Guinea Bissau S.Holloway Report

On June 25th, 2013, posted in: Guinea Bissau by Comments Off on Guinea Bissau S.Holloway Report

Hi all.

A report from 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.