As a young man I used to fly over the Sahara almost weekly.  After leaving the Canaries, Western Sahara and Mauritania were a welcome sight.  Id take my chances with terra firma. x_picdump_104 x_picdump_105 x_picdump_106

Mauritania was somewhat of an anomaly to me.  It was the calmest coast id ever seen on the Atlantic facing side of Africa.  Perfect for beach fishing I thought.

In the interests in survival I stopped ferry flights but that coastline was filed under “surf fly fishing” in my head.

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Then in 2007 Mauritania made international news when a bunch of French tourists were gunned down on a beach.  It was a sad state of affairs.  The news anchors mentioned another scary thing, the country was littered with land mines.  No more Paris Dakar, no more tourism.

Then something popped into my saved search of Mauritania on youtube.   A surfer named Kepa Acera had uploaded a video.  He also uploaded a few after, so it seemed he had survived.

How much of an impact has commercial fishing had here?  Are the Leerfish as big as in the med?  It seems so.

look at that Leerfish tail
look at that Leerfish tail

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Peter Coetzee

Peter Coetzee

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3 Responses

  1. Some of the kob pics appear to be from the large inlet at Nouadhibou, which into about the late eighties/early nineties was the location of a sportfishing operation run by Air Afrique. Some folks my remember the classic Mitchell Reels advertisement (poster) showing Francophone West African fishing pioneer, Pierre du Puy, posing with some big kob taken on a Mitchell 498 at the Air Afrique Camp. The area was rightly famous for it’s big leeries and kob. Today there are still one or two small-scale sportfisheries at places like Parc National Du Banc D’Arguin, but I understand that Mauritania anyway has been hammered hard by local pressure, which was one of the reasons why the Air Afrique camp closed. Of course, Western Sahara, given it’s geography and politics, and hopefully without the presence of Senegalese and/or Moroccon, small-scale, inshore factory boat operations as we see further south, could be a whole different story …

    The area where the warm currents coming from the south miz with the cold currents coming from the north in north Senegal/south Mauritania is exceptionally rich in biomass, much the same baitfish engine as we see in southern Angola. And some quite interesting species to be caught besides the obvous like a species of sea bass, springer/skipjack, and a very cool, Atlantic version of the spotted pompano. I had a little fun there myself.

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