April finally arrived as we were off to Bilene for the annual buddy up species competition hosted by Chez Thackwray / OCFD.
We were hosted by the beautiful Nghungwa lodge where there manager and staff made us feel at home and nothing was too big an ask for them really worth going there if you are planning a trip.
We were lucky with the weather and the notorious Bilene mouth weren’t playing nice with us there were 2 minor Incidents where jet skis went over in the mouth and as we all know there are 2 types of skippers. Ones that have rolled in the surf and ones that still need to so, Jason Christie and Simon Harding have now joined the club of skippers that have gone over luckily the only injury they received was a bruised ego.
For those that don’t know how it works this is a species comp and as such you need to catch up to 2 of each species of game fish.
The fish are measured against a coloured ruler, which works out the points of each fish all the points are added together and then multiplied by the no of species caught, this is primarily a catch photo release comp except when it comes to dangerous toothy critters like your wahoo and Couta and snoek which you can take out all the kingfish species are carefully monitored and put back anyone caught with a kingfish being kept would have been disqualified as our aim is to keep this fishery in pristine condition.
Day one went off without any problems and soon the guys were coming in with some descent catches to the measure station.
With day 1 fish totaling at 41 Couta, 1 yellowfin tuna , 2 greater barracuda , 2 kawakawa , 13 blacktip kingfish and 1 giant travelly and 1 dorado.
Needless to say the boys got into the local 2m beers and the Mozambique favorite cocktail the R n R and partied way into the night with the after party band lead by Henk, man can these boys get the party started!
Day two arrived all to soon after the late night partying with a few guys launching a little later the conditions were overcast but the day turned out to be a pearler and the fish soon followed on but not as many as day 1 with a total of 38 Couta , 4 dorado , 10 blacktip kingfish , 2 yellowfin , 2 wahoo with 1 being just over 1.5m in length , 2 greater barracuda and 3 snoek the evening was closed off with a fresh Couta braai and a few lucky draw prizes
Day 3 and we had a few party casualties that couldn’t wake up and go fishing as the day started with a bit of rain and not so pleasant.
Sea conditions but the brave persevered and were rewarded with some good fish again totaling at 33 Couta , 5 dorado , 1 snoek , 1 wahoo , 11 kawakawa 1 giant travelly 5 blacktip kingfish , 1 yellowfin tuna and 1 queen fish.
Day 4 the finale dawned on us and the conditions were not ideal with a strong south westerly wind blowing but the brave went out unfortunately on his way out Jason Christie managed to roll his ski luckily there were no injuries. The last day was a short day with the weigh in closing at 1 pm only 2 skis managed to bring in fish in these conditions don McKenzie with a small yellowfin tuna and the team of Kevin Tait and Jason Pretorius bringing in 4 Couta and 1 yellowfin tuna
This gave us a total of 116 Couta , 4 snoek , 10 dorado , 3 wahoo , 2 GT , 28 blacktip kingfish , 13 kawakawa 6 yellowfin tuna and 1 queen fish
Which equals 183 fish measured for the competition. About 80 percent of the fish that were brought in were donated to the fisheries department who in turn distribute the fish to the schools, old age homes and prisons in the area.
Roll on prize giving and it is at this point I want to thank all the sponsors and competitors as without either we don’t have a competition but to the sponsors namely
Earth electrical , sledgehammer , Anglers talk , township hyper , racetech Yamaha , dynachem ,OCFD , go fish , pulsator , maxel , nghungwa lodge , obillas , fish on lures , chase spoons , sportex ,maxe stainless steel , Kevin Tait , southern sun Maputo , Coca-Cola Mozambique , bonaqua , monster energy drink , jetwings , media worxs , signage and highlander fishing lodge
The top 10 positions went to
10 . Donavan chambers 127.5 points
9. Jason Christie 127.5
8. angus money 140
7. Pierre fourie 150
6. Vernon Buckingham 160
5. François stapelburg 180
Top double team Kurt lutchman/emile wannenburg 215
4. Jason Pretorius 252.5
3. Kevin Tait 252.5
3. chez Thackwray (organiser ) prizes conceded 255
2. andries venter 265
1. peter James Fraser 545
We also had a number of special prizes for species etc
1. wahoo prize François stapelburg
2. Couta prize peter Fraser
3. snoek prize peter Frazer
4 gt prize ( lowrance prize ) Donavan chambers
5. dorado prize (anglers talk prize ) andries venter
6. most species on jig ( maxel prize ) Jason Christie