Welcome to my blog and I hope that you will enjoy reading my articles, which are on a variety of maritime related topics. I intend writing on a number of fishing and fisheries related topics separated into the following categories:
Not only have I been fishing these waters for more than 30 years as a full time professional but I grew up at a fishing club where sport fishing, especially marlin fishing was the standard topic of conversation at the bar. As soon as I was old enough to hold a fishing rod I was introduced to the sport, and like many other youngsters who grow up in similar circumstances I had an insatiable thirst for any fishing story. One Easter, when I was around 7 years old, my parents gave me my first fishing rod, a 30-lb outfit with Penn senator reel. There after a large proportion of my pocket money went on fishing tackle and I caught my first sailfish at 10 years old, on that rod and my first marlin when I was just 14 years old.
As soon as I was considered old enough to go out on the boats I was allowed out with selected clients, usually on White Otter with the fantastic team of Kadi and Ngonga. In truth Kadi was the skipper and I had to do as I was told including scrubbing the decks. I learnt so much from both of them and together we caught some great fish. Later I would also fish on Broadbill and Pingusi, a 30-ft catamaran each very different but great boats. Incidentally Usama is still the captain on Broadbill having started with Ted Holmes in around 1969 on his catamaran "Isurus".
My fishing stories have been recorded in my notebooks from right back to when I started, and from time to time I shall share some of these with you.
These will provide a record of the most recent fishing activity in Shimoni or elsewhere if we happen to be fishing away from Shimoni.
Scientific analysis of the Shimoni sport fishery
It was probably fairly inevitable that I should study some sort of maritime related subject when I went to university, in my case marine zoology at the University of North Wales, Bangor where I attained a BSc (Hons.) degree. A few years later I began studying for a PhD under the expert tutelage of Professor Tony Pitcher. The subject of my thesis was "The ecology and exploitation of yellowfin tuna Thunnus albacares in the Pemba Channel, Kenya". which I successfully completed in 1994.
With my scientific background I have always found myself analysing such things as hook up rates, the benefits of single or double hook, etc when I am fishing. Since I started fishing, and especially following my return from university, I have maintained a daily diary recording everything that happens out at sea. Every marlin sighting, strike, lost, boated or tagged has been recorded including as many variables as possible, including: was it first seen tailing or free jumping; what did it rise to and what colour was the lure; which position was the lure in; did it take and if it switched to another bait or lure the same variables were recorded. Once GPS arrived on the scene the exact position of the original sighting was recorded. I also recorded wind direction, wind strength, sea colour and sea state. To this data we can add tidal data and moon phase so plenty of interesting variables to work with.
All of this is very slowly being put into a database but should provide some intriguing results, which I plan to share with you here.
Since I was awarded my PhD I have, from time to time been quite involved with marine fisheries in Kenya. This included a six year stint on the board of the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute in Mombasa. I have been fortunate to have been invited to attend a number of workshops and to participate in a number of task forces including for the Ungwana Bay prawn fishery and sport fishery task forces. I have also made detailed contributions to the formulation of new laws covering fisheries and maritime. To this day I have a very good relationship with my friend Professor Micheni Ntiba, the current Principal Secretary responsible for Fisheries matters in Kenya.
Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below the articles and I shall try to respond as soon as I can.
Thank you and tight lines
With a lifetime spent working on and with the ocean I have developed a deep love and empathy for all things fishy. After more than 30 years as a professional charter captain and a doctorate in fisheries biology i shall be writing and various subjects associated with marlin fishing and fisheries in general.
P.O. Box 348,
Ukunda - 80400
Tel" +254 - 722 - 796198