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Fishing in Kenya

Kenya is renowned for it's big game fishing, six deep sea world records have been won on its Indian Ocean coast. Mountain streams teem with rainbow trout and the Northern Lakes are home to Nile Perch.


Fishing Sites

There are various Lakes, Rivers and Dams rich in trout, bass, nile perch, tiger fish, bonite, dorado (dolphine), yellowfish, sailfish and Kingfish. Fishing sites are Lake Victoria, Chania river, Sirimon river, on the northwestern side of Mt. Kenya, Kupungani Bay, Lake Elmenteita, Mfangano Island camp (around Lake Victoria), Kericho (area controlled by Kericho fishing association), Lake Naivasha, Lake Turkana, Kiwaiyn island and Cherangani Hills.

Deep Sea Fishing

There are many beach hotels along the Kenya coast who organise sports fishing however not many have their own boats, with notable exceptions the Pemba Channel Fishing Club and Hemingways. It is advisable to check equipment before booking or at the very least to see if a company is a member of the Kenya Association of Sea Anglers (KASA) and also to see who owns the fish caught.

There is a nine month fishing season in Kenya from August to April. Blue, black and striped marlin occur year round off the Kenya coast and marlin fishing peaks from January to mid March. December is the top sailfish month while large yellow fin tuna in the 80 kg class are found from late August to early November. August to November are generally the best months for tuna and December to March is generally best for billfish. In the interests of conservation in sports fishing KASA members support the tagging and release of billfish.

From May to August the sea is rough and most offshore angling stops. The southern wind (Kusi) blows from mid-March to mid-November, and the northern wind (Kaskazi) blows the rest of the time.

Shimoni

Located on the very south of the Kenyan coast, opposite the Pemba Channel, Shimoni has been for many years the centre of the big game fishing industry in East Africa. Virtually all the striped marlin, in all line classes, together with many other fish in the Africa Record lists were caught in the Pemba Channel.

Pemba Channel Fishing Club
The Pemba Channel Fishing Club is Kenya's oldest sport fishing operation and the holder of most East African gamefishing records. The Club has 5 boats, Jasiri, Shuwari, White Otter, Pingusi and Countdown, which have the most experienced crews on the coast. Accommodation is available to visiting anglers at the exclusive residential club.

Between November 1998 and March 1999 the PCFC and Sea Adventures accounted for 864 marlin.

Pemba Channel Fishing Club:
Address: P 0 Box 84851, MOMBASA 80100
Tel: +254 (0) 722 20 50 20/1
Fax: +254 (0) 41 49 12 65
Email: i...@pembachannel.com

Sea Adventures Ltd.
Run by the hugely experienced Hemphill family, Sea Adventures run 2 boats, Kamara and Broadbill which is the largest sportfishing boat on the Kenya coast. They specialise in light tackle and all gear from 8 lb to 80 lb is supplied on board. I.G.F.A rules are strictly adhered to and the crews do not strike the fish for their clients, which can render a potential record unclaimable. The tag and release of billfish is encouraged and all fish caught are the property of the client and can be sold on your behalf.
Novices as well as experienced anglers are welcome and children's fishing is available during the off peak periods.

Sea Adventures Ltd
Address: P.O. Box 348, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Phones:

  • Pat: +254 (0)721 485365
  • Maia: +254 (0)722 479864
  • Simon: +254 (0)722 796198

Fax: +254 41 2227675
Email: hemp...@bigame.com

Diani

Located roughly 20 km south of Mombasa, Diani is the most popular beach in Kenya with many hotels offering fishing trips.

Blue Marlin Fishing Club:
The Blue Marlin Fishing Club, which is under German management run 2 fully licenced boats with a capacity for 6 pax and 3 crew. They run trips to the Pemba Channel, Shimoni, Watamu and Chale and also offer night fishing.

Nomad Boats:
Nomad operate 3 fully licenced sportfishing boats with maximum capacity 4-6 pax. All fish caught belong to the company and they issue certificates for big fish. Nomad is a member of I.G.F.A and K.A.S.A.C

Jet Point Fishing Club:
Jet Point operate 2 boats and arrange trips around Diani as well as to the Pemba Channel. The larger boat has maximum capacity of 6 pax and the smaller one maximum 4 pax. Both boats include all equipment, radios and safety equipment.

Mtwapa Creek

Howard Lawrence Brown Deep Sea Fishing:
Located 18 km north of Mombasa Howard Lawrence Brown Deep Sea Fishing run a fishing centre with rustic banda style accommodation and offer light tackle and salt water fly fishing as well as deep sea fishing.

They specialise in day trips and extended fishing safaris which include night fishing for broadbill swordfish and sharks. The 2 boats, Kipapa and Bahari, are equipped with international standard equipment and tackle with a variety of line classes from heavy marlin gear to stand-up tackle and salt water fly fishing, spinning and casting gear. The company is committed to conservation of all threatened species and recommends tag and release.

Howard Lawrence-Brown Deep Sea Fishing
Phones:

  • Howard: +254 (0)722 820982
  • Sue: +254 (0)722 831464
  • David: +254 (0)722 523477

Email: how...@kenyadeepseafishing.net

James Adcock Fishing Ltd:
James Adcock runs 3 boats, Vuma, Oona and Samvuke and specialises in big game fishing, spin fishing, ground fishing and also fishing inside the reef which is ideally suited for children.

The minimum period of hire is 4 hours and all charges are per boat. All fish caught belong to the client and all boats are fully licenced.

James Adcock Fishing Ltd
Address: P.O. Box 498, Watamu, Kenya
Tel/Fax: 254 4232362

Malindi

Located north of Mombasa, Malindi is another popular fishing centre, with the surrounding waters especially good for sailfish.

Kingfisher Big Game Fishing:
Kingfisher have been established for over 28 years in Malindi and the company landed Kenya's first 'grander' - a blue marlin of 1250 lbs.The company encourages a tag and release programme and in addition to deep sea fishing specialise in salt water fly fishing for all types of game fish, reef fishing and bottom fishing for red snapper, grouper and shark. The abundance of sailfish provide excellent opportunities for light tackle enthusiasts. The boats take a maximum of 4 pax.

Most fishing days are from 0600 - 1400, but in the marlin season from mid-Dec to end of March the days last till 1700. Overnight trips to North Kenya banks, an undersea mountain range 50 miles north east of Malindi, for night time broadbill swordfish fishing can be combined with marlin fishing during daylight hours.

Watamu

Watamu is another world famous fishing destination located north of Mombasa and just south of Malindi. There is usually a run of sailfish just outside Watamu between August and September although the main season is usually from November to March. The largest Blue Marlin are usually caught from mid-Feb to March and the main Black Marlin season is from December to March.

Hemingways:
Hemingways run 4 categories of boat and encourage novice as well as experienced anglers. The practice of tag and release is actively supported with certificates awarded to anglers who have done so.

Hemingways operate at a number of sites including 'The Banks", an area just north of the hotel which contains many thousands of small fish sheltering in the shallower water and an outside drop off where the bigger fish patrol. Also 'The Rips", an area 14 to 22 miles offshore which billfish pass through when they are running. The North Kenya Banks are over 50 miles north east of Watamu and are full of tuna, marlin and broadbill at night. Trips out here are 2 days and 1 night duration.

Other areas which Hemingways specialise in are fishing for sailfish on a fly, bottom fishing and trolling.
Day fishing is either a full 10 hour day or a 5 hour half day.

Mombasa

Deep Sea Fishing from Mombasa is becoming increasingly popular, however it is essential to research a fishing company before booking a trip.

Deep Water Sport Fishing - 'INCA'
The sportsfishing boat INCA run by the experienced Eligio Battaia, has a maximum capacity of 6 pax with 3 crew. INCA is moored at Carneval, located next to the New Nyali Bridge in Mombasa, and leaves at 0730 a.m. 4 hour afternoon trips leave at 1300. INCA supports catch and release and can arrange trips to Shimoni and the Pemba Channel.

Lamu

Located on the far north of the Kenya coast this idyllic, tranquil island provides the perfect base for sports fishing.

Peponi's:
Deep sea fishing is organised from Peponi's hotel in Shela which has 2 fully operational Boats, Gem and Little Toot.
Prices for a short day (up to 6 hours) are $200 and $400 and for a long day (up to 10 hours) $300 and $600.

Fishing on Lake Victoria

Rusinga Island
Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh water lake in the world and the source of the River Nile. Rusinga Island offers excellent fishing as well as being a paradise for bird watchers. Although a causeway connects the island to the mainland many people opt for a flying safari to save time.
Nile Perch abound in Lake Victoria and the record catch is over 500 pounds and fish over 100 pounds are regularly caught.

Specialist Operators
Lonrho Hotels have an exclusive small camp on the island and can organise flying safaris.

Fly Fishing
There is excellent fly fishing to be had particularly for trout in the mountain streams of the Aberdares, the Mau Escarpment and the Cherangani Hills. Lake Victoria has good game fishing with tiger fish and the giant Nile Perch.

Big Game Fish found off the Kenya Coast

Sailfish: Locally known as suli suli, sailfish are the most numerous of the billfish found off the Kenya coast. Often playful they jump over the surface of the water in a spectacular display and are dramatic when not overpowered by heavy tackle. Experienced anglers know the sailfish is most fun on light tackle and are relatively easy to pull in once hooked - but that is the tricky bit.

Striped Marlin: These tend to run offshore in cleaner water and can travel in packs. Smaller and slimmer than the other marlin they still give a good account of themselves.

Blue Marlin: A jumping blue marlin is the ultimate thrill for an angler as the power and fury of the fish is awesome. Prone to complete changes of direction, boats often have to rapidly re-route as the line is usually desperately low within seconds of opening hostilities. They are often found in deep water following yellowfin and other tuna shoals.

Black Marlin: These are often encountered in shallow water and are very tough fish to catch. They fight deep using their pectoral fins to hold themselves down in the water and fish over 1000 lbs have been fought and lost in these waters.

Broadbill: The strongest fighter in the ocean, broadbill are an overnight speciality with the boat drifting with squid weighted to different depths and light sticks on the leader.

Sharks: The main sharks found are hammerheads, big tigers and the high leaping mako. Often caught while fishing for tuna, they also take marlin baits.

Yellowfin Tuna: Big yellowfins of over 200 lbs as well as smaller fish are found virtually year round. They are very strong and fight hard often going deep.

Wahoo: Renowned for their searing first run wahoo are one of the fastest fish in the sea. If there is a large shoal, lines are cut by many fish striking at the terminal tackle moving through the water.

Kingfish, Dorado, Giant Trevally, Skipjack and Kawakawa as well as others of tuna descent are other commonly caught fish.

Last Updated on Tuesday 8th December 2009

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