Eastern Cape Angling: Big Zebra, Garrick & Plenty Of Shysharks
Day 1 Fishing Report
So we all left Johannesburg on the Wednesday night, except for Craig who was set to fly down early on Thursday morning to Port Elizabeth. Myself, Darryn, Gavin, Aimee and Ashlyn met up with JR and Brandon at Kroonstad where Gavin jumped into their car so we could all have a bit more space... We arrived in Kenton on sea at 630am on the Thursday morning. We unpacked the cars and quickly set up our fishing gear. We headed down to Bushman's beach where we fished the surf and gullies. We first fished Bats Cave where Gavin got a lovely Blacktail with his first cast. It went very quiet after that until Darryn got a small Cape Stumpnose close to the river mouth. Then we moved on to The Rocking Horse where we got a few fish out: Blacktail, Butterfish and Karanteen. We headed back to the house after a fairly disappointing session.
We were joined by Craig who arrived in his rent a car from PE airport which looked like it didn't reach 80km/h on the way to our place. We welcomed him with a cold beer and set up our gear and spoke about our next move. We decided to head off to the Kariega River mouth and surrounding surf. First throw and Craig was vas, a beauty of a Blacktail, over 1kg, and to top it all off it was on Dropshot: Berkley Camo Worm. It quieted down after that until Craig got a black Seacatfish, Brandon pulled out a lesser Sandshark and myself and Darryn did as well. We then decided to call it a night.
Day 2 Fishing Report
The guys set off while I sorted out some stuff for the first Gauteng RASSPL competition the following day. Gavin caught a beautiful Garrick on a 4 inch Chartreuse minnow, Dropshot struck again! It still works... Other than that, a long session moving around the Kenton beaches produced little activity. No more fish and hardly any bites. Very strange, the trip had not started off well for some of us. We then moved off to Kasouga to pump some sand prawn in the late afternoon. We got our quota, went back to the house and set up, and after a few Jaegermeisters were off to bed, ready for the competition.
Day 3 Fishing Report
It was the Gauteng GT's first RASSPL competition of the season and we were fishing alongside the Kowie Crackers franchise from Port Alfred. We registered and were off. The 8 of us headed towards Ship Rock but got distracted by the rolling banks and white water close by. The first cast of the day produced for most of us: Craig got a Sandshark, JR, Gavin & Ashlyn got a White Seacatfish each and I caught a Blacktail. After a few more Barbel we made it to Ship Rock where we were into the fish; Brown Shyshark, Zebra, Yellowbelly Rockcod, Stonebream, Klipfish.
And then one of my most memorable moments happened. I had been fishing a gully that looked so promising for about 45 minutes and had no bites. I added to Sand Prawn, both rigged just through the tail and out of nowhere as it hit the water, I was pulled flat. My 9 foot Daiwa Exceller rod and Penn Powerspin 3000 reel were tested to the max. The reel was loaded with 10lb Double X, so my Exceller was well above my head to prevent me from getting cut off... The result: a 41cm Zebra, approximately 2 kilograms. It was the 6th heaviest edible of the day and was rewarded with a Penn Fierce 6000 Grinder. As I look back, I get chills and goosebumps about that fish. All in all Gauteng put up a good show and we all had a great time.
Day 4 Fishing Report
903We went to Fish River Point to look for a few Raggies, we didn't land up getting any, but caught some great edible species. JR and Darryn both caught Blacktails of 33 and 31 centimeters respectively. Darryn also caught a juvenile White Musselcracker. Brandon got 2 Zebra, Craig caught a leopard catshark and the rest of us caught some Klipfish, Blennies and Puffers. Was a satisfying end to the day and we ate some great tasting Blacktail that Gavin prepared on the braai.
Day 5 Fishing Report
JR and Brandon headed off to Kasouga and fished Ogilvy's and caught a few Brown Shysharks and Brandon got a 45cm Shad. They then headed back to Johannesburg where unfortunately JR had some car problems in the -7 degree weather. Craig joined them and caught another Brown Shyshark. Gavin, Darryn and I went to the Kariega bridge where we threw a few live mullet. The only interest we got was a cuttlefish that devoured Gavin's mullet. In-between Darryn caught an embryo of a Blacktail, about 4cm. I caught a small Stumpnose and that was it... We enjoyed a few parting drinks with Craig before he was set to fly back to Johannesburg the following morning.
Day 6 Fishing Report
After a lot of thought, we went to gather some bait, namely Sand Prawn and Mullet. Gavin threw the cast net like a champion and got plenty of live bait for our session at Kariega that night. We unfortunately blanked on the livies, but I got a Cape Moony on Dropshot, a pink Curly Tail. We caught a few Cape Stumpnose where we got the live bait, other than that, that was the day...
Day 7 Fishing Report
We woke up to terrible weather, but none the less, we walked to Roman Bay at Kleinemonde. It was worth it. Gavin got his PB Blacktail and I got a lovely juvenile White Musselcracker. There were plenty of Klipfish around, big ones at that. The rain eventually persuaded us to make the 1.5km walk back to the car.
Day 8 Fishing Report
Our last day was cold and rainy. We fished the sandbar floating restaurant for a few hours and Gavin, Darryn and I got a Cape Stumpnose each, after a few decent knocks and peckers. And that was our trip. We caught some lovely fish and we had an amazing time. Many new friendships were made and other friendship bonds were strengthened. A great trip comes to an end... We will be back soon! In total we caught 93 fish and 18 species... Gavin caught a total of 39 fish in the throw net.