Sunday, December 1, 2013

MJK Spearfishing Lazarus Banks

MJK 65kg Dog Tooth Tuna - Lazarus banks
I have been away for weeks now guiding different spearfishing trips and adventures. One of the standouts was the week spent with Mohammed Al Kuwari out on the famous Lazarus banks in northern Mozambique. it was the first time I had guided out there so I teamed up with Eric Allard, who has been running charters there for the last year already and has access to good boats. Because Lazarus is so far from shore we needed a live-aboard which meant that we literally just did the 'eat-sleep-dive' thing for over a week.

We were also filming MJK's segment for a new film 'In The Zone' is working on. Richard 'Snoek' Leonard came out to direct the shoot and be extra hands and eyes in the water. Lazarus was perfect for filming with its crystal clean water and shoals of Doggies and Sharks.

Lazarus is an amazing spot, and has some incredible Dog Tooth Tuna. The shallow structure and numerous coral bommies meant that landing the fish was easier said that done. The Doggies were also very cunning and after the first few drifts would sit just a little bit deeper, close enough to pick out the big ones, but just too far for a perfect shot. You learn very fast that unless its the shot is the most perfect you have ever had and that you are 100% sure of hurting or stoning the fish its just not worth taking. Broken steel cable is testament to this, the big Dogs are just insanely powerful.

Mohammed who is known for his epic kill shots was on a good run at first with 3 kill shots (or as we joke with him "MJK shots") in a row. With a prize 65kg Doggie rolling over with a perfect MJK shot, possibly one of the best shots I have ever seen. The good run came to an abrupt end when he shot an even bigger fish. The fish rolled over and we were almost about to celebrate when the fish woke up, it did a slow dazzed circle around us at 30m and then disappeared with 2 x 35l and 2 x 11l floats. We eventually got the floats back, and the steel shooting line had sheared off!! So you can only imagine what happens if your shot is bad.
MJK with a 45kg Lazarus GT
Giant Kingfish are also numerous on the Lazarus and we saw shootable fish every day. MJK took one and it weighed in at 45kg, but I think if we were not focusing on Doggies we would have found a bigger one. Then again we were focusing on great fish on film so we also only took the shots where everything was perfect.
Rich, MJK, And myself
Lazarus is fairly big and a week is not enough time to explore all the spots. We would have loved to have stayed on for more days but we were limited to how long we could stay out there by how long the ice that was keeping the fish would last. So we left feeling like we need more days :-) I guess that's not a bad thing. It just means we will have to go back.
Lazarus is a serious logistical mare, yachts, boats flights and of course this all means that its not cheap. But if you have the means, then this is definitely a place you need to add to your bucket list.

Coatesman


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