Biggame fishing Goes Africa 2006

Biggame fishing Goes Africa 2006

By Leon Pennings and Marcia Kuipers

In January 2006 a team of went to Kenya. After a comfortable flight with K.L.M. and an inland flight with Kenya airlines Marcia Kuipers and the writer of this article arrived at Malindi. Total travel time from Amsterdam to hotel about 12 ours.

We would stay in the sailfish club, have a two days safari in tsavo east national park and off course 3 days of fishing with the “ sailfish”.

First the safari. When you go to this part of the world a safari is a must! In two days we saw lots of wild life and we even saw five lions attacking a buffalo. In the end the buffalo killed one lion and walked away if nothing had happened! Tsavo east is well known for its elephant population. We saw lots of them also as giraffes and leopards. We slept in the voi wild life lodge were in the evening you can have dinner and see elephants drinking a few meters in front of you!


And now off course the fishing. The fishing in Malindi is famous for its sailfish. So this would be our main target. The best period would be from November till March, with January, February and march best for the billfish. One week before we arrived they had lots of strikes from the sails as well as marlin. The fishing starts at 6.30 so you must get up early. Through some searching on the internet I find out it would be wise to bring some trolling lures yourself. The tackle itself was of high quality

Day one:

Getting up early for me is always a problem. But when you know you have a nice day of fishing makes it always a little bit easier. We met the crew, the captain. and two deckies.Boat looks very nice and comfortable. The sailfish is not the fastest boat you can get in malindi but has for sure the most room and space on board. After 15 minutes the lines goes out so no long rides before the fishing starts. We fished with 8 rods all with strip baits fastened at a trolling lure. The deckies had taken a look at my lures and chosen two of them to fish with. They were used at the short flat outrigger lines. The lures were considerable bigger then the ones they use for sailfish. After 30 minutes strike. Sail took the long outrigger on the right. We didn’t manage to set the hook properly so this fish was lost. Half an our later I saw lots of birds chasing little baitfish.( sardines). When we arrived at this feeding orgie we saw yellow fin jumping on the sardines! 5 minutes later Marcia was sitting in the fighting chair, fighting a 16 pounds yellow fin tuna! This was her first experience with salt water game fishing and she managed to get the tuna on board.


This day a lot of bait fish on the surface. Sardines and bonito’s. Only the bigger fish wouldn’t cooperate. One our before returning to the harbour a sail took the bait at the long outrigger on the left. Short run and than lost it again. Maybe better luck tomorrow?!

Day two:

We choose to fish the same area as yesterday because of the bait activity. Only one boat out of five caught two sails. Another boat lost a black marlin after 30 minutes fight, because the line was cut of by a long liner! The captain of the boat warned the long liner to move aside, but they just didn’t care. Obvious everybody on board went nuts! We went out early and after 30 minutes strike at the left short flat. I saw the sail attacking my own lure and he made a great run. I fought this sail for 10 minutes when it came near the boat. When the deckie would crab the leader the hook fell out and away went my beautiful sail! We did same more trolling for an our or so when we heard a funny sound. A lot of smoke came out of the engine and the captain didn’t look that happy. Engine problems!!!! No more fishing this day. We were pooled back by another boat to the harbour.

Day three:

Cause of the engine problems were to bad to fix in a day we went with another boat called the “ eclare”. Captain and deckies were very young but this boat had a good reputation. They used four of my own lures and after 15 minutes strike from a sail at the longest line at the shooter outrigger. This sail was properly hooked and I fought it stand-up for about 15 minutes. Tagged it, quickly made some pictures before releasing this beautiful 70pound sail. Nothing more happened until the “ tina” called us by radio the were in the middle of sails and yellow fin tuna.about 8 miles away. The captain told us to sit tight,pulled in the lines and of we go. This boat had a lot more power than the “sailfish” so after 25 minutes we arrived at the spot. The “Tina” was already into a fight with a sail. We saw some sails jumping as well as yellow fins. The lines went in and after a few minutes strike at the long right out rigger. It was Marcia’s turn so she went into the fighting chair screaming she didn’t want to. With good instructions of the crew a nice sail of 65 pounds came along the boat. This one was also tagged,fotograved and released. The crew told us they were proud a woman caught this fish and wanted to get there picture made with this happy couple! We both were very happy with our two sails so we didn’t care, nothing more happened that day.


Day four:

Cause of the engine problems we got an extra day fishing on another boat the “Tina”. Not as fast as the “Eclare” but also had a great reputation. ( captain who is for 45 years at sea to do the biggame-fishing) Because of the fact we both caught a sail yesterday we choose to fish another area. We told the captain we would like to go to the “Rips”. This place is famous for black and striped marlin. The captain told us it was an our ride with his boat. This was not a problem he said but he didn’t brought marlin lures. I showed him mine and he pulled a happy face. What are we waiting for he asked? The crew pulled in the heavy tackle and rerigged my lures because they weren’t strong enough. It mustn’t be 80 pounds they told us but 150 pounds. Who am I to argue? So after an our or so we were trolling for marlin. Funny enough we didn’t see al of of bait fish as the past few days. Trough the radio we heared the ‘Netune” just had lost a striped marlin. We had high hopes. After 30 minutes strike at the short flat right. A nice cow dorado was brought aboard. 10 minutes later strike at the same lure. A nice dorado got rid of the hook after a few jumps. 15 minutes later strike at the same lure again. A smaller cow dorado was brought on board. 20 minutes later strike again at the same lure. Also this dorado managed to get rid of the hook.


Nothing more happened that day but we heared the “Eclare” caught a striped marlin of 150 pounds and lost a strike. Two other boats also missed two strikes.

So this was the end of a nice fishing adventure in Kenya. It really is worth while going there. Friendly people nice flora and fauna and good fishing. One minor point is you have to take medicin for malaria. But on the other hand when you travel from Europe you don’t have troubles with a jet-leg.

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Leon Pennings and Marcia Kuipers