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Fishes of Bijagos

Fishermen's paradise, the small island of Kere will be the starting point for all your fishing, whatever the technique!
Whether spinning, casting or fly, jigging, surf-casting, handline, trolling, tarpon, you can try everything.
If the sea is a little rough, why not try the fishing feet in the water: fishing on foot is so cool !!!!!


  • tarpon of bijagos archipelago
  • baby tarpon catched on a orango's beach in bijagos
  • jump of tarpon during a fight in  bijagos guinea bissau
  • tarpon more than 100 kg peche in bijagos on kere

Megalops atlanticus is the legendary fish of the archipelago. It can measure up to 140 kg for 2,40m long. If its size is impressive, its defense against a fisherman is even more: fight of more than 1 hour, 2 hours .... !!!!! It looks like a sardine or rather an anchovy doped with hormones. The bijagos call it pis escama: the fish with scales. It lives on school of fishes and comes to the surface regularly. We can fish of all sizes. The smaller ones are caught with lures, the larger specimens are caught mainly with natural bait which remains the most effective technique. It is a rather static fishing but the fishermen will be rewarded with an unforgettable fight. Tarpons stay year-round around Kere and can be caught from October to May, throughout the fishing season. This is not the case in the rest of the archipelago !!!


The crevalle (Caranx Hippos) is the main sport fishing fish in bijagos archipelago. It can reach 1m for more than 25 kg it is a very aggressive fish which thrown on the lures with a phenomenal power. It has a characteristic black spot on the operculum and also yellow caudal and anal fins. This trevally lives in large schools for juveniles and increasingly restricted when individuals are adults. But it is possible to cross substantial schools of more than 10 kg and it is then on the boat a great fishing moment. At equivalent weight, the crevalle is reputed to be more combative than the trevally ignobilis !!!
From the beach of Kere, you will be able to measure crevalle over 10 kg. The trevally of early morning or evening on Kere offers an unforgettable fishing moment. All the fishing techniques are involved : spinning especially the popper but also stick baits, troll, surf casting, jig, fly.

  • big crevalle of bijagos archipelago
  • crevalle of bijagos catched by spinning or jiging
  • beto with a big crevalle catched with popper
  • an happy fisherman with his big crevalle of bijagos archipelago

Jack fishery

  • two jacks fishery catched near formosa bijagos
  • big jack fishery catched in bijagos
  • jack fishery catched in kere bijagos
  • fishery in guinéa bissau

This trevally, very similar to the crevalles, has been only described few years ago. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish one from the other. Its body is more rectangular than the crevalle and the fins aren’t yellow, its color of dress is quite gray, sometimes clear to white, with very characteristic vertical black shadows, visible from time to time. Same behavior, same spot, the jacks fishery can be fishing like the crevalle. It is possible, on the same spot, to fish both types of trevallies. All fishing techniques are effective.


Elongated shape, formidable jaws with sharp teeth, the barracuda can be a powerful predator. It's the pike of the tropical seas!
His attacks are fast and violent. It can reach 40 kg. Small specimens often have vertical black stripes on the body and live in more or fewer schools. Larger specimens live happily solitary.
Trolling is the most effective technique. The start is powerful and the fight muscular. You can also catch it by spinning (popper, stick baits or swimmer fish), surf casting or handline in the Bijagos archipelago. During attacks on surface lures, the barracuda often gratifies you with a beautiful candle lure in the mouth. Steel bottom line essential for trolling and great caution to handle it !!

  • barracuda catched by trolling near kere bijagos
  • big barracuda of guinee bissau
  • barracuda catched in guinée bissau
  • baracouda catched by trolling in bijagos archipelago

Red snapper

  • huge red snapper catched in bijagos near kere
  • red snapper catched in guinea bissau
  • red snapper catched  by child in  bijagos
  • nice red snapper catched in guinée bissau

It is one of the most common predators of Bijagos, present all year round. From the large family of snappers, there are several varieties of red snapper in the Bijagos archipelago. It presents a more or less red dress, sometimes going to the brown depending on its habitat and its species. The juveniles live in schools, the adults especially the large specimens are more solitary and live on a territory close to a rock.
From the small snapper of 500g to the bigger one of more than 20 kg, they are all brave fighters, very aggressive but also terribly cunning. They have the annoying habit of crashing into a rock right after the attack. Therefore, it is necessary for the fisherman to be able of a great fineness of fishing and a constant attention to tame this first rush. Fishing them by spinning or casting is very enjoyable and is similar to fishing the bass. All lures are effective with special mention for stick baits and swimmers. In most of cases, fishes are between 1 to 4 kg. If you want to fish larger specimens, it will be necessary to get the fish deeper: the jig and the handline allow to raise fish over 15 kg. Surf fishing is also very effective. It is possible to lure with fly but it is a very cunning opponent!


This fish is part of the carangidae family, so it is a brave opponent. It has an elongated body, almost triangular at the head, its shape is that of a rhombus, its dress is silver. Its density is lower than that of other trevallies. It can reach a respectable weight of more than 20 kg. Juvenile, they live in large schools, adults groups are more restricted.
The same fishing techniques as for the crevalle are recommended and especially spinning with popper. It is mainly fished along the sandbanks. By foot, its fishing is pure happiness! The first rush is brutal and the fight lasts until the complete exhaustion of the fish.

  • queenfish catched in bijagos near kere
  • queenfish catched with popper in guinea bissau
  • queenfish catched on a beach in bijagos archipelago
  • queenfish catched with popper on a beach in bijagos archipelago


  • cobia a good fish for sportive fishing in bijagos
  • cobia catched with a lure in bijagos near kere
  • cobia a good fighter in guinea bissau
  • a big cobia a huge fighter in bijagos

The cobias or rachycentron canadum, bijagos fish has smooth skin of a dark brown on the back and a bright white on the belly. It has a fairly flat head. It can weight up from 30 to 40 kg in the archipelago. In small groups, the cobia attacks the trolling lures but also the poppers and the sticks baits. But the best technique is using natural living bait. When a cobia follows a lure its shape looks like a shark. It is a tough opponent never vanquished. Watch out the rush when the fish sees the boat.

Pompano Jack

The jack pompano is a beautiful and very lively silverfish. It is quite flat and can weight up to 20 kg. The juveniles have long filaments on the dorsal fin (also called feather jacks) and live in schools. Adults live in small groups.
It is possible to catch pompano by troll but most often it is with the throw and especially the popper that the attacks will be the most frequent. It is not uncommon for a fish to follow the lure to the boat without attacking it and then stay in the area for a while, following the lure regularly. A change of lure will often succeed in deciding the attack. Very fast, the first rush is pure happiness.

  • a big pompano jack catched in bijagos
  • release of a big pompano jack near kere
  • a big pompano jackof bijagos archipelago guinée bissau

Senegal jack

  • Senegal jack catched with fly on kere
  • littele Senegal jack on kere guinea bisau
  • Senegal jack catched with fly bijagos

It is the smallest of theBijagos jacks. Silver, its largest size is 2 to 3 kg but in most cases it remains around 1 kg. She lives in large schools visible from far away. When the fishes are on the hunt : the water is really bubbling. In the boat, the hunts are quite elusive. No need to follow them too long. To fish it, it is necessary to use small lures, swimmers and especially waving spoons. The fly is also very effective. By foot, on the beach of Kere, the passages of Senegalese jacks offer to the flyers moments of intense joy and very beautiful shots lines!


It is one of the same family as the tarpon. Very elongated shape, the underside of thebody is yellow. It can weigh up to 5 kg but the common size is of the order of 300 to 500g.
You can catch the little ones especially with small spoons, feather trolls or with fly. On the beach of Kere, the fishes stay in high density : ideal for inexperienced fly fishermen !!
This fish, even small, fights like a devil jumping out of the water. The largest specimens are very powerful and offer over-vitaminized rushes. We can lure them with stickbaits, swimmers and even popper. This rather fat fish cannot be eaten but it is an excellent bait in the handline or surfcasting.

  • lady fish catched near the magic rock in bijagos
  • lady fish catched by fly fishing on  kéré's beach en guinée bissau
  • big lady fish catched by robin with spinning technique in bijagos
  • lady fish catched by fly fishing near carache island

Law croaker

  • Law croaker catched with jig at caravella in bijagos
  • Law croaker catched with madai near kere  bijagos
  • release of a Law croaker after a big fight
  • Law croaker of bijagos archipelago

This fish is a cousin of the meagre. It has a rather elongated shape with a lightly brown zebra colored silver dress, this fish can weight more than 10 kg.
It gets its name because of over-sized ossicles of its inner ear. These ossicles are very popular because they have the shape of the continent of Africa and are very pretty trophies.
This fish lives in schools and it is possible to catch several by following. We catch them with handline fish, by surf casting and especially by the jig. The attack and the vertical fight are muscular. The flesh of this bijagos fish is a delight.


The leerfish is an elongated fish with a very light silver color, small dark dots and a bluish back. It has many very small sharp teeth that cut net even good size nylons. Be careful with your bottom of line, 60 lbs even 80 lbs are recommended.
It lives in large schools and often mixes with the schools of senegalese jacks. It is fishing with the same techniques: spoons, streamer or fly. The attack is lightning and the fight very energetic. The largest specimens can weight 5 kg, the fight is very spectacular.
The leerfish is a beautiful fish of sport that makes fishermen lose many lures but it has the advantage of being a real delight in the plate, carpaccio or smoked.

  • Leerfish/Garrick catched by spinning in guinea bissau
  • Leerfish/Garrick catched by fly fishing near kere bijagos
  • Leerfish/Garrick in bijagos


  • Threadfin in guinea bissau
  • two Threadfins catched with jig in bijagos
  • very big Threadfin catched near kere bijagos

The threadfin or polydactilus quadrifillis is a fish living on sandy and muddy bottoms. It is easily recognizable by its transparent nose (from what it gets its name). Its back is brownish and its belly rather white with beautiful yellow fins. It has filaments under the belly that make it easily identifiable.
It is mainly caught by jig on a sandy or muddy bottom. This fish is not necessarily present all year on the archipelago. It is easier to fish in November and December. It's a pretty rare fish. It is only found on very specific and restricted spots.

Sharks family

The big family of sharks. Many species of sharks are present in the Bijagos archipelago : from the nurse shark to the tiger shark through the formidable porbeagle, the smallest ones with black tips or the rare hammerhead shark. The weight varies from 1 kg to more than 300 kg depending on the species.
The most effective fishing technique is fishing with natural baits. It is common to catch beautiful nurse sharks during tarpon fishing : the biggest ones exceed 100kg ! Steel mounting is essential, of course. For those who want to try this mythical fishing, we can rent equipment and propose an ultra reinforced mounting. But it is not uncommon for some sharks to attack lures, swimmers most often or poppers sometimes. It is then a great fishing moment.

  • shark catched with popper in bijagos archipelago
  • release of a shark after a great fight
  • nurse jack more than 100 kg near kere
  • hammerhead shark's release in  bijagos

Rays family

  • Common stingray of Guinea-Bissau
  • Common stingray caught by surfcasting on the Bijagos’ Caravella beach
  • Wonderful blackchin guitarfish caught by surfcasting on Formosa
  • Common stingray of bijagos in Guinea-Bissau

The rays belong to the large family of cartilaginous fishes. Many species are present in the archipelago and are protected. They are rarely fished specifically.
The stingray is the most common ray. It can exceed 20kg and offers fights of great power. Watch out for its poisonous sting !!
The blackchin guitarfish has become rare but it is still present in the archipelago. Its cartilaginous flattened triangular nose and its morphology make it a very beautiful trophy fish : beautiful pictures and immediate release required.
Other rays can be fished : spiny butterfly ray, menta ray. The most effective techniques are surf casting and natural baits.

Many other fishes...

With spinning or casting you can catch some hound needlefish sometimes exceeding 2kg with sharp teeth, leerfish that have the bad habit of cutting bottom lines, groupers, skipjacks...
With natural bait or surfcasting you will catch many species such as catfish that have a beautiful defense, bluespotted seabreams, seabreams, groupers and other rock fish...


Heavy or light spinning, surfcasting, jig, fly, troll, natural bait, live fishery, on-foot fishery or in kayak. Details about all efficient techniques for fishing in Guinea-Bissau


To rent on place or to bring with you, all informations about the most adapted equipment for your fishing : reel, rod, lure, accessories, the indispensable.