By Johan Wessels
After many conversations with Hugo Meyer of Lucky Strike Charters, the stars eventually alinged for me to join him on a trip at the end of May 2022!The Primeiras lie north of Beira in Mozambique all along the continental shelve, breaking the sea’s surface with a few scattered islands towards the north. The main iland being Fogo that serves as an important nesting site for turtles…This journey begins at OR Thambo International airport with a short flight to Maputo, followed by a flight north to Quilemane.Here Hugo and his friendly crew met us at the airport and quickly transported us to the harbor and onto the yacht. Yacht Bomdia was to be home for the next few days.
Hugo did not waste any time getting us heading to see. The river is tidal so it is important to be at the mouth of the river with a full high tide. This just makes everything so much safer.Yacht Bomdia navigated the mouth effortlessly and we settled in for our first night at sea.We woke up early on Wednesday morning and immediately set five lures behind the boat. We have traveled a hundred kilometers during the evening, but still had some ground to cover to get to Pantaloon reef.
Our first bite came from a decent King Mackeral that launched itself high into the air attacking an Iland Sailure, upon landing it set off with a typical couta first run, taking about 50m of line from the brand new Shimano Speedmasters. Everyone was now wide awake!The fish was badly hooked and we decided to keep it for belly shine and lunch!The lines were set again, followed by more couta and a decent wahoo!
At midday, we arrived at Pantaloon reef where jigging was the game! Slow pitched jigging to be precise. We worked a range of small jigs in water between 15 and 25 meters and managed a range of very colorful species.We kept moving between Hugos many marks and got the trolling rods out wherever possible, More wahoo, dorado and yellowfin tuna followed.
Jasmine, the chef made a wonderful seafood meal and everyone went to sleep not long after!Thursday started off with calm seas and a king mackerel on the troll before we could get the third rod in!The day was spent jigging, where we caught many species of fish! We also managed to throw some poppers where we hooked sailfish, greater Baracuda, and a solid green jobfish!
A sailfish also jumped onto a Rapala stick bait…
We decided to target Broadbill Swordfish during the evening and managed an Escolar around midnight followed by a second bite just before first light. This ended up being my first Broadbill and the first for Yacht Bomdia. I would not have had it any other way and what a privilege to fight the ultimate nighttime gamefish during the day!We knew that a big wind was due later on Thursday so we headed north to hide at Fogo Island. We Jigged, Popped, and trolled all the way with more couta, wahoo and three decent GT’s being our best fish.Hiding in the lee of Fogo Island proved to be a good move and shows the knowledge that Hugo has of the area. We ate and rested well.
At the crack of dawn, we started heading back to Quilemane in a sea that was still fairly upset. We still did not have enough and got four trolling rods out. We took the shortest route back, this kept us on the shallow and dirty side of the reef but still managed many Couta, Yellowfin Tuna, and the most perfect baby black marlin that I have ever seen!We arrived at the mouth of the river around midnight on the full high and Hugo once again safely navigated the river mouth.
This was a very short “recce” trip. Essentially trying to see as much as we could and hardly fishing two full days. I believe that the area has much potential and we can not wait to go back in August to really target the area!
For more information on tackle used and tips for fishing the area feel free to contact Johan at Fishing Pro Shop, Pretoria or call on 012 809 3334.alinged