The Largest Anging/Fishing site in Africa
-Kingfisher Fishing end of season report 2008- 2009
Malindi\Watamu has experienced its best billfish season ever !The top marlin boat just misses out on a century while Neptune records the highest number of sailfish on a boat in one season off the African coast .
Well we are well and truly into the off season now. Boats are out the water and being given some serious TLC, tackle is being cleaned up and sorted for next season and skippers and crew are getting a well deserved break. All in all it was a very successful season with boat days far exceeding all pre season expectations. Considering we were faced with one problem after the other, from pre election violence to the credit crunch, Kenyan tourism held up very well. On the fish side we couldn’t have written a more perfect script for the season. All sorts of records have been broken as far as numbers of billfish go and some incredible days were had. The best thing about the season is that the phenomenal fishing was spread out across the whole season and it wasn’t just over a couple of months. Already way back in September we were seeing abnormal numbers of sailfish and this continued into February and petered out in March.
Once again we can ask ourselves why this season was so exceptional. The reason that seems to come up time and time again across the bar over a pint of beer is the increase in Somali pirates further north of us. It certainly makes sense seeing as the commercial fishing fleets have been hit by this menace. The assumption is that more fish are now making their way into our waters and are not being hauled out the sea before they get to us. If this is the case then at least the pirates are of some use!
This past season was undoubtedly the best billfish season ever for Malindi\Watamu. We mustn’t forget that the season before was also a very good one. In fact sailfish figures show it was one of our best ever with our top boat far exceeding sailfish figures for the past ten years with 539 fish. The bar was raised considerably higher this season with the top boat Neptune, recording 758 sailfish in 162 days fishing. This gave her an average of 4.7 sailfish per day! Three of our other boats recorded over 400 sailfish each for the season and the fifth hit the 340 mark. The lowest average of sailfish per day was 3.0 on Eclare. It was a common occurrence for boats to come back with over 15 sailfish a day and there were many days in the late twenties. Sailfish numbers peaked in December and the sea was alive with packs of them. They were accompanied with stacks of smaller gamefish as well. Yellowfin tuna numbers were nearly double on the season before with our top boat catching 401 this season and 217 the season before. The average weight per day was much higher on all our boats for the past three seasons with some of them recording their highest averages ever. Neptune had an average of 267.5 kgs whilst her previous best was 170.6 kgs the previous season. This does include the average weight of tagged and released fish. Snowgoose had an average of 129 kgs per day where as her previous best was 98 kgs.
The marlin season was also phenomenal especially during the peak months of January to March. Our top marlin boat was Neptune with 69 fish which is her best marlin figures ever beating her previous highest of 58. In a normal season it is very good for a boat to get 30 marlin in a season. This season a large number of boats caught over 50 fish in the season. Tarka was the top boat on the coast with 97 marlin. I would like to point out that the black marlin fishing in August was also exceptional which meant the boats got off to a good start early season. There were many days of 2 marlin a day in August and Neptune had at least one with three in a day.
Although there weren’t too many nights fished for broadbill Neptune finished on 17 and Eclare 8. There were some bigger fish caught this season with Neptune weighing in the largest of 88.6 kgs. There were a number released around the 60 kgs mark as well. Amongst all the Malindi\Watamu boats there was a definite rise in broadbill figures, another bit of evidence in supporting the fact that there is less commercial fishing going on further north.
Neptune had a billfish average of 5.2 per day. These are phenomenal figures considering there are a number of days fished in the low season when there aren’t as many billfish around. We hope that next season will be as fruitful for all the Malindi\Watamu boats and that more of you will be able to come over and sample some of the wonderful fishing we have on our coast. We will have at least one boat in the water throughout the off season and I will keep you updated on any action. All going well we hope to start fishing properly again by mid July.
Until the next update I would like to wish you all well and for those of you in Europe have a good summer.
All the best
Kingfisher Fishing Ltd.,
Tel: +254 722 624840 or +254 721832803