October is all about the Malindi International Festival which is held on the 3rd weekend every year. It is currently the only IGFA qualifying event in Kenya for the Offshore World Championships. 2016 marked it’s 58th year but granted no favours to experienced anglers.
The light line Churchill Cup was fished on Friday 21st October by only eight boats and was won by Tarka, who caught six Yellowfin Tuna, which put them just ahead of Unreel with five Yellowfin Tuna and Clueless took third place
Conditions were difficult and fish were hard to find. Over the 2-day competition anglers caught Striped Marlin, Sailfish and Wahoo. Prizes were great and well received, keeping sponsors, skippers and anglers happy on all fronts.
Catch highlight for October would have to be the 78kg Yellowfin Tuna, hooked, fought and landed by our very own ‘skipper in training’ Arran Paul.
November arrived and so did the fish. As the winds and currents shifted so did the bait which drove the gamefish in our direction. Our 3 boats had their work cut out for them with more charter days and an excellent selection of fish around. Daily catches regularly included healthy sized Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado, Wahoo, Kingfish and Barracuda. We even had a few Bullsharks.
Following the worldwide trend for anglers moving to ‘jigging & popping gear’, our skippers often choose to stay closer in-shore giving our clients a greater variety. These, sometimes risky, decisions paid off, with lots of really good sized Giant Trevally’s being hooked. It should be noted that it is Kingfisher’s policy to ‘catch and release’ where ever possible.
Kingfisher and Driftwood Malindi hosted a private competition for a large group of anglers from South Africa. What a group. With 7 boats fishing for 4 days, they caught a total 202 fish, including a 47.5kg Giant Trevally and 24 Sailfish.
Catch highlight for November would have to be the 47.5 GT caught on Tarka. This was a truly magnificent fish, a great effort and all round fantastic teamwork that landed the fish in the end.
Mother nature smiled upon us as busy days filled with fish continued on into December. Neptune took an adventurous group on a 7 day fishing safari North to Lamu via Kiwaiyu. Their trip went well with plenty Sailfish around, some Black Marlin and all the other pelagics offering the anglers a great variety.
The annual Watamu Sea Fishing Club Christmas competition was held on the 28th & 29th of December. Well supported with 19 boats entered, of which 10 were small boats under 24ft. This competition is always exciting but this year was notable for what must have been the closest finish on record because of a winning margin of 350.2 against 350.1 points. These results are scored under the handicap system by which the points for fish are divided by the length of the boat in feet. It’s the fairest way possible and while some anglers were disappointed at first, this was quickly forgotten with some ice-cold brews and good conversation.
Catch highlight for December would have to be the 2 of the Sailfish caught on Neptune. The angler was the youngest of Angus’s two sons, Alister, who insisted on giving the big game rod he rebuilt a go…and it paid off with him successfully landing the fish. Alister is just 10 years old.
Total catch count from October to December is Blue Marlin 3, Black Marlin 6, Striped Marlin 7, Sailfish 43 and GT 6.
And so ended 2016…