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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!!!

BRING IT ON!!!!!”

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

 

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Bonito Bolognaise: Catch ‘n Cook series

Bonito Bolognaise

Liam Gallagher hoists the very first fish caught on a MYDO LuckShot - this Sarda Sarda that took the new lure while the rod was stationery in the holder on the drift!
Liam Gallagher hoists the very first fish caught on a MYDO LuckShot – this Sarda Sarda, a bonito species, that took the newly developed lure being fished off Port Shepstone, – while the rod was stationery in the holder – on the drift! The MYDO Luck Shot has since then caught a host of species including rock salmon, seapike and kingfish, during testing and fine tuning phases. Click here for more info…

Another installment from the past, as we try catch up on lost posts…

Bonito Bolognaise is a super healthy version of your regular beef bolognaise spaghetti meal.

Step 1

Catch a bonito

Step 2

Bleed, loin and grate/grind into mince. A cheese grater does the job just fine, and removes most of the sinew, but a real mince maker if you have one…

Step 3

Make your favourite boloignaise meal using the bonito mince, as you would with regular mince. Make a chilli con carne, lasagne…anything that uses mince…boboyti, cottage pie…

Note: this all works with fresh bonito caught and cooked on the same day…it doesn’t work if you freeze or try keep the meat for tomorrow. But once it is cooked, it just gets better and better in the fridge.

Make a heap!

 

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The Tax man!

The TAX man…!

It’s not a good feeling…that thud, and thump as the taxman grabs a-hold of your fish, shaking it around and tearing it up. It must have been a big shark that halved this nice yellowfin, off Bazaruto! There are some monsters swimming those waters…big enough to start to eat a 1200 pound marlin right at the boat, after a five hour tussle…which is what happened on Vamizi, skippered by Captain Duarte Rato, a few seasons back! Talk about the top of the food chain.

Or is it?

Hammerhead Shark on Tofo Beach

(c) Johnny Cash
(c) Johnny Cash

A “brown marlin” – aka Hammerhead Shark get’s a taste of it’s own medicine…at the hands of mere men! This is on the beach at Tofo. Nature sure is cruel, and we are certainly a big part of it all as we devour and demolish…much like the Tiger Sharks and Zambezis of Bazaruto…

This Bazaruto Zambezi is neatly hooked in the mouth with a huge circle hook. These hooks have revolutionised the tag and release scene, as they miss internal organs and possible injury, and hook neatly in the side of the mouth – every time (almost!). This shark and all other sharks caught on Vamizi, are released healthy and ready to destroy another prized live bait!

“Something’s chasing me!”

 

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Violence on Protea Reef!

The first drift yielded not a touch on our awesome spread of live baits. Until we reached the southern pinnacle on Protea Reef, off Shelley Beach. Funnily enough the first beating was taken on a plug with the drag set to 8kg’s the yellowfin swam around the boat as if it was still hunting. Only when it went right around us and behind the motors did it take off. Mike Stubbs and I wrestled the rod between the other sticks with the huge Finnor spinning reel smoking and screaming blue murder. The hooks pulled out on that blistering run and all of a sudden the bait sticks started screaming.

We were three sticks away dancing around the boat each with his own set of problems. Luckily mine came off and I was able to help gaff and boat the fish my Dad (Brian Lange) and Stubbs were fighting.
The moon was silver bright and we never needed a light as the sun disappeared in a sky of red and the fish went wild. Free jumping and swimming tuna all around the boat but the bigger ones were just being so violent as rod after rod screamed.
I was beaten up by a monster eventually handing the rod to Stubbs who in turn gave ot to my Dad until the line parted.
We hooked and battled many big tuna and luckily a few small ones which were easier to boat.
Protea Reef is an incredible place but very difficult to fish with a 3 to 4 knot current prevailing, huge sharks and jagged reef – not to mention the outsized fish. Even though the yellowfin seldom get over 35kg’s here, they fight double as hard in the shallower waters and tackling up is the only solution.

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The Real Deal

Subsistence fishermen have been working the Umzimkulu River for decades. As the condition of the river has deteriorated their lot has been reduced year after year. But there is something very noble about their ignoble existence. Targeting barbel chiefly…they also catch rock salmon (mangrove jack), grunter, perch, salmon and even gamefish like kingfish and garrick. Sometimes shad move into the river and the bounty makes for celebrating.
But mainly…it is hard going.
Pollution.
Brown water.
Cold.
Wind.
Hours with no bites…
Yet what else could they do? Their lifestyle is all they have. Their fishing is all they have. The Umzimkulu is all they have.
Respect to the subsistence fishermen of the mighty Umzimkulu…