Together with Gabon pioneer, Ed Truter, this exploratory trip had been meticulously planned, and after a years delay, finally became a reality in late February this year. It is thanks to this expert planning and Ed’s valuable local knowledge that made the trip the success it was.
It quickly became apparent that the trick with fishing Gabon is having a game plan. You need to structure your day around what the tide is doing, and wake up each day with a detailed plan of how your are going to structure your fishing around the tidal movement.
Once the tide was right and it was time to head to the mouth, this is when the real action began. The reason why we fished the mouth from the low, was that on the outgoing tide the tidal push is just too strong, and the fishing is marginal. Once the tide reaches low, and the tide first starts to turn, it creates a lull in the strong current. In this lull the fish become hugely aggressive, and what we experienced there, on a daily basis, was without a doubt the best shore based/rock and surf fishing I have ever experienced. The fishing entailed fishing solely with artificials, namely bucktail jigs, spoons and surface poppers, such as chisel nosed plugs and rooster poppers. This session would generally last about 4 hours, and everyday it would get to the point where we were too tired to fish. Jacks, too numerous to mention and giant African threadfin created the majority of the fish. Both these species are incredibly strong, and the battles played out on that isolated beach were at times titanic. Some huge great threadfin were landed, with the largest being between 25 and 30 kilos. What was astounding is that these were still considered small, and for this reason we cant wait to take the next groups back to Gabon to chase the bigger specimens of threadfin. We also had chances to cast at tarpon rolling in the surf, as well as at big cuberra snapper. A few of these taught us a lesson, but we did manage some great fish.
We are in the fortunate position to be able to visit many new destinations. We constantly have our ear to the ground, on the look out for the unique and pristine locations to offer our clientel. The reality of these expeditions is that many of them fail to match up to the our pre exploratory expectations. Gabon was most definitely not one of these trips. It lived up to everything we expected and more. It wasn’t only the unbelievable quality of the fishing, but the overall experience of being in a place that is so remote and pristine. It is precisely this combination of an untouched and world class fishery and pristine natural environment that make Gabon such a world class venue.