Chris Rothmann and I had the good fortune of being able to take our families for a few days to Hemingways during December 2011. I have been to Hemingways a couple of times before and have fished there in competitions on Provincial, SADSAA & Protea levels. Chris has also fished there before and we both agreed that the venue was ideal for a family holiday.
We departed from OR Tambo on the midnight flight on the 9th of December. Saturday early we got a connecting flight to Mombasa and from Mombasa we were transported in a taxi (which the hotel arranged) to Watamu. It was a bit of a mission to get cold beers for the trip but we managed to stock up on some Tuskers in the end. Kenya Airways didn’t disappoint us with any delays but lived up to their “lost luggage experience”; Chris’ wife (Elsabe) suitcase was AWOL.
Sunday was a leisure day and we did things for which there isn’t normally time on a “men only” fishing trip. A snorkelling trip in one of the glass bottom boats to the one section of the marine reserve was enjoyed by all. Late afternoon we took the sun downer trip in a dhow down Myda Creek, the drinks and snacks were magnificent. We met an old couple (Rod & Margaret) from Cornwall, these two old people are serious rugby fanatics and Chris and the boys talked at length with them about the SA rugby. It is amazing how well they know our players.
Monday was the first day of fishing; Garry Cullen booked B’s Nest for us. Well known skipper Ali isn’t with Hemingways anymore and the boat is now skippered by Mohamed. Unfortunately for young Hardus (Chris’ son) he couldn’t fish due to a broken collar bone but he was our mascot. At the end of the day we were able to hoist 4 T & R flags, Peter and Jason got two sails each.
Tuesday was spent in the company of the ladies and the spa treatment was experienced by all.
For Wednesday I arranged a charter with Rob Hellier on his boat Unreel. It proved to be a very hectic & busy day. Score at the end of the day was as follows:
- Chris: 1 * GT & 3 * sails
- Peter, Jason & Wayne : 2 * sails each
Thus we could fly 9 red flags and 1 white. Needless to say a few sails got the better of us. Back at the mooring the crew wanted to show us the resident GT’s. The leftover strip baits were thrown into the water and like a flash the GT’s were around the stern of the boat sharing the spoils of our leftover bait.
Thursday was spent in the company of the ladies and we saw the resident moray eels at low tide. On the instruction of one of the locals we had to bring sausages from the breakfast table to feed the eels. It is amazing how tame these eels has become, the one big one (King George) crawls/wiggles out of the water to come and collect his titbit.
Friday and Saturday were booked on Ol Jogi with South African, Stuart Simpson as skipper. Stuart is a keen photographer and the sails of Malindi gave him ample chance over this two day period for some nice action shots. After Friday’s fishing we could add 9 sails to our tally, Jason released 3 and the rest of us managed 2 each. Saturday was our last day of fishing and Stuart suggested that we seek deeper waters to try for some marlin. Early on Saturday morning Chris got stuck into a striped marlin and the stripey was successfully released after a solid fight. The four of us got a sail each during the course of the day and I also managed to get a very, very feisty striped marlin – this marlin gave me a good workout! The cold Tusker which I drank afterwards didn’t touch sides. On our last day we proudly displayed two green flags and four red.
Chris purchased two GoPro cameras recently, we informed the skippers that Peter & Jason would be doing all the “leader work” to gain some experience. One of the cameras was head mounted on whose ever turn it was to take the leader. The other GoPro was mounted on a broomstick which was either held underwater or alongside the boat. We got some terrific video footage which will be cherished for a long time to come. The boys also swam with the resident GT’s when they were fed and some amazing shots were captured.
After 4 days of fishing we released 26 sailfish, 2 striped marlin and 1 GT. The normal by-catch of tuna, dorado & wahoo also kept us busy. Some of the gamefish was prepared by the hotel for dinner for us in different ways and we had enough to share with some fellow holiday makers. Garry Cullen was in a major vehicle accident at the beginning of December and wasn’t around but his team looked well after us. Hemingways is the place to go for anybody who wants to catch billfish in numbers, the facilities, food and treatment by the staff is excellent.
This was a holiday that will not be easily forgotten, hopefully we will be able to return again to Hemingways in the near future.
Members are welcome to contact me should they want any further information regarding fishing in Kenya.