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Rob Oakley Review

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 breathtaking.

Taking the decision to go to Guinea Bissau 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!


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