Mark Nightingale – Kenya

On November 28th, 2013, posted in: Kenya by Comments Off on Mark Nightingale – Kenya


“I had read of the Giant Trevally  renowned for strenuously testing both angler and tackle and wanted to target these for some years. On discussing options with Richard from World Sport Fishing suggested Hemingways Resort on the Kenyan
coast, amongst other less accessible venues. My wife and I have had the good fortune to visit the angler’s paradise that is Hemingways, Watamu on previous occasions, most recently in 2011, tagging and releasing 7/9 billfish including a broadbill, black and striped marlin and sailfish. We therefore had no hesitation in booking our return. We had broken a rod on Watamu’s ‘reef donkeys’ such as Amberjack on a previous trip so were taking no chances this time! We went equipped with Terminator Tackle custom heavy-duty jigging rods, Shimano Stella and Talica II reels fully loaded with 100 lb PowerPro braid and jigs in the 400 gram plus range. Thanks to Kenya Airways generous luggage allowance all readily accommodated and even room for clothes! Trips were booked on  ‘Bees Nest’ and ‘Ol-Jogi’, with Mohamed and Stuart respectively, as two of Hemingways’ contingent of world-class skippers.


Thanks to World Sport Fishing  and Hemingways usual attention to detail we arrived and settled in without incident. We renewed acquaintances with the welcoming staff and Hemingways spectacular bar (adorned with previous specimen fish mounts) and eagerly awaited the first days fishing. Dawn broke with a flat calm sea (November is noted for this) and after a hearty breakfast we departed for the Mlima ‘Rips’ trolling on the way to these offshore marks. We did not have to wait long for action on the Rips. The first day produced Amberjack to 40lb and grouper to 70lb on jigs and an assortment of bait-fish. We also tried the ‘Canyons’ mark closer inshore for GT which failed to put in an appearance.  The next two trips followed a similar pattern with the bonus of multiple Red and Ruby snappers to 14lb on the South Mlima Ledge. We also picked up a 50lb Amberjack, Barracuda, Yellowfin and Bluefin jacks and numerous Yellowfin Tuna to 30lb. On arrival at Hemingways weighing station, the dedicated Fishing Resource Team weigh the catch, arrange for photos and even better, take orders for the preparation of your catch for evening meal and/or sashimi served in the bar.

During the trip, Frigate Mackerel had started to appear whilst trolling and armed with several we again headed for the  Canyons on the 4th trip. Despite these being the ideal bait, ironically the first GT fellOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA to a Shimano Benthos 400 gram jig in 180 feet of water. If you can imagine 90lb of deadweight dropped on the line, that best describes the first run! Hooked at mid-water, it ran straight to the bottom followed by 30 minutes of ‘gut wrenching’ runs back and forth. They do not like to see the boat! The 1000g jigging rod was bent double for most of this time against a Stella drag setting of 45lb plus. Finally landed, the GT was estimated at 90lb. We were lucky enough to catch a further 3 to 45lb during the holiday. One GT took a bait rig with 2/0 hook and required a soft touch and plenty of patience to bring to the boat.  The best Amberjack would, no doubt, have been a P.B. had it not been bitten clean in two by an enraged bull shark. The head alone weighed 12lb. My wife’s Wahoo was caught towards the end of the holiday and hit a deep diving lure like an express train. The reel nearly exploded! The holiday tally was 15 species including the coveted GT. Whilst there, two black marlin, one estimated at 700lb were lost after 3 hour plus fights and plenty of aerial photos. All in all, another excellent and memorable trip in every respect thanks Richard.  I’ll be back!”