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The Hunt For the Elusive Tarpon in Gabon

The Hunt For the Elusive Tarpon in Gabon

In December, we were joined by our annual Japanese group, hosted by our good friend Masaaki. Accompanying them this year was a TV crew from Japan, who had arrived with the group with the sole intent of filming the capture of the full plethora of Gabonese pescatorial giants on offer here at Sette Cama.

Gabon beach fishing

With the monkey well and truly on our backs, our first evening was slower than anticipated, with seemingly only Sandsharks and Zambezis about. This could have been down to tide and time of day not being quite right, but my money was on the small sun that the film crew was seemingly using to light their shots. That had to go. It can’t be understated how important the darkness is to our success here.

Sandshark

But the fishing really turned on after the stuttering start. Tarpon fever quickly took hold of the group, with hundreds of Tarpon appearing in the estuary every day at the change in light. Conditions were perfect for the silver kings, lots of freshwater flushing out bait, the tides coinciding with the changing of the day, and water temperatures encouraging them to hunt. All we needed to be added to the mix was a bit of luck.

Jack crevalle

But luck didn’t seem to be on our side when it came to the Tarpon – with almost all members of the group jumping multiple Tarpon, (some, that at a glance appeared well over 100kg) across multiple days, with none being landed. Every Tarpon touched only further increasing our guest’s Tarpon fever.

Catch and release

However, with the Tarpon came some fantastic fishing for the other species on offer here. The Threadfin were plentiful, as were the Jacks and Snapper, with a few Kob being peppered throughout our catches. The abundance of fish in the estuary made for fantastic fishing throughout the week, even when efforts were being concentrated on the Silver Kings.

Tarpon

And then on the second to last evening, our luck changed, with Hitoshi landing a beautiful 50kg Tarpon.  A catch made all the more impressive by Hitoshi expertly navigating and dictating the fight through a ferocious current on the North Bank. Much to our relief, the entire fight, from the take to release, was caught on camera. All of us look forward to reliving the fight when the episode is released.

Till next time

Peter

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