Well I haven’t been to The Sands in months and my whole body is aching with withdrawal symptoms! Work, wife and other commitments are seriously messing with my love for the Breede… Anyhow, I was scrolling through some old photos and came across a couple that I haven’t shared with you guys, yet!
It was a weekend in February 2013 that produced one of my best days ever on the river. I can’t remember much of the Friday and Saturday since it rained most of the time and if Witsand gives you lemons, you make lemonade… mixed with passion fruit and vodka! I don’t mind the odd drizzle and have fished in rain before plenty of times, but this was buckets upon buckets, so we decided to make a bad fishing weekend a good party weekend.
By the Saturday afternoon the rain subsided and some of the guys wanted to go make a cast. I was adamant to continue my accurate run on the dart board but was outvoted and we set off to the river. If I remember correctly one of the guys caught a 4kg kob on a McCarthy jerkbait, but that was it for the day. We left for the “duinhuis” to light a fire and have some cold ones. All I can say is… O, what a night!
We only got up at about 9:00 on the Sunday morning and the lines only went in at about 10:00. I was a bit tired of throwing lures and set about catching some livies with a float and strips of pilchard. Not long and I had a couple and in they went. It was quiet for most of the morning and then my reel started making a slow z zz zzz. Normally your reel makes a fast loud sound when a livie gets picked up, but this fish swam away slowly, almost lazily. I set the hooks and the game was on. After a lekker fight I landed a lovely 74cm Leerie, my personal best. As you can imagine I was really happy and my weekend was made.
The rest of the group started a mad scramble to try and catch more mullets. I gave a few away, but kept the bigger ones for myself. I hooked another mullet and in he went… 30 minutes and I was in again. Unbelievably this fish was bigger than the first, a beauty of 76cm. So I broke my PB set half an hour earlier by 2cm. I was chuffed and my inner Jonny Bravo was all over puffy chested!
As if my day wasn’t good enough already, my rod went again. This fish was a little fighter and he swam left and right tangling some of our lines. We tried to undo the weave but couldn’t, so my mate proceeded to bite off the tangled lines… All of a sudden my rod jerked back and my line went slack. Yes, he bit off the wrong line! Now, on any normal day he would have been shot right there, but it was already such a magic day that I really didn’t care much. (He has since bought me numerous beers to apologise…)
One of the guys in our group, Monty brought his girlfriend with for the weekend and he even bought her a pink rod and reel. It was one of those ready to cast set ups. In the mad scramble for livies he managed to get a smallish mullet and rigged the fish with a 1’0 hook through the eyes and made a shortish cast.
After the first couple of fish it went a bit quiet, but the silence was suddenly broken with the mad screams of a pink reel and a red faced Hanlie. Something had picked up the livie and was on its way to Infanta! Line was peeling of her reel and it looked as if the fish was going to strip her, but Monty had other ideas. He grabbed the rod from Hanlie and put his hand on the spool to try and slow the fish’s progress. There must have been about 10 meters left on the spool(sonder jokes), and out of desperation he grabbed hold of the spool and started jogging towards the fish. Luckily when he was about “halflyf” in, the fish turned and he gained some line whilst slowly retreating back onto the bank. He gave the rod back to hi girlfriend, Hanlie.
Now, take a minute and just imagine the madhouse that must have surrounded this new fisher babe! While she was battling something on the other side of her rod, she also had to contend with 6 guys giving advice… “gee lyn”, “katrol”, “lig jou stok se punt”, “lat hom hardloop” and of course, “moet net nie dat die lyn slap raak nie”! All this advice must have aggravated her, but it was quickly sorted with a very loud and distinct: “hou julle f*kken bekke!!!” …and this from a church girl!
We started speculating what fish this was. I thought it must be a garrick, but some guys suggested it might even be some sort of ray, or even a smooth hound. Then, the moment came that made six guys sound like a preschool girls’ choir. At about 20m out the fish turned and flashed us a brilliant copper silver, like only those Witsand beauties can. We all saw that this was a very nice fish! To be honest, if it was anyone else from our group fighting the fish they would have probably shite themselves at that amazing site. But not Hanlie, she was a champ fighting this as if she was a Sarah De Jager. A few minutes or so later Monty grabbed him by the gill plate and dragged him to shore. A fantastic fish of 96cm. Hanlie was a pro, handling the fish and the bunch of school girls giggling from excitement! We quickly tagged the Kob, took a few snaps and set it free to fight another day.
A fishing trip is always lekker, but if you can share it with your mates, if turns into stories you can tell for years to come. This was one of those special days that I will forever remember!