Fishing Lake St Lucia

In my youth we would go on fishing holidays to Lake St Lucia. I was very lucky that my grand parents had a place at the lake. It is called Makakatana bay. In the beginning my Oupa the late Lionel Gunter had a boat and we would go with him fishing, my Goco the late Patty Gunter would also join us . I remember him striking so hard once that he hit me on the head. I was sitting behind him. He was from the colonial days. so we had a gillie on the boat and the gillie would bait up my grandfathers hooks and gaff the fish and do all that sort off stuff. My grandfather would pre make up his traces with bait on them, then freeze them. My grandfather would catch a fish, the gillie would gaff the fish a put it in the sack, unclip the trace and clip on a fresh bait, my grandfather would then cast out again. It was fun and I learnt a lot from my grandfather. I do miss him.

I have not been to Lake St Lucia for may years. It had dried up for a while, but now the water is back. I am going there at the end of June (2014) for a week and I am super excited. I do believe you are not allowed to keep the Salmon you catch. I am keen to try some drop shot and my daughter is rather keen on fly fishing so lets see what happens. My parents, Family members have been and the catch reports have been good. This does bring back memories of my fishing days at Lake St Lucia so I am writing some posts from the old days.

How to Tie a Snell Knot for Circle Hooks

Snell Knot for Circle Hooks

The snell knot is the best knot to attach circle hooks to line. The snell knot presents the hook in the best position to hook the fish.

When you look at the image on the right, the difference in presentation is clear.

The snelled circle hook is presented so it will catch easily in the corner of the fishes jaw, while the normal tied circle hook has a good chance of not setting at all.

How do you tie a snell knot, or rather how do you snell a circle hook?

6 Step Guide to Snell a Circle Hook


Use the graphic above and the following 6 steps to tie fishing line to a circle hook using a snell knot. We used an offset-eye circle hook for clarity. Snelling a normal straight-eye circle hook is exactly the same.

Click the image for a larger printable version of the snell knot guide without borders.

Step 1:
Pass one end of bite trace through eye of circle hook and down the hook shank to the same length as the hook shank. Double the line back behind the hook shank, leaving a large loop (the loop must be large enough to make 7 or 8 wraps over the hook). Then pass the end of line back through the eye of the hook.

Important: The line must enter the eye from the bend side of the hook, and exit from the same side.

Step 2:
Hold the hook and line at a point behind the eye between thumb and forefinger. Don’t let go while making the wraps or the snell knot will unravel.

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

Step 3:
Start wrapping the line closest to the eye over the shank, the bend and both layers of line.

Step 4:
Wrap the line 7 or 8 times.

Step 5:
Switch hands gripping so you hold all the wraps together from the bend of the hook. Pull the leader (the part that will be the bite trace) gently to close the wraps – guide the wraps to form a neat roll of line like  a barrel.

Step 6:
When snell knot is almost tight, slide the wraps neatly up against the eye of the circle hook. hold the short end left along the hook shank with fishing pliers. Pull the bite trace and this end at the same time to tighten the snell knot completely.

Trim the tag end to finish the snell knot

That’s all there is to snelling a circle hook.


Author: Mike Otgaar Dedicated salt water angler. Rock and surf fisherman, deep sea fisherman, kayak fisherman. Ex commercial Natal line-fish and East Cape chokka fisherman. Shark conservation activist. When not fishing I’m a web developer and small business owner to pay for the fishing.

Link to Twitter icon

  link to Facebook iconlinked in profile icongoogle plus authorship icon+Mike Otgaar

Full Post at

Glow in the Dark Lure

glow in the dark paintI now have my own glow in the dark lure. The other day my kids where painting some ceramic unicorns. My wife showed me some paint she got for the. It was glow in the dark paint. It spiked my imagination so off to the tackle box and out with a lure I could paint.  It was fun painting with the kids. Well they did a few coats for me and tested in it a dark room. It was rather hard to take a picture of the glow in the dark lure, but it worked. So once again I hope to get to the water soon to test my new glow in the dark lure.

Fishingski Surf launch

It is hard work 🙂 but we are human so don’t give up.

Circle Hooks or J-Hooks?

I am still very new to the idea of circle hooks. I have used them for barbel fishing and they work very well. I am going to St Lucia Lake soon and want to try the circle hooks for salmon.

Double Dorados

The latest kayak fishing mission for big Dorado’s in South Africa by Kayak Clown and his friend “Drop Shot”. A secret place where dolphins steal your yellow fin tuna.

by Kayak Clown

Fish Length to Weight Calc

Don’t have a scale and just hooked into the big one? no worries, Fish Length To Weight Calc allows you to calculate the weight of a fish by simply entering it’s length! Over 270 Saltwater species from predominantly around South Africa as well as a range of species that roam our oceans such as Barracuda, Sharks, Marlin, and many others.
This App encourages you to safely measure the length of a Fish, and thereby avoiding any injury or harm to the fish. This applies especially to ‘Catch and Release’ to preserve the health of our fish stocks.

You can also share the details of your catch with your friends and fellow anglers on many of the popular social media platforms such as Facebook, BBM, Whatsapp, Twitter and any other Social network of choice!

Fish Length To Weight is one of the most accurate calculators currently available.