SKI-BOAT November 2022

Page 64

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CONTENTS November/December 2022 Volume 38 Number 6 COVER:WHITE WONDER! A beautiful white marlin caught off Morocco,North Africa. Photo by Stuart Simpson. FEATURES DEPARTMENTS 6Editorial — by Erwin Bursik 42SADSAA News 49Kingfisher Awards 61Bell Reel Kids 69Mercury Junior Anglers 70Ad Index 71Business Classifieds & Directory 72Rapala Lip Last Word from the Ladies DOYOUPREFERANEZINE? FINDUSFORFREEONWWW.ISSUU.COM 7Happy 80th Birthday,Mr Ski-Boat! Celebrating eight decades of the Sea Lord,Erwin Bursik 10Where to Fish Part 6:Sodwana Bay — A sportfishing mecca —by Henk du Plessis 20A Thoroughly Modern Marvel Boat review:Nemesis 2200 by Coastal Marine —by Erwin Bursik 26Beach,Bush and Ballet Vehicle test:Nissan Navara PRO-4X —by Erwin Bursik 34All the Fun of a Rollercoaster The benefits of fishing from small boats — by Justin Paynter 38The Perfect All-Rounder Boat review:Getaway 520 CC — by Erwin Bursik 44100000 Reasons to Catch a Tiger Reportback on the 2022 Tigerfish Bonanza — by Mark Wilson 52What Lies Beneath? FishTec charts reveal Jozini’s secrets — by Erwin Bursik and John Easton 62Taking Gold Proteas teach some lessons at 70th IBT — by Mark Beyl 65Eyecare Essentials Why is it important to wear sunglasses? — by Leon de Vos The official magazine of the South African Deep Sea Angling Association 3 3 8 8 2 2 0 0 1 1 0 0

Publisher: Erwin Bursik

Editor: Sheena Carnie

Advertising Executive: Mark Wilson

Editorial Assistant: Lynette Oakley

Contributors: Mark Beyl, Erwin Bursik, Leon de Vos, Henk du Plessis, John Easton, Justin Paynter and Mark Wilson.

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

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

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Angler Publications cc POBox 20545, Durban North 4016 Telephone: (031) 572-2289 e-mail: angler@mags.co.za

Subscriptions to SKI-BOAT: R220 per annum (six issues). New subscriptions and renewals: SKI-BOAT Subscriptions Department, PO Box 20545, Durban North 4016. Telephone: (031) 572-2280/89/97/98 Fax: (031) 572-7891

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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.

EDITORIAL

VESTEDINTERESTINTHE RESOURCEPROTECTSIT AGE,

it is said, brings both reflection as well as experience, and it is from this privileged perspective that I wish to expand on a number of concerns that have troubled me of late.

In recent months I have spent some time at a very large game farm in Namibia which I have been able to visit frequently over the past 20 years, and also spent a week in the Kruger National Park. The two parks use different styles of game management, but I have been told that both have scientific merit, and both have longevity as their primary goal.

I have also, for the last five decades, watched the conservation efforts of the South African marine scientific community, including its law making body, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment. After all that time I still have more questions than answers regarding this vastly complex field, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

Recently I’ve watched some of the numerous documentaries on YouTube which cover the excessive harvesting of the oceans’ resources to satisfy the world’s food demands. This raping of the oceans under the apparent guise of “sustainable utilisation” according to limits set by the world’s scientific communities, leaves me horrified and questioning the science that allows this and claims that it’s sustainable — while at the same time radically limiting the catches of individual anglers.

My involvement with South Africa’s marine resource conservation, as a result of supposed overfishing by the recreational sportfishing anglers, goes back to the early 1970s. I was a member of the South African Ski-Boat Angling Association (SASBAA) deputation to the then Minister of Environmental Affairs and Fisheries, John Wiley.

SASBAA’s view, and mine, was that recreational offshore anglers were highly unlikely to have a significant effect on fish stocks. While sympathetic to our view, the minister stated that recreational fishing, in addition to line fishing, commercial and inshore trawling needed to be restricted and controlled by legislation. As a result, the bag limits for recreationals were introduced under his watch — and with our agreement. Unfortunately many of his assurances to us did not stand due to the subsequent change in government, but that’s history!

When one looks at the recreational utilisation of South Africa’s terrestrial wild animals, it’s worth noting that good management has ensured that game numbers and variety here in South Africa and Namibia specifically, are far, far higher today than they were in, say, 1970, despite hunting quotas. This is largely, I believe, because management realise that when people have a vested interest in a resource, whether for hunting or gameviewing purposes, they are more likely to want to conserve it.

Of course the big difference in managing wildlife on land and in the ocean is that it’s easier to see exactly what’s happening on the land.

Be that as it may, let’s look specifically at the “74”, a fish species which the scientists tell us was on the brink of extinction. As a result, both recreationals and commercials were banned from catching it. Perhaps they were right at the time, but the situation has changed and I believe it’s time for the restrictions to change.

Now, 32 years after the ban was instituted, the number of 74 taken as bycatch, and released in accordance with the law, have reached “nuisance” proportions. If they have recovered to that extent, Ibelieve the law makers should allow the recreational anglers to harvest one 74 per day in the same way we’re allowed to take one red steenbras which they also say is threatened.

This would satisfy the dreams of recreational anglers to target, hook, land and eat a fish that is arguably the best eating fish an offshore angler can catch. I have to wonder how many of the 74 caught and released actually survive in any case, and that’s a huge waste!

Remember that the number of recreational anglers fishing the offshore area where 74 are traditionally caught is limited, and they are further restricted by the fish’s seasonal migration as well as the number of days they are actually able to go fishing due to other commitments.

Returning to my original comparison, should terrestrial wild animal hunting have been banned completely 50 years ago, I believe there would be only minimal numbers of wild animals on private property in South Africa today. The same is true for fish — when we’re allowed to “hunt” them we have a vested interest in their survival.

Till the next tide.

Erwin Bursik

6 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022

HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY, MRSKI-BOAT

THE

venerable Sea Lord aka Mr SKI-BOAT,Erwin Bursik,recently celebrated his 80th birthday and is still going strong,out on the ocean fishing as often as work responsibilities will allow him.As a result we thought it appropriate to honour this milestone with some memories from a few of his closest friends and longtime fishing buddies who share his love for the ocean.

Erwin’s lifelong passion for recreational angling began as a young boy with him catching small saltwater fish in tidal rock pools on Durban’s Bluff beaches.He soon outgrew that,though, and at the age of 15,he and his brother built a small flat-bottomed boat out of pressed board cladding and pine timber frames for use on the waters of Durban harbour.Oars and the auxiliary sail were its means of propulsion.

Erwin’s ambition to advance from bay fishing and fishing from the Durban beaches to his ultimate dream of owning and skippering his own offshore “ski-boat”was realised in 1962.He acquired a 17ft marine ply craft powered by two Johnson outboard motors — a 712hp and an old 30hp,both tiller arm configuration.He launched this boat from the beach off Durban Ski-Boat Club adjacent to Durban harbour’s North Pier.

Erwin and Alan Cunningham built their next boat — a 17’6”Acecraft — together in the early 1970s and Erwin later progressed to a Rodcraft in the 1980s.He caught his biggest marlin (a beautiful 927lb fish) from that boat.In 2011 he bought his Yamaha-powered F200 Kingcat Mr SKI-BOAT which he still uses today.

After many years of competitive fishing,Erwin attained national colours for fishing in South Africa as well as Kenya. As with most anglers at this level,Erwin has notched up some impressive catches during his long involvement with fishing.Below are but a few of his more

memorable catches which were records at the time of capture.

•64.5kg Pacific sailfish — South African record •156.5kg big eye tuna — All Africa record •222kg broadbill swordfish — SA and All Africa record (at time of capture) •760lb black marlin,Mozambique •±900lb blue marlin (catch & release),Ghana •±200lb tarpon (catch & release), Angola •±100lb African threadfin (catch & release),Angola

While still involved in the corporate world at Tongaat Hulett Sugar,Erwin became involved in administration of deep sea angling at club,provincial and national level,fulfilling the role primarily as National Treasurer of SADSAA.In 2020 after over 50 years dedication to offshore angling administration he finally bowed out of that arena.

During the late 1980s he opted out of the corporate world and joined Dave Rorke in starting SKI-BOAT ,your favourite deep sea fishing and boating magazine.It was clearly a good decision because,38 years later he is still at the helm of this prestigious magazine,showing no signs of slowing down.

Through all the years he has passed on his acquired knowledge and passion for the sport and has extended his own knowledge and pleasure by fishing at numerous sportfishing venues on the African continent and many Indian Ocean island destinations as well as several venues in the USA,Europe and Middle East.

Erwin’s passion for offshore angling craft has also been — mostly — sated by the 400+ boat reviews he has undertaken over the last 40 years.His knowledge and experience in this field is still sought after by many craft manufacturers in South Africa.Erwin’s ability to get the best out of a boat has now resulted in him running a series of advanced

skipper’s training courses to pass on his knowledge.

The SKI-BOAT team wishes you many more happy years at the helm of this magazine and Mr SKI-BOAT,Erwin! And now over to your fishing buddies...

ERWIN and I go back a long time — I

think we met at Inhassaro about 1970 — however our paths have been very closely linked.We both fished rock and surf in the early days before graduating to ski-boats and we both got our skippers tickets around 1958.We both had our first new Acecraft boats built from kits by Lofty Snyder.We both gained Springbok colours and both became selectors.In fishing,I always believed one needed to think like a fish, and Erwin is very similar

My great friend is a very competent angler,as his catches have proved — broadbill,sailies,marlin,tarpon,you name it,he has caught it.He also proved himself to be one of the best ambassadors for fishing this country has produced.We both went to the IGFA headquarters in Fort Lauderdale and met the IGFA presidents,and we also went to the Yamaha factory in Japan.

I could go on and on,but the bottom line is that if I had to pick a dream crew for my ski-boat,Erwin would definitely be my first choice.

IMET Erwin in the early 1980s on corporate business,but our first meeting was mostly spent discussing ski-boat matters! We were fishing fanatics and were both involved in the sport’s administration — Erwin in Natal and myself in Southern Transvaal as it was then.

The next time we met was on Sodwana Bay beach when our Southern Transvaal Interclub overlapped with the Sodwana billfish competition.I was called in to beach,and I could only see one vacant space on a very crowded Sodwana Bay beach,so of course I

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 7
MILESTONE

aimed for the gap.Little did I know that in that gap lay a 900lb-plus black marlin caught that day on Erwin’s boat, Sea Lord.I was very fortunate not to slice the thing in half when I skidded up the beach! I don't think we would have had such a long lasting friendship if I had damaged that marlin.

Over the last 40 years Erwin has been a great friend,a great fishing friend,a great hunting colleague and our families have become very close.

I could reminisce for hours about the different fishing and hunting trips we have been on together,but I must recall one particular chirp.

We were fishing off the mouth of Rio Longa in southern Angola for the giant tarpon that regularly migrated in that area.We’d had the most successful week,with goodness knows how many large tarpon caught and released.On the last day,Erwin hooked an enormous 100kg-plus tarpon.

These stubborn fighters would not give up,and after fighting the fish for what seemed like a lifetime,our mutual friend the late Ted Adams,made this most beautiful remark:“We all know that the pen (Erwin) is mightier than the sword (Ted) but if the pen had spent a bit more time in the gym before this trip we would have caught and released this fish long ago!”

It is hard to believe that Erwin is now 80 and still as passionate about fishing,hunting as well as many other interests.However,I am not far off myself.I hope we are spared a few more years to continue pursuing our sports.

couple of days of watching the weather it was decided that we would go to the movies to see the new blockbuster, Jaws

There was much banter in the car about it being a fake shark and the fact that it wouldn’t look real etc.We settled into the back row,popcorn in hand and very little leg room.Soon the bleating started:“Not what it was like in my day!”

Halfway through the movie I turned to look at the two “beauts”next to me (my father and future father-in-law) — it was all eyes and sweating into their popcorn with no chirps about the fake shark.

The best part of the movie arrived when the main dude swam up to inspect a boat Jaws had mauled.The scene was at night with underwater shots and of course the DooDoo DooDoo music playing.At the critical moment a head appeared out of the hole Jaws had bitten from the bottom of the boat.Well — everyone in the moviehouse screeched,including the beauts sitting next to me.

The movie goers in the row in front of us got their money’s worth when the beauts’knees knocked the bebilksem out of the seats in front of us,which took off like a Mexican wave,left and right.With renewed screaming and whiplash to boot,it took quite a while to settle everyone down again — minus the popcorn! The tannies in front of us weren’t happy.

The drive home was a sombre affair as the beauts had used up all their adrenaline for the week.

HAPPY Birthday, Mr Ski-Boat,Erwin Bursik,you are a legend in our world of ski-boating.

When I see you get on a ski-boat ready to face the challenges that the day ahead will throw at you,wind and dry sea spray salt on your face,you come alive and become one with the craft under your control.I must admit, today you tend to hide behind “clears”, so there’s not much wind and sea spray to deal with anymore — must be an age thing.

After a day out on the ocean,before any boat and tackle cleaning takes place,Erwin’s dry throat has to be lubricated with a Captain.That in itself switches on another light for the captain of Mr Ski-Boat!

Erwin,your ability to review and share the performance and build-criteria of new craft in a way which allows us readers to make informed decisions on what craft suits our needs,is amazing. The fishing stories and facts you share with us are awesome.Well done to you and your team.

Having had the privilege of fishing with you on Mr Ski-Boat has been an education in itself.You have endless stories to tell and I learn something new from you every time we are on the water.

HAVING

fished with Erwin for several years on Sea Lord ,my father, Louis Kuhn,had been transferred up to Johannesburg at the start of 1975,so he and I were luss for fishing.

In December that year we made the trip to Durban to go fishing for a week. The weather was terrible,and after a

We decided to fish the next day despite the weather.Launching in those days was at Vetch’s Pier and involved being pulled by a tractor with the boat winched up under an overhead trailer. This time Erwin remained on the boat for the ride down to the beach and then refused to get off and help launch the craft.Getting in up to his knees was risky,he said,as Jaws might be around!

The one problem I have is that those secret spots you take me to never produce any fish;the fish don’t even know about your secret spots! Yes,you have taught me how to catch and release a number of sea birds,and how to catnap in the most uncomfortable places,so hopefully one day you will teach me how to catch those “big”fish you talk about.

Thanks for being my friend and always being there for me.A big thank you to Anne for taking such good care of Erwin.May we enjoy many more days on the water and maybe you can take me to some not-so-secret spots.

8 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022

Part 6:Sodwana Bay — A Sportfishing Mecca

10 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 TACTICS

SODWANA

Bay is,without doubt, the epicentre of offshore big game fishing in South Africa.

From its semi-secluded position at Jesser Point where the substantial reef juts out in a north-easterly direction,to Mgobezeleni Lagoon further north,this long stretch of beach is the launching pad for an exceptionally fine array of sportfishing craft during the major billfish competitions run from this base.

When 70-plus ski-boats — outriggers erect and bowed for action — are lined up on the water’s edge,awaiting

the signal to commence launching,it’s a sight that burns deep into the soul of any offshore angler.

But this is not where ski-boating began at Sodwana Bay.Way back in the 1960s,intrepid farmers of the north Zululand coast and Pongola area cut their way through the coastal bush to camp and surf fish at Jesser Point.

Surf fishing gradually expanded to boat fishing,and the fertile waters of the area provided huge hauls of bottomfish and limited catches of inshore gamefish that were taken home to use for farm rations.

In later years,once the then Natal Parks Board opened the area and serviced campsites were set up,many more ski-boaters began venturing to this pristine fishery.

During the late 1970s a number of ardent billfish anglers from the Natal Deep Sea Rod and Reel Club,beefed up by billfish experience gained in Cairns,Australia,and/or Bazaruto Island off Moçambique,banded together with about eight ski-boats to test the waters off Sodwana Bay for marlin potential.

This venture was so promising that

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 11
GPS MARKS ABlack Rock 27 08.357S 32 50.035E B27 09.997S 32 49.238E CRocktail — ’cuda 27 11.161S 32 48.978E DRocktail — livebait 27 10.895S 32 48.725E EElusive 27 14.960S 32 47.384E FIsland Rock 27 17.120S 32 46.630E GIsland Rock — livebait 27 17.289S 32 46.806E HPiet 27 17.767S E32 47.314E I’Cuda 27 20.346S 32 45.409E JMabibi — livebait 27 20.356S 32 45.409E KGT Spot 27 23.519S 32 43.951E

in 1978 the Sodwana Gamefish Club was formed,formally putting the billfish of Sodwana on the map.

During this period many of the Transvaal and Eastern Transvaal fishing club members also travelled to that section of coast to try their luck.

During these forays in pursuit of the mighty billfish,three big black marlin stood out and really set a high benchmark.The biggest was a 936lb marlin caught on Piet Joubert’s Bonito ,then another of just over 900lb was caught,

and then one of 927lb on Erwin Bursik’s Sea Lord.

With the advent of trolling lures instead of deadbaits and livebaits, anglers experienced an above average catch of striped marlin deep off Jesser Point.This tactic was introduced by Piet van Dyk,a Kenyan farmer who had relocated to South Africa and who had a great deal of lure trolling experience in the billfish-rich waters off Malindi on the Kenyan coast.

Now almost the norm,two massive

blue marlin — one of 1112lb caught on Francois Erasmus’s craft Big Time and shortly thereafter the current All Africa record blue marlin of 1149lb caught on Lappies Labuschagne’s Black Magic — set the current trend of lure fishing as being the most effective way to target marlin in this area.

Having said all that,there is also a very strong following of light tackle offshore ski-boats that target the wide variety of gamefish species and sailfish this area has to offer.

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 13
King mackerel (’cuda) will always be the premier sportfish targeted off Sodwana, but dorado are also plentiful.

GPS MARKS

Knoppie; 45m depth

33.627S 32 41.627E

— baitfish; 12m depth

33.817S 32 40.565E

— ’cuda; 18m depth

36.863S 32 40.656E

— ’cuda; 40m depth

36.503S 32 39.920E

Marlin Reef 1

39.917S 32 40.295E

Marlin Reef 2

40.440S 32 40.165E

Marlin Reef 3

40.590S 32 40.089E

Marlin Reef 4

40.703S 32 40.000E

Marlin Reef 5

40.799S 32 39.934E

Marlin Reef 6

40.980S 32 39.880E

Sands; 20m depth

43.097S 32 38.297E

LSailfish
27
MMseni
27
NDiepgat
27
ODiepgat
27
PKing
27
QKing
27
RKing
27
SKing
27
TKing
27
UKing
27
VRed
27

King mackerel (aka ’cuda),yellowfin tuna,dorado,wahoo and the various kingfish species give the gamefish anglers something to target virtually all year round.However,with such a vast expanse of ocean available to explore, everyone wants to know exactly where to catch the specific fish they’re after.

I have spent many years fishing for gamefish off Sodwana,and now run a charter operation targeting almost exclusively the light tackle gamefish this area has to offer.I will thus focus mostly on this aspect in detail as Sodwana Bay has a lot more ski-boaters visiting the launch site all through the year than those who just come to target the billfish which frequent this area in summer.

On the map alongside,I have not only marked my most prolific areas from Black Rock in the north to Red Sands in the south,but also indicated available livebait marks and times of the year when I have found light tackle gamefishing is most productive.

Since the implementation of the inshore marine reserve many years ago by the Natal Parks Board,no bottomfishing or jigging has been allowed.The iSimangaliso Marine Protected Area begins south of the beacon at Red Sands (south of Jesser Point) and all angling from the beach and at sea is prohibited in that area.Fishing is also restricted from Black Rock north.

King mackerel (’cuda) will always be the premier sportfish targeted off Sodwana,because not only is it an exciting fish to catch,but it also remains a most appreciated table fish and the fillets hold well in a freezer to take back home after a fishing trip to Sodwana.

It is well known that ’cuda are basically reef specific,and for this reason I am including the positions of a number of my favourite areas where these fish are most frequently found.

Bearing in mind the virtually continuous current that’s experienced off Sodwana Bay,slow trolling is the preferred method of targeting this species.

Having said that,if the current is not strong on a specific outing,then you can drift over the suggested areas,especially if your sounder reflects more fish showing near the bottom than in a higher water column.

Again I must stress the importance

of being area specific and fully focused; one can’t just set a drift and sit back and snooze.

The reefs holding the gamefish are small and don’t run parallel to the shoreline for long distances.Also,being species specific in this article,I don’t fish for ’cuda by just pulling deep diving lures for hours on end and hope for a lucky shot.

From February to June I fish for

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 15
Two happy anglers with a pair of fantastic yellowfin tuna caught off Sodwana.

’cuda at Diepgat,working a straight line between the two marks I’ve shown on the map alongside,slow trolling with bait or maasbankers.

The reef at Island Rock produces shoaling ’cuda from March to May,and the spot called “Piet”is an excellent location for big winter ’cuda on the downrigger.Mabibi also produces big ’cuda during winter months.

King Marlin is a long reef on the 45m to 50m depth mark about 5km south of Diepgat.The reef is not in a straight line,so I have shown its location with six waypoints.From July to September,when we struggle to get gamefish,I exclusively fish up and down this reef with Speed Pro,Rapala or Halco lures,favouring the dark colours like black or purple.

You will get ’cuda,yellowfin tuna, skipjack,wahoo and the odd sailfish here.It is also a very productive reef where you can use a downrigger to reach big ’cuda from February to June.

A new white buoy has been anchored at 18m depth at Red Sands. This is much further north than the boundary line for the MPA on our GPS maps.Be careful not to cross this line as you will be challenged by Sharklife’s Grant Smith who has taken it upon himself to guard this buoy.The buoy is an excellent gamefish spot for ’cuda and dorado from November to March.

Specific baits are important,and whilst we have access to hand-caught halfbeaks which are very successful in the area,I rely on frozen baits such as sardines,mackerel and other exotics that are available.

Livebaiting used to be quite popular,but there is now a restricted dive zone in the shallow waters which is part of the MPA,and which stretches from the launch site to just past Nine Mile.This restricted dive zone took away about 70% of our livebait spots to the north of Sodwana.However,I have shown a number of areas on the map alongside where livebait (especially maasbanker) can be caught on Yozuris.

The three other species that are specifically targeted are dorado,wahoo and tuna.Each of these is a little more difficult to specifically target and,to a large extent,they are caught using either Rapala-type lures or small, straight-swimming plastic lures or chuggers with a halfbeak or fish fillet tucked in behind it.

Tuna can be caught specifically on the southern wall of Diepgat at around 80m depth from mid-January to May.We use 50lb rigs from January to April, though as sharks are a big problem.

While the small yellowfin tuna are definitely more abundant in specific areas,they are best targeted when they show themselves working bait shoals. This often happens on an upwelling on the edge of some of the deep canyons

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 17

we are so fortunate to have close to Jesser Point.Prime examples of this are the ledge of Diepgat in the south and the base area of the canyons off White Sands.

Wahoo and dorado are ocean wanderers and one has to cover distance in search of these fish.In saying that,the ocean off our area is magnificent,clear and warm,carrying many of the tropical baitfish species such as friggies, bonito and “sprats”,so one’s chances of finding or attracting a wahoo or dorado into one’s spread of various lures being pulled at 3- to 5 knots is good.

Piet is an excellent spot to target wahoo early in the morning,and “Elusive”,north of Island Rock,is a good spot for kingfish,’cuda and wahoo,although sharks can be a problem in summer.

In Rocktail Bay the water temperature always seems to be one or two degrees warmer than in Sodwana Bay itself,and I have won numerous gamefish competitions over the years by fishing in this area.

Black Rock is very far to travel to, but it’s always rewarding from February to May.

When targeting the gamefish mentioned,it’s paramount that you get an early start to your day on the ocean. Most,if not all,of these species feed well up until 10am,after which,as the sun rises well above the eastern hori-

zon,fishing becomes a lot more difficult and then working very specific reefs and/or working shoals are the only ways you’ll get acceptable results.

The clear water off Sodwana Bay makes it difficult to catch Natal snoek (queen mackerel),but if we get them,it will be right behind the backline in 5m water and usually in a light southerly wind,very far from the boat.August and

September are the best months to target Natal snoek.

Sailfishing off Sodwana Bay is not to be underestimated.Although a number of sails are taken by the marlin boys as an incidental catch,they are an essential and very exciting fish for our light tackle brigade to target.What’s more, they are found year-round in varying degrees of profusion.

I have personally released more than 100 sailfish at Piet over the last eight years;it’s my go-to in sailfish tournaments.During the winter months my first stop and working area for sailfish is known as Sailfish Knoppie and it is also marked on the map.

Our best time for marlin is from the beginning of November up to March.In April and May we get the big blue marlin,but during the winter months we only get small black marlin (40- to 80kg) in the shallow water (40- to 100m depth).During November and December there are a lot of striped marlin around Sodwana (300- to 500m depth).

In conclusion,we at Sodwana welcome all ski-boaters to our area,and if we can help you enjoy the area’s gamefishing to the maximum,we will certainly do so.Anglers are more than welcome to join our local ski-boat club,and this is where they will get most of their information regarding what is on the bite and where.

18 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022
Henk du Plessis with one of the many sailfish he’s caught and released.

Nemesis 2200 by Coastal Marine Tested by Erwin Bursik

20 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 BOATTEST

ON

first sight at Cape Town’s Oceana Power Boat Club within Table Bay, the Nemesis 2200 really impressed me. Having only seen a number of photographs prior to the day of the review, I was taken aback when I saw her face to face, looking stunning.

Her beautiful looks only increased my desire to take her to sea and experience for myself what this innovative craft would feel like when being put through her paces.

With her heavy shoulders and fine entry, as well as almost racy aft line, I was intrigued to see what the Nemesis 2200 would provide for me in the way of performance, fitted as she was with twin 115hp Mercury 4-stroke outboards with command thrust.

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 21
Alex Bromley at the helm of his Nemesis
2200.

My initial impression after a very short time behind her wheel was very favourable,and I was keen to find out more about her design and what effectively made her designer pursue his drive and ambition to build his own boat.

Alex Bromley grew up in Cape Town surrounded by all things nautical.His father,Mike,was heavily involved in ocean yacht racing and long distance races and deliveries,so it wasn’t surprising that Alex started “boating”in all its formats from an early age.

After a stint of working for a premier boat builder in Cape Town,he got the opportunity to crew on a sportfisher targeting marlin up the east coast of South Africa all the way to Bazaruto in the north.It was this experience that taught the yachty the intricacies of big game sport fishing.

Determined to build his own offshore fishing craft,Alex researched boat building and design which included studying through Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology in the USA. Using CAD systems and his acquired theoretical knowledge, he generated the hull shape for Nemesis.

Now I had control of the first Nemesis 2200 Offshore Sport Fishing Catamaran that Alex built.The build itself was done by Coastal Marine SA which is situated in Stanford,just inland of Gaansbaai.The company is highly experienced in GRP laminating and production.Coastal Marine will be producing all future Nemesis 2200 craft while Alex will continue with designing and marketing all the models of the boat.

With all that information at hand,and an acute interest in the determination of the youth of today,I looked at the Nemesis 2200 in a totally new light.

This boat is an all round big 22 foot,centre console craft.I am convinced she will confidently take on the rigours of the heavy seas off Cape Town but can still be easily towed to destinations such as Moçambique by the medium-sized fourwheel-drive vehicles on the market these days.

When it came to re-trailering the Nemesis 2200 behind Alex’s Isuzu bakkie after the test,Dylan Thomson stepped in. He is a highly experienced skipper in Cape Town and assisted Alex with the installation of the Garmin equipment on the Nemesis.

With Alex sitting in the bakkie,Dillon ran the boat up into its loaded position.“It’s all to do with the steep angle of this

slipway,”he said,noting that he didn’t need to trim up the motors which allows for greater control of the forward thrust to position the craft on the trailer without getting the vehicle’s back wheels anywhere near the saltwater.The slipway builders on the KZN coast could learn a huge amount from the Capetonians.

Now let’s get down to what you really want to know — what I thought of the Nemesis 2200 after the many hours of intensive scrutiny and trials I undertook in the waters of Table Bay.

Back in the club’s small protected basin I crossed from Dillon’s photo boat to the Nemesis and finally took control. During the photoshoot I watched the Nemesis’s performance intently,and I was keen to see if she would feel as impressive as she looked.

I was not disappointed.In fact,I established a lot more about her capabilities as well as how she reacted to trim and throttle variations during the torturous manoeuvres I put her through.

As at that point,I had not seen the configuration of her wetted area hull design because she was on mooring when I arrived.I thus had to work out how the heaviness of her shoulders assisted her lateral stability during her forward movement.

Her shoulders above the water line do stabilise her ride, but her fine entry and wetted area design ensures a very easy climb out the hole and onto an effortless plane.In essence, the short degree of thrust needed seems to free her hull very quickly and get her onto the plane without the normal big climb out the hole and resultant bow lift so often experienced when doing this manoeuvre.

Once on the plane at just under 3000rpm and 14 knots, her speed increased dramatically to 22 knots at 3800rpm.I soon established that she loves a fair degree of bow-up trim which not only maximises her speed,but also cushions her ride significantly.It’s interesting to note that at 4000rpm she runs at 25 knots not the 22/23 knots achieved in the bowdown trim position.

During speed trials undertaken with the young buck at the wheel,she touched 40 knots.I didn’t notice the rpm,but her speed over water (SOW) was very stable.

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 23
A close examination of the craft’s hull “working” the water shows how the hull entry spreads the water. The wave splitter is clearly visible.

motors.To reaffirm my findings I redid these trials running reciprocal paths to prove the readings.They were spot on.

Alex’s description of the aft hull configuration is a deep “V”with over 20 degrees of deadrise angle designed to provide a soft ride through choppy water.I also noticed a small V in the tunnel entrance which Alex calls a “wave splitter”.This acts as an external stiffener in the tunnel and also breaks the surface pressure of water when coming down a choppy sea into the next swell or chop.

These innovative additions and their assumed effects work on the computer model,but I had to experience the positive effect myself on the ocean.

Initially the water was very flat,as all the early morning photographs clearly show,but the north-westerly wind gradually increased in strength,and by mid-afternoon it produced a fair chop on the water.

The conditions gave me a reasonable indication of how the Nemesis 2200 would handle increased chop and wind conditions.Overall I felt that she became a lot more lively heading directly into the wind and at 20 knots seemed to enjoy the lift of the wind in the tunnel and under the impressive,very aerodynamically designed T-top.

I also needed to prove to myself that the softness of the Nemesis’s ride which shows up very quickly in the Cape waters would not hinder this craft’s ability to make extremely tight turns and electric out-the-hole progression.After all, that’s what skippers on the KwaZulu-Natal and Moçambique coast require when surf launching.

I spent an incredible amount of time simulating this style of manoeuvring to satisfy myself that,put in this position at say Sodwana Bay,the Nemesis would be able to handle extremely tight turns in white water and then pull out of it without digging in her aft sponson,and climb out the hole and onto the plane in a few seconds.

I also wanted to check that she would be able to tackle waves that were about to break and jump white water at an obtuse angle,and would accomplish that at fair speed without any sign of sponson drag or bite that would throw one’s crew around the deck.The Nemesis came through all these trials extremely well,presumably showing that the computer and I can agree on her abilities on the water!

Getting back to her SOW feel in the varying conditions I

when she’s on the plane,and thereafter only minimal lateral trim is required to counter motor torque or wave action when quartering a sea.

During the photoshoot I studied the way the Nemesis throws her wake and then tried my best in the prevailing conditions to get her to throw water or spray under the conditions I had at my disposal.I found her to be dry and,as shown in some of the photographs,spray is spread very low and far aft.

As this craft has the size and makings to be used for big game fishing,I also studied her wake configuration,from slow troll right up to 8 knots kona speed,and was impressed with how tight her wake was.Only at 9 knots did the wake start to spread out and create surface foam.

While discussing her overall finishes which were essentially very good,I noticed that her internal hardware was basic and very acceptable,but there was no fancy hardware.Alex confirmed that this was because the boat I tested was the prototype that had to be proven on the water before they spent more money on fancy finishes.

In saying that,I found that the centre console design and seating under a very well designed aerodynamic T-top provided excellent comfort for the skipper,in addition to practical behind-the-wheel access to all instrumentation.

The top deck moulding includes decent sized fish,tackle and fuel hatches below deck level (two big hatches each hold 5 x 25 litre tanks) ensuring low level weight displacement, and keeping the overall deck surface flat and unobstructed for all round “Cape-style”fishing.

The aft transom is fully moulded within the top deck and is not only well positioned in terms of gunnel height,but also provides for easy working of a big fish around her stern.The batteries are stowed in the forward face of this module and provision has been made to fit a central livebait well if required.

I scrutinised the entire external hull finishing as well as the above mentioned deck moulding and was very impressed with both the solid feel and finishing off of the basic craft.

I was unable to view the factory where the craft was made,but can tell by the experienced moulding and finishes of the GRP work that the manufacturers know what they are doing.

Alex’s efforts are to be applauded,not only because of the craft he has designed and had built,but also because of his thirst for more knowledge — both theoretical and practical — which will enable him to move forward and further enhance the Nemesis 2200 in the future.

In conclusion,and taking into account my old-fashioned scepticism regarding computer designing,I was hugely impressed with the Nemesis 2200.I spent a lot of time and effort trying to find fault with her,and really made the boat prove herself to me.She came out tops,and I must congratulate Alex,his father Mike and all at Coastal Marine.You can be very proud of your achievement.

Putting the Nissan Navara PRO-4X to the test

MOVINGfrom

the churned up beach sand where 217 boats were being launched and retrieved off Durban beach during the 2022 Durban Ski-Boat Club Festival,to the fine red sands of Namibia’s famed Red Desert of the Kalahari,it was my privilege to take the 2022 Nissan Navara PRO-4X double cab on a 4500km adventure.It was a journey of pleasure,excitement,comfort and great ease,where man and machine came together to form a very strong affiliation.

But let’s go back to the beginning...

Rob Downs and his staff from CMH NISSAN Pinetown, Durban and Hillcrest were kept very busy at the Durban SkiBoat Club Festival,using their fleet of Nissan 4x4 vehicles to help with the launching and retrieval of over 200 boats on their trailers over the wide beach of soft,severely churned up sand.I kept a close eye on proceedings,and watched with interest as the six vehicles — with tyres deflated to 1.1 bar, and using mainly the 4x4 high range setting — were able to achieve extremely tight manoeuvres.It was,to put it mildly, astonishing,and I was hugely impressed.

Rob was ecstatic with the way his vehicles performed in this arena,and after the event I told him that I was heading off into the Kalahari in a few weeks’time.I wondered aloud how the Nissan 4x4 double cab would perform in the very fine red sands and formidable dunes of that region.

Rob,not one to shy away from a challenge,said:“Take my Nissan Navara PRO-4X and test it for yourself.”

26 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 4x4 REVIEW
SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 27
The Daltons (Storm, Ryan & Ryan Jnr) sporting their catches landed at the 2022 Durban Ski-boat Club Festival in April.

I was happy to oblige.A few weeks later — towing a horribly non-aerodynamic box trailer loaded with hunting and camping gear — my companion,Dick Pratt,and I set off for our annual excursion into the depths of the Kalahari in southeast Namibia.

Many years ago I attended an advanced 4x4 driving course at Gerotech in Gauteng,and after a proverbial lifetime of 4x4 driving,especially on beach sand,I thought I knew it all.That course showed me clearly how limited my knowledge actually was,and highlighted the difference between beach and desert sand in two large “sand pits”.It was interesting to be shown the microscopic make-up of the smooth,round,fine,

marble-shaped grains of wind-tumbled desert sand,as opposed to the angular shape of beach sand.This granular difference makes desert sand-driving far more of a challenge than beach sand-driving.

Rob and Nissan were excited to see how the Navara PRO4X would fare in those conditions.

I do not pretend to be a motoring expert and,to be honest,know very little of the workings of any vehicle on four wheels.However,I have many,many years’experience driving 4x4 vehicles and assess them based on their feel and performance on the open road,in the bush and,of course,especially on the beach towing boats.

When I first set eyes on the warrior-grey Nissan Navara PRO-4X I was taking to Namibia,I was blown away.This brought to mind the words of a motoring industry doyen during an industry unveiling of a specific vehicle many,many years ago:“Beach,bush and ballet — that’s what I call it,”he said.His reasoning was that the vehicle could work on the beach,take on the various outbacks and then,after a dust off, he could take his wife to the ballet in the same vehicle.

My wife,Annie,took one look at the Nissan Navara PRO-4X and said,“Now that’s the sort of 4x4 I could easily fall in love with!”

After collecting the Navara from Rob,I hitched her to my trailer,tested the lights,and packed her for the 4am start to our 2 000km journey the following morning.

Both Rob and Jonathan Bisset,CMH’s Sales Manager, explained in great detail all the workings and innovations of this vehicle’s gauges,engine and suspension,but there was too much to take in.The relevance only resurfaced once we were on the road,and had to refer often to the handbook.

There was a huge amount to assimilate as the two musketeers set off the following morning.With a degree of trepidation amind the blaze of dozens of lights,dials and gauges — none of which I had fathomed out after the keyless push button start — we headed up the N3 enroute to Upington and then Namibia.

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 29

I have to admit I found the first couple of hours behind the wheel daunting,but gradually became more settled due to the comfort of the driver’s position and the ease with which I became accustomed to the vehicle’s handling,power and towing ability.We dodged countless large trucks until we turned off at Harrismith,getting away from the heavy vehicles as daylight dawned.

My first real surprise with the Navara PRO-4X was when filling up with diesel at Bethlehem.“It’s full,”said the pump attendant,not long after starting pumping.“Check again,”I countered.He was right,and the gauge,my calculations and the dashboard litre-use indicated that we had used less than 10 litres per 100km — amazing!

Our fuel consumption remained 10 litres per 100km for the entire 2 000km journey to Namibia at relatively high speeds.On the return journey,with a fully loaded trailer with weighty contents,this consumption increased to 13.1 litres per 100km both on the vehicle’s digital gauge as well as my physical calculations.Considering that we experienced head winds all the way home,it was way less than I had expected.

Before we get to the technical aspects,I want to highlight my findings regarding both the ride over corrugated sand roads and,of even greater importance,her ability to tow a loaded trailer which has wheels that track a lot wider than those of the Nissan.

was concerned that the 2.5 litre,single-turbocharged,fourcylinder,turbo-diesel engine would be a little light on power, especially if we had to overtake on an uphill while towing.

I had many such instances,especially on the way home when we were towing a heavy load,yet only on one occasion did I really want the extra power.To be fair,that was at high altitude and in a strong head wind.Maybe I should have used the manual sequential-shift function to access a lower gear than the automatic gearbox was providing.Power output is rated at 140Kw and 450Nm coupled with a 7-speed automatic transmission.

The gross vehicle mass towing capacity of this vehicle is 3500kg which allows most ski-boats up to 21ft to be towed within the legal limits laid down by the authorities here in SA.

The coil springs used in the Nissan Navara have a gradient of varying tensions built in,and this incremental tension (progressive rate) comes into play when needed,thus ensuring no bottoming out on rubber bump stops.In practice I found this suspension innovation to be of immense value.It certainly limited the jolting of passengers when unexpected potholes or corrugations were experienced.

The PRO-4X has amazing LED headlights,an aspect that we found crucial when travelling at night on the Namibian roads where animal crossings are highly likely.The beams that cover deep into lateral road reserve are brilliant and practical.

Even with standard road tyres, she could not be bogged down.

After dropping the tyre pressure on both vehicle and trailer to 1.2 bar,we tackled dune after dune,trying our best to get her bogged down.Only once did we need to go into 4x4 low range mode as Dick inched her out of very deep soft sand while I was busy taking photographs.He didn’t use excessive throttle,and it was interesting watching as the four wheels slowly turned and gradually pulled the vehicle and the heavily embedded trailer wheels out of the predicament we’d put her in.Without the trailer I was never able to get her to bog down and never found the need to resort to low range 4x4.

It must also be noted that the Nissan Navara I used was fitted with standard road tyres,not off road tyres or tyres with a much wider and larger “footprint”when deflated for beach work.

On the 4km long rutted gravel road we traversed on a daily basis,I found that the variable tensioned,progressive coil springs really came into effect and provided an extremely soft ride.I often watched in the rear view mirrors and saw how my trailer,which only has leaf springs and no shock absorbers,was hopping,skipping and jumping on the road during these trials while we glided along in comfort.

On the technical side,just remember what I said at the beginning regarding my knowledge of this aspect.Initially I

Finally,getting back to the “ballet”aspect in terms of both appearance and internal comfort,the Nissan Navara more than delivers.The vehicle is stunning inside and outside.Once in the vehicle,whether as the driver or passenger,back and front seats are all exceptionally comfortable and cater for individual control of one’s personal environment and well being.

As I say in all the boat reviews I undertake,the views I share here are but a taster and an encouragement for you,the reader,to extend your research by organising a test ride.Go and drive a Nissan Navara PRO-4X and experience for yourself just what an amazing vehicle she is,whether you want to tackle the beach,bush or ballet.

30 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022
Nissan’s signature five-link, rear coil suspension.
SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 31

The benefits of fishing from small boats

MEET “THEDUCK”

BIGGER

isn’t always better.With our current petrol price sitting at R26,70 a litre,many of us need to think twice before we put our beloved boat on the water for a day’s fishing.

Based on a quick calculation,three tanks of fuel for the boat,fuel in the vehicle to get the boat to the launchsite,a boat wash,boat lunch and cool drinks,bait etc,will set you back approximately R3000.This excludes tackle,club membership,lunch at the club and some cold ones at the wash bay afterwards.

The question is,is this sport becoming unaffordable? The answer is no!

All you need is R100 for fuel,six cool drinks or waters,and eight mackerel/red eyes or — if you’re lucky — a walla or two,to get you a decent day out on the water.And no,I’m not talking about buying a kayak and spending R100 on a pre-workout or energy bars to fuel your arms.

I am talking about fishing on what I perceive to be the ultimate fishing platform that brings more enjoyment and more time on the water than big boats can offer.

Let me break it down for you.

My 4m Crusader semi-rigid rubber duck has a unique story.After salvaging it off a rubbish dump,my father-in-law and I spent hours restoring her to probably the most pimped out inflatable on the market today.

For years I have dealt with the guys from Boat World — Carl and Donovan — and they are the masters when it comes to inflatables.They currently supply most our lifeguard vessels along the South African coastline.

having already owned a few semirigids,I knew what I was looking for in this vessel.I wanted a craft that was light enough for two guys to handle on the beach,quick in the surf and that had a set place for everything we needed to go fishing.

Armed with my list,Carl and Donovan,surpassed all my expectations.

“The Duck”is fitted with 10mm high density foam on the floor and then Flotex carpet on top.This is to reduce any impact a crew member might endure during an outing on the ocean.I have also placed foot straps on the floor for the crew member to use during launching and beaching,to help them feel safer.

We fitted a nose cone so that every-

thing can be stowed away will not bounce around when we’re in the surf zone and take off a toe nail or three. The nose cone is able to hold all the safety equipment,two 25 litre tanks,a fish bag,spare tackle and some food.

Next the nose cone’s upright was fitted with four rocket launcher rod holders,two cup holders and a mount for my GPS/fishfinder combo.I have also mounted two rod holders onto the transom for trolling.We are able have three sticks in the water at any given time and have a throwing rod ready just in case we come across something.

Attached to the deck is a clip strap with an Evakool cooler box to store drinks and ice inside.

I was quite specific when I got the pontoons done — I wanted the biggest ones the boat would allow for so they would be more comfortable to sit on.I also wanted an extra layer of canvas to protect the pontoons from the zips on our board shorts and the odd hook that might go astray while loading a wild ’cuda onto the boat.

Each side of the boat has been fitted with two life jacket bags — one used for storage and the other for the jackets.I have also placed a bag on either side to store phones and tackle.

I haven’t gone for a console because

34 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022
BOATINGBASICS

it takes up a lot of space,it adds a lot of weight,and more can go wrong if do turn over in the surf.On a duck like this the weight distribution is critical for a comfy ride,and I think adding a console,especially on a small boat like this, will affect the ride.

I have fitted “The Duck”with a 30hp Suzuki,but ultimately a 40hp would be ideal.I say this because there have been a few occasions that I needed a little bit more power to outrun what was behind me when beaching.

Mike Barnes from Mallards and I have played around with the prop size and this seems to have helped but,as they say,you can never have too much power.

So that’s the rig — a blow up boat with an engine… what’s the big deal? The game changer is this: Convenience.

•It’s easy to tow.

•It’s easy to launch (launchable from any launch site and also very forgiving in the surf).

•It’s light on fuel.

•You don’t need many friends — one is enough (we all know how unreliable crew can be).

•You are able to travel to different launch sites when you hear the fish are around and launch

there.On a big boat,it’s not always that easy,especially if you require a tractor to put your boat in.

•It allows you to fish differently to how you would on a big boat (see details below of what this boat has taught me).

•It takes just 30 minutes to wash and pack away.

•Most importantly,it hardly impacts family time.Your wife will let you

fish more than you think because you will launch,fish and beach before she has even decided which breakfast spot you will be taking her to.

This boat has taught me a lot about fishing,including:

•The art of dead bait fishing.

•It has taught me not to take too much stuff with me.It’s actually crazy how carried away we get with tackle if you have space for it on the boat.

• It’s taught me to perfect the art of gaffing.There has only been one occasion on which we had to pull out the duct tape to patch a hole.We actually carried on our afternoon’s fishing trip after we’d done the patch.

Guys,don’t knock it till you have tried it.Many people have been sceptical until they have actually been out on “The Duck”;afterwards they have either fallen in love with her or have gone out and bought one for themselves.

Even a face full of water can’t dissuade Justin Paynter from choosing to go fishing from a duck.

Don’t take my word for it, give me a ring or drop me a DM on instagram jt_paynter and let me put you through an Umdloti

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 35

shorebreak.Hopefully we’ll have ’cuda by 7.30am and be back home by 9am, getting ready for breakfast with your better half.That R200 fishing trip sounds a lot more appetising now,doesn’t it?

MOREFUN ANDFISHINGTIME

The other benefit of fishing from a small boat like this is the added excitement.

Who doesn’t love a racing heartbeat and having your tongue stuck to the top of your mouth while you decide to push into a 3ft shorebreak? A surf launch is exhilarating;it’s like the Incredible Hulk rollercoaster at Universal Orlando Resort — always unexpected and keeping you hoping you make it out alive.

So why do we do it? High risk equals high reward.

Some areas are blessed with a sheltered launch like Durban Ski-Boat Club and Richards Bay,but others aren’t,and getting to the fishing grounds means making it behind back line unscathed.

Generally,if you are launching from a sheltered site you have to travel great distances to reach the good fishing areas,so the questions is,do I save a grand or two and put my equipment through the surf or do I pay the fuel bill and not even get my feet wet?

For me,the answer is simple — travel to where the fish are!

In this case,that means a surf launch wherever you are going.

Preparation for a surf launch is important,especially when you are doing it on one engine and you don’t have a back up to save you.If it dies in the surf,well ...then it becomes interesting.

One of my good mates,Ryan Dalton, will be able to tell you all about that.We did a mid-afternoon launch off Umdloti in April.The’cuda were wild,but the surf was cracking and the backline was a solid 5ft.Having a two-stroke engine, we pre-warmed it,and the hull of the duck had been sprayed with Mr Min which helps to get the boat into the water a lot easier.

We were ready to go when Ryan turned to me and said,“Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Right,let’s go,”I replied.

We hit the water in magnificent style,not even getting wet.After two quick turns in the shorebreak,we were heading for the backline,the words “Go! Go! Go!”ringing in the air when Ryan saw what was standing up in front of us.

The next second,the engine died and all we had time to do was brace ourselves as we took a green monster on the nose.The boat was swamped, and it was the first time I thought,“Is this the day you’re going over,Paynter?”

I pulled that pull start like a hyperactive child who has just demolished a slab of chocolate.The engine fired up and I managed to get us on the plane. We were soon back in action — nose

pointing out again,headed for the honey hole,when lo and behold,the engine died again.This time we took two over the boat,and as the third one was standing up,Ryan turned to me and said “I’m out!”

The next thing I knew,Ryan was looking like Chad le Clos streaking through the water heading for the beach,while I was stuck on a swamped boat being pushed sideways towards the shore.I jumped back on the engine, pumping the bulb and pulling the cord, and eventually I managed to get it going!

I drained the water with some shift turns and beached the duck.After some colourful words were exchange on the beach between Ryan and I,we pushed back out and the rest is history — we beached later that afternoon with four ’cuda in the bag.

As I said,a lot goes into a pre-launch preparations and getting the boat ready, and you must be prepared for the unexpected.Fortunately I also had peace of mind as I knew I had comprehensive insurance cover with Club Marine and if the worst had to happen,they would take care of my craft.

Make sure you are careful and don’t take unnecessary risks,but come on, live a little.Take a ride on the wild side by trying fishing on a small boat — it’s where our sport started,and you might just develop a love for a new aspect of fishing ...and save a lot of money on your fuel bill.

36 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022
Left: The Duck in all her glory ready to hit the water with a splash. Right: Justin Collins safely out to sea with a good fish IDB.

THEPERFECT ALLROUNDER

The Getaway 520 Centre Console

38 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 BOATTEST

NOSTALGIA,excitement

and some trepidation all raced around my mind as the three of us aboard the Getaway 520 slid off her trailer into Durban Harbour. With a moderate south-easterly already blowing at about 12 knots and heavily overcast skies,I was expecting a trying and possibly wet morning on the ocean.

Surprise,surprise… that wasn’t the case.

After a few minutes on the water, just beyond the no-wake zone when we could get the single 100hp Yamaha into real action,this 17ft monohull came to life.Right from that moment I knew that I was going to enjoy my time on the ocean with the Getaway 520.

Vince Potgieter of Fibre Craft Manufacturing who makes this boat was equally as impressed as I was;this was also his first experience on this newly completed craft.

Until now,this craft with the basic hull design has largely been used on inland waters and for water skiing.Bill Harrison,Natal Caravans and Marine’s manager,informed me that it has now been reconfigured for inshore coastal fishing.Being a single-motor powered craft,it also becomes a lot more affordable than some similar boats.In addition,many boaters find great appeal in a craft that’s equally at home on inland waters it is on the ocean because it makes a great family boat.

The Getaway 520 was towed from Pinetown to Durban Harbour on a single-axle galvanised trailer behind Bill’s Ford Everest.I hardly knew she was behind us;not surprising really considering how streamlined this monohull is.

My task remained to experience her performance in a full range of offshore conditions in order to establish her credentials for safety as well as fishability.

With the offshore conditions fairly rough,as often happens off Durban,the 15 knot-plus south-easterly that was blowing only left the area off Vetch’s with some protection.These conditions were great for reviewing this sized craft.

Running the Getaway 520 out of Durban Harbour gave me a fair amount of time to establish this craft’s performance and establish how to trim her using both motor trim as well as crew positioning to ensure a stable and comfortable ride.Bear in mind that on a craft this size,the prop torque has an impact on lateral trim,and that can only be adjusted by crew positioning.

When we got out into open waters I felt very comfortable with the craft’s ride and was confident that I could safely put her through a full range of extreme manoeuvres to establish how she was likely to perform both out at sea and in the surf.

Running at fair speed following a

The centre console is not only well positioned, but is also a comfortable helm station for the skipper.

swell,and then putting her into a 360 degree turn,then getting back onto the plane is a demanding task that puts a lot of pressure on skipper,craft and motor.With the Getaway 520 and the

100hp Yamaha this test was achieved efficiently in both port and starboard manoeuvres,and without any cavitation.Unsurprisingly,her out the hole recovery was fast with no shortage of

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 39
The deep ‘V’ and straking of the craft shows very clearly how the water is displaced from the hull.

thrust and power from the Yamaha 100hp outboard.

In the open water deep off the South Pier,I expected and found some very choppy water with crests almost at white horse stage.This allowed me to try her at both troll speed as well as into and with the sea.Not only did she handle this with ease,but — very surprisingly — we also did not get any windblown spray on us.

I tried my best to get wet during the run back into the lee of the South Pier,

which,with a south-easterly blowing is normally a wet ride home,but could not do it.We not only stayed dry,but also experienced no yawing as one would expect on a monohull running with the sea on the craft’s starboard aft beam.

Of course this mono was more laterally unstable than a cat hull of equal size would have been,but at no stage did I feel unsettled by her performance.

I did,however,feel that she needed a tad more weight up front,especially

in a head sea,but considering that she wasn’t carrying all the extras we load onto our crafts when we go fishing,I am convinced that she will be great once fully loaded.

Vince Potgieter told me that the Getaway 520 is manufactured without any wood or ply,thus following the trend in modern small craft manufacturing of only using composite materials. As a result,this craft is not only lighter in overall weight than similar craft built with different materials,but is also not prone to deterioration in the long term.

I subjected her to a thorough string of tests and,having had a close look at the quality of manufacturing in both the lamination and finishes,I can confidently state that this craft is well put together and finished off.

I had to test this boat very close to our print deadline and space was severly constrained,so I have simply focused on the craft’s performance at sea.I encourage readers to visit Bill at Natal Caravans and Marine to fully inspect the deck layout and accessories not visible in the accompanying photographs.

In conclusion,this craft is a “head turner”on the road,on the beach and, very importantly,on inland waters where style and appearances are so vital.However,she’s also solid,fast and dry out at sea,so she’s the perfect allrounder.

40 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022
Vince Potgieter shows the comfortable bench seat for the skipper.

PRESIDENT’SREPORT

HOWtime flies when you’re having fun,and what a year this has been.It’s hard to believe that we are staring at the last two months of 2022.SADSAA’s calendar has been full this year with nationals,interprovincials and club tournaments,and some of the results have been incredible.We have seen world records and many personal bests or PBs as they are more commonly referred to. Truly an excellent year of angling has been had,with two more nationals,and a few bonanza competitions to finish the year off in style.

In November we have a full month of billfish angling in Sodwana,starting with the OET,then the Billfish 15000,and ending off with the cream of South Africa’s billfish anglers competing at the Heavy and Light Tackle Billfish Nationals.Tight lines to all who will be participating in these three amazing tournaments.

dren will be able to enjoy the same things we have experienced.Sadly,there are some that don’t!

Numerous reports have come through of anglers seriously overfishing the red steenbras (copper) stocks along the Eastern Cape Wild Coast.Despite these reports being passed on to the authorities concerned,there seems to be a lack of will or maybe resources to stop this practice.

We ask all our anglers to be mindful of the dangers of overfishing this precious resource.Not only do we stand to lose a species that is on the must-catch list of almost all anglers,but we also stand to lose the right to even target this species should levels drop to such an extent that the authorities step in and making sweeping decisions that mostly affect those that are innocent of this nefarious behaviour.

Over the past few months we have seen several interprovincial Tournaments taking place with many new faces being added to the SADSAA family.We welcome all,and hope that these events have been just the start of each newly capped angler’s journey towards their personal goals.

On the international front,we have had two Protea teams fly our flag high.The first was the team that fished in the International Billfish Tournament in San Juan,Puerto Rico at the Club Nautica de San Juan.A tough tournament by all accounts,with very few fish being released,but our team did us proud,with outstanding sportsmanship and new friends being made along the way.

The team that travelled to Italy to fish in the FIPS-M Big Game World Championships had a great start,lying third on day one,but a very disappointing final couple of days with some questionable weather calls saw them slip out of the medals.Nonetheless,still a great achievement and again many new friends were made for South African angling.

On a more sombre note,once again,we are receiving reports of anglers who are not playing by the rules.We always encourage our members to live by the motto of “limit your catch,don’t catch your limit”,and most of us adhere to this so that we and our children and grandchil-

Please continue to report all and any suspicious behavior to your local clubs and provincial structures.All we can hope for is that at some point,the perpetrators are stopped. Just remember,all it takes for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing!

As we approach the end of the year,it is once again time for us to survey our craft for the annual Certificate of Fitness (COF).The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has been very active this year ensuring that all our safety officers are equipped with as many tools as possible to carry out these yearly inspections,with your safety and that of your family in mind.

Please go easy on your “surveyor”when they ask for updated buoyancy certificates,ICASA VHF Shipstation licenses and operators tickets.These are all required to make boating as safe as possible for all our water users and they are not trying to mess you around and be difficult. Safety at sea,or in fact on any waterway,is so very important,and nothing can ruin a good time quicker than someone getting hurt.

With the festive season on our doorstep,we at SADSAA wish everyone a truly memorable end of year.Please travel carefully to your vacation venues,enjoy the time with your family and friends,and come home safely.Seasons greetings to all and tight lines.See you on the water.

42 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022
Keep up to date with all the SADSAA news by visiting our website www.sadsaa.co.za or our facebook page @sadeepseaanglingassociation
44 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 COMPETITION

Kobus Meyer shows off his 4.96kg beauty.

Chantal van der Walt was thrilled with her 4.58kg tiger.

2022 Tigerfish Bonanza

FORvarious reasons I have not been able to attend and fish the Jozini Tigerfish Bonanza for some years now, and to say that I was excited to be part of this year’s event would the understatement of all understatements. Sodwana Angling Club hosts this event each year, and they have never failed to make it a success despite the enormous logistics involved. As a result, anglers return year after year and it’s one of the most popular fishing events on our calendar.

Our team this year consisted of Erwin Bursik (skipper), Eric James and yours truly. We fished off Mr SKI-BOAT, a ZCraft F200, and CMH Nissan Pinetown kindly loaned us a Nissan Navara 4x4 to tow and launch her with.

This year’s Bonanza took place on 23 and 24 September, giving anglers two days to catch the heaviest tigerfish, get it to one of the appointed weigh stations on the dam and win the R100000 cash prize on offer.

Last year a very successful app was used to capture proof of the anglers’ catches and make the leaderboard standings immediately available, ensuring the fish were returned to the water as quickly as possible. However, because of loadshedding this option was not viable this year and set weigh stations were re-employed.

The committee had set up a Whatsapp group to keep the skippers informed of the top ten places as fish were weighed in. This meant that once you were aware of the weight tenth heaviest fish weighed, you could avoid having to run to a weigh station if you judged that your fish weighed less than that. This also meant the fish could be safely returned to the dam sooner rather than later.

Any fish that was unable to be revived had 500g deducted from its total weight as an incentive to get boats to the weigh stations as quickly as possible, and further ensure a high release survival rate.

This year the massive responsibility of organising the event fell squarely on the shoulders of the Sodwana Angling Club chairman, Simeon van Heerden, and his more-thancapable committee. Putting aside the sheer logistics of managing such a massive campsite for anglers and their families, making food and libations readily available, and not forgetting the critical big screen to show the Springboks playing Argentina in the final game of the Rugby Championship, a committee’s success is measured on two things.

Number one — the entries they manage to garnish; this year 185 boats entered which translates to around 600 anglers. Number two — the sponsorship in the form of prize

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 45

incentives they are able to secure.At the 2022 event all the top ten anglers received a generous hand out of prizes culminating in the R100000 cash prize for the heaviest tigerfish.I can quite confidently say the committee ticked both boxes.

Now to the fishing...Over the years this particular dam has provided numerous challenges to anglers,the greatest being low dam levels.However,this year at the time of the Bonanza she stood at 78% of capacity.This not only vastly improved the water clarity,but also allowed anglers access to favoured fishing spots not available at the last few Bonanzas. This also made for much improved launching and retrieval of the armada of fishing vessels off the slipway.

With the rivers flowing healthily into the dam,this also meant prime spawning conditions for the tigerfish,which tend to put their heads down ignoring everything except for

their spawning nests.The general consensus was that,even though the water conditions were almost optimal,catching these wily predators was going to prove challenging.

A skipper’s briefing took place in the massive central tent on 22 September where all were warmly welcomed and all the rules clearly explained to a very attentive audience chomping at the bit to get onto the water the next day.

Early on the Friday morning the campsite was a hive of activity with the anglers preparing to tow their boats to the launch site.Lines in for the day would commence at 6am after a flare was set off to start proceedings,with lines up at 4pm.

It’s always an amazing sight to see the fleet of boats racing off in every direction to get to their favourite spots first,and this year was no exception.It’s even more exhilarating to be part of the fleet,with anticipation running high for what the

46 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022
All the sponsors at the 2022 Tigerfish Bonanza. Team Ski-Boat prepares to launch in their quest to hunt down a big tiger.

day held.

As predicted,fishing proved to be exceptionally challenging,but by the end of the day we were all able to see the list of the top ten fish which had been weighed and verified.The tenth placed fish on the first day would be the next day’s minimum benchmark, and it sat at 1.73kg.

More excitingly,the leading fish weighing in at an impressive 4.58kg had been caught by Chantal van der Walt,a junior angler.I am guessing her skipper and fellow crew members didn’t have an easy night’s sleep knowing that they were a day away from possibly winning the R100000!

It would take something special to beat Chantal’s fish,and we all set out on the Saturday morning to achieve just that.We had an hour less to do it in,though,with lines up at 3pm.

Throughout the day there were updates on fish being weighed in,causing numerous positions to change in the top ten placings,but with the top spot unaffected ...until it was.Kobus Meyer,who won the 2021 Tigerfish Bonanza,weighed in a tigerfish of 4.96kg,narrowly beating Chantal’s fish by a mere 380g.That beauty bagged him the R100000 cash prize and bragging rights for the second year in a row.

Obviously it’s disappointing not winning the Bonanza,but watching the Springboks beat the Argentine rugby team helped lift sprits before the prizegiving that evening.

If you haven’t experienced the Tigerfish Bonanza yet,do yourself a favour and sign up for next year’s event to experience the incredible atmosphere created when hundreds of likeminded individuals chase after the elusive tigerfish.Just attending this well run event lets you leave feeling like a winner.See you there in 2023!

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 47
A delighted Kobus Meyer accepts first prize for the second year in a row. Pipped to the post, Chantal van der Walt still walked away with great prizes.

Kingfisher Award

Form

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.

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:

Applicant’s

Meritorious

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

RULES:

There

no restriction on the number of

be applied for.

must submit a photograph of the relevant fish with the application form and a photograph of the angler with the 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.

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.

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.

SPECIES: SUGGESTED

WEIGHT:

Barracuda 15kg

Dorado 12kg

Kingfish (Ignobilis) 20kg

Garrick (Leervis) 12kg

King Mackerel (’Cuda) 15kg

Black Marlin 100kg

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

RELEASED BILLFISH AND GT (Ignobilis) KINGFISH

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

will not be carrying photographs on the Kingfisher Awards page of any billfish or GTs aside from those that are released.

we
Digital emailed photographs should be high-resolution. Meritorious Fish Outstanding Catch Outstanding catch Category applied for (tick appropriate box): Species: ................................................ Weight: .................................................. Line class: ............................................. Date of Capture: .................................... Where Caught: ...................................... Skipper’s Name: ....................................
Fish Species: ................................................ Weight: .................................................. Date of Capture: .................................... Where Caught: ...................................... Skipper's Name: .................................... Tick the appropriate box and supply us with the following information. Please remember to print clearly. 3:15:1 7:1 10:1
Details: Name: ................................................... Address: ............................................... Code: .................................................... Tel No: ................................................... E-mail: Club (if member): .................................. I, the undersigned, agree to abide by the rules of this award. Signature: .............................................. Email applications to: angler@mags.co.za
is
awards which can
Award applicants
1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9)
Application
I hereby apply for the Kingfisher Award in the category: 48 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022

YAMAHA’S

award-winning V6 4.2-litre outboards have been offshore favourites for more than a decade.Initially,boaters were attracted to their power,efficiency and intelligent design.After years of proven performance,their V6 4.2-litres have become known for something perhaps even more valuable offshore — reliability.In fact,with legendary 97% reliability,they’re one of the most trusted V6’s offshore.

Now these trusty outboards are turning heads again,with a fresh new look and new,integrated digital electric steering,making them even more responsive.The V6 Offshore outboards have proven once again that even a trusted favourite can take an exciting turn.

Their customers agree.

“I have been in the South African boating industry for

over 33 years and am a Protea deep sea angler.While fishing many tournaments I have evolved with many outboard brands over the years.My new 300 Yamaha outboards are just exquisite to say the least,fitted as they are on my 32 Magnum from Two Oceans Marine.When l am in the deep, the reliability speaks for itself.A huge thank you to Yamaha South Africa,”said Nisaad Ibrahim of Gordon’s Bay,Cape Town.

Melvin Victor,General Manager for Yamaha Marine South Africa is exceptionally proud of the new offering.“Our new F300 outboards are the perfect balance of innovation,power and reliability.The new DES feature has enhanced handling and simplified rigging in the marine industry,”he said.

Become part of the Yamaha family and share your stories.

50 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022
ADVERTORIAL

FishTec charts reveal Jozini’s secrets

IT’Snothing

short of amazing! Soon after I popped the FishTec HD fishfinding chart into the slot in the Lowrance HD510 on Mr. SKI-BOAT, up popped the full, detailed chart.

It showed incredible images not only of the contour lines of Jozini Dam in northern KwaZulu-Natal, but superimposed on it was also the “snail trail” of my personal wanderings on this large lake during the last two Tigerfish Bonanza Tournaments I have attended.

Guess what? The way points and trails I had marked on the previously blank screen were superimposed exactly where they should be on the new FishTec chart. Mind blowing!

John Easton, an independent cartography expert and CEO of FishTec HD Fishing Charts, has done the detailed mapping of most of the inland waters of South Africa, and while I had noticed some of his work on social media, I had not paid detailed attention as I didn’t think further than believing it was not directed at offshore ski-boating.

To be honest, I didn’t even give a thought to its possible application on Jozini Dam.

When John sat in my office with his Elite 9 Lowrance and started to throw up images on my big computer screen of his very first FishTec chart of Jozini, I was spellbound.

There, right before my eyes, were the full views of the entire lake and the Pongola River as it runs past the bridge on Kim Landman’s Pongola Reserve. It also showed the full details of the old (pre-dam wall) course of this river along

with the pre-existing railway lines which ran through the area prior to the damming of the Pongola River.

As he zoomed in on various areas, John highlighted many of the “special spots” I have acquired during the last almost two decades of fishing the Tigerfish Bonanza. I was amazed at just how incredibly accurate the map was. When fully zoomed in on certain areas, the tilapia breeding rings could even be clearly seen, as well as what seem to be pre-existing reed beds that still exist. Apparently they have produced some great tigerfishing for John who is renowned for his light tackle fishing on inland waters.

This article was written prior to the 2022 Tigerfish Bonanza which is featured elsewhere in this issue of SKIBOAT, and I’m trusting that the info that is now loaded on my sounder will enable me to improve my score at this exciting event.

At this stage I would be naïve to think I could properly explain the more technical aspects of John’s chart of Jozini and how he does it with the AIMy — the autonomously guided craft he has personally designed and built.

My mind is already jumping into the future and wondering whether there is an application for this advanced cartography in the inshore area — say up to 50m — of South Africa’s shoreline.

Can you just imagine, for example, what Sodwana Bay would look like on one’s sounder screen when you view the few images shown alongside of what Jozini looks like using this technology?

Before Iget carried away, I’ll let John expplain more about Jozini and the finer details of this technology...

52 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 TECHNOLOGY

STATISTICS

Jozini is the fifth largest dam in South Africa, with an area of well over 30000 acres when full. In August 2022, when the survey was carried out, it was sitting just on 30000 acres at 82% of its capacity which is around 6ft or 2m below full capacity. The deepest part of the dam is obviously the gorge at 190ft or 60m.

The dam demands some very healthy respect from a danger aspect, as the main body of the dam, which is around 30km in length from north to south, offers very little shelter. The river section is a popular fishing area and makes up approximately 2600 acres or 8% of the dam, while the gorge is an area of around 1600 acres or 5% of the dam.

BATHYMETRY SURVEY

The primary objective of the FishTec bathymetry survey was to create a contour chart of the dam using a very narrow beam transducer for accurate depth measurement. This survey is the first time since the dam was built, that accurate sediment, depth and volume data has been captured for the entire dam, which will still be relevant for many years to come.

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 53

For example,according to the records,the total capacity is just shy of 2.5 billion cubic metres,and at the current 82%, that should equate to 2.005 billion cubic metres.However,the capacity is now 1.963 billion cubic metres which means that, due to silting,nearly 50 million cubic metres of capacity has been lost over the years.

SURVEY EQUIPMENT

A unique aspect of this survey is that the majority of the dam was surveyed using a hydrone which has been in development by FishTec since 2016.Instead of having a human erratically driving a craft designed to plane on the water,which creates all sorts of sonar issues,this craft acts more like an extension of the transducer by riding in,instead of on,the water.This concept offers high-quality sonar data at good speeds even in windy or choppy conditions.

The unique craft is creatively named AIMy which stands for ‘My Artificial Intelligence Mapping’.She is a 4.3m delta design powered by a 5hp four-stroke outboard motor capable of semi-submersible operation should the conditions get wild enough.

As far as we are aware,this is a first of its kind for this specific feature. AIMy is capable of running completely autonomously while being tracked by 4G on a cellphone from anywhere in the world for as long as the batteries and fuel can last,which is around 12 hours.

THE CHART

The chart itself is encrypted for copy protection to a micro SD card in a full SD card adaptor and comes in a jewel case for protection.

The card includes the following charts:

82% — 2m

Jozini 82% — 2m Chart

This is the primary chart for the entire dam and includes 10ft interval major contours with coloured isobaths which can be turned on and off individually under Chart Options and Categories.There are labels for some key locations around the dam as well as the South Africa–Eswatini border.At the main launch site there is a “Sponsors”area where users can click on

a specific name and an image of that business’s advert will pop up if you tap on it.

The chart also includes a free satellite background of when the dam was down and around 30-40ft.Coupled with the precision contour lines overlay,this makes it very easy to determine what depth those points of interest are in when you are sitting at home studying the chart on your Lowrance chart plotter.As Benjamin Franklin said,“By failing to plan,you are preparing to fail.”

Sediment Chart (DWAF)

A major feature of the Jozini chart is that it includes a calibrated Department of Water Affairs & Forestry (DWAF) Sediment chart that shows exactly what was in the valley prior to the dam wall being built.

The biggest problem with these old charts is that one had no idea where the shoreline was and at what depth the points of interest were in.Now that FishTec has placed precision contours as an overlay,this is no longer a problem.In addition,colour isobaths can be turned on and off depending on the depth range you are targeting,making it all very easy to understand.

Sidescan Mosaic Chart

The river section was also surveyed using a smaller hydrone, which not only captured depth data but sidescan sonar as well,which is labelled as “Mosaic”on the chart.This shows very detailed imagery of rocks,timber,weeds,spawn beds, ledges,old buildings,sunken boats etc.which comes in very handy when putting a game plan together.

Tilapia spawn beds in Jozini Dam show up clearly on the FishTec sidescan mosaic chart.

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 55
•Jozini
•Sediment •Mosaic •NorthHC •SouthHC •MidHC •RiverHC
Lady AIMy in action on Jozini Dam.

High Contrast (HC) Charts

High contrast charts like the one above offer 3ft major contour intervals and 1ft minor contour intervals to give very precise structure detail of the bottom while the high contrast isobaths make it easy to maintain a targeted depth range.

The dam has been split into four sections in order to offer the best contrast for the specific depth range of that area — North,Mid,South and River.Each of these also includes a low level satellite background and area labels.

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

Wikipedia says,“Situational awareness or situation awareness (SA) is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space,the comprehension of their meaning,and the projection of their future status.”

When you’re on a body of water such as Jozini,situational awareness and safety have to be on your mind before you even launch your boat.Many anglers prefer to use a charter service on Jozini,depending on the local knowledge/situational awareness of the skipper,not only with regard to the best fishing spots but for safety as well.

Charts go a long way to contributing to your situational awareness if you take the time to study them before going on your fishing trip or tournament.Over the past 10 years, watching anglers that use FishTec HD Fishing Charts,it is clear as day how their situational awareness and fishing success has improved in comparison to those who do not use the charts.

FAQ

Q: What format is the chart in?

A:The chart is encrypted onto an SD card for Lowrance units only.

Q: Which Lowrance units are compatible?

A1:For contour only,any Lowrance chart plotter from LMS to the latest entry-level Hook (not ‘X’models).

A2:For full imagery (sediment,satellite,sidescan mosaic) any Lowrance unit from HDS Gen2 and EliteTi up and to the latest EliteFS and HDS Live units.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The top image shows tigerfish on the sounder and above is John with a very respectable Jozini tiger.

Q: Can I view the chart on my PC or laptop?

A:No,but all Lowrance units from HDS Gen3 and EliteTi have WiFi,so using the Lowrance Link App,you can use your phone,tablet or even full HD TV to view and plan your fishing trips and tournaments.

Q: Can I save waypoints while using the Link App?

A:Yes,anything you can do on your unit you can do via the App,except for controlling an autopilot for obvious safety reasons.

Q: Can I use Genesis Live while my FishTec chart is in the unit?

A:No.Any form of writing to the card can damage the encryption and corrupt the data.

Q: How do I backup my waypoints if I’m using a FishTec Chart?

A:Remove the FishTec chart and insert a blank formatted SD card,then export your waypoints to that.

Q: How do I order a FishTec Chart?

A:Contact Lowrance SA on 031 368-6649,phone Colleen on 0824460914 or email <sales@fishtec.co.za>.

56 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022

HOOKEDFORLIFE

THEfirst time I saw a fish was when my dad brought home live bait for his fishing trip the next day.I asked my dad when I could go fishing with him, and he said,“When you get older.”

About three years later he said he was taking me to the harbour for the first time and we could fish using lures.He said we had to leave super early in the morning to catch fish. That was when I caught my first fish, a walla walla.From then I was hooked… I thought that

fish was so big,but as time went by,I caught bigger and bigger fish.I would nag my Dad to take me fishing every chance we could.

We used to fish at Blue Lagoon, the Durban Harbour,Virginia,La Mercy,Salt Rock,Shaka’s Rock, Amanzimtoti and Ushaka.We also went to Margate a few times.

We fished for hours at a time while waiting for the fish to bite.On many occasions,we would come home with nothing,but it was always a fun experience trying out different baits,lures and fishing methods.

We also visited Hazelmere Dam and the Drakensberg Sun Hotel dam.

Over the years,I have caught varying sizes of wave garrick,salmon, stingrays,grunter,bass,rockcod,mullet,blacktail,pinkies,glassies,flatheads and a spinner shark.I also entered a lot of fishing competitions.

On 9 August 2022,we left my mum at home for Women’s Day to relax,and I embarked on my first deep sea fishing trip with my dad and some of his work friends.

We left home before sunrise and the day started off quite nippy,but warmed up as the sun got higher in the sky.The water was a greenish hue,and it was quite murky.Visibility was not too good and the sea was very choppy and rough,but I really enjoyed the ride.

We first had to catch bait to lure the bigger fish.Initially,we only caught small fish,but at around 10am I felt that epic bite!

I fought and I fought,for what seemed like an eternity.Eventually the fish surfaced,and I caught the first glimpse of how massive it really was.

The captain and my dad helped to heave the fish out of the water and onto the boat.My dad commented “This is a fish of a lifetime!”It was a daga salmon and was estimated to be about 18kg to 20kg,and over a metre in length.

I really enjoy fishing and the plan is to catch even bigger fish in the future.

Dad,when can we go deep sea fishing again?

(11)
Photo courtesy Lynski Charters

SA teaches some lessons at 70th IBT

DESPITE

SA’s close ties to Cuba,a South African team was first invited to participate in the Ernest Hemingway International Billfish Tournament (IBT) in 2020,mostly as a result of SADSAA’s tournament officer,Nick Nel’s,tireless efforts to source new international tournaments for our Protea anglers.

However,due to the travel restrictions caused by the Covid pandemic, the tournament was postponed twice and finally took place in the last week of May this year in Havana,Cuba. Fortunately for us,SADSAA thought it prudent to keep the team the same.

I was privileged to be part of the four-man Protea team selected in 2020 to compete in the 70th IBT to be held

at Hemingway Marina in Havana.The rest of the team consisted of Mike Riley — captain (Griquas),Sam Botha (Mpumalanga) and Piet Nel (Natal).

The tournament is believed to be the second oldest billfish tournament in the world.Hemingway Marina started off as the Barlovento Marina,which was built in 1953 as part of Havana’s urban development plan after numerous seafaring stories had been published in the Cuban press.Cuba was home to many yachts and recreational fishing vessels at the time.Following the revolution in 1959,the marina was nationalised and renamed Hemingway Marina.

The tournament was initially started in 1950,and Ernest Hemingway (of Old Man and the Sea fame) won it himself the first three years.In 1960 it was won by Fidel Castro.There are many photos

of the two,that are displayed at Hemingway Marina,with Hemingway handing the trophy to Castro.

Since no South Africans have fished this tournament before,the team had to rely on internet searches to find out about the fishing methods and fishing gear used there,and what was usually most successful.

In this tournament teams arrange their own boats and crew,and Piet Nel did extensive research on this aspect before we decided to charter a local boat, Barbanera,rather than one from the USA.Interestingly, Barbanera belongs to the Cuban government and there were two other Cuban government boats entered in the tournament.

Due to the many horror stories of other Protea teams that have fished abroad with charter boat tackle,we

62 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022
COMPETITIONS

decided to take our own marlin tackle. In this regard,Sam Botha,a.k.a.“Mr. Tackle Perfect”,left nothing to chance and played an invaluable role.

The result,after combining the necessary — and some unnecessary — tackle and gear,including 3km of spare fishing line and 300m of leader line, ended up weighing almost 100kg!

The first big challenge was that all Team SA’s fishing rods were lost in transit,only arriving four days after we did!

Another major challenge was the language,but as South Africans are known for not being easily intimidated, we got by with a combination of broken communication,sign language and various tones of voice.

Twelve teams from 11 countries participated,including two Cuban teams.Because the US and Mexico share the same fishing waters,we expected the toughest competition to come from them and,of course,Cuba.

Our team arrived a week before the tournament and booked two training days on Barbanera ,primarily to explore the Cuban fishing waters and fishing methods.We also hired a “consultant”known as “awhiry”meaning “old man”which is an expert local marlin fisherman with years of experience.

The fishing methods there are similar to what we use on the KwaZuluNatal north coast where I’m from. Because of the predominantly calm seas,anglers swim small Kona-type lures close to the boat.A typical spread is to swim two rigged ballyhoos on the long lines,and two small Islander-type lures on the short.

Interestingly,the Cubans also use garfish as bait,and rig it by cutting it in half — the bottom half is used as a flapper bait,and the other half with a small cup-faced lure.It took the team almost three days to convince the skeptical crew to only fish one rigged ballyhoo and three bigger sized lures,and swim it much further from the boat,to raise a billfish.

The tournament is a full release team competition and continuous video footage must be submitted to the referees daily for assessment.Although blueand white marlin are the main target species,sailfish and shortbill spearfish also count.Our team decided to target blue marlin,as it was the species that counted for the most points.

Overall the billfish were scarce,partly because the tournament was held a month earlier than usual to coincide with Hemingway Marina’s 30th birthday celebrations.The Havana marlin seasons officially starts at the end of June.

Something else we noticed while fishing Cuba is that long lines were unfortunately in abundance near the coast and I’m sure this also drastically reduced the billfish strikes during the tournament.

What was striking is that the Cuban

seas do not typically have very high swells;even a one-metre swell is high for them,whereas the South Africans are used to high swells and turbulent waters.Another thing we were unused to was how close the deep fishing grounds are.Just 300m past the last buoy from the marina,the water depth plummets to 950m.

On the first day Team SA was “mombakkies”,but we weren’t alone;only the teams from Bulgaria and Spain released billfish.

On day two the sea was turbulent in Cuban terms,which suited the Proteas perfectly.We had no issue adjusting our choice of lures to better known lures. Thanks to our use of heavier lures, Sam’s first blue marlin was raised, caught and successfully released,much to the team’s delight and the Cuban crew’s surprise.Team SA was the only team that could successfully release a billfish on day two and that catapulted us to second place.

From then on,the crew did not interfere with the team’s lure choices and,apart from the rigged ballyhoo, Team SA could do as we pleased.

Our team knew that with the fish being so scarce,if we could catch just one more billfish it would be difficult for the other teams to catch up.

On day three we researched where the temperature breaks were and managed to persuade the skipper to fish deeper waters.This resulted in me catching and releasing a blue marlin which put us in first place.Not long after that,a third fish was raised and hooked with Piet Nel on the rod.Sadly, this fish came off;we suspected the hook went around the bill.

Interestingly,on all three strikes the

blue marlin went for the ballyhoo first, but hooked up on the lures.

Day four was a mombakkies for all, but it was also a shorter fishing day to allow for preparations for the closing function and prizegiving.

As a matter of interest,the crew informed us that a marlin can be sold for about 20000 Cuban Pesos,which is about five times the average minimum monthly salary.

The Cubans suffer terribly economically,so each family has a second income such as baking bread or selling cigars to supplement their mediocre incomes.Consequently,if a marlin is caught outside of a competition,it is simply sold to supplement their income.This also no doubt contributes to the minimal numbers of billfish caught during the tournament.

From our side it was great to show the Americans and Mexicans a trick or two when it came to fishing in their backyard — on our first attempt too. The Protea team walked away with a gold medal,with double the number of points of the runners-up,Bulgaria. France came third.

While we were in Cuba we also had time to admire the many old cars still driving around,and attempted smoking some famous Cuban cigars.We also developed a taste for the Cuban rum which was always stocked on the boat!

Although the Cubans’willingness to help was striking,their food was less tasty than we are used to.The majority of the available meat is pork and a little little chicken.One thing we South Africans do share with the Cubans, though,is that it doesn’t take much to start a party — they just do it with rum!

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 63
Mark Beyl, a deckhand, the skipper, Piet Nel, Sam Botha, another deckhand and Mike Riley ready for another great day’s fishing.
64 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022

Why is it important to wear sunglasses?

ULTRAVIOLET

(UV) radiation is a familiar concept to many, and the damage it can cause to your skin is also well known.Much less well known,however,is the damage that UV radiation can do to your eyes.

Excessive UV radiation in the short term can give your eyes a kind of “sunburn”of the eye,called photokeratitis, as well as inflamed pingueculae and pterygia.Excessive long-term UV radiation can significantly increase your chances of developing some serious problems with your eyes such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

Expert studies suggest that highquality sunglasses can significantly reduce the number of UV rays entering your eyes,thereby reducing your risk of serious damage to your eyes and the surrounding skin area.

WHAT ARE UV LIGHT RAYS ?

While many people refer to ultraviolet radiation as “UV light”,technically this term is incorrect because ultraviolet radiation is invisible.There are three categories of UV radiation,namelyUVC, UVB amd UVA.

UVC are the highest energy UV rays and would be the most harmful to our

eyes and skin,but fortunately,the atmosphere’s ozone layer blocks virtually all UVC rays.This also means that depletion of the ozone layer could potentially allow high-energy UVC rays to reach the Earth’s surface and cause serious UV-related health problems.

UVB rays have lower energy than UVC rays;they are filtered partially by the ozone layer,but some still reach the Earth’s surface.In low doses,UVB radiation stimulates the production of melanin (a skin pigment),causing the skin to darken,creating a suntan.In higher doses,UVB rays cause sunburn that increases the risk of skin cancer. Overexposure to the sun’s UVB radiation also is associated with a number of eye problems like those mentioned above — photokeratitis,pinguecula and pterygium.

UVA rays are closer to visible light rays and have lower energy than UVB and UVC rays,but UVA rays can pass through the cornea and reach the lens and retina inside the eye.Overexposure to UVA radiation has been linked to the development of certain types of cataracts,and research suggests UVA rays may play a role in development of macular degeneration.

BENEFITSOF POLARISED LENSES

Sunlight scatters in all directions,and

when it strikes flat surfaces,the light that is reflected by the surfaces tends to become polarised.

This means that the reflected light beams travel in a more uniform (usually horizontal) direction.This creates an annoying and sometimes dangerous intensity of light that causes glare and reduces visibility.

Polarised lenses have a special filter that blocks this type of intense reflected light,reducing glare and discomfort, and generally providing better eye protection.These lenses are usually darker than non-polarised lenses.

Though polarised sunglass lenses improve comfort and visibility,you may encounter some instances when these lenses aren’t ideal because they reduce the visibility of images produced by liquid crystal displays (LCDs) found on some digital screens such as cash machines (ATMs) and some mobile phone screens.Despite these exceptions,polarised sunglasses offer great advantages when it comes to decreasing eye strain and discomfort in bright sunlight.

As polarised lenses reduce reflections from water,they significantly improve your ability to see objects below the surface of a dam,river or the ocean — a great benefit when you’re fishing.

SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 65
FEATURE

IMPORTANT FEATURES WHEN CHOOSING BOATING SUNGLASSES

When you’re frequently out on the ocean or on the beach,it’s advisable to choose sunglasses made of non-corrosive,durable and sturdy material.

Saltwater is corrosive and excessive heat on the water can soften sunglasses made from acetate,as it is less heat tolerant than regular plastic.One should also refrain from buying metal frames that will easily corrode in water.Rather go for sunglasses made of a material such as nylon as it is comfortable,sturdy and non-corrosive.

GET MAXIMUM EYE COVERAGE

Water reflects light and the glare from it could cause pain in the eyes.Many sunglasses have all the best features except when it comes to proper coverage.Boaters and anglers should thus choose sunglasses that give side coverage or that fully cover the eyes.Good coverage will prevent the light from reaching your eyes from the frame’s corners and offers greater protection.

COMFORT

When you’re looking for the perfect pair of sunglasses,comfort is also important because we should really be wearing sunglasses most of the time, and you won’t do that if they’re uncomfortable.Most manufacturing compa-

nies use good quality rubber on the nose and on the arms of the frames to make the glasses more comfortable and to prevent them from falling off.Some more expensive ones also have a channel to prevent sweat from accumulating near the eyes and nose.

LENS MATERIAL

Sunglasses’lenses are either made from glass or polycarbonate plastic.Both these materials have their advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before making your choice.

Lenses made of mineral glass offer better clarity in vision,however they are heavy,can break easily and are costlier than their plastic counterparts. Polycarbonate plastic lenses provide great protection from ultraviolet rays and are more durable,lightweight and less expensive.However,they do not provide excellent vision clarity,nor are they scratch-resistant like glass lenses are.

Weighing up their pros and cons, plastic ones seem to be the better deal, and most boaters opt for these.

MYTHS BLASTED

There are a number of misconceptions regarding sunglasses,so let’s deal with these.

Myth No 1: All sunglasses block UV rays.

Please be aware that not all sunglasses block 100% of UV rays.If you’re unsure about the level of UV protection your sunglasses offer,take them to your eye doctor or optician for an evaluation.

Myth No 2: There’s no need to wear sunglasses in the shade.

Although shade reduces your UV exposure to some degree,your eyes will still be exposed to UV rays reflected from buildings,roadways and other surfaces, so you also need to wear them in the shade too.

Myth No 3: You don’t need sunglasses in winter.

Sunglasses are still important in winter, especially if you’re in areas where it snows.Fresh snow can reflect 80% of UV rays,nearly doubling your overall exposure to solar UV radiation,so you should always wear sunglasses when skiing or even just playing in the snow. UV rays also penetrate through clouds, so “sunnies”are also necessary on cloudy days.

You only have one pair of eyes that need to last your whole life,so buying a good pair of sunglasses is a small price to pay for their protection.

66 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022
SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 67

WINNER

Advanced Skippers Training. . . . . . 18

Adventure Tropicale. . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Ballistic Sunglasses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Club Marine Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Coastal Marine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Dorado Derby. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Durban Boat Storage. . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Durban Marine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Garmin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Leon de Vos Optometrist. . . . . . . . . 66

Lowrance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Lowrance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Mabibi Beach Camp. . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Mako Sunglasses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

MDM — Raymarine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Mercury — Rutherford Marine. . . . 22

Mercury — Rutherford Marine. . . . 68

Mr Winch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Corfield with his Shimano

Above: Blake Phillips from Bell presents

and reel prize courtesy of Bell.

Natal Caravans & Marine. . . . . . . . IBC

by

South Coast

Right: Seth poses alongside the 26.5kg king mackerel he caught in July 2021.

SETHCorfield

is the lucky Bell Reel Kids winner for 2022! He wins a beautiful Shimano rod and reel courtesy of Bell Equipment.

Each issue SKI-BOAT magazine runs a Reel Kids feature sponsored by Bell Equipment,where junior deep sea anglers get to write a story about a great day’s fishing they’ve had.Once a year we have a lucky draw from among the kids who have entered the Reel Kids feature,and this year Seth Corfield’s name was pulled out the hat and he won a Shimano rod and reel courtesy of Bell.

In the November 2021 issue of SKIBOAT Seth told us how he earned the name of the “cuda whisperer”after going fishing with his brother and his uncle,on his uncle’s boat, Bull Shark.

“My brother Chase was next on the rod,but he wanted my knife.I really wanted to catch a fish,so I gave him my knife so I could be next.About an hour after the first one we saw a huge smash on top of the water,not realising that our bait was being eaten.The reel screamed off and we were ON!

“The fish was wild and ran around everywhere.We thought it was a shark or a tuna as it was very heavy and my arms got so tired,but everyone encouraged me not to give up.After about 20 minutes we saw the fish for the first time and it was HUGE! My heart started racing and the fish kept us busy around the boat.After an amazing 25-minute

fight Oom gaffed the fish and got it on the boat.

“Everyone was cheering and hugging each other out of excitement;we could not believe how big this fish was. When we got back the ’cuda weighed 26.5kg which is my biggest fish ever!”

Once again,well done,Seth.

If you are 16 or under and wouldlike the chance to have your story featured in SKI-BOAT,look at page 61 of this issue for all the details.You can win some great goodies from Bell and stand the chance of winning a Shimano rod and reel.

Natal Caravans & Marine. . . . . . . . IFC

Oom C-Breeze Charters. . . . . . . . . . 13

Pelagic Gear - Formalito. . . . . . . . . . 43

Property for sale, Sodwana. . . . . . . 17

Riverside Cottages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Safari Outdoor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Seaport Supply. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Seevarkie Guesthouse and Charters15

Solly’s Angler’s Corner. . . . . . . . . . . 31

Stubbsea Charters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Supercat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

The Kingfisher. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Toad Tree Cabins, Sodwana . . . . . . 17

Two Oceans Marine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Two Oceans Marine. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Vanguard Insurance. . . . . . . . . . .

Wild Trust. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Yamaha. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

70 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022
64
OBC
57
50 ADINDEX DEADLINEFORTHE JANUARY2023 ISSUEOF IS9 NOVEMBER. BOOKYOURSPACENOW 073 748 6107 MARK@MAGS.CO.ZA 2022 BELLREELKIDSWINNER
Seth
rod
Photo
Vanisha Moodley,
Herald
BUSINESSCLASSIFIEDS & DIRECTORY SKI-BOAT November/December 2022 • 71

ALLIWANTFOR CHRISTMAS IS ...

ASmy friends know,I love my fishing,but it hasn’t all been plain sailing.To give him his due,I have to thank my wonderful husband for his support and patience (by the truckload) and for introducing me to this wonderful sport. He could have saved all the fun for himself,but chose to share it with me — his best beloved.No doubt there have been occasions when he’s wished he hadn’t taught me to fish,but he’s gracious enough not to tell me about them.

Let me tell you about the first time I went to sea with him ...

We had just arrived down at our club house and already I was sweating with anticipation.I knew he was a competent skipper,but I didn’t know how my darling,a perfect gentleman at home,would deal with a jibbering idiot — me — once he was locked into fishing mode.

We didn't have any boat pushers on hand,so we mustered up the tractor driver and headed down to the surf with our boat.Carefully we slipped the boat off the trailer and the tractor pulled her around to face the surf. Thankfully we had a fairly steep bank to slide the boat down into the water,otherwise I would certainly have had a coronary pushing the boat into the surf.

So there we stood,staring out,waiting for a good break with sufficient water to come our way.We waited and waited,and all of a sudden I hear him scream “Phakhathi!”Now I’m thinking uh oh — Push! So I do it,but the boat, she ain’t moving!

Then I heard language I’d never heard before,and I started to think that maybe I should just go home and be the good little housewife I’m supposed to be.Then I thought again — not a chance!

Hubby yelled at the tractor driver to push harder,and at me to put my back into it,and slowly we edged the boat forward to the water’s edge.Then we

waited again for just the right moment, and after ten minutes of silence,he yelled again:“Phakhathi!”One last push and we were in.There was only one problem,though — I was up to my waist in water and dangling behind the step like a Rapala.

“What are you doing,woman?”he yelled.“Get into the boat and let’s get going.”So I scrambled over the transom and into the boat,and we waited again for a chance to set off into the deep blue.He put his hand on my shoulder and said,“That wasn’t so bad now,was it?”Personally I was thinking,“Yeah, right,I think I would rather opt for childbirth next time.”

Initially I thought Husband Dear had plans for a romantic day out at sea,but by this stage it had occurred to me that the reason he hadn’t brought along a friend was so that he could do me in without any witnesses.

Eventually the right break came along.He told me to hold on and we were off at quite a speed.And it was glorious! I decided that if he was planning to throw me overboard,at least I would have had this fantastic experience before I died.The feeling of the wind in my hair and the excitement of the impending day’s fishing was unreal.

After a while we reached our mark and started to look for livebait.By then I really needed to wee,so I bashfully asked how I was to go about doing that. I was told,quite bluntly,that I should squat over the step.I did as I’d been instructed,but I couldn’t shake the thought of man-eating sharks coming up to bite my bum,and I couldn’t perform. I asked if there was a bucket on board that I could use,but was told in no uncertain terms,“You are not going to wee in my bucket — you’ll make it rust!”

So there I was,dangling over the back and singing a song to ease the discomfort of not being able to perform. Finally I succeeded in my mission,and

— triumphant — wanted to know what was next.

By then we’d collected some livebait,and were preparing to troll for ’cuda.Husband Dear handed me a rod and told me to set it up.I simply looked at him in disbelief.“How do I do that?”I asked,and the episode that followed will be etched in my mind for eternity. He started off by showing me a Bimini Twist — big mistake.

After about five minutes I had tied myself up beautifully,and looked completely ridiculous.My darling took pity, though,and helped me cut the line and we started over again.However,to this day I still cannot perfect the art of the “Twist”.

We finally set off trolling and let out our lines.Just as we were settling nicely along our coordinates — bang! — fish on! Hubby handed me the rod and said I should fight the fish and land it.I was too terrified to do anything but try. Eventually I did land the fish — a beautiful 12,6kg ’cuda.

If it had not been for my man,standing behind me and helping me through every step of the fighting procedure,I’m sure I would never have got the fish anywhere near our boat.

After that we landed a few more ’cuda of similar weights and decided that the sea had given us enough food for our table.We headed back to shore, beached perfectly,gutted our fish,and then I was handed a glass of wine.

“Well,Babe,welcome to the wonderful world of fishing — may you be hooked forever!”

We headed for home,weary but exhilarated,and the rest is history.I’m addicted,and he’s happy because he knows what to buy me for Christmas and birthdays — exactly the same things he would want.

No more Rapala Lips from me about toasters on our anniversary — I need a new reel.And if he’s lucky,maybe I’ll share it with him ....

YOURCHANCETO HAVEYOURSAY

72 • SKI-BOAT November/December 2022
LADIES — are you an angling widow? Are you a frustrated crew member? Do you outfish the men on the boat and have to deal with their Rapala Lips? Do you bite your lip at the comments coming from chauvinistic male anglers? Or has that all really changed? We’re looking for new writers for our Rapala Lip column. All contributions are gladly accepted and they will appear anonymously to protect the writers from divorce suits, cold shoulders, banishments, cut up credit cards etc. Come on ladies, share your stories (about 900 words) with us — you know you want to. Email them to <sheena@mags.co.za>. Last word from the ladies!
RAPALALIP
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