Diamonds and laughs

What’s that? Ja sorry, I haven’t posted for a while, I know. But the truth is there hasn’t been anything to post about.  I’ve been struggling to catch anything decent and its not because of a lack of trying, it just seems that I’m on a bit of a dry spell.

In September we started planning for three trips to the Breëde in our quest to catch that dream 100 pounder Kob. One trip in October, one in November and the last one of 2016 in the beginning of December just before the Valies arive ;). The first two trips was serious fishing adventures, but the last trip, traditionally in the first weekend of December is more a fun boys weekend where some fishing could take place.

On the first trip in October we had three bites the whole weekend and luckily I managed to land a 122cm fish which made our trip. On our second trip we completely blanked. I have to add though that we only focused on big baits and big fish. So, when the past weekend started creeping up on us, I was ready for action and focused to get stuck into some nice Breëde Kobbies. Last year we had a bumper weekend and we were super exited when Friday eventually arrived.

Some of the guys drove trough on the Thursday already and when we arrived we were greeted with a burning fire and the happy melodies of “The end of the line” by The Traveling Wilburys, “Well its all right, riding around in the breeze. Well its all right, if you live the life you please…” The hello was complete with a cold beer and cheers!

The reports wasn’t great. No Kob with lots of small fish and the odd Grunter. What surprised me the most was that the guys got stuck into Diamond rays, and this was up river. We have caught plenty of Diamond and Blue rays close to the mouth but never up river at the spot we were looking to fish. The “bad” reports didn’t bother us too much, we had catching up to do and some whistles to wet. After a few beers the short drinks made an appearance out of nowhere, ice cold John Daniels Honey… I wasn’t keen, but I wasn’t shy either and it wasn’t long before I had a broken spring in my step.

The next morning we were ready to roll, albeit a bit slow. It was an incredible wind still morning. Getting livies was a bit of a struggle but it wasn’t long before the baits hit the water. There wasn’t much going on at first but then my occie (octopus bait) setup started screaming. When I picked up the rod I could feel that the fish was very heavy. He just continued on his merry way, taking more and more line. I decided to tighten the drag even more, but that seemed to only make him angry and he just stormed on with immense power. He swam far left and around the little rocky outcrop on the other side of the little bay we were fishing. I had no control over this one and by the time I realized that I’m in trouble I got cut off. “Reefed” in the Breede by a big fat flatty!

Not long after that Burties rod went and a couple of seconds later mine as well. This caused a big problem as the fish seemed to swim towards each other. We tried to untangle the lines but it was an impossible task with both fish swimming all over the place. We decided to try and fight them together, tangled lines and all. As it turned out this fish picked up both our baits and we both had a hook in its mouth. Our rods was probably 50 meters apart, fishing never seizes to amaze.

It was flat fish central as we proceeded to catch the one flatty after the other. Diamond rays were making light work of our live mullets. I wasn’t too bleak about this, I mean at least there was some action. On the previous weekend we didn’t even get an bite. Still, it would have been great if we could get a Kobbie for the braai. I eventually did get a beautiful baby of 53cm. He got a number plate for his trouble and is still swimming strong.

Saturday night was little more civilized and we were up bright and early on Sunday morning. Our baits hit the water just after 5:00 and we were ready for action. Again nothing happened and by 8:00 some of the guys had enough and decided to head home. Myself and Burtie stuck it out though and at around eleven the action started. It was very quiet so we decided to stay busy by pumping some prawn and see if we couldn’t get a Grunter.

While we were busy my reel started screaming and after a brief fight I landed another Butterfly. I quickly rebaited and made a cast a short cast into the channel. It wasn’t even five minutes and I was on again. Another medium sized ray. Deon was watching a bit of television at this stage but at least managed to switch channels as he got stuck into a beautiful Grunter. He caught three in no time!

I got hold of the remote again and switched from Cbeebies to Mnet Action. On again with another very big fish that I just couldn’t stop. I tried to put maximum pressure on the fish but to no avail. After a five (or so) minute fight I got cut off again on the rocks to our left. My medium rated gear being a Stradic 5000 FK reel and 9ft rod just couldn’t put the brakes onto these majestic monsters.

And again, fish on, incredible! I swear these things must have been swimming in a school. No edible had a chance to the bait. Luckily this fish swam right, not like the others that swam left. He walked me about a 100 meters up river before turning and coming all the way down again. At one stage he was close to the side and it was incredible to see how he flipped himself upright and opened his wings to use the current to his advantage. He proceeded left towards the same rocks that I lost the previous fish on so I put maximum pressure on him. I managed to turn him somehow but he had another trick up his sleeve. He dropped right down and “sucked” himself onto the bottom. I knew he must be tired and that he was just taking a bit of a snooze. I kept the pressure on and eventually pulled him from the bottom. After another couple of minutes he was on the side. I could see that it was a bigger fish. Not only was he long, but he was also wide and thick. She had a 148cm wing span. A fish to put the cherry on the cake (or rather the diamond on the ring) of our weekend.

“Well its alright”, sang Tom Petty & Co as we drove out of Witsand for the last time in 2016. And it is alright, we didn’t catch what we came for, but we had an incredible weekend with good friends, diamonds and laughs!

That 100 pounder is still lurking somewhere in the deep though… TBC


Team effort




Burties Grunter





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