Guinea Bissau November part 2

On January 5th, 2015, posted in: Guinea Bissau by Comments Off on Guinea Bissau November part 2

Three days in we had to make space for new clients arriving on Orango , so I decided to take a two day trip and visit Lauren on Isle de Kere , and check out a couple of new marks , we got from the Senegalese pirogue fishermen.

Setting off early we went straight out for livebait , the channel between Porco and Uno is normally a good spot , but today it was hard work , not because of the lack of bait , but because of our escort of twenty bottlenosed Dolphins !!!. Normally Dolphins are good news as they feed on yahbouys and if they are there you are pretty sure the bait is around as well , and of course they always lift your heart when they come alongside riding the wake , but there are limits to all things . When you have 20 of them cavorting around the boat every time you move it gets a bit much , its like trying to herd sheep whilst surrounded by a pack of wolves !!!. Every time we spot a shoal , by the time we get their our companions have scattered them to the four winds { or waves in this case } . This continued for over a hour , I think they were tag teaming , 5 moved in as the other 5 left . It was useless so we moved off and decided to go jigging on a small reef a couple of Kms away.

Tide was a bit quick but we managed 4 medium sized jacks and a smaller snapper on butterfly jigs . On the last drift as Darren wound his jig up he shouted that a jack had followed him up , as I looked over , it wasnt one jack it was about thirty, usual panic as everyone looked for something to throw in the water , however it didnt really matter , Max wound his jig up and was hit as soon as it came close to the surface , I grabbed a popper and smashed it into the surface as I forgot to open the bail arm properly , didnt make a bit of difference as a 7kg Jack grabbed the lure and went screaming off , Darren dropped his jig back and it must have gone at least 3 ft before another one screamed in and hit it . Typical jacks , its like being ram raided when they are switched on they will murder anything . Anyway that was all a bit of fun but it wasnt where we supposed to be .

We headed back to the livebait area , to find that at least a few of the Dolphins had cleared off allowing enough space to fill the bait well . The first mark we wanted to try was a huge rock outcrop in a channel , apparently a top spot for big Jabahs { Guinean Snapper } . After a quick drop on two parts of the reef , we settled on a spots just up tide of the biggest step in the ledge . Almost immediately we had a hit and Gary hooked up on a strongish fish , two long fast runs , and then it started to come in , 35lb Barracuda , after a bit of thrashing about at the side of the boat it came in , and ended up in the fish box { always nice to take some fresh fish when you are visiting a friend .

Over the next hour we had a succession of nice Cassava { Kob } , Snappers and Jacks , but unfortunately none of the really big snappers that we had hoped for . As the tide died and we were losing the light , we decided to head off and get to our overnight stop .

Photos to follow tomorrow

Lauren has a beautiful place and the food was fantastic , and the fishing talk and the drinking went on far too late , with us swapping marks and telling tall tales about big fish .

Next morning we set out with a plan to fish the new wreck we had got from the Senegalese guys and also to check a mark Lauren had mentioned . First problem as usual was livebaits , after searching for 35 mins and finding the odd few silver dollars , we found a whole bunch of yahbouys and filled up quick . The first mark was a bit of a bust as it was loused out with Barras and was an excercise in having baits bitten in half as soon as they hit the bottom and in some cases before they hit the bottom . Im sure on a different tide it would have thrown up some of the nice fish Lauren had said he had found there .

So off to the wreck . We arrived just on the start of the incoming tide , as we made a few passes across , those tell tale red arches started to show up on the sounder , lots of fish just down tide of the wreck . Poppers on and see whats down there , well it didnt take long , as soon as I cranked the lure , bang , a Big Longfin trevally went head and shoulders straight through the popper , the other two were getting chased back as a bunch of Jacks rose up from the wreck , jesus it was exciting stuff , I just love it when popper fishing goes off like this . I ahnded off the rod to Gary and after a protracted struggle he landed a mother of a Longfin . Darren had another one in short order , Well over the next 4 hrs we popped the wreck to a froth , hitting Jack Crevalle , Longfins , Leerfish , Barras and Snappers . All the fish were kingsize and were competing like mad , absolutley great , just like the day with Robson Greene on the chimneys , they just kept coming and coming . Whilst the guys were popper fishing we also drifted with live baits just off the wreck . We had a mix of Medium sized snappers and cassavas , then a screaming take , Darren hit it and it screamed off to the surface { either a big Barra or a Cobia } after about 25 mins of swearing and sweating it was evedent that this wasnt a Barra , soon we had colour , it was a monster cobia , what a wrestling match on the little temple reef stealth rod . Even when it was close it still took another 10mins to get it boated . and what a fish , well up with the biggest cobia we have had , and Darren wanted to break his personal best , which incidentally was a 40kg Cobia in may , well this one went 52kgs . The popper fishing mayhem carried on with fish busting around the boat about every 10mins , which was the cue for everyone to start frantically casting .

I had advised Darren to tighten down the drag on his 10,000 Stella , as the Snappers and Leerfish have a habit of crash diving into the wreck , 5 mins later a particularly aggressive longfin pursued the popper to within 10ft of the boat , snatched the popper and tore off , well the battle between the jack and a tight drag on the stella and 50lb accudepth braid resulted in a crack off that sounded like a 22 bullet . Never mind rerig and get going again , just then I noticed the yellow yozuri drifting past , leader attached , so we remounted it . 20 mins later Darren got another big hit at 30yds from the boat , one jack took the popper and 2 or 3 more were competing for it as it started to run , pop another cut off , I have had this happen with Jacks many times , I normally put it down to the tail scutes which are very sharp , as the fish battle to grab the bait , their tails rake across the line often cutting it . Anyway never mind rerig ,just then I noticed the yellow yozuri drifting past , leader attached , so we remounted it , what are the chances of the lure being taken twice , breaking off twice and then popping out of the fish twice and then finding it again twice !!!.

The livebaits carried on to produce a mix of Cobia and Snappers , Just as the tide started to slow we decided to drop the anchor and fish out the last hour , and to tell the truth , have a bit of a rest , we had forgotten to eat lunch and it was 4 o,clock . But give Darren his due he is a popping addict , he cast and popped all day and was justly rewarded with a big haul of really nice fish pretty much all on lures including a really nice Snapper of about 12kgs .

We had a bout 4 baits left when I had the most unbelievable hit , the 50lb class wrapped over so hard , I could get it out of the holder , as the fish ran for the wreck against the tight drag it actually began to pull a 9mt boat round against the tide . I could not move the rod and inevitably evrything cut off in the wreck with a big bang . Maybe a bigger rod next time .

Its really nice to find a new mark and for it to work first off normally you have to try different tides , and moon phases , but this one worked straight off , so its going on the regular visit list .

It would be nice to say that we failed somewhere on our two day jaunt , but this season it has been ridiculous with fish virtually everywhere , and in big numbers . Im sure it will change but according to the report I got from this weeks clients , it seems they had a shed load of fish as well .darren cobia darren fish 3 fish 4 max and darren gb