What do you get when you combine the untapped fishing potential of Southern Mozambique with the freedom associated with jetski angling? The answer can be found on the shores of Ponta Do Ouro in February when the biggest jetski fishing competition in the world takes place!
Ponta is a place like to no other. It’s the perfect holiday destination for South Africans, packed with great surf, friendly people, and most importantly, some of the best fishing in the world. Things move at a different pace in Mozambique. The smells are different; everything from the food to the expansive white sand beaches speaks to the soul.
Pictures by Anthony Grote
Whether you head to Ponta as a competitor or not, there is no avoiding the festivities and fare provided by the locals at Coco Rico Resort, which is ideally positioned for easy beach access and comes with the best air-conditioned accommodation in Ponta. The town of Ponto do Oura is only a 30-minute drive from the southern border of Mozambique, the most accessible entry point for South Africans driving in.
The 10th annual Racetech Yamaha Jetski Fishing Classic is now only a few months away and with it comes the pride of the thriving jet ski fishing community in South Africa. But it’s not all cutthroat competition. The ease of launching in Ponta Bay and the abundance of game fish around in summer means even newbies to the sport will have plenty of fun! The three-day competition, which is organised by Go Fish Magazine http://www.gofishmagazine.co.za/ begins on the 14th of February and runs up until the 17th.
Entries are now open and with an estimated prize purse of over R350, 000 so do not miss out. The competition is a catch, photo/video and release event prioritising sustainable fishing practices, so get a camera that takes good video as the judges this year are going to be very specific making sure the fish is released. There is also a substantial possibility of some fine-tuning of the rules and separate scoring for doubles to make it easier for anglers but these are yet to be finalised. There is also a standby day in case the weather is forecasted to be unfavourable on one of the competition days. There will also be some product testing and clinics taking place so avid anglers can learn even more about their fishing obsession.
The warm currents that flow through Mozambique’s in-shore reef structures make for great fishing. You’ll find tuna species, yellowfin, little eastern tuna bonnies, some couta if you’re lucky and the water temp is right, some wahoo, dorado, and also sailfish. You might also encounter the odd cobia, natal snoek and billfish.
Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned return and if you’re not a South African passport holder, make sure you get a visa before departing. For anglers driving up and planning to launch their own boats anywhere between Ponta do Ouro and Santa Maria, you need to make sure that you stop at the Maritime office in Ponta do Ouro. There you will receive a launching permit and a valid fishing license. To do this, you’ll need a skipper’s ticket, seaworthy certificate, passport and insurance papers. The maritime office will also let you know what fish restrictions and fish limits there are in place at any given time. Also, vehicles crossing the border need the original vehicle registration, emergency triangle and your South African driver’s license.
We caught up with Brendan Nolan, the organiser of the event and owner of Go Fish Magazine, the bi-monthly publication that covers many corners of coastal angling to get a bit more of an in-depth look at the jetski fishing competition.
What can competitors look forward to regarding fish species in Mozambique’s waters?
There is an abundance of Species in Ponta in February. Yellowfin Tuna, Eastern Little Tuna, most Kingfish species, Couta, Wahoo, Dorado, and Billfish. It really is a good time of year to be there.
For the families of competing anglers who are coming to the competition what sorts of activities can they get up to?
We love hosting the families as well. The event is aimed at bringing the families and having an excellent family holiday. Beach. Beach. Beach. Ponta Do Ouro has the most beautiful secluded bay with a vast beach. There is a fantastic area to swim in the bay, and it is very protected. The town of Ponta has plenty to see and buy. The markets are lovely there. At the host resort itself, Coco Rico, there is a huge pool and plenty of space to relax around the pool. For the more adventurous they could take a drive further North to Ponta Malongane and stop and visit little shops and pubs along the way.
Where is the best accommodation for anglers in the Ponta area?
Coco Rico is our resort of choice. That’s where all festivities take place, and it is perfect for the event and has immaculate well laid out chalets. If Coco Rico is full, then Nkumbe Wildlife Estate on the road to Malongane is highly recommended.
What can competitors and spectators look forward to in light of the product testing and clinics taking place during the event?
We always like our competitors to learn something from an event such as this. We host a few clinics during the weekend to help anglers come away from the event as better fishermen. Lots of questions can get asked, and we do our best to answer them all. In fact, even outside of clinic times we welcome inquiries from anglers. It’s what we love to do. The product tests are beneficial for both sponsors and competitors alike. Sponsors get to show their product off directly to a captive audience, and competitors get to see first hand what our sponsors have to offer on a very personal level.
Pop into Racetech Yamaha for new equipment and offers on new and second-hand jetskis.