Ski-Boat September 2023

Page 18

Seacat

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Seacat 520

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Seacat 510 Blast

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Kosi Cat 17 FC

2 x Yamaha F70hp (4-stroke) motors (only done 365 hours). Hydraulic steering, Lowrance 5 GPS/fishfinder, VHF radio and full set of safety gear. Live well with pump. T-Top, sound system, skipper’s bumbox, extra swivel stools and bait boards. Navigation lights with switch panel. Roadworthy galvanised breakneck trailer with spare wheel.

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Sea Cat 16 FC

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Sodwana 156 CC

(Built Dec 2021. On water Feb 2022!)

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Explorer
Evo 19 565 510 (Gen 3) 520 465 510 Blast
Kosi Cat 17
finance
available nationwide delivery 2021 2016

CONTENTS

September/October

COVER:DOGGEDFIGHTER

Jaco Visser shows off a 48kg dogtooth tuna he caught off Rodrigues Island

See pg 46

FEATURES

9Where to Fish

Part 11:Umkomaas to Pennington,KwaZulu-Natal — by Craig Stubbs

16Evolved to New Heights

Boat test of the new Carrycat 620 — by Erwin Bursik

22Jostling for First Place

2023 Status Trucks Guinjata Bonanza —by Quentin Clark

33Keeping Your Vessel Shipshape

Part 3:Bi-annual maintenance tips — by Craig Stubbs

43The Grinder Effect

Tips on using a grinder reel for gamefishing — by Justin Paynter

46Island of Dreams

Rodrigues Island will fulfil all your fishing fantasies — by Jaco Visser

53Bluefin Bonanza

Bluefin tuna numbers are up in the Cape — by Ryan Nienaber

55Triple B Fish is the Best

Recipes to make your mouth water — by Martin du Plessis

DEPARTMENTS

4Editorial — by Erwin Bursik

6Postbox

38SADSAA News

56Bell Reel Kids

57Subscribe and win

59Kingfisher Awards

61Mercury Junior Anglers

62Newsflash & Ad Index

63Business Classifieds & Directory

64Rapala Lip — Last Word from the Ladies

2023 Volume 39 Number 5
DOYOUPREFERANEZINE? FINDUSFORFREEONWWW.ISSUU.COM
The official magazine of the South African Deep Sea Angling Association 5 5 3 3 1 1 6 6 9 9

Publisher: Erwin Bursik

Editor: Sheena Carnie

Advertising Executive: Mark Wilson

Editorial Assistant: Lynette Oakley

Contributors: Erwin Bursik, Quentin Clarke, Martin du Plessis, Ryan

Nienaber, Justin Paynter, Craig Stubbs and Jaco Visser

ADVERTISING – National Sales:

Mark Wilson, Manager — 073 748 6107 Lyn Oakley, Sales — 082 907 7733

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

Publishers:

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

Telephone: (031) 572-2289

• e-mail: angler@mags.co.za

• Through www.anglerpublications.co.za, or E-zine through <www.issuu.com>

Printing: Novus Print, Cape Town

Distribution: On The Dot <Portia.Nguyuza@onthedot.co.za>

Full production is done in-house by Angler Publications & Promotions on Apple Macintosh software and hardware.

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.

WHENTHE“FACTS” DON’TMAKESENSE ...

IWAS very interested to read the SADSAA President’s report in this issue of SKI-BOAT, and Ibelieve he has presented a well-balanced argument regarding why anglers should once again be allowed to catch 74.

In my editorial in the November 2022 issue of SKI-BOAT I also suggested that the moratorium on catching 74 should be dropped, and anglers should be allowed to target them on a strictly controlled basis, similar to the way we do red steenbras, with a catch of one fish per day per angler being permitted.

This ban, which has been in place since 1984, has meant the vast majority of today’s recreational offshore anglers have never experienced the excitement of targeting these very strong fighting fish. The ban has also precluded our fraternity from enjoying what’s arguably the best tasting fish we have in South African waters.

According to the scientific community, this almost 40 year prohibition has not yet produced significant stock regeneration to allow for this. I believe one of two possible scenarios is in play here. The first is the scientists are wrong regarding current stock levels, a fact that many anglers in the major hot spots attest to based on their incidental by-catch of countless 74s. The second possibility is that there is no chance of this species’ biomass ever being restored to its former health because there’s no breeding stock.

To my mind it is illogical to believe that in 40 years this species, with its limited natural life span, has not had sufficient time to regenerate to the point where mature fish are able to expand the numbers exponentially.

I also don’t hold with the theory that recreational anglers are the ones that drove the 74 to such population lows to start with. During the late 1950s and 1960s, when the commercial linefish fleet was at its peak, there were very few boats in our recreational fleet. Those boats were also small and did not have the ability to target this species. From personal experience, I know that so-called “bonanza” did not exert a lot of pressure on 74.

The major players of that period belonged to the Durban Ski-boat Club that boasted 130 ski-boats, most of which were limited to fishing off Durban because of the crafts’ size and inability to travel south to the Amanzimtoti reefs which were the closest ones where 74 could be targeted. That left only the few craft based from Umkomaas southward which were able to access the 74’s breeding reefs.

In 1970 I acquired a craft capable of running south, but those excursions were few and far between because of small weather windows and if I say I caught a maximum of 60 “sevs” during the period from 1970 to 1980 that’s an over exaggeration. Very few recreationals of that period (myself included) had any real knowledge of how to target 74s; in addition to that, we only had basic echo sounder experience and no GPS units. Even during this period only maybe ten boats running out of Durban Ski-boat Club ever ventured that far south.

Therefore, in real terms, to say we ski-boaters of that era exerted considerable effort on the shoals of spawning 74 is laughable.

My simple take on this entire debacle is that there is a vast disparity between fact and theory. If today’s recreational ski-boaters were to be allowed a basic quota of one 74 per person per outing (as we are for as red steenbras), the pressure on 74 stocks would be very small.

Tight lines

Erwin Bursik

4 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023
EDITORIAL

COULD UNPRECEDENTED YELLOWTAIL RUN BE LINKED TO EL NINO?

Dear Editor,

April 2023 started off as a good month for yellowtail catches down in Struisbaai with good daily catches.While we thought it a little late for the traditional Struisbaai season,we were happy to take the catches that Neptune gave up.

However,what happened next is unprecedented in recent times,and something I have not seen since I was a young boy.There was an explosion of yellowtail from Gaansbaai,over the hub of the mass at Cape Point,and wrapping all the way up the West Coast as far as Lamberts Bay.

I was sitting in the office on 24 April 2023,when I got the call at around 2pm to get a truck to Cape Point;the yellowtail were biting and we needed to load.

Paperwork is painful,and my brother and I looked at each other and both just nodded,knowing what was about to happen.We hooked up the boat, grabbed one of the fish filleters from downstairs as we had no time to wait

A STRANGE CATCH

Dear Editor, Silverfish also called carpenter is an under rated table fish that is fast gaining popularity on the South African diningroom table –it ticks all the boxes if caught in the right manner.

Living on deeper rocks anything from 50-80m,they have become a staple in the Western Cape handline fishery around Struisbaai and Gaansbaai.

Carpenter (silverfish) have a legal size limit of 35cm on traditional handline boats.The benefit of handline fishing is that if a fish is caught that is too small,it can safely be released to grow and breed for the future.

It was by handling each fish as

for crew,grabbed what gear we had on hand,and started towing.

After launching at 3pm and hitting the grounds at around 3.30pm,I saw no boats in the area where they said the fish were.There was no sign of birds or boiling fish,and I thought I had the area wrong.We were at Cape Point and there were only two hours of sunlight left.

Despite thinking the party was over, I figured we might as well give it a try. As we put the lines into this clear blue water,a mass of yellowtail came straight up to the lures and we went on!

For the next two hours it was nonstop action.As the sun hit the horizon, with fish still boiling everywhere,we left the grounds with a bountiful catch.

With most of the commercial fleet far up the west coast with snoek fever, and the unlikely chance of a big catch happening the next day,we woke up early and tried again.

Practically the only boat in the area except for a few of the local yellowtail kings,everyone had plenty of space to fish and the fishing was on.I would not

an individual that we were able to find this strange catch – acarpenter that was black in colour.I’m guessing it is likely to be melanistic –basically the opposite of an albino.

It seems this is one of a handful like

have thought it possible,but the fishing was even “dikker”than the day before, with fish averaging from 1.5- to 2.5kg.

For the next three weeks the fishing remained strong and attracted more and more boats to the area.

We always hope for a good catch, but to see so many fish coming out of one area day after day makes one think about the future.Currently yellowtail have no size limitations set by the Department of Forestry,Fisheries and Environment,and maybe this is something that should be looked at.

We have been experiencing El Niño weather cycles in recent years,and it was again evident this season in both the tuna and yellowtail catches.

Over the years I have observed cycles in the ocean – we get good times and not such good times,and most of our catches are influenced by the weather patterns.Whatever the reason,I am most grateful for the good fishing we have seen this year.

RYANNIENABER

<ryan@greenfish.co.za>

this that have been caught in a similar area.It got me thinking about the resident nature of these fish and how important it is to look after our reefs and how we fish them.

Perhaps this is a result of a localised gene that has not migrated far? I’m no scientist,but its always amazing how the ocean surprises us continuously.

RYAN NIENABER

<ryan@greenfish.co.za>

Response from Sven Kerwath, Specialist Scientist, Finfish, at DFFE: This is the first time I have seen this in carpenter, but it is not uncommon among seabream species. There are anecdotal reports for color-morphs of steentjie and hottentot. I have seen bronze coloured Fransmadam quite often.

POSTBOX
6 • SKI-BOAT September/October

Part 11:Umkomaas to Pennington,KwaZulu-Natal

THE 22km long beautiful stretch of coastline from Umkomaas to Pennington on the KwaZuluNatal south coast has long been renowned as a holiday haven for those who love spending time on the ocean. The area is tremendously popular with divers,shark cage enthusiasts,lovers of coastal living and – most importantly for us – anglers.

From a fishing point of view,as productive as this stretch of coastline can be,and as much as it offers in terms of reef structure and fishing opportunities, it is also a piece of water that is highly affected by environmental conditions which are often a primary factor in the success of a day’s outing.

There are some big river systems in the area,the largest being the Mkomazi River at Umkomaas and the Mpambanyoni River at Scottburgh.There are also numerous smaller blind rivers which periodically open and close.

Heavy rain inland can quickly dirty the inshore waters.A large amount of silt is deposited in the shallows by these rivers,and any large swell quickly stirs up this sediment and creates a cloud of tainted water that affects fishing.

This piece of coastline is also sub-

ject to quite a lot of varying and often heavy currents,both inshore and,even more so,on the deeper reefs.

However,it’s certainly not all doom and gloom.These conditions also contribute in a positive way to a fishery which,when it’s firing,is extremely productive from a bottom- and game fishing point of view.

The popularity of this piece of coastline is highlighted by the fact that it has four launch sites along its length. Starting from the north,there’s one at Umkomaas,Scottburgh,Rocky Bay and Pennington.Each of these launch sites is overseen by well established clubs, with both Rocky Bay and Pennington having some lovely facilities and a restaurant/bar where you can enjoy a good meal and a cold beer after fishing.

Each launch has its own idiosyncrasies,so I would encourage any visitors to this area to touch base with some of the local skippers to gain insight into the prevailing conditions and to pick up relevant launching tips before pushing into the surf.

ALIWALSHOAL

On to the fishing ...The biggest and most renowned piece of structure in this area is the Aliwal Shoal.This huge reef structure lies a few kilometres off-

shore between Umkomaas and Scottburgh,and from a fishing point of view it can be a gamefisher’s paradise.

The summer months are the most productive when it comes to the variety of species that can be caught there. When the conditions are good you can expect to catch dorado,tuna,king mackerel,kingfish and often surprise billfish,particularly sailfish and smaller black marlin.The winter months usually see fewer species,but that’s compensated for by the arrival of wahoo and big yellowfin tuna.

The shoal and its surrounding areas are popular with divers,shark cage operations,spearfishers,ski-boaters,and even paddle ski anglers who venture far offshore.At times the ocean here can be very busy,which means fish do get “put down”with all the activity.However, when the conditions are right,even if the fishing gets slow,it can pay dividends to “stick,stay and make it pay”, because the fishing often picks up again when traffic subsides.

Pulling lures early on can result in good action from tuna species,but I prefer fishing livebaits around the shoal,particularly small live bonito (jube-jubes).At certain times of the year they are relatively abundant,and although they’re not always easily

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 9
TACTICS

caught,when one gets a few live bonnies,it’s the closest thing to a guaranteed bite you can get.

Fishing success at the shoal depends largely on current,and this area is most productive when the current is running north to south,often the harder the better.When this north to south current streams hard and brings with it clean, warm water,the fishing can be red hot.

Don’t be scared to fish a bit further away from the shoal,as gamefish often congregate a few hundred metres away from the structure and not directly on it.

GREENPOINT/CLANSTHAL

Inshore of Aliwal is Green Point/ Clansthal.The shallower reefs between Green Point and Scottburgh can be a productive fishery for king mackerel and tuna as well as quite a few “surprise”GTs which are not specifically targeted,but are a bycatch of slow trolling livebaits.

This is not an easy area to fish,and even a few kilometres offshore the water can be rather shallow,particularly as one moves closer to Scottburgh.

Many small bottomfish species quickly devour your dead- and livebaits, even those running only a few metres below the surface.I recommend that you regularly check your baits and make sure they are in good condition.

This area used to be famous for its fair share of massive winter ’cuda (king mackerel) and,in my opinion,was one of the best places to look for that 20kgplus ’cuda,but in recent years it hasn’t really produced that quality of fish.I put this down to the extraordinary amount of late autumn/early winter rain we have had for the last three years which has created a lot of dirty water.I believe that as these seasonal patterns change,the good fishing will return.

OUTSIDETHESHOAL

Deeper off Scottburgh and outside the line of the shoal is a long piece of reef that breaks up and re-forms along its length.This line is colloquially referred to as “19 fathom”,and runs from there, all the way to offshore of Rocky Bay, where it forms a large piece of structure known as Landers Reef.

The 19 fathom line can be extremely productive for ’cuda and tuna species,and a host of surprises awaits in the form of wahoo,GTs and billfish.

Much the same as when fishing Aliwal Shoal,a live bonnie is first prize, but many great catches have been made on traditional live- and dead baits.When the toothy species are not around,drifting or slow trolling livebaits without wire traces is the best way to go for tuna species and dorado.Although they can be caught on wire traces,these species definitely more readily take baits without the wire.

INSHORE REEFS

Moving back inshore,between Scottburgh and Rocky Bay there is a lot of shallow,broken and scattered reef lying in water between 12- and 20 metres deep.

In the late summer,autumn and early winter months these shallow areas can be very productive,particularly for king mackerel.

This stretch is the preferred area for local baitfish species such as maasbanker,red eye and,at times,mackerel, so it makes sense that where the food

is,the predators will be too.On days when there is a lot of bait,try to fish around it for a while before racing off to further spots;you may well be surprised at how productive the fishing can be.

UMZIMAI REEF

The final big piece of reef in this area lies offshore between Rocky Bay and Pennington and is known as Umzimai.

Sitting on a line virtually parallel to the Aliwal Shoal and rising from around 35m of water to around 22m at its shal-

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 11
A happy client on board the author’s charter vessel with a good sized dorado. These beautiful fish arrive around mid-December and stay for the majority of the summer. They also sometimes appear out of nowhere in the cooler months.

lowest,this can be a really productive spot for all the usual suspects.

Umzimai receives less pressure than some of the other areas as it is further away,which means that you can spend a good deal of time there and wait for the fish to turn on.Drifting live baits in this area can be really good for catching yellowfin tuna.

BOTTOMFISHING

In this article,I have focused mainly on the gamefishing available in this area as they are the primary targets for most visiting anglers.However,there are also some fantastic bottomfishing spots which yield everything from good quality red- and linefish to rockcod,mussel cracker and the odd copper steenbras.

Covering individual bottomfishing areas would be an article on its own,so if you would like to get to know some of the potential that this area has to offer from a bottomfishing perspective, I recommend joining one of the clubs in the area and,over time,getting to know the spots via some local insight and time on the water.

Other articles I have written for SKIBOAT covering specific species will give you an idea of how to target them individually.

When it comes to bottomfishing techniques,my four-part series that appeared in the July 2021,September 2021,November 2021and January 2022 issues of SKI-BOAT covers most aspects of bottomfishing.Reading these articles may also help shorten the learning curve for you.

MARINEPROTECTEDAREA

A final note on this area:As can be seen on the accompanying map,it is home to a rather large Marine Protected Area (MPA) that extends all the way from Umzimai in the south to far beyond Aliwal Shoal in the north.

This MPA has three distinct zones, namely Green,Orange and Red,each with their own set of restrictions.With the exception of Aliwal Shoal itself, gamefishing is largely unaffected,and even on Aliwal itself,if you refrain from fishing right on top of the reef,you are in the clear.

My best advice is to visit https://www.saambr.org.za/marine-protected-areas-mpas/which has a host of information on these MPAs and even a digital map that you can download onto your smartphone and link via Google Maps.

Also bear in mind that both Umkomaas and Scottburgh launch sites fall within MPA zones that have restrictions on what tackle you may launch with.This means that from those launch sites you may not launch with bottomfishing tackle on board even if you plan to fish outside the MPA.

See you on the water!

12 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023
Above: The author with a lovely GT about to be released off Green Point. Below: If you come down south, expect some proper surf launches that add a dynamic element to your day on the water.
SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 13

Taking a closer look at Furuno’s DFF3D Multi-beam

FURUNO’S DFF3D is no ordinary echo sounder,it’s a multibeam sounder – technology normally only associated with survey and scientific sounders.Furuno has taken the core of multi-beam technology and built it into a sounder that brings this high-end technology to the sportfishing scene,resulting in super-efficient fish location and seafloor profiling.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Traditional sounders use a single beam to cover maximum area under the boat,but a single wide beam seriously compromises seafloor definition.In contrast,the DFF3D multi-beam sounder utilises over 40 individual narrow beams arranged into three main beams to cover port,centre and starboard. This triple beam array covers an area 120°wide from port to starboard.That’s a huge area! Each beam receives signals from the individual narrow beams for detailed signal processing. It’s like covering the same area as three boats running in parallel to produces incredibly detailed 3D seafloor images and fish schools in real time.

The beam angle and beam width of the triple beam array can be adjusted for optimum performance and target definition.The 165kHz is low enough for penetrating deep water and high enough for good target definition.The powerful 800W transceiver connects to a transom mount or throughhull multi-beam transducer with a built-in motion sensor to assist with stabilising the beams over a wide area.The DFF3D sounder module interfaces with Furuno’s NavNet TZT series Multi-Function Displays (MFD plotters) allowing the skipper to select from four main display modes:

•3D Sounder History Display shows the seafloor in a traditional 3D presentation,complete with depth shading and fish school targets.This is very useful for targeting bottom species as it covers a lot more ground than single beam sounders.It’s the ultimate bottomfishing tool as it enables

Alongside: Furuno TZT12F detailed bottom mapping (far left) 3D History (top right) and triple beam sounder (bottom right).

•Sonar Mode Display is the pelagic fish detector.The DFF3D displays a sonar signal similar to that of a traditional single beam sounder’s A-Scope,except this is scanning a full 120°port to starboard.

Set the range to the desired depth of your target species and see only what you need to see – baitfish or targeted pelagic species.With a compatible heading sensor connected,by tapping on a fish target way out to port or starboard,the skipper can mark the fish target which will display distance from boat and depth of target.Drop the mark in the exact spot on your plotter and let the Furuno NavPilot 300 take you straight over the mark.Perfect for working bait schools and targeting marlin!

•Side Scan Display is a built-in feature of the DFF3D and clearly displays the shape of structure both to port and starboard as a high-definition image.

PERSONAL BATHY GENERATOR

The TZT3 MFD’s also features a built-in personal bathymetric generator (PBG).Never has this level of owner-recorded data been available to ski-boat owners.For those targeting bottom species and relying on detailed seafloor information,this feature is where the investment pays off.

Recording and saving an unlimited amount of your own high-definition seafloor data is better than any off-the-shelf bathymetric data where everyone with a chart card is hammering those same spots.Find your own ground and keep it a secret!

For further details on how to buy and use these game changers,visit www.furuno.co.za.

ADVERTORIAL 14 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023

EVOLVED TO NEW EVOLVED TO NEW

Analysing the new Carrycat 620

DURING late 2016 I was asked to review a new craft,the Carrycat 830 that was being manufactured in Jeffrey’s Bay. Although it was not fully completed at the time,my article covering its onwater performance appeared in the January/February 2017 issueof SKIBOAT

Its pedigree was inherent,and I thoroughly enjoyed the boat’s on-water

performance as well as its overall looks.

My interest in the craft was further stimulated when I attended the 2017 Two Oceans Marlin Tournament at Struisbaai,and saw a number of Carrycats participating in the event. Taking a closer at these craft on the slipway as well as out at sea further piqued my interest.

A few months ago I heard that Carrycat was now producing a 620

model that was to be marketed by SMG Yamaha in Durban.Word on the street was that it would be rigged out to the general requirements of the KZN offshore sportfishing fraternity and those ski-boaters travelling to the booming southern Mozambique ski-boating destinations.

Naturally I was keen to see how Carrycat had designed and presented this craft,and wanted to find out just

16 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023
BOATREVIEW

HEIGHTS HEIGHTS

arrived at Durban Ski-boat Club during a short weather window that provided a good degree of sunshine to aid photography,with a fair north-westerly turning to light north-easterly blowing. The conditions were excellent for photography,but a little flat when it came to the tests I like to put boats through, but that could be overcome.

I like to start my reviews by taking numerous photographs and viewing the test craft from every conceivable angle while she’s put on parade for the camera.This gives me a good idea what to expect when I eventually take over her controls and attempt to correlate what I’ve observed with the feel of the craft’s on-water capabilities.

Paul,as many will know,is a top powerboat racing champion as well as a very accomplished ski-boat fisherman,so it’s inevitable that he likes speed.While showing off the boat,he certainly satisfied himself with testing how fast she can go,completely overloading my senses in this regard.

All those who read my reviews know my disregard for speed over 20/25 knots,but I admit that a bit of speed now and again is a lot of fun.Paul also played in the surf off Umgeni River mouth,and the other photographer and I got a few spectacular photos of his wave jumping.

Once things had slowed down a bit I was happy to get behind the wheel of the Carrycat 620 to find out for myself how she would perform at reasonable speeds.I also wanted to get a feel for the power of the twin 100hp Yamaha 4strokes swinging 17 pitch props which drive this craft’s performance.

My own six-metre craft has the same motors and props,so that allowed me to form some educated opinions about the Carrycat 620’s fishability and performance.

After getting her up onto the plane and settled at 3 900 rpm on both motors,I established that her most comfortable speed in the prevailing conditions was just on 20 knots.She only needed very marginal trim adjustments to provide a great ride,regardless of whether running into,with or in a side-on sea.In fact,considering the prevailing conditions,I was surprised how little trim adjustment was necessary.

how well she would take on the seas experienced along this stretch of the South African coast.

During a visit to SMG’s premises in Cornubia just north of Durban,Steve Bailey and Paul Sheppard showed me not only what SMG has to offer the skiboating fraternity,but also a number of Carrycat 620s that were being finished off in preparation for delivery.

With my interest climbing,I board-

ed one of the completed craft to see for myself what this new model had to offer and also how far this manufacturer had advanced the design,finish and deck layout during the nearly seven years since my last interaction with Carrycat offshore craft.I was very impressed,and got even more excited when Paul asked me to review their Carrycat 620 demonstration craft.

And so it came to pass that we all

Despite that,I did take her through a number of trim adjustments purely to reaffirm her natural hull-over-water attack,but found this was generally unnecessary and such trials were just that – testing her to the extreme before reverting to her natural ride.

I spent a good deal of time judging her wake at various trolling speeds from very slow with only one motor in gear right up to both motors at 1700 rpm.For those interested in trolling lures,her wake was well contained to just over 8 knots,at which it started to

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 17

spread.In essence,from 4.5 knots for sailfishing to trolling big marlin lures at 7 knots,there were many pockets of clear water into which the appropriate lures could be run if outriggers were fitted and that style of fishing pursued.

As with all craft in this size range,it is imperative that the boat provides a stable platform,cover from the sun and, in my opinion,as little spray as possible. This craft did just that.

I was very impressed with the T-top fitted to the Carrycat 620.It was solidly constructed,of adequate size and,most importantly,when running at speeds up to 20 knots it did not affect the overall ride.

A substantial number of longitudinal strakes are incorporated into the basic hull,both in the tunnel as well as on the outside chines.These,I believe,stabilise her hull-over-water ride,reduce tunnel slap and spread the lateral spray out wide and low.In the relatively calm conditions we experienced during the test,there was no blowout from the bow tunnel and the lateral cleaved

water was low and well aft,meaning virtually no spray came onto the skipper and crew.

Having watched Paul perform with her in the heavy surf,and after assessing my simulations of her turning and outthe-hole performance at sea,I can confirm that she is very responsive and the motor power curve not only achieves the needed results,but also does so without being onerous on skipper or crew.

Fishability is obviously a major factor for any fishing boat,and all important to the entire crew to enable them to have a great day on the ocean.In saying that,the entire deck layout needs to be crafted from experience with carefully considered design features to achieve this.

I found that the Carrycat 620 has evolved well and provides just that. Compared to the craft I reviewed previously,the deck layout has improved in leaps and bounds.I found that all the features were not only very practically situated,but were also extremely well finished off.

Naturally I place a great deal of emphasis on the helm station.Carefully

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 19

considered positioning of the helm and throttle controls as well as all the instrumentation is vital,as are the seating arrangements,so a full day on the ocean can be enjoyed.I found those aspects were all practical,well placed and thoughtfully designed.

The Carrycat 620 looks after the skipper very well and the facilities offered for the crew have also been taken into account so they too will be happy.

For a long time I have believed that a craft in the size range of the Carrycat 620 is a great choice for the average all round ski-boater who fishes for gamefish as well as bottomfish.

A boat this size provides comfort and fishability that suits three to four anglers and gives them sufficient space to ply their trade in addition to enough stowage for rods,tackle,bait and fish catches,as well as the ability to walk the deck and fish comfortably.Above all,for me,there needs to be a fair degree of protection from the sun,wind and sea spray.The Carrycat 620 does just that.

In terms of being able to tow this boat long distances,Paul arrived at the Durban launch towing the Carrycat 620 with his Hilux double cab,using the SMG single-axle trailer designed specifically for demo purposes.It has a very interesting design that worked well for depositing the Carrycat on the beach for the push pole launch and for retrailering her after beaching.They do, however,also have single and doubleaxle trailers with the roller set up that is popular among ski-boat skippers.

In summation,I reiterate my appreciation for how much thought and attention has gone into finishing off the Carrycat 620 I reviewed.The craft has certainly come a long way,and all the aspects of this boat’s redesign and the implementation of the Carrycat’s finishes and facilities impressed me.

The accompanying photographs give you an idea of what this craft has to offer,but I strongly suggest you afford yourself the opportunity of gaining a full appreciation by visiting SMG Cornubia and seeing the Carrycat 620 for yourself.

20 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023

THE weather and fishing in Guinjata Bay had been incredible in the months leading up to the 2023 Bonanza,but as Murphy would have it,a couple of days before the comp a really strong northerly pushed through bringing really dirty water inshore.Despite this and it being the middle of winter the venue still pro-

duced a good number of fish and species as usual,making for a great competition.

It is becoming a bit of a regular occurrence to have a blowout on the first day of the Status Trucks Guinjata Bonanza,but the following four days were good for fishing and so,after a day’s delay,all the boats were eager to get to the fish-rich grounds early on the Tuesday morning.

As usual,the competition for top spot was fierce,but this year the leader board changed more often in the four fishing

22 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023
photos by Justin Klusener
COMPETITION

days than ever before.

For the 2023 comp,42 boats and eight jet-skis all vied for the prizes,with two Yamaha 4-stroke 70hp motors up for grabs for the biggest fish in the ski-boat section,and a Rhino canopy,Bush Company awning,Lowrance unit,numerous Snomaster products,as well as a host of other prizes up for grabs for the species,top angler and jet-ski divisions.

Day one was a good day,and delivered the best results, with 85 fish of ten species being presented for verification at

the scales or by photograph for the released species.An early morning double up on sailies for Hennie Bisschoff’s crew on S’ma Lekker and an additional eight fish from four species catapulted him into the species division lead for the day with a whopping 680.5 points,some 171.5 points clear of Wolfie in second place.

The biggest fish presented at the scales that day was a 17.2kg amberjack caught by Stuart Blesovsky on his father Jeff’s boat, Blesbok .That species is only permitted to be

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 23
24 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023

brought to the scales on the first day if it’s a potential winning fish of over 15kg.Marcus Potgieter on Dr Sangoma missed out on getting biggest fish of the day by a mere 200 grams, with his 17kg yellowfin tuna.Richard Louw on Johnny Boy produced the only marlin release of the day.

Day two produced 75 fish of ten species.This was the day that the regular Guinjata gurus came to the fore.Casper Badenhost and his crew of top class anglers on Queen Pine (the Bartho brothers and Brad Arthur) brilliantly showed off their skills,presenting not only the biggest tally of species points at the scale,but also the new biggest fish for the competition.Brett Bartho presented a GT of 20.5kg,along with his crew’s nine other fish of six species to take the day.

However,even this great showing was not enough to wrestle the lead from S’ma Lekker who did not manage to

present a fish on this day.Queen Pine was still 31.5 points shy of the species division leaders at the end of day two.

Lucky Luke proved that consistency leads to success,and they moved up from fifth place on day one to third place on day two,just 14 points behind Queen Pine

The Live@ Wildebeest Wednesday night function is always a great social event at this competition,providing a break from the serious business of fishing.The teams came together to socialise while competing at some fun games for some substantial prizes,with platinum sponsors Lubrication Engineers and Fastener and Allied on hand to make it more enjoyable. Team Potency provided Prego rolls with Rooibard sauce for all those who attended,with a bit more than the free R & Rs on offer thanks to Mr Fresh and Coca Cola.

The day after the Wednesday night function is usually a

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 25
All the anglers who released billfish at the 2023 Status Trucks Guinjata Bonanza. Blesbok with the leading fish on day one. S’ma Lekker took the prize for the team with the most billfish releases. Dr Sangoma with the overall winning fish, a 20.6kg greater barracuda. S’ma Lekker with their haul on day one.
26 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023

tough day for many of the anglers after festivities the night before,and this year’s day three proved to be no different, with only 53 fish being presented at the gallows.

Three marlin were also caught and released with Ocean Angels producing two for the day and our main sponsor, Siegfried van Biljon from Status Trucks on Shag ’n Release the other.

Dr Sangoma’s crew had a great day,not only topping the species points haul for the day,but also presenting a greater barracuda of 20.6kg at the scales.Only 100 grams heavier than Brett Bartho’s GT,but certainly the new leading fish.

With less than seven points separating the top two species division teams,and the leading fish well in reach of being topped,there was a lot to fish for on the last day.As it’s a shorter day to allow more time for the committee to get the scoring correlated and prizes allocated before the evening’s prize giving,the last day usually does not produce as many fish as some of the others.However,57 fish were still presented at the scales and a sailfish was released by Melissa Boyes on Bubezi,helping her team finish second for the day.

Looking at the list of top ten boats and their previous performances shows just how tough it is to make the top ten in

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 27
2023202220192018201720162015201420132012 Amberjack2123233321171915187 Bonito — all54301820302326121629 ’Cuda 8114370110191117635316883 Dogtooth tuna0 00 0100000 Dorado 911197413542134032 Greater barracuda12624151241971024 Green jobfish226823221023526515 Kingfish — all54257552010799510722 Giant kingfish611 13281994 Prodigal son133420114117148 Queenfish 000 50030278 Rainbow runner 010 0000000 Wahoo 03110157124733 Yellowfin tuna27 4514291398547028149
COMPARISON OF THE NUMBER OF EACH FISH SPECIES WEIGHED AT THE
GUINJATA BONANZA OVER THE LAST TEN EVENTS
Queen Pine with the leading fish on day two. Top angler for 2023 was Blayne Wareham fishing on Blesbok. Queen Pine took the prize for top species boat.

this competition.Several of the top ten boats have finished in the top three positions in past years.

Dr Sangoma ,which was just seven points off the lead before the day started,unfortunately had their worst day of the week.Perhaps they had too big a celebration the night before after taking the lead. Queen Pine, however,had close to their best day,with 452 points ensuring they remained at the top of the species division.

Melissa Boyes’sailfish helped her take the Top Lady award and Ethan Forte took the Top Junior prize.Blayne Wareham on Blesbok took home the Top Angler award.

This was the only day of the competition this year that did not produce a new leading fish,with Grant Campbell’s greater barracuda remaining unbeaten,and Dr Sangoma took home the first prize of two Yamaha motors.

In the jet-ski division,Leigh Smit on jet-ski Mia Nelle hooked the biggest fish on the first day,a ’cuda of 9.3kg,and that earned her the prize for biggest fish in the jet-ski division. Mark Reeves on his jet-ski, Sea Biscuit,came out as the top species angler after a few consecutive good days.Day two was his best day,and he netted 54 points for the day.He finished up on 40.5kg of fish weighed for the week.

In total 299 qualifying fish on ski-boats and another 17 on jet-skis were caught in the four days of fishing,along with four marlin and three sailfish.This just confirms Guinjata’s ability to produce excellent fish year on year.

This competition is,however,not just about the fishing;it is also a great excuse for the adventure,fun and friendships that surround this event.

See you all there next year!

TOP FIVE FISH

1.20.6kg Greater barracuda,Grant Campbell, Dr Sangoma

2.20.5kg Giant kingfish,Brett Bartho, Queen Pine

3.17.2kg Amberjack,Stuart Blesovsky, Blesbok

4.17.0kg Yellowfin tuna,Markus Potgieter, Dr Sangoma

5.16.3kg Greater barracuda,Tarreck Byrne, PrimeZulu I

TOP

28 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023
FIVE ANGLERS
Wareham, Blesbok . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104.7 points
Bartho, Queen Pine . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101.3 points
Bartho, Queen Pine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85.9 points 4.Richard Louw, Johnny Boy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80.0 points 5.Francois Wheeler, Ocean Angels . . . . . . . . . . .80.0 points TOP TEN BOATS 1. Queen Pine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 434.20 points 2. Dr Sangoma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .996.60 points 3. Wolfie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .978.60 points 4. S’ma Lekker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .786.50 points 5. Lucky Luke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .700.20 points 6. Bubezi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .613.30 points 7. PrimeZulu I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .609.80 points 8. Blesbok . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .547.10 points 9. Uli Buli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .531.00 points 10. Teazers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .224.50 points TOP LADY ANGLERS 1.Melissa Boyes,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54.5 points 2.Nicolene Kruger, Teazers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24.1 points 3.Trynie
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.3 points
1.Blaye
2.Darryl
3.Brett
Bubezi
Vorster,
Po 10 Sea Top lady angler, Melissa Boyes, receives the Jean Meintjies Trophy from Jean. Brett Padoa and John Minnie with Leigh Smit who won the jetski division. Top junior, Ethan Forte, with his team on Gloria de Manha.

Part 3:Bi-annual maintenance tips

IN the first two parts of this series we focused on critical post-trip maintenance,ideally to be carried out after every launch,and then moved on to some quarterly maintenance, focusing on your boat’s superstructure and motors.In this final part,we are going to take a look at maintenance that should be carried out every six months to a year,depending on how often you are launching.

This is mainly focused around the actual structure of your vessel and its integrity.If you don’t look after this stuff you can be in for some big bills,but if you catch it early you’ll be amazed how much you can save yourself with a bit of DIY.

The biggest wear points on your vessel are undoubtedly your

hull and keel strips which take the brunt of the grind when your boat slides up the sand while beaching.Picture this process as an aggressive bout of sandpapering each time you beach,and you will soon understand the toll it takes on your hull.

On the topic of beaching,I am amazed at how unnecessarily hard some people beach. Sure,on a full high tide or when there is a large shore break,it’s definitely necessary to beach at sufficient speed to get your craft well above the high water mark, but on lower tides and on more gently sloping beaches,take it easy and beach sensibly.There are no prizes to see who can get furthest up the beach,and the repeated impact of hard beaching is definitely going to take its toll on your vessel.

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 33
BACKTOBASICS
A few coats of Poolkote and the hull is good for another few months. The wear from a few months of beaching is easy to spot.

KEELSTRIPSKEEPITTOGETHER

Right,back to the hull and keel strips.First let’s talk about keel strips.If you are surf launching your vessel these are absolutely mandatory,and if you are trailer launching,they are highly recommended.These stainless steel strips will save a lot of impact on your hull.

In terms of maintenance,you need to take a look at how well your keel strips are secured,and then take a look at the screw heads themselves.

When keel strips are fitted,they are normally bonded in place with a product such as Sikaflex or an epoxy,and are then drilled and secured to your hull with stainless steel screws.Over time,cracks and separation can develop in these areas,and this is where a lot of boats get water ingress into the hull.A thorough visual inspection will indicate any visual wear along the keel strip itself as well as where it meets the hull.

Pay special attention to each screw and screw head.Take a screwdriver to each screw,and if it is loose or free spinning, then the screw has lost its grip and needs attention.You have two options here.First remove the existing screw and try a screw of a slightly larger diameter and see if it bites.If that doesn’t work,use a dowel plug and epoxy resin to reseal the hole and then,once the epoxy has hardened,redrill and refit the screw.

Most hardware stores stock epoxy and dowel plugs of varying diameters,and this is something you can easily do at home without much technical know how.Mix your epoxy and try to get a decent amount into the hole.Next,coat the dowel plug with epoxy and then gently hammer it into place before sealing with a little more epoxy.The keel strip itself will stop you hammering the plug all the way into the hole,so simply grab another dowel plug and use this one to seat the other properly until it sits flush.

When you are inspecting the screws,check the screw heads.These often wear to a point that a screw driver begins slipping due to a lack of head pattern,rendering them useless. If this happens and you ever need to replace your entire keel strip,then either you or your local boat shop is going to be facing an uphill battle of trying to drill out stainless screws, and that is no easy feat.

If the screw heads are worn,get them out while you can, and replace them.Every boat owner should have a good stock of right size keel screws in their garage.

DON’TNEGLECTHULLDAMAGE

While you have been inspecting your keel strip,you may well have noticed some damage and wear to your hull. Don’t leave this for another few months!

While the damage caused from wear is minimal,it can still easily be repaired at home,but when your fibreglass wears through too deeply,then it needs to be repaired from inside the hull.This means cutting open your deck and removing the flotation in order to access the portion of the hull that needs attention.There are times where this is the only way to go,but often,if you catch the wear early enough,it’s dead simple –albeit a little messy – to sort out at home.

If the wear extends past the first layer or two of fibreglass then you need to replace with some fresh fibreglass.You will need some fibreglass matting,epoxy resin and a few basic and inexpensive fibreglassing tools.There are dozens of Youtube tutorials that explain how to do patch work with fibreglass,so I won’t bore you with details,but my best advice is to avoid rushing this job.Prepare the area well,make sure you get your epoxy mix right so your cure is as good as possible,and work in layers rather than big patches.

If the wear is minimal and does not affect the boat’s structural integrity,then a great product to use is Sikadur AP (available at most Builders Warehouse outlets).This is a two-part allpurpose paste adhesive that,when mixed,forms a paste equivalent in texture to thick peanut better.You can use a spatula to spread the paste over wear patches and minor scratches and,once dried,it can easily be sanded to a lovely finish.It really does make minor repairs a breeze.Apply,level out,dry and sand.No mess,no fuss.

REPAINTINGYOURPRECIOUS

Now that you have filled in any wear points or patches,it’s time to give the underside of your boat a fresh coat of paint. Do not use spray paint as this is way too thin and will be scuffed off in a single launch.

I recommend you get your hands on something called Poolkote or Flowcoat.This product is available at the majority of resin suppliers,and a quick Goggle search in your area will point you in the right direction.It is a catalyst-cured paint that is perfect for the underside of your hull and is available in a variety of colours.It’s also easy to apply without any specific painting experience.

I’ve heard of people using paint rollers to apply the paint,

34 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023
After a few hours of fibreglassing, filling and sanding, the hull is almost ready for paint.

While busy with some maintenance, the author noticed his bow eye needed some love. After a bit of grinding and filling and paint, the difference is clear to see.

but when working on the underside of the hull,I’ve found a good quality 50- to 80mm paint brush does the best job.

When applying Poolkote to your hull,good prep is critical. First sand the underside of your vessel and clean it with a spirit cleaner to remove any contaminants.Next,mix a small batch of Poolkote.You will feel it getting warm and,depend-

ing on the ambient temperature,you only have a very limited time to apply it before it begins hardening.

Work fast and apply generous amounts with a smooth motion.It is self levelling,so it creates a nice smooth finish and,once hardened,forms a strong and durable finish.

Once your working batch begins to harden,don’t try to

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 35

Don’t forget to check your props every now and then. It takes an hour or less to do both, and in this case it was lucky I did, because look what was behind my prop. This could have been a disaster but was, fortunately, avoided.

squeeze a few more brush strokes out of it because it will begin to clump.Rather mix a fresh batch and carry on where you left off.

My advice for this process is to raise your trailer as high as you safely can above the ground,as you will be working on your back.When you mix your paint,make sure you get your catalyst ratio 100% correct or your paint will not dry – or will dry far too quickly.Your resin supplier can give you the exact details needed for the best mix.

I will be the first to admit that poolcoating the underside of your hull will not give you the same perfect paint finish as when your boat came out the mould with its amazing new gel coat finish,but I’m trying to be pragmatic here.

I can do minor fibreglass repairs and Poolkote the entire underside of my hull for around R1500 including all materials, and when I last saw a quotation for an epoxy-based spray paint of a 19ft hull,this was around R20000 for just the paintwork.Throw in some fibreglass work,and you are quickly at around R30000.

Sure,the professional job may well be prettier,and if complex work is needed then it’s best left to professionals,but with a little DIY savvy,you will be amazed at what you can save and how much you can actually do yourself.

Don’t apply Poolkote too high up your gunnels or you will definitely notice the difference between the gel coat and the Poolkote,but if you confine your Poolkote work to the underside of your hull,you’ll hardly even notice it,and I bet everyone will be very impressed with how smart your vessel looks.

ASTITCHINTIMESAVESNINE

My final advice on boat maintenance is this:Don’t leave “little jobs”to accumulate to a point where they add up,become expensive or insurmountable,and,before your eyes,your prized possession crumbles.Take care of the minor details as they come up and you’ll save a fortune and get many more pleasurable hours on the water.

I do hope readers have found value in this three part series.Some of the tips,hints and procedures may seem rather elementary,but we could all do with a little reminder from time to time of the tremendous assets we fish off and how best to make them last.

See you on the water!

36 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023

PRESIDENT’SREPORT

SOUTH Africa has done it again! Congratulations to our team of heavy tackle billfish anglers who recently participated in the 71st International Billfish Tournament in Havana,Cuba,and brought home the silver medal.Another outstanding performance by our anglers in the international arena.

A South African team also competed in the 82nd International Light Tackle Tournament Association (ILTTA) in Panama,and they finished 11th overall against the best light tackle billfish anglers in the world at a world class venue.We are proud of your achievement,gentlemen.

On the local front,we recently held our Gamefish Nationals at Mapelane.Some great fish were caught,and we thank Zululand for hosting an excellent competition.

CATCHING 74s

On the environmental front,the topic of 74s or “sevs”has been raised once again,and I would like to share some of the information that our Environmental Officer from Border, Gary Thompson,has put together, along with some thoughts on how to move forward with attempting to have the current moratorium lifted.

Information from SAAMBRon 74s: The seventy-four seabream (Polysteganus undulosus) once made up nearly 70% of the linefish catch in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).It was heavily targeted on spawning aggregations during spring on the southern KZN coast throughout the 20 th Century. Catches from the line-boats operating out of Durban Harbour in the early 1900s recorded over 1000 tons of 74 per year.By the early 1990s catches had plummeted to less than two tons per year.The 74 had been fished to “economic extinction”(i.e.there were too few fish left to make it economically viable to go and fish for them).

They are endemic to the southeastern seaboard of southern Africa

from Cape Point to the mouth of the Limpopo River in southern Mozambique.Through overfishing, their range has contracted to the area between Sodwana Bay and the central Agulhas Bank,with the centre of adult distribution being deep offshore reefs between Durban and East London.

They frequent deep offshore reefs (40-160 m),often forming dense shoals,often found in association with ledges and pinnacles.They feed on pelagic fish species such as sardines and mackerel but their diet also includes small reef fish,cephalopods and crustaceans.

While juveniles appear to be fairly resident,adults undertake an annual migration from the Cape into Eastern Cape and southern KZN waters during winter to spawn.There is a possibility of a return migration of adults to the Cape after spawning,but this has not been confirmed.

They can reach a maximum size of 100cm total length and a weight of 16kg.

The stock of 74 collapsed in the 1960s and the spawner biomass was estimated to be at less than 5% of its pristine level prior to the closure of the fishery in 1998.There is evidence that the stock has subsequently been rebuilding,but poaching is hampering this recovery.They have been evaluat-

ed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List (2014).

LEAD UP TO THE MORATORIUM

•1984.The first conservation actions were implemented and included a minimum size limit of 25cm,a bag limit of five fish per person per day,and a closed season during the spawning season from 1 September to 30 November.

•1992.Amendments were made to this legislation including an increased minimum size limit to 40cm and a reduced daily bag limit to two fish per person per day.

•1996.Research was conducted and no further improvement in catches was noted.

•1998.A ten-year moratorium on catching 74 was implemented.

•2006.An assessment was conducted on the KZN coast (Mann 2007). Little evidence was found of increased catch per unit effort off the KZN coast although there was some evidence of increased abundance of juvenile fish in the Eastern Cape.The moratorium was extended until 2013,whereafter it was proposed the stock status should be re-evaluated.

SUBSEQUENT RESEARCH

The last formal assessment that was published was in 2007 as an ORI special report.Dr Bruce Mann from ORI subsequently submitted recommendations to,the then MCM to allow limited exploitation,no commercial sale, one per person per day,with a closed season over the spawning period. These recommendations were never implemented.

We have been unable to find evidence of any further formal research on the stock levels since then.

STATUS OF THE SA MARINE FISHERY RESOURCES REPORT

These reports were released every two years and then moved on to a four-year cycle by the Department of Environment,Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF).The report presents the most

38 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023
Chris Schorn, SADSAAPresident

up-to-date information and analysis of the status of marine fishery resources in South Africa.

The 2010 report states the following:“The re-assessment of seventy-four, once one of the most important linefish resources,has not shown significant signs of recovery in the resource after a ten-year moratorium on fishing. The fate of the seventy-four is representative of many other endemic seabream species,being long-lived and with life history strategies such as sex change and late age of maturity.These species are particularly vulnerable to over exploitation.As many of these fish are resident in a very small area,either year round or at least during spawning,an effective,well-enforced network of protected areas might be the only viable option to ensure the recovery of these valuable resources.”

The 2012 report makes no mention of 74 and it does not appear on the stock status listing,where silver kob are reported as “heavily depleted”,and carpenter and slinger as “depleted”.

In the 2014 report,74 re-appears as “heavily depleted”with a note saying no fishing pressure has been assigned as the species is under total catch moratorium.

The 2016 report states:“The recovery of endangered species such as seventy-four,red steenbras and dageraad, hinges increasingly on the protection of juveniles and spawning stock of these species inside MPAs and offshore refugia.For some of these fish,even the rigorous enforcement of all existing regulations might not be sufficient to induce a recovery and more drastic measures might need to be taken to save these species.”

No mention is made of any research,but the importance of MPAs and the lack of law enforcement is recognised.

The 2020 report is the last one that was released to date.It has no change

in status or any further new comment since the last stock assessment made in 2006.

CURRENT CONSERVATION MEASURES

A number of marine protected areas (MPAs)have been created or enlarged in the last few years.

According to an ORI/SANBI report, “One of the most recent MPAs to be established was the Pondoland MPA between Port Edward and Port St Johns and extending out to the 1,000m depth contour (Mann et al. 2006).It is likely that the DwesaCwebe,Amathole and Bird Island MPAs currently play an important role in providing protection for juvenile P. undulosus which appear to be fairly resident (B.Mann,ORI pers.obs.), while the Pondoland MPA may play a role in protection of adults (Mann et al.2006).There has been little evidence of P.undulosus receiving protection in MPAs further south (i.e. Tsitsikamma,Goukamma,Stilbaai and De Hoop) (Mann and Fennessy 2013).

“The slow recovery of the P.undulosus stock is not surprising given its slow growth and late age at maturity.It may be that its niche has been filled by other reef fishes,although this has not been investigated.Due to its rarity and high price on the black market,poaching of P.undulosus has continued despite the implementation of the moratorium (Mann 2007).Mann (2007) recommended that the moratorium should remain in place for a further 10 years,until end of 2017,before consideration is given to reopening the fishery.”

The full report is available online http://speciesstatus.sanbi.org/assessm ent/last-assessment/2929/

RECREATIONAL ANGLER OBSERVATIONS

We have received numerous reports of

increased numbers and size of 74s being caught.However,without accurate catch return data from the various clubs and/or members,we are unable to challenge the authorities on the recovery of the 74s.

Unfortunately,we do not have the data available to prove our case,unless there is some information that has been retained by clubs in our region, or anglers who are prepared to share their data on a confidential basis.

From informal investigations,we have the following data:91% of those surveyed said once they start catching 74s,they do not catch any other species.Obviously they shoal and are prolific feeders.69% said they catch 74s on every trip.43% believe that there are so many 74s that they would be able to “fill their hatches”if there was no limit on catching 74s.

Nearly all skippers believe that the moratorium should be lifted as the species has significantly recovered over the past few years.Some skippers no longer go to certain reefs as they know they will only catch 74s and this phenomenon is making fewer fishing grounds available because most pinnacles are now heavily populated with 74s.

ORI T&R INFORMATION

The following is an extract from the ORI database on 74:

Number of fish tagged since 1984:720

Number of fish recaptured:25

Percentage recapture rate:3%

Average km travelled:90km

Longest travel:1055km

Average days free:189

Maximum days free:1295

The ORI tagging programme has been running for nearly 40 years and only 720 of this species have been tagged,an average of 39 a year.It could be argued that this number is so low because the species is under threat, but we know that is not true.The only

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 39
A lovely 74 caught and released as part of a genetics study conducted in 2019.

way to increase this number is to be more active in our tagging efforts.

If you are going to put a fish back, why not tag it? The 74s don’t seem to suffer much from barotrauma,and the low recapture rates can be improved with proper handling and tagging techniques.

The low average distance travelled tells us that these fish are fairly resident.Considering their slow growth rate,the species will take a long time to recover to the old 1 000 ton per year capture rates off Durban.

WHAT ARE OUR OPTIONS?

Do we believe that the moratorium on 74’s should be lifted,and if so,why? Or do we believe that the resource needs more time to recover?

Have we got sound evidence to support claims that the resource has fully recovered? Or has it at least recovered to a level where recreational fishing with a strongly enforced daily catch limit can be requested from DEFF?

If we believe the regulations are wrong,do we simply not abide by the law or should we challenge and change it? Are we willing to provide catch returns? Should we unite and argue for our rights to a natural resource which may have recovered?

WRITE TO THE MINISTER

Natal Deep Sea Angling Association wrote to DEFF Minister Barbara Creecy on 7 April 2022 asking her office to lift the moratorium on 74,with follow up correspondence.There has been no response since then.

PERFORM OUR OWN RESEARCH

We must have our own data to defend our rights,independent of the scientists.We will never get anywhere with word of mouth and idle bar talk about the number and increase of 74s without any concrete evidence.

SADSAA can do nothing to defend our position without the support of the various clubs’leadership and that of their members.If the members want the ban on 74s to be lifted,they need to assist as much as they can.

OPTIONS

•Each launch site keeps accurate catch returns of each boat launching in a standard format so valuable data can be obtained.

•Select a sample of anglers to perform catch returns on our behalf.

•Find anglers who have kept records over a long period and try to consolidate the results.

•Combinations of the above.

The fundamental principle here is

that all the information must be kept confidential and not be shared too widely,with the only purpose being to prove our position on stock levels.

•Outsource to a retired marine scientist.Possibly appoint a retired marine scientist on a part-time basis to conduct a solid study with our assistance.

•Legal action.Once we have strong, concrete evidence,we can then approach the Department again, insisting they lift the moratorium.If no action is taken,we may consider legal action.There is an option to engage with the legal fraternity to determine if we could approach the courts to overthrow the moratorium,but we need to have strong enough reasons and evidence to go that route.

CONCLUSION

SADSAA will continue engaging with DEFF regarding the moratorium and will provide feedback to our affiliated clubs and members.

However,if we are serious about wanting to lift or challenge the moratorium,we need catch returns with sound evidence,and that needs dedication from the club leadership and our affiliated anglers.

40 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023

Tips on using a grinder reel for gamefishing

THE new age of fishing is upon us, and the advancements we have at our fingertips every time we go fishing are unbelievable. Shore anglers have set the charge by changing from conventional reels to grinders. The new rods and reels made by Daiwa are hailed as the best we have ever seen and probably the best we will see for many years to come.

Of late, I have been fishing with a grinder for gamefish, and it has been very effective. The logic behind it is simple: a faster retrieval rate, a rod that has a lovely tip action for bait fishing, and a backbone when needed to apply pressure. It also just feels so much more comfortable in hand.

In my months of experimenting, I have found that you are able to land a fish a lot quicker with a grinder – and it has been more successful at getting the fish past the sharks. As we have sadly learned, 2023 has been a very taxing year for most anglers, and many strategies have been put to the test to try and get that trophy fish past the taxman.

TACKLE

These strategies include:

•Switching off the engines and GPS/finder unit and fighting the fish without chasing it down.

•Winding up all the lines and chasing the fish down,getting on top of it,then pumping and winding as quickly as possible to get the fish to the boat.If you pull the hooks,well, it’s better than getting taxed.This is the theory most skiboaters are going with these days.

•When you get the feeling your fish is being chased,free spool it and let it go,then run up onto it and pump and wind.

These are all great theories that work some days and don’t work on others.I now believe a grinder is the way to go. Here’s why:

First,conventional reels usually have a loud ratchet,and some anglers believe that a screaming reel calls the sharks to the boat.As a result,some guys up on the KZN North Coast fish with their ratchets off.On a grinder your ratchet isn’t as

loud as those on a conventional reel is,and the reduced noise may not attract that unwanted taxman.

Second,if you are able to get on top of a fish with a grinder setup,you are really able to pump and wind as it’s a lot more comfortable in hand and your pulling power is far superior to when you’re using a normal trolling setup.

Third,when using a conventional reel if an angler is onto a fish and he gets the feeling it’s being chased,he hits free spool to let the fish go and inevitably his reel explodes in his hands with the biggest bird’s nest you have ever seen,and the anticipated snap of the line is heard soon afterwads.This isn’t the case when it comes to a grinder;you literally just flick the bail arm over and let the fish do its thing.

I asked some of the top anglers on kayaks,jet-skis and boats what they think about using grinders.Some of them are under the impression that it’s too direct,there’s not enough line capacity,and,well,that’s just not how you fish for pelagic fish.Then there are others who only fish with grinders as it’s a multifaceted reel that can be used for the majority of fishing facets,especially when you have limited space on certain fishing platforms.

After considering the feedback I received,I tried grinders myself to test out the various theories.

I prepared this setup the same way I would when fishing an IGFA rated competition,using a top shot.I loaded my reels with 30lb J braid and added a top shot of 20m of either 12.5kg or 16kg (depending on your preference).This will elevate the directness (so-called,not enough stretch) when the fish is close.

Having tried it,I disagree with those who say it’s too direct.I have seen time and again how,when a fish is close to the boat,the angler tightens up and when the fish does take a last run or dart close to the boat,the angler either pulls the hooks,or the line or trace parts due to the amount of pressure on the line.What has worked for me is to back off on the drag.If need be,you can always thumb the spool or,if you’re using a grinder,you can lightly palm the spool,almost like a brake caliper on a car.

What setup should you use?

This question always sparks a lot of debate,although the debate is normally around how much money you have to

44 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023
Some of Daiwa’s grinder reels, from entry level up to the most expensive. The author with a fat yellowfin tuna, and his grinder outfit in the background.

spend or how you can hide a Saltiga box away from your wife.

I was blessed to fish with a few Saltigas when doing this article and while fishing in Egypt,and if I had the money,I would buy them.They have a super smooth drag,and you can literally feel the quality when retrieving a fish.

I suppose it’s like owning a GUCCI handbag for a woman. They all have the same function,but once you own one,well, there’s no going back.

If you’re like my mates on Fun-A-Galore, Vaai Dalla and Texan Girl,it’s like owning a GUCCI store.You climb on their boats and are handed either a Shimano Stella or Saltiga reel to catch bait.It’s what dreams are made of!

My current reels of choice are a BG 4500 and BG 5000, and they are bulletproof.For the amount of work those reels have endured,they are my definite go-to as well-priced reels that won’t give you a day’s hassle.Mine have been dunked, dropped,thrown out of T-Tops,and they are still as good as when I took them out of the box.However,maintenance on any reel is imperative to ensure its longevity and performance when it counts most.

The rod I have been using with these reels is the Poseidon Eclipse Boat Spin 7ft.It’s an awesome rod,with enough backbone to pull a variety of pelagic fish.The Saltist range of rods is also exceptional,and they are rods you will hand down to your children.The way this range of rods is being built these days and the technology used to ensure their durability is phenomenal.

You may well ask whether all this is just an ambassador pushing specific products he’s aligned with.I don’t believe so,but it’s up to you to decide.Many anglers already own Daiwa,Shimano and Penn setups.Next time you’re on the water,give it a try and let us know what you think.

Please don’t forget to follow me – aka Pink Pants –@jt_paynter

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 45
Leanne Sokolich caught this lovely ’cuda on a grinder.

Rodrigues Island will fulfil all your fishing fantasties

ERNEST Hemingway famously said:“A man is never lost at sea” and “It is good to have an end to journey toward;but it is the journey that matters,in the end.”

Hemingway was on my mind as my short flight from Mauritius crossed the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean enroute to Rodrigues Island.An awful lot of ocean surrounds this little rock that would be our home for the next couple of weeks.

Six hundred and fifty kilometres north-east of Mauritius,isolated on a ridge between Hawkins Bank and the Eastern Bank,is an island several million years older than its siblings,Mauritius and Reunion.Isolated from the world and stuck in a time warp,the island provides an interesting and authentic cultural experience for any adventurous traveller – and even more so adventurous anglers.

More famous for wind sports and dried octopus,the island’s big game fishing is one of the best and worst

kept secrets of the sportfishing world.A quick page through IGFA’s book of world records soon reveals the illustrious reputation and potential of this destination.

Disguised as a digital nomad,and fully intending to use the island as a temporary home while working and maintaining a life–work balance,my wife and I booked one of the many available self-catering establishments scattered all over the island.

Walking distance to Port Mathurin, sparkling pool,steps from the beach,

PLACES

air-conditioning and good Wi-Fi sealed the deal for The Beach House to be our abode and island office for some weeks as we justified our reason to elope to a place as unique and tranquil as Rodrigues.Of course the main reason for being there was the incredible fishing the island has to offer.

But,before we get to the fishing, some more about the island.

Time truly seems to stand still on Rodrigues.With unique charm and a simple,unhurried ease,friendly people, varied cuisine and striking natural beau-

ty,the island is surely one of the best places in the world to spend a quiet, calm and isolated holiday.There are several categories of accommodation so there will be something for every pocket.

Unlike Mauritius,there are no major resorts,and small family-owned establishments and B&Bs are the order of the day.Taxis,busses and car rentals are all available,but the preferred and most fun alternative is affordable scooter hire.There are numerous activities available,including visiting the many walk-

ing trails,beautiful beaches,caves, secret sensual gardens and spas and ancient tortoises.Visitors can indulge in beach braais,scuba diving,surfing, bungee jumping,zip lines and gorge swings.

A volcanic island along the edge of the Mascarene plateau,the island is surrounded by coral reefs that are uniquely self-seeding as it receives no coral zooplankton from elsewhere.This led to the development of a unique ecosystem for many marine and afcoral species and adds to the excitement for any

diver or angler who wants to explore the bio-diversity on offer.Outside of the coral barrier,the island is surrounded by a basaltic plate varying in depth from 40- to 60m and between 5- and 16km wide,before a drop-off in steps up to 1000m-plus deep.

Hemingway noted that “anglers have a way of romanticizing their battles with fish”and “it was considered a virtue not to talk unnecessarily at sea”. There is,however a great deal to say about the fishing off Rodrigues while reflecting on the incredible time we spent with Captain Yann Colas of Rod Fishing Club aboard Black Marlin

The waters around the island,especially at the end of the season,are not for the faint hearted as a consistent south-easterly wind and varying currents make for fairly big seas most of the time.However,this did not pose a major challenge for Black Marlin as her full 50ft,30 tonnes sportfish hull was specially designed to keep anglers and crew safe.Captain Yann’s 20 years of experience working the unpredictable waters off the island also helps to land any angler their dream fish.

Rodrigues is a true multi species destination and will have something to offer any style of angling,with numerous world records to her name.It’s not by chance that one operator has collected so many records over the years.

The operators of Rod Fishing Club pride themselves on careful preparation that only requires the motivated angler to be matched with the right opportunity to make his dreams come true. Captain Yann is also an IGFA approved captain and operates an official IGFA weigh station for anglers wanting to chase a world record.

Trolling,baiting,jigging,slow jigging,livebait fishing,bottomfishing, pitching and light tackle methods are employed to target exciting bottomfish and reef species like coral trout,red snapper,blue emperor and various groupers.These are complimented by the true warriors of the deep like dogtooth tuna,giant trevally,golden trevally and jobfish as well as the speedsters like yellowfin tuna,wahoo and dorado. That’s without mentioning the trio of billfish,with giant Indo-Pacific sailfish, black- and blue marlin available almost all year round.

Overnight and multiple day trips are also possible to Hawkins Bank or the Eastern Bank to explore these hardlytouched waters,where anglers can experience the thrill of being completely alone fishing rich waters where few have ventured before.These trips also allow for experimental bottomfishing at night and during low light hours for those targeting multiple species.Two overnight trips for us resulted in more

than 30 different species collected,with every take a veritable lucky packet.

Apart from general big game fishing, we were particularly interested in slow pitch jigging and targeting big dogtooth tuna on lighter tackle.Not only did Rodrigues deliver,it exceeded all expectations with regard to quantity and variety.

Smaller blue runners used as livebait produced lots of doggies and smaller GTs,while bigger livebaits were the ticket for larger doggies and a marlin as a bonus.Slow jigging in depths of 50- to 80m over structure either on the plate or near the drop-off accounted for lots of decent size GTs,bluefin trevallies and a particular run of exceptionally good sized golden trevallies.Whenever we needed a break,trolling along the drop-off produced several sailfish and some really good wahoo.

The golden ticket for this destination,and especially Captain Yann and his team,remains the big dogtooth tuna.Rod Fishing Club has recorded over 250 doggies over 50kg with theirclients over the years,and your chances of catching these monsters are very good during their peak season from October to April.

During the season,smaller boats and operators also take anglers on day trips near the coral barrier,and these outings often account for incredibly good GTs

48 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023
Far out, 650km NE of Mauritius roam countless gamefish for those with an adventurous spirit. Jaco and Dgini Visser each caught a beautiful wahoo to add to their species tally.

caught while popping and stick baiting in the surf zone.There’s also very good general gamefishing around the island and even as far as the drop-off if the conditions allow.

I was especially privileged to join Jean-Marc of GlobalRodrigues for just such an outing by ski-boat and managed two decent GTs on surface popper within spitting distance of Ile Aux Cocos,one of the region’s main attractions.

As with any fishing excursion or trip,there are always one or two particularly memorable fish that prove Hemingway’s point of anglers’tending to romanticise their battles with fish. After a dozen or so excursions to secret marks around the island,we have several of those life-time catches that stand out and will be etched in memory forever and will probably be romanticised in fishermen’s yarns as we re-live all the detail with every telling.

In the months of anticipation leading up to the Rodrigues stay,Dgini,my better half had only one wish:‘I want to catch a big red fish!”

On our first shake down outing with Captain Yann she was drifting a bonito cutlet,weightless,over some structure on a light spinning outfit;suddenly she was on! Under-gunned and still finding her sea legs,Dgini held on for dear life and,through sheer determi-

nation,won the 30-minute tug-o-war to land her “big red fish”on our first outing.Trip made!

The 30kg-plus coral trout was promptly released after a few pictures. While Dgini followed that up with several other red species and some impressive red snapper,doggies and wahoo in the following weeks,that first fish will forever be memorable.

Another yarn-worthy fish belongs to Devin Klein,a friend and boat partner, who joined us on Rodrigues for a few days with Jess and three-year-old Connor.Armed with a wish list including monster GT and a “real”doggy, Devin’s day came soon after Dgini’s.

We’d spent an afternoon catching several good size doggies in the 15- to 30kg class on both slow jigging and live blue runners when Captain Yann sounded “Good activity near the floor for jigging”from the helm.The only rod loaded and ready for action was one of Rod Fishing Club’s left-hand drive Stellas on a custom jigging rod.No sooner had Devin cast than he was on with a real fish!

When you’re accustomed to a righthand drive outfit and are suddenly faced with a Herculean battle on a “French outfit”,all co-ordination relies on pure adrenalin.To make matters worse,the reel seat dislodged mid-fight.

Every angler who has had the good

fortune to battle a real doggy will know that the fight is all determination and little finesse.Relief and exhilaration were the overwhelming emotions when the near 50kg dogged gladiator finally hit the deck.

I also had many memorable catches, and one of the highlights was catching a good black marlin on stand-up tackle while swimming a live bonito at a very lively spot called the Escalier.This catch was on 50lb tackle on Williamson’s new Reef Donkey rod that Captain Yann is testing in conjunction with Williamson.

To say that the rod impressed is an understatement,as it soon became the crew’s favourite as well and definitely earned its place among all the custom rods available on Black Marlin

The fish,or rather,series of fish that will,however,be recalled with most fondness was caught on my penultimate outing,when several drifts over a rock just near the drop-off east of the island resulted in a run of particularly good size golden trevallies.It was the proverbial “every down a vas!”

All of them were caught while slow pitch jigging with a baby blue Goofish rod,affectionately nicknamed “jelly”by the crew.These strong fighters with their thick lips and aggressive takes,on a jelly rod,on a continuous loop,is as much fun as any angler could wish for.

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 49

Now that we’re back to reality and the grind of daily life,reflecting on our remarkable experience,there are lessons to be had:

1. Do not go in under-gunned!

Like most operators and charter skippers,Rod Fishing Club and GlobalRodrigues,as well as the other operators on the island,provide excellent quality custom tackle for trolling and general big game fishing. Black Marlin also carries an impressive array of custom jigging rods,all equipped with Stellas.

Personal taste and preference,however,dictate that for jigging,popping and light tackle outfits it is best to take your own,and herein lies the lesson of

not going with tackle too light to do the job.You might just lose the fish of a lifetime and,unless you are planning to chase specific line class records,rather err on the heavier side.

We found that 80lb braid and jigs between 120- and 200 grams on a 100lb leader would be the minimum for jigging,and 200lb leaders with heavy gauge hooks the minimum for baiting and bottoms.After all,if you are planning on releasing your catch,this is kinder on the fish.

2. We have a world class fishery on our doorstep.

After spending six weeks on the island,we have yet to explore all the delights it has to offer and,even less so,

the incredible fishing Rodrigues has to offer.Hawkins Bank,Eastern Bank, broadbill fishing,jigging and deep slow pitch jigging,deep trolling and other modern methods of angling currently developed and refined across the globe have yet to be fully explored around Rodrigues Island.Her captains and crews could just be the opportunity that an innovative angler is looking for to make their angling dreams come true.

Fishing is our drug of choice,and as Rodriguez,in his famous song Sugar Man,said:“For a blue coin,won’t you bring back all those colors to my dreams?”Rodrigues Island will do that for you.

Devin Klein overjoyed with his golden trevally. Your chances of catching dogtooth tuna are very good during their peak season from October to April, as Jess and Dgini proved.

Bluefin tuna numbers up in the Cape

AFEW days after our tuna grandslam in May (see the articlein July 2023 issue of SKI-BOAT ), spirits were still running high as we headed out into the deep blue again.With no boats having been out for the previous few days due to bad weather,we were happy to have a fishable day.We headed to an area similar to where we slammed it a few days prior and set out our lines.

And then ...nothing.By 2pm we thought we were going home emptyhanded,when suddenly a rod went. Before long we had three younger 3040kg yellowfin on the boat.

The next minute my brother, Andrew,shouted that there was a fish swimming in the chum that didn’t look like a yellowfin,but which was definitely a big tuna species.A quick glance and the one unusual tuna turned into three big bluefin swimming in the chum line.

Johan stripped a line and went tight,

then Andrew also went tight.They were now fighting two big bluefin simultaneously.We thought about trying to hook up the third,but decided against it because we did not have a full complement of crew as many had headed up the west coast for the snoek run.

We decided it would be safer to land the two bluefin we had on and keep the chum line going;we could always try for the third afterwards.The fish made very long,strong runs,very much like a yellowfin fight,but with longer deep runs before they settled into their circle and lay on their side to come up.

Tuna fishing is all about teamwork, it’s not about who is on the rod.Many days of prep go into a day’s fishing,and each crew member has a role to play.In my opinion,the most important crew member of the day is actually the one who’s chumming.Without a proper chum line you will catch nothing.It’s probably the most unrewarding task that deserves the most credit,as some-

one sits and separates hundreds of frozen sardines,then cuts them into tiny blocks,separating the heads and tails and keeping a steady line going into the water.

As the fight went on with two big fish,the tuna tango soon started,with the lines getting crossed.Over,under, over,under,rod tips together to keep the lines free.This continued for some time until Andrew finlly presented his catch to the boat.We could clearly see it was a bluefin,and it had the weight to match as we tried to lift her over the side.

Once we had her onboard I commented that this fish must be close to kissing the 100kg mark.Shortly thereafter Johan landed his,another big beauty.

As darkness approached,the yellowfin started coming up and we started hooking up with more younger class yellowfin in the 40-50kg size range.

At one stage I was on the rod and after a short initial run I saw the colour

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 53
GREATCATCHES

of my fish.Within a few minutes of hooking up it came alongside,but it did not move at all.When I called for the gaff to load it,I saw the tail had been bitten clean off and the fish had already bled out.A massive mako shark appeared in the chum line and took his tax out of the next four yellowfin we landed.

An hour after dark we finally started the 32NM journey back to Hout Bay into a bumpy north-westerly wind on a pitch dark night.A trip like that is never great,but sometimes you have to stick it out to get the results.

Despite the rough ride home our spirits were high because we knew we had two big fish in the box.The next day they tipped the scales to triple digits at 101.5kg and 103kg.Our staff at the factory shared in the excitement,all taking turns to take a photo with the impressive catch.

Cape Town has one of the most special tuna fisheries in the world,and it’s right here on our doorstep for all to enjoy.I believe we will continue to see great tuna catches for the following years as these fish seem to becoming more abundant.

54 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023
Left: Andrew and Ryan Nienaber celebrate the haul of two bluefin over 100kg amid a run of abundant tuna catches.

IN fishing,we often use the term “steal with your eyes”.I stole this method of preparing fish from a legend!

Thanks,John Boswarva,for the BBB (Beer Box Braai) technique of cooking fish.

The old Durban Ski-Boat Club boat shelters was always a popular venue to gather after a day at sea,and this was an easy,no-fuss method for quickly braaiing some of your catch of the day whilst unloading and washing the boat after a day’s fishing.

This method works best with a fish that has a tough skin,like dorado for example,but I’ve cooked various species this way,including trout,’cuda and kob.

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole fish,but not longer than a cardboard beer box/carton

1 2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon apricot jam

1 fresh lemon

1 empty cardboard beer carton

METHOD:

•Prepare a fire with 7 to 10 briquettes,or take a spade full of coals from a ready-made fire.It’s important to have a small,gentle fire with a single layer of coals.

•When cooking trout,I throw a few apple tree wood chips over the coals for a subtle smokey flavour,but this is a personal choice and plain is just as delicious.

•Fillet one side of your catch of the day.Don’t bother to scale or clean the skin side that will go on the fire. Save the piece you’ve just filleted for another meal and prepare to cook the left over portion with head, backbone and skin.

•Salt the flesh/backbone side and let it rest while waiting for the fire to be ready.

•Add the butter and apricot jam to the flesh/backbone side just before cooking.Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the flesh too.

•When the fire is ready (there should be a thin layer of white ash over the red coals),thoroughly wet a cardboard beer carton.The water must soak the sides of the carton.

•Place the fish skin-side-down on a grid,centrally located over the ready coals.Cover it with the soaked beer box.Leave the fish to cook slowly for around 30 minutes.I stress again: you must cook it on a small,gentle fire with a low heat for slow cooking.This is key to the BBB method.

When I first saw John prepare a fire for this method with only a few briquettes,I thought that maybe he’d consumed too much beer! I was wrong.A small,gentle fire is key.

•Don’t lift the lid at all or turn the fish – another important tip.

•After 30 minutes,remove the grid from the fire and let the fish rest for 15 minutes.

•Drizzle with fresh lemon and serve with any side finger snacks like chips,new potatoes or a simple salad.

Our DSBC shelter chest bait freezer made for a perfect table to snack from. The fish is best eaten straight from the grid with your fingers,and only using one hand to snack so as not to interfere with the other hand holding the hose (washing the boat) or a cold beer.Enjoy!

SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 55
à la Martin du Plessis
RECIPE

WHILE camping at Cape Vidal in January with my family and a good friend,I took my fishing ski out for the first time.I woke up at 4am and met up with the guy who would be joining me on his own ski,Jamie.

We took our skis down to the beach and he briefed me on how to launch as this was my first time going out on a paddle ski.I punched through a few waves,but eventually got out.

I got my rod ready to catch livebait,and once I was set up,I looked up and was shocked to see that I had drifted a long way south of the Cape Vidal main beach and could no longer see any other skis or boats! I decided to quickly catch a few livebaits and then paddle back up north.

On my way up I put out two rods,one with a mackerel and the other with a maasbanker.Within minutes the rod with the mackerel started screaming,and as I looked back I saw a dorado jump out of the water.As soon as I picked up the rod I knew something was wrong.My line had got caught on my rudder,so I had to cut the line as the dorado was towing me south.I was quite disappointed but I carried on fishing.

I had re-tied a trace to the rod and put it out again.It had been about 30 minutes with no action and my rod with the maasbanker started screaming! It wasn’t a long

fight,and as the fish neared the boat I saw that it was a bonito.I reached into the hatch to grab my gaff,but it had shifted to the front of the ski so I grabbed the fish with my hand and put it into the hatch.

I then carried on paddling north with two lines in the water,and as I neared the other guys my rod with the mackerel went ballistic.I heard the other guys on skis shouting “The boy’s got a marlin!”and as I reached back to grab my rod,I saw the marlin jump right behind my ski.As I reeled it in,I started to wonder how I was going to get it onto my ski as this was my first time handling a marlin.The fish jumped a lot and was still full of energy as it wasn’t a long fight.

Jamie shouted “Use your cap!”,so I used my cap to grab the marlin and pull it onto my lap for a quick photo. Jamie was on his ski a short distance from me,and took a picture before I released the fish.

I was extremely excited and wanted to carry on fishing,but we had been out for a while and it was time to head back to shore.

I was quite nervous about beaching as it is quite technical,and as I headed in a big wave caught up to me and I flipped the ski.I then realised that getting flipped isn’t so bad and I eventually got back to the beach.

What an adventure!

MYFIRSTMARLIN
All about action! All about fishing! DON’TDELAYSUBSCRIBETODAY SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 57 1 YEAR — 6 ISSUES R 2 7 0 Yes! Enter my subscription to SKI-BOAT Magazine I save 18% on the newsstand price! 1 Year (6 issues) only R220.00.Save R50.00! New subscriber Existing subscriber ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN E-ZINE. Get your FREEdigital subscription at www.issuu.com Name .......................................................................................................................... Physical Address .............................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................Code:......... Telephone .................................................(Home) ..................................................(Work) Cell.............................................Email Address................................................................. Payment options: Direct deposits or EFT Unfortunately due to postal issues beyond our control we are no longer accepting international subscriptions for the paper version of SKI-BOAT However anyone is able to access the digital version for free on www.issuu.com SAVE BANKING DETAILS FOR DIRECT DEPOSITS OR INTERNET PAYMENTS (eft) A/C Name: Angler Publications • Bank: First National Bank • Branch: Durban North • Branch Code: 220426 • A/C Number: 50790026585 Please email proof of payment and address details to <angler@mags.co.za> Now R220,00 Three lucky subscribers will each win a full year’s subscription to SKI-BOAT magazine, valued at the newsstand price of R270. This means, should you subscribe and win, you will receive your next year’s subscription ABSOLUTELY FREE! Subscribe to between 1st July 2023 and 1st October 2023 and win YOUR NEXT YEAR’S SUBSCRIPTION ABSOLUTELY FREE! FREE DIGITALE-ZINE ONWWW.ISSUU.COM All about boats!

Kingfisher Award Application Form

I hereby apply for the Kingfisher Award in the category:

Meritorious Fish Outstanding Catch

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

Applicant’s Details:

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

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

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

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

E-mail:

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

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

Signature: ..............................................

Meritorious Fish

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

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

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

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

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

Outstanding catch Category applied for (tick appropriate box):

3:15:1 7:1 10:1

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

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

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

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

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

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

Digital emailed photographs should be high-resolution.

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

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

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

1) Meritorious Fish

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

RULES:

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

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.

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

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

2) Outstanding Catch

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

Awards will be made in the following ratio categories:

3:1 – Bronze Award

5:1 – Silver Award

7:1 – Silver Award

10:1 – Gold Award.

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

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

applications to: angler@mags.co.za
Email
1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9)
58 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023

CAPTURINGHISTORYONPAPER

BRIAN Cohen’s father,Vic, caught the first giant bluefin in Fish Hoek Bay back in 1963, and that 702lb fish marked the start of the area’s famous ten-year run of giant bluefin tuna.

Brian himself landed his first giant bluefin,a fish weighing 401lb,at the age of 15,but that certainly wasn’t his last.Among his numerous catches were two fish worthy of the record books,one of which still stands today.

Brian’s articles in SKIBOAT magazine (see the November 2020,January 2021 and March 2022 issues) generated a great deal of interest among our

readers.He has now published a hardcover coffee table-style book which captures some of the highlights of this history.

Fifty A4 pages in size,the book is filled with photos of that era and will be a great memento for all avid fishermen young and old.For the young guys,it will be an eye opener to know that these giant bluefin were caught in Fish Hoek Bay,and for the older generation it will no doubt spark reminiscences of a time gone by.

The book costs R380 excluding postage.For further details or to order a copy,contact Jill Altern on <jillianaltern @gmail.com>.

62 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023
NEWSFLASH
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BUSINESSCLASSIFIEDS & DIRECTORY SKI-BOAT September/October 2023 • 63

GO girl,go,I thought,as I read the Rapala Lip in the previous issue of SKI-BOAT magazine. That woman Claire is a PROPER angler!

There is no doubt the girls have learned a lot in the last couple of decades and are doing it for themselves. Or their men have finally learned that it’s no use trying to keep a good woman down – and off the boat.

Back when I was her age there were far too many male chauvinist pigs who believed that a fishing trip was no place for a woman.What these men really meant was that they perceived it as the ultimate excuse to get away from wifey.

Then they exerted pressure on their fishing buddies to do the same,threatening them with exclusion from the pack if they so much as thought of taking a woman fishing on any of “their”boats.

However,I think there is more to that ploy than met the eye,because the lengths they went to to protect the “boys’club”put the Al Qaeda network to shame.

club and the daughter of a senior member of that club,I saw,heard and felt a great deal of what went on in the august circles of SADSAA.That’s the South African Deep Sea Angling Association, for those ladies not “in the loop”when it comes to deep sea anglers.Boy,can I tell you some stories,and believe me, there are lots of stories about “ladies”, but not the kind that are interested in catching fish – or at least not those that swim in the sea.

That brings me back to my point about the club.One of the club’s members,who had recently got himself disentangled from his wife of long standing,came under pressure from his new floozy to take her fishing.

What a dilemma! Here was T&L (Tits and Lipstick) exerting mighty pressure to be taken into the bullring of the boys’club.Joe (as we shall call him), was well aware of the unwritten law of the club,but his mind was totally scrambled by a mini-skirt and tanga bikini.In fact,his mind was so scrambled that during the last large gathering of the

Last word from the ladies

into the ramkamp (the equivalent of taking a pork chop into a synagogue)?

“Don’t tell us he’s gone completely mal,”those in the gathering muttered.

“She’s entered into the competition,” someone murmured.“Ag nee,what’s the new South Africa coming to?”muttered Oom Piet.“Thank goodness she’s not fishing on my boat.”

I am led to believe that wherever Joe wandered with his new “crew”,the manne of the club edged backwards –like iron filings being repulsed by the negative pole of a magnet.Nee wat, looking is one thing,getting contaminated was beyond comprehension.

I never heard how the entire episode ended,because even during “pillow talk”my old man remained very tight-lipped about it all

I am now delighted to see all these “ladies”competitions being advertised. It seems the women of today have forged a club of their own and have put the men in their place – as skipper and gilly,their main jobs being to ensure the women are kept well watered and catch

Maybe the girls finally remembered that most if not all of us have legal rights entrenched in our marriage contracts – be they in community of property or through the accrual system.This entitles us to half the boat the old man

Well done,ladies for claiming your rightful place and invading the club in numbers.Let’s show the men that integration is not just the latest buzzword and that it’s going to apply to the world of ski-boating – whether they like it or

64 • SKI-BOAT September/October 2023
RAPALALIP
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