The Bazaruto Archipelago has been considered one of East Africa’s best, and certainly Mozambique’s, premier fishing destinations since the late 50’s, when pioneer anglers fishing from the basic fleet at Santa Carolina island discovered a very healthy population of giant black marlin in a sea which teemed with other, then so called “lesser gamefish.”
Until the early seventies, when the country erupted into a 20-year civil war, many fish of biblical proportions were caught and the area gained a worldwide reputation for its grander marlin. The end of the civil war obviously brought a great interest for anglers to once again explore the archipelago’s water, and those lucky enough to have fished the area in the recent past have found that the Mozambican war years have left the resource virtually untouched, with fish close to the grander mark being commonly caught or released every year. The archipelago is still the only place in Africa to have produced black marlin in excess of a 1000 pounds and the current all-tackle African record for the species, was actually caught off the northern tip of Bazaruto Island in November 1998 - an incredible fish of 1298 pounds.
More than anything else, however, those anglers have found that the archipelago’s fisheries are much more than the Giant black marlin which migrate through its waters in the summer months. They have discovered an amazing winter run of sailfish, a great variety of offshore species such as big wahoo, dorado, king mackerel, giant trevally and tuna, to name a few, as well as a great diversity of inshore species on the leeward of the islands, making it an ideal destination for light tackle and fly fisherman.
With this potential at its doorstep, Indigo Bay has set up a top quality big game sport fishing operation for you to take full advantage of.
SPECIES AND SEASONS
The Bazaruto Archipelago offers some of the world’s most popular gamefish including black, blue and striped marlin, indo-pacific sailfish, wahoo, dorado, yellowfin tuna, king mackerel, giant trevally, barracuda, prodigal son, groupers, snappers and a vast array of other gamefish.
Bazaruto became, and is still, famous for its giant black marlin as numerous fish passing the 1000 pound mark were caught in the past, and presently fish close to that mark are either caught or released every season. Most of these fish are targeted with live or skip baits in relatively shallow waters close to the reefs (60 to 350 feet). Although black marlin represent the majority of the catches, blue and striped marlin are also present in these waters and the few boats which have recently explored deeper waters with fast trolled lures have had very encouraging results.
Marlin season runs from mid September to mid April, with October to December being peak season.
The area might be famous for its black marlin, but Bazaruto’s winter run of sailfish probably attracts most anglers to these waters. These acrobatic fish which can attain 130 lbs and average around 70 lbs have been caught year round, although they are much more prolific between mid-May to mid-October.
Known to achieve speeds of over 70 km/h, these bullet-shaped fish are present year round with a peak in the early summer months of September to November. In these waters, wahoo average around 40 pounds but bigger fish are frequently caught, with the resort’s record standing at 68 lbs; a fish caught on a fast trolled marlin lure in October 2001.
Colourful as a rainbow, this hard fighting fish takes into the air when hooked, providing a breathtaking spectacle. Bulls over 40 pounds are normally caught from September to April, mostly using fast trolling lures. Caught in January 2002, the resort record stands at 61 pounds.
GIANT KINGFISH (GT’s)
Locally known as “Ignobilis”, the sheer power of this fish is virtually unparalleled and this unstoppable fish is known for bending hooks, breaking leaders and snapping lines. Present year round, being an extremely aggressive predator and frequently attaining sizes in excess of 70 pounds (island record is around 90 lbs) makes them one of the most sought after quarry of any serious fishermen.
Definitely the most abundant species in these waters, the king mackerel abounds year round and takes most varieties of bait. Averaging 15 pounds, very large crocodiles up to 70 pounds (resort record stands at 77 pounds) are regularly caught using scad live baits on downriggers.
There are various different species of sharks around these waters, with the most frequent release being the Zambezi’s (bull), dusky, blacktip, hammerhead and tigers. Various sharks around the 400 to 600 pound mark have been caught by the Indigo Bay fleet.
OTHER GAMEFISH SPECIES:
- Tuna (yellowfin, bonito & skipjack)
- Trevally / Kingfish ( 12 different species )
- Great barracuda & sea pike
- Queen mackerel
- Groupers & snappers
- Queenfish, Pompano, Prodigal son, Job fish
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