Guinea Bissau – Catch reports / Testimonials

Tim Poat

Hi
A few thoughts on our trip to Orango island Guinea Bissau between feb and March 2015

We booked a fishing trip through world sport fishing to the intriguing sounding Orango island “We” being a group of 4 old boys. Retired and hungry for adventure, fish and something different.
Over the past 2 years we had been to The Gambia and Kenya searching for exciting fishing and this was the latest venture The trip to the Island was very long and should have been arduous but for the anticipation of something right out of our comfort zones. Also the intermediate hotel in Bissau was so different from anywhere I had stayed before that I forgot my tiredness and went exploring the area around for a couple of hours. Then a fabulous 3 hour boat trip to Orango passing superb exciting looking islands and sandbanks to the Orango parque hotel!
Before we get onto the fishing I must say what an idyllic place to stay ! Absolutely in the middle of nowhere! Only cold water for showers who cares? Nothing to do but eat the superbly cooked local food ( mainly fish we had caught), drink copious cold beers on the terrace and talk of the adventures had that day and expected the next day! As a birder and photographer I was in heaven! Birds aplenty and great local beaches and tracks to explore!
But the main event was the fishing!
I have fished all over the world and was expecting good or even very good fishing after talking to Richard the boss. BUT wow. I spent the first day giggling like a kid as fish after fish was hooked, fought, and either beaten or lost!
The bait fish were unusually big which meant that often the predatory fish bit them in half and left! But we caught literally hundreds of good fish between us
4 species of snapper up to about 30 lb
Jack crevalle up to about the same
Long finned trevally similar size
Cassava by the ton
Cobia to well over a hundred pounds
Black finned reef sharks
Nurse sharks
Hammerhead sharks
Guitar fish
Sting rays
Etc etc etc
41 species boated between the 4 of us in a week!
It was fast and furious on all but 1 day. We didn’t mind we needed a rest!
The trip to the “stacks” was great and a tick off the bucket list If the fishing was exceptional the skippers would stay out almost till dark!
They were brilliant, offering help and advice all day The last day will never be beaten in my lifetime( although I will be back to try very soon!) That day I had a cobia of 100 lbs followed by a nurse shark of about 260 lbs.
Then on my next drop a tarpon! Estimated at 220 lbs I played it for an hour and 40 minutes, had it by the boat fully played out when, as the boatman went for the leader it slipped under the boat and severed the line on the hull! Gutted! But I had morally caught it so I was ecstatic and disappointed all at once! As well as being completely knackered!
Then to finish me off I ended up on the other end of a monster tarpon! Max the skipper has fished for these beauties for thirty years and stated it was half as big again as any he had seen! He guesstimated it at 225 kilos! About 500 lbs! The record is only 286 lbs!!
After about an hour it wore through the hook line and escaped!
Due to circumstances it wouldn’t have counted as a world record fish if I had landed it but I was happy to have played it ! My last fish of this trip! but the start of an obsession, I suspect!
I cannot compliment the whole experience enough. A wonderful Island with the nicest local people ( a visit to the village is a must) but the fishing!!
Unbeatable
Till I try again next year
Thanks world sport fishing for the best experience of my fishing life!

Tim Poat

Roy Lane

I would like to thank Richard, Kelly and all the staff at World Sports Fishing for what was an amazing all round experience. Upon making my original enquiry with Kelly about Gambia I was asked if I had thought about Guinea Bissau and after a few checks and a weekend mulling it over, Guinea Bissau it would be. (Thank you again Kelly) what a fantastic holiday. I won’t go in depth into weights and species but I boated well over 50 fish including snapper and cassava upto 9 kg, two types of jacks to 14kg, barracuda to 15kg plus various other species including sharks and rays. I arrived at the lodge on Orange island after a rather long journey a total novice at this type of angling ( I have done some boat and shore fishing in the UK) and after listening to some of the guys and their previous excursions to foreign waters started to wonder if I was out of my depth and what I had let myself in for. I need not have worried, my fellow anglers the skippers and crew were great and within no time I was in full swing with rod bent double, huffing and puffing.. Pump and wind, pump and wind! I lost count the times I heard this. I must thank Max and Pepe for all the encouragement a advice given during various battles with these hard fighting fish.
Away from the angling the accommodation is basic but more than adequate and the food whilst mainly fish, it is some of the best fish I have tasted. We did have spag bol and a beef stew (no complaints there either). The surroundings are breath taking and the locals friendly and a visit to the village is a must.
The only major issue I have is that I will now have to start saving hard for the next trip. Seriously though I will be back, if not next year then certainly the year after.
Thanks again to all the staff at WSF for a truly phenomenal experience that I would recommend to any fisherman that has a bit of adventure about them.

Cheers Roy

 

James Roberts

Hi there!!

Would just like to say a very big thank you from the both of us. By far the best place and experience we’ve ever had. It ended up more than fishing. We seen the culture and met great people and the food was amazing too.
Pepe, maxi an zay were great. We couldn’t of asked for better people on the boat. They took us to the best places and every place we fished we caught many fish. So we owe them a big thanks. We had a great laugh together an made friends we’ll never forget.
I would recommend this place to any fishermen that want to seek that extra level of fishing. The only one bad thing about the holiday was having to come home. We could of stayed there for the rest of our days!!
We enjoyed the visit to the village an it was an honour to meet the village leader. Was a big eye opener to see they way they lived.
The orango Island in Guinea Bissau is a truly amazing place and if I won the lottery I’d be sure to buy a house there or on one of the neighbouring island!!

So we’ll say a big thank you to Pepe, maxi, zay and everyone at world sport fishing for a truly amazing and unforgettable trip!! This will be hard to match

James & CJ

 

 

Sam Holloway

Hi all.

A report for Guinea Bissau

The trip was organised by the team at World Sport Fishing.

Started the journey in Vegesack, Germany. Quick last minute gear check then off to the airport, flight connections through Bremen / Frankfurt / Lisbon / Guinea Bissau. No charge apparently for the rod tube as the TAP ticket allowance is 2 checked bags totalling 23kg. I came in just under 22kg all up

Waking up in the morning we were greeted by Pepe the guide and the other 2 blokes on the trip, Sam & Eddie.

Arriving at Orango Island around lunchtime we were met by the fishing and hotel crew. Checked into our rooms and tackled up for a surprise sandbar fish that afternoon. I think they could tell we were gagging to wet a line and was much appreciated! The afternoon produced 5 or 6 decent Barracuda and a nice 80lb Guitar Shark. I think a snapper or 2 as well…I landed a jack off the north side on a small popper.

For our 2nd day at Guinea Bissau we went to the Chimneys. I was so excited I could have paddled the boat there. On the way we dropped the Sabikies and filled the live bait tank. Just as we arrived a bunch of Jacks were storming thru. I have seen GT’s hacking thru bait schools, but nothing like the ferocity of this. It was like a bunch of football hooligans on a big night out. Shaking with excitement I waited till they were in range, casting just shy of the pack and BANG I was onto a nice longfin.

The 3rd day, off we went to fish a tidal reef mark off Acunda Island way. The ‘Pompano Hole’ was heralded as a mixed bag spot with some thumping Pompano about. They were not wrong. Live baits were gathered en route. Little frustrating as all we could find was Pla-Pla (Yarboi’s are the go so they say, as the fish can gob it much easier than a saucer-like Pla-Pla). Live bait tank full, we anchored up and from the first drop we were in. What followed was 3 or 4hrs of insane, huge, angry fish coming in hand over fist. We must have caught 50 or so fish… Mostly Cassava, a nice Grouper, heaps of Snapper, Leerfish, Jacks, a couple rays and a huge Pompano.

We headed north for our 4th day, up around the back of Uno Island I think. Once across the channel we popped a small mangrove-y island. We could see Jacks feeding at the edge of the mangroves, so popping resumed. After about 1hr of relentless casting I got a small longfin. It was agreed to move on and find some fish. We reached a big open area and birds and small Spanish mackerel were working some bait. Chucked a dexter about and landed a few tiny Spanish. That was it for fish sorry to say. We trolled; bottom fished and trolled some more. Not a touch. When we got back to Orango the other boat had much the same day too. They went to the Chimneys and had even less fish than we did there. However, they got a huge Leerfish on the end-of-day troll. Reckon it was about 50lb. Absolute thumper it was.

Today the 5th day was supposed to be a full day on the Sandbar, but the guys felt terrible about the previous days lack of fish (no fault of theirs we told them) and offered us a stop at a channel mark for some bottom fishing.Not a lot of action again, so we grabbed the light gear and had a bit of fun. Soon enough the Barracuda and Snapper started to hang about and we got at least 1 fish each that morning. I landed this Barracuda and Snapper on my 4000. Really great fun, never heard my little reel squeal like that before! We quickly went back to base for lunch, then headed out to the Sandbar stopping for a beach walk/pop along the way. No fish but a stunningly beautiful beach of Orango Island. We fished into the early evening, without much luck. A small Barracuda and a lovely Black Tip caught by Derrick.

On the first drift of day 6, I got a nice little Creavalle. On the second drift, 1st drop, I thought I got my brand new 250g jig snagged. Swore a bit more then realised I had not hooked the bottom, but had hooked something huge. Max and the guys laughed as my Stella SCREAMED and I hung on for dear life. 2 massive runs and a short time later I landed my first massive Ladyfish. Back to base camp and all of us jumped in the one boat. Arriving at the sandbar we fished well into the dark. The guys lit a fire and cooked the ladyfish. Not much action on the rods, 1 small Guitar fish and 2 or 3 barracuda was all for the evening

Our final day; All 3 rods set with large strips of mackerel, we started to get some interest. And before long we all had hooked a Nurse shark. Derrick first, but was bitten off halfway up. Then it was Howard who got his to the boat, but snap went the leader and off it went. My turn came along and it was a fair bit bigger this time. Got it up after about half an hour. They guys tried desperately to land it, nearly lassoing the tail but it was not to be. 3 attempts to boat the thing, and poor Ze’s hand cut buy the braid -it popped the leader and shuffled off. I will be back for that fish!

So, all in all a fantastic time.

The fishing was not the best during our stay, and the Chimneys disappointed all on the trip -But that’s just fishing, isn’t it? We did all have some thumping fish and the few hours at the Pompano Hole I will never forget. The archipelago is stunningly beautiful and very remote. The hotel is fantastic and extremely comfortable. The food was amazing. I was in food heaven (am a chef back home) eating some of the priciest table fish in the world. No small fancy trimmed fillets here, just whole huge fish baked, BBQ’d, fried or steamed. Just fantastic! The nightly Creavalle Carpaccio entrée (or technically ceviche) was my highlight. Hands down the best prepared and tasting fish I have ever eaten. The kitchen staff were nice enough to let me cook for the group one night. Barracuda en papillote w/ lime and chilli aioli. Cold beer. Good people. Bloody great.

Big thanks to Richard Sheard and Jo @ World Sport Fishing for everything. Seamless trip! Even bigger thanks to Pepe, Max and all the lads on the boats and on shore who made our trip so comfortable.

Rob Oakley Nov 2011

Very late, I know….hope all are well.

Having travelled to many far flung places around the world to target various species, I found myself stuck for my next challenge.  A chance call to Richard at WSF resulted in a conversation that started ‘Have you ever heard of Guinea Bissau?’, the resulting experience changed my view of what qualified as a ‘prime fishing location’ forever.

Tony (my brother) and I have since ventured to GB on two occasions, the rich diversity of species, the totally unspoiled wilderness and sheer exhilaration of being pulled around the ocean by the hardest fighting fish that I have ever experienced is something that will stay with me. Much of the fishing is from well kept XX foot boats with knowledgeable, experienced skippers, at marks that are rarely fished, delivering a huge variety of species some in shoals the size of football fields!

The species that we I boated/beached during the last trip included several types of Jack exceeding 20kgs, Snapper that fight and taste as good as they look, Barracuda the size of crocodiles, Cobia, Queenfish, Pompano, Grouper, Ladyfish, Leer fish and (on the first day) a 60kg nurse shark! Much of the fishing is done using poppers which is quite simply the most dramatic and thrilling fishing that I have ever done. Each day we fished, was discussed whilst dining under the stars, the common thread each night was ‘Tomorrow cant be better than today’, we were always wrong.

On the last day we took a 2hr ride to hunt Tarpon, being accompanied by the usual pod of dolphins on our bow made the journey seem much shorter. We waited a long time for a hook up, however after a hard 2:45hrs fight into the night, I was fortunate enough to have the enormous privilege of releasing a healthy, beautiful specimen estimated at 120kgs, which left us all exhilarated, exhausted and quite speechless.

Once the arms are aching from tackling leviathans, in GB you cannot help but sit back and gaze in open mouthed wonder as nature unfolds around you revealing both it’s beauty and its brutality; flamingos, eagles, vultures, dolphins, thrashing feeding frenzies and the varied dramatic landscape are breath taking.

Taking the decision to go to Guinea Bissua was a leap of faith, however after my second trip it has actually left me with a worse problem than I started with, nowhere else comes close!

Cheers Rob

Stan Ryan – Guinea Bissau 28th Feb- 8th Mar

After our last trip in October 2010 to Guinea Bissau, which was exceptionally productive, some of us decided that we just had to return again. So dates were planned, the trip was booked and we began saving for this expedition.
Travelling was much easier this time with flights from Dublin – Lisbon- Bissau. Door to door from Dublin – the hotel on Orango took about 21 hours without any sleep. So if anybody is doing this trip then I would suggest that the first day be put aside for resting rather than fishing.

Overall fishing was brilliant with about 30 species being caught and fish up to 180lb being landed.
To see pictures of the trip you may visit
http://www.boroughseaangling.com/sty…s-6/index.html

A short video can be seen at
http://www.boroughseaangling.com/styled/code/index.html

Slide show can be viewed at
http://www.boroughseaangling.com/sty…e-2/index.html

The group consisted on 9 people. 4 were Borough SAC members joined by a friend and 4 others from the UK.
27th Feb: We arrived and left our hotel in Bissau within 2 hours. Heading down the river in the dark we were guided by LED torches, every 200m, on both banks of the river…..ever feel that you were part of a James Bond movie or a smuggling ring?!!! We stepped onto Orango island at around 9.30 , a little the worse for wear.
At 11.30 Marty and I ventured down the beach with spinning rods in hand and fires lures at a reef about 50M out. The only fish was a small marbled grouper.

After lunch we went by boat to a sandbar, Pikanina, our in the middle of the sea for 2 hours. As the tide was dropping only one barracuda was landed.
As I said we should really have used this as a rest day.
28th Feb: Our boat set out for the Chimneys. Having had great success there last year I was really dying to see if it would yield a similar result……it was even better
On way to our destination we stopped for livebaits , Yabouys and Plat Plats which took very small feathers. We also managed to catch other species ; red bream, chienchat , merou (small grouper) and one haddock like fish.

On arrival at the Chimneys we went popping while drifting. After quite a few casts my popper was devoured by a very large fish that took off like a train. My new Stella reel screamed as line poured off it. This brute did not want to join us in the boat and so it was about 15 minutes later when a magnificent Leerfish of 40lb was dragged over the gunnels. No gym could match the workout these fish give.
http://www.worldseafishing.com/forum…5&d=1332186730
The livebaits were then slipped over the side of the boat mine had an immediate take. Taking the rod in my already strained arms I faced another battle with a very strong opponent. After quite a while a Cobia of 40lb appeared at the boat. My arms were shaking and my shoulder ached from the gut wrenching experience.

Then the other 2 rods on the boat went into action. Eamon had a real fight on his hands as a monster took off at a rate on knots. In fact the fish couldn’t be stopped and the anchor had to be lifted and the boat followed the fish so that line could be retrieved. He huffed and puffed and fought with all his might for a long time before landing a Cobia of 100lb. The IGFA all tackle world record is 135lbs 9oz! What a fish and what an achievement!!!!!
http://www.worldseafishing.com/forum…6&d=1332186947

Several Cobia later we anchored up.
During the year Eamon had come up with the idea of a species competition. Last year the winner had 18 species. However, Eamon’s plan was to use feathers , possibly baited, to see if we could better this number. This was a brilliant idea. While the fishing in Guinea Bissau is fantastic it is important to realise that all fish do not feed all of the time.
So when no big fish were cooperating while at anchor we dropped some baited feathers over the side of the boat. Action was immediate with a number of small grouper being landed.
http://www.worldseafishing.com/forum…8&d=1332186996

The dreaded Ramora also put in an appearance. These are the cleaner fish that stick to sharks and other big fish. They also seem to live on the bottom of boats. As soon as bait is dropped out of the boat Mr. Ramora darts out and tries to grab it. So they are very easy to catch and can become a nuisance.

Suddenly, the water boiled with massive eruptions, about 100m away, as baitfish were chased by Jacks. Try as we might with our poppers they would not cooperate. So we set up some deep divers for trolling. This resulted in several long fin Jacks being landed up to 40lb
http://www.worldseafishing.com/forum…7&d=1332186971
What an end to the first days boat fishing!!!!
A beautiful Pirogue joined us for a while when we at the Chimneys. These boats have a large crew who seem to use handlines. They can be at sea for up to 3 weeks and have a large quantity of ice packed in the hull to keep the catch fresh. What a hard way to make a livelihood!!!!

Have to agree with Stan as I was one of the same group. Have NEVER had such good fishing, will be back as soon as my back is fixed after the brill fishing.

Cheers Paul

Guinea Bissau

29th Feb
Fishing on reef; The day started with speed jigging but this only produced a Casava. Then we went off popping along the sandbank . Last time we were doing this Jacks could be clearly seen in the waves and jumped at the poppers. However, the water was definitely more coloured and we could not see the Jacks and presumably they could not see the poppers. So we caught nothing.
So we went ground fishing and again it was the feathers that kept us busy with a steady flow of fish. Sympots , also known as sweetlips (a kind of wrasse) , were caught in abundance.
Then it was off trolling in vain for a while. Finally we went back onto the reef jigging where we caught 5 cracking Jack Crevalle. What a way to end the day! I think that this could be said for every day and so I will just keep on saying it.Ass and his deckhand worked extremely hard all day. If it is obvious that one type of fishing is not working then Ass changes tack immediately and tries something else. He is probably the best skipper that I have ever fished with. 1st March was officially a rest day and boy were we glad to give our arms and shoulders a chance to recover from the hard work !!!So 2 of us went fishing in the late afternoon and evening. Eamon managed 2 small stingray , 1 on baited feathers and the other on an ordinary trace. These fish were quite different from the big Stingrays caught locally. They had a pointed nose, were uniformly light brown and had a whip-like tail more than twice as long as the body. Sharpnose Stingray is the tentative identification. This was followed up by a marbled grouper…….there was no stopping him building up the species count.

Life on Orango

Hi Twinkle, here is an outline of the hotel and life on the island Life on Orango
The Orango Hotel consists of a dining area plus bar, a breakfast area near the beach and two blocks containing ensuite bedrooms.
A typical day consists of getting up around 7.30 and heading down for breakfast. This consisted of freshly baked bread, fruit ( mango, banana, apple ), fruit juice , coffee and cake.At 8.30-9.00 we set sail for the days fishing. Lunch was either on the boat of a local beach. It varied from day to day but usually consisted on a bun or rice plus some fish or fish cakes. We also ate the latest fish that we caught.Usually we returned to the camp between 19.00-19.30. After a shower in cold water we had a couple of beers and ate diner. This consisted of fish by and large with rice or spuds plus some of the days catch. One day we had a piglet and on another a goat. The cooking was excellent. Dinner normally finished around 21.30 and most people were in bed by 22.30. I know that this sounds early but after a long days fishing everybody was knackered.It is a very peaceful holiday centred totally around fishing.

Pete Coleshaw February 2009

The Bijagos islands are a world heritage site, and nature reserve. Whilst we hit spring tides on arriving, with relatively poor fishing for 3 days, the next 3 days were fabulous. I was unlucky in that we fished for tarpon on two tides, and my fishing buddies each had a tarpon, one 65kg, the other 90kg. Mine ran towards the boat – so no hook up, but two fish from two tides is not bad!! – though Richard returned 10 days later and fish…The sandbank fishing is just amazing – imagine 5 Jacks of 20 – 40 lb all trying to grab your popper at once! Just be aware that you need to upgrade all your hardware, otherwise it will be quickly trashed – see my article on how to fish Acunda for more details.The camp is just pure Africa, warts and all – you are there for the fishing, and the camp is there for your basic essentials. It does what it says on the packet – no frills, but who cares ? – if you want a luxury palace, this ain’t the place for you!!
However, if you want a comfy bed bang on the sea-shore, with a 30 metre stroll to either the shore fishing, or your boat, then you’re in the money. The food is simple but very good, with an emphasis on fish (funny that!) and there’s plenty of cold beer. And there is no great problem with tropical beasties, though under a lamp is not the best place to sit if the ‘velcro’ beetles are on the wing.The boats are purpose built – fast, comfy, with plenty of space for 3 anglers to cast safely. The skippers are the best – very skilled boatmen, and accomplished fishermen. They do the marlin season off Dakar, then fish Acunda in the marlin low season. They only seem to know one speed (50 km hr), so there’s no time wasted getting from mark to mark, wind and weather permitting. Just brush up your schoolboy french before your trip.

Jason Heenan Oct 2011

Think of the best place you’ve ever been fishing, and then multiply that by 10 !!!!!Incredible place, massive variety of angry toothy fish, deserted islands and ice cold beer, what more could you want ??

Richard Sheard  Feb 2010

Hi all

just got back from 20 days in Guinea with 2 groups . 2 very different fishing trips . The first was a group of Uk clients and the second was the testing crew from Salmo lures determined to destroy their new sea range , I believe we duely obliged them.

From the outset we had some wind and big tides which meant coloured water , and for the life of me it was almost impossible to take any amount of fish on the surface. Maybe 6 jacks per boat per day on poppers but nothing like we would normally expect and the wrecks produced virtually nothing with either poppers or shallow runners.

However , the jigging and bottom fishing , that was something else .

The first day the Uno channel our regular jigging spot { or should I say spots because the area is about 6kms by 9kms } was in good form . Clients several took jacks to 20lb and 2 really nice snappers . Then Stephen Dearing hooked what I can only assume to be a massive grouper . It took a sardine jig and proceeded to tow the boat 1.6kms back to a rock and then it swam around the same rock unperturbed for 55 mins , until angler and tackle gave up the unequal struggle and the Shimano heavy boat jigging rod became a lot easier to get in my suitcase.

This is the 7th occasion that we have hooked one of these fish in 2 seasons , the fight is always the same , an incredibly powerful slow fish that really does not like the light and returns to one spot and swims around as if unperturbed . 7 times hooked , fought for a total of 11 hours , 4 broken rods and to date I haven’t even got one to the surface . No bite offs or teeth marks on the lure , so its not a shark { anyway I have fought enough sharks to know the difference } . On three occasions the hook has just pulled out after over an hour .

Maybe next time

The rest of the day produced , a whole bunch of 20lb Barracuda { maybe 15 + } and I believe one of 14kgs . Trolling also dragged up a decent snapper and 2 Jacks.

Day 2 .Off to the West wreck , 43 kms out , its a place for big fish , a huge vessel broken in three parts . We troll , popper fish and live bait it normally for Jacks , Snappers , cobia and anything else that comes along.

On arrival nothing on poppers , except one big strike that soaked me as it struck and missed close to the boat.

Then onto live baits , slow drifting live yabouys is absolutely killer method and as fast as you can get a bait close to the bottom , something rips it off . This is the land of many a big snapper and its roughly equivalent to fishing in a scarp yard , if you don’t drop down into the scrap their will be plenty of volunteers to drag you there.

Unless you have experienced the hit and crash dive of a big snapper , its difficult to describe. Normally the first inkling is a wham as someone kills your bait , this is were most people lose the fish , because their immediate response is to strike . The skippers and myself will always try to quell this urge with “lesse manger ” or let him eat it . this is followed by a series of almost impreseptable slow pulls as he inches your now dead bait towards his house , because they are so slow and tentative , you cannot believe that this can possibly the 20kg snapper that you have heard tell of so you ignore it . Then what normally happens is you just gently lift the lead to ensure everything is free and miraculously everything has turned into a rock or a wreck , you then spend the next 5 minutes trying to extract yourself from the bricks to no avail , break off and then stomp off up the front to re-rig.

The second scenario is that your particular snapper is not alone, at which point he feels threatened that some other bruiser is going to take his hard won prize . At this moment he changes his tentative tugging to a smash a grab run that you will seldom feel from any fish this side of a 100kg Tarpon { more of that later } .

If the rod is in the rest , its all over if the fish is over 20lb , because by the time you have managed to fight the rod from the holder , he will be sitting in his house munching on your now dead livey and your hook will be hung up alongside the hooks of the last 20 anglers that have been silly enough to try.

If the rod is in your hand when the fish takes , it gives you the perfect opportunity to prove that even though you have been complaining about the gear supplied being too heavy all week , you really could do with 80lb Marlin outfit right at this moment , and your not even sure if thats going to stop it.

Anyway I digress , but in my humble opinion a big snapper { over 15kgs } in rough ground is the hardest thing to land anywhere . Tarpon , Marlin jacks etc. Very hard fighters but not down and dirty , if you know what I mean .

Anyway after feeding 30 livebaits to the assembled snapper and with a tally of 2 to the boat . we skulked off to the sandbank alongside for some less high risk fishing . As soon as we dropped down all hell broke loose , a screaming run but it didnt go in the wreck it came to the surface with a huge thrashing splash and then charged off . Cobia , it was Claires turn on the rod , after 15 mins it was obvious that this was no ordinary Cobia also reaffirmed by Max the skipper saying ” Biiigg , very Biiiigg .

With a deal of grunting and screaming after 30 mins the fish was within 10mts of the boat , and there it stayed resolutely for a further 10 mins . Biiiggg , very very Biiigg emitted from steering dept . I said 50kgs , he said bigger but anyway it was a huge Cobia , the biggest ive ever seen and it went on to win the biggest fish of that group.
The fish was duely subdued and then we contrived to lose it as we attempted to lift it from the water . I will post a full set of photos as soon as we compile them .

So half way through the second day and my typing hand is aching.
Ok The west wreck is a big fish venue and after landing and losing the big cobia , we hit what I think must have been a run of decent snappers , most of which found sanctuary in the wreck , with just 2 smaller ones ending up in the fish well destined to be baked in rock salt .

Having exhausted the livebait , we started trolling round the wreck . A pair of Storm deep thunders and 2 Salmo whitefish fished in a spread

Nothing happened for 20 minutes , then at the north end of the ground the surface erupted . Chasse!! shouted max , meaning hunting in french , a huge pack of sized jacks hitting bait fish passing across the wreck. Had we not been trollling we would normally charge across to cast at the school as fast as possible , but instead we sped up slightly and turned to troll through the area .

Just as we neared the group a massive bottle nosed dolphin made a clear 10ft leap into the middle of the jacks , smash , thrash and down went the group . 20 secs later up came the dolphin taunting us with his catch , I his mouth was a 10kg plus Longfin jack and he proceeded to swim around displaying his prize for the next 5 mins.

Just as we were all rushing around trying to get a camera to get a shot of flipper showing off , one of the trolling rods went off , then a second . We went through a quick knitting session whilst we worked out who was going were and how fast , then Dean was at the front and stephen was at the back . After about 7 mins Stephen had a decent Jack of about 10ks beaten at the side of the boat , this one went for the fresh sushi the crew prepared for us every day.

It then became apparent that whatever Dean was attached to wasnt just another Jack . The fish ran off for some 200mts and then slowed , we approached with the boat regaining line , then as he began to put more pressure on the fish from directly above the fish , off it went again . This carried on for an hour and 45 mins , Max and I concluded that in our opinion it was as mid sized bull shark maybe 250kgs . We had caught them before on rapalas but using much heavier gear . This one was on a 300gram jigging rod and a Daiwa Saltist multiplier and even though its good gear , the chances of stopping a 500lb shark was pretty slim . He fought it manfully but even a big lad like Dean knows when hes flogging a dead horse. Anyway the decision was taken away from us the 80lb braid cracked off like a gunshot , and it was gone.

We set off on the 40km run back to the island , on route we saw a school of spanish mackeral hitting bait with birds working above , and with the aid of 2 deter wedges the clients added to their species count , ” seven barred mackeral and Senegalese Jacks . { we have a £10 per angler sweep for biggest fish and the same for most species } .

As we approached the island , Max and I chatted over the possiblities for the last hour , we had managed to pick up a few live baits on the way back and we decided on the “quarante sept” a huge mass of hard rock about a kilometere off the island , I call it the washing machine because thats eactly what it looks like when the sea is running onto it.

A quick drift round the rocks , casting poppers produced a follows but no fish , so as the light was fading we dropped the anchor and prepped the bait rods.

Well to says the action was fast and furious was an understatement , as soon as the live baits hit the bottom , bang at one point we had 4 rods all hooked up , a combination of Cassavas and Snappers were ripping at the baits as fast as we could get them to the bottom.

In maybe 40 mins we caught between 20 and 25 decent Snappers { 5-7kgs } and Cassavas { biggest 13kgs } , finally we just ran out of bait , dead, live , everything we put down had been taken . So a quick dash through the darkness to the island and a cold beer.

More later . Lure testing and lure wrecking .