“It was a hot summers night and the beach was burning, there was fog crawling over the sand…” You know mos, sometimes a song pops into your head and you end up humming it all the time. On this particular evening, it was “You took the words right out of my mouth” by Meatloaf.
Very appropriately it WAS a hot summers night, and the beach WAS burning as the sun was about to set. It turned the wet sand left behind by the subsiding waves into a magnificent kaleidoscope of deep reds and oranges. There was a bit of “purple fog” crawling over that actually blessed us with a very welcome light drizzle to cool us off after another scorching January day.
Earlier in the day myself and a mate decided to get out of the house and go make a throw. This evening however would be a bit different to normal proceedings since we decided to take our better halves with. The conditions wasn’t great for actual fishing, but since the wind wasn’t blowing the girls decided that they would join us on a beach adventure.
I quickly assembled my “wife’s” rod. This was a Assasin Beach Master Zero Light 13ft, 3-5oz that I paired with a Shimano Sustain 10K. I bought it for “her” about a year ago but this was the first time she would actually use it. For myself it was the Christmas special Makaira Blue 14’6, 4-6oz and Saragosa 10K. The first couple casts didn’t produce much. There was a strong current mixed with some big mama crocodiles (kelp) that got my wife very exited a couple of times when they slowly screamed away. Those things can pull!
Then the gremlins started eating. These included barbel and a variety of small sharks, stripped cat-, puffadder cat-, small smooth hounds and spotted gullies. This was all very exiting for the women but between the hounds and the crocodiles every second cast I was beginning to work up a sweat and it was suppose to be a relaxing evening. You know, rod in the water (just in case) with a few sun downers and light banter.
Next thing my buddy utters the most unexpected, KOBBIE, as he beached a nice fat looking specimen. Now, there was no talk of a contest, there never is, but the competition is always on. A few minutes into his next cast he shouted to his girlfriend to come and reel. Reel she did and another sizer was flapping on the side a couple of minutes later. And just like that it was two zip!
That’s when the wife started whining, “why don’t we cast where they are casting”, “I too want to catch something”, and “use the same bait they are using”… My wonderful Meatloaf hum was beginning to sound more like something from Rammstein. With sweat on the forehead and steam from my ears I reluctantly obliged. Normally I wouldn’t listen to the wife, but 2-0 is 2-0 and we were falling behind on a spot that will at best produce only one or two fish. I pulled my wife’s rod from the match and decided to focus only on the blue MaGosa (Makaira Blue Rod & Saragosa reel)!
“And when I listened to your heart I hear the whole world turning, I see the shooting stars falling through your trembling hands”… My wife will strike at everything from rolling waves to single bites. She’s normally very patient but when it comes to fishing there is none, exactly the opposite to me. I took the rod from her and patiently waited for a fish to pull me down before I set the hook and passed the rod to her. The fish was feisty and gave a good account of himself before being winched onto the sand. She was very exited since this was her first ever proper Kob, a glittering silver beauty that was almost brighter than her joyful eyes.
The 2-1 score line was celebrated with a few happy screams and a high five with my better half. I took the rod from her smiling face an shaking hands and tried to unhook the fish. It was a struggle since the fish swallowed it right down and got hooked in the stomach. Eventually the hook was free and after a quick glance I decided that the bait was still perfectly fine and made the next cast just like that.
“There was not another moment to waste”… Usually the smaller fish swim in shoals and you have to make every moment count. Especially if they swallow baits down like that. It means they are either very hungry or that there is lots of competition from other predators for food. Either way, if they are on the bite your bait must be in the water at all times because the feeding frenzy can end at any minute.
As I walked back from my cast I felt a tug on my line. I closed the bail arm and bang, fish on again! The fish was the same size as our first one and must have been from the same shoal. The score was 2-2 and I was feeling a bit more comfortable.
It was getting late and the barbel were going crazy by now. Nothing worked, every time your bait landed it would be gobbled up and you would feel those lazy slow tugs on the tip of your rod. Taking them off the hook isn’t the easiest thing either. I’ve got more than a couple of scars from being stung by their very sharp spines. It hurts like a mother fluffer!
After yet another spiny fluffer, I decided to change tactics. I freshened up my bait by giving it a few blows with the tjokka hammer. Then I added a few thin strips of tjokka and with a quick circular movement fastened them with bait cotton. The cast was more of a medium throw onto the bank and not into the gully at the back. The tide was pushing and I was hoping that there would be enough water on the bank to hold some fish.
“You took the words right out of my mouth”… I was babbling about how glad I was that we caught some fish and what a beautiful evening it was, when suddenly I was stopped mid sentence by a the very hard and aggressive TAP on the other side of my line… TAP… Slow tug… nothing… nothiiiiing… BANG!
For “Vark” Steaks, bloody Spotty! It felt just like a Spotted Gully Shark and fought the same as well. Dead weight with no real head shakes, nothing like the two previous fish that was crazy head banging rockers. It came a little then took some line, then came again. Slowly but surely he came closer. Then a hint of a nod of the head, maybe? I wasn’t sure but If I had to guess the chances was 80% Spotty. It felt too lackluster and came too easily. It felt as if it was close so I switch on my headlight…
“Now my body is shaking like a wave on the water, And I guess that I’m beginning to grin”… I couldn’t believe my eyes. In front of me not more than 10 meters away was a stunning Kob in the shallows. Maybe it was the smell of land or my headlight burning his eyes but all of a sudden he decided to wake up. Dashing left and right in no more than knee deep water. I tried to keep calm and as patient as possible, hoping and praying for the right wave to end the suffer of anticipation. After a few nervy moments my mate grabbed the 87cm Kob by the gill plate and dragged him to “safety”. It was a proper slab of a fish and I was ecstatic!
With a “winning” score of 3-2 it was time to call it a day and we started cleaning our fish. Always with a rod in the water just in case… Deon was deep into descaling when his rod tip dipped and he caught another sizer in injury time. A three way tie was rather appropriate I suppose…
In the car on our way back I put on the song I’ve been humming all night long and myself and the wife sang along in full voice
“And then you took the words right out of my mouth.
Oh it must have been while you were kissing me.
You took the words right out of my mouth.
Oh and I swear it’s true, I was just about to say I love you”
As the song faded away we smiled at each other, it was a great evening. A perfect hot summers night!