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Featured Article
'Fishing Tales from The Gambia'
Daddy Chabi (Trevor Key)

Cassava 'chaos'

After quite a long illness, an old friend of mine named Willy Muere, who owned and ran an excellent restaurant here in The Gambia, began to show gradual signs of recovery.  As Willy had always been a keen angler, Mark Longster and I decided to invite him out for a days fishing in order to cheer him up. Nothing too strenuous, just a 30 minute cruise out to a rocky outcrop known locally as 'Mantel Reef' where we heard via the local fishermen's grapevine, that the 'Cassava' (Croaker, Law) were running. 

I had recently arrived back from my annual leave here in the UK, and for some perverse reason had stuck in my luggage a 1lb pack of deep frozen sand eels, a leftover from a holiday trip, fishing out of Whitby. So on the day in question, Willy, Mark and myself set off with a bucket full of live-bait, 2 kg of fresh prawns and 1lb pack of frozen sand eels!  On reaching the reef we found a couple of charter boats and 3 or 4 local canoe fishermen already there, and in reply to our enquiries, we learned to our dismay, that they had only caught 2 fish between them.  So after a brief 'board meeting' we decided to move to shallower rocky ground closer inshore - a wise decision, for within 5 minutes of setting the anchor we were into the fish.  Because of the rocky ground we were dropping our baits to the bottom, and then with a couple of turns on the reel lifting our terminal tackle about 6 ft off, so as to avoid the otherwise inevitable snags.  Not only did this tactic work, but the Gods must have been smiling on us that day, for we landed right on top of a large shoal of hungry Cassava.  The Fish began coming in thick and fast, and all good sized fish of between 16-24lbs.  No sooner had we 'dropped' when we were into fish, we were even getting takes before we hit the bottom.  Inevitably we lost a few fish, but we were such 'happy bunnies' we hardly noticed!

Eventually all of our live baits were finished and we switched to fresh prawns, but lo and behold - nothing changed and the fish kept coming thick and fast.  By now we were rapidly filling our second plastic dustbin with fish, however the prawns were also running out, so I decided to try one of my, now de-frosted, sand eels.  Little did I realise until that moment, that, in the 'Cassava world', North sea sand eels are considered a delicacy! - for the catch rate never varied.

It really was one of those days that most anglers dream about, i swear that if I had stuck a sweaty sock on my hook I would have still caught.  When our bait eventually ran out completely and we three 'happy bunnies' returned to our mooring at Denton Bridge, we had on-board, 41 fish (38 Cassava, 2 Cubera Snapper and 1 Barracuda).

Needless to say, Mark and I were eating free 'a la carte' fish dishes in Willy's restaurant for some weeks afterwards.

Daddy Chabi






  'Cassava Chaos'


Fishing in The Gambia - What's Available
General Descriptions


Fish for giant Atlantic Tarpon  in The Gambia river estuary........Read More


Sport Fishing on the inshore reefs & sandbars
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Light tackle species fishing in the oyster mangrove creeks................
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Shore Angling Safari's along Gambia's unspoilt coastline................
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    THE BOAT - Skippers - Location
Our Boston Whaler boat will get you to all major fishing grounds within 30 mins......................................
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To name a few...........

West African Pompano....Barracuda, Guinean Barracuda. Butterfish....Cassava-Croaker....Catfish.... Cobia..... Grouper.... Giant West African Threadfin....Guitarfish.... Halibut....Nine-Bone (Ladyfish).... Long-neck Croaker.... Jacks (Trevally & Crevelle)......Snappers......Spanish- Mackerel....Large Rays....Tarpon....Tigerfish.



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Beautiful Butterfish
'Jack' The Ripper
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