> A FIVE STAR EXPERIENCE
You will be met by the operation’s driver holding a sign with the name Radama Fishing. There is a 40 minutes’ drive to your hotel of the first night, owned by the operation. Nosy Be is a pleasant town with some tourism – the main strip is a short taxi drive from the hotel, and it’s safe to go out for a drink and dinner in town, otherwise there is an excellent restaurant about one popper cast away from the hotel. The distance to the beach and the boats that will take you fishing the next day is about the same.
You spend the first day fishing your way to the camp, so have you gear rigged and ready in the morning – the crew is ready to help if you need it. Your other luggage will be transported separately on the camp’s supply boat. Late afternoon you reach Radama Fishing Camp in Nosy Antanimora – keep the Speedos on top in the suitcase, because they will be the first thing you look for when you get there.
Bring your wife or other non-fishing guests – they are as welcome as you are, even at the camp, and will have the time of their life if they like beach walks, snorkeling or a nap in the shade to the sound of cicadas. Also, consider staying a few more nights at the hotel in Nosy Be before or after fishing.
FLY TO: Nosy Be.
Day 1: Afternoon arrival in Nosy Be, stay at hotel.
Day 2: Fish your way to the camp in Nosy Antanimora.
Day 3-6: Four days fishing from the camp.
Day 7: Fish your way back to Nosy Be.
Day 8:Transfer to the airport for the flight home.
Longer trips possible.
PRICE: From €2650 without flights.
INCLUDED: Six full days of guided fishing (three anglers on the boat), five nights at the lodge and two nights in Nosy Be, all meals and drinks.
NOT INCLUDED: International flights to Nosy Be, gratuities (Approx. €75 per angler), entry visa (approx. €30).
You usually start the fishing around 7.30 am after a nice breakfast at the restaurant. Fishing is good close to the camp, but you can make it far and still be back by 5 pm. No day is the same – there are endless possibilities, just let the crew know if you have any preferences as to how you like to mix it up. The days travelling to and from the camp might be mostly popping, while the days at the camp might have more jigging. You can livebait if you want to – there are lots of billfish like marlin and sailfish around, and as many sharks as you have the strength to catch. If you don’t want to spend a minute not fishing, throw an X-Rap Magnum behind the boat and ask the crew for a bit of trolling as they roll out the shade roof over the boat deck for your lunch – you never know if the next day it will be wahoo sandwich.
If that’s not enough for you, you have the opportunity to throw a day of full-blown big game fishing into the mix – a serious quest for the abundant black marlin.
And hey – if you’re even more of a multi-species fisho and you think sleep is only for the weak, spend your evening wrestling big rays off the beach at the camp. So much fishing, so little time!
As for the casting, make no mistake – there are massive fish here like proper GT in the 30-45 kilo range, but usually you don’t fish extremely shallow areas, and the fish don’t particularly like gigantic lures, so this is a friendly PE6-8 (80-100 lbs braid) destination – you can leave the elephant guns at home. Besides GT, possible catches include all the other reef raiders like bluefin trevally, bohar snapper, different groupers, king mackerel, green jobfish, barracuda, sailfish etc. A lot of the time is spent chasing bait balls like schools of fusilier. If some hungry critter is lurking around them, you will often know as soon as your lure hits the water.
In jigging, bring your A-game – the fish will make it worthwhile. Jigging is always a tradeoff, because lighter tackle will get you more bites, but if you take it too far, a big grouper will show you who’s the boss. Slow pitch jigging is amazing, but this is not the place to bring it: Too many sharks, too many big fish in general – you get destroyed all the time.
The boats are no nonsense 28 feet center-consoles with new 140 HP Yamahas – impeccably kept, practical and suitable for three anglers. It’s a two-man crew – one captain, one deckhand, some of them incredibly experienced people who had already been fishing for ages before the camp opened in 2007.
Electronics are basic with no need for VHF radios, as you stay within cell phone coverage at all times. There are plenty of rod holders, but during fishing, rods are kept in a corner on the aft to keep them out of harm’s way when casting. Your other stuff is kept safe and dry in a large compartment at the bow, easily accessible.
The camp also has two bigger boats. They are mainly used for fishing four anglers from one boat, or for trolling for billfish.
At the camp, you will stay in simple but clean and charming huts, all with fans and private bathroom. You will live like royalty: As you jump off the boat in the afternoon, pass the restaurant on the way to the cabin and let the staff know your order for the three-course dinner later. After another swim off the beach you probably go to the bar to brag about the fish of the day and have a drink – everything is included. That also goes for the daily laundry service. The operation employs a whopping 40 people, so nothing is left to chance.
The climate in Madagascar is tropical with temperatures normally ranging from 23 to 28 degrees. Rain showers are common throughout the year and the camp is usually closed during January to March because of rain.
Fishing is good year-round, while in the months of May to September, the presence of yellowfin tuna (usually school size up to around 40 kgs.) adds one more dimension to the fishing. Sailfish are present year-round but are most abundant in August to October.
You can rent quality popping and jigging rods and reels at the camp: One set is 150 EUR, two sets 250. There is even a small tackle shop with a lot of good stuff at the same prices as in the French shops – so if you really want to, you can pretty much show up with just your hands in your pockets and still get ready to fish.
If you are bringing your own tackle, we suggest the following:
Examples of lures that have produced well:
When the overseas flight arrive in Nose Be the operation’s driver will take you to Manga Be, the operation’s hotel where you spend the first night. For the rest of the day you can prepare your tackle, relax or have a look around Nosy Be.
The next morning, the boat and crew will be waiting only a hundred meters from the hotel and you will start fishing your way to Antanimora, the island in the Ramada archipelago where you will stay until the last day of fishing. Then you fish your way back to Manga Be, before you fly out of Nosy Be the next morning.
Should you like to spend more time at Manga Be, extra nights can easily be arranged.