In my last report of 14 January I mentioned that we would be heading down to Struisbaai for Feb and maybe March. Well, we are at the southernmost tip and things are looking a damn side better than they were in the Cape Point area. News from Cape Point is that the snoek are still eating their way through everything and things are very quiet in the tuna areas. Apparently even the commercial tuna boats are lying in their respective ports. I have been here for a week and even though the persistent SE winds are still pushing through, and the rest of the country is washing away, we have managed to get a couple of sea days.
The biggest news I have is that of a 38kg Kob caught by our good friend and sometimes client, Brian McFarlane. He was fishing in a Boland shore angling league tournament on Saturday and decided, as did many other anglers, that Die Mond was the place to go. During the course of the afternoon, his fresh maasbanker (horse mackerel) got picked up by a really good fish that turned out to be a monster kob. The fish measured 1.68 meters long, and although they tried for over an hour to resuscitate it, the fish died and was kept. Before you all cry foul, I understand the sensitivities of keeping/killing big fish, but I know Brian and can guarantee that if he says they tried to revive it, then they really did try. I addition to this, I saw the fish later and it was really wasted away. It was extremely thin and covered with old "battle" scars. I have no doubt the fish was very old and certainly past it's prime. I mentioned to Brian that trying to revive a fish that old would have been akin to reviving an eighty year old man (sorry to all the old boys that read this) after running a marathon. It is still sad that it died, but it is better to kill a fish that can probably no longer breed than to kill some young 30kg fish that is still in its prime. No doubt about it, it is a fish of a lifetime and very few anglers have ever had the honour of catching such a specimen. To those of you who don't know, Brian is also a grand veteran! Well done old man!!
Those who head out after the galjoen, get your gear sorted, it is only another month before the season opens. There are some fish about and I tagged three on a short outing the other day. The fish were very poor condition, but that is normal for this time of the year.
Last Wednesday was my first sea day and I was on the water at first light. After catching my quota of squid I headed off to the engine block of the Oriental Pioneer. This spot sometimes holds some really big yellowtail and some of you will remember that two years ago, Ion Williams, one of our regular charter clients, caught a yellowtail of 23kg at this spot. I had no sooner arrived than I noticed a school of yellowtail on the surface, swimming directly at me. It was a bit overcast and even with polarized lenses it was difficult to see them clearly. I sent a spinner over them and had hardly started winding when I was "vas" into a good sized 'tail. A few minutes later, the yellowtail was alongside the boat. I already had the gaff in my hand when the "yellowtail' turned out to be a leervis (garrick) of about 10kg. A quick jiggle of the spoon and the leerie was free to swim and fight another day. I looked up, and the fish were still around so I threw the spoon again and caught another one. This time it was an even better size fish of about 12kg. I released this one as well and looked around for some yellowtail but without success. By 10am I was well happy at home.
Sunday was another sea day. Off we went to the 45's on "Tyler" and to the Alphard Banks on "Met Eish". The Alphards trip was spearing trip and we bagged some really classy yellowtail up to 14kg. The water was warm but very green and unless we get some westerly winds in the next few days, I am not very hopeful for the marlin competition that starts next week.
Tyler went for red steenbras and they managed to get five reasonable fish (8 to 13kg).They also lost a really big one (usual story) but could not tell how big as they never saw the fish. They also got a few yellowtail, but none as large as the ones from the Alphards.
Next week is the much publicised Two Oceans Marlin Tournament and hopefully mr Needlenose will put in an appearance. As mentioned in the section above, we hope the blue water is not far off. The satelite pictures show good water lying down towards the 45's. All we need now is a gentle SW wind for a couple of days and I have no doubt the water will move in closer. My next update will have all the answers. For now, we hold thumbs that the weather gods are kind to us. Till next time, tight lines, fair winds and keep safe.
For further details, please visit our website http://southseasafaris.co.za/