Strip baits are a must in Kenyan waters, and every charter boat captain in this region stresses their importance in targeting billfish.
“Give them a taste to come back to,” says local Captain Stewart Simpson. “When the small ‘bills’ are shoaling and there is activity in the spread, the taste and smell of fish flesh turns on the marlin and sailfish to attack a bait with greater ferocity."
The following process first appeared in the South African fishing journal SKI-BOAT. It is a very simple, detailed, step-by-step series on how to cut and rig the bellyshines from a baitfish.
While it’s true that bellyshine off any gamefish is good, there is no doubt that certain species produce a more preferable strip that, after decades of experience, has been shown to be more appealing to the sailfish and marlin in Kenyan waters than that of other fish. The top-three gamefish for this purpose are kawakawa (little eastern tuna), small yellowfin tuna and dorado.
At the outset, I need to acknowledge the assistance of the two deckies on the Black Widow — Nixon Nyieni and Adam Lenga — who assisted me by preparing the necessary strips for photographing this process.
Publishing Executive, SKI -BOAT
Copyright © 2013 Sport Fishing Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.