St Lazarus Banks Report October 2013

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Smith
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:29 am
Boat: Waiting
Best catch: Any fish

St Lazarus Banks Report October 2013

Post by Smith » Fri May 02, 2014 1:11 pm

The trip that made my dreams come true

The days sitting on google dreaming of one day going on an exotic fishing getaway to Bassas, Madagascar Seychelles became a reality one Thursday when a mate who I hadn’t seen for the last 10 years called me up and said that there were two positions open for a trip that they had organised to St Lazarus banks. I of cause knew exactly what this entailed and confirmed my attendance pending my leave approval. Well it was either getting leave or I would be looking for a new job when I got back. Lucky it was not the latter

There was just over a month before we were to depart and I was tackleless and clueless on what to expect. Back to google, the forums and I sent messages of help to all who I could find and to whom I owe still a very big thank you. The rule of thumb for these trips is only go with the best. Well the best doesn’t come cheap. Reels from R8k, rods, R2-4k, braid and lets not talk about the lures and terminal tackle. There was no chance that I could afford this. I made every contact I could and between mates and various forum members I put together an arsenal of kit that almost cost me for the additional weight on the flight. I must at this juncture send out a massive thanks to Christo and Miles who went all out in assisting me, not only with your valued knowledge but also the loaning of the some great gear. Very few fisherman will loan their prized fishing gear to someone they hardly know. Also Bennie Jordaan of Deamon Tackle, your poppers are something else.

Further on the flights, SAA and KLM both allow an extra 22kg for sporting gear as long as it is one item. Between two guys you can have a rod tube and a big bag for tackle. Also NO braid is allowed in hand luggage on both airlines. So either spool there or ur spools will have to go in the main luggage. Also what you need to look out for is on arrival in Pemba the customs officials see you from a mile away and try mess you around. Firstly keep the prices off you gear otherwise they will try and charge you import tax. If so make sure u ask them for the forms and complete them, pay, and then when you leave again you will be reimbursed. Apparently, and it worked for us, once you ask them for it, its too much of a mission and they leave you alone.

St Lazarus Banks for those who don’t know is a submerged atoll approximately 120km NW from Pemba in northern Mozambique. It is approximately 20 by 30km. the reef comes to within about 10m of the surface but averages out at 15-20m deep. The fish however are not on the reef. We fished predominantly the northern tip on the reef and the fish sit on the dropoff, which at places drops from 40m to off the chart over a distance on 50m. This makes fishing very hard in the 3-4knot current that ran from North to South. Im told that the current gets pushed up by the reef and with it all the nutrients from the sea bottom, with that comes the food that the baitfish feed on, closely followed by the pelagics. We were there over the neap tides and the fishing was apparently not what it should have been. After chatting to a few locals it appears that SLB, like any other reef, fishes much better on the springs than neaps. If I can go again it would be over springs.

Tackle:

Shimano Jigwex with a Saragosa 18000, 100lb powerpro depthfinder
Heavy Shimano Spinning Rod, Saragosa 18000 with 80lb powerpro
Shimano Exage 8ft, Sustain 8000 with 50lb powerpro
Shimano Vengance 8ft, Sedona 4000 with 16lb powerpro

I had problems with my Saragosas. We had 5 new ones on board and 3 of them after the 3rd day started giving problems. As soon as there was pressure on the spool to would make a terrible noise and have a funny feeling. What we didn’t know is that there is a bearing in the roller on the bailarm that needs to be oiled. A quick check from the shimano rep here in Cape Town confirmed this and the reel is ready for the next trip. Other than this small issue, the reels were great and put up a great resistance to the lightening runs of wahoo and yellowfin.

Anyways I know u guys are after photos so ill let them speak for themselves.

If I had to go again the following tackle I wouldn’t go without:

Shimano Jigwex with a Saragosa 18000, 100lb powerpro depthfinder
Heavy Shimano Spinning Rod, Saragosa 18000 with 80lb powerpro
Shimano Exage 8ft, Sustain 8000 with 50lb powerpro

Braid: Powerpro, Knot Braid to Fluro FG Knot. Best knot I have used. Quick and easy with a very low profile: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52uWL43hUbw

Fluro: Get good fluro. The water is crystal clear. We had 30-40m vis. While diving around the boat we could see the lines and how fish rushed up to lures and at the last moment would turn away. It was very interesting observing how the fish behaved around the vertical jigs and other lures. On a straightforward fast retrieve the fish would follow effortlessly checking it out and then turning as it got to the boat. On two occasuins what triggered a strike was as the jig was brought up to the boat and dropped to go down again, the change in the jig plummeting to the bottom incited a strike. U cannot believe how fast these fish are. They have exceptional eye sight. I was holding my stickbait, in a ready to cast position, off the side of the boat and a wahoo leaped out the water trying to attck it. More than 2m above the water. The skipper told us he had a client where the wahoo saw a lure dangling on the side jamp and hit the mast of the boat, came thru the captains hatch and back into the water over the back. You see fish chasing baitfish all the time. Moastly wahoo but also sailies and cuta. They follow for a considerable period of time the flying fish while its out of the water, often leaping to catch them. Very fustrating when there are massive splashes all around and you cant get a hookup. From being in the water while the guys were spinning from the boat we say that not even 5% of the fish that follow your lures actually bite. This makes one think about retrieves and how one needs to vary and change it up all the time. You actually need to be in the mindset that there is a fish following your lure and have to incite it to bite. Quick stops, hard jerks, were key for hookups.

Lures: BIG stickbaits.
1)Williamson Typhoon stick 125g Orange got all my GT and wahoo on it. Lovely to cast, not too heavy and can be nicely trolled behind boat with the backlines. The Wild Dog in pinks also worked really well and accounted for big YF, GT, & Wahoo
2)BIG cup faced Poppers. Bennie Jordaan of Deamon Tackle makes some really good ones. Very strong and the splash it makes is something else. Its colour didn’t seem to make too much difference but the pink and redhead worked lekker. The only problem with these kind of lures is that it is really hard work.
3)Willimson speed lures. For backlines there were two colours that by far outfished the others, the trusty redhead and the Pink.
4) the big sinking stickbait from Jigstar Africa. I didn’t have, but the guide had one, and it worked a treat,. It has an amazing action just retrieved without walking the dog.
5)Chisel-nosed-plugs. The big ones with a red head
6) Vertical jigs: nothing under 200g. Best was between 250 and 300. Don’t let pple tell you that the doggies prefer the shor fat jigs. That’s what I was fishing with and I was outfished by the medium length. The best jig is the one from the pics. The Eastern Cape boys just poured lead into a wooden mould they made, klapped a captain Morgan cap in it and the doggies couldn’t leave it alone. The reds and greens and pinks seemed to work best.
7)Bucktail jigs
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Smith
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:29 am
Boat: Waiting
Best catch: Any fish

Re: St Lazarus Banks Report October 2013

Post by Smith » Fri May 02, 2014 1:13 pm

These pics should be first
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Smith
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:29 am
Boat: Waiting
Best catch: Any fish

Re: St Lazarus Banks Report October 2013

Post by Smith » Fri May 02, 2014 1:16 pm

Then carrying on
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Smith
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:29 am
Boat: Waiting
Best catch: Any fish

Re: St Lazarus Banks Report October 2013

Post by Smith » Fri May 02, 2014 1:18 pm

.
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Smith
Posts: 74
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Boat: Waiting
Best catch: Any fish

Re: St Lazarus Banks Report October 2013

Post by Smith » Fri May 02, 2014 1:20 pm

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Smith
Posts: 74
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Boat: Waiting
Best catch: Any fish

Re: St Lazarus Banks Report October 2013

Post by Smith » Fri May 02, 2014 1:22 pm

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Smith
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Re: St Lazarus Banks Report October 2013

Post by Smith » Fri May 02, 2014 1:25 pm

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Smith
Posts: 74
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Best catch: Any fish

Re: St Lazarus Banks Report October 2013

Post by Smith » Fri May 02, 2014 1:31 pm

..
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User avatar
CONFLICT
Posts: 358
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 5:11 pm
Boat: Wit en blou eene
Best catch: 10.5kg Yellowtail

Re: St Lazarus Banks Report October 2013

Post by CONFLICT » Fri May 02, 2014 5:45 pm

Jaloers! Lyk awesome

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Pugwash
Posts: 676
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Boat: Bandit 380 DF20
Ark Minnow DF5
Best catch: 1m+ Geets

Re: St Lazarus Banks Report October 2013

Post by Pugwash » Sat May 03, 2014 8:49 am

Epic!!! Been dying to go to St. Laz. Nice report. Thanks for sharing mate. Photography is higher grade!

Re: Jigwrex, on a trip to Linene in 2012, out of 5 Jigwrex rods among 8 of us , there was only 1 left unbroken after a week. For the money, I'd recommend a trevala xh or even a beastmaster. I'm having to replace my Smith 52EX after it broke at Bassas and my budget has taken a beating recently so I'm looking at having a jigging stick built for me on a Composite Developments blank. It's more cost effective than one thinks.

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