Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chideguele Mozambique - Fishingski Trip

Muir Robertson with a good sized Queenfish in the green water at Chideguele.
 I have just got back from a week away at Chideguele Mozambique. I went up to film and take pics for the HookedUp guys who were taking part in the 'Top 20' fishingski competition up there.
Chideguele is an amazing place there is a huge reef structure consisting of 3 main ledges that run for over 50 km. The closest ledge starts on the beach near the lighthouse and angles out to sea until it gets to about 4km off shore.
The next ledge mainly runs between 10-18m and is only a few hundred meters off shore at the light house but was already almost 2km off shore where we were staying 10 km further up. The next ledge is amazing and is generally around the 20m mark and drops off to the mid 30's in most places.
In some areas the two ledges are close and you get drop offs that go from the shallow 20's to almost 40m!!

Chideguele is about 50km north of Xai-Xai on the EN1 .. you cant miss it.
Chideguele unfortunately is plagued with green water, the same green algae & plankton rich water that Guninjata and Zavora suffer. It is however the right stuff the fish like and generally the fishing is unbelievable. The one fish in particular that likes this area is our old friend the Couta. I even saw a lodge called Sera .. Portuguese for Couta.

We paddled our asses off for a week trying to work out the spot. And because the comp was a species comp we couldn't just go and wind the Couta on the deep ledges. So we landed up shallow ..then deep ...then on that end of the reef and..... then on the other.

I had my dive gear with for when I need to film the guys landing the fish from the water, unfortunately the vis was so bad this did not happen alot. I did manage to sneak a quick dive the one day when the vis was around 4-6m ... not the best when a couple km off shore. I managed a Couta of 13kg, but being ace out it was not the most pleasant experience.
The view from Casa Demar the lodge we stayed in.
 Out side of the green water the place is pretty cool, there are loads of waves to surf and beach is very picturesque. We stayed about half way up the reef at Casa Demar, which gave the guys access to the reefs 10km to either side. On the first 2 days the swell was big and the inside ledges were breaking a km out. A couple guys got smashed and lost a fair amount of gear when they got caught inside by the rouge sets.
Walley with just another Chidenguele Couta.
On the bright side I bumped into a South African chap who is commercial fishing there. He had some really interesting insight that might fair well for us spearfisherman. There is another ledge that runs even deeper about 16km off shore at the close side. He said it is almost always clean there and it comes up to 30m from out of 47m water. They often ... most days catch 20kg plus Couta there and he has gotten fish over 40kg.

On hearing this I went on a mission to get more info and some marks. Unfortunately through a comedy of errors, I got left behind at the lodge he was staying at and then proceeded to get horribly lost walking back to Casa Demar. My walk about took 3 hours the last hour in the pitch black of night. All I could hear was the sea as a reference so made for the beach and eventually made it back to the lodge. By then I had missed dinner and after a day paddling the ocean I was beat, so as you can well imagine there was very little comedy when I got back.

The upside is I have the marks and next opportunity I get I am seriously think about getting out to the deep marks off Chideguele, I think the place could be the spot to break that 30kg Couta mark.

Coatesman

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