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Ever wondered what spending 10 hours in the middle of the ocean with nothing but the roll of the waves, a fishing rod, and a cold beer feels like? Guests at Manda Bay, some of whom have never been fishing in their lives, are excited to jump into ‘Cheza’, Manda’s fishing boat, and battled the waters for a ‘big catch’.
The journey out to the fishing grounds takes approximately one hour before you put the lines out. After that, guests have eight fishing lines out in the water, all hoping for a bite!
These ‘bites’ vary according to the fish you are targeting. During certain months in the year the boat Captain will determine make a decision where to head in order to catch the best fish, as well as making the journey as comfortable as possible – the waves leaving the ‘Mlango’ entrance of the reef can be quite big.
Depending on what time of year you visit (see below for which times means which fish) you are in with a chance of reeling in Barracuda, Giant Trevally, Tuna, Sailfish, Kingfish and Marlin, including Black, Striped and Blue. Boat Captains in the seas around Lamu follow a strict catch and release protocol to protect the number of certain fish that live in the ocean, but you are still in with the chance to have a high-energy, and often exhausting, experience just trying to pull in one of these ocean beasts – each fish can take over several hours and sometimes more than one person to pull them in! A great example of this was, in 2001, when one lucky Manda Bay guests and fishing enthusiast spent over seven hours battling with the leviathan-sized Blue Marlin up near Kiwayu – although the fish was never boated, it was tagged and then released again and was an estimated weight over 1,000lbs!
Manda Bay, too, follows the protocol relating to the ‘catch and release’ programme that is ongoing in the area with certain fish types. In recent years, fish stocks across the world are declining due to massive overfishing, both by local Kenyans whose nets can be seen in the shallow waterways, even in protected areas, and by international shipping vessels pillaging the waters for fish to feed the world’s populations. Manda Bay is a member of the African Billfish Foundation which promotes ‘catch, tag and release’. Since inception in 1991, has tagged over 62,000 fish tagged to date. All the data from the tags are pooled into an international database of information to better understand the behaviour of these pelagic species of fish and learn more regarding their migratory routes. It was an exciting day at Manda Bay when one of their tagged fish was re-caught off the coast of Australia!
Guests this month (March 2018) have had the excitement of catching several Blue Fin Trevally – a fish synonymous with Manda Bay, so much so it can even be found on the logo! These fish can be some of the toughest fighters and can be a real exciting challenge for those looking to take them on.
To book a fishing experience at Manda Bay, get in touch with The Safari & Conservation Company on firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Fishing Seasons at Manda Bay
Sailfish – September – April
Striped Marlin – January – March
Blue Marlin – February – Mid March
Black Marlin – July – August or February – March
Broadbill Swordfish – August – May
Barracuda – August – May
Trevally – August – May
Kingfish – August – May
Wahoo – August – May
Dorado – August – May
Yellowfin Tuna – August to May