El Dorado: The Mozambique experience

We can assure you that the Santa Maria experience will not disappoint

ElDorado Fishing Charters, is a fishing charter company that is owned and operated by Mike and Marselle Watridge. The charters are conducted off the Southern Mozambique coast from Santa Maria, which is situated near Maputo and Inhaca Island.

Many years ago Mike and Marselle where introduced to Santa Maria and began enjoying many successful family fishing holidays there. Eventually, we decided to begin sharing our fantastic fishing experiences with clients, and so ElDorado Fishing charters was born in early 2020. We have been fortunate enough to have fished at a good number of well known locations in South Africa as well as in Florida USA and Mauritius. Nothing that we have experienced thus far comes even remotely close to what Santa Maria has to offer. It truly is a little piece of paradise.

Santa Maria has a good variety of game fish species to offer which includes; Dorado (in the warmer months), Couta, Tuna, Wahoo (in winter months), Sailfish, Blue, Black and striped Marlin to name a few. Given that Santa Maria falls within a marine reserve, it is not permitted to catch any bottom fish, but the pelagic fishing is so good that we have never had a need to try for bottoms. We also have a catch and release policy on all billfish. We offer a minimum of three full fishing days (we do recommend more days but three is the absolute minimum). We have an all-inclusive daily rate which includes, accommodation, meals, drinks (alcohol in moderation), boat, skipper, tackle and bait, fuel, filleting, vacuum packing and freezing of fish. All you have to do is pack a bag and arrive in the camp. We take care of all the rest for you. The majority of our clients self-drive to the camp. From Gauteng one would drive to Nelspruit, then Komatipoort. Cross the Ressano Garcia border into Mozambique and drive to Maputo. From Maputo, you will go over the Katembe Bridge and head in the direction of Ponta Do Ouro. On route you will need to turn left off the tar road and enter into the Elephant park and head towards Santa Maria. The journey through the Elephant park takes time (+- 4h30mins) due to the thick sand, two track roads. A four wheel drive vehicle is an absolute must. Game in the park is fairly abundant which does make the journey more enjoyable. Total travel time from Gauteng to the camp should take around 9 – 10 hours with the majority being on good tar roads. We avoid taking any bookings over public holidays as the borders can get extremely busy during these periods.

The camp that we use is very spacious. It has a swimming pool, as well as three on suite, airconditioned bedrooms which can sleep two people per room. The camp also has free WIFI. 

Our current boat, ElDorado, is a 21 foot Yeld Cat which is powered by two DF140 Suzuki four stroke outboard motors. The boat can accommodate a maximum of four fishermen at any one time. We use a variety of different fishing techniques, depending on what fish we are targeting, however the two most productive methods are either drifting with live bait or fast trawling with a combination of artificial lures as well as Halfbeaks. We do not have any time limits on each days fishing. A typical day involves us launching as early as possible and fishing for as long as our clients choose to (or until the sun sets). We do take a packed lunch and snack box on the boat each day. The boat is also equipped with a fridge / freezer which is filled with ice cold water, soft drinks and beer. Most launches are done through “Hells Gate” which is a +- 500 meter wide channel between the mainland and Inhaca Island. If however, the sea is rough, there is an alternative launch which involves going around Portuguese Island to the North of Inhaca island 

Ultimately, our goal is to offer all our clients an unforgettable fishing experience surrounded by a relaxed atmosphere. We attempt, to involve our clients in the entire fishing experience as much as possible and we can assure you that the Santa Maria experience will not disappoint.      

Contact El Dorado Fishing Charters

Mike Watridge | +27 (83) 283 7073 | mike@eldoradomoz.com

Marselle Watridge | +27 (82) 431 9332 | marselle@eldoradomoz.com

Website: www.eldoradomoz.com

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