Purple spotty and the crows nest

As we sat back on our sand dune couch we reflected on the very busy morning we just had! I poured us a fresh cup of steaming black coffee from my newly acquired Isosteel flask. The one with two cups, one on top and one on the bottom. I was looking for a flask for a couple of months and when I saw the one with two cups I just had to have it. Coffee, like brandy is great, but it shouldn’t be enjoyed alone. (The absolutely only way you are allowed to enjoy this pleasures alone is when it is very very cold and you feel very very alone. Only then you may indulge and combine the two to enjoy a “broffie” on your own. A shared broffie however is still way healthier!)

I took a sip as I looked at the chaotic scene of pilchard heads and tjokka guts in front of us. Usually the seagulls would have swept in by now to clean up all the extra bits and pieces of bait that lies around. But I guess there was so much activity at the bait box that they haven’t had time to enjoy breakfast yet. From our first cast just before 2:00 we had action right up until I made my last just after nine. It’s not always that you remember your last cast, but this is one that will stick in my memory for some time.

I loaded my Torium 30 HG and Penn Batalion Medium with a 7oz weight and a Pilchard head and walked down to the water. Leaned back like a pro and prepared myself for a throw straight to the moon. I don’t know what went wrong, but a snap sound was followed with that terrible grovel sound as the mother of all over winds ran up on my reel. It was only stopped with my thumb getting stuck in one of the loops. Ouch, “eina poeliesman”! I reeled in the extra line, took the reel off and packed it away to sort out “another time”.

My mate, Deon came over for a braai early on Saturday afternoon. The plan was to braai, hit the sack early and then get up in the dark hours of the morning and head off to Bettys to target some Kobbies. The braai was lekker and towards the end of it we were so physicked up that we decided to pack our bags and go down to the beach. The wife wasn’t too happy but if the “vis lus” has got hold of you there is nothing that will hold you back. Not even my long lipped, highly temperamental and hormonal wife. Some times they just don’t understand!

Deon was quick out of the blocks when something pulled him down. The fish gave good head shakes and we were convinced this was an edible. After a brief fight we saw a shiny eye in the shallows and knew it was a Spotted Gully Shark, or Spotty. Next was my turn and I also landed a Spotty. After that Deon made me switch on the sports channel as he landed number 2, 3, 4 and 5 in quick succession while it was still dark. For some reason I got inquiries but couldn’t hook into a fish, they were biting “skelm”, something that is rather strange for a Gully Shark. Deon was using a circle hook, so I decided to alter tactics and changed to one as well. This made all the difference since on my next cast I got stuck with number 2.

The day started to break and just before sunrise we were full of hope that the edibles would come through but nothing happened. The Spottys actually went off the bite for a while and I prepared by lighter stick with some wonder worm. It wasn’t long and my reel was screaming. For a while I was convinced that it was something silver but I saw soon enough that it was another shark and number three for me.

Earlier I had no hope of catching up with Deon but now I sensed a comeback was on the cards and I changed baits on both rods. Number four was a better fish that took some line and gave me a proper fight. It turned out to be a pitch black Spotted Gully shark. It had a grayish belly with darker blotches, stunning specimen. Apparently they are quite rare but you do get them from time to time in Bettys.

What I thought was number 5 and the score leveler turned out to be a decent St Joseph shark. The black spotty was pretty, but this fish was absolutely stunning. How do you describe a Elephant fish? “It has a shiny silver body with a curling tail and dorsal fin with wing like pectoral fins. A funny face with a elephant like snout and a mouth that points downward. Its awkward looking yet uniquely gorgeous”! Apparently they are good eating, but I wouldn’t get it over my heart to kill one. I only remember ever catching one in Namibia, so this was another special catch for me.

Just after the saint my wonder worm rod went crescent moon again. This time I really thought I had either a very nice Galjoen or a Steenbras on my line. Headshakes, the works! The fish even took a bit of line and then swam in with the bait, just to turn quickly and run off again. I was almost convinced until I saw the tail of another damn Spotty. Number five and the comeback was complete! Even Chuck Morris would have been proud of this one.

We sipped our coffee and started talking a bit of shite. Deon suggested I write something about the “purple” spotty I caught, we had a chuckle…

 

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