Cane fires and bush pigs

The story of Lantz Mattinson (me) I thought I would share a bit about the person behind the fishing encounters blog, and why I set it all up and some other projects I am busy with. This is the nutshell version.

Born in the rolling hills of Zululand, Eshowe to be exact. I grew up fighting runaway cane fires and hunting bush pigs for food on a farm in the Entumeni area. The question of high school came and being good with my hands I headed for the sleepy hollow of Pietermaritzburg and the technical high school called Linpark. Fitting and Turning was my main subject, I loved it so much that the teacher gave me the keys to the workshop so that I could work on stuff on the weekends ( I stayed in the boarding house). I made a Scarborough reel and was so proud of it as I had turned each screw, the only thing I did not make was the ball bearing. I took it fishing to Amatikulu and unfortunately if fell of the rod on the way home and it was gone forever. I was gutted. After school I did a bit of studying, land surveying to be exact. This is where I got introduced to diving for crayfish and tried some spearfishing. I am deaf in one ear and the pressure when I dive deep makes it painful in that ear so I did not get into spearfishing. My grandparents have a place on the St Luica Lake called Makakatana and in the July holidays a few mates and myself would go fishing there for salmon. We would arrive with a car full off booze and my grandfather would supply the boat and bait and we would catch fish at night and sleep all day. That was such fun. I gave up my studies of land surveying and did odd jobs here and there, I even started studying engineering are the tech in Richards Bay. Soon after that an opportunity came up to buy a 24hour take away called Road Island. My dad was in partnership with the petrol station. It was based just outside of the town Mtunzini, I ran that place for just over 5 years. I learn’t so much in that time also and spent many hours fishing the area and going deep-sea, I even got my skippers ticket. I remember the Tradewinds Hotel on a Wednesday night was the place for a party, there was a guy that would sing and we would all get drunk and have such a party. While I was at Road Island, I started studding computers, first it was the hardware side of it. Then I met a girl! After a courtship we got married I sold the business and moved to the big city of Durban where I studied graphic and web design. This is the area where I found my love for computers. The internet was wonderful and instant, well almost as it was still dial up. We stayed there for 5 years and had 2 children, Eva and Lily 2 girls. We have since moved to the even bigger city of Gauteng and now have 3 children. We have adopted our last one because it was a dream of my wife’s and I went along with it, his name is Cuba. I don’t regret it for a second as this little boy is bringing huge love into my life every day.  I have grown and evolved worked for a few companies and now find myself working for myself doing online marketing, social media, project management, setting up of customized CMS (Content Management Systems), Blogs, general client liaison and a lot of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). My company is called AFROmedia and  I feel this is an exciting place to be, give me a shout if you need a website. I am busy trying to setup some partnership websites so that I can make some extra money to pay for my fishing missions and support my wife and kids.

While I was in Durban I helped Don Stander setup www.fishingski.co.za it is now very different to what it is was then. In Joburg I helped Shaun with fishing corner when he first started and it was just for fun. I love fishing and I don’t think I will ever stop and I am keen to leave behind a memory of the fishing that I did. I remember how the stories of fishing my Grandfather would tell me would make me feel super excited to get out there and see watch I could catch and the amazing places I could go and see. So cheers to the love of fishing and a Captain Morgan.

Natal Snoek or Queen Mackerel

I love fishing for Snoek, you can see when they are around. I remember a time before I had a fishingski, my mate Paul had a white water kayak, it was called a banana. Well by us it was, called a banana because it was yellow and shaped like a banana. Anyway it had the splash cover and was lots of fun in the surf. Ideal for a beginner to learn how to Eskimo roll. I was staying in Umhlanga at the time and my mate had left his boat with me. I was checking out the sea with the binoculars  as I often do and I could see there was some action on the surface of the water. I decided to paddle out and catch what ever was out there. I got the white water kayak, grabbed my 2 piece rod with a coffee grinder on it and a spoon. Off I went to the beach, not a far walk. I stowed the rod inside the kayak and put the splash cover on and was soon paddling out to sea. When I go out there I could see that something was chasing some sprats, I did think that it might be snoek. So out with the rod and cast away, click over the bail and reel in like a mad man. I find that fish love a fast retrieve so that the spoon is bouncing out the water. I could see the snoek chasing the lure then BAM I was on, but a fish also went for the swivel and I was off. I was gutted, I did not have any tackle with me. So back to the beach, I leave the boat on the beach and run up to the flat to grab another few spoons, also while I was there grabbed a bag to put the fish into. They would be right by my legs and a bite from them would not be good. Back to the beach and paddle back out to sea and again right in the action. This time I get it right and hook and land a Natal Snoek ( Queen Mackerel ). I just love it when you can see the lure and the fish chasing it, it gets the adrenaline going. I have to use a coffee grinder for that kind of stuff, if I don’t I generally end up with bunches and snapped line and tears because I just get so carried away I forget how to use a reel. I ended up with 2 snoek that day and a great experience.

When I got my fishingski (kayak) I would often go to blue lagoon in Durban and fish for snoek, I would troll halco’s and cast spoons. I would be paddeling along and suddenly you would see one jump ahead. That is when I would get my flick stick out and do some casting, it is amazing but soon afterwards it would find that spoon and chase after it and get caught. Snoek are fun, the other thing I find is if you go early before the boats get to the spots you will find them. This is exactly what happened to me with the snoek in the picture. I went out at Umhlanga before sunrise. Just south of the light house there are some rocks, and as I trolled over them I hooked into this beaut of a Snoek, what a fight. I thought it was a couta but it was just a big snoek. I had seen some action as I got out beyond back-line and tried to spoon but a guy on another kayak managed to catch that one.

I must make a plan to go and do some snoek fishing again soon.

Stealth has few second hand skis for sale ideal for that December holiday

Hi guys

We have a few second hand skis that are available. All the skis have been checked out.

  • Supalite 2006 model -suitable for someone around 5 ft 10 tall. Two tone blue deck and light grey hull R3000-00
  • Supalite 2007 medium blue deck with a white hull suitable for someone around 6 ft tall. R3200-00
  • Duo- old shape 2009 model. two tone blue deck with a white hull. ski in excellent condition. Adjustable leg lengths R6500-00
  • Erics double fishing kayak- Red and yellow deck and a white hull. R3500-00.
  • Evolution 495 – demo condition.Light grey deck with a carbon kevalr hull and fish box.An excellent buy. R8000-00. fixed or adjustable foot length
  • Evolution 465 grey and red hull and deck. fixed or adjustable foot length. R6500-00
  • Erics Kingy- yellow deck and a white hull.Adjustable leg length. very good condition.R5500.00

Please contact Brett or Merlin at Stealth for more information. merlin@stealthkayakfishing.co.za or brett@stealthkayakfishing.co.za

Stealth Surfa Kayak, waveski or paddle ski

Surfa kayakSurfa is a Plastic rotomoulded kayak now available at fishingencounters.co.za

 

The Surfa has been designed by the industry leaders, Stealth. The Surfa has incredible wave surfing capabilities and is the ideal craft for youngsters to have heaps of fun on. The cost of the Surfa is R3100.00 (incl Vat excluding delivery) but it will be a lifetime of fun. The Surfa kayak weighs only 15kg and is made of  highly durable polyethelene which makes the Surfa indestructible!

 

Based on the concept of a waveski or paddle ski, Stealth designed the surfa with a little bit extra length and width than a traditional waveski. Measuring in at 2,9m long and 0,6m wide this gives the kayaker a little extra stability so that they can spend more time having fun rather than learning to balance. Ultimately a super fun family kayak that caters for everyone. The Stealth Surfa kayak is light enough for the kids to handle and paddle.  The Surfa Kayak is able to cater for a person up to 80kgs so even mom and the older kids can have a blast. Another great feature is the varying positions or foot length options on the kayak meaning that it is suitable for people of all different heights from small kids to average size adults.

 

The Surfa is a fun and easy to use kayak with no panic of it breaking and breaking the bank 🙂

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Here are some pictures of my kids playing on a surfa

 

Dimensions
Weight 15 kgs
Length 2,9m
Width 0.6m

Colours
Red, Tropica orange, yellow, bronze olive, blue and grey

Price
R3100.00 incl Vat – excluding delivery

Contact me for further details or Phone me 083 681 9281 if you want to come and see what it looks like, I am based in JHB.

Kosi Bay, getting there.

Kosi Bay (affiliate link) is a place dear to my heart. Every year we would go here for our annual holiday in December. I remember the trips to get there from Eshowe felt like it would take the whole day. The Landy and the boat would be packed with everything we needed for about 2 weeks. That would be tents, food, fishing rods and the kitchen sink. The packing and planning started many weeks before and the reels would all get serviced and if need be new line would get but on. The tackle shops would get a visit and the tackle boxes would all get stocked up. My mom was the big fisher woman and things had to be done correctly for that big fish. My mom has caught many a big fish in Kosi bay. 19kg Rock salmon a over 25kg King Fish and many more. The trip would all start with the friends meeting in Eshowe long before the sun would be up. There would be a odd bit of checking if everything was tied down and then off we we go in convoy. Sometimes on the trip something would break down and there would be a plan made. My dad is a bush mechanic of note and he would make a plan. There would be no turning back so it was always moving forward. I think by lunch time or late breakfast we would be somewhere near lake Jozini, here we would stop and have some food. In the early days there was no tar road over Jozini and it would be a long trip over dirt road. When you got to Manguzi Town (KwaNgwanase) that is when the road became a sandy track and you needed to go through a few rivers. I remember this is where the 4X4 would really be tested and many a time they would cut out in the river and the Q20 would be sprayed onto the spark plugs, we would get tested as the heat was rising. Also when you go up the hills along the sandy tracks you would get stuck and would have to roll back down and start again with a bit more of a run up. This was all part of the fun in getting to Kosi Bay. Then you would be in a tunnel from the trees and it was downhill you just knew you where less then a kilometer from the 3rd lake.

Kosi Bay is made of 4 lakes, 3 are able to be used by boats and people. The 4th on and the furthest away from the mouth to the sea is closed off to boats and fishing. We did manage to get a tour there once. The water is black and rather scary to look at, this is just because of the decaying matter in the water. The 3rd lake is the biggest and is fresh water, the water is more like a tea colour. The 1st and 2nd lakes are made up of salt water and they are crystal clean. The 2nd and 3rd lake are joined by a long channel that take about 20mins on dead slow to get through. It twists and turns and snakes its way between the 2 lakes. On the spring tide the clean water pushes from the 2nd lake into the 3rd lake and the channel become crystal clean. You get to see the amazing fish life that lives in this echo system.

Ok back to the trip. Then it would happen you would drive down a one car at a time road and you would see the lake in front of you. There would be some boats parked on the water in the bay, for a moment you would be just drawn to staring at the lake and seeing the beauty of the place, taking in the smell of humidity and heat. Once that was over then it would be the mission of setting up camp. The boat and cars would need to be unpacked and the layout of the camp would need to be thought out. No tents in any hollow areas because if it rained you would be sleeping in a puddle. The communal kitchen tent would need a spot and the sleeping tents would also have to be put up and you don’t want to trip over any tent ropes in the middle of the night when you needed to go for a wee. This process would get many a temper flaring and there would be much huffing and puffing. Well in the end it would get done and some beers would get cracked open and the nerves would calm down. The next mission would be to get the boats of the trailers and into the water and the trailers stashed at the back of the camp. My mom would always book the campsite right on the water. When you would sit at camp you would be right next to the water, us as kids would swim all day long and our parents could watch us.

The next mission would be to get all the rods and reels setup. The camp would again look a bit like a tackle shop as all the gear was spread out. Reels would be put onto rods and the traces would be added and then once that was done it would all get stored on the boats. Maybe the boats would be taken for a quick spin to make sure all was in working order. Kosi Bay is a great fishing place, I will be adding some fishing stories and some close calls with hippos in the posts to come.