in Inhambane have started offering two and three week trips to Pomene, by boat. And its not all just fishing! Snorkeling the Sylvia Shoal, and Bassas do Zambia, are two highlights of the adventure. As are the pristine mangrove lined lagoons we get to explore. The perfect waves in crystal clear warm water that peel for miles.

All these achievements made easy by using the ocean to get around on.

Check it all out at the following link…