Game Fishing in Zanzibar

17 September

We launched at five in the morning with Peter and Ellen from Australia.  Being pitch black outside, it can be quite hair-raising going on your first trip over the reef and not being able to see in front of you. Fortunately with a sea-map it makes navigation much easier when going out.  The swell was up this morning and one or two crashed over the front of the boat-quite scary in the dark.

Anyway after crossing over the reef into the deep, we were treated to one of the most beautiful sunrises Zanzibar can offer. What a great time to be on the water with the sun peeping through.  With calm seas, a water temperature of 22 degrees and very little seaweed in the water, we set the lures on the backline and went hunting. We started looking for Wahoo that run alongside the reefs using a variety of Xwrap rapalas -15m and 30m divers in a variety of colours.  At 6:15 am we were into our first fish- a 22kg Wahoo caught on a blue mackerel rapala. During the day giant barracudas started eating and we managed to hook a couple of them averaging 15kg. Peter also managed to hook some giant trevallies. In the late afternoon we were back onto some more Wahoos in the 20-30kg range. After a great day’s fishing returned to Game Fish Lodge at around 5:30pm exhausted but happy and ready for a beer.

20 September

This was Peter and Ellen’s second trip with us accompanied with their daughter Caitlin.  We Whalesset out at 7:30 am after a good breakfast.  This time we launched at a different place and not through the reef as the trip before.  Once again the fish were there! The water temperature was slightly up at 23 degrees. The first fish of the day was a beautiful yellow fin tuna, caught on a surface rapala on a slightly choppy sea.  At 10:20am we were fortunate to see lovely sperm whales breaching 10m away from the boat. What an awesome sight. This continued for approximately 30 mins-always a pleasure seeing them.  Once again the reels started screaming. We were trolling just off the reefs where a lot of Wahoo and giant barracudas started taking the lures. In the late afternoon Peter managed to catch some nice kingfish. A great day with some nice hook-ups, disappointing losses, great catches and wonderful stories.

21 September

Once again fishing conditions were excellent for Brad and Kim on their charter with us. Brad wanted to try his luck at catching a marlin. We set out a full spread of plastics and teasers and started trolling around the deep ledges- approximately 200m in a hunt for marlin.  At 10:45am we had our first strike-unfortunately not a marlin but a sailfish. At 12:10pm a strike broke the outrigger-the marlin was not hooked successfully.  After trolling for 5 hours without luck, we decided to go fishing closer in off the reefs to look for Wahoo. At around 2:30pm the reels started screaming and Brad managed to hook and catch a beautiful 32kg Wahoo and some lovely giant trevallies. Returned at around 6pm tired, hungry but happy.

23 September

After reading windguru, all looked good for another days fishing. The prediction for calm seas and no wind was a bit wrong. The winds decided to blow like crazy and big sea swells made fishing very difficult.

Ellis and friends charter with us was not an easy one. The rough seas made standing and fishing quite a challenge. However at 9:00am we got into some yellow fin tuna-the only lady angler on the boat managed to catch and land a beautiful 17kg tuna. We then proceeded to the reefs and found wonderful Wahoo again in the 20kg range.

Unfortunately sea-sickness makes grown men offer everything they have for you to take them back. So we returned to the hotel to drop off one of the anglers- it was a tough decision to make especially when the fish finder shows a great showing of fish!!!

Here sea-sickness should be treated very seriously-as the temperatures in Zanzibar are high and anglers can find themselves severely dehydrated in a short space of time.

After dropping off the angler, we ventured out once more to the reefs. At Leven Banks we were able to get more yellow fin tuna, barracuda and a king mackerel of 22kg. Ellis also managed to catch a beautiful Dorado of 24kg. Not bad considering the amount of fishing time lost. At the end of the day, all anglers had caught fish and one angler may just stick to rivers and lakes.

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