Some stories from Makakatana

This is not about fishing but what happened on some of my fishing trips to Makakatana (Lake St Lucia)

Julian Britz loses his glasses

So we are anchored on the lake and busy fishing. I am not sure what Julian is doing, but the next thing he turns around and tells us he has lost his glasses.  They had fallen over board. He says he has to get them back otherwise he will be unable to see. So off come the clothes and into the water he dives. The thing is that when the boat is on anchor is swings a bit like a pendulum, so to find the correct spot, where the glasses dropped was not possible for us. Lucky the lake is only about 2 meters deep. But it is rather cold and zero visibility. After a few dives and feeling his way along the bottom he manages to get his glasses. He was rather cold after that but very happy.

Crocodile scares the hell out of me.

Again we are in the lake busy fishing we notice a croc out in the lake. We think nothing of it and carry on fishing as it seems to be keeping its distance. When we are fighting one fish and it gets close to the boat we notice that there is a lot of muddy water swirling up from under the boat. We think this might be just the fish churning up the water, as it is fighting hard, so we carry on as normal. I while later I am busy scaling a bream over the side of the boat. I am getting it ready to make some fillets to catch me a big salmon.  The croc surfaces just under my hands, I get such a fright that I throw the bream at it and jump back into the boat. I am sure I screamed like a girl but my ears would never hear that. After the heart settled down we decided to move away from that spot. That also explained the muddy water getting churned up under the boat. The crocodile was trying to eat our fish.

Collecting Prawns

In the old days it was not uncommon to stand on prawns while you were pushing the boat out into deeper water. The shallows was mud and grass so it was perfect for prawns.  So we would just walk around in the shallows and collect lots of prawns. Sometimes to eat and sometimes for bait.

The Crab that got its revenge

During the fishing trips we would sometimes catch a crab or two.  You were not allowed to keep them as far as I remember but my Goco would make such a yummy crab curry. So some went into the sack. My Oupa’s boat had bench seats, it just so happened that the crab was in the sack under the seat I was sitting on. Next thing I feel this very deep pain in my calf. I was a bit close to the sack and the crab had got hold of my calf through the sack with its huge nippers. No blood was drawn and the crab was turned into a very yummy curry.

Louis doesn’t flinch

As I mentioned in the prawn story you would need to push the boat out to deeper water. This would be about 100 meters or more. Then you could jump on the boat and drop the motors and start them up. During this walk it would be in mud and sometimes you would step on a crab. Jump like crazy then find you place at the side of the boat and carry on. My uncle Louis would be at the front side of the boat and I would be at the back. He would feel a crab and not react at all, the crab would be ready for war with its nippers up in the air. I behind Louis would have no idea what was coming and I would step on this angry crab, jump and scream and my Uncle would just laugh. Bastard!  You get one hell of a fright.

Getting stuck in the mud

So one time my girlfriend (my wife now) and I decided to go to the Makakatana on our own. I had my landy and we towed the boat up.  Launching the boat required you to drive out into the lake, to deeper water so that you could at least float the boat after you got it off the trailer.  It was muddy and you never know if you might get stuck. Well we managed to get the boat off no problem. It was driving on the side of the lake that I suddenly got stuck. I tried reversing and going forward but all I ended up doing was making the Landy sink deeper into the mud. We decided to go back to the house and get some staff to help us dig. I managed to get 3 staff members so loaded with spades and stuff, back down to the lake we went. My wife said it looked like a picture from snow white and the seven dwarfs. Well we failed to make any headway. I spoke to a neighbour but he was too afraid that he might also get stuck. So as a last resort I phoned my dad to come help. Lucky he was working at Mtunzini so it was not that far away. He pulled my Landy out no problem. He just stayed on the hard ground and soon I was out.

More to come as I think of them. I know I have some mates that have some stories so please send them dudes.

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