Every now and again I go to Sodwana, I must say I don’t go there often enough. Sodwana is a place of warm sea and lots of fish. It is one of the top dive sites of South Africa with awesome accommodation at Coral Divers where they will take good care of you.
My story is about a few years ago when I was there with my Kayak (fishingski) I would wake early in the morning and head out to sea early in the morning, before all the diving boats. It is a bit of a run between the wave breaks but if you time it right you slip out beyond the big waves no problem. I attached my white/red halco and off I go paddling. Lucky there is reef not to far from back line. I am soon into a fish but unfortunately I am unable to slow it down and it ends up in the reef below and cuts off my line. I did not have another lure like that and did not have another touch.
Back on the beach I meet and chat to a guy from Coral Divers and he tells me he is also in kayak fishing and suggests I join him for a kayak fishing session. He also suggests we catch a lift with a dive boat to 9 mile reef where they will drop us off and we can paddle back from there. So we set a date and go a separate ways. A day later I hear he had a shallow water black out from spearfishing, lucky his mates saw him and got him to the boat. So we had to postpone our trip for a few days. Well finally the day arrived. We where on the beach before sun rise and the guys loaded up our kayaks onto the rubber duck. They fitted very well on the sides of the dive boat. Soon we where off and racing to nine mile reef. It was nice not to have to paddle that far and lucky the current was pushing from North to South so we could almost just drift back to the launch area. Soon enough we arrived at the reef and there was surface action going down so I was supper excited to get into the water and start fishing. Put on a little lure and started paddled around the surface action and soon enough the reel started screaming and I was in. My mate that I was with was soon also into a fish. It was bonnies, which are ideal as live bait for the big boys, Cuda or Tuna. So I hooked it onto my live bait rig and let it out. My mate did the same. Not to long and I was into something big but I think my break was too tight as I got snapped up. All the time you are drifting along away from the reef, so it was back to the reef to catch some live bait and start the process again. This time it took a bit longer and again I lost it. My mate manage to and land his fish, but it towed him a long way. It was a nice yellow fin tuna. All the time we are moving back down the coast, it was such fun. Hooking and missing and hooking and bringing them in. I did not manage to get a tuna but had lots of fun with the bonnies.
All to soon we where back at the beach, but very happy. My mate got a good crowd round him as he pulled out his tuna. The people at Coral divers where going to eat well, he cut a bit off for me. That was a once in a lifetime trip, but I am always keen to try that again. My story ends on a sad note. The guy I went with and that put it all together was eaten by a shark a few months later. They recon he blacked out again while spearfishing and his friends did not find his body this time. The shark took him and they only found a few remains. I was devastated to hear this sad news.
I still love fishing in Farm dams, and the funny thing is you can get some big farm dams with some big fish in. 2 spots that come to mind is a dam in Gingindlovu and one in Richmound. The Gingindlovu dam I used to fish there often when I lived in Mtunzini. I must have caught about a 4kg bass there. It was a monster, it was the king of thing that takes your breath away when it comes out the water. For me it is can a bass get that big.
This weekend I went fishing on a farm dam, thanks to my neighbor for inviting me to pop around and see his parents. It is not a huge dam but it still had lots of bass in. My neighbor on his first cast hooked a bass, he was so excited and I think he is hooked. He wants to now go and visit a fishing shop and get some equipment. The main story I want to share is safety. My neighbor has a boy of 2 years old, the dam had a boat on it so we decided to all hop on the boat and see if we could fish. I insist on wearing a life jacket, my neighbor feels the same way. Well we where on the boat and Matt was hanging over the side because he wanted to touch the water. Well as you can imagine disaster was about to strike, and sure enough it did. Over board went Matt, headfirst. His dad dived in right after him causing the boat to capsize and I was in the drink also. Eish the water was cold and it took my breath away. Lucky I had my tackle box attached to me and I did not let go of my rod. Matt’s dad did let go of his rod, fully understanding on that one as he was saving his son. Lucky the boat did not fully capsize and we manage to get Matt back in the boat as we swam it ashore. Poor Matt he was in a shock and very cold. Now we had one rod missing and I was not keen to do any diving. I removed my rubber worm and just had a bare hook and sinker, I started casting hoping that I would pick up something. Well lucky us after about the 20th cast I managed to hook the line and ended up pulling in the rod and reel.
I must say Matt is doing fine and I don’t think he is afraid of the water and we will be back in summer so that we can go for a swim. We all caught lots of fish and to top it off we chowed down on a fantastic curry for supper, that warmed us up on the inside.
So be safe on the water, you never know what might happen.
I am a very passionate fisherman and was lucky to have some great mentors along my way. My grandfather was a big fisherman and that was in the days of pioneering South Africa. My uncle was another one that I have learnt so much from. All the people that I have meet along my journey had something to share and now I continue this adventure with my 2 daughters and son. Not to mention I still have so much to see and learn.
I lived on a farm outside Eshowe in the Kwa Zulu Natal area. Started with fishing in the rivers catching red tails using bamboo as our rods. Later getting fishing rods and doing bass fishing in the local farm dams and the dam on the farm. My grandfather even had king carp in the dam that would catch using pap. We would go to Kosi Bay for our annual holiday. Such good fishing and lots of fun. My grandparents have a place on the St Lucia lake called Makakatana we would go there on school holidays in July and catch Salmon. I remember having such fun catching bonies (glass nose) with hand-line and then I would hook them up as live bait and catch springer. It was such fun using a scarborough reel, you would just let the live bait swim out and soon enough it would pick up speed and you would know you where on.
I tried rock and surf but it just was not my scene. We would go to Amatikulu with my uncle and spend the night doing rock and surf, but being kids we would have such fun playing in the dunes. When I got older I started going deep-sea and bottom fishing. We would either launch from the beach or through the mouth at Amatikulu. I have done deep-sea at Sodwana, Mtunzini, Mapelane, Cape Vidal, Amatikulu. My father bought a 14ft6 ski boat, so I got my skippers licence to go out to sea. I have also fished in Mozambique which is such a fantastic experience because I am so big into art lure fishing.
I found out many years back about fishingski’s and was hooked! My first fishing ski was from erics’s canoe shop. I had this for many years and patched it a few times. It went to Cape Town with me and I did lots of paddling but no fish, I did have fun catching crayfish. Moving back to Durban I did some fishing on my ski from the south coast all along the north coast. I once even got a lift on a dive boat at Sodwana to nine mile and we paddled back catching bonnies and using them as bait on the way back to the point. That was a trip I will never forget as the guy I went with was later eaten by a shark as he was diving.
All this time I was doing a lot of bass fishing, if there was water I would throw a line in it. Before our move to Capetown I lived and worked at Mtunzini. I would drive up the beach to the mouth and do a lot of fly fishing or just casting lures, those where the days when you could still drive up the beach. I caught some kingfish and moonfish, it would always be such fun as you never know what was going to attack your lure.
I have so many fishing stories and I think I am going to post them on my blog. My aim of this blog is a few things. I want to share my fishing stories and I am going to sell kayaks as they are such affordable boats to allow you to get to fishing waters that a lot of people don’t even know are out there. Because it is so quiet I have also see some amazing fish long before they knew I was there. Keep watching this spot.