Fishing at Lazarus Banks

Take a sailing trip to St Lazarus Bank – or Banco St Lazarus – the ultimate holiday destination for fishermen and one of the only places in the Quirimbas Archipelago sea where Marlin are known to breed. View this incredible underwater coral outcrop or atoll, that rises from the deep Mozambique Channel, from your luxury yacht. You are in a paradise where fish have made their playground!

St Lazarus Bank, about 30 kilometres long and 20 kilometres wide,  rises up from a depth of 2 400 meters in the Quirimbas – the epitome of a dream fishing trip and a challenging scuba-diving location for highly experienced divers only! Although this formation is known as an atoll, the reefs do not reach the surface and it also lacks back-reef lagoons which are distinctive of atolls. There is a middle, table-like podium which drops deeply down all sides.

Fish of all kinds come to this hidden atoll to feed on the Mantis Shrimp during its season from August to December when billions of them rise to the surface to mate! This is a fishing hotspot for Black and Giant Kingfish, Barracuda, Dorado, Queenfish, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna, Dogtooth Tuna, and Sailfish. All fishermen have to use the catch and release policy at this world-class fishing destination in the Quirimbas Archipelago.

You can get there from Ibo Island so book a few nights at Ibo Island Lodge to break the drifting motion of being on a yacht safari for so long. Spend your Mozambique fishing yacht charter holiday in luxury – find time to snorkel and take up a new water sport while your rod lies quietly, waiting for the zing of an exciting catch!

The best time to fish Banco St Lazarus is mid-September to the end of November. Fishermen are astounded by their incredible catches of Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuna, Dogtooth Tuna, Kingfish, Barracuda, Wahoo, Grouper, Jobfish, and other reef fish. These are hooked using a variety of fishing methods from trawling lipped lures to casting bait, plugs, and spoons to release live bait to Vertical Jigging and Fly fishing.

The main reason this period of the year is as good as it is is because of the shrimp mantis coming to the surface in their billions. This abundance of an easy nutritious meal attracts schools of baitfish, mainly Rainbow Runner that attract the game fish – the cycle of life!

Trips to St Lazarus Banks start in Pemba, Northern Mozambique, with regular flights from Johannesburg, Nairobi or Dar Es Salaam. We have the best rates on charters and a great selection of boats.