Cape Verde is located 500 km out in the Atlantic Ocean just off Senegal on the west coast of Africa. A trip to Cape Verde from Denmark costs a little more than a trip to the traditional holiday destinations in Europe, but you will get a real tropical holiday experience. The temperature is high, even in winter it is easily 27 degrees in the middle of the day, at least it was in mid-December when I took the plane from Billund (Denmark) to the island of Sal, one of the easternmost islands in the archipelago called Cape Verde. I didn't set off for the sake of the heat alone, of course it was the exotic fishing for exciting fish species that made me go there. On foot and a rented motorcycle, I explored the fishing opportunities on Sal for a week. My hotel was like most on the island in the town of Santa Maria, and it was also here that I started my fishing adventure.
|Fishing from the boat pier in Santa Maria.||It was actually weather for t-shirt and shorts, but my arms quickly got too much sun, and I was glad I had a long-sleeved shirt with me.|
Turquoise waves at Cape Verde
The water around the island was more of a blue, it was a stunning turquoise, exactly like in the holiday commercials. At the town's boat pier at the beach with the turquoise water, I booked a trip on a boat with a local fisherman. When I'm on a fishing holiday, I always try to get to sea with a boat, it almost always yields some exciting fish, and usually also fish that are bigger than those you can catch from land. The boat trip started at the boat pier and then went a little east along the coast. After 10 minutes of sailing, the fishing could begin, and soon something was interested in my bait, which we fished on classic bottom rigs with lead at the bottom and two single hooks above. It turned into a multitude of species; parrotfish, bluespotted seabass, squirrelfish and soapfish to name a few.
|Skipper Hernany.||A beautiful parrotfish.|
|Bluespotted seabass.||Red squirrelfish.|
Later in the week I was at sea again, this time with a different boat and a different skipper. The weather was rough, and life was at stake as the trip went out through three meter high waves in a small wooden boat. When we anchored at the fishing ground, however, the boat was calmer, and we caught quite a few nice fish. Here I caught, among other things, a well-fighting almaco jack weighing a few kilos, a surgeonfish and some nice mullets.
|The sea was rough on the boat trip.||A nice almaco jack.|
|Monrovia surgeonfish.||Fishing in the sea east of Sal. Despite the 20 - 25 degree heat, a light jacket was necessary on the windy sea.|
Sharks in the tropical night
One of the things that were on the wish list on this holiday to Cape Verde, was to catch a shark. A fishing guide told me, that the beach just off Santa Maria was a good place to fish for sharks. The large single hooks and wire leader were retrieved from the tackle box, and a handful of baitfish was bought from a local fisherman on the boat pier. The fishing for sharks is supposed to be best at night, so at 7pm when it had gotten dark, I walked from the hotel down to the fishing ground.
It turned out that the fishing grounds housed large sharks! So big and so sharp-toothed that I twice had my wire leader cut after a few seconds of fighting. However, I managed to land two smaller sharks of up to 91 cm, the smaller sharks were most likely milk sharks. In addition to the sharks, the night fishing also yielded a spotfin burrfish and a moray eel.
|Bait for the predatory fish of the night.||The first shark of the trip!|
|Presumably a milk shark.||Spotfin burrfish. A funny inflatable fish.|
By Kasper Strube
Read more about fishing in Cape Verde in the Danish article on FiskeFoto: