Guinea Bissau – 12-19 February 2020

On March 9th, 2020, posted in: Guinea Bissau by Comments Off on Guinea Bissau – 12-19 February 2020

The Van Sulijs party took their fishing holiday to Guinea Bissau in mid-February 2020 and filed a detailed catch report.

We had a fantastic time in Guinea Bissau. Here is our report.

On February 10, 2020 we leave with a group of 6 enthusiastic fishermen to Guinea Bissau. We depart from Brussels airport. For us a ride of only an hour from home. We are from the Netherlands. As usual, we first fly to Casablanca in 3.5 hours. After a short transfer of 2 hours we fly on to Bissau. We are picked up there by Hafis. With a six-seater car and a van we were within half an hour at our hotel for the first night.

Early in the morning we left for the “harbour.” We are in Africa, so you have to interpret everything slightly different than at home. The luggage goes on another boat and we board six with Zé. After 3 hours of sailing we arrive at Orango Parque Hotel. There is an oasis of peace here. The beautiful huts are perfect and offer enough space for all your equipment. After preparing all the rods we try to catch a fish from the shore. This turned out to be difficult, because the water at the hotel is very shallow. According to Hasan, it should be possible to catch guitar fish and rays here at high tide.

The first day on board is always a quick scan. How is the captain, how is the deckhand, always hope it clicks well. During our stay we had two boats, each boat with 3 fishermen, 1 deckhand and 1 captain. The first day we try everything, but unfortunately we don’t get much caught. Due to the (still) strong current, it is difficult to fish on some cuttings. With the trawling we catch some barracudas and a single jack crevalle.

The next day it all goes a little better. We already catch more fish than the first day. Today we fish a lot with live bait. To catch this you sometimes have to sail a bit. In this way we quickly get closer to the chimneys. Suddenly we see two large chimneys rising from the water. If we have to believe all the stories and videos, it has to happen here. Whatever we try, we only catch a single fish here and after 2 hours we stop here. On the way back we pop over the sandbar for a while and this yields some nice jack crevalle.

The third day is a day to remember. Africa is simply a poor country without many amenities. We’ll find out today. We are looking for baitfish and suddenly see a ship floating in the corner of our eye. Up to 20 men are waving and shouting on the ship. At first we do not understand what is going on, but as we get closer we see that there is great panic. At our request, the skipper does not come too close. After a short conversation between skipper and crew on the other boat, it soon becomes clear that they have been floating around with engine problems for weeks. They have now been at sea for 2 weeks, of which at least 1 week with engine problems and without water or food. They were so desperate that they drank salt water themselves. We then gave them the necessary water that we could miss. We then went fishing for a short day and then went back again. We then gave all the remaining food and drink. We also allowed 1 crew member to swim to the boat. He called his Senegal boss who took 3-4 days to get there. We then left for Orango in the dark. In the evening at dinner we decided to send a boat with enough food and drinks the next day, which was a beach fishing day for us. A few days later they came to thank us! What a story!

Beach fishing day was difficult. Many weeds in the water made bottom fishing very difficult. We are therefore a bit further at a stream and go deeper water fishing with shads and pilkers. Here we caught some nice fish.

The next day actually got even crazier. After catching enough live bait, we anchored on a rock. We are fishing for tarpon today. For this, three rods are set per boat and you do not need to do anything else. A balloon with a dead bait 15 meters below it should be the trick. We get little action in this way of fishing, but we do catch the necessary fish with shads and jig heads. We actually want to pop on the sandbar for a while and leave. The other boat remains. As soon as we leave they get a bite on the balloon. It soon becomes clear that this is a monster. If it’s a tarpon, it’s a big one. The fish does not jump and is continuously suspended under a boat of about 20-30 meters. Occasionally takes a huge run, but that’s it. We come back from popping after 3.5 hours and they are still busy with the fish. The one who got the fish stopped after 2.5 hours because of blisters on his hands. The rest took over at the time, but they also failed to catch a glimpse of the fish. We were asked to ‘feel’ the power of this monster. So we switched to the other boat. After some of us felt what it was like, we thought it was time to bring out the fish. It was bending or cracking. By weaving the line between the fingers we were able to apply more force, so that the reel did not go off. We quickly won several meters of line. The rod, the line, the reel, everything was actually not made for this violence. But after a few minutes we saw a shadow come up. The fish was completely exhausted. What we saw then was enormous. According to the crew, the largest fish that was also caught. A bull shark of no less than 3-3.5 meters and an estimated weight of 300 kg. It is a miracle that we got this fish up. After a few photos, the best guy was back in the depths quickly!

The following days were out of the book. We managed to catch many beautiful fish every day. Especially with live bait, but also with shads we caught very large corvinas, barracudas and cobias.

Monday almost only fishing with livebait, another hour with poppers and stickbait. Result was quite something: 4 Captainfish, 7 Jack Crevalle, 32 Cassava, 2 Nurse Sharks, 3 Longfin Jack, 3 Barracuda, 4 Catfish and a little smaller riffraff

The last fish from the trip to Guinea Bissau was a Jack Crevalle (pictured above) caught on a jig of 60 grams. With a 2.7m fibreglass fishing rod from Mitchell. Super sport!

The trip was very well arranged and everything has been thought of. Please note that you are not surprised by the bill of the drinks afterwards. As indicated in the travel documents, request an update of the drinks during the half of the holiday. This way you avoid surprises. I also recommend that you bring some snacks on board every day. You can take 2 x 23 kg and 1 x 10 kg luggage with you! You must also provide sufficient steel wire and circle hooks. Also bring quite a bit of lead, in different weights. What worked well for us at the sandbars were stick baits. White, yellow or natural colours were best.

To start planning your fishing holiday to Guinea Bissau, contact us today by phone (01480 403 293) or make an enquiry via our online form.