Category Archives: Adventure

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.

bass kayak fishing

A few Sunday’s ago I went bass kayak fishing at Rhenosterkop Dam. It was a mission that Brain from Hunterski Kayak put together. There where 5 of us and he took his rubber duck up for a spin and to bass fish off. It was a great opportunity to test drive the hunterski kayak. So Brain loaded up a demo model for me, and off we went. The drive was long and squashed but worth it as I you will see. We got there and I was in the water in no time as I could not wait to get a few casts in. Brain then loaded me up and took me to the hot spot of the dam where he off loaded me and we all started fishing. I was the first person to break the ice with a nice size bass soon after we arrived at the spot.

On the boat I was fully loaded, the only 2 things I forgot was my hat and water. I had my tackle box, 2 rods, GPS and my fish finder rig. The kayak had no trouble with that load and I soon found the right colour lure and was soon into more bass. Never fished this dam before I had to just explore and cast to where I thought I bass would be. A few times I managed to fish between the reeds and the bank, the water was amazingly clean and you could see right to the bottom, well the depth was only about a meter deep. In the end I paddled 7.5km in 5hrs and I felt like I was only getting warmed up. I got this info from my gps and plugged it into google earth. It was only then did a really see how big this dam is and some spots that I would love to fish are hidden away. So a mission needs to be made to go and visit Rhenosterkop again. I will definitely do it in a kayak again. It was so nice to get into spots that other boats could not. Having the freedom to move around was also the best, just next time I must not forget me hat and water.  The hunterski kayak was also very comfortable, and stable. Next time I want to take my rig for my rods so that I can have them upright because when you move through the reeds they tend to get hooked up.

At the end of the day Brain managed to land 18 bass, I forgot count after 10 and non where under the 1kg mark. This was must first real bass fish of the season and it has started well. I look forward to hitting the water soon.

I have attached 2 pictures one of the full dam. In that one you can see where we fished by the dot in the top right. The other picture is the track that I fished I know it is a bit hard to see, but not sure how to change the colour on google earth. Until next time enjoy the fishing and kayaking. I will be sharing my fishfinder rig with pictures soon, so look out for that story.

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My kids and fishing

I have 3 kids, 2 girls and now a boy. My boy is only 20 months old but he is showing signs that he is keen to get fishing. He walks around my father in laws dam with a stick and pretends he is casting and catching fish. The 2 girls being older 10 and 7 have been fishing for a while now and they love it. I think the one main thing to making fishing exciting is fishing in dams where there are lots of fish. We have been lucky in that regard. My father in law made a dam on his property and stocked it with lots of tilapia. You throw you bait in and a few seconds later you are on. So it has been great to show the children how to fish. I feel the on downfall of this kind of fishing is that when you go to other waters they get bored because they are just not catching any fish. They are learning about patience and I must say they are doing very well.

I have attached a short clip of my eldest a few year ago casting and catching a fish. This was in Rosendal in the Free-state. Thanks to Sue Christie for the free accommodation. The dam was crystal clear and full of bass, we had a most relaxing weekend there.

Sodwana Kayak fishing (fishingski)

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.

Bass fishing farm dams

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.

A little bit about my fishing

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.