Matt Wainwright down on the water at the Umzimkulu Marina with a fresh kob

Captain Matt Wainwright on the Umzimkulu

Captain Matt Wainwright on the Umzimkulu – “It’s my favourite place to fish away from home!”

Matt Wainwright down on the water at the Umzimkulu Marina with a fresh kob
Matt Wainwright down on the water at the Umzimkulu Marina with a fresh kob

Matt Wainwright has been coming down the south coast to Port Shepstone from his home waters off Durban, for quite some time now. He used to just fish with us on the Niteshift, but soon he was towing his own little super fun and totally cool duck around with him. All over the place and to the Umzimkulu Marina in particular.
We had some amazingly fun launches on that ultralight boat with a powerful 40hp behind it. Full speed boogie band through the waves and back again. And we caught some lovely fish together.
But now Matt has upgraded and sports a real well-built and thought out cat. It’s in the 16ft class boat size and once again, is super well powered. Acceleration out of the hole is what is needed the most in surf launching, and that is exactly what Matt has got plenty of.
This last weekend Matt brought his guests back down to the Umzimkulu, where they were lucky enough to get right in on some long-awaited bottom fishing action. Just before the sardines make their appearance, all sorts of fish start to gather along the KZN coastline in ambush formations.
It is kob (daga salmon), that are making the news right now. Very susceptible to over-fishing, we need to protect these fish. By sticking to our bag limits. And kind of keeping the mission a secret – just don’t tell the other boats, let them work it out for themselves. If you help other people onto these vulnerable fish, the damage is done and cannot be undone.
Other fish that get extra active in this exciting time of the year, down deep, are black musselcracker.

A real honour to get a fantastic fish like this black musselcracker.
A real honour to get a fantastic fish like this black musselcracker.

As you can see, Matt’s guest Ziets got himself one over the weekend down at the Umzimkulu Marina.. A cracker of about 20kgs. Delectable. And endemic. Slow growing. Luckily they can really fight back and many get away. Once again, really vulnerable.
The Geelbek have been slow for many years now. They used to come in huge numbers, but fleets of ski-boats would descend on them, in their spawning mode. Huge catches were made. All of us did it. But the damage is done, that’s for sure. Even to catch just two of these delicious fighters these days would be a luck!

Dejan has also joined the Niteshift as crew and is loving it
Dejan has also joined the Niteshift as crew and is loving it. Here he is super stoked with his two geelbek salmon a few weekends back.

But it is the dusky kob that is hurting the most. These guys look just like daga salmon, but are smaller and very slow growing. Hardly any of these fish get over 1000mm, which is almost their sexual maturation size, before being caught. Very rare now, it is thought that if fishing for dusky kob was banned, it would take 40 years to restore the population.
But ok, enjoy the sardine season and let’s hope for a good showing. The red hot pokers have started to fire up with that gorgeous red colour and the waves are starting too, with the desirously warm offshore winds.

Roosta with his catch of the day! Hope he ain’t paddling around with lot in tow?!?

In the meantime, if you would like to join us, and Captain Matt Wainwright at the Umzimkulu Marina, drop us a line on or WhatsApp +27 79 326 9671. We can fish for kob outside, we can load surfboards on board and catch the low tide somewhere with nobody anywhere, we can fish the estuary at night for rock salmon, and we have the world famous Sandspit Beach for night time and lure fishing.

The very same weekend, Matt’s other guest was more into catching kob on lures, and being right at the Sandspit he rigged up took the delightful walk along that amazing beach. And look what he got!

And then another one!

Dallas with a groovy little kob at the SandSpit in Port Shepstone
Dallas with a groovy little kob at the SandSpit in Port Shepstone

More about the Umzimkulu Marina right here.

Catch winter kob or dagas on Mydo Luck Shots, available here.

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Tofo Oceanfest 2018 at Fatima’s Nest!

Tofo Oceanfest 2018 at Fatima’s Nest!

Tofo Oceanfest 2018: It’s ON again at Fatima’s Nest in Tofo, Inhambane, Southern Mozambique this 2018!

Tofo Oceanfest 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!

About Tofo…

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 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.

Or contact Sean on…or WhatsApp +27 79 326 9671 anytime!

You can also browse through the menu item Trips and Travel above or follow this link:

And easily keep up with the news and our seasonal offerings by staying on top of The Sardine News’ various channels…YouTubeInstagramFacebookTwitter.

Tofo Oceanfest 2018 at Fatima's Nest in Tofo, Inhambane

Tofo Oceanfest 2018 at Fatima’s Nest in Tofo, Inhambane

Pelagic Gear

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Fatimas for breakfast in Tofo starts at 7am

Fatimas for breakfast in Tofo

Fatimas for breakfast in Tofo

“Matabichu”, as breakfast in Tofo is called (in local Inhambane language Bithonga) – starts at a spritely 7am as Fatimas Nest’s kitchen staff stand ready to serve scrumptious breakfast and meals daily. And in the fast pace of Tofo life – diving, surfing, kayaks, fishing, partying – this meal is ever important.

Sitting out on the deck to welcome the day with a coffee and a chow. Breakfast in Tofo.

News from Tofo

Tofo has become business as usual since the Cyclone Dineo swept through earlier this year. Most damage has been repaired, but there are still scars about showing the devastation. Local business and community banded together to take care of the most vulnerable – the aged and the very young. The rest of the community were able to adapt and survive just fine, but the extreme age groups needed special attention. Fatimas, as usual, was very involved in these community rebuilding projects.

The tourists have been ever supportive and understanding. And basically, all the places that were damaged have received complete facelifts, and all look great.

The whale sharks and manta rays, co-hosts to divers and snorkelers, along with the dolphins and whales and all sorts of marine life have been very obliging as of late. Many encounters with these beautiful marine animals are being experienced daily. It is a great time of the year right now. Not too hot yet. And the sealife is abuzz. Bait balls can be seen all day. The market is full of fresh fish. Smiles on everyones faces!

To learn more about Fatimas in Tofo and in Maputo (conveniently connected by daily bus), click on over to their comprehensive and informative website…


Chaaaaaarge! (c) Duarte Rato is taking Bazaruto 2018 bookings now! is taking Bazaruto 2018 bookings now! is taking Bazaruto 2018 bookings now! After another incredible year fishing the waters around the Bazaruto Archipilego, Captain Duarte Rato has opened his booking calendar up for 2018.

Bazaruto 2018 bookings are now open at FishBazaruto. Click to go to the PDF download

Bazaruto 2018 bookings are now open at FishBazaruto. Click to go to the PDF download

Duarte has also opened up the spread with many more options for you to choose from. From the really big and comfort laden Supercat 38’s, to this year Duarte has worked hard on getting smaller boat packages together, that are real affordable. He has broadened his accommodation offerings too.

Vilankulos, where FishBazaruto operates from, is really quite a drive for anybody convinced on taking their own boat all that way up north. And fishing with Duarte and his decades of experience really puts you in right on the action.

Sunrise overlooking the Bazaruto Archipelego

Sunrise overlooking the Bazaruto Archipelego

You get to enjoy the Archipilego thoroughly, with Duarte and crew relating historical, geographical and all things fishing regards this most interesting area, and country. All of Duarte’s team really know the place super well, and are first class pros, in big game fishing – and making sure you have a great day out.


Now here’s the thing. 1000 Pounds. The grander. The big momma. She is there. And up for a fight. Black and blue marlin. You can actually choose which to hunt. The bad tempered stripeys also make their rodeo appearances, as do shoals and shoals of willing sailfish. Some big ones, even going over 50!

A few pics from the old days…where release wasn’t as compulsory, as it is nowadays…

The increasing mean size of yellowfin tuna being encountered inshore has rapidly increased lately in KZN waters. They even got a 48 off Durban?! But last season, Duarte shocked everyone with a 72 off the island! Luckily it grabbed ahold of a kona rigged on an 80, and it came home before those dumb sharks got it!

The 72kg yellowfin tuna that has gotten everyone very excited. There were a whole shoal of these things when luckily they hooked up on just this one, and got it out!

The 72kg yellowfin tuna that has gotten everyone very excited. There were a whole shoal of these things when luckily they hooked up on just this one, and got it out!

And that’s another thing about fishing Baz. It’s wild. Really wild. You might even encounter a dugong. Or a whale shark. A friendly school of dolphins. All sorts of whales. Even orcas.

Fishing out the back of Bazaruto Island gets you in the hot seat for a marlin on plastic, or a 10kg yellowfin to rig and try keep out of trouble until a marley comes along. Wahoo are real mean as they knock the sense out of any live bait rigged that weighs less than 10. The wahoo are huge. And if it ain’t the wahoo, you also have to watch for goliath GT’s that also love to swallow a bonito whole. And then there are the sharks. Nuff said. So back to plastics and hope for that huge big and loud strike.

Seeing these huge fish come charging into the wake at blurry speeds, smashing into a kona, pulling line and then leaping and greyhounding away is what every angler should experience. It’s diabolical. It’s insane. It’s something you need to see and absorb. The power. The grace. The magnificense of it all.

In bad weather, Bazaruto waters hold another ace. The channels between the islands are clear and deep, and in the completely flat water. Wave action out to sea, and island either side of you, and you can catch king mackerel, sailfish, Natal Snoek – until you are blue. On spinning tackle! Too much fun. And we do end up fishing in these highly technical fishing areas quite a lot. Knowing where and when to find the hot spots and times, is all the fun! There are very many places where, if you pay your 500 Met park fees, you can walk and spin fish for all sorts from kingfish to rock salmon.

Right, there you have it. I could add the islands themselves, the unreal snorkeling in the lukewarm crystal palace water, the palm trees and coconuts, the delightful and unspoilt wetlands and river, the quaint little party town of Vilankulos that recently welcomed Sylvester Stallone, Jeremy Clarkson and his little mate…and back in the days…The Kennedys, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and host of other stars. The Donna Anna, the hotel in which they partied, which has been restored to a level of glory, and yes you’ll go there too!

You can get the ball rolling and get in touch with the team at FishBazaruto at his website link below:

You can go directly to the Rate Card PDF download page here:

Rates & Contact – Fishbazaruto

Bazaruto 2018 Rates and Contact