Gabon Season 2020: Week 4 – Breaking personal records

When you arrive in Sette Cama, the first day in camp can feel a little surreal. This energy and excitement that has been building during the weeks leading up to your trip, the heightened anticipation that has grown exponentially during your travels to camp, all peaking at 11:00 am when you arrive at camp, and realise there is a good 6 hours to fill before we get anywhere near the water. The buzz and energy hangs over the camp, with everyone riding the seemingly endless waves of adrenaline and excitement.  Tackle is rigged up at breakneck speed, lures and flies are picked and packed at the slightest hint of interest from the guides, and then everything is gone over a second time, and a third time, just to be sure.

Its truly one of my favourite times in camp. The nervous expectation and bubbling excitement are palpable, infectious even. Guests can’t get on the boats fast enough, the first session awaits.

But this first session, one that we often view as a practice session where the main objective is to get the jitters and nerves out of the system; to dust off the cobwebs before we really put you through the week of back to back late sessions and early starts, sometimes produces some of the best fishing of the week. There is no better introduction to the fishing in Sette Cama, nothing that sets the tone for the week, quite like getting stuck into one of the Gabonese giants on the first night.

Week 4 of the 2020 Season, we were joined by father and son duo Robert and Michael, coming from Australia and Ghana respectively, and Niklas and Alex arriving both from Germany, who had come specifically to target Sharks. Long journeys for everyone, but excitement levels were high going into the first session. A tricky tide and a searingly bright full moon meant we were battling conditions a little, but sometimes all it takes is one cast to change a tricky session into an unforgettable one.

Michael quickly discovered this as night fell, hooking into a monstrous tarpon. After a fight of 20 or so minutes, and several close encounters with sandbanks and sharks, we finally were able to bring this beautiful fish to hand. Estimated at upwards of 85kg, this may very well be the largest Tarpon landed this season. After a quick photo with the fish in a small shallow bay, it was released, swimming off strongly to be caught another day.

For the Shark fishermen, their monster fish came on the second evening. Niklas, had lost a decent shark the night before being cut off on a submerged tree stump, however the fish on this second night was different. This time Niklas was able to get the fish into the open ocean and the surf, and here the seasoned shark angler was never in doubt of landing the fish. Measuring at over 2m80cm, this behemoth Bull shark was Niklas’ personal best, and what he had travelled all the way to Gabon to catch.

With the monkey well and truly off the back for the week, the group could enjoy every session without the pressure of finding that fish. The Snapper and Threadfin were around in decent numbers, but rather than the large shoals we often get, we were encountering the larger, single fish – harder to locate, but worth every minute of effort once hooked up to these enigmatic fish.

Unusually we found a good head of threadfin established far up into the lagoon this week, which made for a nice addition to the usual quarry of snapper and jacks in the mornings. Soft plastic lures were the deciding factor here, with these fish ignoring almost everything else on offer. We’re always learning what makes the lagoon tick here, and discovering these fish so far up the lagoon was another enlightening experience as to the fishing possibilities available to us here at Sette Cama.

If you’re interested in experiencing this diverse fishery for yourself, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Until next week