Lula’s Paradise (Part 2)

These sighting are most prolific in the early morning and late afternoon, but this action can often last throughout the day.

Last month I took a look at the shore angling opportunities at Lula’s paradise lodge at Bartholomew Dias point 110km north of Villancoulos. Although this holds some fantastic shore angling, it is best known for the offshore angling that surely rates as world class.

The Bazaruto Archipelago rates  as one the best  destinations for trophy black marlin in the World, in fact I was surprised  to learn that it, along with Cairns , New Zealand  are one of the two places in the world an angler is most likely to encounter a “grander” [1000 lb] black marlin. In fact it is a known breeding ground for these fish with numerous sightings and captures of juvenile fish. Lula’s is a short one and a half hours drive by boat to these grounds. Trawling big live rigged yellow fin account for some monster specimens  and if you are a serious big fish hunter, this destination should be on your list.

For me the allure of this area is not the chance of bagging a grander or the chance to get a 50 kg G.T, but the vast volumes of pelagic game fish found in this area. This allows the light tackle artificial or saltwater fly angler a more than good chance for some frenetic action. Not generally seen or experienced in heavily fished areas of South Africa. I have travelled to many exotic destinations around Africa and when it is happening in this particular area it is about as good as it gets.

Just out the mouth of the Govuro river, which is approximately 5 minutes boat ride from the lodge , one can often encounter huge flocks of feeding birds and small bait fish being hounded by all forms of game fish including, queen mackerel, king mackerel, eastern little tuna, queen fish, yellow spotted kingfish, giant trevally and bludger kingfish amongst others.

These sighting are most prolific in the early morning and late afternoon, but this action can often last throughout the day. Best results can be had following these birds and bait, rushing up or heading them off and casting lures into the frenzy. You may have to look hard to find this action as it can be from the inlet of the mouth to kilometers out to sea.  Sharp set of eyes and good pair of polarized glasses like the makos are essential for this fish spotting.

If the inshore area is quite there are a myriad of pinnacles and reefs from 20 minutes to an hour’s drive from the lodge. Well known spots like first reef, second reef, Mario’s and 25 mile are excellent spots. It is advise able to keep a good out while travelling to and from these outlying spots, have rod ready with a casting lure, drop shot or surface lure rigged and ready to throw into any action you encounter of the way. On these reefy pinnacles one can expect to encounter all the above-mentioned game fish as well as some very impressive bottom species such as kaakap, many various species of rock cod and my new favorite, the blood snapper. Oom Boet from Lula’s has an spectacular spot where these fish are literally shot for shot and get as big as 6-8kg  they peel string like a couta  and put up a mammoth struggle on light tackle – they will even eat a drops hot  which makes them an awesome target species to add to the drop shot tally. Because of their aggressive feeding habits and slow growth rate remember not to winch the fish up but rather pull slow and steady , this will decrease the chances of baro trauma and allow the fish best possible chance of survival. If you enjoy fish then keeping one for the pan as is definitely recommended as they are one of the best fish I have ever eaten.

For these long runs make sure you pack enough refreshment, sustenance, sun protection, good hat and a good pair of shades. If you are going to travel to these outlying areas you will be in the sun for   a number of hours.

TACKLE

As discussed, the light tackle spinning potential of this area is where I would concentrate my efforts. If you wanted to target a bigger G.t or amberjack on the jig or popper I would recommend a short strong jigging rod such as the Diawa saltiga hiramasa 5’6  heavy jigging rod, matched with a Diawa saltiga 6000 gt or Catalina 6500 loaded with 100 lb saltiga boat braid. Although short you can also throw a popper with jigging rod, it also allows the angler to put lots of pressure on the bigger G.TS

Personally I would pack two outfits which would cover most light tackle applications:

  1. A 8’62 saltist plugging rod matched with a Daiwa 4000 caldia loaded with 30 lb diawa tournament braidand a .65 kingfisher fluro leader for throwing  ondas, spoons, plugs, poppers and surface drop shots [ this outfit has the added advantage of being able to double up as  shore spinning set up as well]
  2. 6’3 GRANDWAVE Z medium jigging rod matched with Diawa saltist 4500 spinning reel loaded with 55 lb diawa saltiga boat braid and a .74 siglon fluro leader. This outfit I would use for deeper drop shotting and light vertical jigging.

LURES

Poppers and stick baits

  1. Rattler popper 140 mm
  2. Rattler slidersub surface sinking stick bait
  3. Wild dogcup face popper
  4. Halcoskim stick
  5. Dark starWahoo  floating  stick bait

Casting lures

  1. Kingfisher onda
  2. Cid couta casting spoon
  3. Wing sinking stick bait
  4. Chase 2 bullet
  5. Large Maria duplex white

DROP SHOTS

  1. MACARTHY PADDLE TAILS; 4- 6 INCH – colours are a personal preference but I had success on the copper treuse and goldfish
  2. Berkley 5 inch power minnow in pearl watermelon [if you get your hands on any]
  3. Some scented / flavored minnows such as gulp – the bottom species seem to prefer them

OTHER LURES

A few smaller vertical jigs and definitely a few squiddy jigs to fish the deeper reefs and for the old school a few whipping spoons for the couta. Some daisy chains and tiny spoons for Bonnies.

OTHER TACKLE

A few couta traces, some small circle hooks for live baiting for queen fish, sinkers and rubber bands for down rigging, balloons to drift live / dead baits away from the boat and some sabiki jigs to target bait.

LULA’S PARADISE LODGE

Lula’s is an awesome lodge, well situated, well appointed and seriously well equipped. The chalets are organized and spotlessly clean. Generators provide necessary power and there is constant solar lighting in the units. There is great little pub and dining with an undercover braai area as well as an open pit campfire facility. A sparkling pool on the bank of the estuary, with beach volleyball court rounds off a destination the has a bit for the whole family. For the little ones there is some fantastic fishing just in front of the lodge at the small outcrop of rocks – perch, grunter, slimys and even kingfish can be caught here on small baits.

The last 30 km to the lodge must be driven along the beach, it is imperative to do this bit of the journey over low tide with 4X4. One requires a permit from the local port captain, if you request it, I am sure the lodge can assist in organizing a permit. Remember to let down your tyres. Although self-catering at the moment, the owners are looking into fully catered options specifically for Fly in clients and groups.

Mozambique is a malaria area, so it is strongly suggested that before travelling you consult you G.P to prescribe relevant prophylactics, especially for the children. Bug repellant and light weight long sleeve and track pants at night will minimize the risk of getting bitten. Remember to be aware of any malaria symptoms when you return and inform your doctor of you visit to Mozambique.

Since this trip I have been inundated with requests on information on this area- it truly is a gem and a bucket list destination for both shore and deep-sea anglers. For packages to suit your needs email Ferdinand’s tours at :bookings@fgroup.co.za

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