Tag Archives: umhlanga

Umhlanga Tuna

TunaThe week before the easter break we did a trip to Umhlanga. We is my family. The plan was to have some fun in the sun get some crayfish, before the mad JHB rush to the coast. Well the crayfish did not work out so well. They where there but the sea and my timing where not ideal (might also be a bit unfit).

The fishing was another story. I managed to go out twice the first time was awesome and the second time was rather sad. So the first time the launch was perfect did not even get my hair wet. My normal route is to paddle backline until just past the Umhlanga lighthouse, then I head out to the wreck. The sun was not up yet but it was close. There was no action at backline and I saw no other boats. So I started my paddle to the wreck, in the distance I could see lots of birds but they where very far away. So I just kept on course for the wreck. Next thing the ratchet is screaming, I hook up. I fight the fish for a few min then off. Eish not cool. So halcos back out and off I go again. Next ratchet goes screaming off. I am in again for a few min then off. I have now seen a few yellow fin jumping so I know it is tuna. The next time I am in but this time it is a bonito. Good enough for me and into the hatch. At this stage I am at the wreck and try get some bait fish. What a bugger up, my yozuri is way to long and I just get fed up. So I pack that up and head back to the lighthouse. On my way home I see some yellow fin smashing some stuff on the surface. I flick my spoon into the action. 1 turn and I am in, then I am not. The line snapped. I suspect the  tuna hit the swivel and cut me off. So I paddle through where the action was. Both ratchets go off. I get a double hook up. I leave the one rod in the holder and deal with the other. YAY I manage to land my first yellow fin tuna. So then onto the next rod, and after all that it also just pulls loose.

I spoke to my cousin a few days later and he tells me that tuna have rather soft mouths on the inside and lures to tend to pull out. He says it is a good idea to put single hooks on rather.

It was great fun and had some yummy tuna fish cakes. Will do a post about the 2nd day soon.

Wreck at Umhlanga

Woke up at 4 this morning to have a look at the sea. It looked great for some fishingski fishing. The swell was not bad and the wind was a light breeze. So I got myself together kissed the wife goodbye and headed for the garage to get my tackle and fishing ski ready. I had still not put reals on my rods and lures on the line. Lucky it is all rather sorted so I got that done in record speed. Off I headed down to the sea, which is a short walk from the flat.

I was feeling a bit nervous when I saw the sea as the waves always look different when you see them from the beach. Especially when you are looking at back line. The gaps where there but there is always the concern that you will be in the wrong place at the right time. I took my time on the beach and timed it just right to do a perfect entry into the surf. A nice push over the shore dump and ride the boat then jump on and paddle a bit. Then it was time to negotiate the back line.

I managed to go over a few small foamies, but then could see a big wave building up and I was in the wrong place. I know that you need to be moving forward if you want to get over a wave without it throwing you off. Well that is my theory. So the wave broke in front of me and I had no choice but to commit to going full steam ahead. It must have looked rather cool from the beach but I when up and over with some air time. Once a landed I saw that it was open but I was not out of the back line. With a few power strokes of my paddle I managed to get out beyond the back line. Then it was time to get the rods out and a few lures attached. I then did a troll up to the lighthouse as there are some rocks out there and I have caught some fish there before. It was just on 5 in the morning and the sun had not come up yet. The water was not very clean and I had no bites so I decided I would head out to the wreck. I saw a skiboat go out early but I could not not see it at the wreck. So I assume it was the sharks board boat.

I have a hand held GPS with the wrecks cords in, so off I go. It is little more then a km out to sea so it takes a while to get there. Once I get there I attach my yozuri trace up and drop it down. As it hits the bottom I feel the bites. So up it comes and I have a full house of massbunkers. Great stuff I put them in my hatch and rig up one on my live bait rig. I let the live bait out and put my rod in the rod holder. I do a few more yozuri sessions but don’t hit the mother load. I catch a pinkie and some other kind of fish which I let go.

Next thing my live bait rod starts moving. Solid and steady. So I grab it and it feels very heavy. The time is now 6:00. I was alone when I arrived but just before my livebait got taken another guy in a fishingski arrives. We exchange pleasantries and fill each other in on what is happening, nice to feel that you have company when you are bobbing in the ocean. So anyway back to the fishing. The fish is solid and stays deep. It feels big what ever it is. I am starting to think shark. After a while I manage to get it up near the top, but not enough to see what it is. It then takes off back into the deep. I do this a few more times and it pulls down to the deep a few more times. All the while I am being pulled further out to sea. I manage to get it closer as I can see my leader and the time is now 6:30 and I need to get back before 7:00 so I am panicking  I hold on hard and know this is going to be make or break. Well break it is! We are both free of each other. I do feel a bit sad as I would have liked to see what it was. It is then time to head home. Takes a while but I end up back at back line. Pack all the rods away batten down the hatches, fasten my life jacked. Then I wait for a wave to catch to get me to the mid zone. It goes well and I have no problems. I can see there is a rather big shore dump and a step right in the surf zone. What that means if I get off to soon I will be in deep water and unable to get up the beach. In other words a good dumping. I wait for a wave to go over and then paddle like crazy on the back of it. I do a perfect dismount grab my boat and run up the beach. This does not happen often so I am all smiles.

I am looking forward to going out again soon. Lets hope the world does not end tomorrow.