For those of us living in Kenya 2017 was a difficult year with the politicians dominating the news for all the wrong reasons. Elections were held in August, which we all had hoped would be the end of it but for a landmark ruling by the Supreme court that annulled the results and called for a rerun. Fresh elections were held in October but these were boycotted by the opposition with a poisonous war of words passing between the two camps. But, it says something for our young democracy that it was largely only words and it is still a wonderful country to live in.
Naturally tourists have been reluctant to visit Kenya with the fear that the war of words may lead to something much worse, but this is Kenya and no, that will not happen. The Kenyan people are tired of the shenanigans and want to get their lives back on track, building their businesses. There is a very bright future for this country and I truly believe that 2018 will provide the springboard that we all so desperately crave.
Since mid-2017 I was busy with training, which took me to some beautiful spots around Eastern Africa including the Virunga National Park in the DRC, Lake Kivu in Rwanda and Entebbe in Uganda. But, there has also been time for some fishing too.
The "Kaskazi" or NE-wind so important for the marlin began to blow in late November and has not stopped. The marlin have been there and anyone prepared to venture out into the Pemba Channel has been rewarded. In early December I took my niece, Kate from Australia out on Kamara II. We had a few strikes that were very likely marlin but didn't stay hooked. However, finally on the way home her patience was rewarded with a nice striped marlin on 50lb line.
On a separate trip soon after Christmas I took Chris, my son and his wife Leanne out on Kamara II. We rose 3 striped marlin and Chris managed to tag them all. A couple days later young Liam Keshavjee aged 12 fishing with his father, Tarek caught a striped marlin on 50lb line. It was a really plucky effort because the fish was foul hooked under the throat but the young man never faltered or complained as to how tough it was.
The Svendsen family visiting Shimoni all the way from Tennessee took a half day's fishing on Broadbill skippered by Usama. They each tagged a sailfish, no marlin but still good fishing for a half day, plus they took a nice dorado back to the hotel for their dinner. On New Year's day Robin Stuart, the son of Andy Stuart who built my first boat Kamara came fishing with his girlfriend Anthea Mada. It was another good day with Robin catching a striped marlin and a sailfish and Anthea 2 sailfish.
The conditions are looking good so we hope for some more good fishing, but then you cannot catch unless you put your lines in the water. Both boats are available for charter and where possible I will be skippering the boat. However, in the case where I am not able to be here my wonderful team led by Usama, who has more than 45 years experience fishing the Pemba Channel and well supported by the two Suleimanis.
Tight lines and a very happy 2018 wherever you are.
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