Kenton On Sea Summer Fishing - Fishing Eastern Cape Surf & Rivers
We arrived at the gorgeous Kenton-on-sea at about 3am on Saturday morning, and it was still a bit too early to fish, so we sat and sorted out tackle until just after 4am and then set off to a spot called Leerie Bend on the Bushman's River, regardless of the red tide, which had been plaguing the area prior to our arrival. We threw lures, flies and live baits and didn't have too much success, Sean hooked a fish on a 3 inch pearl white Paddletail and I hooked something on a twisty spoon on a sand bank, probably a Bartail Flathead, but the hooks pulled, while throwing for mullet Gavin netted some beautiful micros, a Blacktail and a Zebra. Running on caffeine and adrenaline we went out for breakfast and discussed our fishing plans for the afternoon.
We went to an area quite far up the Kariega River to evade the smell and colour of the water from the red tide. We had lots of fun on artificial (We ended up catching about half of our fish on the trip on lure). Gavin got his first Grunter on artificial and was seriously chuffed with it, he did well to get the fish to take the curly tail. My brother Sean managed an almost mature Blue Kurper on curly tail. Yellow being its colour of choice. I had fun on the extreme light tackle and added to my species list with my first ever River Bream and a new species of Blenny, eventually found out it was a Prison Goby. I also caught a Cape Stumpnose and a Thornfish, never realized they were in the estuary system here.
The next day, our third session, we tried our luck at the Kariega Bridge and it turned out to be a decent day and night with lots of fish caught and some unusual ones at that. We fished from 10am to 2 pm and Gavin managed 4 Pinky and a Zebra, Sean managed 3 Pinky, 3 Zebra and 1 Russell's Snapper, also a fish I never knew existed in this estuary system as the water is quite cold in the area. 2 Garrick chased the Russell's Snapper while Sean was reeling in the Snapper, was an awesome site and managed to get it on video as well. I caught 5 Zebra and a Blacktail. We then went back at 6.30pm and had a great night. We saw so many fish swimming around the bridge area including Electric Rays, the rare Estuarine Pipefish and some Blackhand Sole. Before it went dark I caught a 35cm Spotted grunter on mud prawn and we managed a few Moonies and pinkies throughout the night and I caught a Cape Moony which must be some kind of record, I never knew they got that big! I also caught an African Longfin Eel on a live mullet, really weird night to be honest with you!
The next morning we went for a walk on the beach armed with some dropshot gear. At the first gully we fished Gavin and myself kept on getting knocked by electric-blue coloured fish on the Camo worm, would of loved to of see what they were, possibly Cleaner Wrasse. We had a few bites during the walk, where we were accompanied by a friendly Labrador throughout our walk. Gavin hooked and lost a Karanteen on Camo worm, other than that was a fun but tough session.
It was then time to start exploring the blind rivers due to the red tide, and overall we had some of the best fishing we ever have had. Kleinemonde West was producing more fish than the east river so that was our first stop. We arrived there, put out some livies for Kob, courtesy of the Gavin Erwin throw net, and then went along with our fishing business. There were lots of small Leeries and we even saw a Zambezi Shark in the closed off river as well as a 2kg+ Blacktip Kingfish, seems like a very healthy system that. Gavins first cast produced the first Garrick of the trip (The first of many) on a McCarthy 4inch Paddletail. Sean managed a Stumpy on float and I caught 4 Stumpies, a Goby and 3 Cape Moonies on fly which I was really stoked about. We left around 10pm with our live baits untouched, not even the Zambi bothered to tax us. I forgot to mention, Gavin got his top water Strike Pro popper smashed 8 times during the course of the afternoon, it was heart pumping stuff!
The red tide was still in full force and the river colouration and inshore areas looked pretty disgusting, the smell wasn't great either. But none the less we hit Whales Back for an early morning session and wow was it worth it! Who said the red tide cant produce fish? Sean got his PB Blacktail of 37cms on a 6 foot rod, 3000 size spinning reel and 12lb mono, he did extremely well to land that bus of a fish! A few throws later Gavin picked up a bus himself on the trusty Camo worm, probably around 32-33cm. Some great fish were coming out. Just before the pushing tide washed us off the bricks, Gavin landed his PB Brown Shyshark, what an awesome session!
Gavin has a mate who's family stays in Kasouga and they generously offered up their 2-man ski for us to use. So we were up at 4.30am the next day and off to Kasouga armed with the Moony-Slayer (My ski's new nickname) and the trusty PVC prawn pump. We pumped quite a few sand prawn and then were off to fish. We ended up paddling about 8kms that day, the last 3 or so being the worst, paddling into a 30km'h wind on what is effectively a non tidal river is very tough. Our first area of choice looked good, lots of small Leeries around and a few buses that chased us down but wouldn't commit. I managed some more Moonies on fly, this was my first time fly fishing off the ski and it was absolutely awesome! We all had chases from Leeries and a few smashes but no solid hook ups. I managed a Stumpy and a Moony on our way to the next area where we parked off on the side. Gavin then proceeded to teach us a proper lesson in artificial lure angling, definitely one of the best exponents of artificial fishing I have ever had the pleasure of fishing with. There was a big group of Garrick and we were all using the same lure, but Gavin managed 3 compared to Sean and I who didn't even spark interest from the Leeries, Gavin's fish included his PB of 48cms! What a bus of a fish, beautiful and strong. he caught all the Leeries on a bucktail jig. Then we headed back to Kenton for some well deserved beer and chow, we were going to hit Kasouga again the next day.
The next day we struggled, no fish biting and the only action was on Gavin's strike pro where he hooked a decent sized Leerie but the hooks pulled. So we headed back disappointed and started packing up as tomorrow was our last day.
We woke up to wind and pouring rain but we were fishing no matter what! We took the 45 minute drive to Kleinemonde and fished the East river first as it offered more protection from the wind and rain, it was extremely dead, I managed a decent sized Prison Goby but that was it. We then moved to the West river for some of the best fishing we had ever experienced. Gavin nailed fish throughout the day, 9 Garrick (Biggest being 43cms) and 2 Kob (Including his first Kob on artificial and then his PB which was also on artificial of 50cms). All sorts of fish were coming out, Blacktail, Stumpies, Gobies, Blennies, Moonies and Shad. After lots of perseverance I eventually managed to get 3 Leeries on fly and my brother caught his first Garrick and his first Shad. The session of 6 hours or so in the terrible conditions was one of those that do not come around too often, what an amazing way to end an amazing fishing trip, and we fished it hard!
This was the final tally:
- 17x Garrick
- 13x Cape Moony
- 11x Cape Stumpnose
- 9x Zebra
- 8x Pinky
- 4x Blacktail
- 6x Prison Goby
- 2x Kob
- 2x Spotted Grunter
- 1x African Longfin Eel
- 1x River bream
- 1x Shad
- 1x Brown Shyshark
- 1x Blue Kurper
- 1x Russell's Snapper
- 1x Thornfish
79 fish 16 species