Sea Adventures Ltd 2012 Newsletter
Greetings from Shimoni as we gear up for the new fishing season due to start anytime from now. Pat & Maia didnâ€™t get away this year apart from a short stint upcountry although they have a safari to the Seloux National Park in Southern Tanzania planned for next month when my brother, Mike visits us from Australia. I was in the UK in June visiting my kids, plus of course my grand-daughter combined with some RYA instructor training. I have now qualified to teach the Short Range Certificate VHF, RYA Radar and RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance courses to go with the powerboat courses that I already teach. Since my return I have been busy with the powerboat school in Mombasa and so having to balance my time there with maintenance jobs on Kamara II.
We intend to put all our boat crews through the RYA Powerboat Level 2 course with the older Suleimani on Broadbill and Hamisi from Kamara II having obtained their certificates so far. As and when I have a space on a course I add one of our guys in so that they learn with different people.
Last season was a really tough year with very few charters, probably due to a combination of factors including the economic recession in Europe and security concerns. Although we did not receive any cancellations directly related to security I am aware that peoplesâ€™ perceptions overseas may well have prevented them from making a booking. There are two issues at play here, the threat of attack by the Somali terrorist group, Al Shabaab within Kenya and piracy at sea. The Al Shabaab certainly does pose a threat and there have been a number of grenade attacks on soft targets where local Kenyans are congregating such as local bars and nightclubs. The security agencies, both local and foreign are working round the clock to identify and isolate the threat but unfortunately terrorism has become a global issue, something none of us can ignore in any of our countries. In the UK, for example the MI5 has had to increase its offices around the country to try and contain the ever increasing threat there. If the terrorists had their way we would all be locked up in our homes terrified to venture out BUT damn them, life must and will go on!
Our angling association, KASA has taken measures to mitigate against the risk of piracy in collaboration with the Kenya Maritime Authority and the British High Commission. Since the Kenya Defence Forces invaded Somalia last year and the foreign navies in the Western Indian Ocean changed their tactics the number of attacks on merchant vessels has significantly reduced. Security along the Kenya coast has been improved and it is important to note that there has not been a single attack on any vessel within Kenya waters since early 2011 and there has NEVER been an attack by pirates on a sport fishing vessel. It is very unlikely that the pirates will enter Kenya territorial waters by choice during daylight since the risks of detection are too great. However, night time poses a different threat and that is why no sport fishing boat is permitted to venture out after dark. We now have very good lines of communication with the search & rescue centre in Mombasa and all crews are very conscious about keeping a good lookout with no reports of pirates. At the moment I would say that the risk of being knocked down by a bus as you go to your local shop is far greater.
Sadly, the big yellowfin tuna did not appear last season although very few days were fished by the Shimoni boats. However, there was a very encouraging day in late September when the boats that had been participating in the Latham Is. fishing tournament were returning north. As they were passing Shimoni about centre channel they were having repeated strikes from big blue marlin and at least one double header of striped marlin. I was most envious standing by the radio listening to one boat after another reporting in with sad stories. Unfortunately, we didnâ€™t have any charters and I had an engine in bits but this is what it always used to be like. When the yellowfin are there, then all the other gamefishes follow with some really big marlin and usually quite a few mako as well. September used to be one of my favourite fishing months, the action was often fantastic. I am convinced that September will once again produce fantastic fishing……….perhaps this year!
We only did a couple of trips in October but on one of these I caught my first shortbill spearfish. I have landed quite a few for clients on both Kamara and Kamara II but had never actually caught one myself. I was fishing together with my father on Broadbill and this was only the second one that he had ever seen. It was a good size, estimated at 50-lb on 30-lb line, which is quite big for a spearfish. October is another great month with great weather and often a mini striped marlin run towards the latter half.
The wind switched in to the NE soon after the middle of November and the billfish followed soon after. There were lots of sailfish close in along the drop-off past Funzi and Msambweni. There were also quite a few striped marlin about from early December together with some big blacks. James Nutter tagged a nice 430-lb black marlin on 50-lb line aboard Broadbill with Pat on 3rd December. Our old friend from Cape Town, Koos Pretorius had a couple of successful days fishing whilst I was up in Uganda running some training courses and rose a nice 500-lb black marlin on Kamara II that declined the offerings.
After the initial run of marlin in early December they went off a bit until late December but the sailfish remained in big numbers. We seldom fish all day in close for sails but rather give them a whirl until about 9am then head out. Later in the season the sailfish were appearing out in the deep rather than close in which meant that we could target both marlin and sail at the same time. We fished 18 days in December for 1 black marlin, 3 striped marlin and 25 sails.
I returned from safari with my family late December and started fishing on New Yearâ€™s Day with the Perego family from Italy. My thanks to Bryan Matiba who had done such a great job helping Hamisi and Suleimani run Kamara II in my absence. We had a good day with 1 stripey and 5 sails but it was the following day that was very special fishing with my son, Chris and his girlfriend Leanne Elsom. We had action all day with Leanne catching her first marlin, a nice stripey on 50 and Chris tagging two sails. But, then all hell broke loose when a large blue marlin took the centre 50-lb outfit and charged the boat threatening to join us in the cockpit. For a brief moment Chris & I were standing side by side watching this huge fish come straight for us growing bigger by the second. Hamisi did a great job to spin Kamara II in time to avoid a catastrophe because that size fish landing in the cockpit was not going to be fun. After over 3hr we finally took the leader and got a tag in to it, which I estimated at a minimum of 600-lb, also completing a Grand Slam.
The fishing in those first ten days of January was fantastic with Broadbill fished by Evgeniy Khlynin, Sergey Drykov, Igor Shevlyakov and Vadim Sizenev from Moscow tagged a small black marlin caught by Igor, a striped marlin by Sergey and 2 sailfish for a Grand Slam on 5th January. Another catch of note was a nice 300-lb blue marlin caught by Anders JÃ¶nsson from Sweden on 50-lb line along with 5 sailfish on 9th January from Kamara II. The fishing was a little bit quiet in the middle of the month but it again became very good towards the end of the month. Regular visitor, Ken Dodgson from the UK fishing with John Levick had an amazing day on 30th January tagging no less than 5 striped marlin and 3 sailfish from Kamara II. We also missed four other marlin that day, one of which we had on for some time.
The summary for January reads as 35 days fished for 2 black marlin, 3 blue marlin, 18 striped marlin and 66 sailfish.
Good fishing continued into February with Ken & John having another good day on 1st February with 7 sails from Kamara II. Colin Church, Peter Brainch and Mickey Baxendale had a great day fishing on Kamara II on 3rd February with a 200-lb black marlin, 2 striped marlin and 4 sailfish for a great Grand Slam. Colin actually caught an anglerâ€™s Grand Slam with the black, a stripey and a couple of sail plus a big dorado. On 8th February Ian and James Thorpe fishing with Robin Holland-Smith on Kamara II tagged 3 striped marlin. On 18th February Michael Meyer-Rieckh tagged a beautiful 320-lb blue marlin from Broadbill and on 23rd February Marika Gattiker and Tiziano Panzeri from Switzerland also fishing on Broadbill tagged 3 striped marlin and a sailfish.
Summary for February was 37 days fished for 2 black marlin, 1 blue marlin, 21 striped marlin and 59 sailfish.
The early part of March was a bit slow but the fishing picked up again mid-month with Pete Smith and Alex Rostocil tagging 3 striped marlin on 16th March from Kamara II. There were a few blue marlin taken that week all between 150-220 lb. Summary for March was 20 days fished for 3 blue marlin, 5 striped marlin and 9 sailfish.
Which was the best week? The first 10 days in January was pretty good with 1 black marlin (130), 3 blue marlin (600, 300 & 150), 9 striped marlin, 48 sail and 2 Grand Slams. Ken Dodgson & john Levick had an awesome 6 days end January beginning February with 7 striped marlin and 15 sailfish; and Marika Gattiker and Tiziano Panzeri had a great 6 days 3rd week February with 6 striped marlin and 20 sails.
What is clear is that had we fished a similar number of days to the boats further north we would easily have been challenging for the top marlin spot. Shimoni continues to produce some amazing fishing and I think that add to that you are able to hook your own fish and use tackle balanced to the quarry makes this such a great destination.
We hope that we shall get to see many of you during the 2012/13 fishing season and that it is going to be a great year. Certainly Shimoni is due a really good year and may be those big tunas will show up again.
From us all at Sea Adventures Ltd
Fishing PRICES HAVE REMAINED THE SAME FROM LAST SEASON
Until 30th November 2012:
Full day fishing (ave. 9 hr)……………………………………. USD 700
Short day fishing (ave. 6 hr)……………………………………USD 500
From 1st December 2011:
Full day fishing (ave. 9 hr)………………………………………USD 800
Short day fishing (ave. 6 hr)…………………………………… USD 640
Accommodation (all rates on half-board)
Tented bungalows…………………………………………………USD 90 (Single) Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â USD 149 (Double)
Regular rooms……………………………………………………..USD 110Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â USD 165
Junior suite………………………………………………………… USD 130Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â USD 190
Shimoni Reef Lodge
1st July 2012 to 31st October 2012:………………………… USD 110 (Single)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â USD 160 (Double)
1st November 2012 to 20th December 2012:……………. USD 102Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â USD 144
21st December 2012 to 2nd January 2013:……………….. USD 140Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â USD 220
3rd January 2012 to 28th February 2013:………………….USD 110Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â USD 160