Sailfish in Madagascar and other stories by FishBazaruto.com
Captain Duarte Rato has a lot to tell us about the Sailfish in Madagascar. He got 105 releases in 10 days! His full report will be coming soon but in the meantime…
Back in Bazaruto waters the fishing has been really good for the usually slower winter months. Here is a video made recently by the boys at Big Blue, highlighting the sailfishing and the annual Sailfish Competition held each year.
Duarte has compiled his latest report and it is available right here…
The Sailfish in Madagascar are really prolific but luckily we also have a good run or two in Southern African waters. April is a good month, and then May through June. Then again in November and December, in Mozambique waters. This also applies to South African sailfish although you really could be surprised by jumping saily anytime really.
We use the MYDO #1 Baitswimmer to make a really versatile and effective sailfish trace. We put a few metres of 300lb nylon trace through rigged on the Mydo. You might have to work the holes open a bit with a bait needle to get the heavy diameter line through. Just tie a uni knot. Then we have wire droppers to the hooks, making sure the back hook sits right in the tail. Use an elastic band to help keep it in place. Also use an elastic band to hold the bait onto the pin and baitswimmer for high speed trolling. You can fit any skirt over the #1 head. Or a duster. Even a small kona will look and swim super.
Then these are dropped from the inside rigger lines and kept real close like a few metres behind the motors. The baits skip wonderfully with a snake-like swimming action. Then when you get a strike and the boat slows, these baits drop in and become swimbaits. Multiple strikes!
Fishing Mozambique: Durban to Maputo to Inhaca Island waters in no time flat
Fishing Mozambique: The new bridge over Maputo Bay is spectacular. And features all sorts of claims like being the biggest suspension bridge in the entire southern hemisphere?! But the biggest thing for us, is that from Durban, you are straight into Mozambique and into Maputo, avoiding the old Swaziland route completely.
The border at Kosi Bay is small and reasonably not busy. The tar road connects from the South African tar to the new Maputo side road now too. 2WD all the way (not to Ponto yet though). It’s another spectacular feat as the road takes you through a game park and animals are all over – just like travelling in Botswana.
The elephant reserve is well stocked with elephant. Some are known to be in a bad mood from wartime still and many encounters have been reported. So, keep your distance if you bump into one or two.
You can either turn right at this point, which will take you meandering through ancient Africa in your strictly 4WD vehicle, to the mythical Santa Maria. Another contender for best of Mozambique, Santa Maria offers it all, even surfing if you have a boat to get to the breaks with.
BUT. It’s the fishing at this time of the year that is most exciting. Blue marlin just love the deep water out behind Inhaca Island. And it’s not far at all, if you launch from Inhaca or Santa Maria. Striped marlin and black marlin also frequent the attractive underwater features out there, sailfish too, but it’s the big Blue’s that we are after in February and March each year.
Captain Duarte Rato is down there right now, preparing for the action.
The following video is kind of what started it all. This one being of a 1000lb Blue, Mozambique’s possible first, and definitely Inhaca’s first grander blue. It was caught by Duarte and crew (angler Carl Jankowitz), way back in 2015, after Duarte insisted they would find a big blue in those waters. Which he certainly did! Unfortunately the fish tail wrapped itself and the crew were unable to revive her enough for a good release.
You can get in touch with Duarte via his highly entertaining and informative website – http://fishbazaruto.com, where Duarte keeps a log of each and every trip he does.
If Duarte is busy, drop us a line…we have some very nice boats lined up and ready to go. We also can arrange accommodation on Inhaca Island or at Santa Maria.
There is a helluva lot to do between Inhaca Island and Santa Maria. Spinning from the beach is excellent. You can chuck a bait right from the beach bars. Snorkelling is world class. Fun for everyone everyday!
Pop me an email on email@example.com or WhatsApp +27 79 326 9671, anytime, and we can work something out. With self-drive Durban to Maputo, now being an option, in 2wd, and a few hours lopped off the journey, one of the main barriers to fishing Mozambique has been well and truly conquered, for Durbanites!
Julio Rito with a fiesty green jobfish caught on the jig somewhere between Inhaca and Macanete about exactly.
A nice Inhaca GT about to be released during the Inhaca Challenge in 2014
Fishing Mozambique:A really good Golden Trevally or Golden Kingfish, taken on a Gummy Squid Jig
Tofo Oceanfest 2018: It’s ON again at Fatima’s Nest in Tofo, Inhambane, Southern Mozambique this 2018!
Tofo Oceanfest 2018
Tofo is most definitely the most happening New Year’s celebration!
Right on the beach, with years and years of celebrations behind this Tofo Oceanfest 2018, once again – Fatima’s is going to absolutely rock you into the New Year.
Daily activities and a music programme will keep you entertained all day long.
Volleyball, surf lessons, yoga and beach football will make sure!
With the beach right out front, Fatima’s hosts the Tofo Oceanfest 2018 each year, which culminates in the biggest New Year’s event. That goes to the sunrise every time! Guest DJs and local outfits blend together to create the right mood for the right time, every time!
See you there!
Tofo is the nicest little surf/fishing/diving village, right on the beach at Praia do Tofo.
The surfing in the bay is ideal for beginners. The point around the corner for when you’ve learned a bit!
Fishing is fantastic, this time of the year. Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
And the diving…well it’s acclaimed to be amongst the best spots worldwide. For Manta Rays, Whale Sharks and Turtles.
The Inhambane Bay is huge and waiting for you to explore it’s magical and calm waters. You can hook up a dhow cruise right from the bar at Fatima’s. Seahorses and the rare dugong are first prizes on these trips. Backed up by Flamingoes, dolphins and all sorts, in and around the islands and channels. Fantastic snorkeling, beach combing (for the famous Panzy Shell/Sand Dollar) and visiting the remote but cool restaurants and resorts over at Linga Linga make up a really full day trip.
All these activities can be arranged right at the reception at Fatimas.
It’s totally wild down there as GoFish blows it up!
Gofish Cameras. Totally wild.
When Dr. Mario Lebrato first reviewed a bunch of underwater recordings shot with GoFish trolling cameras – of fish attack behaviour, that we made out off of the Bazaruto Centre for Scientific Studies recently – some crazy sounds came booming from out of his office.
More and more gasps and exclamations, hoots and howls – until he crescendoed with an almighty bellow, “COME AND SEE THIS!”
Bull shark on a Mydo trace
Myself and Callum Roberts (visiting shark scientist and the reason for us targeting Zambezi Sharks as he completes some serious scientific research work at the BCSS) bounded into his office, only to be exposed to the most eye-widening imagery ever seen by either of us. Mainly Zambezis – the particular troublesome species we have been targeting for spatial monitoring and movement tagging.
But also King Mackerel – reckless and lethal as they were hunting in packs – they operate together. Amazing to see. Even the big ones. And when your livebait starts to panic like it would after a few minutes in these waters, make no mistake your bait is being stalked and charged from all angles. What was amazing is that they turn away so often. It’s about one in ten charges – that the ‘couta actually hits the bait. The pack seems to goad one of them into eventually taking on strike duty. And they all hang around and share the spoils after the striker gets the bait off the trace! Which happened surprisingly often. Watch this video!
The Zambezi’s were the same, as in there was never only one of them. Up to six at a time were recorded happily sitting barely two metres below the propellers, easily keeping pace with us as we dragged a dredge and a bunch of lures around behind us, at quite some speed. Obviously, as we had a strike, it was barely a few seconds and a shark would climb on.
The Cobia acted the same. And often swam with the sharks. In amongst them. Huge fish.
As did the Talang Queenfish we were lucky enough to film off of Paradise Island. We scored an unlucky flying fish that flew onto the boat. About 5 inches long. The trace we had was too heavy for starters, but a bunch of queenfish came in and inspected, mock charged, turning away every time. A custom trace with light nylon would have gotten that strike. But we did get one on spoon, which may show a relationship between strike rate and live baits in the water.
A beautiful Talang Queenfish from the waters near Paradise .Island. Released
Yellowfin Tuna, at these initial stages of fish behaviour analyses, have been the most wary and sensible. The bonito and skipjack footage that we recorded in our wake following us – unbelievable. Like an over-stocked aquarium, there were fish everywhere, and going in all directions!
This particular application of video technology to our favorite past time of fishing has potential to completely shift the way we see and treat the ocean and it’s fish. It was far more of a thrill seeing what had happened as recorded and reviewed through the day than actually catching and fighting the fish.
The following video was compiled to study the king mackerel as they come in hot and fast onto the target. You will see that they definitely come in from the flank or rear, and that they go for the tail first. In this clip, one couta actually removes the tail completely with a lightning fast strike. And then another of the three featuring king mackerel comes in and takes the bait right off the trace. But he hooks himself. And then, in a flash, he just shakes the trace free. All we could see from the boat, was a few dips on the rod tip. The fish never even took drag, since they were coming in for the strike in the general direction of the boat ie towards us! And for sure the camera was always deployed on a real stiff big gun. Tackle just too much for them. We lost quite a few cameras in the end. Sharks and other beeeeg fish we will never know about.
But basically, without the GoFish camera, we would have experienced none of the thrilling wildlife action going on barely a few metres behind the boat. It really has made an effect on us as we now are using this information to make new sfyle traces. But more about that in another article.
All the imagery we attained on our last three weeks of shooting underwater with GoFish cams, has been processed into data and video and is studies. Some of which you can see online at the following links:
Everyone is welcome to celebrate clean beaches and ocean conservation at Shark Weekend
Scottburgh 8 to 10 June 2018
The annual Paddle Out for Sharks (POFS) and World Ocean’s Day (WOD) events will culminate in the 2018 Shark Weekend – a full programme of talks, clean ups, surfing competitions and beach activities geared towards marine conservation running at Scottburgh from 8 to 10 June.
Shark Weekend has a number of interactive activities planned suited to the whole family. The full programme starts at Scottburgh Beach at 3pm on Friday, 8 June with a ‘Healthy Ocean’s Talk’ and beach clean-up. The conservation celebration continues on Saturday, 9 June from8am with a Paddle Out for Sharks ceremony at Scottburgh Beach and Backline. There will be a number of beachside activities including a treasure hunt, sand shark art, snorkelling lessons, as well as adaptive surfing demonstrations and surfing competitions.
Throughout the weekend, Scottburgh’s Premier Resort Cutty Sark will play host to a number of Shark Weekend activities including Aliwal Shoal’s Shark Photo Exhibition, the Mares Dive Gear Exhibition as well as Conservation Talks and Videos. In addition to the generous venue donation, Premier Resort Cutty Sark is running a weekend special room rate of R350 per person, per night.“The 7th Paddle Out for Sharks, in conjunction with Word Ocean’s Day on 8 June, gives us a chance to highlight the impact of human actions and how we can positively turn the tide for shark conservation and good health of our oceans,” said Shark Weekend organiser, marine biologist, shark researcher and member of Shark Angels, Jess Escobar.
“For me, the annual Paddle Out for Sharks celebration has become an opportunity for all different ocean-users to stand together and show their support for shark and ocean conservation. It is reaching more and more people every year, converting the misguided fear around sharks into a respect and willingness to protect them. I am so happy and excited to see such a great support for our sharks and ocean conservation in our area.”
Paddle Out for Sharks started in 2012 after several sharks were killed in nets along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline. The diving and marine conservation communities converged to protest against the nets in support of shark conservation. This tradition has continued every year with more voices calling for protection of sharks, an animal which forms a crucial part of the oceanic ecosystem.
Forming an integral part of the Shark Weekend programme will be an address by renowned ocean activist and founder of the NPC, Breathe, Sarah Ferguson, on Saturday, 9 June at 3pm.The former national swimmer took to ocean swimming six years ago and decided to do something more meaningful with her swimming.
“I decided to start a foundation centred on ocean conservation, so I established Breathe,” recalled Ferguson. “I then started training to become the first African woman to swim the Kaiwi channel in Hawaii which I successfully completed in July 2017.”
Her 30-minute talk, entitled ‘Swimming to Fight Plastic Pollution – Live Deeply & Tread Lightly’ outlines her passion of swimming and the global epidemic of plastic pollution.
“We cannot ignore this issue,” said Ferguson. “They recently found a plastic bag at the bottom of the Mariana Trench – the deepest part of the ocean. Education is critical to change behaviour and create awareness about this relevant and growing epidemic. Change starts with the individual and needs to come from the public as well as at government level. Together, we can all change the statistic that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.”
Special thanks are extended to all Shark Weekend sponsors, including Premier Resort Cutty Sark, Scuba Xcursion, Mares, Pollywog, Blue Wilderness and Made for More.