Fishing in Kenya for those of you who love big game fishing and want the opportunity to catch record-sized fish. In the early days, it was made famous for being one of the best Sailfish destinations in the world and even more so to date with all the new fishing techniques practised for safe catch and release. Kenya’s coastline has been fished by many adventurous anglers such as Ernest Hemmingway who classed the Striped Marlin fishing as being the best there was. In the past 30 years Kenya’s fishing industry has grown massively and with the arrival of modern more powerful purpose-built game boats. The fishing grounds, such as the North Bank are now done on a day trip rather than an expedition over several days. Kenya is one of the few places in the big game fishing world where a fantasy slam (5 different billfish) is a definite possibility. The first achieved in March 2005, included 2 Black Marlin, 1 Blue Marlin, 1 Striped Marlin, 5 Broadbill and 2 Sailfish, all released. Then again twice in 2009. The second big advantage is the benign weather close to the equator, making ‘blowouts’ very rare.
The destination of Watamu is a small African coastal town in Kenya, north of Mombasa, this destination is perfect for travelling anglers and their familys to visit . It’s known for the Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve, which has 3 bays: Watamu, Blue Lagoon and Turtle. Sandy beaches and coral gardens are the defining features. Seabirds, as well as green and hawksbill turtles, inhabit Mida Creek with its sand flats and mangrove forest. Inland the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve is home to elephants, monkeys and rare birdlife. Watamu makes an excellent base from which to explore the nearby Gede ruins, Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve and the mangrove-fringed waterways of Mida Creek.
The fishing manager and skipper Pete Darnborough has been fishing these waters since a boy and loves nothing else but to make peoples dreams come true. Here is what he has to say “My passion for fishing started when I was about 4 years old when my father took us on a family fishing trip to Lake Naivasha where we caught large Mouth Bass. From that day the seed had been sown and any chance I had I would be fishing no matter where – ponds, dams, lakes, rivers and of course the sea. I was fortunate that my Dad had a passion for fishing and he built his own sports fishing boat that he kept at Watamu. From this boat, I was given the chance to experience the world of big game fishing and I have never looked back. I started my professional career as a sports fishing mate on David Slater’s 32 feet Hartley called Honeylulu, I was 16 years old. David was considered one of the top Captains off the Kenya coast at this time and I gained invaluable knowledge from him. Not long after I joined David I was given the opportunity to Skipper Honeylulu as a new 43 feet Bertram had just arrived which David was going to run. The season I ran Honeylulu convinced me that this was the life I wanted, so here I am today still in Watamu and still fishing”. The Big game fishing at Watamu is some of the best you will find in Africa, this area is well known for its fantastic Marlin fishing with this area being one of the destinations where you can achieve the well sought after fantasy slam. Along with Marlin you will also be able to target Yelowfin Tuna, Wahoo and Giant Trevally.
Whilst fishing at Watamu you will be escorted on the boats at all times by a very experienced skipper and deckhand. These will be on hand at all times to offer advice and help with the playing and landing of any fish that is hooked whilst out at sea. You will be using some of the top fishing tackle available for Big game fishing so you will be best equipped when it comes to playing and landing that monster fish that you have travelled all that way to catch.