The Hemphill Family have been in the big game fishing business in Shimoni for over 50 years establishing a reputation as being amongst the most professional and successful on the East African coast. The Pemba Channel as a fishing ground was developed and made famous for marlins, large sharks and tunas through the efforts of the Hemphill's.
Pat & Maia Hemphill came to Shimoni in late December 1962 having sold their farm up country. They established the Pemba Channel Fishing Club and began fishing the virgin waters of the Pemba Channel with their first boat, White Otter. Pat Hemphill went on to become a true legend of the sport in Africa, but in Kenya especially. He was a stickler for high standards, fishing had to be done to the rules and consequently his boats went on to set many All Africa and Kenya fishing records. Pat also maintained his boats, engines and tackle to the very highest standards and many a person has joked over the years that one could eat one's dinner off of the engine room floor. The Pemba Channel Fishing Club was sold to Peter and Sandra Ruysenaars in 1990 but Pat and Maia continued to reside in Shimoni on the neighbouring property where the had lived since 1965.
Pat sadly passed away on 31st August 2018 and Maia followed him on 16th June 2020. But, Simon who is the youngest of their three children continues to live in Shimoni.
Consequently, Simon has grown up with the ocean as his playground and with fishing his main interest since he was old enough to hold a fishing rod. Simon graduated from the University of North Wales, Bangor with a BSc (Hons.) degree in marine zoology in 1981 following which he returned to Shimoni to help Pat and Maia manage the family business. Later, Simon received a doctorate in yellowfin tuna ecology and fisheries and has always used his scientific background to tune his fishing techniques.
You can check out the boats that we currently have available for charter BOATS
Over the years we have had the pleasure of fishing with a number of famous people including the renowned author Wilbur Smith who caught his first striped marlin and first marlin on 30lb line here having been accustomed to fishing for the giant black marlin off the Barrier Reef, Australia on heavy tackle. Roger Whittaker wrote the song "Come with me on an ocean of blue" whilst fishing on Broadbill with Pat and the song 'Shimoni' was conceived in the Shimoni slave caves. Dieter Quester, who in the early 1098's was the European Touring Car champion and Peter Alexander, a well-known Austrian country singer are amongst the other famous people who have visited Shimoni.
Simon was the #1 marlin skipper in Kenya from 1999 - 2004 and one of the few local skippers to have recorded more than 100 marlin in a single season. He is usually contesting for top rankings for marlin.
You can be asasured of fishing with good experienced crews who love catching fish and who want you to catch too! We want to make it as enjoyable and memorable as possible for you.
In addition to running a sport fishing charter business Simon is also an experienced maritime trainer. He is presently an advanced powerboat instructor with the Royal Yachting Association as well as an instructor in sea survival, radar, short range certificate (VHF) and Diesel engine maintenance. Simon has also been approved by the Kenya Maritime Authority to provide training for the Kenya Coxswain Levels 2 and 3 certificates.
Simon himself holds a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Offshore certificate and the crews all have RYA Powerboat Level 2 certificates.
Simon's experience covers a wide variety of craft and most waterways throughout Eastern Africa including Lake Abaya in Ethiopia, Lake Kivu in Rwanda, Lake Edward in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, Lake Victoria in both Kenya and Uganda, the River Nile at Murchison Falls Uganda and of course the Indian Ocean.
Science of sport fishing
With a scientific background Simon has maintained meticulous diaries of events recording many parameters that include sea conditions, wind strength, sightings of billfish, the colour, type and shape of bait/lure that the marlin rose to, the position within the spread and what was the final outcome. Once the GPS became available exact positions of each fish sighted could also be recorded. All of this data has been put into 5 databases ready for analysis. This data complements the already very detailed database started by Pat Hemphill in 1963 detailing every fish caught, whatever the size. This Shimoni sport fishery is probably one of the most detailed databases of any sport fishery, if not the most in the world.
Simon also writes regular newsletters and short stories and anecdotes, all true in his blog on this site. Blog
Fishing Shimoni, P.O. Box 348, Ukunda - 80400 Kenya.