Fishing in Kenya, especially at the Kenya coast, can be fun if you know where and when to do so. There are a variety of fish that can be caught. In this article we describe a few of them and also give you tentative times of the year you are most likely to catch one and where this can be done:
Sharks are quite common in the Indian Ocean. Kenya holds numerous records of great shark sightings including the great Hammerhead, the largest of the 9 identified species of this shark. The Hammerhead can grow up to 6 M in length and weigh up to 450 KG.
The notorious Tiger shark which has earned a reputation as a man-eater is another of the great sharks that swims the waters of the Indian Ocean. It is named for the dark, vertical stripes found mainly on juveniles.
These stripes begin to fade and almost disappear as it matures. Other sharks that can be seen include the thresher, silvertip, oceanic white tip, black tip and the high jumping mako and spinner sharks.
There are very few expeditions, if any, that are organised in Kenya exclusively for shark fishing. Most shark fishing is done while boats are out there catching other fish however for shark enthusiasts, the months of August to November around the banks of Watamu, offer great locations for shark fishing.
Sailfish are the fastest fish in the ocean, reaching speeds of up to 110 KM per hour. They are predominantly blue to grey in colour and have a characteristic erectile dorsal fin known as a sail, which often stretches the entire length of the back. Because of their elongated bill resembling that of the swordfish and other marlins, they are commonly referred as billfish among sports-fishing enthusiasts.
You can catch sailfish all year round along the Kenyan Coast but if you are looking to haul in a large catch then you need to come in in the months of October through to December and sometimes extending to March. The best places to do this would be the highlands of Malindi and Watamu.
3. Blue Marlin
The blue marlin is regarded as one of the biggest fish in the world. Females, which are significantly larger than males, can reach 4.3 M in length and weigh more than 900 KG. They are normally found alone or in pairs but once in a while they can be found in small packs
The Blue Marlin is such a rare fish to see that a catch is almost priceless. The best time to go fishing for Marlins is mid-January to mid-March although you are likely to catch a really big one around late February to mid-March. Lamu, Malindi and the Shimoni area offer great locations for bringing-in a Blue.
4. Broadbill Swordfish
Most anglers consider the broadbill swordfish to be the true ‘Gladiator’ of the sea. It is the strongest of all fish and in Kenya, it is much sought after with an average catch weighing between 20 KG to 80 KG.
Broadbills are caught using a technique that was actually developed right here in Kenya which involves a night troller. If you are looking to catch the swordfish with the Kenyan technique, then you might consider fishing on a new moon rather than a full moon since the technique requires the fish to be right on the surface.
The best times to go broadbill fishing are in the months of February to mid-March around the Watamu area.
This should give you a rough guide for your fishing itinerary. Do let us know what you catch!