Over the weekend 25 boats battled it out during the WATAMU FISHING FESTIVAL which takes place out of Ocean Sports every year. The MARLIN CHAMPIONSHIP runs simultaneously; offering a cash prize of 80% of the entrance fees collected for the biggest Marlin caught over 400 lbs. This year the prize money was up to over 1,5 million Kenya Shillings, however no one was successful meaning this will roll over to next year’s competition, definitely one not to miss!
Despite conditions being fairly good with clear, warm water, the Billfish didn’t hold up their side of the bargain and catches were few and far between. However the weekend was kept exciting with the fight for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
This year Ocean Sports’ very own OCEAN LEGEND, a 19 foot boat with a 15 HP engine, (not your average fishing boat) entered the competition with Florian (our general manager) and Roy from the African Billfish Foundation who both decided, much to everyone’s amusement, to take on the big boys.
Day 1 of the competition was hard with only OCEAN LURES catching a sailfish, leaving everyone in with a chance to win on Day 2. 6:30 am and all the boats headed out to sea, hopeful for more action. But, as often happens, when you least expect it and when you’re not prepared, the fish bite! Just outside Mida Creek at around 7 am, as Flo and Roy were still trying to wake themselves up, both lines suddenly hummed as the rods bent forward with 2 sailfish! The two of them dived forward, bare feet trampled on lures as they both battled their fish and hopped and ducked from one side of the boat to the other. And remember, this is a very small boat… Unfortunately in all the chaos they never managed to get the GoPro working, although they’re probably quite thankful for that now…
Eventually both sailfish were landed, tagged and released back into the ocean and word of their success was eagerly sent out to the other boats and back home to Ocean Sports which was abuzz with excitement. The 24 other fishing boats were, however, a little worried as this put little OCEAN LEGEND into the lead! And there she stayed for a good 6 hours until SAND DOLLAR managed to tag and release a Blue Marlin, estimated at 300 lbs bringing them into 1st place. Then TARKA had a lucky run and tagged 3 sailfish and bought 1 in bringing them into 2nd and leaving OCEAN LURES in the very respectable position of 3rd overall.