Deep Sea Fishing in Kenya

Big Game Fishing at Kenya's Coast

Fishing in Kenya : Many of the highlands' streams are well stocked with trout,which were imported early in the twnetiieth century by British settlers.A few local fishing associations are still active and the usual rule about seasons and licences apply.Naro Moro River Lodge and the Izaac Walton Inn in Embu offer rods for rent.The Fisheries Department headquarters,next to the National Museum in Nairobi,can supply details.For lake fishing it is possible to rent rods and boats at Lakes Baringo,Naivasha and Turkana,and there are luxury fishing lodges on Rusinga,Mfangano and Takawiri Islands on Lake Victoria.The Indian Ocean offers excellent sport fishing opportunities. Big Game Fishing enthusiasts have the chance to land an impressive tally of species including sailfish,marlin,swordfish,barracuda and shark.Kenya's superb stretch of offshore coral reef,with its deepwater drop-offs and predictable northerly currents,is ideal for near shore angling.Watamu,Malindi,Diani and the resorts around Mombasa are the most popular centres for Deep Sea Fishing on Kenya's coastal waters.

Billfish Striped Marlin  Black Marlin Blue Marlin  Broadbill  Sailfish  Shortbill Spearfish Tuna  Tiger Shark  Mako Shark  Giant Trevally  Kingfish  Dorado  Wahoo  Barracuda  Kenya Association of Sea Angling Clubs

Kenya is fortunate in having superb fishing almost all the year.Some of the most exhilarating and challenging deep sea fishing is available in the blue waters of Shimoni and you have a better chance of catching a Striped Marlin from the Pemba Channel than anywhere else in the world.Traditionally when the Kaskazi,the north east monsoon, blows,the billfish arrives in great numbers.There are two very definite seasons,the Yellowfin Tuna season,which runs from August through the end of October,and the marlin season,which runs from December to mid March.

Blue Marlin

The Blue Marlin is the largest of the Marlin family. It is a more streamlined version of the Black Marlin. It has a long slender bill extending up to a virtual point on the top of the head where the dorsal fin slants, resulting in a huge speed take off compared to other Marlin. The Blue is a powerful aggressive fighter, known for its impressive athletic abilities on the surface, clearing the water time and time again. They run hard and long, and leap high into the air in a seemingly inexhaustible display of strength, although they are prone to going deep to conserve their energy. The Blue is known to charge a lure on a number of occasions, so be patient until a good hook up can be achieved. Blue Marlin, of up to 600lb, are not uncommon here. The biggest Blue Marlin caught from the Club weighed in at 724 lbs. This fish was caught in a September, during the Tuna season.During August to end October large Blues can be found amongst the Tuna. Blues and Blacks follow, and gorge on, the shoals of Yellowfin Tuna at this time of the year and are usually fatter than later in the season. The prime Marlin season runs from mid November to end of March.

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Black Marlin

 

A highly rated game fish, the Black Marlin has the power, size and persistence of which anglers dream! This Marlin has tremendous power, and is known for its long runs and tail walking. Black Marlin in Kenyan waters are generally larger than the other Marlin and have short, heavy bodies with the fins virtually locked in position. Black Marlin have been caught weighing over 2000lb by commercial fishermen. The Black Marlin is noted as a violent feeder at the top of the food chain and feeds on other game fish and small bait fish. Remember, if you do get a strike give the Marlin plenty of time to swallow the bait. The largest Black Marlin to be caught from the Club weighed in at 800lb and was caught during the September Tuna season.During August to the end of October, large Blacks can be found amongst the Tuna. The prime Marlin season runs from mid November to end of March.

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Broadbill Swordfish

Broadbill (Xiphias gladius) is know as the 'Gladiator of the Sea' due to its reputation of being the toughest of all the billfish with a violent mood, and is considered by many to be the toughest of all billfish to catch - the ultimate challenge in big game fishing. Characteristically, it has a smooth, very broad, flattened sword (broadbill) that is significantly longer and wider than the bill of any other billfish. It has considerable big blue eyes, and is a ferocious night feeder. They are deep-water predators and are known to go to depths of at least 550m. They are finicky, easily frightened and rarely strike blindly. When hooked it takes deep and rapid dives and with the combination of the soft flesh around the mouth and its slashing bill (sword) it makes for a real challenge to catch. Four Broadbill world records have been taken on fly on the Kenyan Coast.The Pemba Channel is perhaps one of the premier destinations for Broadbill fishing. You can troll the Channel for Broadbill at night. Special trips to a sea mountain, 55 nautical miles due east of Shimoni can be arranged .Season is all year but best in October, November and March when the seas are very calm. December before the wind goes round to the north-east can also be an excellent time for Broadbill fishing.

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Sailfish

The Sailfish is one of the most strikingly colourful game fish of all - its outstanding feature is the long, high first dorsal which is slate or cobalt blue with a scattering of black spots. Its body is dark blue and silver and lights up with white dots and lines of electric blue. It is a very acrobatic fish and will dive quicker than the marlin because of its size and surrounds. They are a migratory species usually travelling alone or in small groups. Its fighting ability and spectacular aerial acrobatics endear the Sailfish to the saltwater angler, but it tires quickly and is considered a light tackle species. For fly-fishermen who are trying big game fishing on fly for the first time the Sailfish is the perfect species to try your luck.Sailfish are seen and caught throughout the fishing season but most prolific during December and January

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Barracuda

The species found on the east coast of Africa is the Great Barracuda. The Barracuda occurs offshore and around the reefs and predominantly appear at or near the surface. The larger ones are almost invariably loners. They often strike savagely, and they frequently jump out of the water when hooked. The largest caught at the Pemba Channel is a Kenya Ladies Record weighing 26.5kg (58.3lbs).

Wahoo

A member of the Mackerel family, they have very sharp teeth and are reputed to be one of the fastest fish in the sea. The first scorching run may peel off several hundred yards of line in seconds. Occasionally the fish jumps on the strike and often shakes its head violently when hooked in an effort to free itself.

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Striped Marlin

Striped Marlin are the most prolific of the Marlin and they seasonally migrate through the natural corridor between Pemba Island and the mainland.The Striped Marlin is well known for its fighting ability and is reowned for its speed and acrobatic displays.It has a reputation for spending more time in the air than in the water just after it is hooked.In addition to long runs and tail walks, it will 'greyhound' across the surface, making a dozen or more long, graceful leaps. Compared to a Blue or a Black it is considerably more slender and is the most colourful of all Marlin. Just before striking or when the Striped Marlin is annoyed, fourteen iridescent blue lines spark up the Marlin's body. It is one of those must see moments - a Striped Marlin lighting up to strike one of your baits. Striped Marlin are most prolific from November to March, sometimes showing in packs of up to ten, which makes it a good chance of getting a personal best.The prime Marlin season runs from mid November to end of March. In March it would seem that the fish are much larger than average

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Billfish

The Pemba Channel provides you with six species of billfish including Black,Blue and Stirped Marlin,Sailfish,Broadbill Swordfish and the elusive Shortbill Spearfish,so the chances of catching a grand slam is very real.

Striped Marlin

Striped Marlin are the most prolific of the Marlin and they seasonally migrate through the natural corridor between Pemba Island and the mainland.The Striped Marlin is well known for its fighting ability and is reowned for its speed and acrobatic displays.It has a reputation for spending more time in the air than in the water just after it is hooked.In addition to long runs and tail walks, it will 'greyhound' across the surface, making a dozen or more long, graceful leaps. Compared to a Blue or a Black it is considerably more slender and is the most colourful of all Marlin. Just before striking or when the Striped Marlin is annoyed, fourteen iridescent blue lines spark up the Marlin's body. It is one of those must see moments - a Striped Marlin lighting up to strike one of your baits. Striped Marlin are most prolific from November to March, sometimes showing in packs of up to ten, which makes it a good chance of getting a personal best.The prime Marlin season runs from mid November to end of March. In March it would seem that the fish are much larger than average .

Black Marlin

A highly rated game fish, the Black Marlin has the power, size and persistence of which anglers dream! This Marlin has tremendous power, and is known for its long runs and tail walking. Black Marlin in Kenyan waters are generally larger than the other Marlin and have short, heavy bodies with the fins virtually locked in position. Black Marlin have been caught weighing over 2000lb by commercial fishermen. The Black Marlin is noted as a violent feeder at the top of the food chain and feeds on other game fish and small bait fish. Remember, if you do get a strike give the Marlin plenty of time to swallow the bait. The largest Black Marlin to be caught from the Club weighed in at 800lb and was caught during the September Tuna season.During August to the end of October, large Blacks can be found amongst the Tuna. The prime Marlin season runs from mid November to end of March.

Blue Marlin

The Blue Marlin is the largest of the Marlin family. It is a more streamlined version of the Black Marlin. It has a long slender bill extending up to a virtual point on the top of the head where the dorsal fin slants, resulting in a huge speed take off compared to other Marlin. The Blue is a powerful aggressive fighter, known for its impressive athletic abilities on the surface, clearing the water time and time again. They run hard and long, and leap high into the air in a seemingly inexhaustible display of strength, although they are prone to going deep to conserve their energy. The Blue is known to charge a lure on a number of occasions, so be patient until a good hook up can be achieved. Blue Marlin, of up to 600lb, are not uncommon here. The biggest Blue Marlin caught from the Club weighed in at 724 lbs. This fish was caught in a September, during the Tuna season.During August to end October large Blues can be found amongst the Tuna. Blues and Blacks follow, and gorge on, the shoals of Yellowfin Tuna at this time of the year and are usually fatter than later in the season. The prime Marlin season runs from mid November to end of March.

Broadbill

Broadbill (Xiphias gladius) is know as the 'Gladiator of the Sea' due to its reputation of being the toughest of all the billfish with a violent mood, and is considered by many to be the toughest of all billfish to catch - the ultimate challenge in big game fishing. Characteristically, it has a smooth, very broad, flattened sword (broadbill) that is significantly longer and wider than the bill of any other billfish. It has considerable big blue eyes, and is a ferocious night feeder. They are deep-water predators and are known to go to depths of at least 550m. They are finicky, easily frightened and rarely strike blindly. When hooked it takes deep and rapid dives and with the combination of the soft flesh around the mouth and its slashing bill (sword) it makes for a real challenge to catch. Four Broadbill world records have been taken on fly on the Kenyan Coast.The Pemba Channel is perhaps one of the premier destinations for Broadbill fishing. You can troll the Channel for Broadbill at night. Special trips to a sea mountain, 55 nautical miles due east of Shimoni can be arranged .Season is all year but best in October, November and March when the seas are very calm. December before the wind goes round to the north-east can also be an excellent time for Broadbill fishing.

Sailfish

The Sailfish is one of the most strikingly colourful game fish of all - its outstanding feature is the long, high first dorsal which is slate or cobalt blue with a scattering of black spots. Its body is dark blue and silver and lights up with white dots and lines of electric blue. It is a very acrobatic fish and will dive quicker than the marlin because of its size and surrounds. They are a migratory species usually travelling alone or in small groups. Its fighting ability and spectacular aerial acrobatics endear the Sailfish to the saltwater angler, but it tires quickly and is considered a light tackle species. For fly-fishermen who are trying big game fishing on fly for the first time the Sailfish is the perfect species to try your luck.Sailfish are seen and caught throughout the fishing season but most prolific during December and January.

Shortbill Spearfish

This elusive game fish does exist in the waters of the Pemba Channel, but is infrequently encountered and rarely seen and caught. It is a highly migratory deep-water species feeding at or near the surface on medium-sized fish, including Dorado, Flying Fish and Pilot Fish, Squid and Crustaceans. They appear to be available all year in small numbers. Fishing methods are the same as for other billfish but with a maximum weight of 52kg this is a light tackle contender.Season for Shortbill Spearfish is mid November to end of March with December being the best month.

Tuna

From August you start to see large numbers of migrating Yellowfin Tuna, which are, pound for pound, one of the strongest fish that swim and can put up a challenging fight. These swift, sleek marauders of the worlds' oceans can be picked out from their close relatives by their bright yellow finlets and belly, which sometimes show a series of about 20 vertical rows of whitish spots. These high-speed vagabonds are the quintessence of hydrodynamic perfection in design for speed, and often reach about five feet in length. They make transoceanic journeys on a regular basis. Tuna school primarily by size and 12 - 20lb outfits are ideal for schools of small Tuna that run in the season, providing really good sport for the light tackle enthusiast.August to October provides excellent sport for Tuna. Multiple hook ups are normal when the ocean can come alive with huge schools in pursuit of smaller fish creating plenty of excitement with all the rods going at once. Some of the Tuna are huge and involve a long, exciting and exhausting fight in the chair.Season is typically from August to end October. This is an excellent time for Tuna with chances of big Blue and Black Marlin too. Blues and Blacks follow and gorge on the shoals of Yellowfin Tuna at this time of year and are usually fatter than later in the season. Many lesser game fish, such as Wahoo, Barracuda, Kingfish, Skipjack etc. can also provide good sport during these months. 

Tiger Shark

Born at a size of 50 - 75cms with a beautiful silvery pattern of leopard like spots, which change to bars as they grow and fade as they mature. The head is large and blocky with big soulful eyes. Mature Tiger Sharks become very stout. They may be resident in certain areas, but in general they are wanderers. Tag returns indicate movements as great as 3193kms, which is 1984 miles. They tend to stay in deeper water by day and enter shallow waters at night. The largest Tiger Shark taken from the Pemba on 80lb line was caught by novice angler Lt Cdr Graham Watts RN. This weighed in at 924lbs and is a Kenya and All Africa Record. 

Mako Shark

Are torpedo shaped and are the speed kings of the cartilaginous fish and possibly the fastest fish in the ocean - measurements as high as 100kph (60mph) have been reported. When hooked they may jump to a height of several body lengths out of the water. They are able to chase down and consume fast moving pelagics, such as Tuna and Broadbill. Their ability to reach such phenomenal speeds may be attributed to a blood vessel heat exchange system, which enable them to maintain a body temperature higher than the surrounding sea water.All sharks are actively and aggressively hunted. In 1990 more than Ten million sharks were killed world-wide for sport, for meat and for their fins - a sought after delicacy in the Orient. Sharks on the other hand, in the same period, killed six humans. All sharks are an endangered species and most Big Game Fishing Clubs actively promote their tag and release.

Giant Trevally

These fish are common off the Kenyan waters. Adults are sedentary and are found on reef drop-offs. It is a highly rated sport fish both for its large size and for the strong fight it gives. Large Trevallies have powerful jaws and sharp conical teeth. A tagging programme has found that they are highly territorial. The largest caught at the Pemba Channel was one kg short of the Ladies World Record at 52.7kg.

Kingfish

Also known as Narrow-barred, King or Spanish Macherel, the Kingfish is a highly rated gamefish that sounds often, runs hard and fast and occasionally leaps high.

Dorado 

Common name of Dolphin fish - these fish are in no way related to the dolphins. Dorado are found in open water and also near the coast. They are a highly rated gamefish. Hooked Dorado may leap or tail-walk, darting first in one direction and then another. It is believed they can reach speeds of up to 50mph.

Wahoo

A member of the Mackerel family, they have very sharp teeth and are reputed to be one of the fastest fish in the sea. The first scorching run may peel off several hundred yards of line in seconds. Occasionally the fish jumps on the strike and often shakes its head violently when hooked in an effort to free itself.

Barracuda

The species found on the east coast of Africa is the Great Barracuda. The Barracuda occurs offshore and around the reefs and predominantly appear at or near the surface. The larger ones are almost invariably loners. They often strike savagely, and they frequently jump out of the water when hooked. The largest caught at the Pemba Channel is a Kenya Ladies Record weighing 26.5kg (58.3lbs).

Kenya Association of Sea Angling Clubs

KILIFI

Benjie Bowles
Mnarani Fishing Club
P.O. Box 550
Tel: 25224
Fax: 25255
KILIFI
E-mail:
 

LAMU

Lamu Broadbill & Barbill F.Club
P.O. Box 24
Tel: 33154/33421/2/3
Fax: 33029
LAMU
E-mail:

MOMBASA

Hugh Walters
Tamarind
P.O. Box 85875
Tel: 474600/1/2
Fax: 474630
MOMBASA

Peter Ruysenaars
Pemba Lodge
P.O. Box 86952
Tel: 313749
Fax: 316875
MOMBASA


Elligio Battaia
Deep Water Sportfishing
P.O. Box 82679
Tel: 491061/493756
Fax: 493756
MOMBASA

Dr. Nick De Souza
P.O. Box 84821
Tel: 471025/434204
MOMBASA

Howard Lawrence-Brown
Sea Fishing
P.O. Box 10202
Tel: 485680
Fax: 485808/475217
MOMBASA
Email:


Bob Brenneisen
P.O. Box 10339
Tel: 485220
MOMBASA

John Rodwell
P.O. Box 90252
Tel: 485591
Fax: 311786
MOMBASA
Email: 

Rodwell@form-net.com

Salim Kamani 
Majik Sportfishing
P.O. Box 98677
MOMBASA

MALINDI

Malindi Sea Fishing Club
P.O. Box 364
Tel: 30550
Fax: 30712
MALINDI

Nick Conway
P.O. Box 5562
Tel: 31215
MALINDI

Peter Ready
P.O. Box 63
Tel: 20155/30569
Fax: 30712
MALINDI
Email:

Karl Heinz Waidelich
Blue Water Sportfishing
P.O. Box 5183
Tel: 31748/21191
MALINDI

Herbie Paul
Kingfisher
P.O. Box 29
Tel: 20123
Fax: 30261
MALINDI
Email:

kingfisher@swiftmalindi.com


Charlie Harris
P.O. Box 171
Tel: 20394
MALINDI

MTWAPA

James Collin Adcock
P.O. Box 95693
Tel/Fax: 485527
MOMBASA

Walter Brun
P.O. Box 477
Tel: 487034/486225
Fax: 486463
MTWAPA

NAIROBI

Dr. David Stuart
P.O. Box 43130
Tel: 710463/882504/4444
NAIROBI

SOUTH COAST

Simon & Pat Hemphill
Sea Adventures
P.O. Box 348
Tel: 12/13 Shimoni
Fax: 011 227675
UKUNDA
E-mail: 

hemphill@bigame.com


John Clark
Archer Clark Enterprises
P.O. Box 5002
Tel: 0127 3487
Fax: 2412
UKUNDA
Email: 

info@dianihouse.com


Peter Hutchence
Nomad Boats Ltd.
Tel/Fax: 2156
Email:

webmaster@kenyabeach.com

P.O. Box 314
UKUNDA

Blue Marlin Fishing Club
P.O. Box 5108
Tel: 3478
Diani Beach
KWALE

Pemba Channel Club Limited. 
P.O. Box 86952 Mombasa, Kenya.
Tel: (254 11) 313749/ 225417, 316875 
E-mail:

marlin.pemba@net2000ke.com

WATAMU

Hemingways Resort
P.O. Box 267
Tel: 32624/3272
Fax: 32256
Email:

hemingways@swiftmalindi.com

WATAMU

Watamu Sea Fishing Club
P.O. Box 157
Tel: 32482
Fax: 32571
WATAMU

 

 

 

 

 

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