Extreme Fishing

Tuesday 2nd February 9.00pm

The fishing adventure series with Robson Green continues. This week, Robson leaves Zimbabwe for the east coast of Kenya, where the Indian Ocean offers some of the best game fishing in the world. After going head to head with the elusive dorado and the fearsome wahoo, he joins some locals for a spot of traditional dhow fishing. The trip ends with a battle with a huge black marlin.

Following a week of fishing in the landlocked waters of Zimbabwe, it is time for Robson to experience the open ocean. The second leg of his journey begins in Watamu, a national maritime park off the Kenyan coast. This area of water is teeming with some of the best game fish in the world, but Robson has one particular species in mind. Ever since he lost a 14-hour battle with a dorado in the Philippines, the Geordie has wanted to catch one. “We’ve got a score to settle,” he says.

Local expert Callum has been fishing the Indian Ocean for over 20 years, and is confident he can bring Robson success. “If anyone is going to lead me to my nemesis, it will be him,” says Robson. Just ten minutes into their first outing, the pair come across the grisly site of a dead whale being devoured by a hoard of tiger sharks. Callum is keen to catch one of these deadly predators, but Robson has other ideas. “That’s too big!” he yelps.

At a safe distance from the sharks, the fishermen drop some live bait into the water and soon hook their first big fish. “This is the Usain Bolt of the Indian Ocean!” says an excited Robson as he pulls in a wahoo. “What a start!” But Robson will not be happy until he nets a dorado – and he gets his chance when Callum spots a group of the fish feeding in the distance. “At last, the wait is over,” says Robson. Will he finally manage to conquer his old enemy?

With the following morning comes a very different challenge for Robson. Having enjoyed the fast boats and hi-tech gear of game fishing, he is now going back to basics with a traditional dhow fishing trip from the former fishing town of Malindi. Originating in India, this technique involves just lines and bare hands, and has gone unchanged for centuries. After donning traditional costume, Robson joins his guides Hassan and Mohammed and sails out in search of red snapper and grouper. “This is extreme fishing – in a skirt,” says Robson.

Having been informed he is not allowed to wear protective gloves, Robson quickly falls behind his fellow fishermen. “This is getting embarrassing,” he says, as Hassan and Mohammed bring in fish after fish. However, the Geordie lad eventually gets the hang of the technique and bags a large grouper. “I have always wanted to catch one of these,” he enthuses. “This is one of the best-tasting fish in the world.” It is then time to return to shore to sell the day’s catch to the locals.

Taking a break from the coast, Robson flies inland to the world famous Lake Victoria – the second largest freshwater lake in the world. Here, local fishermen employ an unusual technique to catch whitebait. When night falls, Robson joins his guide Gilbert and heads out into the pitch black. In order to attract flies and the tiny fish that feed on them, floating lamps are laid onto the water. After waiting in the dark, the fishermen return and collect the whitebait gathered around the light using nets. “Fishing for me is a hobby,” says Robson. “For these fellas, it’s more about survival.”

Before Robson’s Kenyan adventure draws to a close, he returns to Watamu for an encounter with the notorious black marlin. Weighing up to 1,700lbs and capable of speeds over 60mph, these monsters are arguably the most highly prized fish in the seas. With expert guide Jackson at his side, it is not long before Robson has his first bite. “This is it folks,” he shouts. “It doesn’t get any better than this!”

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