Ski-Boat May/June 2023

Page 1

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2 x Yamaha 70hp 4-stroke motors, hydraulic steering, galvanised breakneck trailer.

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Kosi Cat 17 FC

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Yamaha 100hp 4-stroke motor, galvanised breakneck trailer.

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Gamefish 17 CC

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Hustler 156 FC

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Evo 19 565 510 (Gen 3) 520 465 510 Blast


May/June 2023 Volume 39 Number 3


Russell Hand shows off a beautiful 31.1kg amberjack — a pending All Africa record — which he caught off Durban.


7Where to Fish

Part 9:Exploring south-west of Christmas Rock,Eastern Cape — by John Luef and Fred Clarke


a Speedster

Part 2:Catching ’cuda on the drift and on anchor — by Justin Paynter

31Keeping your Vessel Shipshape

Part 1:A clean boat leads to good boat maintenance —by Craig Stubbs

36Excitement Galore

Reportback on the 2023 Two Oceans Marlin Tournament —by Helen Fenwick

45Time to Get Down

The basics of using downriggers — by Erwin Bursik

55Trial by Fire

Successful tournament for Proteas in Egypt — by Justin Paynter


4Editorial — by Erwin Bursik



51Subscribe and win

53Kingfisher Awards

59Bell Reel Kids

61Mercury Junior Anglers

62Newsflash & Ad Index

63Business Classifieds & Directory

64Rapala Lip Last Word from the Ladies


The official magazine of the South African Deep Sea Angling Association 5 5 5 5 7 7 2 2 1 1

Publisher: Erwin Bursik

Editor: Sheena Carnie

Advertising Executive: Mark Wilson

Editorial Assistant: Lynette Oakley

Contributors: Erwin Bursik, Fred Clarke, Helen Fenwick, John Luef, Fransien Myburg, Justin Paynter and Craig Stubbs.

ADVERTISING – National Sales: Mark Wilson, Manager — 073 748 6107 Lyn Oakley, Sales — 082 907 7733

ADVERTISING – Gauteng & Mpumalanga: Lyn Adams — 083 588 0217


Angler Publications cc

POBox 20545, Durban North 4016

Telephone: (031) 572-2289


Subscriptions to SKI-BOAT: R220 per annum (six issues).

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SKI-BOAT Magazine, ISSN 0258-7297, is published six times a year by Angler Publications & Promotions cc, Reg. No. CK 88/05863/23, and is distributed by On the Dot, as well as directly by the publishers to retail stores throughout South Africa.

• Copyright of all material is expressly reserved and nothing may be reproduced in part or whole without the permission of the publishers.

• While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this magazine, the publishers do not accept responsibility for omissions or errors or their consequences.

Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers, the managing editor, editor, editorial staff or the South African Deep Sea Angling Association.


MANY, many years ago during a competition briefing, the club chairman was explaining the competition’s fishing rules, referring constantly to IGFA’s rules. Eventually an old fisherman stood up at the back of the venue and queried: “Wie is dié ou IGFA?Van watse klub kom hy af?”

The chairman responded to the much more graphic question than that stated above, that IGFA was an international organisation that had set rules and regulations primarily as a basis for qualifying fish caught for world records. The organising club was a member of IGFA and therefore followed these rules. He explained that, as a result, any potential world record fish caught would become eligible not only for a world record, but also a club, provincial and South African record. The challenger sat down, clearly confused, but wary of challenging the dictatorial club chairman.

For other readers who perhaps don’t know “who” IGFA is, the International Game Fish Association was founded in the USA in 1939, by Michael Lerner and other forward-thinking sport anglers who wanted a list of gamefish records for species caught in the USA and, in the longterm, worldwide. Obviously, a set of rules and fishing methods would be required to level the playing field and ensure that fish registered as world records were indeed that. From then on the biggest fish of a species caught, fair and square, under the same rules, became the world record.

Not only does this set a target for all anglers, but it also provides very valuable scientific information on the world’s sportfish species.

South Africa, through the influence of Simon Susman of the Southern African Game Fish Association, was instrumental in persuading all South African sports anglers to adopt these rules and to work towards getting South African game- and sportfish — both saltwater and freshwater species — recognised for records.

Following in Susman’s footsteps, John Pledger, Eugene Kruger and I accepted appointments as IGFA representatives for South Africa during the early 1980s. We strove not only to promote IGFA, but also to follow its philosophy regarding methods of sportfishing. We also sought to promote the ideals of ethical and sustainable use of the world’s sportfish species to South Africa’s government and sports anglers.

Last year IGFA started forming more official structures within most of the countries supporting this arrangement, to enhance the IGFA philosophy in those regions or countries to further promote its aims.

I’m proud to say that many South Africans feature on the newly formed IGFA Africa Regional Council, including SADSAA president, Chris Schorn. Chris is not only an IGFA representative, but was also appointed as an IGFA Trustee this year to lead the South African region of IGFA to greater heights.


Council Chair: Johan Zietsman, Ghana

Deputy Council Chair and Development Committee Chair: Chris Schorn, SA

Conservation Committee Chair: Roy Bealey, Kenya

Education Committee Chair: Brendan Davids, South Africa

Rules and Recognition Committee Chair: Nick Nel, South Africa

Rules and Recognition Committee: Brendan Davids (South Africa), Peet Koekemoer (South Africa), Neil Deacon (South Africa), Roy Bealey (Kenya).

Education Committee: Nick Nel (South Africa), Neil Coetzer (South Africa), Jaco Visser (Namibia)

Development Committee: Edwin Freeman (South Africa), Jaco Visser (Namibia), Erwin Bursik (South Africa).

Conservation Committee: Neil Deacon (South Africa), Andrew Nightingale (Kenya), Malcolm Grant (South Africa), Edwin Freeman (South Africa).

SKI-BOAT magazine has been the voice of SADSAA since its inception and is a firm supporter of the incredible role IGFA plays in ensuring the future of sportfishing right across the world.

We wish the committees well in their future endeavours.

Erwin Bursik

4 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023
Erwin Bursik Publisher


A woman who fishes? Love makes you do funny things! I came to love fishing so much,thanks to my fiance,Reynhard aka Ossa,and his family.

The Groenewalds and Van Deventers catch THICK fish. They have all the gadgets and best tricks in the book.There is little they do not know.My first time on the deep sea was in Bilene,Mozambique — what an experience! The bug bit me right there.I was hooked!

Sodwana is one of the family’s highlight holidays every year and has certainly become one of mine as well.That fishing is amazing.Durban’s waters are still testing us,but beautiful fish have already come out.

This hobby is so much fun because we do it together as a family.For me,it’s most enjoyable to spend time in the Lord’s creation;it’s like medicine for your soul.Come on ladies,join the fishing tribe!

The boats we fish on are Wan-a-bet,Groenies and Groenies Jnr.I would love to see more ladies on the water.



Young Evan Goosen is our 2023 Mercury Junior winner,and he recently took possession of his prize,a 2.5hp Mercury outboard courtesy of Rutherford Marine.Evan was thrilled with his prize and sent through a super sweet thank you letter:

“Thank you very much,Mercury,for my present.Thank you also SKI-BOAT magazine for choosing me to be the winner.I was four-and-a-half years old when my grandfather won the fight against my grandmother and mother to take me deep sea fishing.

“On my first day on the sea I caught my first skipjack tuna. It was a very hard fight,but defnitely the first of many to come.The prize I won will be the highlight of my life forever. Thank you very much.Evan Goosen, Team Billrider.”

If you know juniors under 16 who enjoy fishing please send through photos of them for our junior angler page so that they stand a chance of winning a Mercury outboard in our annual lucky draw.

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 5

Part 9:Exploring south-west of Christmas Rock,Eastern Cape

THE coastline from Christmas rock to Bira (pronounced Biga) is one of the most picturesque of Southern Africa,being surpassed only by the Wild Coast of the old Transkei,in my opinion.

This area also has a great diversity of species that can be caught from just behind the breakers,all the way out to the “shelf”approximately 20- to 25km offshore,in depths ranging from under

10m up to 100m,with shallow,mid and deep reefs in abundance.In this article we will cover the fishing from Christmas Rock all the way down to Mgwalana river mouth.

Christmas Rock is on the southern boundary of the Gulu Marine Protected Area,so all skippers angling in the area are reminded to ensure they have the coordinates and are aware of all regulations pertaining to the MPAs.

This area is particularly well known for its abundance of decent sized car-

penters (dogs) which average over 3kg.

The current SA record — a whopping 4.8kg — comes from the area and is held by Garth Roux.

The abundance and diversity of the species in the area can mainly be attributed to:

a) The effectiveness of the MPAs which have become overpopulated over the years,and many fish are migrating out of them.

b) Bag and size limits being implemented years ago that are now showing

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 7
John Luef with a beautiful Miss Lucy caught on a Scarborough reel.


PointArea NameFish Caught Co Ords SE 1Kaysers ShallowGurnard 33:1327:36 2Kiwane ShallowRomans 33:1527:33 3Kiwane ShallowKob 33:1527:33 4Hamburg ShallowRomans,species 33:1627:31 5Hamburg ShallowBlack Steenbras 33:1827:27 6Kip WreckKob & other shallow species33:2127:26 7Bira ShallowDageraad 33:2227:22 8Middle Coppers,Miss Lucy,carpenters33:2427:29 9Middle Stockfish(Hake) 33:2227:27 10Deep BiraCoppers,carpenters 33:2227:38 11Deep BiraCoppers,carpenters 33:2427:38 12Bira Romans,carpenters 33:2427:23 13MgwalanaKob,dageraad 33:2527:17 14MgwalanaKob,dageraad,shallow species33:2527:17 15Middle BiraCarpenters,coppers 33:2227:35 16Bira ShallowDageraad,Roman 33:2427:18 17Kip WreckRockod,dageraad 33:2027:25 18Kaysers Kob 33:1427:37 19Christmas RockLAUNCH SITE 33:11:4027:38:12 20Bira LAUNCH SITE 33:22:4427:20:20
Fred Clarke with a geelbek and soldier — two of the species that can be caught on this stretch of coastline.

their effectiveness.

c)Recreational fishermen being far more responsible due to the awareness and protection measures created by clubs and associations.

The area covered in this article has two registered clubs from which vessels may proceed to sea to partake in recreational angling.Visitors to the area can contact the clubs (information below) to enquire about launch permits,costs,and any other relevant information for that site.

•Christmas Rock Ski-Boat Club

Claud Wilken 084 951 2696

•Bira Ski-Boat Club

Anthony Thompson 082577 9097

Both launches are surf launches and a tractor or 4x4 is definitely required.


When fishing in the shallow reefs up to approximately 40m depths,the more common species to expect are kob, black musselcracker,Scotsman,dageraad,santer (soldier),Roman and yellowbelly rockcod.Gurnard and stockfish are also occasionally caught on sandy areas in approximately 40m water depths.

The mid- to deeper reefs will produce red steenbras,Miss Lucy (red stump),carpenter (dogs),seventy-four, butterfish and geelbek.Although these are predominantly deeper water fish, they have also at times been landed in relatively shallow waters.

Gamefish are rare and not often targeted in these areas.

The coordinates supplied alongside this article need three more numbers on the end (a fisherman has to have some secrets),but they do give a general area where these species can be targeted.Good luck and tight lines.


Generally,in the shallow waters,a light rod of around 7 to 8 foot should be used,along with a reel of your choice and light braid or nylon up to around 20kg.This will give the angler the most pleasure when fighting a fish.For shallower waters an 8-to-12-ounce sinker is usually sufficient.

In this region,anglers mostly use the “Scarborough”(KP) fishing reel,which generally gives a great feel of one-to-one on any fish,but anglers can use whatever they are most comfortable with.

On the deeper reefs,a heavier rod with an 8-inch Scarborough is mostly used.Braid is virtually a must due to the strong currents.As braid is thinner than nylon line,it cuts through the water, gives you more chance of keeping your bait on the seabed,and allows you to feel the bites better.

Nylon has a lot of stretch,and when you’re fishing at 80m-plus depths in a strong current,a lot of bites will not be felt.

In these deeper waters you rarely get away with a light sinker and generally a 16- to 32-ounce sinker is required, depending on the current strength.

The Agulhas current is predominant in this area on the mid- to deeper reefs, running from north to south down the coast and can get extremely strong at times.


Bag limit is five per angler from a boat; minimum length is 50cm,with only one of the five allowed to be above 110cm.

The general area off Hamburg is the best place to target this species,with some very nice sized ones being landed from time to time.Kob can be caught from very shallow to depths up to 40m.

Kob seem to like a neat bait and will readily bite on pilchards,squid and even octopus leg.They are targeted in this area,using three strips of squid dangling off the hook.Some anglers like to use small white or colored skirts above the hook.Generally,a 6/0 to 9/0 hook can be used with a relatively long hook trace,as kob seem to be sensitive to feeling resistance on the hook trace.

Brayden Wilken with a 5.5kg dageraad.


Bag limit is one per angler with a minimum 40cm total length.Dageraad feed on many types of bait,including but not limited to pilchards,squid,and sliced fillet.However,their favourite bait is a nice,cleaned piece of octopus leg and in this area the leg is cut into medallions like coins and put on the hook.

A 5/0 to 6/0 hook is a good size to use for this species.

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 11
Tara Roux and Nathan Chick with two good sized kob. Some juniors having fun catching a variety of species. Left to right: Liam Ross, Mikayla de Klerk, Brayden Wilken and Jordyn Wilken.


Bag limit is one per angler with a minimum 50cm total length.

Black musselcracker are abundant in the shallows and up to around 40m deep,although have been caught deeper.This species likes very clear water and areas where there are lots of smaller fish and large reefs.

They will feed on most baits but prefer a big eye (Frans Madam) or steintjie flapper (tail and spine removed). Black steenbras are extremely exciting to catch as they bite ferociously and fight all the way up.They also try to head for the nearest reef to cut off your trace.

A minimum of a 10/0 hook is ideal for this species.


Bag limit is one per angler with minimum 40cm total length.

Scotsman are generally found hanging around with black musselcrackers, and usually when one of these species is caught,the other is caught soon after.

Scotsman can be caught in all depths of water up to 100m,but are more common in the shallows in less than 30m of water.

They feed on most small baits with their favourite being a couple of pieces of squid.A 5/0 hook — not bigger — is ideal for this species as they have relatively small mouths.

Scotsman are also strong,clean fighters and give immense pleasure to light tackle anglers.They are one of the more stunning fish in the ocean with very vibrant colours.


Bag limit is two per angler with minimum 30cm total length.

Romans are,without doubt,one of the most colourful fish in the sea,and

their bright red colour is unmistakable. From in front of Christmas Rock all the way down to Bira,they are quite abundant,and specimens of over 3kg are caught regularly.

These fish are mostly found in shallow water under 20m deep where they feed on a variety of small baits like squid,octopus and pilchards.They have very small mouths,and a 3/0 to 5/0 hook will be ideal.

or a whole pilchard works well.A 5/0 hook is the ideal size for this species. They are extremely feisty fighters and are very enjoyable to catch.


Bag limit is one per angler with minimum 40cm total length.These fish are relatively rare in this area and are not often caught.It is advisable to release them to allow their stocks to multiply.


Bag limit is five per angler with minimum 30cm total length.

Soldiers are normally found in the shallows in less than 40m of water,in shoals where they will aggressively feed on just about any bait presented to them.Usually a couple of strips of squid


Bag limit is one per angler with minimum length of 60cm.

This fish is known to be extremely slow growing and very territorial. Yellowbellies will readily take sliced bait as well as small flapper baits.They can also be targeted on old smelly pilchards which most other species will not take.They have very large mouths and can be caught on 8/0 and larger hooks.

Yellowbelly rockcod are known to grab a bait and head into holes or crevices,with the angler having a hard time getting them out.

Beware when handling them because their gill plates are very sharp and have sliced open many an angler’s hands.


This species has no size limit,and the bag limit is ten per person.

Gurnards are almost always only caught in sandy areas and in water round 40m deep.

They generally like pilchard baits and are found right on the sea bed,so are targeted with a very short sinker trace.Despite their fearsome appearance,gurnards are extremely tasty and very sought after.

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 13
Black musselcracker, like this beauty caught by Andries Nieuwenhuis, are abundant in the shallows along this coast. Charne Smith was thrilled to catch this brightly coloured red Roman. Thembela “Colgate” Sisama shows off a nice yellowbelly rockcod.


Bag limit is five per angler with no size limit.They are very popular table fish in South Africa and have huge commercial value,being netted and caught on long line commercial vessels.

Stockfish can be caught along this area of the coast and are generally also found in sandy areas from 40m depths. The trawlers and long liners usually catch deep water hake in much deeper areas.

Hake enjoy a strip of squid or pilchards and are generally targeted with 8/0 or bigger hooks.Their mouth is relatively soft,so they cannot be brought up fast or the hook may tear out.

They also have very sharp teeth and anglers must take care when handling them.


Bag limit is one per angler with minimum 60cm total length.They have a closed season for October and November each year,although clubs and associations have voluntary increased this to include September for their members.

Red steenbras is the iconic species for the Border area and they are fairly abundant on the deeper reefs,although they sometimes pop up on the shallow reefs as well.This species gives anglers one of the most exciting thrills when it bites as the bite is very aggressive and

exaggerated;they then go on to give one of the most exciting fights — long, hard and tiring,but very satisfying in the end.

Generally red steenbras are caught in around 90m of water.This fish will feed on most baits from a mixed grill to a live smaller fish (butterfish,dikbekkie or carpenter),sliced baits,flappers and pilchards,and have even taken small strips of squid.Some days they can be extremely fussy and will only take on certain baits,which makes it a great challenge to the angler.A 10/0 or larger hook can be used to catch this species.

These great fish do not release very well,so rather move to other areas once you have caught your quota,as they will continue to feed.


Bag limit is four per angler with minimum 35cm total length.

Carpenters are nicknamed dogs due to the structure of their teeth which is very similar to that of a dog.

As mentioned earlier,this species is the most abundant in this area and can generally be caught at any depth from 20m and up,even beyond 100m.They congregate in very large shoals,and it can become very frustrating when an angler cannot get any other species due to their abundance and continuous feeding.

Carpenter will feed and bite very aggressively on absolutely any bait.They have large mouths and can be caught on 8/0 hooks with a large luminous bead above the hook,which attracts the fish.


Bag limit is one per angler with minimum 40cm total length.

Miss Lucy is one of the most beautifully coloured fish to catch,with banded shades of bright red and white which vary extensively in males and females,and black speckles.They have huge bumps on their foreheads which are more pronounced in the males. Once landed,they also have a very strong distinctive smell and are quite slimy.

They will feed on a variety of baits including pilchard,squid,mixed baits, and octopus.Their favourite is a long, thin mixed bait and a squid head.They can generally be caught on 5/0 to 6/0 hooks.


Bag limit is five per angler with minimum 30cm total length.

These fish are not as abundant in this area as they are in the East London area,but can be caught on the deeper

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 15
John Luef smiles at the thought of having a tasty gurnard for dinner. Gavin Roux shows off his copper/red steebras. Remember that the bag limit is one per angler per day. Andrew Buckley with a lovely Miss Lucy. These fish will go for most baits, but you can only catch one per day. Jaime Manthe with a stunning dog/ carpenter. These fish are abundant at along this stretch of coastline.

reefs.They are generally found in shoals and will feed on small squid baits.They can be caught on a 2/0 or 3/0 hook with one small strip of squid and a luminous bead above the hook.They have tiny mouths and make an excellent bait for red steenbras.


Bag limit is two per angler with minimum 60cm total length.

Geelbek are so called,because of the bright yellow colour inside their mouths.They are long,streamlined fish and give a very hard fight to any angler. Their bite is an unmistakable aggressive shake,and they often swim up with your bait,creating slack line.

This is probably the most unpredictable species in our waters as they are mostly caught on the deeper reefs for three- to four months following the annual sardine run,but they can often be caught on the shallower reefs as well.They are also caught sporadically in unexpected areas all year around. They usually move around in large shoals.

Geelbek will feed on pilchards, sliced bait and squid,but sometimes get “lockjaw”,and although they can be seen on the fishfinder,they cannot be enticed with any bait.

Due to their large mouths 10/0 or bigger hooks can be used.


This is a banned species and must be released.They are,however,extremely abundant in this area on the deeper reefs and some days are pests as they are so abundant that you cannot catch any other species.

They feed on any baits put down for other species.

In my opinion,it’s long overdue that the decision makers un-ban this species.


As mentioned earlier,gamefish are not usually targeted in this area,but dorado, bonito and yellowfin tuna can be found in our waters from November through to March each year.The most common species caught then are bonitos,with the odd yellowfin tuna being caught.

Angling in the Christmas Rock and Bira areas can be very exciting and rewarding due to the many species available to target and the diverse seascape,so go out there and have some fun.

16 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023
Keagan Nieuwenhuis with a lovely geelbek. These fish are mostly caught on deeper reefs after the sardine run. A seventy-four being measured prior to release. Photo: ORI/Bruce Mann.

Part 2:Catching ’cuda on the drift and on anchor

SIT down and wait.This is most anglers’perception of catching ’cuda on the drift or on anchor.It couldn’t be further from the truth.Most top ’cuda fishermen will tell you that the more action you create in the water,the more likely you are to entice a bite.

When fishing these two different techniques,there are obviously pros and cons to both,but both are very productive.This article will enlighten you on how to entice a bite and ensure you give yourself the best opportunity to put a fish on the deck.

The most obvious question is:when do I do this? Well,certain areas allow for these techniques better than others.Places like,Sodwana,Cape Vidal,St Lucia,Mapelane allow for long drifts which have been proven over the years to be very successful.When I fish these areas, this would be my preferred method, depending on the weather conditions and current,of course.

Areas like deep Umdloti,also known as mid reef,river mouth and Port Edward all the way down to the reserve have produced massive fish caught on anchor.

Warren Jensen with a beautiful trophy ’cuda.
22 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023

’Cuda on the Drift

When deciding to drift,you need to ascertain the following:

•Are the conditions favourable to drift?

•Is my boat set up correctly for this form of fishing?

•Have I got the right equipment to entice the bite?


As I already mentioned,certain areas work extremely well for drifting as the current generally pushes you in the direction you want to go.Many areas also have long shelves that you can drift along.By this I mean that you will choose a line you'd like to drift,say 40m,and then do a drift down it.

I tend to do around three drifts down a certain line, always ensuring that I watch my GPS and fishfinder unit as this will show me if I am drifting down the line I want to drift,and to see if there are any showings.

If I haven’t had a pull after three drifts,or if I haven’t seen any decent showings,I will then choose a different line.

Once you can ascertain the depth at which the fish are feeding,you will be able to determine where they are holding.This will mean that you do shorter drifts over the mark where you have had the pulls.

Current plays a huge role and so does the wind factor.You can’t drift and expect to catch fish if there is no current and you aren’t moving.You also can’t position your boat in a drift, and have current working against the wind.This will affect your drift and,in some cases,depending on the strength of the wind and current,you might move in the opposite direction to which you wanted to go.

These factors can only be assessed on the day when you

arrive at the area you want to drift along.When you get to your mark,switch off the engines and just wait a few minutes to see how the boat behaves.

Turning your engines in a specific direction,will also improve a drift line and direction,and this has also been covered in previous articles.If you are happy with the direction in which you are moving,go up about 600- to 800m from the first mark you want to drift over and start setting up.


When you’re drifting,you want the boat to turn 90 degrees to the shelf.This gives you a much bigger surface area to fish off, as you have one whole side of the boat and the stern on which to place rods.

As I have said in previous articles,it is so vital that you have numerous rod holders on the transom of the boat,along the gunnel and a standup one on the T-top.

When drifting,I like to fish four rods.The first rod I will put out the back,with an 8 ounce sinker,and the next will be a surface bait far out on the T-top or stand-up holder.I will then put one out from the bow with a 3 ounce sinker,and then a short flat line along the gunnel.


So now that the drift is perfect and the rods are setup do we just sit and wait? No,that’s not what we do! It is your job to ensure that an inquisitive ’cuda moves closer to your baits.

There are a few ways you can do this:

• Use a flasher on your downrigger.This will create action

When targeting ’cuda on the drift, these Dirty Prawn bucktail lures (left and right) and bait (below) produce good results for the author.

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 23

and flash in the water,which will bring fish in to see what is happening under your boat.

• Whipping a spoon or buck tailing or throwing a surface bait is a great way to attract fish to your baits.The new Dirty Prawn Bucktails have been working exceptionally well this season,as have the Rapala Flash-X Skitter.They have produced some outstanding catches along the whole KwaZulu-Natal coast.

• I would also try a variety of baits,including live- and dead baits.On a drift,a sosatie stick works well on an upright rod.

With regard to tackle,as I’ve mentioned in previous articles,it all comes down to preference.I like a rod with a soft tip because it allows the bait to have a more natural action in the water.I am currently using the Kingfisher Poseidon Couta Lite and the Daiwa Grandwave boat 701 rod.

I have them paired with the Daiwa Saltist Blue 40 H.I used to use the 50 H but just find that the 40 H combined with those rods is really well balanced.Again,it all depends on how deep your pockets go and your preference in brands.These have worked for me,they are robust and hard wearing,and I will continue to use them for many years to come.

I generally like to fish 10kg line,as that is our normal line class for competitive angling,with no more than a 40lb leader.However,if I am going to places like Zinkwazi and St Lucia or am fishing deeper waters,I’ll fish anywhere from 12to 15kg line class.I would then opt not to fish with a leader, obviously water condition dependent.

Just remember,these fish are hunters;they prey on bait fish,so the more action you create in the water,the more chance you have of getting a bite as they will come to see what is happening.

’Cuda on Anchor

I am not going to go into details of how to anchor and ensure you are on the right spot,as this has been covered extensively in previous articles.(See the Mayand Julyissues of 2019 for great articles by Anton Gets specifically on anchoring,and the January 2022 issue for another excellent article by Craig Stubbs.)

When fishing an area where you are going to anchor,you need to be patient.Once you have chosen your bump/mark to anchor on,let the fun begin.


You will have the nose of the boat into the current,so your lines will be out the back of the boat.

In this case,you can fish more than four rods if you want to,but this will be determined by how experienced you are as ’cuda angler and how experienced your crew is.It’s all good and well to fish with lots of rods,but you need to be able to clear lines quickly when you have a strike.You might also need to buoy off to follow the fish,so there are a lot of factors to take into consideration when deciding how many rods to fish with.

I would generally fish with five rods in this situation — one on the surface in the T-top,one on the downrigger,one on a balloon if the conditions allow it,one on a 3–5 ounce sinker and one on an 8 ounce sinker.

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 25
T-Top Flat line 8 oz sinker Flasher (on downrigger) 3 oz sinker Shelf
Mark Brewitt was thrilled when this ’cuda took his bait. The author’s typical rod set-up when fishing for’cuda on the drift.


This is a little bit different to drifting as you are staying in one spot and need the fish to come to you rather than you going to them.

Most anglers still tend to fish with a flasher and a chum bag,and yes,this brings the sharks,but it also brings the crocodile ’cuda you are looking for.

When fishing on anchor, you have a few options — once again whip a spoon,use a bucktail,throw a surface bait or,probably the most effective form,bottomfish.The movement of red fish moving up and down the water column

brings in big,lazy ’cuda and entices the bite.

This,however,also calls in the sharks.This form of fishing can be highly frustrating,and you can lose a lot of tackle,and you might get five or six shark pulls (mainly hammerheads), but in between will be that big croc you have been looking for.

No matter how you decide to fish,do your homework to find out what works in certain areas.Ensure you are well prepared and have a variety of baits and artificial lures to ensure you have every opportunity to entice a bite.

Till next time,tight lines from Pink Pants.

26 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023
T-Top Anchor Chum Bag 8 oz sinker 3/5 oz sinker Balloon 5/6 oz sinker Down rigger Current Anc
The author with another big beauty that fell for his tactics. The author’s typical rod set-up when fishing for’cuda on anchor.

Boat Maintenance (Part 1)

IT is no secret that the word BOAT,is an acronym for Bring On Another Thousand.Our beloved craft truly can be money pits of the highest order,and every other week they seem to need some sort of care,attention or investment to keep them on the water.

At the same time,they are a source of so much pride,joy and special memories that it somehow makes it all worthwhile and we open our wallets to keep our much loved vessels on the water.

If we factor in that a new 19ft vessel equipped with 4stroke motors and some electronics will set one back around a million rand,we are talking big money here.So,whether you’ve invested a small fortune in a new vessel,or are wanting to keep your “older”vessel in tip top shape,there are a few things you can do to maximise your vessel’s longevity and minimise surprise costs.It all begins with maintenance.

Over the course of a few articles,we will look at tips and tricks as well as some DIY work that you can do to save yourself money.

Firstly,you want to avoid sudden,unexpected and hefty

MAIN PHOTO ABOVE: My two favourite brooms for boat cleaning. The soft, long bristle variety for general cleaning and a short, hard bristle for stubborn mess, particularly for the deck. Don’t use a hard bristle broom on your gelcoat as it will scratch the finish.

costs,as these can stop your boating journey in its tracks.The best way to avoid those is via regular thorough inspections to catch things early.

I am fastidious about my vessel’s maintenance and cleanliness,and most clients or mates who step on board Stubb’Sea know this or comment about it.For me,the first maintenance inspection subconsciously takes place every time I wash my boat,which I do after every trip at sea.

My routine is very consistent and works well for me,so I will share it with you and hope you find it useful.It has three components:“After Every Trip”,Quarterly”and “Annually”,and I will break this series of articles into three parts too,to align with those segments.

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 31

After Every Trip BOAT WASH

My tools of the trade are as follows:

•20L bucket (Builders Warehouse has a large yellow bucket that is very hardy)

•A decent quality high foam car wash (I like the Shield Splash 5L)

•A container of Pine Gel multipurpose cleaner (secret ingredient)

•A decent broom with long,soft bristles.Purpose-made boat brooms are hard to find on our shores and can be ridiculously expensive to import,but having gone through literally dozens of different options,I really like the Addis Securilock Soft Broom which is tough and ticks a few boxes for me.I find a lot of brooms break at the neck or don’t have the correct dimensions/bristles,while this one is both robust and offers a nice cleaning profile.

Washing my boat actually begins out at sea with is a five minute process I do after packing away the rods.I keep a medium bristle hand brush and cloth on board and,with a bucket full of sea water,quickly go around the vessel and scrub/wipe away any blood,bits of bait and scales that have collected while fishing.

If you are anything like me,you enjoy a cold beer at the clubhouse after a fishing session,and leaving a dirty boat baking in the sun while you are having a beer will make the actual boat cleaning at home infinitely more difficult after the dirt and grime have dried in place under the sun.A little pre-clean out at sea makes a huge difference.

Once I’m home,I make my washing mix out of the car wash,adding a handful of Pine Gel and warm water which I agitate quite aggressively with my broomhead.This creates a very foamy mix that quickly and easily cuts through most dirt, salt and mess that one gets on a boat after a day on the water.

Before I wash the boat,I remove the drain plugs from the craft’s hull.Take note of how much,if any,water drains out when you do this.I will explain why a little further down.

After a quick spray down with a hosepipe,I use my broom to liberally dispense my washing mix and clean as I make my way from bow to stern,covering all the superstructure,stainless steel,fittings as well my motor cowlings.Once that’s done,I hop overboard and clean the outside of the boat and motors with the same mix.

With the right “foam”in your mix,this process is quick and efficient and seldom needs more than a few passes.Those long,soft broom bristles do a good job of getting into nooks and crannies with minimum effort.If I come across any stubborn fish,blood or bait stains,then I just slop on a handful of Pine Gel,give it a quick brush,and the mess is gone.

Once that is done,a spray down with a hosepipe washes away the soap and bubbles and one is left with a nice clean boat that also smells fresh thanks to that Pine Gel.

I don’t like using high pressure cleaners on boats,with the exception of the outside of the hull/trailer,because under extreme pressure,water can get into places that it’s not welcome,and it can also damage and lift paintwork.

Tip:Never wash your boat with Sunlight liquid or Handy Andy-style chemicals.They are highly abrasive and the strong chemicals will damage your paintwork finish over time,sttripping protective coatings on painted surfaces.

Apart from leaving the boat in its best condition possible, this wash gives me a “once over”on my vessel,where I would hopefully have noticed any minor defects or issues that have crept up on me.It helps me catch them early before they become big costs.


As I mentioned,before I wash the boat I remove the drain plugs from my boat’s hull.This is a major indicator of hull

Stubb’Sea fresh off the ocean and ready for a good wash. Once agitated with the broom, the Pine Gel or car shampoo gives you a great foamy lather.

integrity or water ingress,and if you are seeing a lot of water draining from your hull when you remove the plugs,then you need to find the source.

The most logical place to start is below the waterline, because most water ingress comes via keel strips.Check your keel strip/s themselves are in good shape,and check the screws are all firmly in place.

If all looks good,then check motor mounting bolts and drilled areas below the waterline,and then check the perimeter of your hatches on your deck.Water on your deck should flow off the back of your vessel via the scuppers,but hairline cracks around hatches and in the transom area can lead to a surprising amount of water getting into your hull over the course of a day on the water.

In the next article I will go into further detail on how to repair any defects along your keep strips,and how to repair minor leaks or ingress points on your deck.


Next up,I run my motors with ear muffs.This is a basic boating procedure,and one that I really encourage you to do after each trip without exception.

Boat engines are water cooled,so they suck in water via ports low down on the outboard,which flows through channels and veins around the powerhead,cooling it before the water is expelled from the motors via your tell tales.

If the cooling system is not flushed,salt quickly builds up causing blockages and corrosion.

While I am running my motors,I do a few quick checks.

First,are my “tell tales”jetting water at their usual pressure? If not,I run a short piece of blunt-ended wire up the exit pipe as grains of sand often get stuck in the pipe when beaching.If this doesn’t help,then I remove the cowling,disconnect the short piece of pipe between the engine’s water outlet and the tell tale and see if the blockage is within the engine or just in that short piece of pipe.

If the water is leaving the engine port without much pressure,again use that short piece of wire to gently see if you can dislodge the blockage,but don’t force it too far into the engine,as you don’t want to do any damage.Most of the time after a little prodding,the blockage will be removed and pressure will improve.

If water pressure is still low,you will need to remove your gearbox and check your impeller for wear and tear.The impeller is responsible for pumping water from the lower intakes of the engine up to the head where it is needed.If you’re not comfortable checking it yourself,you may need to

take your engine to a specialist who can do a full diagnosis,as this is a critical element of the engine’s cooling system.

Second,while checking for water pressure from your tell tale,use your hand to test the temperature of the water.All engines seem to expel water at different temperatures,which

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 33
A nice rich lather gets into every nook and cranny and gives you a great clean with minimum effort.

is mostly between luke warm and warm,but if it is hot to the touch,this could show a problem with your cooling system.

Don’t go to sea if you notice overheating or low pressure water as this is just asking for trouble.

I’ve known of plenty of boats that get into trouble when motors go into “limp”mode or overheat.Often the owners knew full well that they had an issue,but just pushed it too far with that “one more launch,and then I’ll have it checked out”approach.


Another thing I’ve witnessed many times is people putting their motors in gear and opening them up to a few thousand RPM when flushing them off with a hose.This makes a great noise and draws loads of attention,but serves little purpose other than to damage your impellers.Just run your motors in neutral for a minute or so,and then,in gear at minimum RPM for a few seconds to dislodge any sand that hasn’t washed out of your exhaust port.

Now,with your engine running,place your ear next to the cowling and listen for any strange knocks and noises.It’s amazing how “in-tune”one becomes with one’s engines,and you will quickly pick up any abnormal noise.Pay special attention to vibrations or knocking noises.

Once the motor are flushed and turned off,check your props are not loose and your split pin and nut are firmly in place.

Before I put on my boat cover,I turn my steering to lock on both sides to check for any unanticipated friction.Lastly,I check my hydraulic steering connections on the back of my steering system and hydraulic RAM with a flashlight for any fluid leaks.

Given that push-pull type steering units are sealed,it is difficult to inspect the internal workings,but check for any signs of corrosion and wear both behind your wheel as well as on your motor mount.

I’ve had a steering “go”on me while I was in the surf,and trust me,it’s not a pleasant experience and is one that you should rather avoid at all costs.

Once all those checks are complete,I open all my hatches and cupboards so that they can air dry,and I secure my boat cover in place.

This whole process takes around an hour,but it has enabled me to keep my vessels in tip top condition,and identify and fix many issues before they became big costs or,more importantly,affected my next trip out on the water.

Some of this information is pretty elementary,but they’re things many anglers overlook,and checks like this really do form the first line of defence against potential problems.

In the next article,we are going to look at quarterly maintenance,with some nifty “old school”tricks as well as some products that will keep your boat in great shape and significantly contribute to smooth operation and vessel longevity.

Till then,keep it clean,and see you on the water.

34 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023
The author’s kids do a great job at earning themselves some extra pocket money cleaning the boat.
SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 35

MORE than 17 years after Meirion Williams,Traill Witthuhn,Gawie Bruwer,Hannes Schreuder,Gerard de Kock,Johan Jooste and Johan van der Walt first discovered there was a viable marlin fishery in the Agulhas area,the Two Oceans Marlin Tournament is still going strong.

The 17th running of this event,held in February 2023, drew 16 boats and many anglers,all keen to catch that elusive monster of the sea.

The first day started off cool and overcast with a light south-westerly blowing,but the overcast conditions did not last and the anglers had a beautiful,sunny day and the fishing was good.

The first call came into Marlin Control at 09:07 when Simon Lowe on My Way reported an on/off.

The next was from Gwaza at 11:25 but their fish also didn’t stay connected.

There was great excitement when John Graeme called in a double strike at 11:50.Wayne Cooke managed to hook and fight it for almost an hour,before measuring and safely releasing a ±317kg black marlin at 12:36.Here he shares his story:


It is Day One and we are lines in for my fifth Two Oceans Marlin Tournament at Struisbaai.I must admit,I did not have high expectations as I had yet to catch a marlin or even be part of a team catching one.As normal,the bonnies were set and ready for action.

After a while it was my turn to watch the rods.Around midday,one reel started to slowly give line — something was eating my bonnie.The next minute our other rod also went stiff and started giving line.

“Shark!”called one of the crew,as surely it’s not possible to hook two marlin simultaneously.

Hylton Goatley took charge of one rod and I took the other.I promised myself that I was going to give whatever was on the other end time to swallow the bait,and I freespooled for about two minutes.

At the same time,Hylton went tight on the drag and a big black marlin jumped clean out of the water! There was total chaos on John Graeme.Some ran around for the Black Magic harness and others just ran around from sheer excitement.

I decided to tighten up the drag on my reel,still not believ-

36 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023

2023 Two Oceans Marlin Tournament

ing what was happening.I was happily looking out the back of John Graeme, expecting whatever was on my line to show itself as not too much line was being taken.Nothing showed. Of course if I’d bothered to look ninety degrees to my left,I would have seen a massive marlin jumping and going crazy.

All the attention was now on me as I heard skipper Chris Goatley radioing that we had not hooked the first marlin but were still hooked up on the second.I have never had so much attention from the crew before — I was offered water and asked if I was feeling okay,and the doctor onboard was even happy to inject me if I required a boost at any stage.

I was pumped with excitement as I realised that it was up to me to catch this one for the team.I was reminded of this more than once by my team mates!

“Don’t F*** it up,Cookie!”I heard one of them warn.

Thanks to some great skill from our skipper and 55 minutes of hard fighting from me,my first marlin finally showed itself next to the John Graeme where it was excitedly measured and then released to fight another day.

It is a day I will always remember!

Shortly afterwards Dory had a black marlin of about 200kg play with their baits,give a lit-up performance,and take the live skipjack bait,but they could not capture it.

The next day the fleet set off in beautiful weather once again,and quite a few bronze and mako “marlin”were called in to Marlin Control.

Towards the end of the day Bad Company had a hook up and fought for over an hour,but the marlin won and swam away free.

Day Three today turned out to be very exciting,with Marlin Control receiving constant reports of hook ups,and the day ended with two great catches.

At the beginning of the tournament,Gareth Beaumont promised to allow himself to be towed back to the harbour on a surfboard if their boat caught a marlin.Well,they did and,

* *
SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 37
First black marlin by Wayne Cooke, John Graeme.
38 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023

true to is word,dressed in his bright green wetsuit and hoisting the marlin flag high he was towed in behind Mojo

Below,Serge Wessels from Indigo relates his story and Grant van der Westhuyzen tells how the team helped Jacques van Niekerk catch and release his black marlin ....


I was fishing onboard Indigo,skippered by Gawie Bruwer,and being a novice to marlin fishing,I did not realise what a team activity it was,and what experience was required by the other crew.Without the skipper keeping the fish correctly positioned in relation to the boat,the crew member pulling in the leader and grabbing the bill,the member removing the hook and importantly the camera person confirming the catch, there would be a very slim chance of us successfully catching and releasing such a magnificent fish.

I was fortunate to catch a striped marlin and be part of the crew that caught a black marlin,being able to witness the glorious colours of both excited fish as they lit up close to the boat.The black marlin gave us a fantastic aerial display,making for many memorable moments.


From zero to complete pandemonium can best describe the sensation of raising a marlin and enticing it to strike at the 2023 Two Oceans Marlin Tournament.

The hours of preparation,maintenance,planning,research — and the money — that go into catching one of these beautiful creatures of the deep all becomes worth it when you finally see the silhouette in the spread.

Mojo’s skipper and crew had managed to raise a couple of striped marlin on day one and two of the tournament,but the fish just wouldn’t commit to what we had to offer;they seemed well fed,lethargic and hesitant to strike.After careful deliberation,we decided to stick to our guns and fish the same area as we did the previous day.

We reached our fishing grounds and started setting the spread running two teasers short (starboard and port) with a flasher in between with two short konas,two long and the Japan running way back.There was the usual tweaking to get the konas running at their optimum.Keeping them running perfectly in the ever-changing conditions was a responsibility bestowed on Mojo’s fishing master (Gareth Beaumont) and me.

It had been pre-arranged that if we hooked a striped marlin,skipper Jacques “Mojo”van Niekerk would be on the rod. After all,the man has a Pacific blue,Atlantic blue,a black and a white marlin under his belt.It would only be fair to give him the opportunity to catch his fifth species of marlin here in his local waters.

We had been trolling for half an hour when one of the competing boats 500m away from us went tight on a marlin. We were happy for them,but it was disheartening to say the least.Not long after that, Indigo successfully caught and released a healthy sized striped marlin.The pressure was on.

We kept grinding away and at 12h00 Gareth and I spotted the dorsal fin and shoulders of a marlin protruding from the beautiful purple-blue ocean behind the long.

Adrenalin shot threw my veins just in time to see the fish disappear,but before the disappointment could set in,the fish was back.The anticipation of a screaming rachet was short lived as the fish disappeared again,but then before all hope was crushed the fish was back behind the same kona for a

third time! Surely this was the moment,but to everyone’s despair the fish vanished again,just to reappear,and this time it decided to commit.Soon the unmistakable scream of a marlin reel’s ratchet blasted the silence.

Enter the well-oiled crew of Mojo with everyone moving to their designated stations for the day.Jacques stayed behind the wheel while Gareth very carefully and patiently set the hook.As soon as the fish took off Gareth moved to the wheel and Hannes Schreuder (leader man and vocals),Anthony Tait (cameraman) and I scurried to bring in the lines,clear the deck and get the skipper in the fighting chair.

This was it,the moment we had all been waiting for! The skipper was a couple of minutes into the fight when a beautiful striped marlin breached and showed herself in all her majestic glory.

From here it is hard to say how long the fight lasted,but eventually it was leadered by Hannes,measured,tagged and released.High fives and congratulations were the order of the day before the konas went back in the mix.

What an absolute privilege to see the speed,strength and agility of these animals!

The fourth day of 2023 TOMT turned out to be the last fishing day and it certainly was a day to remember,especially for those aboard John Graeme

Chris Hepburn-Brown for one will never forget the day he fought and landed his first marlin — a big black — which started the day off well.

Werner Kotze,John Leppan,Willem Skein and Hannes Smuts also all had memorable days...


Earlier this year Eugene invited me to fish the TOMT with him on Indigo ,skippered and owned by the legendary Gawie Bruwer.

On the fourth day we went back to the same place Serge had caught his marlin on day three,hoping for another success story.

Radio calls came in of several marlin being fought and even successfully released from the complete opposite direction to where we found ourselves.Although our water looked great, we’d spent hours reaching our GPS coordinates,and it felt like the marlin gods had turned against us.Then I thought I saw something ...

“Did you also see him,”I asked Eugene.

While we looked intently at the spread,we noticed a stripey strike the starboard outrigger and we were on! In the blink of an eye another struck the portside outrigger and the boat became a madhouse.

Sadly,we lost both fish,but we realised that coming out this far was indeed the right decision.Soon all the rods were back in the water.We felt losing the two fish was very bad luck and began to focus on the beautiful water and the few scattered birds.Each man was at his post,ready for a strike.

And then it happened! While sitting on a beanbag next to the portside outrigger I heard a sound similar to a .22 gunshot. The tagline’s elastic band broke off,a Penn International started screaming insanely and a black marlin started jumping and dancing off the stern of Indigo!

“Clear the rods,clear the deck,get in the chair,and start filming!”

Twelve years of trying and even losing marlin,and I could only think of one thing:DON’T F… THIS ONE UP!

Thanks to precision skippering and excellent team work, we managed to release a beautiful black marlin.The fight and release took about 40 minutes,and with Lourens Odendal filming everything,I will always remember 15 February 2023 as a day full of excitement,adrenaline,and conquering my nemesis. Thanks,team Indigo!

* * *
SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 39
Marlin by Serge Wessels, Indigo


Having boated the first fish on the fourth day,our skipper nominated me to be next in the chair.After locating the bonnies we set about catching two fresh baits and getting them rigged.All the while we were listening to the radio,as Indigo had just hooked their second fish of the comp.Our job at hand was clear — we needed a third fish!

Fifteen minutes after setting our baits the ratchet on the starboard reel brought us all back to attention.No sooner had it started than it abruptly stopped.As the realisation of this lost opportunity sank in,silence befell the crew.Fortunately,this didn’t last as a portside rig exploded into life and brought us all back to our senses.

Turning off the ratchet to calm the situation,we allowed the fish to peel off line while I got into the harness.Still not knowing what we were dealing with,I tightened up the drag and,on cue,a beautiful black marlin surfaced 200 metres off the stern and walked in search of freedom.Having set the hook,I then got as comfortable as possible and tried to concentrate.

The John Graeme crew have always been generous with their advice.Knowing that we needed to boat this fish to get back into pole position,we all set about our jobs,working hand in hand with our very able and calm skipper Chris.

We tried to subdue the fish,but it was having none of it. Spending more time in the air than in the water,this majestic beast tried every trick in the book to throw the hook.At times I had brief thoughts about being the guy who lost the fish.We finally got hands on the leader and brought the fish alongside. As we were getting ready to bill and measure the fish,the line parted,allowing the fish to swim away strongly,back to freedom.

Great celebration ensued! I would just like to thank the crew and especially our skipper,Chris,for his kindness and generosity.


As was our usual custom,we were taking hourly turns on rod duty.

All three of my crewmates had caught their first marlin ever in this tournament.The last two were caught in the last four hours,and now it was my turn.The pressure was on to try to catch my first marlin and complete an unthinkable hat trick of three blackies in a day for John Graeme

Earlier that morning as we set out from the harbour,I’d confidently told Chris Hepburn-Brown that we were going to catch three fish that day;it was time for me to make that happen.

At that stage,we were neck and neck with Indigo,and the competition could still go either way.Everyone on board could sense the tension of the possibility of getting pipped at the post,as had happened to John Graeme two years before.

Shortly after noon I brushed away all thoughts of doubting

my own prediction.

At 12h25,my heart rate instantaneously skyrocketed to the urgent sound of my reel’s screaming ratchet.

Excited shouts of,“Come on Doc,your fish is on!”urged me into action.

The fish stripped 200m of line in no time,entertaining us with several impressive acrobatic aerials. Thankfully I saw it was not as much of a heavyweight as my crewmates had to deal with.By this time our skipper had advanced to the next level of marlin skippering,making me look even better on the rod.

Twenty minutes later a beautiful black was craftily ushered to the side of the boat.I felt a kind of humble gratitude towards this beautiful fish when I stroked it before it was released to reign in the oceans again.

Then the joyous thought that this fish gave us a likely unsurpassable lead descended on all of us.

What a privilege it was to be part of this incredible crew and to continue the legacy of love for the ocean and fishing.

LAST FISH OF THE TOURNAMENT by Hannes Smuts, Bayswater

On Wednesday 15 February 2023 at 14:45 we had the first strike on the boat.Piet called it in and we were given extra time.I was on the rod,and was awestruck when the fish jumped out of the water at least six times! I had it on the line for one hour and 45 minutes — the strongest fish I’ve ever had on a line and probably the biggest!

Eventually I got the fish right next to the boat.Kokkie was on the leader,and according to him this was at least a 300kg fish.

It was probably a blessing in disguise that the next day’s inclement weather prevented the boats from going out again; after four exhilarating days of fishing,everybody was ready for a rest. * * *

The prize-giving took place on Friday 17 February 2023,and once again Marinda and her team served an excellent meal. Each team received a prize and expressed their gratitude to the organisers and safety committee who ensured the whole event ran smoothly.

See you next year!


1. John Graeme 2. Indigo 3. Mojo
40 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023
4. Bayswater Black marlin by Willem Skein, John Graeme 1st place: John Graeme, Chris Gillet, Chris Hepburn-Brown, Willem Steyn, Wayne Cooke, John Leppan, Hylton Goatley and Chris Goatley with Grant van der Westhuyzen. 2nd place: Indigo, Chris Gillet, Werner Kotze, Eugene Terblanche, Serge Wessels, Gawie Bruwer, and Laurence Odendal with Grant van der Westhuyzen. 3rd place: Mojo, Jacques van Niekerk, Gareth Beaumont, Chris Gillet, Hannes Schreuder, and Anthony Tait with Grant van der Westhuyzen.


AFTER much discussion and many requests from our anglers,SADSAA has decided to re-introduce the 4kg line class in a whole new facet for gamefish and bottomfish,resulting in the SADSAA 4kg Light Tackle Line Class Game- and Bottomfish facet.

This new line class and target species competition has been added to our current five major divisions of deep sea angling,namely Heavy Tackle Billfish (80lb or 37kg),Light Tackle Billfish (20lb or 10kg),Gamefish (12lb or 6kg to 20lb or 10kg),Tuna (20lb or 10kg) and Bottomfish (12lb or 6kg to 20lb or 10kg).

The SADSAA council felt that since we have many light and ultra-light tackle anglers in our ranks,we needed to include a new sixth facet to cater for them.We recognise that many have been left behind in recent years and do not have a specific tournament that they can call their own — a light tackle tournament — so here it is.

SADSAA and various provinces have been fishing light tackle tournaments and leagues in our waters for many years,and we now have a competition and division that will allow the anglers to be challenged from a whole new perspective and where they can earn provincial,SADSAA and ultimately Protea colours for deep sea angling.

This new facet will be a full release species tournament for bottom- and gamefish,with the exception of potential records for this line class only.

International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) rules will apply,with one exception.Only a single hook and not a double hook trace is permissible.The single hook trace is a SADSAA ruling which has been in place for many years,and with good reason.

It was implemented in the interests of conservation so that when anglers are fighting bigger fish on light tackle and they have a double hook-up with, say,geelbek,we won’t have so many fish popping the line and swimming off with a whole lot of line which

could potentially mean the death of both fish.With the single hook rig there is a better chance of the angler landing a single fish.

Fishing with a single J hook or a non-offset circle hook is permitted.

SADSAA’s scoring system will be used,and a multiplying point system as published in the SADSAA Tournament Rules has been proposed.In this case, since it is a measure and release tournament,the minimum length as stipulated in the Government Gazette by DFFE will be applied and converted to weight.No sharks,skates,rays or barbel will be permitted.

Our first Light Tackle Interprovincial is scheduled to take place from 13 to 16 June and will be hosted by Western Province Deep Sea Angling Association (WPDSAA) based at the Overberg Ski-boat Club in Kleinbaai.

If you would like to be involved, please contact your local club or provincial body and let’s get this off to a swimming start!


Other news that must be shared and praise given is to our Protea anglers who recently fished the Orascom Development International Fishing Tournament in El Gouna,Egypt.

Our team came home with the bronze medal and a potential new

world record for a Red Sea hound fish. Congratulations to Frank de Oliviera (Captain),Douglas Dustan,Abed Kahn and Justin Paynter for producing an excellent result in waters that we have not fished previously.


It is with great pride that we announce that the following teams have been selected to participate in upcoming tournaments:

•EFSA Species Championship in Weymouth,England — five-man Protea team:Allen Ford (Capt;B), DP Burger (WP),Wayne Gerber (EP),Francois Beukes (N) and Kevin Clark (EP).

•First Cape Town Tuna International in Hout Bay — three-man Protea team:Chris Pike (Capt,WP),Marius Coetzee (NW),Colin Joubert (WP).

•2023 Tuna Nationals in Hout Bay — three-man SADSAA Masters team: Nishaad Ibrahim (Capt,WP), Michael Riley (Gr) and Francois Bezuidenhout (MP).

•2023 Tuna Nationals in Hout Bay — three-man SADSAA Under 19 team: Rouke Muller (Capt,SG),Alex Tyldesley (N) and Jordan Khan (N).

•2023 Gamefish Nationals in Mapelane — three-man SADSAA team:Mark Brewitt (Capt,N), Ockie Theunissen (SG) and Adrian Feher (SG).

•2023 Gamefish Nationals in Mapelane — three-man SADSAA Under 21 team:Jan Harm du Plessis (Capt,N),Michael Wiering (SG) and Xavier Truluck (FS).

•2023 Gamefish Nationals in Mapelane — three-person SADSAA Ladies team:Candice Coetzer (Capt,EP),Michelle Richards (N) and Alta Matthews (Gr).

42 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023
Chris Schorn, SADSAAPresident


As was mentioned in the previous issue of SKI-BOAT,SADSAA and IGFA strive to keep a balance between the environment and recognition of excellent catches.From 1 March 2023 IGFA have announced that a new IGFA All-Tackle Length Junior category will be open to all anglers aged 16 and under.This will give our juniors an opportunity to experience the thrill of setting world records while promoting conservation through catch-and-release fishing.

Read more about it on page 62 of this issue.

In this issue we would like to give you more information on how to apply for records and ensure your record is not disqualified due to technicalities.


To apply for a record,the angler must submit a complete application form, the mandatory length of line and terminal tackle (described below) used to catch the fish,and acceptable photographs of the fish,the rod and reel used to catch the fish,the scale used to weigh the fish,and the angler with the fish.

Application Form

A current official SADSAA or All Africa record application form must be used for record claims.

When making any record claim, the angler must indicate the specified strength of the line or tippet used to catch the fish.In the case of Line Class and Tippet Class records,this will place the claim in a specific Line or Tippet Class category (see below).

All lines and tippets will be examined by SADSAA to verify the specified strength of the line.If the line or tippet over tests its class,the application will be considered in the next highest class.If the line or tippet under tests into a lower Line or Tippet Class,the application will not be considered for the lower Line Class or Tippet Class.

The heaviest Line Class permitted for saltwater records is 60kg (130lb). The heaviest Tippet Class permitted for Tippet Class records is 10kg (20lb).If the line or tippet over tests these maximum strengths,the claim will be denied.

Extreme care should be exercised when measuring the fish,as the measurements are often important for weight verification and scientific studies.Check the measurement diagram on the record application to be sure

the fish is measured correctly.

The angler is responsible for obtaining the necessary signatures and correct addresses of the boat captain (where applicable),weighmaster (where applicable) and witnesses on the application.If a SADSAA officer or representative,or an officer or member of a SADSAA club is available,he or she should be asked to witness the claim.

The angler must appear in person before a qualified authority to have an application notarised.In locations where notarisation is not possible or customary,the signature of a government official,a member of an embassy,legation or consular staff or a SADSAA officer or representative may replace notarisation.

Any deliberate falsification of an application will disqualify the applicant for any future Record and any existing records will be nullified.

Line or Tippet Sample

All applications for potential records caught on flyfishing tackle must be accompanied by the fly,the entire tippet and the entire leader — all connected in one piece.

All applications for potential records caught on conventional tackle must be accompanied by the entire leader (including the hook/s),the double line and at least the 5 metres closest to the double line,leader or hook, but 15 metres is preferred.

All line samples and the leader (if one is used) are to be submitted in one piece.Broken or incomplete line samples must be accompanied by a full explanation.SADSAA reserves the right to reject applications with broken line samples that prevent it from testing the breaking strength and/or verifying the length of the double line and leader.

If a lure is used with the leader,the leader should be cut at the eye attachment to the lure.

Each line sample must be submitted in such a way that it can be easily unwound without damage to the line. A recommended method is to take a rectangular piece of stiff cardboard and cut notches in the two opposite ends.Secure one end of the line to the cardboard and wind the line around the cardboard through the notched areas.Secure the other end,and write your name and the specified strength of the line on the cardboard.

Any line sample that is tangled or cannot be easily unwound will not be accepted.

Photographic Requirements

Why is it so important to have good quality photos? Firstly,to clearly identify the species caught,secondly to ensure the correct equipment is used, thirdly to ensure the angler who caught the fish is the person whose information is on the application form.

Photographs showing the full length of the fish,the rod and reel used to make the catch,and the scale used to weigh the fish must accompany each record application.A photograph of the angler with the fish is also required.

For species identification,the clearest possible photos should be submitted.This is especially important in the cases of hybrids and fish that may be confused with similar species. Shark applications should include a photograph of the shark’s teeth and of the head and back taken from above, in addition to the photographs taken from the side.Whether the shark does or does not have a ridge between the dorsal fins should be clearly evident in this photograph for identification purposes.

For best results,photograph the fish broadside to the camera so that no part of the fish is obscured.The fins should be fully extended and not obscured by the angler’s hands in cases where the number of spines and rays needs to be counted.

When photographing a fish lying on its side,the surface beneath the fish should be smooth and a ruler or marked tape should be placed beside the fish if possible.Photographs from various angles are most helpful.

An additional photograph of the fish on the scale with actual weight visible is also helpful.

It is important that we have clear, publishable photographs of the fish and the angler,including action shots, if available.Original,high resolution digital files are preferred and will assist SADSAA in publicising record catches.

SADSAA encourages anglers to release record fish whenever possible and to hold fish horizontally,and not vertically,to prevent harming them.

Remember to order your official measuring devices directly from SADSAA <>.Download detail documents from <> and contact me on <>.•

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 43

MAN’S determination to catch fish goes back thousands of years,and it’s that determination that varies in accordance with the availability and quantity of the species he is targeting.

It is also true that the harder it is to entice a fish to feed, the more thought and cunning is needed by the angler to achieve his goal.

Herein lies one of the greatest rewards in the sport of angling.If the plan you have devised and implemented results in a strike from the fish you are looking for,you are the victor.

One of those plans lies in the art of trolling a bait or lure. Using conventional trolling tactics,fishing takes place in the top metre or two of the ocean’s surface.

Fish will be attracted by the movement of the bait/lure from a specific depth below that,depending on a number of factors,including water clarity,the angle of the sun and degree of cloud cover.

That depth will obviously vary,but is unlikely to be more than 10 metres at the outside.

To achieve variable trolling depths — or,in fact,getting baits down to where the fish are presumed to be holding — a weight of sorts has to be resorted to.Before the advent of deep trollers,either a forfeiture weight or a deep planer was used.The forfeiture weight (see figure 1) — some as heavy as 3kg or 4kg — was attached ahead of the bait leader by means of a complex spring-loaded release mechanism.On strike and hookup,the heavy weight dropped away,thus permitting the angler to fight the fish unhindered.

The planer method — the old Luxon planer (see figure 2), amongst other devices — was very restricting during the fight as one was required to use very heavy tackle and had to fight both planer and fish.

The Luxon planer worked well to get a lure fairly deep as it was an integral part of the tackle. Heavy tackle had to be used and fighting a fish with the planer between fish and rod was not an enjoyable experience.

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 45
One of the original design forfeiture weight devices used for deep trolling. The lead weight was sacrificed on the strike. Figure 1 Figure 2
The basics of how to use a downrigger
46 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023

This deep trolling method using a lead weight is very effective and popular. Using a release clip as shown in figure 3A, with the line twisted about 20 turns, or using a

Another very helpful device is the displayed depth counter which enables the angler to regulate his depth setting to within a metre of where he wants his bait or lure to be trolled.

Planers have also been remodelled over the years so that they now run off a separate line,either attached to a reel-type device or tied directly to a cleat on the transom,while the fishing line is attached via a release clip or roller troller. Some skippers prefer the Z-wing type planer (see figure 4) to the lead downrigger ball as they maintain the action of this device imparts more movement to the bait or lure which,in their experience,increases strikes.


There are two major aspects to the art of deep trolling.The first is the mechanics of the system and how best to rig and use the downrigger of your choice.The second aspect is how, where and when to fish the system.

A number of different downriggers are available in South Africa,a range which considers both affordability as well as practicality in terms of the different sizes of craft used in this country.

What is perhaps of greater importance is the terminal or “weight end”and how to rig it to ensure that one’s fishing line does not part due to the thin line wrapping itself around the steel cable (see figures 3 & 4)

Then,along came the deep troller (see figure 3).This system not only allowed one to control — fairly accurately — the depth of the troll,but by using a release clip also allowed the angler to fight his catch unrestricted by hardware.Post hookup the weight is retrieved and removed from the water, and is then ready to be re-rigged when trolling recommences.

A braided wire cable is used to lower the weight from a manual or electrically operated reel system mounted on the gunnel or transom of a craft.This cable minimises water resistance,and at normal trolling speeds — 2-3 knots — is suspended almost directly under the boat.

This is achieved by rigging the weight with good quality snaps and swivels,and by making sure that when the weight is lowered there is sufficient pull of the lure/bait provided by the troll speed to stop a wraparound.If for any reason the boat stops,then it is essential to wind up the weight and ensure no wraparound has occurred before recommencing the troll.Do not try to use your deep troller for drift fishing as it is guaranteed to wrap.

A good idea is to use elastic bands attached to the fishing line before attaching it to the roller troller clip,as one would do when using one’s outriggers.This prevents line bruising and often helps in the initial setting of the hook,especially when fishing for ’cuda with trebles.

The distance between the rigger clip and the terminal tackle depends on the type of fish one is targeting and the area one is fishing.At least 15 to 20 metres is a good call.


“When and where should I use my downrigger?”you might ask.Your sonar is your best friend and advisor in this regard. If there are no fish showing in the top five fathoms,there is no point in fishing in it.Look further down to see where the shoals are holding and whether or not there is a thermocline. Fish don’t easily cross a thermocline,i.e.move from hot to cold water or vice versa.

Establish whether there is a thermocline and whether the fish are above or below it,then set your downrigger accordingly.One is often able to see the tracing of the downrigger weight on the sonar screen during slow troll speeds,and this is a good check to ensure you are fishing at the right depth.

It is then that you dig deep into your tackle box of knowledge and plan what bait or lure you are going to use because, after all,all your downrigger enables you to do is get your bait/lure down to a level where the fish require a minimum degree of effort to strike.A big ’cuda may,for example,be prepared to dart two or three metres to catch a perceived prey, whereas it would not swim up 20 or 30 metres to attack something splashing along near the surface.

It is also essential to concentrate very seriously on one’s fishfinder,especially if one is trolling along the edge of a dropoff or around and over a reef or structure.A pinnacle or misjudged shallow reef will,without fail,snag your downrigger weight.This is a costly exercise,as it normally wrenches the braided cable from the reel,either breaking it or,worse, the anti-reverse mechanism of the deep troller.

In effect,that’s the end of your deep trolling for the day as

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 47
Figure 4 The Z-wing planer is rigged very much the same way as the downrigger ball, except using two lines would cause tangles, unless they are run at least 10 metres apart. Option 1 Option 1 Figure 3A Release clip Figure 3B rubber band, is the most practical. Alternatively, as in figure 3B, one can run the release clip from behind the ball. A third option would be to run lines from both positions, but the distance between A and B must be at least 3-4 metres. Release clip

Boat direction

As boat speed increases, there’s a decrease in the effective trolling depth due to increased drag. If you want to maintain a specific depth as speed increases, additional braided wire line has to be let out.

6-7 knots

5 knots

4 knots

3 knots

1-2 knots

few skippers carry both spare weights and braided cable.

It is safe to deep troll two to three fathoms off the top of the reef because most fish,even bottom feeders,will rise four to six metres to feed.Most of our gamefish patrol at about six metres above the reef.

Very often clutter or debris is observed over large,sandy areas which,we presume,is weed or sediment stirred up by the current,or small fish.It pays to troll a bait in or just through the upper layer of this murky water,especially a large dead- or livebait or,better still,a daisy chain of live mozzies or mackerel.This is sure to make a wary ’cuda throw caution to the wind and attack.

With the downrigger system having proven its success for slow trolling,many skippers have played with the design of weights and planers to enable them to troll at faster speeds, up to six knots,thereby enabling them to target species such as tuna and billfish with fast running lures.

Success in this regard has made them strive even harder to get the right combination to enable them to go deeper and deeper,whilst retaining a set SOG.However,as one speeds up, drag on the wire and the weight causes the trolling depth to decrease (see figure 5 above)

The USA has a number of very interesting planer-type inventions that have come onto the market,including the Zwing.Some of the bigger and more effective devices are a little too big and difficult to handle on an outboard-powered skiboat,being more practical on a sportfisher where crew can handle the awesome pull/drag of the big planer.

There is,however,a downrigger weight,designed in

This is what we call a “poor man’s downrigger” — a sinker weighing a few grams to a kilogram, attached to one’s line by means of a rubber band. It’s easy to use, simple to change and works very well on slow-trolled baits. Set the weight 10- to 20 metres ahead of the trace. The hardest part is taking the sinker off the line when playing the fish.

Kenya,which is shaped roughly like a rapala that holds its depth fairly well at rapala and stripbait troll speeds of 5/6 knots (see figure 6,below)

The best part of fishing with a downrigger is when a single downrigged bait produces a lot more fish than the three or four surface-trolled baits.Just watch the crew get all agitated,each wanting a turn on the skipper’s downrigger!

Above all,a downrigger enhances one’s fishing opportunities by broadening one’s ability to efficiently hunt areas for fish that have been out of reach up to now.

The Kenyan-designed downrigger weight: A 2-inch galvanised water pipe, about 8- to 12 inches long, is filled with lead. The leading edge is cut at a slant to force it to pull downwards like a rapala.

An eye is created by drilling two holes on the top of the pipe and inserting a bent loop of stainless rod prior to filling the pipe with molten lead. A second loop, made at the same time, is set in the lead at the rear of the pipe. This system works — and works well.

48 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023
Figure 5 Figure 6
All about action! All about fishing! WINNERS: SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 51 1 YEAR — 6 ISSUES R 2 7 0 Yes! Enter my subscription to SKI-BOAT Magazine I save 18% on the newsstand price! 1 Year (6 issues) only R220.00.Save R50.00! New subscriber Existing subscriber ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN E-ZINE. Get your FREEdigital subscription at Name .......................................................................................................................... Physical Address .............................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................Code:......... Telephone .................................................(Home) ..................................................(Work) Cell.............................................Email Address................................................................. Subscription to commence with...........................................................................................issue Payment options: Direct deposits or EFT Unfortunately due to postal issues beyond our control we are no longer accepting international subscriptions for the paper version of SKI-BOAT. However anyone is able to access the digital version for free on SAVE BANKING DETAILS FOR DIRECT DEPOSITS OR INTERNET PAYMENTS (eft) A/C Name: Angler Publications • Bank: First National Bank • Branch: Durban North • Branch Code: 220426 • A/C Number: 50790026585 Please email proof of payment and address details to <> Now R220,00 Three lucky subscribers will each win a full year’s subscription to SKI-BOAT magazine, valued at the newsstand price of R270. This means, should you subscribe and win, you will receive your next year’s subscription ABSOLUTELY FREE! Subscribe to between 1st March 2023 and 1st June 2023 and win YOUR NEXT YEAR’S SUBSCRIPTION ABSOLUTELY FREE! FREE DIGITALE-ZINE ONWWW.ISSUU.COM All about boats! Congratulations to the following lucky subscribers who have each won a year’s extension of their subscription ... Johann van Zyl of Bellville, John Morrison of Mtubatuba and Julian van Zuydam of Pietermaritzburg. ENJOY!


Award Application Form

I hereby apply for the Kingfisher Award in the category:

Meritorious Fish Outstanding Catch

Tick the appropriate box and supply us with the following information. Please remember to print clearly.

Applicant’s Details:

Name: ...................................................

Address: ...............................................

Code: ....................................................

Tel No: ...................................................


Club (if member): ..................................

I, the undersigned, agree to abide by the rules of this award.

YOUR favourite offshore angling magazine, SKI-BOAT , in conjunction with The Kingfisher and the South African Deep Sea Angling Association, is proud to offer all South African ski-boaters the unique opportunity to win awards for excellence in angling.

All deep sea anglers who achieve laid down standards of excellence will be entitled to apply for the KINGFISHER AWARD.Upon ratification by a panel of adjudicators,the angler will receive a handsome digital certificate,suitably inscribed.

The Kingfisher Award will be made for fish caught in two sections:

1) Meritorious Fish

This award is for a fish that’s a memorable achievement for the angler,if not


There is no restriction on the number of awards which can be applied for. Award applicants must submit a photograph of the relevant fish with the application form and a photograph of the angler with the fish.

a personal best,and is not confined to the species listed below.

Tackle used is of no consideration here, the fish's weight being the main criterion.

2) Outstanding Catch

To satisfy the requirements for this award,anglers can catch any recognised fish species.As a guideline,the weight of that fish must equal or exceed the suggested weights below,or certain laid down fish weight:line class ratios.

Awards will be made in the following ratio categories:

3:1 – Bronze Award

5:1 – Silver Award

7:1 – Silver Award

10:1 – Gold Award.

Applies to IGFA line class 1kg ,2kg,4kg, 6kg,10kg,15kg,24kg,37kg and 60kg.



Barracuda 15kg

Dorado 12kg

Kingfish (Ignobilis) 20kg

Garrick (Leervis) 12kg

King Mackerel (’Cuda) 15kg

Black Marlin 100kg

Meritorious Fish

SKI-BOAT reserves the right to use the photograph as it sees fit. Entries must be on the official form which is included in all issues of the magazine.

Species: ................................................

Weight: ..................................................

Date of Capture: ....................................

Where Caught: ......................................

Skipper's Name: ....................................

Signature: .............................................. Email

Outstanding catch Category applied for (tick appropriate box):

3:15:1 7:1 10:1

Species: ................................................

Weight: ..................................................

Line class: .............................................

Date of Capture: ....................................

Where Caught: ......................................

Skipper’s Name: ....................................

Digital emailed photographs should be high-resolution.

Entires must be received within 45 days of capture. No witnesses of the catch are required. The award is made in the true spirit of sportsmanship and relies on the integrity of the angler to make a just claim. Aselection of award winners’names will be announced in future issues of SKIBOAT, along with relevant photographs. Award applicants should allow 30-45 days for processing of applications.

There is no charge for Kingfisher Awards.

Blue Marlin 100kg

Striped Marlin 60kg

Prodigal Son 15kg

Sailfish (Pacific) 25kg

Spearfish (Longbill) 20kg

Spearfish (Shortbill) 20kg

Tarpon 45kg

Tuna (Big Eye) 50kg

Tuna (Longfin) 25kg

Tuna (Yellowfin) 50kg

Wahoo 15kg

Yellowtail 15kg


With the strong trend towards releasing these and other fish, we have decided to amend the Kingfisher Award rules to provide for acknowledgement of all released fish. All we need is a photo of the fish being released or prior to release (e.g. GT held next to the boat) and the approximate weight of the fish which should fall in line with the stipulated weights set out above.

In line with this trend we will not be carrying photographs on the Kingfisher Awards page of any billfish or GTs aside from those that are released.

applications to:
1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9)
52 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023
54 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023

Successful event for Proteas in Egypt


International Fishing Tournament held in Egypt in mid February was not on the original SADSAA 2023 tournaments calendar,but our National Tournaments Officer,Nick Nel,has been working around the clock to find international tournaments for our anglers to fish in.

The invite came out,CVs were sent

through to our provincial body for signing,and then off they went to SADSAA for the selection process to be done. With fingers and toes crossed,angler’s whose names were in the mix waited in anticipation to see “Chris Schorn”,the SADSAA’s President’s name,appear on their phonescreen.There was no way of knowing which way it would go.

It was probably the most emotional call I’ve received as an angler — being told that I would be representing my

country and that I had reached the pinnacle of my fishing career.All the blood, sweat,tears,heartache,disappointment and humbling moments had led to this — reaching my dream and finally being able to put on that green blazer.

And yes,just like that — one,two, Egypt happened.It was a whirlwind of an organising experience.Anglers usually have three to six months to organise their trip,have a capping ceremony, order their clothing,and get together to

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 55

have team meetings to ensure they were taking the correct tackle.Well,we had just under a month to do it all.

Our team consisted of Frank De Oliveira (Capt.),Abed Khan,Douglas Dustan and me.We pulled together,we were allocated tasks,and we got the job done.What made it even more interesting was that we were all new caps,so we weren’t entirely sure of certain processes,but our administration staff and tournaments officer at SADSAA were unbelievable and held our hands throughout the whole process.

Our capping ceremony was hosted at Point Water Sports Club,home to Durban Ski Boat Club,and the wellattended evening was one to be remembered by all.As SADSAA’s PR Officer,I am invited to most of the capping cere-

monies,and it was amazing to see how many Protea anglers came to wish this team all the best in Egypt.

With the capping ceremony done,it was time to pack.If you have never travelled overseas to go fishing,let me tell you,it’s an experience all on its own.Rod tubes must be a certain length,you are only allowed so much luggage so you have to purchase extra bags,fishing reels are packed in hand luggage to save space (don’t forget to take the spool off because they won’t let you on the plane with the line on). Remember to pack the spools!

Next you lay everything out in the lounge to decide what stays and what goes.That was an interesting couple of nights,because we were heading to a multi-faceted competition! We were

trolling (57lb line),popping (80lb braid),jigging (65lb braid) and then were also allowed to deep drop (bottomfish) for swordfish.I will make mention of it later in the article.

And yes,we still had to pack our clothes!

Armed with two suitcases weighing just under 23kg each,three pieces of PVC pipe strapped together to make one item of luggage,and a backpack filled with reels,we were ready to go.

Getting out of my dad’s car at King Shaka International Airport and having him tell me that he was proud of me, and that I should enjoy the experience and make sure we came home with a medal,was a tear-jerking experience.

Doug,Abed and I finally made it through airport one of six,landing in OR Tambo to meet up with Frank.Once we’d checked our bags through to Hurghada,reality finally set in.It was happening!

When we eventually arrived in Hurghada,we were greeted like celebrities.The Red Sea Anglers,as they call themselves,really looked after us and their hospitality was outstanding.

Finally we reached El Gouna which is a very affluent,privately owned town.It is known as Egypt’s Maldives — playground of the rich and famous. We stayed at the Ali Pasha Hotel which where the owner of El Gouna lives.We had amazing rooms and again,were treated like royalty.

It was out of season,so the town was quiet and not many tourists or locals were there.Multimillion-dollar vessels lined the docks,and you could just imagine the vibe in this town in season.

The weather was around 18- to 20 degrees each day — not what we were expecting,nor what we had packed for. The locals told us that we were unfortunately experiencing a horrendous weather pattern,with strong winds, which was very uncommon for this time of year.

The bad weather hampered our preparations in terms of practice days, and we went into the tournament without having the opportunity to have a practice day or two.

Interestingly,the skippers don’t have a say in whether or not they go to sea,that is determined solely by the harbor authorities.Detailed flight plans must be submitted and return times must be adhered to or you would be fined.The weather just seemed to get worse and worse,and there was a moment where we contemplated whether we were even going to get the opportunity to fish this tournament.

On Wednesday night,the organisers gave us the green light — we were going fishing in the morning.It was a three-day competition,running from 8pm on Thursday till noon on Saturday,

56 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023
Newly capped Proteas ready to head off to Egypt: Abed Khan, Frank De Oliveira (Capt.), Douglas Dustan and Justin Paynter. A pending world record Red Sea hound fish for Frank de Oliveira.

and we were allowed to fish the entire time.This made for an exciting time to say the least,as it was the first event of its kind.We lived aboard the boat and fished around the clock,trying different methods to catch the fish.

Expectations were high that we could catch a monster swordfish in the evening,so we had gone out and spent around R4000 on swordfish gear,including leader,16/18 hooks,lights,and squid jigs.They’d told us “no lights,no fish”,so,we bought extra just in case.

We also bought squid jigs to jig for giant squid of up to 5kg that we would use for bait for the swordfish.We tried hard for these fish,fishing all night every night,and caught nothing.Not one boat caught a swordfish.

On board our vessel,we had a captain,two deck hands and a chef who looked after us incredibly well and assisted where they could.The boat had five cabins,a saloon that could probably seat 20 people,and an open helm sta-

tion.The captain used a horn to communicate with the deckhands.

We discovered that the vessel’s electronics were very primitive with no charts or contour lines,just a few waypoints.

Popping and jigging didn’t go well, because in the poor weather conditions,the boat was unable to hold the desired position or mark,and we couldn’t get the desired action out of our jigs or poppers.Our most effective form of fishing came from trolling lures.

Strangely,our skipper believed that you must never slow the boat when fighting a fish,and our skipjack ended up skipping on the water’s surface. What we also found interesting,was that every time we found a good mark, we would get a fish or two and then he would move on!

We fished hard,and at one stage we had used 80 different lures to try and entice a bite.In the end we managed to catch four bonnies,one skipjack,one

dorado,one coral trout and a Red Sea hound fish which is a pending world record for Frank.

Back at the docks,when we saw what the other teams had caught,we thought we might be in with a chance. The scoring worked that you got ten points per species,plus you got the weight for each fish but were only allowed to catch five of any particular species.

The weighing of the fish started,and as we did the calculations in our heads, we knew we were in with a shout. When the results were read out,we managed a very respectful third placed out of 14 teams — a great achievement for an all-new capped Protea team with no practice days.

A big thank you to SADSAA,our provincial bodies,families,friends and fellow anglers for supporting us in our fishing journey.To come home with a medal was the cherry on top of a dream come true.

SKI-BOAT May/June 2023 • 57
The Proteas’ home for the duration of the fishing tournament (left), and some of their catch. SASACC President, Andries Maree, congratulates the Proteas on placing third at the tournament.

MY Granny Glenda says that I have salt in my veins because I’ve always loved the ocean and everything that comes out of it.

I’m a lot younger than my cousins,and so every holiday I used to have to stay at home when my dad,Jordan, took them fishing.He said he would take me when I was ten.

Even so,every time they went out fishing I woke up with the crew at 3.30am and my Grandpa Julie would take me down to the beach to watch them launch.Our boat is called Jay D .It’s a Kei Cat 600 and we launch off the beach at Cintsa East,near East London.

I couldn’t believe my luck when my dad said I could go with them this past December,because I was still only nine.

My first outing was not very nice,and boy did I get sick.I spent most of the day sleeping on a pile of lifejackets on the floor.That didn’t put me off,though.I went with my dad every time he said I could.Every trip got better and better. I’ve also learnt that I don’t vomit as much if I don’t eat as much.

On a calm day in January,we launched at our usual early time and headed towards Kei.There is a big marine reserve between Cintsa and Kei,so we fished before the reserve.My deep sea rod is rigged with a Scarborough reel and nylon.I love it because it makes even little fish feel like big fish.

Four of us were on the boat that day and it wasn’t long before we had a few Englishman in the hatch.We also caught carpenters and soldiers.

It must have been my lucky day,because not only did I catch a 3.5kg dageraad (on a chokka head),I also caught this 8.1kg black steenbras in 18 metres of water,using a whole sardine together with an octopus leg as bait.My dad says it’s called a Rob Special.My arms were finished! By the time we got back to the beach,I could hardly even hold the fish up for a photo.

Dad says that when it comes to fishing,the work only starts once you get back to the house and start gutting,scaling,cleaning,filleting and packing the fish.Luckily,I love to do that.Grandpa Julie taught me how to fillet fish.It makes me so proud when I hand over a tray of fillets to Mom or Granny Ros,especially when it’s a fish I caught.



THE International Game Fish Association (IGFA),a global conservation nonprofit that manages world records for all game fish species worldwide,recently debuted a new category for junior anglers.

The new IGFA All-Tackle Length Junior Category is open to all anglers aged 16 and under,providing them with an opportunity to experience the thrill of setting world records while promoting conservation through catch-andrelease fishing.

The new category adheres to strict angling rules and best handling practices,requiring young anglers to submit proper world record documentation including measurements and photographs,and to release their catch.

“By introducing the All-Tackle Length Junior Category,we hope to inspire the next generation of anglers to get out and fish,while promoting ethical and sustainable fishing practices,”said IGFA President Jason Schratwieser.

“Fishing is a fantastic way to connect with the outdoors,and we believe that by engaging young people with this sport,we can inspire the next generation of stewards of our oceans,lakes, and rivers,and help ensure the longterm health and vitality of our aquatic resources.”

The new category represents a significant step forward for youth involvement in angling.With children and teenagers increasingly disconnected from the outdoors,IGFA hopes to inspire a new wave of young anglers

who are passionate about the sport and its role in connecting people to nature.

The new All-Tackle Length Junior category will follow the same rules and regulations as the current All-Tackle Length record categories.This junior category will have one record available for each eligible species and will be open to all anglers aged 16 and under, with no differentiation made for the angler’s gender.This is consistent with current All-Tackle Length and All-Tackle Length Fly record categories.

The creation of this new record category will create 169 vacant record opportunities.Vacancies will be created for all eligible species of the All-Tackle Length record category and will follow the same minimum length requirements already established.

For a list of eligible species visit 22/04/ESATL.pdf

To learn more about IGFA Angling Rules,visit

IGFA World Records are published annually in the IGFA World Record Game Fishes book which is distributed to IGFA members worldwide.In addition to featuring all current world records,the nearly 500-page volume features IGFA Slam & Trophy Clubs,fishing tips,conservation updates,and more. World records can also be viewed online.

To learn more about becoming a member and receiving your annual copy of the IGFA World Record Game Fishes book,go to

62 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023
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WHENEVER we drive over the bridge into St Lucia there is an excitement in my heart,it’s a town you just have to love with its great seafood, awesome people and a good chance of catching a species you have never caught before,or just something big.

So my first attempt to be crowned Queen of the Ocean at St Lucia didn’t work out the way I planned,but I don’t give up easily.It was time to have another go at earning that title.

Just after dawn Wiseman pushed us into the sea with his tractor.Once we were safely through the surf we headed to our favourite livebait spot.

Our game plan was to drift with livebait over Home Reef with the Jolly Rubino wreck as our final destination — in search of kingfish.

It’s always so easy to make plans at home,but on the sea is where the fun and games begin.

The livebait was out we had great showings on the fishfinder.

“Yes,man!”A reel started screaming — fish on! Matthew took the rod and prepared to hand it over to me with a warning:“Tannie Fransien,it’s a big fish.”I took the rod,fully confident that I would bring it in.

Pehaps my confidence was misplaced;the fish was soon breaking me. Using all my power I still couldn’t bring it in.My rapala lip started to show as doubt filled me.What if I couldn’t bring in this big fish?

Matthew and Chris reckoned the fish went in under a rock,and watched on the fishfinder as we went around in cirlces.

The tension was mounting on the boat,and all eyes were on me and the

fish that was no closer to being boated. Eventually Matthew asked if he could try to pull it out,but I reminded him that if he took the rod,it was no longer my fish.He took a deep breath and just tightened the drag while I prepared to give it another shot.“Please,fishy,just come up!”

It was no good;my arms were tired and at last I gave up.Matthew took the rod as my rapala lip hung on the floor. I’m not always a bad loser,but this shouldn’t happen — a fish can’t beat me!

Matthew fought well and the fish seemed to be getting closer,but as he applied more pressure the hook suddenly came loose.

There was silence on the boat.

The big one had got away.

Now there more rapala lips than just mine.But you know fishermen — and women — it’s those ones that make us return time and time again.

Time to pull up our big girl panties and try again.This time we went straight to the Jolly Rubino wreck.The ill-fated ship caught on fire at Richards Bay and drifted towards the shores of St Lucia in severe sea conditions.There it sank,close to the shore.

Although it wasn’t a great ending for the shp,it’s always beautiful to be in that area,and the dunes behind the wreck make for a pretty scene.

While we drifted with livebait, Maryn and I threw drop shots.On my second throw I caught a fish.This one was much smaller that the first one,and when it came closer we saw it was a kingfish.“Yes,man!”This was exactly what we’d come for.

Matthew reached over to grab it by the tail ...and just then it came off.

No,man,not again! My rapala lip hung low on the floor.

While I was still sulking,Maryn was on,and this time there was no place for a rapala lip.It was third time lucky,and she did it — her first kingfish caught all by herself! Chris safely released the fish and there were smiles all around.

A few minutes later Claire and Maryn were both on with kingies.We couldn’t believe how well the dropshots were working.

Suddenly the reel hooked up to the livebait took of screaming.I was up,and as I took the rod I could feel it was a big fish.There was going to be no repeat of the earlier loss;this time I was determined not to let it go in under a rock — I would land this fish!

Yes! I did it! Not long afterwards the fish came to the boat.I had caught my first greenspot kingfish,and a good size too,with it measuring 72cm in length.A little later Yolandi also caught her first kingfish on a livebait.That day we safely released nine kingfish,and all the disappointments of earlier in the day were washed away.

There were only two boats at the Jolly that day,and at one stage we glanced across to the two fishermen on the other boat and realised that one of their rods was bending and they hadn’t yet noticed it.

“Hey,you have a fish on the rod!” Claire shouted,spurring them into action.Before long they caught a big queenfish and we cheered them on while they fought it.This camaraderie is what makes fishing special.

We weren’t done yet,though.On our way back to beach the we caught five skipjacks!

It was a busy day out at sea,and we will never forget that day at the Jolly with flat seas and reels that screamed the whole time.Our game plan worked, and we were thrilled.

64 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2023
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