Captain Sean A. Lange at the helm in Maputo to Pomene mission

Maputo to Pomene by sea…there and back

Maputo to Pomene by sea…there and back

Yeboooo, we managed to get in a cool job from a secret organisation, late last year, to take a huge landing craft Maputo to Pomene…there and back.

The secrecy of the mission still is of international importance, so all we can do is show and narrate the trip to you, with this short movie.

The Sardine Charters and Chandling have been pulling off clandestine missions like this aplenty over the last few decades, in Mozambique and around Southern Africa. We put together highly trained and disciplined crews to take all sorts of crazy missions, involving long duration at sea, and being flung into hard-core survival threatening conditions, as we were on our return trip.

Click here to read all about that tragic evening…40 lives lost in Maputo, many of them drowned at sea. We did what we could to help, but with an exhausted crew and pitch darkness to work in, it wasn’t much.

But as you can see from the video, most of it is just plain sailing at full speed alongside huge 4 to 5 metre swells, often times breaking on our outside, we had to weave our way through sandbanks and huge waves. The twin turbo, duo prop Volvo Pentas gave us 660 hp to throw the 16.5m semi-displacement aluminium hull around. It’s as maneuvrable as a ski-boat and the acceleration is immense, to the point of being dangerous. The landing craft can take 90 people with their equipment.

For more information on The Sardine Charters and Chandling operations and availability, pls contact Sean on or call +27 79 326 9671, or click here.


Captain Duarte Rato and friends Fishing The Great Barrier Reef with Team Tradition Charters

The Great Barrier Reef by Captain Duarte Rato

The Great Barrier Reef by Captain Duarte Rato

It’s a dream for many of us to visit The Great Barrier Reef and chase the legendary huge marlin the place is famous for. Well, Captain Duarte Rato was over in Oz lately and managed some amazing figures for fish.

Enjoy the gallery and the good read – by Duarte on location near Cooktown.

Duarte travels the oceans with his lucky clients, to all the marlin corners of the globe. Including but not limited to The Azores, Madeira, The Ascension Islands…and now The Great Barrier Reef.

In this two part series, Duarte relates in detail, each days fishing. The tactics and techniques, the encounters, the tackle – and the areas they fished in.

Part 1 is here

And part two below…enjoy!

From BAZARUTO to the GBR / Nov 2016 – Part II

Based in Vilanculos, the closest town to the fabled island of Bazaruto, Duarte has been taking charters for decades. He grew up in these waters and knows the Bazaruto Archipelago backwards.

Duarte focuses on grander marlin, but along the way many fish are caught and most released. Check out his website on to get in touch.

The website is also features The Captain’s Blog – a full record of every trip Duarte has been on, with incredible photos to compliment the entertaining fishing reports.

Going back years it becomes clear why Duarte delivers such good results.


Bazaruto marlin biting: Captain Duarte Rato checking in…

Bazaruto marlin biting: Captain Duarte Rato checking in…

It’s always an absolute delight to open my inbox and see something, anything from Captain Duarte Rato. Duarte has developed a bad reputation among the marlin of our waters, between Bazaruto, Inhaca, Vamizi, Madeira, Cape Verde – he has been sticking tags into big shiny shoulders for many a year – he must have pin pricked thousands of billfish…!

Hope all good. I know it is off season and not much normally going on this side but just want to tell you that the fishing as been absolutely ballistic of the Bazaruto Archipelago the last couple of months. I have not been out much but the boys on Vamizi have been hammering it. I had a client from CT come for 3 days late April and they caught and released something ridiculous like 70 odd game fish over that time. There as been good numbers of cuda, queen mackerel and kingfish but it is the Yellowfin tuna that is running the show and they are all over the place. With so much game fish and bait fish (skipjack and frigate bonito) it is no wonder that the Marlin seem to have forgotten to look at the calendar this year and they boys have been catching a good number of Blacks between 100 and 300 pounds (but up to 600) in the last month and a half! Considering they are not really targeting them and that we are in May…it is insane! But hey, I did not hear anyone complain! A few sailies showing as well and as we go into winter they should arrive in good numbers…..

PS: On my way to Cape Verde on Monday for 5 weeks. They are having an insane Marlin season there…I mean mind blowing! The top boat has released something like 170 odd Blue Marlin in the first 30 days of fishing….that is an average of 6 Blues a day!!!


Thank you Duarte, I feel like a pinhead in your presence!


Jimmy Bonefish!

Jimmy Bonefish!

Anyone who has fished the point at Tofinho, in Inhambane, Mozaambique, will have been impressed by Jimmy Bonefish’s skills. Fishing with a rod and a handline, he consistently produces  the best catches…sometimes hauling in two fish at once. I have seen Jimmy coming back from fishing at night with 2 queenfish, 2 kingfish and a huge couta!
Subsistence fishing rock n surf must be one of the biggest challenges available as far as career choices go. But Jimmy handles it with aplomb. Targeting big gamefish at night, off a 20ft high point made of razor sharp rock! On his own!

Jimmy Bonefish with another potential world record bonefish, that frequent his local fishing spot at Tofinho

Jimmy Bonefish with another potential world record bonefish, that frequent his local fishing spot at Tofinho often

These huge bonefish weigh around 10kg’s are are readily encountered, and caught, in the surf zone, all around the Tofinho headland.

Other subsistence guys fish off the cliffs right into broken and foaming white water, where they pull out smaller bones by the bunch. Perfect live baits for kingfish and other mean backline predators. These guys only have handlines.

South Coast to Tofo

Setting out from Pumula at 4:30am, we made Swaziland in great time. The roads are good and the Sunday traffic was minimal.

Not too many journeys feature Giraffe families along the side of the road…
Passing through Pongola into Swaziland we encountered this adult and a bunch of smaller guys a little further into the bush. Monkeys and bird life kept us entertained driving through this piece of Zululand.

Swaziland featured more cops than wildlife. But again…the traffic was quiet and soon the Goba border post came into view. Mozambique!

The Frenzy checking out the biltong shop in Pongola…

We stopped for a layover at the awesome Casa Lisa, north of Maputo. Great all round experience.

And finally made Tofo. 15 hours of driving over two days, Barry Krause of Fairwinds did a sterling job and only got speed trapped once. 1000 mets fine. Got receipt. Evidence of the recent floodwaters was everywhere especially in the Xai Xai area, but on the whole the affected places have recovered completely and life is back to normal.

Tofo Point in the morning…

March weather is just around the corner but it’s still hot as hell here. This is certainly the quitest time of the year for Mozambique. Everyone just biding time until the next holiday/season.

The fishing is very good though. Loads of couta…a few big ones. The sea alive…all kinds of baitfish in the netter’s catches. The water is 26 to 28 degrees and blue blue blue. We normally have a little sailfish run at this time…let’s see!

(above) Netters rowing past Praia da Congiana this morning…