Guinea Bissau Amberjack trip

Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:45 am

Guinea Bissau Amberjack trip no sharks were harmed in the writing of this article .

Hi All . Just a quick report on a 24hr trip , I did with Jurgen and Hardy from Think Big , the German tackle company .

We set off with far too much gear at about 4pm and headed directly out to the west wreck , which is a huge freighter broken in 3 pieces about 40kms off Unucomo grande . We picked up live yabouys on the way , arriving around 6pm . A Senegalaese pirogue was anchored alongside the wreck , so we started by Popping and had three jacks in the boat within 10mins , but nothing of any big size , another pass and two fish of about 9kgs , so we decided to anchor up and fish our liveys . Anchoring was no easy task , and after 3 attempts we decided to just drop the anchor directly into the wreck . That worked !!! .

Dropping down , we hit fish almost immediately , a proceeded to get stuffed into the wreck almost immediately . All but the smallest snapper and some Barracuda managed to escape capture by crash diving into the ironwork . We were fast running out of baits , so we switched to cut baits and the hits slowed , but continued . We did manage to hold onto about 5 good Snappers up to about 11kgs , back some of the hits were just untouchable , even on 80lb class gear fully locked down , by the time you had realiased what was going on it was all over .

A little crest fallen we set out the mattresses and 3 slept whilst one kept guard over what was becoming a very unequal battle . It was quite depressing really , having dozed off , only to be a woken by a screaming drag , 15 seconds of grunting , followed by swearing German , french or English , dependent on whose turn it was to lose the fish that time. Eventually we gave it best and all off us took the chance to catch a bit of rest . But having just managed to get to sleep , the Pirogue skipper decided it would be a good moment to pull the anchor and clear off . So having been woken again , I pulled the anchor and decided to drive slowly on to our next mark , which was about 25kms further out . Chugging slowly along in the dark , its amazing how much traffic is actually out there , Pirogues , Freighters , Trawlers , so picking my way through I finally arrived on the mark at about 3 am .

Well if you could say the sounder was full that would not be an understatement , and we slowed , it was solid red from about 60mts down to 80 mts , in some places it wouldnt even read the depth because of the fish . It was a mix of Bonito and Amberjacks , sitting on top of a coral reef . I dropped down a livey and drifted , but nothing not a touch , anyway everyone else was still asleep , so I reeled in and sat back to wait for the dawn .

Sunrise time to start fishing , everyone was freezing , so out came the thermos of coffee , only to find that it was smashed , my god how depressing was that moment . So Coke and cake fr breakfast and onto the main event .

My god was it a main event , As we moved back up onto the mark the fish were thick over the top of the reef , drop after drop produced good sized Amberjacks , the biggest coming in at 22kgs , but we had several hook pulls , before realising that actually they have quite soft mouths and although you need to be firm , if you over pressure them they will tear the hook hold .

Anyway , one thing I will say is Speed Jigging is a young mans sport , winding 300 grams up as fast as possible from 90mts is not for the faint hearted , having dropped down , and then begun to retrieve as quickly as possible , normally running out of steam at about 50mts up , if you were really lucky you got up without a take , but most of the time we were getting hits like turbo charged pollack . Believe me there was quite a lot of whimpering and whining going on even from the younger members of the Party.

Being a 51 year old smoker , I did quite a lot of videoing , but eventually I took my turn and must have had well in excess of 20 fish , I suppose we could have gone lighter with the jigs , but every time we went below about 200grams , we kept hitting 5kg Bonitos , which were above the Amberjacks and attacked anything smaller than about 250grams , probably because of the physical size rather than the weight.

Fish after fish , the only limitation was the ability of us lot to wind the jig fast enough . Speed Jigging it is a killer method { it kills the angler !!! } but get a good nights sleep before you attempt a mark like this , everyone without exception was like a bit of frayed carpet by 12.30 .

Gear was our normal jigging outfits ; I Probably a bit undergunned speed wise , next time I might look for something a bit speedier reel wise .

Shimano Blue rose / 10,000 SW Stella

Shimano Caranx / 10,000 SW Stella

Daiwas Saltiga 200-400gram / Saltiga Z6500

Heres a few pics , more later .

I think the 24hr trips will become a part of the itinerary for those fool hardy enough to go speed jigging , apparently the biggest Ambejacks are around Oct - Dec , also the proximity of the Bluewater means that the trip can also include trolling for Sailfish and Dorados with live baits which has proven very productive in the past .

So Next time a 300lb hand line for the wreck , and a group of slightly younger men for the speed jigging !!!!.

Re: Guinea Bissau Amberjack trip

Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:46 am

Sounds like a great trip Richard. More unexplored territory. Maybe a trip for me in the future and I am "slightly" older than 51 :D :D :D . You may remember Michael who was 76 on our trip to GB in 2010 and the fish that he landed. There is hope for us all yet

Re: Guinea Bissau Amberjack trip

Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:48 pm

Absolutely mate . You stay younger by testing yourself , not giving up . Be nice to host you guys whenever you fancy it .