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Ocean Safari with Chelsea Dog and the B2 Humpback Whales

On Ocean Safari with Umzimkulu Adrenalin and Chelsea Dog

Ocean Safari with Chelsea Dog and the B2 Humpback Whales

Ocean Safari with Chelsea Dog and the B2 Humpback Whales: Dr. Oz Goffman (Head dolphin project of Haifa University -IMMRAC – The Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies/School of Marine Sciences) spends his life stalking and saving cetaceans of all kinds and in all places. But specifically these guys. The B2 population. And the C1 guys. These are the ever-entertaining humpback whale communities that visit us, and Mozambique, this time each year. (see graphic by Dr. Oz and colleagues below…secret intel for undercover whale spotters like the Umimkulu Adrenalin operation).

Ocean Safari intel: The Indian Ocean gets bombarded every winter here, by a healthy population of humpback whales. These marine mammals may seem plentiful at times but are still not back to the numbers they should be. Image courtesy of Dr. Oz Goffman and colleagues.
Ocean Safari intel: The Indian Ocean gets bombarded every winter here, by a healthy population of humpback whales. These marine mammals may seem plentiful at times but are still not back to the numbers they should be. Image courtesy of Dr. Oz Goffman (Head dolphin project of Haifa University -IMMRAC – The Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies/School of Marine Sciences) and colleagues.
Dr. Oz Goffman

When I worked with Dr. Oz in the deep blue waters out off Bazaruto Island in Mozambique for a few years, we were covertly recording mother to calf humpback whale conversations. We spent literally months and months stalking these guys. So when I say Dr. Oz knows these guys by name, I do not mean literally (see the album slide in the video).

He knows them by name.

The B2 Bombers

Down here on the lower south coast of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, we are perfectly poised to encounter the B2 bombers, travelling south to Cape Town, at this time of the year. This is their highway to Slaapstad, on their way to stopping off a while at Hermanus for a traditional jol.

And so it was really cool that we got another Ocean Safari booking this week. And this time we were far more camera-ready. Although we missed the ever-eventful launch (and this time was no different, it was wild!), the rest of the camera work went down a treat and the featured video almost made it out there yesterday!

Yep! Dr. Oz knows these guys by name. He has dedicated his life to looking after these enthralling ocean-going mammals, and other cetaceans of all kinds, all over the world.
Yep! Dr. Oz knows these guys by name. He has dedicated his life to looking after these enthralling ocean-going mammals, and other cetaceans of all kinds, all over the world.

On this trip, we actually only saw this one whale. But man did he perform. Launching right out clear into the air at times. We managed to get a few clips but our guests got the gold.

Umzimkulu Adrenalin

The Umzimkulu Adrenalin operation has fired up on the south bank of the Umzimkulu River. At the picturesque and bustling Spiller’s Wharf riverside shopping and business complex in Port Shepstone. This place is really quaint and historical with lots to absorb and learn about the history of the Umzimkulu River all over the place. It’s a very interesting building. There is even a 100-year-old boat parked in the driveway!

‘To all our previous clients, who have sent us their whale videos last week, we are busy compiling all the bits and pieces and will have yours out soon I promise!’


Ocean safaris, deep-sea fishing, river cruises, thrill rides, day fishing are all on offer at Umzimkulu Adrenalin. Come and see us, we are right at the back of the centre (Mr. Spiller’s old house).


Call Sean on +27 79 326 9671 or email

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Egg Sucking Leech?

Egg Sucking Leech by-Jason-Heyne

Egg Sucking Leech?

By Jason Heyne. Who I thought was a spearfisherman?!

Walkersons Private Estate image Nov 2011 from Estate Map site.png

Egg Sucking Leech?

When I first heard about this fly I was how could you say, hmmm, not impressed as the original use of this fly is to floss salmon (flossing is drifting a gaudy looking fly with a bright orange bead downstream in places like Alaska for Salmon swimming upstream to spawn. The idea is to cover water in the run on a 90 degree swing to downstream of the cast using the current pull to get the leader or tippet to virtually line the salmons mouth there by “flossing” the fish and hooking it as most breeding salmon are not on the feed and most hook-ups are outside the mouth) but through a trip and coincidence I found out how deadly this fly can be if used correctly in our local waters specifically Highveld and Berg impoundments and dams in late winter when the trout are in spawning mode and the Cold fronts pull through with some serious wind and cold temperatures and most fly fishers are cuddled around a warm fire!

It was late winter when I went fly-fishing for trout with a my mate Kenneth Muller for the weekend at a time share development place in Dullstroom Mpumalanga . It was a great get together weekend with kids and family present as well and as usual the promised well stocked dams were not exactly up to scratch for us die hard fly-fishermen. I did have fun in the closet dam (read pond) fooling the stockies into taking foam beetles with mixed results and wanted an egg pattern as a dropper but did not have the pom pom style eggs for tying. So I used a glass bead in the correct colour and simply glued it onto the bend of a circle hook so as not to gut hook the little stockies. It worked so well that indeed if I did not pay constant attention for a take they would be gut hooked! 

On the day of departure Ken sidled up to me and said “I am booking the self catering unit at Walkersons down the road would you like to join and head back to Jhb tomorrow afternoon?” . I had heard a lot about Walkersons through Ken but quite frankly the cost of fishing their made the mind boggle! I was running my own IT consultancy and had a cellphone (I know they are the bane of modern day fishing but do help when bunking a day off work!) to answer client calls and book them for the following day so it took all of 5 minutes to accept the offer! When everyone left we headed to Walkersons in the late afternoon with maybe an hour or two of daylight left to book in and maybe quickly wet a line before full dark.  Walkersons  was a magnificent Estate and Hotel for the well to do people from Gauteng and JHB, helipad fine dining the works (Jacket and tie for dinner like and its own trout hatchery) and Ken soon had us booked in and we quickly unpacked at the unit and headed down to the closest fishing which was a weir damn below the unit with awesome views over the valley below (see picture).  When fishing a new water or pressed for time I will forgo my usual dry and dropper (or drifting with strike indicator) and opt for a searching pattern fly the main go to fly being a cone head bunny leech pattern in olive or black (most people would use a woolly bugger) and I tied one on in the dying light and proceeded to cover some water with alternating fast strips and pauses. First two casts produced bulging follows behind the fly! So third cast I stripped faster and bang fish on! A lovely Rainbow hen of about 5lb and a game fight! We lost the light and decided to head back and hit the main dam in front of the Hotel early the next morning.

After dinner and sitting in front of the big stone fireplace to keep warm I decided to tie up a few more strip bunnies for the morning and Ken asked if he could order one or two with his choice of colours etc for the next day his choice being black with purple collar and a purple glass bead instead of the cone. I decided when in Rome follow the trend and tied olive bunnies with red collars and the same glass beads I had used for the egg patterns instead of the brass cone head. Egg sucking leeches!  Oh the blasphemy! 

The following morning after a quick breakfast and packing the cars (10am rule for the self catering unit) so we would not have to return and pack and interrupt the fishing we headed up to the main dam and waited while Ken checked that it would be okay if we fished after booking out of the unit. A head down chap with rod in hand walked past me outside the reception and upon asking told me he had fished the entire weekend without a nibble and was headed back to JHB skunked. Not great news!  By this time the wind was getting some speed up but parts of the dam where still glassed and I opted for nymphing in the weeded areas with my ¾ weight and light tippet carrying my 7 weight as a spare with the bunny leech as backup and Ken headed straight for the main deep bank with his new Xmas tree fly attached. 

The lighter tippet was to be my downfall for the 1st hour or so with screams of glee coming from Ken across the dam! I got bitten off twice (yes bitten off, no knot failure or weed bank to blame!) in that 1st hour on the light 3lb and 5lb tippet using nymphs. I saw the one fish and it made my knees wobble at easy 8lb plus! I decided to head around to Ken and see what all the fuss was about and to reconsider my strategy seeing as the wind was now starting to affect casting on the lighter rig and a scaling up of tippet was required! 

Upon reaching Ken I had to sheepishly ask what fly, although I already knew the answer! He had already hooked and landed two decent Rainbow cock trout between 6lb and 8lb! He also remarked that one beast had followed his Xmas tree fly into the shallows of easy double figures estimated at 14/15lb. Hahaha pull the other leg Ken!  No I swear he said. So I moved down the main bank about 20m away from him and rigged up with a size 10 glass bead bloodworm with 8lb fluorocarbon and a  size 12 GRHE point fly with 6lb fluorocarbon  with a stick on strike indicator. Wind at my back I proceeded to cast diagonally to the bank to my left and let the fly line drift the flies out deeper with the wind. Halfway through the drift the indicator stopped drifting and I walked backwards and lifted into a steam train! Bang 7lb Rainbow hen trout on! 10 minutes later I had her at the net. My ex Tammi was with us and she had the egg sucking leech on and she followed suit with some decent  Rainbow trout cockfish as well. This went on for many hours and plenty fish later we finally decided to call it quits and head for home. Ken landed his PB Rainbow trout at around 12lb during that session. I did not hook a single Rainbow cockfish and only landed the strong Rainbow hens up to 11lb and nothing smaller than 6lb! An amazing session with lessons to be learned. By the time we left the wind was blowing easily at 20knots and gusting to 25- 30knots not ideal trout fishing conditions at all! The cock fish all had that bright pink spawn flank colour and the hens were deep in the body and strong fighters full of roe.

Lessons to be learned 

Never toss aside what is deemed to be unsavoury fly-fishing practice in your or another’s part of the fly-fishing world! Always be open to trying new flies and techniques, you might just be surprised!

We all come from different walks of life and different backgrounds but all share the same passion for fly-fishing. What the story demonstrates is the attractor pattern and the solid nymphing technique both worked just as well on the day, and while attractor or stimulator patterns might not be for the purist they can and will catch trout and are excellent for covering water to find the fish!

The Bunny leech Zonker with the egg bead instead of the cone head worked well on the day due to the fact that it is 1st and foremost a streamer pattern and large hungry trout have been known to predate heavily on minnows and frogs which is what the bunny leech imitates (I have caught Carp, Yellowfish, Bass, Bream, Trout brown and rainbow, Sharptooth catfish and even Shad in the sea on this pattern). 2nd adding the collar puts contrast into the fly and simulates the gill area of a minnow and acts as a stimulator or attractor (check Rapala lures 70 percent at least have a red collar and they wack fish!). 3rd Spawning Rainbow trout cockfish become very aggressive towards one another and adding the glass bead represents a trout egg plus the fish like movement of the steamer fly gets them to attack it for food or for spawning reasons. 4th The hens are still there and feeding hard to sustain body weight and the roe they are producing but sit slightly further out in the holding pattern and will feed consistently all day as long as food is being brought to them ie: the wind busting was bringing a steady flow of nymphs and bloodworms to their feeding lanes out deeper and letting the wind dictate the retrieve (dead drift technique) was putting my nymphs at a natural drift and depth. 5th look for sunny late winter days with cold front approaching or passing with late winter busting wind which creates the conveyor belt of food for the trout. 6th the dam wall or deeper section will hold the fish as everyone knows but look for the bank cruisers to indicate spawning activity.  7th just because someone else got skunked does not mean you are going to be and always ask departing anglers how their session went and what was their method or flies that were used…quite often you will hear “woolly buggers only” which do work but need to fished in the correct way to produce (late winter sinking lines and depths of the dam wall!) which personally is not my cup of tea!

As always Tight Loops

TomSutcliffe - The Spirit of Fly Fishing
Fabulous image by Tom Sutcliffe – The Spirit of Fly-Fishing

Rainbow trout Cock fish in spawning colours image from Tom Sutcliffe – The Spirit of Flyfishing

Conehead bunny Zonker tying Recipe and image from

Well ok Jason I never had any idea you were not more than a spearo and I am so thankful that you are definitely not! And thank you for the article. Cheque is in the email! Reminds me of when I used to receive Mr. Jack Blackmans fly-fishing news column and pics for The Sardine News in the eighties and nineties. Fly-fishing is the game, undisputable. And it comes through very clearly in the writings of fly-fishers. Every word distinctly brimming with spirit. Keep it coming pal! – Xona

Pop on over to our YouTube Channel for heaps of infotainment and fun fishing, surfing and diving videos from all over Southern Africa.

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20kg Garrick story by The Bear

Jason Heyne of the Master Watermen and his Margate shot Garrick with the kids

20kg Garrick story by The Bear

Main question I got asked on the busy beach after the dive “How long did it take to shoot this fish?”.

Followed by ”how deep/far out?” which is the usual question besides “what about Sharks!”.

Answer to the first question if you ignore the long drive and various stops to check for right conditions and you start the dive from when I entered the water from the beach…I would say about 5 minutes to 8 minutes tops! The fight and landing (hands on the fish and the usual barb/knife to the brain) there of another 10 to 15 minutes!

But..big BUT!!

I have been looking for a Garrick/Leervis (Lichia amia) of
over 20kg since I started diving in KZN waters for just over 26 and a half years! (give or take a couple of days and hours!) So 26 and a half years and 5 minutes is the correct answer!

Lost a beast in 14m two years back North coast and missed one close to this weight 2 years before at the same spot but backline, waited too long to take the shot being greedy and checking the shoal of 20 odd fish for a bigger one first!

The swim out was quick in the rip current on the south side of the point and I had just got positioned in the 2knt SN current (4m depth to sand on my left and 3m to the slope of point bricks/structure on my right on the southern end Garrick still being on the up run so facing south). I always put Camera with head strap on first before deploying my flasher so looked down quickly to my waist to get the camera out my shuttle crayfish bag and in doing so caught sight of the single Garrick just in line with me coming past me already to my left on the sand just in visibility (6m).

Quick instinct duck dive with the fish head down and moving fast it was just out of range so two fast kicks and a grunt got him to turn slightly and pause just long enough to plant a decent long-range shot just behind the dorsal fin mid-body…shot was good but that noise (DOOF) on impact told me that the spear had not passed through (hit the spine and the spear ran up it towards the swim bladder area). So I let the fish run with the float line rig and float. The fish then decided that the horizon out to sea looked good and subbed my float and so began the fastest 300m swim of my life!

Eventually, I caught up with my float which had now returned to the surface grabbed the stringer and put the camera on whilst being towed a bit. Viz was better out deeper and when I had the spear running line in my hands I could see the spear was pulling but luckily I dive with two guns with the second gun a 130 reel gun on my belt reel and managed to plant the second shot seen in the picture.

Jason Heyne of the Master Watermen and his Margate shot 20kg Garrick
Jason Heyne of the Master Watermen and his Margate shot 20kg Garrick

My dive mate Paul Roxburgh thought I was seriously deviating from the dive plan at first but then saw that I was doing full on Freestyle and thought maybe I had shot a big Cape yellowtail or Daga Salmon but obviously could not keep up and was 100 odd meters behind me inshore! Excellent camera work Paul…thank you!

20kg Garrick are spear destroyers of note…the brand new 7.5mm spear from Rob Allen is still exactly that…brand new no bend whatsoever! Top kit and master engineering!. Aweh!

At just over 20kg I am super stoked and the epic run and fight made it awesome to say the least…will drop a link to the footage when I edit and upload to Master Watermen YouTube channel!

As always dive safe and straight spears…

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Video: Evan Phillips baby GT and Chelsea Dog Attack Behaviour

Evan Phillips with his Umzimkulu Estuary baby Geet about to be released

Video: Evan Phillips baby GT and Chelsea Dog Attack Behaviour

In this video shot on a morning fishing trip on the Umzimkulu River – young Evan Phillips gets his baby GT. And we catch Chelsea Dog Attack Behaviour red-handed on camera.


A few pics of the Umzimkulu Marina, in Port Shepstone, where we are based at the moment.

The river valley woke up freezing this very wintery but beautiful morning. The offshore was coming straight off the mountains and it sure felt like single figures. So when the sun showed itself, departure came about. A nice full boat of fisherfolk. David Phillips and his wife Robin. Evan. And little lady Jordan who took on camera duty all dressed in pink! We also had Arno from Fishin’s Cool Fishing School.

So with three guns firing off the bow, and three in ambush positions out the back, we followed the far channel to the top, and right over the big hole area.

This has been a great place to fish over these past few months. Rock salmon, kob, perch and kingfish of all species have been patrolling here.

Soon Evan was bending on his beautiful little baby GT. Who put up quite an argument or was just acting real good for the camera.

When the fish finally came to the boat, Chelsea Dog leapt out of her own ambush position! But Dave was too quick and she retreated in disgust. Dave got the hook out easily enough and Evan was soon posing. And then justly released the absolutely dashing young GT back into the wild. After a quick lecture about that Halco Sorcerer in Jelly Prawn outfit.

Enjoy the action…

You can buy that guy right here. Both Dave and Johan Wessels independently vouch for this particular model and colour. And I can attest to its effectiveness – we have lost all the ones Johan left for us on his last trip! Actually it was my Dad! He has been tangling with rock salmon and all sorts of bad mannered lure thieves that been lurking around here lately.

A very toothy barracuda eyes my dredge teaser in the Umzimkulu recently. This footage is shot with our new GoFish cameras. Get your own using the link at the top or bottom of this page.

The Umzimkulu Marina has a few open slots still. Weeks and weekends coming up. Please get in touch to arrange your dream estuary fishing experience. For you, your friends or you and your family – this place is great fun – safe – and there really are some good fish be caught. And released. We practice tag and release wherever possible and only take a fish for the pan, in extreme circumstances.

You can get me Sean on +27793269671 or on to get the ball rolling. We have boats for charter or for hire. Self-catering chalets right on the river.

And plenty fish to catch.

And release!

We are Facebook here and we run a kicker YouTube channel right here.

GoFish underwater fishing cameras available now!
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Sardine activity 2020 increases on the KZN South Coast

Sardine activity 2020 by OJ
And it’s a big thank you to OJ Communications and UGU Tourism for penning up yet another super-informative and well-illustrated Sardine Activity 2020 report – Editor
15 June 2020

Sardine activity 2020 increases on the KZN South Coast as winter chill sets in

Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) is excited to report more sardine action on the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) South Coast today (Monday, 15 June), following the weekend’s cold spell. The Sardine Run is an annual attraction whereby sardine shoals move northwards along the coastline, attracting marine life and seine netters. The KZN South Coast benefits from the Sardine Run action being close to the shore, and this year the little fish have already brought a lot of ocean action.

“We’ve had great weather today with spectacular visibility in all directions,” said Noel McDonogh, pilot at World of Wings Flight School, who has been busy taking magnificent aerial shots of the Sardine Run activity. “We’ve spotted sardine shoals off Scottburgh’s Back Beach with many sharks trailing the fish, and whales breaching between Clansthal and Aliwal Shoal. There have been bull sharks, more than 3 metres in length, spotted among the fish; and a southern right whale seen just one kilometre off the Scottburgh beachfront.”

With recreational fishing and seine netting now allowed under Level 3 – with relevant permits – seine netters have been very busy catching sardines. Today, netting took place at Pennington and Scottburgh with large numbers of gannets, sharks, whales dolphins pursuing the bait balls. The sardine run, and associated ‘sardine fever’, is usually a big drawcard for tourism on the KZN South Coast, and USCT is pleased to be able to welcome recreational anglers back to its shores at this time.

Keep up-to-date with all the Sardine Run videos and details by following ‘South Coast Tourism’ on Facebook and @infosouthcoast on Twitter. For more information about the KZN South Coast and USCT, visit or download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app to find a local supplier.

High resolution images are available upon request.

IMAGE CREDIT: Noel McDonogh / Wow Flight School

CAPTION: Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) is excited about the return of sardine fever to the South Coast. Shoals of sardines were sighted off the KZN South Coast today with netting taking place at Pennington and Scottburgh. Dolphins, sharks and gannets were seen pursuing the bait balls. The sardine run is usually a big tourism drawcard for the South Coast and they are pleased to welcome recreational anglers back to their shores. World of Wings microlight pilot Noel McDonagh shared these images of a birds’ eye view of the action.





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About Ugu South Coast Tourism

Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) is the official destination management organisation of the Ugu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa. The Ugu District comprises four local municipalities that include Umdoni, Umzumbe, Umuziwabantu and Ray Nkonyeni. USCT’s mandate is to grow tourism within the KZN South Coast. This involves implementing marketing and development initiatives that are aimed at showcasing the diverse offerings and experiences of the South Coast as tourist destination. A board of directors oversees USCT, headed by CEO, Phelisa Mangcu.

About KZN South Coast

Known as the ‘Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom’, the KZN South Coast stretches 120 kilometres from Scottburgh to Port Edward and inland to Harding. Here, the spirit of adventure can be discovered among the many cultural experiences, as well as the 35 nature trails and 58 beaches, ideal for activities like river rafting, abseiling, suspension bridges, paintball, surfing, SUP, canoeing, beach horse rides, shark cage diving and free diving. Nicknamed ‘The Golf Coast’, there are 11 golf courses on the KZN South Coast ranging in difficulty, with endless hiking, mountain biking and 4×4 trails for more rugged excursions. Promoting sustainability, the KZN South Coast has a growing agri-tourism sector that offers world-class produce and hosts tours and excursions. The region boasts a number of permanently managed Blue Flag beaches, and is home to some of the world’s top diving sites, Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. The originality continues with the annual Sardine Run, coined the #GreatestShoalonEarth, which is the largest biomass migration on earth and a marvel to witness. The region’s many nature reserves are inhabited by indigenous bird and wildlife, and it holds the title for ‘smallest desert on earth’, The Red Desert in Port Edward. The KZN South Coast is a fast-emerging MICE destination which also plays host to a number of high-profile events including the The Bike Fest, Uvukile Gospel Festival, Ugu Jazz, Ugu Film Festival and the South Coast Fever MTB & Trail Run Series.

Issued on behalf of:

Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT)

Disseminated by:
Olivia Jones Communications

For more information please contact:
Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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Duarte Jnr at 7 yrs old release his first Mozambique Marlin

Mozambique Marlin by-7-year-old-Duarte-Rato-Jnr

Duarte Jnr at 7 yrs old release his first Mozambique Marlin

Duarte Jnr at 7 yrs old release his first Mozambique Marlin: just please don’t ask if it’s black or a blue?!

Congratulations go out to young Duarte Rato Jnr, who, all on his own, and on his spinning outfit, caught and released his first Mozambique Marlin!

At age 7!

If a marlin can live to about 30. And a human say, 75. Then that marlin and Duarte Jnr would be about the same age! Cool stuff Duarte Jnr, I’ll start changing all the search terms to you instead of your Dad!

Yip, the team took advantage fo a super-flat and calm day, to get out there and drag a bait or two around the inshore reefs and banks. And unbelievably, Duarte Jnr hooked up and fought the feisty little guy to the boat for a good few pics and a great release.

It’s been great watching these two kids growing up. Duarte Jnr has a little brother, Dario, who was just so amped about Duarte Jnr’s fish and was super-stoked to pose along with Duarte’s third kid, this one adopted – the ever-enthusiastic newbie angler – Diogo Martins (45 yrs young)! Otherwise knows as Diablo!

Anyway, it’s a helluva team that present during the lockdown and other recreational times – or when customers are just simply not in existence!

That said…Mozambique’s absolute and outright victory at the Covid Competition might see people heading up to Bazaruto, correctly, as a safe-haven.

Just got to wonder when those borders are gonna be opened up?!

Get in touch if you like heading up thataway for a real escape sometime when it’s possible again. Sean on or WhatsApp +27793269671.

See you there!

We run a YouTube Channel jam-packed with as much video as we can make, and we are on FaceBook too.

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Giant King Mackerel

Giant King Mackerel 72kgs by Voyages de Peche

Giant King Mackerel

The Giant King Mackerel we are referring to does not live in South Africa. Or Mozambique for that matter. Oh no, you will only find this guy hanging around the China Sea.

And man, does he get big.

Giant King Mackerel 72kgs by Voyages de Peche
Giant King Mackerel 72kgs by Voyages de Peche

This fish looks just like a giant version of our king mackerel, In fact, it could be named the goliath king mackerel, in the vein of the goliath tiger, because these fish get double the size of our regular king mackerel – the old Scomberomerous Commerson. The new guys is called Scomberomerous Sinensis.

Yes…double…the size!

And so this collection of articles from China and Taiwan, is all about these monsters and finding a way to getting to them ourselves…

(Special thanks to for the featured image)

Article 1

Chinese seerfish live in the pelagic-neritic, amphidromous, freshwaterbrackishmarine, in a depth range of a mere 10 m or less environment. They go up rivers!

Other names: Chinese seerfish, West African Spanish mackerel, Sarawa. More

The giant of the Mackerel, the Chinese Seerfish is found in the China Sea! Monsters Chinese Mackerels have been caught, some weighting 100 kgs or more!

Related to the Chinese seerfish and American king mackerel, this fish is always caught close to reef systems.

Article 2

Unbelievably, our couta over there in China, is called a Platinum. Whilst the Giant King Mackerel is called a Big Ear King?!

For real…anyway, this is a story of a 56kg Big Ear King being sold in the market for 60 000 Yuan. That is R160 000!!!

And this is where is was caught…just a few clicks south of Hong Kong! A place called Magong.

The translation is hilarious and worth a read in itself!

Article 3

These guys are charter fishers out of South Korea. They just take this in their stride as they jig up the Giant King Mackerel for guests. The fish don’t even make it to top spot as all sorts of other species preceded it in the post?!

Article 4

Some pics, and a YouTube video, of an 89kg, 2.31m fish being landed from a rock pier?! On a coffee grinder!

89kgs. 231cm. This fish is a beast. And you can really see how the crowd appreciate the show. According to the prices gathered from Article 1 above, this fish is worth R200 000?!

Article 5

A little baby Scomberomerous Sinensis. Image courtesy of
Caught from a breakwater in Autumn

Says that these fish come from Taiwan area

Article 6

Article 7

The 72.5kg Chinese Mackerel caught in the 7th annual Phuket Sport-fishing Club comp. Photo: Supplied
The 72.5kg Chinese Mackerel caught in the 7th annual Phuket Sport-fishing Club comp. Photo: Supplied

Article 8

This article could also be referring to our king mackerel which they also catch in China – called ‘Platinums’! But judging by the size of the fish in this market, the jury is gonna be out forever.

Article 9


Article 10

Article 11

Well that was quite an adventure researching all these magnificent fish and catches.

All I can say is, I AM GOING! Any takers, drop me a line and let’s get a trip together. Sponsors welcome!

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Off the Grid Living – Episode 5 – The Veggie Garden

Off the Grid Living – Episode 5 – The Veggie Garden

The Veggie Garden: Lockdown 2020 is in full swing as we approach our second half way mark. Whilst thinking of less fortunate communities and people, we are counting our blessings here in Jukskei Park, in Johannesburg. Where I am hanging out with the van Biljon family. Where Dad Jonny, has been prepping for off the grid living, for ages now.

And man has it worked out during lockdown.


We have Baby Jake. Cute yes. But two and a half and we all know what that means. He is so fast too nowadays!


Jake absolutely loves the veggie garden. He could spend all day in there. Copying his Dad’s every action. Sometimes causing havoc in the process! It’s defintely his happy place. All he needs is a garden spade and he is happy as Larry (Lardner?).

Staying healthy in times of viral attack, is vital. And the healthy highlight of the day every day, is the delicious salad Jonny puts together, from the garden. Today was themed crab stick and yes, it was delicious. With a splash of Jonny’s home-made salad dressing, it was filled with colour, and crispy fresh flavours.

Off the Grid Living - Episode 5 - The Veggie Garden
Off the Grid Living – Episode 5 – The Veggie Garden

We totally realise that our video series is going up in a hap-hazard way. At least we started with Episode 1! At this stage we have completed and published;

Episode 1 – Intro
Episode 2 – The Growers
Episode 9 – Homebrew

And now this one, Episode 5?!

Next episodes deal with Jonny’s solar installations…and an innovative approach to a common solar wastage problem.

The next videos are almost also complete, in the meantime, please consider subscribing to our YouTube Channel, at the following link:

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Off the Grid Living: Episode 9 – Homebrew

Off the Grid Living Episode 9 - Homebrew

Off the Grid Living: Episode 9 – Homebrew

Homebrew: when Cyril last night announced the extension of Lockdown 2020, the entire country went silent.

As everybody pondered how they were going to get through this new double or quits challenge, here at Jonny’s house in Johannesburg, where I am fortunate enough to be, Jonny – flew into action. Our pantry still looked okay since we had an emergency food shop done a few days before. Lots of fruits and all sorts. Healthy stuff.

But Jonny had a different plan. Since he grew up on the beaches of Port Alfred and surrounds, and went to boarding school somewhere there too, he learned some skills that could only have come from there. Jonny learned, in school, how to make pineapple beer!

Ok, but we don’t have pineapples!

But we have apples.

“Next best thing!” – proclaimed Jonny. “We can make cider.”

Who then promptly built a cider still, right in the kitchen here in Jukskei Park! A nice clean 20 or so litre plastic drum. A fish tank thermostat heater. Some irrigation tubing and a 2 litre plastic bottle. Some glue will hold it all together, making sure of a good airtight seal at the lids (something to dow ith gasses Jonny mumbled when I asked).

Chop up the apples into cubes that go into the drum. Along with 3 litres of hot tea made with 20 tea bags. 2 kgs of sugar (there’s the hangover). Some yeast dissolved in hot water – a small sachet is fine.

Chuck it all in mate!

And fill up with water.

Whenever the 2 litre bottle expands too much, open and burp the excess gas out. Do this every now and then for three days. After five days it should be just ready to enjoy with ice and a slice of lemon.

Or you can just watch the video right here…recipe at the end…

There are more Off the Grid Living instalments at the following links…

Off the Grid Living Episode 2 – Growers

Off the Grid Living Episode 9 – Homebrew

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Fishing family takes down proper perch on the ‘Kulu

Umzimkulu River Perch

Fishing family takes down proper perch on the ‘Kulu

Acanthopagrus berda Forsskål, 1775 (Goldsilk seabream) goldsilk seabreamsly bream or picnic seabream seems to be the fish we are talking about here. (if you know any better please let us know we have been experiencing some signal loss when identifying certain fish lately) We just call them river perch, or perch.

So the very next session after our fishing family caught that awesome flagtail down at the estuary mouth area (see that video here), the next early morning, literally in the dark, we set out on the river. Navigating north this time, up to the big hole and deeper waters under the cliff.

Along the way, stopping at a recently collapsed tree full of weaver birds. Making nests frantically. After trying for a good twenty minutes we moved on. We need to spend a lot more time at this particular spot. Those big rock salmon will be stopping by there on patrol for sure. Waiting for a chick or two to fall in!

Moored up against the rocks at the base of the cliff, this is real nature. Fish eagles said good morning their own jovial way. All sorts of birds were out and about. Herons. Hawks. We even had a tern fly by?!

But the fishing was slow and aside from a few bites it was almost too quiet for my liking. But then our fishing dad had a huge Mangrove aka Santola crab at the surface. And true to form, as we contemplated how to grab him before he grabbed us, he let go. I was already tasting the curry!

Another slow hour went by and all of a sardine – Bang! Momma fish was bending. In fact, the fish was now peeling line. And with a real tight drag, the fish was literally pulling her down the boat towards the back. The boys all jumped in to help, relieving Momma of her bending rod. All having a go at trying to tame this mean fish. Eventually, the rod made it to Dad. This is a true fishing family!

After a solid and prolonged fight on the light tackle, the tired but angry perch came to the boat and the tiny hook was visibly only holding on by a thread. Luck was on our side and the fish hit the deck with a solid thump!

“A beautiful perch!”

Umzimkulu River Perch

Watch the video right here…

Catching perch

Perch are superb gamefish. Aggressive and wily at the same time. Those times when you just get a solid thump of a bite, and let’s go immediately – that’s most likely him knocking at your door.

Most times with perch though, you don’t even have to feed to strike. Just hit him back as he bites and hopefully your hook is sharp enough and finds home. Smaller hooks are easier, but if you are releasing most fish, as we all do these days, sometimes the smaller hooks go right inside. Causing complications. I like to use a 3/0 circle hook in the river so that I don’t get tangled with too many smaller fish. And I hook up far better like this too.

Circle hooks are definitely the way to go, whatever size you choose to fish. If you are releasing fish, your survival rate will go right up if you use circles. Many anglers on our trips have not made this revelation out yet, and often the hook sets way down in the fish’s stomach. No good.

Noel Labuschagne and his cute little Umzimkulu perch, about to go back.
Noel Labuschagne and his cute little Umzimkulu perch, about to go back.

Baits for perch are very much the same as you would use for kob or rock salmon. The ever-reliable sardine head with guts hanging out, on a bigger 5/0 circle hook, put’s you in the game for all the trophies you can find in the Umzimkulu River. Fresh prawn. Squid. The fish in the video above was caught on a beautifully prepared bait – a juicy mixed grill lovingly put together by Shaun the fishing Dad, for his wife. Who hooked the fish almost immediately!

Live baiting for perch

Perch are actually aggressive enough to have produced many double and triple header strikes here in the river. They hang out in shoals and are pretty easy to locate and hunt. There are quite a few features in the river, that hold perch consistently. One place is a wall running down the middle of the river, that goes for about 200 meters, they can always be spotted here on the sounder. The other spot is close to Spiller’s, where the old bridge used to be. Some pieces of the old structure are still above the mud – perfect for ambushing perch.

Chuck in a live mullet at any of these spots, on a decent tide, and hold on tight! I like to fish without a sinker when I live bait – makes for thrilling one on one direct feel. But a small ball sinker in front of the swivel means a bit more control for you. Hook in the front somewhere. Ideally thread the circle hook Catalina style (just like for marlin) giving the live bait the most chance of finding a convincing a fish to eat.

Prawns are plentiful and right on the very top of all the predator fish favourite food list in this estuary. I have been lucky enough to fish a 6 inch long live tiger prawn, which became a trophy grunter in less than a few minutes, down at Spiller’s Wharf on the south bank too. There are quite a few species of prawn here in the Kulu. And don’t put your live mullet and live prawns in the same bucket – the prawns always win! I also like to fish the prawn without any sinker or float, but they can hide away in the mud/sand. So, A small sinker in front of the swivel, and a small float near the prawn keeps the prawn in the water column and not hiding out somewhere invisible. Place the circle hook right in the tip of the tail for best results when fishing a live prawn.

Then this nice fish, was caught right up at the top, in the deepest section that we can get to. It gets down to 12 metres after some good rains. But in this spot, up against the side, it’s about 4 metres deep – going deeper. This spot is also where I caught that little Zambezi Shark on a bass lure. For real! Luckily I have proof…

We are operating down on the Umzimkulu River right now, based back at the Umzimkulu Marina, and it’s on! The ocean has also settled and the colour line looks phenomenal these days as the current sweeps it along the coastline to the south.

We have been lucky with a good run of dorado so far. Check out some recent action on the Niteshift right here. And a double hit of dorado news from right here.

The Port Shepstone lighthouse. Great photo opportunities around here.

We are offering accommodation and fishing trips on the Umzimkulu River. And if conditions allow for safe launching, we can take a few lucky anglers out to sea. To chase dorado, striped marlin, sailfish and beeeeg ‘couta, as the hot season kicks in.

This is what you can expect…

If you want some of this KZN South Coast seasonal action, let’s goooooo!

Get in touch with Sean on or WhatsApp +27793269671, to chat about options, tides and dates.

Follow us around on Facebook, YouTube and We are headed to the Transkei Wild Coast next!

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FishBazaruto take top tagging honours for 2018

Tagging marlin with

FishBazaruto take top tagging honours for 2018

Fishing aboard Vamizi through the 2018 marlin fishing season, Captain Duarte Rato of has won the distinction of tagging the most marlin for the African Billfish Foundation. Alongside Tarka from Kenya, and, then also got the biggest tagged black marlin for the second straight year!

Duarte has just recently compiled his latest fishing report on, and it is jam-packed with news and photographs.

The table of contents reads something like this:

  • 42 kg GT off the shore
  • 1040 lb Blue Marlin
  • ABF tagging results
  • Big Blue Sailfish Competition
  • Guinjata Species Comp

And a selection of photographs from the report…

You can follow the link below to read the full report…

Another great report from Captain Duarte Rato of

The season up at Bazaruto is about to fire up. The Sardine crew will be operating there after the Sardine Run in the Transkei. In August we will be heading northeast and will be operating in Tofo, Pomene and Vilanculos and all else in between. We are booked for September (Botswana) but back up to the marlin waters there the first week of October and will stay right through the season. And into 2020!

So get in touch if you would like us to arrange your perfect fishing, surfing or diving trip. You can browse some of our packages at the following link, but we can make up your itinerary as and how you want it.

We can fetch you at the closest airport and leave the rest to us. We have places to stay or camp. We have boats up and down the coast. And a network of great guides and skippers. Each are experts in their waters and target species/activities.

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The Tarpon of Angola

The Tarpon of Angola: Marc Lange at a secret spot nearish to Cabinda, in Angola.

The Tarpon of Angola

The Tarpon of Angola: Sardine Correspondent Marc Lange has been deployed way out on the edge – mainly Angola, for quite a few years now. Working on the rigs gives him time enough off to explore for fish to target, and this is what he found recently, near Cabinda…the Tarpon!

It has not been an easy quest, but the following gallery features some of the super fish he has encountered along the long journey, to the Tarpon of Angola.

There is another story filled with dorado and big eye tuna, right here.

If it’s this kind of fishing and adventure you are into, get in touch with Sean on or WhatsApp +27 79 326 9671. Angola now gives a three week tourist visa, so it’s time to take advantage. Let’s put something together, we have the contacts and the information.

Other options

You can check out the many other options we have going (seasonal), by using the Trips and Travel menu above. Right now it’s the blue marlin of Inhaca waters, off Maputo. Captain Duarte Rato is making the most of it returning a 5-3-2 for marlin on his first day out. More about Duarte and his marlin taming antics can be found right here –

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Fishing Mozambique: Durban to Maputo to Inhaca Island waters in no time flat

Fishing Mozambique: The easiest way to distinguish between the two is that the Blue Marlin can fold it's pectoral fins right up against the marlins body, much like a yellowfin tuna, while the Black's pectorals always stick out...(c) Duarte Rato

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 –, 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 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!

You can see more options by The Sardine at out Trips and Travel section.

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Fishing Tip: Drinking heaps of water WILL save your life

Drink lots of water! It could save your life!

Fishing Tip: Drinking heaps of water WILL save your life

We all know how good it feels to be drinking loads of water each day. It purifies the mind. Lubricates your body. Gives life.

And then here’s a story…

Drink water!

Avid angler from Maputo Jolito, and his girlfriend were working down on the Komati River in Maputo a few years back. Jolito had a sand mining business and was operating machines and trucks down on the banks. It’s a lovely river. Flanked by vast natural plantations of the ever-important mangrove forests. All three colours. Producing the most oxygen of all trees. And containing and bolstering against flood waters, when they come.

Jolito was working away, sitting on the verandah of his little office. It was a raised platform that Jolito could use to watch over his operations. He drank a lot of water out there in the heat. Bottled water. The 1.25 litre size we all drink. And he never threw one empty bottle away, ever. He had quite a pile in his office always.

The weather had been otherwise down at the coast that day, but upriver, inland, in the catchment area, there had been a tropical downpour. A deluge. And all this water was now reaching the bottleneck of the lower Komati estuary system. The bottleneck was reinforced by the staunch roots of the mangroves. Built to withstand any water, fight the floods, and to preserve the banks.

Jolito heard the water first. A distant roar. He had been watching the river rising all day, but nothing could prepare him for what the roar turned out to be. It came around the corner like a broken wave. A huge rapid in reverse. He screamed warning at his TLB operator right out on the sandbank. He shouted to the truck drivers to get out of there, thinking that up on his perch, he and his girlfriend would be safe.

Adrenalin kicks in!

Then amazingly quickly – the maelstrom-like wave of floodwater hit. Jolito thought his platform would hold, but as the flood raged up towards him, the platform started to list. It was not a mangrove tree and had scanty foundations. When it got to 15 degrees, Jolito’s brain kicked and screamed with adrenalin. Something he had seen on a Behr Grihl survival show! He grabbed his girlfriend, and started forcing the empty but closed water bottles into her clothes. And then his. Down their jeans. Into their zipped up jackets until they looked like Michelin man impersonators.

Jolito turned to watch his TLB and operator get swept away by the torrent, neither to be seen again, ever. The trucks just escaped, floodwater swirling at their wheels.

As the platform and it’s dainty little super structure toppled, Jolito and his brave girl jumped. Into the raging river. Where no-one wants to be, ever. Raging flood water. African style!

But the bottles saved them both. Saved their lives. With all credit to Behr Grihls, the lucky couple made the bank five kilometres down towards the sea. And almost where they would have been swept out for good!

And so…

Drink more water.

Never throw plastic bottles away.

They could save your life.

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If you would like to visit the Maputo area, and fish, surf or dive with us, get in touch on We have many cool options for you. And we would not advise that you try Maputo on your own, if you don’t have any experience in that mad town.


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Underwater Observatory in Mozambique by Calum Murie

Underwater Africa Ocean Observatory

Underwater Observatory in Mozambique by Calum Murie

Calum Murie, when he’s not out catching and tagging huge sharks for science, can be found deploying underwater observatory style camera rigs, all over Mozambique.

Calum and his band of volunteers at Underwater Africa designed this simple but effective underwater observatory camera rig – with bait and all!

The Morey Eels love being on camera, and literally dominate the entire show, whenever Calum and crew deploy their rigs. Up in Bazaruto and Benguerra Island two huge Moreys spent literally hours trying to figure out how to get at the free bait.

Without revealing too much, you can look forward to literally hundreds of fish and other marine animals in this particularly well edited clip. Soundtrack too!

The underwater observatory work that Calum is doing up here, is the first of it’s type here in Mozambique.

You can look forward to more of Calum and crew’s phenomenal work as they perfect the art of deploying an underwater observatory in Inhambane waters. His work is constantly being refined and the cameras can now stay down longer and film more. Having developed a crew that understands the value of the results and how important it is to deploy perfectly every time, is what is producing these results.

You can learn more about Underwater Africa and their research work going on in Praia do Tofo, where they are based. Their shark tagging program has been a great success. The Sardine crew have been assisting and getting right involved. Sonar tagging Zambezi sharks, and Copper Sharks, the data is being used to formulate a plan to reduce shark and human encounters up and down this coast. The spate of shark attacks that occurred up the Inhambane Estuary towards Morrumbuene is what kicked off the project. Listening stations are deployed along the entire East Coast of Southern Africa, and record when a tagged sharks swims past.

Ultimately, proving that Zambezi (and the other usual suspects) sharks are not wanderers, that they stay on their pieces of reef and ocean, is what can lead to measures, to curb the attacks.

If you are interested in this kind of activity and you have some time on your hands, please get in touch. We need help tagging these sharks up here, it’s not easy work, and it can be dangerous too.

Accommodation is rustic luxury and we have many boats to choose from for when we go out tagging sharks.

The Sardine is also facilitating tag and release programs for gamefish. Billfish included. But mainly targeting high value data fish that are in jeopardy and nobody has any data on them. You can see more of The Sardine’s adventure options by clicking here.

Get in touch with Sean on or WhatsApp +27 79 326 9671, anytime.

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Here is a little baby marlin being released in the beginning of last year’s (2018) season…off Benguerra Island, with Jason Morkel on the rod, and Sean Lange on the trace.

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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

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Bazaruto October Fishing Report by FishBazaruto

Big Fish: Bazaruto October Fishing Report by Captain Duarte Rato

Bazaruto October Fishing Report by FishBazaruto:

For October, we have Captain Duarte Rato of FishBazaruto with a marlin packed gallery featuring his marlin taming exploits recently fishing up off Vilanculos and the Bazaruto Archipelago.

Read the full story here…

by Captain Duarte Rato

It has NOT been an easy season up in Baz. The winds have been wreaking havoc with our charters. Luckily for the GTs and the inshore spots! This is the best thing about Bazaruto and surrounding waters – there is so much variety and so many different genres of fishing to enjoy! From the marlin out the back, to the gamefish in the channels between the islands and then all the very many inshore spots – you can fish in any reasonably bad weather for sure.

The gallery…

FishBazaruto still have a few slots left for 2019. You can get in touch with Captain Duarte Rato by popping on over to his website at

We have many other options too that you can choose from to make up your dream fishing holiday. From budget all the way on up to FishBaz. And from Inhaca to Pemba. South Africa too. Get in touch if you would like us to tailor make a trip just for you and your family or friends. We don’t focus only on marlin and Bazaruto at The Sardine. We also do estuary and fly fishing experiences. Spearfishing. Light tackle boat. Spin fishing. Rock and Surf. All up and down the Southern African seaboard. Contact Sean on Or WhatsApp +27 79 326 9671 anytime really!

You can also check 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.

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Sonar tagging Zambezi Sharks with Calum Murie

Although Zambezi Sharks are on the top of our hit list, these blacktips are also featured.

Sonar tagging Zambezi Sharks: Calum Murie could have been anything. But he chose to spend his life chasing huge sharks around with sonar tag in hand, ready to abuse the first full grown Zambezi Shark he sees. In the name of science, research and conservation, Calum’s motivation for this career path runs deep and his commitment is exemplary.

And so it was that Calum enlisted the crew and facilities at the BCSS (Bazaruto for Scientific Studies) this September, to get some more tags installed in some Zambezi Sharks and other suspects. The tags are monitored by sonar listening stations set out up and down the coast between Pemba and Cape Town. So if one of Calum’s tagged sharks goes on leave and heads off for a holiday, Calum is gonna know about it.

This behavioural study of horizontal movement is aimed at supplying decision makers with the correct information regards shark activity along our coastline. Sadly, there have been over ten shark attacks in the Inhambane Estuary just down the coast from the BCSS. It’s the poor crab ladies who are getting taken the most. They are sitting ducks working in a metre of cloudy water at best.

And so Calum is fiercely chasing Zambezi’s, the prime suspect as usual. Although bronze whalers are also on our shark tagging list for being a suspicious character. Calum is also after Tiger Sharks, but we have not been successful at this as of yet. Hopefully we can find a small one somewhere!

You can actually get involved in our shark tagging exploits if you like. The success of the project that Calum is running, has opened up more funding for his studies. More listening stations are being deployed in association with the BCSS and Dr. Mario Lebrato. And we now have another batch of tags to deploy. At over $1000 per tag, we have got responsibilities!

The BCSS was built in order to facilitate research and conservation. So if you are aligned with these objectives, get in touch to join the team for a week or two. Rates are very reasonable. And you get to stay with us out here on the edge of the whole world!

Get in touch on to make arrangements.

You can keep up by staying on top of The Sardine News’ various channels…YouTubeInstagramFacebookTwitter.

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

Fishing Benguerra

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.

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First marlin for Jason Morkel

Jason Morkel first black marlin

First marlin for Jason Morkel

First marlin for Jason Morkel: Small marlin are just the best. Especially the baby blacks that frequent the waters of Bazaruto, at around this time of the year.

The small fish, under 50kgs sometimes, perform so nicely, getting more air proportionally than their parents do. Really spirited.

And they release really cool too. Like this young marlin (video below) hooked on a daisy chain meant for bait. Luckily the 50lb line gave Jason the power to dominate right from the beginning. At at the end, we got a clean release without even having to touch the fish. He even gave us a farewell leap of thanks!

The marlin season here in the Bazaruto Archipelago has well started, but the beasterly easterly is making things difficuilt. Blowing literally every day. You can notice how rough the sea was this day – in the video. But marlin like the rough seas, they certainly seem more active when the wind is pumping.

This day we also got to see one of our live baits get devoured in an instant. By a huge blackfin shark. So quick! The BCSS (Bazaruto Centre for Scientific Studies) and Dr. Mario Lebrato, supplied GoFish cameras that we have been using successfully and it really opens things up for us. We also have a big bull dorado attacking a plastic. A Cobia (Prodigal Son) chasing and close-up inspecting and even testing. And a hundred little yellowfin tuna chasing us around. We glean so much information from this technology, and it is helping us increase strike and hookup rate phenomenally. You can see that video and read that article right here.

And if you would like to join us fishing up here in these waters, we have many options for you. From 5 star to camping, we can get you out here. Check out some of our options right here.

And a new offering on the go right now, is the mothership Catsanova and her daughter Reflection. The liveaboard Catsanova can sleep 8 or more. And has a few cool options regards range and catering. She is powered by outboards and can get you to all the real interesting places. Like Pomene in the south, and to Nova Mambone in the north. These places hold treasure. Reflection is a purpose built gamefishing machine skippered by local pro Dean Taylor. You can see him in action in this post. Click here for more.

And in between us and them, are the really big fish.

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