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Fishing Zanzibar

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Nungwi, Tanzania
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About Fishing Zanzibar
CATCH THE EXCITEMENT! Zanzibar's Premier Big Game and Sportfishing Charter Company. Join us now for an action packed day out fishing on the crystal clear Indian Ocean waters that surround Zanzibar!
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Joel M wrote a review Mar 2020
1 contribution1 helpful vote
Booking the trip by e-mail was smooth, answers were quick. I tried to ask various questions about what style of fishing they suggest at that time we were going to fish, and what species we could catch, and if it would be worthy to try something else than trolling. It was hard to get answers to those questions. They informed that it would be possible to do popping and they would loan rods for us to use. They highlighted that if we were able to damage the rods we would pay for it. So we decided to book Cobia 8 hour charter. They suggested 10-18 because the tide was better for fishing that time. They also arranged transfers from our hotel (Blue bay) and back 40$ each way. Day before the trip I contacted by whatsapp and asked if two more angler could come with us and it was ok, answer was quick. They informed that they could loan two popping rods and one jigging rod. In the morning pick up from our hotel was on time. Smaller boat took us from the beach at Nungwi to the charter. Our captain was friendly and spoke fluent english. There was also another staff member who didnt speak english. First we started trolling. Pretty soon we caught 4 dorados, that was nice. Dorados were killed instantly. After that we did some popping on top of a reef with the two popping rods. It was quite near the island. Pretty soon we noticed that one of the two poppers was broken and did not float. They didnt have any more poppers with them. I found that unsatisfying because I wanted to do popping and I had made it clear when i booked the charter. So we had only one popper and four anglers on boat. We didnt caught any fish by popping. We decided quickly to do some more trolling nearby the reef since we first got those dorados. We did trolling couple hours and had lunch (chicken pasta). They also had cold drinks and fruits. They used the same knife to handle the fish and fruits. There was also some kind of problem with one of the motors that took about 30 mins to be fixed, bad luck. After the lunch we did some jigging with one jigging rod and two popping rods. There was about 60m deep. They used plotter to navigate but didnt use a sonar at all. We didnt catch any fish. We saw some tunas jumping nearby though. After that it was time to head back. We did trolling on the way but had no luck. We saw school of dolphins and it was nice extra. They took us back where we first started. We went to find our driver to take us back to the hotel but did not find him. We tried to call by phone but no one answered. It started to get dark and we were worried. Luckily I found some random guy who I paid 10$ to guide me to Gerry's bar (the office). There was about 5 min walk. There was a bar worker who called someone. The driver arrived to Gerry's bar and we left to the hotel hour late. Well we got eventually back to the hotel safe. After all I think this is a good charter if you want to fish by trolling and want to spend nice day at the sea. They have knowledge and equipment for that. The staff is friendly. If you want other style of fishing i wouldnt recommend. If i pay 900$ for a charter I expect to have more than one popper to use. Also the interaction when booking the charter could be better (it was fast and flexible though). I heard first time from the captain that best popping/casting season is during december and january when there is more tuna around? And of course big minus for the transfer back to the hotel.
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Date of experience: March 2020
1 Helpful vote
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Response from gerryhallam, Owner at Fishing Zanzibar
Responded Mar 18, 2020
Hi Joel. Thank you very much for taking the time to review us here. Joel with regards to your critiques and compliments above: - Our boats are rigged for trolling. - You caught some good Dorado’s on this gear and had no complaints about this gear which is supplied standard onboard our boats for visiting anglers to use. - We do NOT supply Popping or Jigging gear on our boats as this is extremely expensive gear which is easily damaged by inexperienced anglers and cannot be acquired or repaired here in the island. - When you asked us for popping and jigging gear both Scott and I went out of our way to “loan” you our very own personal gear! This we made VERY clear to you when you asked and included 2 popping rods by Shimano along with 2 poppers. Apologies for not having a stock of these lures but like I said, it’s our own personal gear that we loaned to you, not charter gear. We also loaned you a jigging rod by Shimano with a bag full of jigs!!! I am actually quite amazed that you find us going out of our way for you like this to be “unsatisfying”!!!! - You then asked if 2 more people could join your charter and we accommodated this without hesitation. Capt. Scott also advised you that there would NOT be more popping and jigging gear onboard for the extra passengers as we had already loaned you all of our own personal gear... :( - With regards to your taxi, we booked this for you from a local service provider as per our email correspondence. He picked you up on time as per your review and we would like to apologize on behalf of the driver for any confusion with regards to your meeting point on the beach after your charter. He said he was waiting for you at our office...”5 minute walk down the beach“... This as I said, and as you knew from the start was a local service provider which we booked for you but due to your confusion you are holding this against us as per your review...”big minus”. - With regards to your “booking interaction”, which was “fast and flexible” how could it have been better? Besides the fact that we also went out of our way to loan you all our personal gear too...? - At least you said that our crew are friendly and knowledgeable and our gear is good, but to only give us a 2 Bubble rating because we did not loan you “enough” of our personal gear and you were peeved by your 5 minute walk down the beach because of your taxi driver...well... I don’t get it and I am sorry you felt that way. Luckily you got those 4 Dorado’s and you weren’t skunked! Anyway Joel, I sincerely hope that you enjoyed your time in Zanzibar and from our side our sincerest apologies that your time onboard with us was not as you hoped. Maybe one day we will have the opportunity to make it up to you. Cheers and Tight Lines. Fishing Zanzibar Co Ltd
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Eyes08 wrote a review Mar 2019
London, United Kingdom144 contributions25 helpful votes
Before you decide to go fishing, I strongly advise you that you find someone that is well experienced and they have the right boat for deep sea fishing. Myself and another couple booked a fishing trip with some guys on the beach and they didn't have the right boat or the equipment, so please be cautious not to book with the touts that walk around the beach. Find a professional whom is experienced.
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Date of experience: January 2019
1 Helpful vote
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Response from gerryhallam, Owner at Fishing Zanzibar
Responded Mar 20, 2019
Hi Eyes08. Thank you for your 5 Bubble rating here and for your advise to travelling anglers... Safe travels and Tight Lines! :)
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Stu wrote a review Jan 2019
1 contribution4 helpful votes
Went out on the smaller boat with a group of 4 people and had an excellent time. We did the half day excursion leaving in the morning and caught a wahoo and a dorado! The staff was very helpful, accommodating and informative when teaching us how to land the fish. They provided all the snacks and drinks we needed and the boat was very comfortable! They also cooked up our dorado in a two course meal that was one of the best meals we had on our trip!
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Date of experience: January 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Response from gerryhallam, Owner at Fishing Zanzibar
Responded Feb 2, 2019
Hi there Africatoasia! :) Thank you so much for taking the time to review us here! It is very much appreciated! We are glad you enjoyed your time onboard with us and that your Fishing Charter was successful! :) I will pass on your compliments to our Captain and Crew...:) Cheers and enjoy Zanzibar!
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Stefan wrote a review Dec 2018
5 contributions2 helpful votes
+1
Great day out with Fishing Zanzibar with my family. As an expected fisherman I wanted to take the opportunity of our Zanzibar holiday to give the girls their first experience of proper game fishing. Conditions were tough. High wind and swells with some serious rain early in the day. In the end we got 4 tuna incl one nice one, 3 dorado and 2 wahoo. Some carepoints are related to the crew’s attention to detail. I lost the dorado of a lifetime as it was cut off on another line that was left in the water and got tangled in the props. On occasion hooks and lures were handled carelessly. The worst example is a rod placed in the top holder with the loose rapala swinging wildly at head height while we had two fish on. Under the conditions I must commend the captain and deck hand. They were friendly and kind taking care of all of us. They even made the effort to teach the girls Swahili words and chat to break the boredom. Experienced anglers know that some fish get away, and to have everything on board under control in severe conditions is not so simple. These guys did their best and delivered what we came for and more.
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Date of experience: December 2018
2 Helpful votes
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Response from gerryhallam, Owner at Fishing Zanzibar
Responded Dec 27, 2018
Hi Stefan. Thank you so much for taking the time to review us here. I have spoken to Captain Mwalimu about the rope in the water and it seems it was a local fish trap that was drifting in the sea with no marker on it, just a see-through plastic water bottle. Of course they unfortunately did not see it whilst you were fighting your Dorado due to the challenging conditions hence your line getting caught up in it... Very unfortunate to have lost this fish but we are very happy that you caught such a good catch over all! :) I have also had a word with our crew about clearing rods when a guest has a fish on. They are usually extremely good at clearing rods into the top rod holders so that they are not in the way of the angler. Unfortunately one of the rapala's came loose from a rod...just happy that it did not catch anyone. Stefan thanks again and we all hope you enjoyed your stay in Zanzibar! I will pass on your compliments to Capt. Mwalimu and Mohamed. Cheers and Tight Lines!
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Muhammad B wrote a review Dec 2018
3 contributions11 helpful votes
If you’re not a serious fisherman and just want to have a good days fun on the water then go ahead. If you do however have any target species you’re after and are determined to get after a specific catch, well then you’re better off looking elsewhere! Upon arranging my trip I called both Scott and Sabina enquiring if it would be possible to pop for GTs as I did not want to troll much since we troll quite a bit back home. They both informed me over the phone that of course it would be possible and they even knew a few reefs etc where we could visit. Filled with excitement, I booked the trip and transfer from the hotel. Once reaching the venue a Capt Mwalimu whom I had no correspondence with whatsoever indicated he would be taking us out. I asked if he had been briefed about the popping for GTs and he ignored me smugly and mumbled something about GTs being “very rare”. He then indicated we’d be trolling. For anything that bites apparently, not indicating the specie we’d be after and definitely not the GT I came for. I asked him if we could visit a reef to pop and he rudely replied that they’d been to a reef that morning and the spot was “swamped with people” , I told him I don’t care and I’d like to try either way. This was met with rudeness as he ignored my suggestion and then made the excuse that the reef is very far. I got the impression that he was just too lazy to take us there as we spent the entire duration of our trip just off the coastline where we departed from. He’s clearly used to tourists who know nothing about fishing and just want a good time, he did not appreciate my knowledge as an avid angler and was rude, nonchalant and dismissive whenever I suggested doing something that I wanted to do. Considering it was communicated with organizing parties I do not see why it was a problem, the Captain Mwalimu is a good fisherman and Captain and navigates the sea well but his people skills are pathetic and he even asked personal questions as to where my wife’s wedding ring was ? None of his business! We’re on a fishing trip! He also continued to throw a pity party about the living conditions in Zanzibar for him and fellow fishermen. Not something you want to constantly hear whilst enjoying a day out. He constantly made comments about taking us to his friends where we could help them out with money etc. This was my tipping point, and ruined the trip for me. (The Other staff member Mohammad was kind, helpful and good natured and very much the opposite of Cpt Mwalimu) Fishing: Overall 5 Tuna 2 dorado, if you’re not serious about any specific fish then go ahead and go have a good time but suggest Scott as Captain rather. He seemed more knowledgeable from telephonic communication and nicer/less annoying in general. Also make sure you understand how hotel transfers are paid for BEFORE you book. Sabina told me transfers would be “80$ Total” over the phone. Once the trip was over she called Indicating that it was “80$” for one way ! And it was MY misunderstanding! After much dispute and argument I just decided to pay it and leave to rid myself of the pathetic service from this establishment. As a South African I looked forward to supporting a fellow South African business here in Zanzibar, but Gerry, get your crew/staff under control! They’re running your business to the ground.!
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Date of experience: December 2018
7 Helpful votes
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Response from gerryhallam, Owner at Fishing Zanzibar
Responded Dec 26, 2018
Hi Muhammad. Thank you for taking the time to review us here. Our sincerest apologies that you did not enjoy your time onboard with Capt. Mwalimu even though you caught 5 Yellowfin Tuna and 2 Dorado's during the course of a half day charter! Lets get a few facts right here: 1. We do NOT offer Popping, our boats are rigged for trolling. We do however cater for guests who bring along their own gear for this discipline of fishing and who book enough time on the boats to be able to get to these spots. 2. When you enquired about Popping, we advised yes as you had booked a full day charter and the spots we go to for GT's were in range with time allowed on a full day charter. 3. We decided to help you out with some Popping gear and between Scott and myself we loaned you some of our own personal gear to put onboard for you to use. No thanks from you for this at all... 4. You then decide last minute to cancel your full day charter booking and only do half day charter which effectively put the good spots for GT's out of range in the time allowed on a half day fishing charter. 5. Yes I am South African, Sabina is Spanish, Scott is also South African and Capt. Mwalimu is Tanzanian. We have been running our business in the Tourism Market here in Zanzibar for the past 17 years. Dealing with people from different countries, languages and cultures can be difficult sometimes and of course miscommunication can happen because of this. I know that Capt. Mwalimu being the gentle hardworking soul that he is can get flustered when confronted by aggressive attitudes so judging by your review here, I am not surprised that he probably put his "foot in it" by trying to make the most of the time he had you onboard and by making conversation with his limited English. All this whilst at the same time putting you onto 7 fish!!! 6. Capt. Mwalimu has been a valued staff member on our team for the past 13 years and is a very hard worker and a fantastic Captain. Every review and comments from guests who have fished with him have been fantastic and he is an absolute gentleman. So no, I am not going to take your "impressions" about him onboard because I for one know exactly who he is and I will support him any time... In my opinion he is a superstar!!! 7. You clearly got onto the boat "looking" for trouble... You even mentioned in your review that Scott was nice to you on the phone. You suggested to guests reading these reviews to even specify him as a Captain rather then Mwalimu. Then you go on to say that Scott was "less annoying"??? What does that mean? That he was annoying you because he was nice? Was Sabina annoying you with her Spanish accent when she spoke to you on the phone? Ridiculous! 8. With regards to your taxi transfer, the price from our Service Provider has been $80 each way from your Hotel up to us in Nungwi for years. We communicate this to guests that we deal with every day...different prices from different hotels. As you know it is a 2 hour drive. Apologies if you "thought" it was $40 each way. I can only put this down to miscommunication from either your side and maybe possibly ours (although I doubt it)...but it can happen to us humans. After as you say "much dispute and argument", it was very nice of you to pay it. At least your taxi driver didn't go home empty handed after driving you to and from your hotel for hours. 9. And lastly, from a fellow South African... I feel my staff and my crew are totally under control and are not running my business into the ground. So no, you have nothing to say to me about how to run my business or how to treat my fantastic team, thank you very much. 10. After seeing your review (or rant) here, Scott and myself have made numerous attempts to get in touch with you so as to get first hand feedback and deal with your complaints directly, one on one...which you have rudely ignored. So here we are addressing your issues on this fantastically public forum which is supposed to encourage constructive criticism, not ridiculous tantrums that could have been solved with direct communication. So, to sum up... I sincerely hope you enjoyed catching your 5 Yellowfin Tuna and 2 Dorado's during your half day trip. Apologies that you didn't enjoy or take the time to appreciate Capt. Mwalimu. Apologies that you didn't book the time to make it to the GT spots during your half day trip. Thank you for paying your Taxi Driver. And I hope you finally got to relax and enjoy some of your holiday in Zanzibar. Cheers.
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