Guinea Bissau - Oct 2104

Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:18 pm

Ok where to start ??? .

Ebola would be the obvious question . Well there are still no reports of any incidences in either Guinea Bissau , or Gambia . When we arrived at the airport we had out temperatures taken and filled in a form as to where we would be staying .

Apparently the world bank has given Guinea Bissau £750,000 to prevent the spread of Ebola and it does seem to being spent on that rather than a new Mercedes for the Health minister .

Its a crying shame the ridiculous over reaction of the press in their blanket non specific coverage of countries which have no outbreaks at all . The effects are horrendous , hotels and restaurants are closing across Gambia , Acunda has lost pretty much all of its french clients and its new manager , Isle de Kere has had so many cancellations that Lauren is talking about laying off all his staff , and thats in countries that do not even have the virus . The Bubaque camps are virtually empty . We are still reasonably busy on Orango , obviously the Brits are less easily scared than other clients , but we have had some cancellations . So what the hell will happen to Sierra Leone and Liberia where they actually have the virus .

Weather . Well I was a bit concerned when we arrived and were greeted with a huge thunderstorm around 2am , however that was pretty much how it stayed . Storms at night a nd flat calm days , we did get caught in one storm , well a squall actually , but it was warm rain and we carried on catching fish all the way through it . A couple of days the wind came up with the turn of the tide and made find livebaits tricky , but never to a point when it became uncomfortable to fish . The last days were like mill ponds , you could see a fish fart at a thousand yards .

Fishing . We had a couple of days to tour the islands , because the hotel was full so we took the chance to visit Lauren at Isle de Kere . Over several beers we concluded that Ebola was a crying shame because this was looking to be the best fishing year either of us had seen since starting work in the Bijagos , Ive been working there for 10 years and Lauren at least 14 . There are fish everywhere , and in big numbers and big sizes .

Day one

We arrived and sorted some gear for a quick beach session on Pikanina { little sand bar island on the end of the huge Orango sand bank } . The clients started with a bit of Popper fishing and lure fishing , despite a few strikes nothing was landed , so we set up 7 beach rods to catch the start of the incoming tide . Within a minute of the first bait hitting the water , we had fish , a bite a chuck , with some crashing takes nearly ripping the rod off the rest . Stephen Marshall had the first notable fish , which made a screaming run of about 80 yds and after a tough scrap of about 15mins he landed a good 20lb Jack. A succession of 20 plus Barracudas between 10 and 25 lb came to the beach accompanied by Snappers , Cassavas and catfish . But as is the norm with sea fishing , as quickly as it started , it stopped . Oh well beer oclock .

Day Two

I was guiding with Tony and Stephen , skipper Ze aboard Lady Jane . After a 20km trip out we struggled to find live baits , having to resort to searching with the sounder only . Normally we can spot them on the surface , but today it was proving impossible. However we persevered and ended up with about 45 yabouys , a common theme appeared over the following week , which was it took twice as long to catch live baits as it did to use them !!!.

Anchored up on the plateau , the fishing was mad , after 15 minutes , I had to say to the boys " two rods only " as they insisted on casting 4 and 5 livebaits at a time , I took great pains in pointing out that when both the clients were already hooked up and fighting fish there was very little point in hooking anymore fish , so slow down and wait . I understand why they want to fish flat out , its because they know that this bite may only last for 1 hr or 35mins dependent on the tide , so they are keen to land the most possible fish , this is obviously admirable in any deckie or skipper and to be applauded , but there is still very little point in hooking up more fish than you have hands to fight them with .

Anyway initially it was Jack and Big Pompanos { some of these Pomps are huge dustbin sized fish } , and I mean fast fishing , literally baits were not reaching the bottom before they were snatched , the Big Pomps make screaming runs and will literally collect every line on the boat and the anchor rope if you are not careful , they fight like mad , charging around in a series of long runs .

We were running low on livebaits at this point and the fish had slowed a bit { we were only getting a hit every two minutes , rather than every 30 secs } . Didi the deckie began casting a Halco Hula popper , second cast bang another big Pompano , then a Jack another Jack , Two Leerfish and a Pompano . For the next 45 minutes everything switched from Baits to Poppers . Stunning fishing , multiple Jack attacks on any lure that crossed the mark , great visual stuff with some massive smashes by big leers as well , Pomps tend to sneak up on the lure and almost suck it in like a chub . so no massive spash just a screaming run . anyway after all that we probably had in excess of 40- 45 fish to the boat , and very few cudas , which meant the lions share was realeased .

We popper fished the corner of Uno on the way home , and Tony hooked a 22lb Jack in the shallow ground and after a good fight , he had his first fish on a popper { so he said , he had however caught a leerfish and a pompano earlier in the day , on a popper , but hey ho !! } . Anyway in his words he said " people tell you about fishing like this but you dont believe it exist , and now I know it does " .

These kind of days are rare , and there not normally days as such , but a succession of mad half hours , the proof our skippers are doing their jobs well is the number of those mad half hours they can put together in a day . Fish will take advantage of a place , a point of the tide , and a particular occurrence { fish spawning , breeding , plankton bloom } and its the job of the skipper to know those things so he can give you as many mad half hours as possible .

Writers cramp now so . I have 10 more days to !!!!
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Re: Guinea Bissau - Oct 2104

Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:58 pm

Savage fishing, really wanna do some of this at some stage. :)