The variety of available fishing is in large part the appeal of the Guinea-Bissau experience. The factors that make the Bijagos so unique are three-fold. First is its sheer size. As Africa’s largest archipelago, the region encompasses 30,000 sq. km. of largely protected saltwater wilderness. Of the 88 major islands, only 20 are inhabited with a total population of less than 5,000 residents.
Second, the region is one the largest estuarine environments in Africa, fed by four massive hypertrophic river systems. The result is a biological marvel where in places clear waters team with brown clouds of plankton attracting incomprehensible quantities of baitfish, and an all-star cast of predators that prey upon them , and lastly the region has a remarkable diversity of water and habitat types that include murky rich tarpon waters, sand spits surrounded by crystal clear waters, mangrove channels and immense inner bays, mud flats covered with molluscs, and beautiful white sand beaches studded with rugged dark lava outcroppings. When seen in its entirety the role the region plays as one of Africa’s most significant spawning grounds for baitfish and sport fish alike is easily understood.
A partial list of worthy game fish to be found is equally as impressive: five species of barracuda, six species of snapper, twenty species of shark (five of which commonly exceed 400 pounds), Amber jack, Senegalese jack, incredible numbers of Jack crevalle, Cobia, Kob,Bonefish, Permit, Pompano, Grouper, Guitar fish, Ladyfish, Leer fish, Sierra, Tarpon and Triple tails are all caught most every week. There are sandy beaches, rugged lava points, mangrove inlets, river-like channels, and barren sand spit islands. While there are numerous places that qualify as "flats", it is hard to categorize the region as a quality flats fishery as the tides average 6-12 feet.This fishing area offers some of the most diverse fishing on the planet, Popper fishing , Fly , Vertical jigging , Trolling , Bait and live bait all work well and catch multiple quality fish . As a result much of the fishing is done from boats. During low wind conditions there are numerous sight-fishing opportunities for Jacks, barracuda, large needlefish, Snappers, African SierraMackeral and Corvina. In less favourable conditions the same species are targeted by blind fishing points, edges, shorelines, and submerged structure.Superb beach fishing can be had from any one of over 200 beaches, Big Guitar fish,Rays,Cassava, Barracuda and many more can all be taken from the surf.
Some of the most exciting fishing centres on the region’s remarkable Jack Crevalle fisheries. These fish can often be seen chasing bait in what the locals refer to as “hunts". Jacks can also be targeted from the beach. A breathtaking sight for any angler is a huge pod of these aggressive fish cresting in the waves just before crashing into a school of baitfish.
While the region has the world’s largest tarpon, the fishery is not ideally suited to the fly, because of the size of the fish, Guineas average tarpon are well over 150lbs. The vast majority of tarpon are hooked with baits that are suspended only 3-4 feet beneath the surface. Needless to say the tarpon fishery is a high stakes game where the fish average over 200 pounds.