Page 1


January/February 2016 Volume 32 Number 1 COVER: Switch it! A feisty Seychelles blue marlin caught using switchbait techniques See page 23. Photo by Brad Kidd.



Radio Clarity Update on the VHF saga — by Stan Walter


From Adversity Comes Strength 2015 Mercury OET Bill- & Gamefish Tournament — by Erwin Bursik


Switch It! How to bait and switch for marlin — by Stuart Simpson


Boat Profile: Explorer 19 CC A stable, value-for-money craft you’ll love — by Heinrich Kleyn


Dire Straits


South Africa’s coastal angling fishery is in trouble — by Nadine A Strydom, Bruce Mann and Edward Truter


On Track A review of Garmin’s nüviCam GPS unit — by Erwin Bursik


30 Years of Tagging Thousands of fish released — by Stuart Dunlop and Rudy van der Elst


Shallow Waters Big Fish 2015 Tigerfish Bonanza — by Mark Wilson


Taming Tigers Tactics that work at Jozini — by Jeff and Jayden Blesovsky


A Club in a Million History of the Cape Boat & Ski-Boat Club — by Johan Smal



The Winds of Change It’s a bitter blast indeed — by Craig Thomassen


Show Ends on a High 2015 Cape Town International Boat Show

DEPARTMENTS 8 9 66 67 69 81

Editorial — by Erwin Bursik Postbox SADSAA News Subscribe and WIN! This issue’s Kingfisher Awards Mercury Junior Anglers

52 84 91 92 96 97 98

Reel Kids Smalls & Advertisers’ Index Where to fish in Africa Business Classifieds Charters & Destinations Directory Rapala Lip — Last Word from the Ladies

The official magazine of the South African Deep Sea Angling Association

Publisher: Erwin Bursik Editor: Sheena Carnie Advertising Executive: Mark Wilson



Editorial Assistant: Vahini Pillay Advertising Consultant: Joan Wilson Administration Executive: Anne Bursik Accountant: Jane Harvey Executive Assistant: Kim Hook Admin Assistant: Sunny Kandaswami Boat Tests: Heinrich Kleyn


Contributors: Jayden Blesovsky, Jeff Blesovsky, Erwin Bursik, Stuart Dunlop, Heinrich Kleyn, Bruce Mann, Stuart Simpson, Johan Smal, Nadine A Strydom, Craig Thomassen, Edward Truter, Rudi van der Elst, Stan Walter & Mark Wilson. Advertising – National Sales: Angler Publications Telephone: (031) 572-2280/89/97/98 Mark Wilson cell: 073 748 6107 Joan Wilson ADVERTISING – GAUTENG & MPUMALANGA Lynette Adams (011) 425-2052 or cell 083 588 0217;; Publishers: Angler Publications cc PO Box 20545, Durban North 4016 Telephone: (031) 572-2280/89/97/98 Fax: (031) 572-7891 e-mail: Subscriptions to SKI-BOAT: R160 per annum (six issues). New subscriptions and renewals: SKI-BOAT Subscriptions Department, PO Box 20545, Durban North 4016. Telephone: (031) 572-2280/89/97/98 Fax: (031) 572-7891 • e-mail: • Through, or • E-zine digital subscriptions — visit > SKIBOAT > SUBSCRIBE, then choose your option. • Click the E-zine short-cut on the magazine’s home page,, or visit Reproduction: Hirt & Carter, Durban Printer: Robprint (Pty) Ltd, Durban Full production is done in-house by Angler Publications & Promotions on Apple Macintosh software and hardware for output directly to plate. 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 RNA, 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.

8 • SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

S the sun made its appearance over the eastern horizon on Thursday 5th November, 60 boats were lined up on the beach at Jesser Point, Sodwana Bay, ready, willing and more than able to launch into the Indian Ocean, searching for the billfish species that frequent those waters. After being beach-bound for a number of days due to adverse weather conditions, the excitement among the 300 OET competitors was palpable as the fleet waited for the organisers to give permission for the boats to launch. I was on the beach that morning, strolling around and admiring the magnificent craft, soaking up the buzz and taking note of the activities

Erwin Bursik Publisher

of those about to go to sea. There is a saying that goes, “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes”, and my mind was working overtime, taking note of the amount of work, preparation and cost that had gone into getting this band of anglers and their equipment ready to put to sea. Unfortunately there is always someone who feels the need to try to influence the system or continually put hurdles in the way of those of us who just want to practice the sport that we so dearly love. Most of these people have never experienced the build-up — both physical and psychological — required to get to this point on the shores of Sodwana Bay. Most of them have never been involved in getting ready to launch on a craft and proceed through the surf and out to sea, never mind putting a lure into the water to eventually commence offshore angling. My mind wandered to consider the authorities who make the rules that are implemented to “control” us ski-boaters and who mostly languish on shore, far from the places where boats are launched to go fishing. Those rules are contrived in the hallowed halls of theoretical knowledge by persons who have never set foot on sportfishing craft — rules that might well work in theory but which are extremely difficult to implement in practise. I think now of rules such as those currently being implemented to “control” craft construction, craft use, craft safety, craft towability, angling methods, angling catches and, above all, rules to ensure the boater/angler is restricted in their enjoyment of the entire experience of going to sea to catch fish. On the flipside of this coin are the boat owners who invest a fortune in their beloved craft. It’s not the R300 000, R700 000 or R1-million-plus that is material, it’s the fact that these men are not mentally deficient, nor are they oblivious to the inherent dangers attached to their chosen pastime. These men know better than all others that “caution” is the watchword — from the time their precious craft is hitched up to their expensive 4x4 vehicle, while it is towed to their fishing destination, while they’re out at sea and right until they return safely home again. Be it on the road, on the beach, through the surf and out at sea while running or fishing, their minds continually focus on their own safety and the safety of the crew — and of course, that of their precious craft. Whilst I accept that laws are necessary to ensure our safety and that of others, I have a serious problem with the authorities who make the laws specifically applicable to boats, boating and fishing without thoroughly liaising with the fraternity who are going to be bound by such laws. Walk a mile in our shoes, join the great trek from inland South Africa to Sodwana Bay, help prepare the rig to go to sea, go with us through the surf, help us re-trailer the craft and get it off the beach and then finally, wash her down and put her under wraps until the next morning; experience the practicality, the impositions forced on us and above all enjoy with us the pleasure we glean from just being able to go to sea and fish. Such an adventure will enlighten those of you in the seats of power and you’ll see why the offshore anglers of South Africa go to sea. You might even find yourself yearning to buy a boat and go to sea more often — if only the regulations weren’t so arduous to comply with! Till the next tide.

Erwin Bursik


A LURE THAT REALLY WORKS Dear Editor Do you remember the lure we got from your mag once? My son has now caught four of the five billfish species — three with this lure, including a stripey that was caught the day before the OET. DRIES KOTZE <> FISHING THE GAMTOOS ESTUARY Dear Editor Earlier this year I wanted to see if I could catch myself big kob on drop shot. I’ve heard so much about the Gamtoos estuary and the kob and garrick that roam the estuary that I decided to make the 12-hour trip down there hauling a boat. The next day the weather was great and my friend and I launched the boat and headed for Granse’s — the deepest part of the estuary. We anchored and started drop shotting on the pushing tide which was the perfect time to catch these magnificent fish. I was using my 7ft Shimano Crucial with a Sustain 3000, 15 lb braid, a 34⁄ oz lead Nitro Jig Head and a 5” Berkley Sardine. I tossed it overboard and allowed it to sink to the bottom before starting my retrieve — a slight tweak, lift up and then drop the lure onto the bottom again; tweak again and drop it again with a slow retrieve ... On my sixth cast into the depths of Granse’s I got picked up and my Sustain 3000 began screaming. As I watched the braid peeling off I slowly tightened my drag to slow him down, being careful not to over tighten it. This beauty fought me for a good 25 minutes before I got him to the surface. With the help of my mate I got him

Something on your mind? Write to The Editor <>

WOMEN ON THE WATER Dear Editor I recently had the opportunity to finally give my wife, Sarah, a break from the kids and get her out on the ocean. It was a cracker day and we were joined by her friend from work, Bianca Wilmans. We managed to catch a few snoek, but I got this awesome picture of the two of them with their prize catches. I was hoping you would use this pic for a cover in the near future — show the guys that the girls can do it and maybe encourage a few more female anglers to get involved in the amazing sport we love so much. SHANE DENNIS <> Sorry, Shane but the pic wasn’t big enough to use for a cover — get your wife out fishing more often and feel free to send us more photos to consider. We would love to see more women out on the water. — Ed

onto the boat to be weighed, tagged measured and photographed before being returned to the water. The kob weighed a whopping 37kg — my biggest to date. The next morning we were out early again. This time I used a Berkley 5” mullet. Before long I was onto another kob — much smaller than the one I’d caught the day before, but still great fun on light tackle drop shot. This one weighed 5kg. We got a total of nine kob in three days, with my 37kg beast being the

biggest. If you want to do some exciting kob fishing, take a trip down to the Eastern Cape with the family or friends and experience the thrashing of giant kob on drop shot. Our country has some beautiful estuaries, and if you do a bit of research and have the right tackle you’re bound to have a good time. Remember to practice catch and release though — let your fish roam free to fight another day. JEAN-PIERRE BARTHOLOMEW <> SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 9

10 â&#x20AC;¢ SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

SAFETY by Stan Walter, SADSAA Safety Officer


N the editorial in the November/ December 2015 issue of SKIBOAT magazine, Erwin Bursik voiced a number of concerns and listed some possible practical ramifications regarding the implementation of SAMSA’s marine notice 6 of 2015 relating to the compulsory use of VHF radios and the new radio licences that will be required from 1st January 2016. With any change like this there are bound to be queries and concerns, but some of them are knee-jerk reactions because of the anglers’ reluctance to change and to spend more money on boating equipment and licensing. I hope this article will help offshore boaters to understand what is going to take place with regard to the installation and use of VHF radios in the future. In my capacity as SADSAA’s National Safety Officer I make no comment on the whys and wherefores, I can only explain how this law is to be implemented and applied ... SHORT RANGE VHF RADIO The average person operating a VHF radio is required to be able to operate the equipment in an efficient manner, hence the operator’s certificate —which they have to have in their possession when operating a marine VHF radio — and the upgrade Short Range Certificate which will be needed in the future. The restricted RT (VHF only) is for

use on small vessels whilst Telkom Maritime Services/Cape Town Radio still keeps a 24/7/365 watch on the distress channel (channel 16) which, as indicated, will continue for some time. The entire coast from the Orange River to Ponto do Ouro is covered by means of repeater stations which are operated from Cape Town Radio. Eventually Cape Town Radio will cease to keep watch on channel 16 and by that time (possibly in 2018) everybody will have to be in possession of a Short Range Certificate. They will no longer be able to call the coast station on channel 16 and the initial call will have to be on channel 70 using Digital Selective Calling (DSC) technology. MAKING A DISTRESS CALL To sum up, this is the current procedure if a vessel is in distress and has to send out a mayday signal: Using channel 16 the person will make a distress call by saying,“Mayday, mayday, mayday, this is (vessel’s name repeated three times).” They will then proceed with the rest of the distress message. This procedure is still acceptable for as long as the coast station is keeping an aural watch on channel 16. When the coast station ceases to keep an aural watch on channel 16 the following procedure will have to be followed: The distress call will have to be sent on channel 70 by means of DSC which is basically sent out by means of a burst of data. The operator is not required to know exactly how this function works, just that it does. Coast stations and/or vessels in the vicinity will receive this distress call on the DSC function built in to their VHF sets. All new VHF sets already have this function built in and this can be

checked by looking to see if the distress button is on the radio. This function still has to be activated, though. Once a distress signal has been sent out, everybody involved will go to channel 16 (exactly as before) and the distress message and subsequent communications will be conducted in exactly the same manner as before. The initial distress call is the only thing that changes in that it is sent as a burst of data on channel 70 as opposed to being verbally conveyed over channel 16. All other procedures remain the same. There are a few other functions that have to be learned when doing the SCR course, but most of the procedures remain the same in the “new” system as they were in the “old” system. I think some people are under the impression that all the communications for a distress situation will be handled digitally, but this is not the case and, as explained above, it is only the initial call that has changed. I hope this has clarified the situation for offshore boaters.

Update on the VHF saga

SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 11


2015 Mercury OET Bill- and Gamefish Tournament WITH THANKS

Albatros • Anglers’ Cove • Assegaai Bande • Bakkies Baai • Bakkies Bohmer • BOLS Hengelklub • Garmin • Grip Hooks • Halco • Heyshope Angling Club • Hoedspruit Diepsee Hengelklub • Isimangaliso WWA • • Mallards Marine • Matsuri Safaris • MCon Construction • McGee Ford • Mercury motors • Midway Bande • MNR Olie


Camp Ross Ramos — Inhaca Island • Daga Boat Angling Club • Dolos • Eventually Lodge • Gani’s Sport Witbank • Jeep • Jesser Point Boat Lodge • John Deere • Jormid Electrical • KMSHK • Leatherbacks • Loo4U Toilet Hire Mojo & Squidnation • Mpumalanga Lifting • N4 Plant • Nelspruit end Distrik Hengelklub • Nemo Diver Charter

Backline took home the boat prize for the top team at the 2015 OET.

By Erwin Bursik


HE OET, one of the premier offshore angling tournaments in South Africa, was masterminded by the Eastern Transvaal Deep Sea Angling Association some 38 years ago to bring the “manne” of the Eastern Transvaal together and to promote both heavy and light tackle angling amongst the clubs of the association. This bond was so well entrenched that it was only natural that, when the era of big prizes began, the “OET”, as it is fondly known, followed suit and even went a step further, offering the biggest prizes of any tournament hosted in South African waters. That is still true of the tournament today. During September 2015 Lappies Labuschagne and a few of his long-time supporters decided to retire from their leadership positions in the Mpumalanga Deep Sea Angling Association, passing the baton to the eager younger men who were keen to accept the challenge of leading this very solid province of anglers. Chris Rothmann is now the provincial president and Stephan Kleynhans the Competition Officer. When they took up the baton which included running the legendary OET, little did they realise they would soon come to know what the saying “baptism by fire” really means. With unbridled enthusiasm the organising committee were determined to make the 38th OET as good, if not better, than the previous events presided over by their illustrious predecessors.

The opening function was held on Sunday 1 November 2015 in a huge marquee erected in the grounds of Sodwana Lodge. Everything was fantastic, with the full complement of eager competing teams appreciating the revised décor. However, before long the southwest wind began to make itself felt. We all thought it was no big deal; perhaps Monday’s fishing would be called off, but there was still the rest of the week’s angling to look forward to. Little did we know that the southwesterly front was one of the biggest to hit the KwaZulu-Natal coast in the last twenty years. Gusting at over 130km per hour, it not only destroyed the ocean, but also laid flat the OET marquee. Our house and home for the week was torn to shreds and lay flat on the ground! Worst of all, we could not get to sea for the first three of the five days of the tournament. The organising committee and their band of eager helpers performed miracles, though. No sooner had the wind calmed a bit than a new marquee was erected and totally redecorated, ready to host the evening happy hour on Wednesday and move forward with fervour. We fished on the Thursday for the full day and even extended the day a bit, but then the high pressure system following the big west pulled in a northeasterly. It was gusting up to 30 knots on Friday morning, forcing the weather committee to call off that day’s fishing and climax the 2015 OET with another disappointment. However, the adversity did not end there. As if the gale


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force winds, collapsed marquee and disastrous fishing were not enough, just before the prize-giving was due to start there was a power outage in the entire Jesser Point area! Fortunately the organisers managed to produce a number of generators to bring forth light and power. Then the final straw — the local constabulary arrived to “prohibit” the function from taking place! It was illegal, they said — this after 37 years of such prize-givings! The “manne” of the OET were dumbstruck, but not for long. After demanding to see a legal notice, warrant or some legal paper signed by a magistrate or judge prohibiting the event, the committee decided to continue as planned. Finally the adversity ended and a great evening and exciting prize giving commenced. The OET’s new committee displayed phenomenal strength of character to pull through this year’s event and we can all look forward to this resolute committee producing bigger and better events for us in years to come. “And what about the fishing?” you may ask. What fishing? On the Thursday the ocean wasn’t too bad, but the cold wind and sea temperatures that had dropped by four degrees from the Sunday put most of the billfish off the bite. There were very few reports from the 60 craft in the competition and only six bills were released, three of which were disqualified due to tackle irregularities and/or rule infringements. However, a few craft managed to catch some gamefish, in particular the guys aboard Backline who weighed in their permitted total of ten gamefish, thereby accumulating 62.4 points which put them in fourth place on the leaderboard. They were positioned behind team Oom C-Breeze who’d logged a black marlin release as well as Wave Spray and Seven Seas who each released a sailfish. Cape Town’s Gerhard von Bonde, fishing on Hot Line weighed in a 13.5kg dorado that won him the top gamefish prize for that day. The final day, Friday 6 November dawned with the majority of the fleet anxious to go fishing. With the north wind blowing fairly hard when we launched and a strong northeasterly predicted for 9am, the anglers started fishing hard as soon as they could. There was an ominous silence on the radio as the fleet persisted in Wicked Tuna-type seas and none of us was surprised when, at about 8.30am, the competition’s weather committee put an end to the 2015 OET Mercury Bill- and Gamefish tournament. It’s true that the results were dismal, but all of us who did get to sea fished extremely hard that Friday, knowing that with some luck the Mallards Cobra Cat 630 powered by twin 115hp Mercury 4-stroke motors was well within reach of those of us on the ocean that morning. A double strike of two sailfish or a marlin and a sizeable gamefish could easily have done the trick.

Gerhard von Bonde’s 13.5kg dorado was the heaviest gamefish caught and won the Calcutta prize.


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Oom C-Breeze (bottom) was second overall, Wave Spray (top left) was third and Seven Seas was fourth.

Spray, their catch of a sailfish and gamefish giving them a In the end the only billfish released that morning was a total of 85.50 points. sailfish on Backline, and a few small gamefish were recorded Without doubt the 2015 Mercury OET Bill- and Gamefish among the other boats. Tournament will be remembered for decades to come. Its bitThe sailie did it, though, and Sarel Allers and his crew on ter-sweet effect on all of us who took part only helped to Backline won the event with a total of 142.40 points. The make us more determined that all the dedicated OET manne top prize of the Cobra Cat powered by Mercury motors with will again arrive at Sodwana for the 2016 event and that it will a formidable array of other prizes was theirs, thus ensuring be one hell of a competition. that the 2015 OET was an even more memChris Rothmann, Stefan Kleynhans and orable occasion for them. 2015 TOP 10 TEAMS their dedicated tournament committee did In second place was team Oom C- Backline . . . . . . . . . . . . .142.4 points an outstanding job, overcoming all the Breeze who accumulated 100 points when Oom C-Breeze . . . . . . . .100.0 points adversity to come out tops, still smiling they released the marlin on the Thursday. Wave Spray . . . . . . . . . . .85.5 points and assuring all of us that the 2016 OET During the prize-giving Garth McGee of Seven Seas . . . . . . . . . . . .80.0 points will be bigger and better. McGee Motors Lydenburg handed over Satisfaction . . . . . . . . . . .30.4 points Guys, mark your diaries and book now the keys to the Ford Ranger double cab Certainty . . . . . . . . . . . . .21.7 points for the 2016 OET. You are all aware that that had been displayed in the marquee â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Mat Suri . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18.1 points the number of craft allowed to take part is the team aboard Oom C-Breeze would Seevarkie . . . . . . . . . . . . .17.5 points restricted, and nobody wants to miss out, have unrestricted use of it for six months. Hotline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13.5 points so book now. Third prize went to the guys aboard Wave Stefi Joe . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13.5 points

20 â&#x20AC;˘ SKI-BOAT January/February 2016


Hungry fish attacking the switchbait.

Marlin has engulfed the bait and turned to move off.

Marlin surfacing after the circle hook has lodged itself and it feels the tension of the line.

How to bait and switch for marlin by Stuart Simpson


O, you’ve been trolling all day with your favourite lures and teasers in your secret spot when one of your crew starts to eyeball you with his chameleon eyes and then swipes his cap over his face as if you’ve put them in the bush all day. At that point, when you’ve just about given up for the day, a marlin appears in your spread. He races from your short rigger to your flat line then back to the short rigger and then disappears as you hold

your breath and your half-awake crew just catches the last glance of the fish. Suddenly everyone’s awake and it happens — all hell breaks loose as the long rigger release clip fires open and your reel starts to scream. The adrenaline rushes through your body, everyone on board focuses on the fish, clears lines and does the jobs they’re supposed to do — and then it’s gone! Marlin fishing certainly has its highs and lows, excitements and disappointments, but there has to be a better way to increase hook ups... Well, there is!

BAIT & SWITCH Bait and switch is not new and it’s been practised all around the world for years, but as with most techniques, everyone has their own methods and style. I’ll share with you the method that has worked for me... If you plan to try this technique, the most important thing is that you and your crew have to be confident and have to have the right mindset; everyone has a job to do on the boat and you have to be committed at all times. There’s no room for sleeping or halfhearted efforts, so if that’s a problem SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 23

24 â&#x20AC;¢ SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

rather stick to the basics. Marlin fishing is not for everyone because you have to be patient and have to be able to enjoy your time on the water without losing confidence or patience. This is where the big twist comes in — putting your best lures out with no hooks can mess with some people’s heads if they don’t believe in the method. However, if you’re confident enough to give this method a chance it will improve your skills and your strike rate. There are two ways of doing this — with two teasers of four teasers. Your favourite lures are about to become teasers. Take out the two best lures you have in your lure bag, remove the hooks and add about 1m of 500 lb trace as the leader. The short leader helps you to retrieve the teaser out the water with ease. The teasers should be at least 14 inches long — something that will push a lot of water and attract a marlin’s attention. Run them in the normal positions where you usually get strikes; I prefer to stagger my lures, but you must do what works best for you. Run them off teaser reels so you have more space for the pitch rods; if you don’t have teaser reels then run them off your rods in the tag line rod holders. In addition to those, run two lures with hooks on your longs (outriggers) in case the fish does not switch or you or your buddy miss it when you pitch the bait. Run these two rods in the tag line holders (only if you have teaser reels for the other two) so that you have open space out the back of the boat. Add a centre rigger way back so you don’t have anything interfering in the middle of the strike zone. It’s best to have four fishermen on board — one person on the port teaser, another on the starboard teaser, one guy ready to throw the pitch bait and then, of course, the captain.

TEASER SETUP - KONA AND POSITIONS ON BOAT Outrigger in normal extended position

6 1⁄2 waves behind boat 1st wave Teaser Pitch rod


Hookless lure 30ft behind boat

Angler Hookless lure

Hookless lure

2nd wave 5th wave behind boat

OVERHEAD VIEW: REMOVING THE HOOKLESS KONA AND CASTING TO THE FISH Teaserman removes hookless lure from the water





After pitching the bait the angler freespools to allow the marlin to swallow the bait.

Kona removed just after the marlin’s head has passed the skipping pitchbait.

By looking at the above diagrams one can visualise what happens when a marlin is teased up to the boat. SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 25

Above: Three rods — 30 lb, 50 lb and 80 lb — centre and portside, rigged with switchbait ready for deployment when a marlin is raised. Left: Close up of the way Stuart has the leader ready for quick deployment. GOOD PREPARATION IS KEY The first thing to note is that all your bait has to be reasonably fresh. When we fish on a daily basis and have access to fresh bait we just ice our bait and use it as is, then dispose of what’s left over at the end of the day. However, it’s not often that we get such luxuries. When access to bait is not easy, it does get a little tricky and takes a bit of time to prepare your baits. If you use this method to prepare baits and you look after them properly you can go for at least four to five fishing days without freezing your bait. You will need lots of non-ionised salt, one roll of tinfoil, bait needle, wax thread, clear tubing — 3mm to 4mm, circle hook size 11/0, 12/0 Mustad 39948NP-BN and 300- to 400 lb trace. Clean the stomach and gills if it’s a frigate mackerel or bonito and leave the baits in icy water with as much non-ionised salt as you can for eight hours — cake your bait in salt and ice. Use the tinfoil to line the coolerbox you will be using; make sure it’s a double layer of tinfoil so it’s not easy to puncture. Once your baits are firm, rinse them in saltwater. You will find that they are slightly dehydrated; that’s what you want. Take at least 1m of wax thread to make sure that you have enough to tie off at the end. Now start to stitch up your baits following the steps shown in the diagrams overleaf. Once your baits are stitched and ready to go, lay them neatly in your foil-lined cooler. Pour three cups full of non-iodised salt over your baits; they will be slightly moist and will most probably look like dried out slugs. The benefit of using tougher, slightly dehydrated baits is that there’s less chance of the bait being chopped in half when a marlin grabs the middle of it (that’s just depressing!) and your bait lasts a lot longer. When a marlin does appear among your teasers, immediately throw the bait in the water on the same side of the boat where the fish is, and skip the bait along one metre inside the teaser. Once the fish has grabbed the teaser, start to tease the fish past the bait. If the marlin is visible on the tease bring the teaser in as fast as you can. Ninety percent of the time the fish will turn back to where the teaser was and that’s where your bait should be waiting. The captain will have to do a slight turn in the same direction as the fish; this will help the angler keep the bait in the clear water.

This picture shows the sophisticated switchbait holder and rigged bait ready for deployment. The bait is resting in an ice slurry. Picture by Brad Kidd.

The leader is neatly coiled to ensure quick deployment, with the bait on ice in a cooler box on the deck. An elastic band and a short length of very heavy nylon holds the coiled leader. When the heavy nylon is pulled the full leader drops free. Picture by Brad Kidd. SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 27

When the fish has grabbed the bait the captain must slow the boat down by two knots but must not come to a complete stop as the fish will then feel the tension of the line and if the fish drops the bait it will be too late to reskip. Even though you are still cruising at five to six knots, the fish generally does not feel the tension of the line as you should have control of the tension

when in free spool. I would not recommend that you free spool for longer than four seconds, though, as you’ll be surprised at how much line you dump even in such a short space of time. If the fish drops the bait, then increase the drag, wind the bait in and return it to the same position where it was when you got the bite. Do not skip the bait where it pops

up! The reason for this is that you will have too much line out and when the fish grabs it for the second time there’s a good chance it will feel you. DRAG SETTINGS My rule of thumb for drag is that it should be one-third of the breaking strain of the line class that you are using in strike position. Fishing circle hooks, when coming up on the drag I like to go up to about 6 lb of drag. If line is still coming off my reel I go straight up to strike as the hook has already gone in. Good luck! RIGGING THE BAIT • The black line indicates visible waxed thread. • The dotted white lines show where the thread passes through or underneath the bait’s body. 1. Start by passing the needle through the centre of the bait’s body at a point near the tail, and make sure the thread is of equal lengths on both sides of the body. Increase tension as you crisscross the thread, moving up towards the gills. The last couple of crosses must be very tight. 2. Just behind the gills thread the line through the mid body and lightly secure it by wrapping each end in a different direction around the girth of the bait. 3. Now take each end strand and thread it through the opposite eye, beginning in front of the pectoral fin and behind the gill plate. 4. Tightly knot the thread as per the pic of the rigged bait alongside. Cut a 2mm slot in the front of the mouth, and thread the line through the top of the bait’s snout. Tie the mouth firmly shut. Push the double ends of the thread through a piece of clear plastic tubing and firmly tie the thread to a circle hook, making sure the hook’s shank is positioned as shown in the bait photo alongside.

28 • SKI-BOAT January/February 2016


Explorer 19 CC by Yamaha

By Heinrich Kleyn


LAST reviewed an Explorer way back in 2011, so was excited to have the opportunity to test the newest one in the range — the Explorer 19 CC — which boasts quite a few changes and improvements. Two of Durban Yamaha’s clients, Henr y Kleinsmith and Francois Kleinsmith, kindly made their Explorer 19 CC available for testing. FIRST IMPRESSION We launched at the Durban Ski-Boat Club with a Seacat 636 as the photography boat and met Ryan Hansen aboard the Explorer out at sea. He had launched the customers’ boat in the harbour as he didn’t want to drag the brand new boat over the sand before they had even collected it. As with any boat built by Grant Read, the quality is impressive. The whole boat and finishing touches added by Durban Yamaha looked very neat and tidy. 30 • SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

TRAILERING AND LAUNCHING As I mentioned, Ryan launched the boat from the slipway, where she glided easily into the water. Getting her out is just as smooth and easy — whether you use a hand winch or 4x4 winch. Judging by the way the last Explorer I tested behaved, I’m sure launching and retrieving from the beach will be just as easy. The Explorer 19CC comes on a single-axle galvanised breakneck trailer that handles very well on the road. When towing on the open road she doesn’t catch much wind which would create a lot of drag behind your towing vehicle. The V-shaped hull also makes her more stable when you’re on the freeway and cruising at 100km/h. It’s a pleasure to tow a craft like this, even if SPECIFICATIONS Length – 6.1m Beam – 2.3m Dry weight – 650kg Power as tested: 2 x 60hp Yamaha 4-strokes Recommended power – 2 x 50hp to 2 x 90hp

you have to travel long distances to Moçambique. CONDITIONS AND PERFORMANCE The sea was fairly flat, but I could work with her without much effort. The twin 60hp engines reacted very well with this hull; she jumped out the hole and on to the plane in a flash. When I simulated a surf launch her turns were short and sharp and I would say she is ideal for launching from the surf. One of the changes Grant made to this craft was to widen the hull at the back which has made quite a change to her performance; it feels like she’s gliding over the water when you take a sharp turn. It feels a bit strange the first time you do it, but if you are used to a boat doing that it’s an amazing feeling and you know that you can trust your craft to react true to your liking. Even with four people onboard the reaction time was still excellent. I began a slow troll like we do when ’cuda fishing and the stability is great, with no rolling side to side. On a faster troll at about 3000rpm I had the same reaction, and then I pushed her up to

marlin troll speed — between 5- and 9 knots depending on sea conditions — and she was still very stable and comfortable. Not once did any spray or water come over the bow; it seems that the hull design ensures water is deflected down and away from the hull. I’ve always been a big fan of catamaran hulls, but with the changes I’ve seen over the last couple of years to deep-V hulls which have improved their stability and made for a smoother ride, I just might be convinced to jump across .... I took the Explorer 19CC running with the swell at different speeds and could not get her to broach at any time. On the sharp figure of eight turns there was no cavitation, and she really can turn sharply. She’s incredibly stable — even with two people on the same side of the boat you won’t get her to lean over and you won’t feel unsafe at any time. At one stage I stopped the boat to show our model onboard what shoals of baitfish look like — three of us were on the same side while drifting and the boat handled it comfortably. The gunnels are also very comfortable and are high enough for you to lean against while jigging, dropshotting or fighting a fish. As I mentioned, the test boat was fitted with twin 60hp four-stroke Yamaha engines, but she could be run with anything from two 50hp motors up to two 90hp motors. Even though I believe firmly in having too much power rather than too little, I have to say that the twin 60hp motors were perfect for this hull and provided more than enough power to handle anything you could throw at her. LAYOUT AND FINISH The Explorer is one of the most popular boats around and already had one of the most efficient hulls I’ve seen, but Grant still felt the need to tweak her hull a bit. He made some changes to the V in the front and made the hull flatter and wider at the stern which makes her more stable and enables her to get on the plane faster. Customers have about ten different console options when they order an Explorer so you can be sure it’s exactly the way you want it. On the test boat the console was hinged and there was extra storage space on the boat. Below the console is the fuel storage. The hull is filled to SAMSA offshore standards and the deck is a wet, selfdraining deck. She has a livebait well, some spacious fish hatches and a boarding step at the back that makes it easy to get aboard if you use her for waterskiing. The anchor hatch can also be used for bow storage, and they have added extra comfortable seating in the front of the boat. In front of the centre console SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 31

there’s an extra seat with a storage hatch underneath, and there’s plenty of rod storage space in the gunnels. The Explorer 19CC is also fitted with a nice aluminium T-top which is a life saver out at sea in summer. A comfortable bum box has been fitted behind the centre console for the skipper to lean against and also provides extra storage space. There was also a large, cushioned centre storage hatch with bidirectional back rests. The centre console has plenty of room for you to fit all your electronics and they will be protected against the

elements. There are also numerous optional extras that can be added depending on the customers’ wishes. The test boat had been fitted with a trolling rail, a moulded trolling board and a ski-rope bracket in the middle. The livebait well was fitted on the right hand side with a clear glass window in the front. CONCLUSION I have to take my hat off again to Grant Read and his team — they always go the extra mile to make sure the cus-

tomer is happy and to put an excellent product in the marketplace. The Explorer 19CC is one of the more exciting boats on the market at the moment — she offers good value for money, is a very stable boat and an excellent product all round. Considering that God got Noah to build a deep-V boat to save all the animals there’s a lot to be said for them. If you’re in the market for a new boat this is certainly one you should look at, so give Durban Yamaha a call and ask them to take you on a demo ride.


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HE Penn Torque Spinning Reels have been tried and tested and have proved to be some of the toughest saltwater reels on the market. Whether you’re planning a trip to jig and pop for big GTs and amberjack, surf fish for kob and sharks or target big yellowfin off Cape Town and the KwaZuluNatal coast, these are the reels for you. The Penn Torque range boasts a fully sealed gearbox and drag system, unlike competitors’ water-resistant features, meaning they can withstand the harshest South African fishing conditions like swimming out while rock and surf fishing, and they can easily handle general saltwater spray. These reels have a single-piece machined aluminium frame, forged and machined aluminium spool and sideplates, as well as a one-piece handle, giving anglers the toughest reel around. The oversized HT-100 Versa Drag system allows anglers to change drag settings when fishing light or heavy lines. This is done by changing the configuration of the drag washers and metal washers. This means that if you’re competition fishing with 10kg line, you are able to change the drag configuration so you don’t need to worry about over-tightening when you’re on a fish. Anglers targeting big game species can configure the washers to allow a massive 28kg of drag. In fact, on a recent trip targeting dogtooth tuna, the Penn Torque was one of the few spinning reels that was turning the fish. The machine-cut marine grade bronze main gear, matched with the hardened stainless steel pinion gear ensures super smooth, super strong power when fighting those big fish. The reels also boast seven sealed stainless steel ball bearings and a high strength 100% stainless steel bail arm, showing that Penn have once again used the best components in the business. Testament to the success of this setup is the way competitors are now also using sealed bearings. The final feature is the innovative bail trip switch which allows the angler to choose between manual and auto mode. It’s backed up by an integral clutch sleeve which eliminates any back play during hook set. So, if you’re looking to target big fish, worry-free, off the beach, jetski, kayak or boat, look no further than Penn Torque spinning reels — they’re ready for the battle.

TOP CLASS BRAID Berkley’s new casting braid — Black Velvet — is perfectly matched to the Penn Torque spinning reels and really puts the “super” in “superline”. This optimum carrier count permanent coloured super braid is a true breakthrough in coloured braids as the colour will not fade! The high KG test, perfect manageability and permanent colour are only a few of the key features. Its velvet feel makes for incredible castability, and the eight carriers create a super strong braid. Black Velvet braid has one of the highest strength to mm ratios of any braid on the market and is made from 100% HPPE Dyneema, which is the worlds strongest fibre. For more information on these products contact your nearest tackle dealer, phone Pure Fishing on 011 796-5095 or visit <>.

SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 33


A large male poenskop about to be released in the Pondoland Marine Protected Area by Bruce Mann. Photo by Jade Maggs.

DIRE STRAITS South Africa’s coastal angling fishery is in trouble By Nadine A Strydom, Bruce Mann and Edward Truter


HERE have all the fish gone?” seems to have become a common question in recent years. To quote one of the world’s famous fishery scientists, Dr Daniel Pauly, the answer is “We have eaten them!” The photos of large fish, the length of a grown man, that used to grace notice boards at angling clubs and holiday resorts along the South African coast are a thing of the past. Anglers rarely catch these big fish anymore although they were still fairly

common up to a few decades ago. South African anglers, particularly those from traditional fishing families, would have noticed changes in stories about the size and number of fish caught across the generations from grandparents to grandkids. Consider the popular dusky kob or kabeljou, Argyrosomus japonicus, as an example — these iconic angling fish have felt the brunt of the angling pressure and scientists estimate that the spawning population has been fished down to very low levels in our waters. How do they know they? That opinion has been determined by assessing information from a number of sources

including long-term trends in anglers’ catches, information from various fish tagging programs involving recreational anglers, from scientific surveys of fish abundance and, more recently, from a genetic study on dusky kob collected from around the South African coastline. LESS THAN 1000 BREEDING ADULTS Based on these studies scientists now realise that the dusky kob population is down to between 1% and 4% of its pristine level and the genes show that there may be less than 1 000 large breeding adults that are responsible for the current fish population. This means the kob population is in dire straits. SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 37

Much media attention is placed on charismatic animals like elephants and rhinos and the anti-poaching messages are common on T-shirts and bumper stickers, but much less attention is given to the plight of our fish species. Many of our coastal fish species suffer a similar plight to rhino, with rampant poaching serving the greedy few while deriving other South Africans of their natural heritage. Sadly the media hype about rhinos seems to miss other threatened species, particularly those that are hard for people to see on a daily basis. As with hunting, the largest prize is most often for the biggest trophy animal and that’s where many of our coastal fish species suffer. The largest fish have been systematically removed through years of over-fishing. This has multiple consequences for coastal fish stocks. To begin with, the largest fish are also the best breeders; the larger the female, the more eggs she produces and these larger eggs have more yolk ensuring a better chance of survival for the larvae. Known as the “BOFFFF” hypothesis — big, old, fat, fecund, female fish — these big old females are also genetically fitter in that they have survived for a long time and have overcome many threats and can thus pass these “strong” genes on to their offspring. It has been shown that less than 0.1% of all fertilised fish eggs spawned make it through to adulthood — such are the trials of life in the ocean plankton during the lar val and juvenile

stages. The full impact of this low survival rate is only fully recognised when you take into account the numbers of eggs that females produce at different ages in their life and the natural mortality in fish populations. A dusky kob that is ten years old has only just matured and can produce approximately 4 000 eggs in a spawning season. Less than four of these will survive to adulthood. However, a 30 year old dusky kob can produce in excess of 15 000 000 eggs in a spawning season, potentially yielding 15 000 offspring that could reach adulthood. Age and therefore the size of the females in the breeding population has a major impact on sur vival of the species. Although dusky kob can live to be older than 40 years of age, these large old fish simply aren’t seen much anymore. We have thus lost most of our effective brood stock to overfishing of the species. More recently genetic research on this species has shown that the dusky kob is now even interbreeding with its cousin, the silver kob. This is attributed to the extremely low numbers of dusky kob and their inability to find enough mates during the breeding season. COLLAPSED The dusky kob is just one on a long list of fish species for which alarm bells are ringing. Populations of many popular angling fish that formed an integral part of the rock-and-surf, estuary and skiboat fisheries in the past 50 years are already “collapsed” off our coast. By

“collapsed” we mean that the spawning population has declined by more than 25% of its pristine, unfished level. The popular white steenbras, Lithognathus lithognathus, was recently listed as Endangered by the IUCN due to persistent overharvesting of breeding adults and juveniles in estuaries and the surf zone. This species is no longer able to breed successfully enough to sustain fishing pressure. Most of these fish are coastal species that often have complex early life characteristics involving a planktonic larval phase after they hatching from the eggs. Many use estuaries as nursery areas during the juvenile phase, lots of them are highly resident on reefs establishing a complex hierarchy of dominance, and some are very slow growing with late sexual maturity. It is not just the removal of large sized brood stock from our coastal waters over the years that is of major concern, but also the fact that some species which change sex, like poenskop (black musselcracker), Cymatoceps nasutus, now have a skewed sex ratio in South African waters. The natural ratio of the number of females and males has been altered by overfishing. All the members of this species start life as females and then, at about 18 years of age, they undergo a sex change and become male. The selective harvesting of large fish by anglers and spearfishermen alike have now removed most large males over 18 years of age (i.e. fish greater than 80cm total length) from the population, thus

Latest (2013) South African coastal fish stock status statistics showing those species in collapsed populations (red), overexploited populations (orange) and populations that are optimally exploited (green). Data from Southern African Marine Linefish Species Profiles – Special Publication No 9, Oceanographic Research Institute, Durban. SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 39

A recently matured adult dusky kob which was caught and released at Sundays Beach near Port Elizabeth. Photo by Chris Schoultz. reducing the reproductive potentialbecause the females have less chance of finding a mature male to breed with. Many of our other fish species that have collapsed have similar complicated life histories, slow growth and late maturity which means they’re unable to cope with the current high fishing pressure. THE LAST REFUGES The last remaining refuges for many of our large breeding fish that can provide significant egg numbers are the critically important marine protected areas (MPAs) such as the iSimangaliso, Pondoland, Tsitsikamma, Goukamma and De Hoop MPAs. In those areas South African scientists and conservation authorities have created a reserve bank for the various species on behalf of the citizens of South Africa to help sustain future generations of fish species. These fishes, under the protection of the MPA, then provide offspring that replenish neighbouring fished areas where large breeding fish are scarce. However, research is showing that the few MPAs that South Africa has are only keeping fishing pressure at bay in the immediate vicinity of the MPAs and there are not enough of them to enable complete rebuilding of many of our stocks after years of overfishing. We really need more well-sited MPAs if we want to rebuild our fish resources and sustain coastal livelihoods along the coast. MINIMAL ENFORCEMENT Some of the biggest hurdles facing management of our coastal fish stocks are the lack of effective enforcement of 40 • SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

fisheries regulations and the lack of awareness by our fishing public. Like so many aspects of life in South Africa, we have good policies and legislation in place, but we fail dismally when it comes to implementation and effective communication. Some of the ways that you can help make a difference are the following: • Find out about the fishing regulations and obey them. • Encourage other anglers to obey the regulations (apply peer pressure). • Consider your family’s fishing future and fish according to the following principle “limit your catch, don’t catch your limit”. • Where possible practice catch-andrelease and ensure that you handle and release your fish quickly and carefully. • Support our MPAs and lobby government to ensure that these areas remain sacrosanct. SUPPORT SASSI The future of our fish resources in South Africa rests in the mouths of those of us who eat seafood — both anglers themselves and those who buy their seafood at restaurants and the local fish shops. You are ultimately the end users of coastal fish in South Africa and you have a moral obligation to participate in conservation efforts for our fish stocks. End-users need to know what they are catching and eating and must make informed choices regarding seafood. The South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) provides a great deal of relevant information on their website and has a simple text messaging service that allows you to sit at your restaurant

Prof Nadine A Strydom with an 8month old spotted grunter caught and released in the Swartkops Estuary in the Eastern Cape. Estuaries are important nursery areas for many of the fish species that are now overexploited along the South African coast. table, text the name of the fish you are selecting off the menu to 079 499 8795 and receive back information about that species. You are then able to make an informed decision on whether or not you should order that menu item. The demise of dusky kob in the coastal waters of South Africa is no less imminent than the threat faced by rhino, elephant, abalone and others like them. Marine biologists working on fishes are calling on all South Africans to step up and help fight the cause to ensure the sustainable use of our precious coastal fish resources. This sentiment is echoed by a growing fraternity of conservation-conscious anglers who are choosing to release all the fish they catch from species with collapsed populations in South Africa. For more information on this subject visit <>. About the authors: Prof. Nadine A Strydom is an Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University specialising in the ecology and early life history of coastal fishes. Bruce Mann is a fish biologist based at the Oceanographic Research Institute in Durban specialising in the stock status, biology and ecology of linefish and marine protected areas. Edward Truter is a sportfishing journalist involved in sportfishing tourism development and, most importantly, an angler who’s on the water very often.

© Angler Publications

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ON TRACK Garmin helps get you there safely By Erwin Bursik


ITTING around the infamous bar at the Blue Anchor Inn on our way back from Guinjata in June this year, the topic of conversation revolved largely around Moçambique’s traffic cops. To my surprise, the bulk of those returning from the Guinjata competition maintained they’d had minimal confrontation with the cops because they’d strictly adhered to information from their Garmin GPS units. One of the men told me, “I set my auto cruise slightly lower than that indicated on my Garmin and so far, both up to Guinjata and back again, I haven’t been stopped.” These words and similar sentiments echoed by others got me thinking, and with the help of Michelle Hobbs of Garmin I borrowed one of their nüviCam LMT GPS units to try out during some extensive travelling I was to undertake during September and October — Durban to Johannesburg, Jozini and Cape Town. My opinions of this GPS were thus formulated during long distance travel-

ling which allowed me a lot of time to play with the nüviCam when I was not personally driving, and whilst trying to find my way around Johannesburg when I was driving. Even though I’ve used a GPS for about eight years now, to begin with I was a tad overwhelmed by the nüviCam. It looked extremely complicated for a non-computer minded person like myself. Surprisingly I got the hang of it ver y quickly and soon became amazed at the information it provided. With Moçambique in mind and the need to adhere very strictly to stipulated travelling speeds in that country, I specifically tested the nüviCam in this regard. To my amazement, both in major towns and out on the open freeways of South Africa, I found the real speed indicator on the left side of the GPS screen was incredibly accurate. Almost within metres of a visual speed sign the nüviCam displayed that change. Even if you’re not paying attention to the screen, a sound alert tells you that you are exceeding the speed limit. I put a great deal of store in features

such as those indicating speed over ground (SOG), distance to go and distance to next required turn off, but the other features I really liked were the lane departure warning and the forward collision warning. To begin with I considered the latter two to be gimmicks, but after extensive usage I found the flashing indication on the screen coupled with the audio warning signal were very helpful. These features are especially helpful when you’ve been driving for a long time and your concentration diminishes, as happens when one drives through the Karoo or indulges in excessive “sightseeing”. The flash on the screen and audible signal certainly wakes one up and forces one to concentrate again. Another nicety on the nüviCam LMT which older units did not have is the “Real Vision” feature which is the actual portrayal of one’s destination coming up on the screen. This feature can be scorned, but I found it to be a great benefit while navigating through Johannesburg to places I had never been before. Obviously the camera attached to the nüviCam LMT is the device producSKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 43

The Garmin nüviCam’s magnetic attachment works like a dream.

The nüviCam will give you all the information you could possibly need to get to your destination safely.

ing this facility on the GPS screen, but it also records and holds in memory the entire trip one is undertaking. The complete recording of the trip can be stored for downloading to a computer if required, but if you arrive safely and there is no need to retain the images you just don’t bother to hit the save button. In the event of a collision or accident the trip is automatically saved — that data can be invaluable when it comes to insurance claims. From the aspect of practical utilisation, I found the adjustable windscreen suction cup fitting worked exceptionally well — to start with it didn’t vibrate free as my old GPS was wont to do on 44 • SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

regular occasions. The GPS half of the unit is held in place on the mount via a magnetic coupling, a great idea in that it is instantly attached and is very easy to remove when you park somewhere — a slight pull and the unit is in your hand and ready for storage. The power cable stays attached to the powered magnetic mount, so hiding or storing the nüviCam is effortless. When you’re ready to go again, one click and it’s back in place powered up and ready to guide you in the right direction. For further information on the nüviCam LMT and other Garmin products contact a Garmin dealer or visit <>.


285 000 fish lived to fight another day by Stuart Dunlop and Rudy van der Elst


T’S now quite common for anglers all around the country to tag and release some of their catch, but that wasn’t the case 30 years ago when the Oceanographic Research Institute — more commonly known as ORI — first launched its tagging project ... It all began way back in the 1970s. In response to public concern over declining elf/shad stocks ORI conducted an investigation on shad populations along the coast and regulations were later imposed on their capture during the late 1970s. As some of the older

generation may remember, these included a size limit of 310cm total length, a bag limit of four fish per person per day and a closed season from 1 September to 31 December. Surprisingly, this sparked outrage amongst the general angling public, and in 1979 the Smith Commission of Inquiry launched an investigation into the regulations proposed by ORI. This proved to be a watershed moment in South African linefish management. Not only did the commission endorse ORI’s research that called for control over shad angling in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), but it also posed the question of whether stocks in the Cape were part

of the same population and would also require protection. Cape fishermen were vehemently opposed to any controls at the time, so getting them involved in such a project would be a real challenge. Clearly tagging presented a unique opportunity to identify connectivity between fish in KZN and those occurring in the Cape. Rudy van der Elst and Simon Chater from ORI assembled a small team of fishermen to undertake the difficult task of tagging as many shad as possible in the shortest time. A month-long tagging expedition was launched in 1981 during which several hundred shad were tagged at Struisbaai,

Some fish never learn! This tagged yellowbelly rockcod has been recaptured nine times over four years on the same reef in the Pondoland Marine Protected Area. Note the yellow marker just below the dorsal fin. SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 47

Plettenberg Bay, East London and later at Durban and Cape Vidal. The results were very convincing, with several fish that had been tagged in the Cape soon being recaptured on the KZN South Coast. Fortunately at that time there was a growing conservation sentiment among certain angling fraternities stretching from Zululand to the Eastern Cape and beyond to Gordon’s Bay. ORI took advantage of this situation by introducing a number of joint initiatives such as catch return cards and the analysis of specimens caught during angling tournaments. Next ORI raised the idea of having fishermen tag fish on behalf of scientists, thereby assisting research and having a bigger stake in the future of their own sport and its sustainability. The idea was immediately popular, especially among the big game fishermen of the Western Cape and the billfish anglers from Sodwana Bay. In 1984 the Oceanographic Research Institute’s Cooperative Fish Tagging Project (ORICFTP) was officially launched. TAGS OF VARIOUS TYPES Over the years many different types of tags have been developed for marking fish, including coded wire tags, passive integrated transponders (PIT tags similar to those used to “chip” dogs and cats locally), satellite tags, acoustic tags and archival tags. However, traditional mark-recapture using visible external tags is one of the oldest and most commonly used methods. The tags initially used by the ORICFTP were based on this concept and included modified livestock ear-tags and large streamer tags imported from the USA. Fortunately, through a number of international and local studies conducted on various tag types to determine their affordability, practicality for application by anglers, and effectiveness, a suite of suitable tag types was eventually selected for the Tagging Project and most of these remain in use some 30 years later. Essentially each tag consists of a monofilament vinyl streamer attached to a plastic barb, much like a miniature version of a spear from a speargun. Each tag is inscribed with a unique alpha-numeric code (e.g. D123456) and ORI’s contact details. Tags are generally inserted with a sharp, hollow, stainless steel applicator, into the dorsal muscle tissue of a fish or shark, although this may differ in certain fish species. When the fish is first tagged (and again when it’s recaptured) anglers record the fish species, length (fork or total), tag number, exact locality and date of capture. The use of external tags is particularly favourable as they are relatively cheap (± R10 each) compared to other tagging methods such as acoustic tags

Simon Chater from ORI tagging and releasing a shad/elf off Durban in 1981.

Modified livestock ear-tags (above) were used to tag fish in the early days of the ORI-Cooperative Fish Tagging Project. Below are examples of tags currently used.

SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 49

This red steenbras was tagged by scientist Bruce Mann in Tsitsikamma National Park in 1989 (above) and recaptured 22.1 years later (below) some 600km away from its original tag site.

(over R3 000 each) and satellite tags (over R20 000 each), and relatively little training is required to learn how to insert tags. No software is required to download information from each of these tags and the tagging equipment is very basic. This allows a relatively large number of fish to be tagged at little cost and allows citizens who are not trained scientists to be involved in what is probably the longest running citizen science project in South Africa . Some 5 500 members have joined the ORI-CFTP since 1984 and they have accounted for the capture, tagging and release of an incredible 285 177 fish, mostly in South African coastal waters, but also occasionally in Mozambique and Namibia. That means 285 000 fish were released to “fight another day” and hopefully reproduce before they were recaptured. The top five fish species tagged include galjoen (59 218), dusky kob/kabeljou (16 799), leervis/garrick (13 424), dusky sharks (12 499), spotted grunter (10 963) and copper/bronzewhaler sharks (9 153). The most exciting part of the tagging project is the recaptures, and to date a total of 16 018 (5.6%) recaptured 50 • SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

fish have been reported to ORI. Unfortunately, a large proportion of recaptured fish are not reported to ORI, and greater awareness would undoubtedly increase the recapture rate substantially. If you see or hear of any angler who has caught a tagged fish, please offer to assist them in recording the relevant information (tag number, species, correct length measurement, exact locality, date, angler’s name and contact details, and whether the fish was kept or rereleased. Perhaps even offer to send the information in to us on their behalf — email <> or phone 031-328 8159 or 079 529 0711. INCREDIBLE RECAPTURES Over the past 30 years there have, however, been some amazing recaptures reported to ORI. The fish species with the highest recapture rate is speckled snapper with 1 893 fish tagged of which a remarkable 804 (43%) have been recaptured. This is largely due to the species’ highly resident behaviour. The longest recorded time free (the length of time a fish was at liberty between the initial tagging and first time recaptured) for a bony fish was for

a red steenbras tagged in the Tsitsikamma National Park in 1989. That fish was eventually recaptured off Kei Mouth in the Eastern Cape in 2011, some 22.1 years later, providing strong evidence of the longevity of this species. Similarly, a ragged-tooth shark tagged at Southbroom on the KZN South Coast in 1988 was recaptured in Mossel Bay in 2011, a staggering 22.6 years later and 1 014km away from its original tagging location. A yellowfin tuna tagged off Cape Point was recaptured just under two years later off the Seychelles, having travelled over 5 100km! This means that the fish swam a minimum of 7.3km per day — if it travelled in a straight line which it almost certainly did not! Of greater significance is the fact that this yellowfin tuna has shown us there is some connectivity between tuna populations that occur in the Atlantic Ocean off South Africa and those found in the Indian Ocean around the Seychelles. This finding is invaluable, particularly for the future management of these fish populations that were once thought to be isolated fish stocks. GOTCHA! AND AGAIN ... The most recaptured individual fish on the project is a yellowbelly rockcod (pictured on page 47) tagged in the Pondoland Marine Protected Area just south of Port Edward which has been recaptured no less than nine times on the same reef over a four-year period! It’s these incredible recaptures and the numerous others on the tagging database that make this project so exciting and beneficial to the scientists and anglers alike. Despite the voluntary nature of this project, the tagging of fish by anglers still has great scientific merit, allowing us to learn more about the movement patterns, growth rates, mortality rates and population dynamics of our important linefish species. This information is extremely valuable and is used by scientists and managers around the country to help conserve fish populations. Aside from the large quantity of important scientific data collected by this long-term project, the tagging project has also made a major contribution towards changing the ethics of anglers with regard to catch-and-release. Not only do anglers now have a reason to release captured fish, they are actually contributing to a better understanding of the biology and ultimately the conservation of that species. For those of you who are interested in joining the ORI-CFTP or if you would like to report a tag recapture, please contact the Tagging Officer at ORI for further information — email <> or phone 031328 8159 or 079 529 0711.


by Mark Wilson


RWIN Bursik and I were thrilled to be invited to fish the 2015 Tigerfish Bonanza at Jozini/ Pongolapoort Dam and we were determined to try our best to bag a 52 â&#x20AC;˘ SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

tigerfish of sufficient proportions to put us in the running for the main prize sponsored by Yamaha in conjunction with D7 Unique Boating. I have often wondered about the history of this area and the small town situated in northern KwaZulu-Natal

province barely 10km from the Swaziland border. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a little sideserving of history for those who are interested ... The Pongola River rises just east of Wakkerstroom and drains an area of nearly 8 000km 2 where the rainfall

2015 Tigerfish Bonanza Gary Rugg’s 4.95kg tigerfish (right) was released after being weighed, and took fifth place overall. often exceeds 1 000mm a year. The Pongolapoort dam wall — 89m high and 515m long — was completed in 1972 in a narrow gorge in the Lebombo mountains, to form the 2 492-million cubic metre dam. Phongolo is the Zulu word for “trough” and the river was

given this name because of the many deep pools with steep sides along its course. Once there was a seemingly endless supply of game for hunting in the area, but in 1874 when it was obvious that the game had started to dwindle President Paul Kruger proclaimed

the Pongola Game Reservation — the first game reserve in Africa. When we arrived to fish the 2015 Tigerfish Bonanza the dam’s waters were much lower than in the past few years — testament to the terrible drought South Africa has been experiSKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 53

54 â&#x20AC;¢ SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

There’s nothing quite like being up close with the wildlife at Jozini, and if the tigers aren’t playing ball the elephants are bound to keep the anglers entertained.

encing. However, as always, the Pongola was sure to give up some of her bounty — those beautiful gold bars with a serious set of dentures attached. For the 2015 event 774 anglers on 248 boats of various shapes and sizes took part in the Bonanza. Erwin and I are always fascinated by the sight of the huge number of boats congregated before the flare is loosed on the first morning of fishing. This time when we cast our eyes to the shore on the landward side of the slipway we were blown away by the size of the fleet of 4x4 vehicles used to launch this armada of vessels. You will see this clearly in the main photo of this article. Our sport certainly has a huge impact on this country’s economy. The bonanza is close to the heart of

Yamaha’s Shaun Lavery, and Erwin and I were very pleased to be invited to fish with him aboard the Suncatcher Fish & Cruise Pontoon Boat — the larger brother of the 7m model I reviewed in the April 2015 issue of FLYFISHING Magazine. The Suncatcher is a great fishing platform, but unfortunately for us no-one told the Jozini tigers! Despite that Erwin and I enjoyed spending time aboard the luxurious craft, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a versatile, family-friendly craft like this. To Shaun and Romeo from Yamaha, thank you both for the experience. As always the days were fished hard and some anglers enjoyed great success, either thanks to the tactics they employed or just good old-fashioned luck — having a line in the water at the

right place and the right time. The Bonanza is strictly a catch and release competition, so weigh stations are situated on the water and at the launch site to facilitate quick releases. The fish has to be witnessed being released and swimming in order for its full weight to count, failing which 500g is deducted. Those in the know will understand that this deduction could turn a potential winning fish into a third or fourth place candidate. It would be heartbreaking if that cost you the winning prize, and for 2015 that took the form of a Seacat kitted out with two brand new 40hp Yamaha motors. Fortunately the weather was kind to us for the duration of the tournament and the resident wildlife kept all the With the Tigerfish Bonanza being a full release tournament, anglers had to keep their catches in good condition until they got to one of the three weigh-stations, and then make sure the fish were properly released in good health.

SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 55

Hansie Duvenhage of D7 Unique and Shaun Lavery of Yamaha were on hand to present the first place boat prize to Faan Bester and his crew.

anglers entertained when they came down to the dam to drink. Our crew was very fortunate to witness a herd of over 50 elephant make their way down to the water’s edge. Even if the fish don’t always do what you want them to, there are plenty of other advantages to fishing in Africa, and scenes like this make one proud to have African blood coursing through your veins. As always the Bonanza was a very well-run event thanks to all the hard work by the dedicated committee who always turn this fishing tournament into something special for the entrants, sponsors and spectators alike which is why everyone returns year after year. When it came to analysing the weighed in fish it was interesting to note that the average weight for the top 20 fish over the last three years has remained fairly consistent: Average weight 2013 — 4.094kg Average weight 2014 — 4.209kg Average weight 2015 — 4.160kg If you’re planning on entering next year’s Bonanza and want some tips on

56 • SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

Gary Rugg (left) was thrilled with his second place prize — a small John Deere tractor. As always all the prize winners (below) went home with a good haul.

how to catch the big one, read Jeff and Jayden Blesovsky’s article on page 59 where they share some of their favourite fishing methods. Unfortunate-

ly for Jeff and Jayden the tigers gave them the slip at the 2015 event too! Below there’s a list of the top ten fish at the 2015 Tigerfish Bonanza — congratulations to all those anglers. Angler Weight of Tigerfish Faan Bester 5.395kg Gary Rugg 5.385kg Tyron Yeld 5.125kg Gregory Boucher 4.970kg Gary Rugg 4.950kg Dirk van der Bank 4.735kg Hannes Gouws 4.580kg Boeta Holl 4.230kg Tiaan Hart 4.225kg Matthew Kirkwood 4.215kg For those who are looking to secure entry to Africa’s largest freshwater competition in 2016, please call Ina on (034) 413-2256 or visit <www.sodwana> and take a gander at the photo gallery — if that doesn’t whet your appetite nothing will.



Advertorial WELL-FITTED boat is the perfect accompaniment to a perfectly-planned boating holiday, and whether you are making your way to KZN’s coast, are heading off to the watery wilderness of the Free State’s big dams, plan to fish in the Cape, escape the bustle of the Garden Route, or want to catch tigers in Jozini Dam, the only thing you should be thinking about is relaxing. Fiddling with tools and trying to get your boat ready isn’t part of the deal, and wasting your holiday cursing at corroded fittings or trying to get life out of dead electrics is about as much fun as sunburn. Holiday time means boating time, although for the family it might mean choosing whether to give you socks, aftershave or perhaps some braai-tongs for Christmas. Wouldn’t you rather have some boaty stuff? Let’s be honest, you always need boaty stuff, don’t you? C-Dynamics supplies some of the best brands the marine world has to offer and they’re bound to have something you need for your boat. To start with they can hook you up with genuine Marinco power solutions — plugs and connectors which carry a class-leading warranty. From dashboard chargers and power outlets through to massive shore-power connections engineered in surgical stainless steel, there’s no reason for your power to be interrupted. And since you only fit the best, fit some Mastervolt equipment like their battery chargers which are designed for the


toughest conditions in the world. Mastervolt’s equipment has a great reputation worldwide because it’s tough enough to fit and forget: IP65 battery chargers, inverter-chargers for bigger applications, and a whole network of smart, rugged power systems. If you need downrigger connections and trolling-motor power inlets and outlets; battery switches and charging management, all the products from the Mastervolt group are tailored to be easy to fit. The worldwide Mastervolt warranty is packaged with every product, so whatever you choose — from instrument panels through to battery terminals and DVSR battery relays — your systems will keep going through fair and foul weather; in salt- and freshwater. Lighting products from Hella Marine should also be on your wish-list, because long summer days stretch into leisurely summer dusks and the fish keep biting after the sun goes down. Power-hungry lighting is a thing of the past with Hella — you’re assured of a lifetime of reliable operation from their incredibly rugged lighting engines, with sealed-for-life lamps built with advanced engineering plastics. Simply put, you’ll never see a tatty Hella light anywhere. Ever. Getting your Christmas (or anytime) boaty stuff is simple just drop a few hints and direct the family to our website <> or speak to C-Dynamics directly on 021 555-3232 and start enjoying some hard-earned holiday time.


SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 57


Tactics that work at Jozini

by Jeff and Jayden Blesovsky


IGER fishing techniques vary greatly from venue to venue, season to season and angler to angler. Bait — dead or alive —and lures — whether Rapalas, Halcos or anthing else — have all got their place, and what works at one venue won’t necessarily work at other destinations. Rule number one when you’re angling at different venues is to gather as much local advice as possible; find out what’s working and apply those methods — persevere with those methods and avoid the frustration of having to start from scratch to find out what works. Catching tigers in the Pongolapoort Dam (aka Jozini) is very challenging; they can be more elusive than Natal snoek, and if you do happen to hook one it’s another challenge to ensure the hooks don’t fall out. However, even if you don’t catch a tiger the splendour of the surrounding bush at Jozini — the game, birdlife and trees — is enough to make you forgive the tiger for not cooperating. Having fished this area for some 20 years now while test-

Jeff Blesovsky and his family and friends spend a great deal of time catching tigerfish. In the photo above Jeff (right) shows off a 6kg tiger while Andrew outdid him with a 7.25kg speciman.

SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 59

60 â&#x20AC;¢ SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

Some of the Blesovsky’s favourite Halco Lures.

ing a variety of techniques, we have analysed the average ratio of pulls, hooks-ups, size of fish and boated fish produced by each method and have narrowed them down to the ones that work best for us. We fish predominantly during September and October when the females head upstream to spawn and we concentrate on slow trolling live, healthy, active tilapia. Although most tilapia make good bait we honestly believe that Tilapia rendalli, the red-breasted tilapia has consistently given us the best results. Aside from the obvious reason that tigers go for them — the easily seen bright red chest — it’s an abundant species in the dam. Other good characteristics of tilapia as bait are that they travel well and do not get stress-related diseases like other species do; that means they’re still strong and active when you put them out as bait. We troll slowly using one motor on idling speed, constantly engaging and disengaging gear, which allows us to fish varying depths with altered movement. More recently we’ve been using a sneaker motor with varied success. Try to avoid pulling your livebait too fast because that will result in the baits spinning and lines tangling, and your livies will soon be dead. We prefer working the river areas as this often produces big mamas in spawning mode. Ideally we like to troll in water depths of 4- to 8m. THE STRIKE We fish three to four sticks, depending on conditions, and all the reels are set on the bait runner facility. When we get a strike we leave the rod in the holder for a second or two and then engage the drag, but not too tightly. If the hooks stick we carefully remove the rod from the holder, ensuring the tip points downwards. We don’t strike, but if you do, strike downwards and wind simultaneously to avoid giving any slack line. If it’s a decent fish we wind in all the other baits, clear the deck and position the boat to give the angler the widest arc possible. Fish are all fought with a light drag. ALTERNATIVE METHODS Drifting is another good method to use when the wind is strong, making it difficult to slow troll. Aim to position your boat side-on to the wind, gunnel facing the wind, and let your bait out into the wind. We generally don’t anchor, but if fishing has gone very

Pongolapoort certainly produces the goods — all these beauties were caught there, by Andrew, John and Jeff. SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 61

Stuart Blesovsky (above) with a beautiful tiger caught in Pongolapoort Dam and (below) with the 4.9kg tiger that took second place at the 2009 Tigerfish Bonanza.

NETTING Once the fish is subdued and is close to the boat we are in a position to net it. Netting is the one area where we often witness fish being lost. We see the net man wildly thrashing the water making failed attempts to get the fish into the net while the angler tries to force the fish into the net. Before you know it the hooks fall out and the tiger escapes, leaving an extremely frustrated angler. We keep the net out of the water until the angler has presented the fish leaning on one side and on the surface. With a nice fluid motion the net man comes under the fish with the net and scoops it out the water. After you’ve netted the fish remove the hooks, weigh the fish — making sure not to damage the gill plates, take one or two photos and place the tiger gently back into the water. If necessary revive it by putting the boat in gear, holding the fish upright in the water with its head facing forward and allow the water to run over its gills. Wait until she’s fully recovered — often indicated by a swish of the tail — and let her go. TACKLE Our preferred setup is to use light sticks and coffee grinders with a bait-running facility loaded with 8- to 10 lb monofilament (we like orange mono) attached directly to the trace with no leader.

quiet and the morning purple patch is finished or if our chosen fishing spot is clustered with boats and is noisy, then we try to find a quiet spot, often in the middle of the main dam. There we’ll fish with bait on floats positioned at various depths and sards on the bottom. While on anchor we make sure that we chum consistently. We run a dry boat — well for the morning session anyway — because we’re serious about landing decent fish and we find that we lose the edge when consuming alcohol in the hot sun. 62 • SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

TRACE SET UP Our trace consists of no 3 wire between the hooks and about 15cm of no 1 wire from the hooks to a no 6 power swivel or smaller. Our hooks of choice are two no 8 red Owner trebles — one through the bait’s nose and the other just in front of the caudal fin. These are extremely sharp and fairly durable, but you’ll still have to discard and replace them regularly. We attach a 1/8th oz. barrel sinker to the mainline, and more recently we’ve used a drop shot 1/8 head with two trebles attached. The dam has been extremely low this past season and a lot of activity has been on Rapalas, sardines and fillets. As I mentioned earlier, a variety of methods work for catching tigers and this is perfectly illustrated when we look at the baits and lures which caught the top four fish — all over 4.5kg — at the 2015 Tigerfish Bonanza at Jozini. The first placed fish was caught on a live tilapia, the second on a sardine, the third on a Jap mac fillet and the fourth on a Rapala. The Effzett spinner has always been a successful lure at Jozini, and although it mainly produces smaller fish of 2-3kg in the dam, it has landed some monsters on the upper Zambezi.

SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 â&#x20AC;¢ 63


Geoffrey Wanvig, SADSAA President

PRESIDENT’S REPORT T the outset, please accept my apologies for not contributing any SADSAA news to the previous issue of SKI-BOAT magazine. At the time that I was due to pen the report two major hurdles were placed in front of the SADSAA Council that needed internal management before being aired for public comment. Now that these two major problems have been largely overcome, I am able, with the full backing of the SADSAA Council, to inform our SADSAA members and other offshore anglers of what transpired and of the road forward — sailing forth into calmer waters.


2015 AGM The scheduled SADSAA AGM and Special General Meeting were held on 16 October 2015 in Johannesburg. This AGM took place after a High Court Judgment was passed in SADSAA’S favour following an urgent application instituted by a member which was heard two days prior to the scheduled AGM. Costs were awarded to SADSAA. I must further add that although costs (taxed costs approved by the High Court) were awarded, the seemingly endless legal attacks on SADSAA have, since 2013, cost SADSAA — and therefore all SADSAA members — in excess of R500 000, an amount that could have been spent on the overall running of this organisation for the benefit of all its members. With all but one provincial chairman present at the AGM, the following executives and standing committees were appointed: President — Geoff Wanvig Vice-President — Phillip Marx Treasurer — Erwin Bursik Secretary — Mearl Buyskes International Tournaments Officer — Dick Pratt 66 • SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

Local Tournaments Officer — Dick Pratt National Records Officer — Dave Oostingh National Safety Officer — Stan Walter Deputy Safety officer, Coastal — Anton Gets Deputy Safety Officer, Inland — Carl Krause Public Realtions Officer — Hymie Steyn Environmental Officer — Mark Beyl Development Officer — John Lueff Finance Committee — Andrew Bowie and Chris Schorn Additional members of Action Committee — Andrew Bowie, Jaco Lingenfelder and Chris Schorn Selectors: Lappies Labuschagne, Mike Buyskes, Ted Horn, Phillip Marx, Chris Jacobs, Barr y Turk, Tim Scholtz,Anton Gets. The delay in calling the AGM resulting from a constitutional requirement regarding notice was sanctioned by Council, as were the actions taken by the SADSAA Action Committee during the intervening period.

oured and paid for by SADSAA. All fraudulent skippers’ tickets that found their way to SAMSA via an unapproved channel, and for which no monies were forwarded to SADSAA, will not become SADSAA’s responsibility. Any applicant who has written the necessary exam and paid the lecturer/ examiner has the right to reimbursement from those referred to above if their applications were not processed via the stipulated SADSAA route. Tickets that were issued fraudulently will be retained by the SADSAA Province from which the ticket emanated and can be collected after the provincial and SADSAA fees have been paid. The staff member concerned in SADSAA’s Pretoria office was dismissed and a comprehensive report will be lodged by our attorneys with SAP Commercial Branch for the appropriate criminal action to proceed.

SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING The Special General Meeting was called to amend the constitution largely pertaining to matters of membership, duties and power of Council, meetings of Council, misconduct and disciplinary procedures, arbitration and termination of membership. Full details of all the changes were timeously circulated to all the provinces, clubs and members and were approved by all the provincial chairmen present — 13 of 14 delegates. These amendments are now in place and are enforceable.

SAMSA A comprehensive report on the skippers’ ticket debacle was presented to a full SAMSA Executive Meeting in person by Erwin Bursik, SADSAA’s Treasurer, and I. After intensive questioning and deliberation, SAMSA were persuaded that the fraud was being thoroughly investigated by SADSAA and that new staff and procedures have been introduced to correct the past mistakes and to ensure that the fraud can never be repeated. SAMSA will be updated on a continual basis to ensure that SADSAA’s safety portfolio is fully compliant with SAMSA’s laws and regulations.

SAFETY In mid-September it was discovered that an illicit administrative practice was being undertaken by a person/persons involved in the administrative safety procedures. This situation involved a staff member in the Pretoria office as well as various Safety Officers appointed by SAMSA through SADSAA. Although this was not direct financial fraud, it will have a long-term effect on the Association’s finances. Council, at its meeting in October, was fully informed of this discovery and agreed that all skippers’ ticket applications which had been sent to the Pretoria office and which were delivered and paid for by provinces would be hon-

CHRISTMAS WISHES After what can only be described as a catastrophic year for me personally as SADSAA’s President, my sincere Christmas and New Year wish for 2016 is that we, the SADSAA family, be allowed to move forward in peace and harmony so that the entire SADSAA Council can work properly for the good of its 8 000 members. To get to sea and be able to catch a few fish — and do it devoid of politics and divisions— that is my fervent wish. We wish all our SADSAA members and their families a wonderful festive season and hope you have many great days on the ocean in 2016.

Subscribe to

between 1st January 2016 and 1st April 2016 and win



The three lucky subscribers who each win a full year’s subscription to SKI-BOAT magazine are Andrew Fyvie of Bergville, VM Halse of Ficksburg and Alan Barter or Durban North. CONGRATULATIONS!

SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 67


OUR 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 skiboaters the unique opportunity to win awards for excellence in angling. All deep sea anglers who achieve laid down prestigious 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 certificate, suitably inscribed, PLUS a hand-embroidered cloth badge – both confirming the catch achievement.

Complementing this section is the second award category: 2) Kingfisher Award - Outstanding Catch To satisfy the requirements for this award, anglers can catch any recognised fish and the weight of that fish must equal or exceed 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. Certificates Certificates will carry all the information about the catch (fish, weight, line class and ratio), the successful angler's name and the date on which the catch was made. Digital emailed photographs should be high-resolution.

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 on boat) and the approximate weight of the fish which should fall in line with the stipulated weights set out below.

SPECIES Gamefish: Barracuda Dorado Kingfish (Ignobilis) Garrick (Leervis) King Mackerel (’Cuda) Black Marlin Blue Marlin Striped Marlin

NOMINATED WEIGHT 20kg 15kg 20kg 15kg 24kg 225kg 150kg 75kg

SPECIES Gamefish: Prodigal Son Sailfish (Pacific) Spearfish (Longbill) Spearfish (Shortbill) Tuna (Big Eye) Tuna (Longfin) Tuna (Yellowfin) Wahoo

RULES: 1) There is no restriction on the number of awards which can be applied for. 2) Award-applicants must submit a photograph of the relevant fish with the application form, preferably a photograph of the angler holding the fish. 3) SKI-BOAT reserves the right to use the photograph as it sees fit. 4) Entries must be on the official form which is included in all issues of the magazine. 5) Entries must be received within 45 days of capture. 6) Certificates awarded will be as follows: Meritorious Fish - Gold

Kingfisher Award Application Form I hereby apply for the Kingfisher Award in the category:

Meritorious Fish

Outanding 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: .............................................................................

NOMINATED WEIGHT 18kg 35kg 20kg 20kg 30kg 25kg 50kg 20kg

SPECIES Gamefish: Yellowtail Shark (Hammerhead) Shark (Mako) Shark (Thresher) Shark (Tiger) Bottom Fish: Kob (Daga) Musselcracker (Black)



The Kingfisher Award will be made for fish caught in two sections: 1) The Kingfisher Award - Meritorious Fish To satisfy the requirements for this award, anglers are required to catch a fish included in the list detailed hereunder, equal to or better than the nominated weight. Tackle used is of no consideration here, the fish's weight being the main criterion. The different eligible fish and their corresponding minimum nominated weights are as in the accompanying list below.

A gold certificate and a hand-embroidered cloth badge will be awarded for this achievement.

NOMINATED WEIGHT 18kg 200kg 80kg 110kg 200kg 30kg 27kg

Outstanding Catch 3: 1 - Bronze; 5: 1 and 7: 1 - Silver; 10:1 - Gold. Cloth embroidered badges will be awarded in all categories. 8)

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. 9) A selection of award winners’ names will be announced in future issues of SKI-BOAT, along with relevant photographs. 10) Award applicants should allow 30-45 days for processing of applicants. 11) There is no charge for Kingfisher Awards.

Meritorious Fish Species: ....................................................................... Weight: ........................................................................ Date of Capture: .......................................................... Where Caught: ............................................................ Skipper's Name: .......................................................... Outstanding catch Category applied for (tick appropriate box): 3:1




Species: ...................................................................... Weight: ........................................................................ Line class: ................................................................... Date of Capture: ......................................................... Where Caught: ........................................................... Skipper's Name: ..........................................................

FEATURE The clubhouse had to be built on landfill with a naturual watercourse running through underneath it.

History of the Cape Boat & Ski-Boat Club “Every member a shareholder with initiative and dignity, a club to be proud of, a club to belong to.” This was the philosophy and raison d’être of the Cape Boat and Ski-Boat Club (CBSC) when it was formed, a dictum that is maintained to this day. By Johan Smal


NCAPSULATED by the laws of nature over hundreds of years, humans with their sturdy, genetically encoded gregarious nature have grown ever more accustomed to the order, harmony and enjoyment offered by structured, well-managed systems. One can therefore understand why we establish specialised organisations to enable us to conduct our business or pleasure activities in structured and safe ways. The formation of the Cape Boat and Ski-Boat Club (CBSC) was thus not incidental in any respect, but was rather driven by the intrinsic need for such an organised environment. FORMATION OF THE CLUB By 1967 there was a large and diverse fleet of fishing boats operating in False Bay, mostly dinghies, bakkies and bay-boats, with very few genuine wet-deck ski-boats like those being used in Natal. Boating accidents were rampant, and following the demise of yet another boat, the 21ft Bobup, action was required. 72 • SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

These two pioneers, Arthur Goulden (above) and Piet Brink (below), identified the need and had the insight to establish the first club for small boats in the Cape.

Arthur Goulden — then chairman of Western Province Anglers’ Union and the owner of Alley Cat — and one of his crew members, Piet Brink, took the decision to muster support to form a responsible organisation to control sportfishing boats in False Bay. The objective was to establish a proper ski-boat club in Cape Town under the aegis of the Western Province Anglers’ Union and to affiliate to the South African Anglers’ Union in order to compete with the other ski-boat sections in the national angling contests. The inaugural meeting was held in the Tulbach Hotel on the Cape Town foreshore on Wednesday, 25th October 1967. Being the very first ski-boat club in the Cape Province, it was destined to change skiboat angling in the Cape — and the rest of South Africa, for that matter — forever. The committee was chosen from those in attendance and Tom Mansfield — the owner of an 18’6’’ Ace Craft and the one with the most ski-boat experience at the time — was elected as the first chairman. M Dunoon Stevens, Hymie Steyn and Piet Brink were elected vice-chairman, secretary and treasurer respectively. Although ski-boat owners were the vast minority at the meeting, it was attended by a number of bakkie and bay-boat owners who had already accepted the idea that the newly-pioneered “Durban ski-boat with its wet deck and twin engines” was the answer to the needs of the inshore boat angler. They wholeheartedly support-

ed the idea of a club and accepted the responsibility of bringing all boats up to a standard safety specification. In order to accommodate all the owners of the large fleet of motley boats, it was cunningly decided to name the club the “Cape Boat and Ski-Boat Club (CBSC)”. Only five days later Tom Mansfield addressed a firmly worded letter to the members, the first official communiqué to them, demonstrating why he was the right man for the job: “Remember, we’re one team now,” he wrote,“we must promote the club and grow our membership. Please don’t forget your subscriptions — only R6. We need a clubhouse and launching facilities, and we need improved facilities for small boat operations throughout the Southern Cape.” Following these pioneering steps by a handful of focused individuals, some other clubs were also formed in the Cape. The Gordon’s Bay Boat Angling Club (GBBAC) was founded in 1968, followed by the Bergvliet Boat Angling Club which then joined the Hout Bay Yacht Club as a fishing section but eventually merged with the Atlantic Boat Club (ABC) which was constituted in 1972 in Hout Bay. It should be kept in mind that the SA Marlin and Tuna Club situated in Simon’s Town had already been founded in 1958 to serve the needs of the marlin and tuna vessels of the time. That club subsequently closed and years later joined the False Bay Yacht Club as their angling section. Unlike the CBSC, all the abovementioned clubs are blessed with marinas. LOCATION OF CBSC AND DEVELOPMENT OF FACILITIES About a year after the formation of the club numerous different facilities were still being used to conduct their main functions — meetings, launching and socialising. Allen Thompson, who served as the second chairman from 1969 to 1971 stood up at one of the meetings and said that the CBSC would never be a proper club unless they had a clubhouse of their own, at the sea, with their own slipway. Excited shouts of “Vas!” rang through the venue. (Vas is the popular Afrikaans word for “hookup” used by the members at the time to demonstrate their support for an individual or a proposal.) With renewed energy the search went into high gear, obviously with Allen leading the pack. Various alternatives — some actually quite outrageous — were pursued until the old dumping grounds at Miller’s Point near Cape Point was identified in 1969 as the most viable option. Historically the Miller’s Point area was always considered a rare bit of pasturage, but in 1826 the first owner, Thomas Drury, advertised it as “One best suited for a whale fishery in the Bay of False”. Years later many whales were cut up on the flat rocks in the area, their valuable oil put to many uses including the provision of fuel for lights at the newly-constructed lighthouse at Cape Point as well as the Roman Rock lighthouse. Nestled between the waters of False Bay and mountains, the area was well placed as an access point to both inshore fishing in the bay and big game fishing off the legendary Cape Point. This small patch of land was just waiting for its new role as the base from which ski-boat sportfishing facilities would be pioneered in the Cape. The biggest impasse, however, was that the Department of Agriculture and Land Tenure Seashore Act did not provide for the leasing of coastal land to private organisations. Advocate Fanie Schoeman, also a keen angler and the author of the angling book Strike!, was approached regarding the lease problem. Through his representations in parliament the act was promptly amended to provide permission for the establishment of a clubhouse at Miller’s Point. The Divisional Council at the time (now the City of Cape Town) granted CBSC a 25-year lease for the 12 000m2 piece of land, as well as a low interest rate loan. The plans for the clubhouse were approved and on 16th November 1969 the R25 000 boating

The CBSC is situated in the Cape Point biosphere with the border the Castle Rock restricted zone, a section of Cape Point Marine Protected Area (MPA), on their doorstep. The club also falls in a buffer zone of the Cape Floral Region which has been awarded a World Heritage Site status by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and is considered to be the jewel in the Cape Floristic Region’s crown.

When sighting a Sterretjie (Artic Tern) working in the bay it meant yellowtail! Alan Thompson came up with the design which became their official logo. SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 73

The club building and initial launching ramp is seen on the extreme left with the parking areas in the centre behind the public picnic area. The main launching ramp is situated between the tidal pool and the famous Miller’s Point resort — one of the first official caravan parks in the southern hemisphere — located at the back. (Note the number of visitors and boats waiting to be trailered.) complex at Miller’s Point was announced in the press, marking the birth of the first small boat harbour in the Cape. Construction of the launch ramp and car park was done at cost by the late Ken Lowe of LTA Construction and was completed in 1970. At the time Lockwood Homes was marketing a new prefabricated building concept ideal for coastal weather conditions. They offered to build the clubhouse as a “showhouse”, but a decision had to be taken quickly, so fast in fact that as the building reached its final stages of completion, permission was granted by the authorities for construction to commence. The clubhouse was officially opened on 6th December 1970 by Vice-Admiral HH Bierman, who became the patron. Symbolic to organised angling practices, a fishing competition was held on the day and, characteristically South African, a braai in the afternoon. Eventually, after some four long years,Tom Mansfield’s first appeal to the members was realised and their dreams fulfilled: they had a launch ramp, a car park and a clubhouse. This no doubt catapulted the enjoyment of their leisure-time and beloved sport to unprecedented levels. Earl Fenwick called the site “Rumbly Bay” in reference to the sound of the boulders being drawn back and forth by the incoming waves in front of the clubhouse. That name is still in use today and is well known to many anglers around the globe. Unfortunately launching from the slipway in certain weather conditions proved rather risky and it was decided a breakwater would solve the problem but that wasn’t easy to organise. By 1974 there had been a vast increase in the number of ski-boats operating in False Bay which also made use of the club’s services, and the facilities soon became hopelessly inadequate, especially for the weekend traffic. Under the chairmanship of Hymie Steyn, alternative sites were identified and plans prepared for a new access road, car park and slipway. Aptly named the “Hymie Steyn Ramp”, the facility was

A recent photo of the entrance.

The club building and old launching ramp. SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 75

The new launching ramp on a quiet day. officially opened by the Minister of Sport, Dr Piet Koornhof, in October 1977. The day saw a mock rescue by NSRI Station 10 with the official launch of their boat, Seven Seas, with the Minister of Sport aboard. A breakwater was finally constructed in 1980, but the launching facilities were extensively damaged by a severe storm during 1984 and had to be rebuilt at the cost of some R1.3m. IMPORTANT ROLE-PLAYERS The CBSC members didn’t just design, build and maintain their facilities, they are also accomplished regulators, administrators and pacesetters of note— in addition to being good anglers. The list of go-getters is extensive, and I can’t mention them all, but some of the more prominent anglers who progressed to serve on provincial and national bodies, for example, are Hymie Steyn, Guy Row, Dave Todd,Tommy Fraser, Earl Fenwick, Joelle Searle, Dave Estment, Leander Wiid, Geoff Hawkins, Hilmie Daniels, Derek Muller, Jeff Daniels, Mike Pulcella and Budgie Grant. The CBSC boast six Springbok and one Protea angler with 14 different names featuring on the SADSAA, All Africa and World Record catch lists. Collectively they hold a staggering 32 of these records. The most prominent names on the list are Mike Casserley (seven records), Garreth Strydom (six records) and Joelle Row (five records). Joelle Row (now Searle) became the first Western Province lady angler. The impressive list of achievers is obviously augmented by a host of interprovincial and club competition trophies. During my introductory visit to the club I was overwhelmed by all the accounts and anecdotes tabled by the sociable and cordial reception committee. This included an impressive list of many other important achievements, too numerous to mention them all. I was really made to feel at home by Malcolm Grant (honorary life member and recent chairman, better known as “Budgie”), Greg Pengelly (recent vice chairman), Richard Borden (honorary life member, author of the club constitution and the man who introduced the very famous and popular October competition still serves on the committee) and Guy Row (long-serving secretary, honorary life member and Springbok angler). I felt so at ease there that it felt like I was an old member of the CBSC. As I worked my way through large piles of monthly club publications, reports and all sorts of snippets collected by many over the years, it became abundantly clear that the most valuable asset of this prestigious institution is its members, the people. Whilst it’s impossible to pay tribute to all those who contributed towards the success of the club over some 48 years, I could not help but flag a few of these movers and shakers. Overall, Allen Thompson and the longest serving chairman, Hymie Steyn, stood out as the most noteworthy management

Earl Fenwick is a renowned Cape Point springbok angler, founder member, ex chairman and honorary life member of the CBSC and a WP selector. He recently had a 50kg yellowfin speared and stolen by a very large marlin off Cape Point, in clear sight right next to the boat. members. Keeping in mind that a disaster at sea sparked the founding of the club, one can appreciate why the safety of members remained their key focus in conducting their business. Well-maintained, safe working platforms were non-negotiable as was the need to stay in contact with backup from shore by means of a repeater, situated on the Helderberg Mountains. Those rules are forcefully applied whilst members work the vast oceans. The legendary Geoff Hawkins assumed the extremely important and rewarding responsibility as the boat surveyor. He exercised this task with a high degree of passion and success for many years, rightfully earning him honorary life membership. Dolf Arenhold, also an ex-chairman of the club, took over from him. Recent chairman Budgie Grant reiterated the importance of members’ contributions:“It’s been an honour and privilege to have served as chairman of the prestigious CBSC, but it’s been teamwork that has really made this club one of the best respected in the Western Cape. For that, dues must go to all the committees and especially our club manageress, Colleen Pulcella. Their efforts in all the various portfolios have helped make CBSC what it is today.” Current chairman Mike Pulcella — elected late 2013 and entrusted with his third stint in this vital position —echoed Budgie’s sentiments by adding: “The members of CBSC are a great bunch of committed people who are always prepared to help one another and others, whether in difficulty or requiring assistance in learning the art of angling or boating.” The oldest member, Hymie Steyn, shared a secret: “The club played a major role in the False Bay Conservation Society in closing the bay to net trawling. The pinnacle was the sinking of old, redundant trawlers in the bay with some purposely not sunk in the locations given by the authorities at the time, a secret carefully guarded by a very small number of club members. “This intervention assisted in regenerating fish populations in False Bay, not only by providing additional spawning structures, but more so by snagging the nets of the trawlers that continued illegal operations following the closure of the bay.” Sam Brown, the youngest member, said,“As a junior member I’m very excited with the junior development courses that the club offers. The club is very supportive of junior anglers, encouraging us to fish and learn as much as possible, and helping us to go for our provincial colours.” THE WAY FORWARD From their humble beginning in 1967, the CBSC is one of the leading and most respected ski-boat clubs in South Africa today, but challenges remain. The facilities were built, managed and maintained by members, but were also shared with the general public and the commercial ski-boat fleet operatSKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 77

Arthur Gouldens catamaran, Alley Cat, was one of the first five true ski-boats in False Bay, seen here returning from a fishing trip with Arthur at the helm, Allen Sandell to the right and Piet Brink in the background. The name of the partly hidden angler is not known.

Brian Grobbler doing sea trials with his new boat off Simonstown. The boat was powered by a 40hp and a 9hp Johnson motor.

ing in False Bay. Sometimes up to 100 boats are launched in a day, and although the applicable fees provide a basic income, there are many downsides necessitating very careful management. Fortunately the chairman of the SA Commercial Linefish Association,Wally Croome, is also a CBSC member and a good relationship has been maintained between the different parties. Averting the looting of their property and equipment by the notorious Cape Point baboon troops is just one of many tasks the CBSC committee regularly take in their stride — it’s all in a day’s work to keep their members happy, smiling and fishing! Fully aware that we live in a rapidly changing world, the CBSC’s management concluded that the future of the club does not reside in pure ski-boat activities. Everything is destined to change, and they are in the process of aligning their structures to incorporate paddleski, wetbike/jetski and spearfishing anglers as well, another step in ensuring that they maintain the leading edge in the sportfishing arena in the Cape. For further up to date information on the club visit their website <www.capeboatand> or visit their Facebook page (Cape Boat and Ski Boat Club). 78 • SKI-BOAT January/February 2016


On the water faster with Mercury Finance


ERCURY Marine South Africa is excited to announce the launch of Mercury Finance to the South African market. “The primary reason for launching this service is to assist our smaller dealers who don’t have access to finance options,” says Shaun van Rooyen, Director of Rutherford Marine SA. “We will offer them a full finance service on Mercury powered boats and Mercury motors cost free.” The finance offering extends beyond new motors, providing commercial operators finance for repowers on their existing fleets at very competitive interest rates. Mercury Finance can also offer finance for second-hand Mercury powered boats as well as used Mercury motors up to ten years old. For more information contact Craig on (011) 878-2600.

Mikala Plotz (National Sales Manger Lowrance SA), Lisbeth Plotz (Managing Director Lowrance SA) with Marc Jourlait, Deputy CEO of Navico Holdings and Simon Claxton from Navico.

Top award for Lowrance SA


URBAN-based Lowrance South Africa recently won one of only three awards given at the annual Navico Conference in Lisbon, Portugal! Managing Director Lisbeth Plotz was the delighted recipient of the Marketing and Innovations Award. Navico is the world’s largest marine electronic company and their range includes Lowrance electronics for sportfishing craft. Lowrance SA distributes to marine dealers in South Africa and the rest of Africa. For more information on Lowrance products contact Lowrance SA on (031) 368-6649 or visit <>.

Super braid indeed


INGFISHER Pro Super Braid, a 100% polyethylene based braid, is braided with four strands and the advance technology makes this one of the most resilient braids available. Kingfisher Pro Super Braid is available in fluorescent yellow and is exceptionally well priced — the 30 lb 300m roll retails for around R230 and the 50 lb 600m roll for around R450. Check out the new Kingfisher Pro Super Braid at your local fishing tackle store or give The Kingfisher a call on (031) 368-3903.



HE Kingfisher recently introduced clients to possibly one of the best quality telescopic designs money can buy. Designed with backbone and a crisp recovery, all of these rods are suited for lure and bait fishing at home and abroad. Furnished with excellent aluminium guides, a high quality aluminium reel seat and an extendable butt, these rods are a must for the travelling fishermen. They feature a high modulus carbon blank, high quality guides, top grade aluminium reel seat and a cloth bag. Model Length Line wt Lure wt K/F PSD Tele Rod 6’ 3 5kg 4-12g K/F PSD Tele Rod 7’ 4-6kg 6-18g K/F PSD Tele Rod 8’ 5-7kg 8-24g K/F PSD Tele Rod 9’ 5-7kg 8-24g K/F PSD Tele Rod 10’ 5-7kg 8-24g Priced at around R550 for the 6ft model and R750 for the 10ft model, these rods represent outstanding value. They are available at most leading fishing tackle stores countrywide and at The Kingfisher in Durban. For more information phone (031) 368-3903 or visit <>.

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It’s a bitter blast indeed by Craig Thomassen


NE of the most distressing things for me is to watch a great fisher y decline into oblivion. With all of my travels throughout the years I have seen it happen over and over again and it never gets any easier to witness. Man’s greed and hunger for more have had dire consequences which are clear to see all over the planet. The human race does not seem to learn that once something is gone it’s not coming back — we just carry on destroying in the name of progress. At one stage I spent five years developing a lodge in Moçambique on a beautiful, unspoilt part of the coastline. When I first visited the area I was so impressed by the beauty and natural bounty of the area that I fell in love with it immediately and decided that it would be a spectacular place to build a fishing lodge. Fish were plentiful, you didn’t need to travel far to make some great catches and fresh seafood was available from the netters along the beach. On any day you could drive along and buy prawns, still alive, for R20 per kilo. There were plenty of crayfish,

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crabs, calamari and fish so I knew our kitchen would have no trouble providing the freshest and best seafood to our visitors. The people of Moçambique had been through a tough time; the war had forced many of them to move to the coast and subsist off the bounty of the ocean. Luckily for them, the ocean provided plenty of good protein every day. The people learned to harvest what they needed and although they were poor, they lived well. While we were building our lodge I already started to see changes. Where there had been a few short nets before, the numbers of nets started to increase and become longer. A Chinese guy started driving a truck up the beach on Thursdays, buying crabs, sea cucumbers and any other marine organisms they could find. I chatted to the locals who were pulling in the nets and they told me the new nets were owned by businessmen from cities like Maputo and Beira. The businessmen employed locals to operate the nets and the locals were very happy about it because it meant an income for them. Before long locals started appearing in the water with snorkelling gear and

spearguns — that was something completely new. The equipment helped them to efficiently harvest the crayfish on the turtle grass beds and many of the larger species of reef fish on the reefs which did not take baits, like the beautiful pink and blue parrotfish. The piles of fish, prawns, crayfish, squid and crabs along the beach got bigger as the equipment improved and everybody was very happy. It was a time of plenty; there was cash coming into the local economy and people could afford to buy things that they hadn’t had before — things like cell phones and store-bought alcohol. The market for the har vested marine life was varied — expats like myself, either buying for themselves, or for their guests; ski-boat fishermen buying half-beaks, carapou and sardines for fresh bait, and local Moçambicans buying a few small fish off the beach or at the market for immediate consumption. Some of the catches were also dried to be sent down to Maputo by bus or taxi. Then someone set up a seafood buying business and installed freezer rooms; he also supplied ice to the guys going out on dhows for multi-day trips. The local economy was booming!

Signs of the times — back when seafood was plentiful: Crayfish for sale in Moçambique, fish drying in the sun, spearfisherman with their morning’s catch and a haul of lula (squid). Before long gill nets started to appear in the area, killing dugongs, turtles and shoals of larger gamefish. Gill nets are illegal in Moçambique, but that law is seldom, if ever, enforced. The local port captain of the time who was the authority entrusted with enforcing the laws was hopelessly corrupt and could be bought off with a few fish. Cheap diesel engines began appearing on fishing boats, giving the fishermen more range and less reliance on the winds. The boats did multi-day trips out to the reefs around the islands and came back with huge catches of blood snapper, emperors, groupers and king mackerel. The number of trek nets along the beaches continued to grow until there was a net ever y 150m or so and it

became quite a feat to drive along the beach at low tide when the netters were pulling in the nets, with long pauses required at each group while we waited for them to drop the ropes so that vehicles could pass. Inevitably the catches started to decline. At first the decline was slow, but each day the piles of seafood along the beach became smaller. Then the decline went into freefall — a critical point had been reached and the trouble started. The shoals of inshore baitfish had been wiped out, the prawns, crayfish and squid were gone, and the bigger predator y fish stopped coming inshore because there was no food there to attract them. When we drove along the beach we would see the exhausted trek netters

standing dejectedly around a pathetic pile of sea grass, jellyfish and maybe the odd tiny pursemouth or sillago. It was over, not just the investment from expats like us who could no longer lure visitors to a virtual desert, but also for the locals. Their free and easy life of plenty was a thing of the past, and with no natural bounty to turn to things look very gloomy for them indeed. This is just one example of a fishery declining from a near pristine state to a virtual desert. It was frightening how quickly it happened and how devastating that change was to the ecology and to the local people. It’s unbelievably sad to witness this change and even sadder to think that the same thing or similar is happening all over the world, all of the time.

SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 83

THERE’S A FIRST FOR EVERYTHING by Johandre Deacon (15)


WAS nine years old when I first went deep sea fishing. We were at Shelly Beach on the KZN South Coast and planned to fish the great Protea Banks. That day was most probably the worst day of fishing that I know of. We were on a 9.6m cat, a charter known as Big Mama, but I have to be honest — I was very scared and with the swell going up to 3m it was not fun at first. We were trolling and when a reel started screaming I took it and started to battle my fish. I was worried that a shark would get my fish, so I pulled that 5kg fish with all that’s in me and still lost it. It’s funny to think that such a terrible day turned into my entire life — it’s all that my dad and I want to do, and our favourite fishing spot is Shelly Beach’s Protea Bank. The sharks make it so much harder, but also much more fun, and if the fish don’t want to bite then the sharks keep us busy. My first fish was a yellowfin tuna and it was awesome for me. Our first boat was a 16ft Kosi Cat CC and on our first trip on our own boat we took her up to Richards Bay. We caught a lot of fish and it was a lot of fun. My dad and I dreamed of catching a

marlin or sailfish, but we had no luck until 8 May 2015... It was the Mpumalanga Club competition at Sodwana Bay, KZN and it was the first time I’d been fishing at Sodwana. I was on edge and I just could not wait to get onto the sea. Unfortunately my dad could not join me because he had to work, but our boat still went down with Uncle Dawie Saaiman as skipper, and his wife, Louise, and I as crew. On the first two days we targeted sailfish, but we only got six tuna and lost a dorado of about 18kg. We couldn’t fish for the next two days because of the strong wind and swell, so we used the time to prepare for some serious gamefishing when we could get to sea again. On the last day we launched our 5.1m Seacat and off we went. The sea was rough and the boat was all over the place, but when we got past the backline we put the lines in the water and had soon hooked a sailfish which Louise brought to the boat — what a beautiful fish to catch. We trolled for the rest of the day and the next time the reel screamed it was my turn and we’d hooked my 9.5kg dorado. It was an incredible experience and I will definitely do it again. I just want to say thanks to the crew of Good Grief for a fantastic day. Since then I’ve caught two more great fish at Shelly Beach — a 5.6kg amberjack and a 10kg black musselcracker.

SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 â&#x20AC;¢ 85


by Cullum Johnston


NCE again the Cape Town International Boat Show was a great success, with reports from exhibitors and visitors alike being very positive. A number of boats were sold and show-goers were pleased with the array of equipment and entertainment on display. Exhibitors at the V&A Waterfront section of the show enjoyed three days of balmy weather and, with it, a good turnout of visitors. The in-water displays provided the ideal opportunity for those interested in the more upscale craft on offer to board the vessels and see first-hand what life on the waves is all about. Cape Town is home to some of the world’s finest manufacturers of catamarans and the show was spoilt to have an extraordinar y number of these superb craft on display. For the first time there was a Western Cape-sanctioned rowing regatta on the Saturday with Grassy Park Rowing Club being the worthy winner of a boat and Yamaha motor. In another Cape Town Boat Show first, the Seabreacher performed an amazing range of manoeuvres which had visitors in awe. The Quadski also peaked people’s interest — a crossover between a quad bike and a jetski, it’s the perfect combination for those who are undecided about which one they prefer. This vehicle is able to perform on land and water and the transition from one phase to the next happens with the flick of a switch. SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 87

The CTICC was home to an array of boats, motors and related equipment with all the major manufacturers being well represented along with Yamaha, Honda, Mercury and Suzuki. The countr y’s first diesel-powered outboard motor was also on display, a 200hp behemoth that could be set to revolutionise the way commercial operators power their craft. The Speaker Series was well attended, with Amazon River adventurer Davey du Plessis enthralling visitors with tales of his exploits on one of the world’s biggest rivers. Also on show was Herbivore, a pedal-powered craft that Davey will be using to cross the Atlantic in a four-month epic adventure accompanied by his mother. The Cape Town International Boat Show has become a firm fixture on the sub-Saharan marine calendar and will once again be staged in October 2016. If you are interested in becoming part of this successful event please email the organiser <> or call +27(0)21 685 0845 for more information.

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IVIERA recently unveiled the newest member of its impressive collection of flybridge yachts. The new Riviera 57 Enclosed Flybridge is the embodiment of innovation, from her pioneering design and state-ofthe-art navigation technology, to her final fit-out and luxuriously polished finish. Riviera chairman and owner Rodney Longhurst says the iconic luxury yacht builder’s dedicated team has integrated next-generation marine technology into the new 57 Enclosed, including the full features of the innovative Volvo Glass Cockpit navigation and CZone digital switching systems. “The Riviera 57 Enclosed Flybridge’s new and distinctive design has everything in perfect proportion but the perception of magnitude is perhaps even greater when you’re on board,” he says. The Riviera 57 Enclosed Flybridge retains the indoor/outdoor characteristics and cockpit connectivity which Riviera has made an art form and which sees the company exporting 55% of its annual production. However, with her new hardtop, flybridge and deck moulds, the new 57 Enclosed boasts powerful and noble lines with muscular sheer forward and deep topside dimensions, giving her a freeboard akin to a much larger yacht altogether.

The perception of volume is complemented by the fact her hull lines run straight aft from the maximum mid-ship beam of 5.13m. This, in turn, provides an extremely buoyant lift and planing surface, while her keel delivers straight tracking and great stability, enhancing her penultimate blue-water pragmatism. The interior is the epitome of the height of luxury in every area. The master stateroom, again defying convention for a vessel of this size, luxuriates right across the full beam and has a king-sized bed with innerspring mattress and upholstered headboard right amidships in the most stable part of the yacht. The new Riviera 57’s fully enclosed flybridge is another complete revelation, with enormous and comfortable L-shaped lounge which has rod storage underneath, a hi-lo table, slumber seat with fridge forward as well as a wet bar and sink. Subtly integrated above is a huge sliding electric sunroof which, together with slide-open side windows, creates a virtual sky lounge full of light, space and fresh air. Riviera offers 16 different models from 36 to 77 feet across four model collections: the supremely seaworthy Flybridge, stylish and sophisticated Sport Yacht, the sporty and adventurous new SUV series, and the timelessly classic Belize Motor Yachts. For more details on the Riviera 57 Enclosed contact Boating World on +27 (0)21 418 0840 or email <>.



URUNO’s NAVpilot is a revolutionar y autopilot with a sunlight viewable display designed for a variety of vessels. It utilises an intuitive, adaptive software algorithm and plays the ultimate role in course keeping capability, dynamically adjusting essential parameters for navigation including vessel speed, trim,

draught, tide and wind effects, dead band and weather. These parameters are stored in the system memory and are continuously updated. With the brand new Sabiki mode for vessels with outboards, your NAVpilot-711C has just become even more capable than before. Sabiki mode lets the autopilot take control while you are drifting astern, so you can focus on fishing instead of steering. Moving astern at a slow pace the Sabiki mode is uniquely tailored for sabiki fishing, jigging and bottomfishing. Furuno’s all-new “Fantum Feedback” NAVpilot software clears the path to a simplified installation while also delivering enhanced steering control. With Fantum Feedback, NAVpilot outboard installations no longer require the use of a physical rudder feedback unit and achieve precise course control, from slow trolling speeds to high-speed cruising. Various display modes are available, allowing you to customise the data to suit your preferences with either digital or analog graphics. The new NAVpilot-711C features a colour day/night graphic display for good sunlight- and night vision. Furuno’s new NAVpilot series is designed to match the NavNet TZtouch, NavNet TZtouch2, NavNet 3D, FI-50 instrument series and other navigation equipment. The plug-andplay CAN bus interface allows for easy installation and exceptional interface ability. For more information, please contact Radio Holland on 0861 123 555 or email <> otherwise visit their Facebook page: FurunoSA.

NEW ON THE BOOKSHELF Fishing Wider Margins by Paul Curtis Book reviewed by Erwin Bursik AUL Curtis’s latest book, Fishing Wider Margins, was released a couple of months ago and I was fortunate to receive a review copy. As I flicked through it the first time I was struck by the incredible amount of historical information he’d dug up about things piscatorial. History pertaining to fishing and fish is my soft spot — I love it — so this book was of great interest to me. I read it from cover to cover and learnt a great deal about various fresh- and saltwater aspects of our sport. I always thought I knew a lot about “the old days”, but Paul has added immeasurably to that knowledge and has got me searching for even more historical information on fishing. While reading Fishing Wider Margins I gained a great deal of respect for Paul and his obsession with South African books and magazines dating back to time immemorial, as well as his infinite patience in summarising many of these publications to pass on key facts from the annals of angling history in South Africa. Fishing Wider Margins is published and distributed by Platanna Press and is stocked in selected angling- and bookshops. To order a copy directly from the publishers email <>.


90 • SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

Samaki — The history of big game fishing on the Kenyan Coast EFORE the Second World War, gamefishing as it is today, did not exist in Kenya, but there’s no doubt that a number of stalwarts must have ventured out in small boats or dhows, trolling along the reefs with split bamboo rods fitted with the old wooden Nottingham “knuckle basher” reels filled with linen line. Multiplying reels and nylon lines only really became available after the war and they were a tremendous advantage, so much so that those larger fish which had previously smashed tackle and broken the flimsy linen lines, were suddenly within reach. However, boats were still usually small and ill-equipped to go after the really big fish such as marlin. Most fishermen either trolled along the reef edges after kingfish and trevally, or occasionally managed to bring in a sailfish. Only very rarely were small marlin ever caught. The first really big marlin was caught by Douglas Hinde, fishing with his brother “Loony” from a 20ft Dorset Fisherman called Membe, out of Mtwapa. This black marlin, which is now in the Nairobi Museum, weighed 460 lb and gave them a tremendous fight lasting several hours. Membe had no fighting chair, and the borthers had to resort to using an empty cigarette tin as a gimbal to cushion the butt of the rod. Samaki, The History of Big Game Fishing on the Kenya Coast, relates the story of deep sea fishing along the coast of Kenya. It’s a must read for anyone interested in big game fishing. The book costs $55 and can be ordered directly from Jon Cavanagh. Email him on <>.






FRANK Pelin Design 38ft with twin 300hp Perkins diesels (1 300 hours). Lots of spares including spare props and shafts. Includes all the kit for sportfishing. Price: On application Contact: John Cowlin on 083 628 5894 or email <>.

BOSTON WHALER includes 150hp Evinrude Direct Injection motor, fishfinder, canopy, built0in fuel tank, boat cover, trailer, fighting chair, CD player and rod holders. Price: R239 900 Contact: Boating International on (011) 452-8280.

DEADLINE for the March/April 2016 issue of SKI-BOAT magazine is 20th January 2016.

BOOK YOUR SPACE NOW! Phone Joan on (031) 572-2289 or Lyn on (011) 425-2052

Accessories Spares Centre. . . . . . . . 78 Accessories Spares Centre. . . . . . . . 79 Anglers Apparel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Atlantic Suzuki. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Boating International. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Boating World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Boating World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Bradley Smoker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 C-Dynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Cayenne World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Club 15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Club Marine Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . 4 D7 Unique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Durban Ski-Boat Club Festival . . . . . 70 Durban Yamaha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Garmin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Island Charters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Jonsson Clothing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Komatipoort Boatel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Lowrance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Lucky’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Mako Eyewear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Marlin Club Tournament . . . . . . . . . 22 McCrystal Insurers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 MDM — Raymarine . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 MDM — Raymarine . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Mr Winch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Natal Caravans & Marine . . . . . . . . . . 2 Natal Powerboats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 OET Sponsors Thanks . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Pure Fishing - Penn . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Richards Bay Billfish Classic . . . . . . 29 Richards Bay Ski-Boat Club . . . . . . . 86 Rutherford Marine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Shelly Beach Ski-Boat Club Festival . 63 Ski-Port Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Solly’s Angler’s Corner. . . . . . . . . . . 60 Stealth Flyfishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Stuart Simpson fishing. . . . . . . . . . . 85 Sufix Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Suzuki Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 The Kingfisher. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 TOPS @ Spar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Turboformance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Two Oceans Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Two Oceans Marlin Tournament . . . 26 Vanguard Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Vetus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Volvo Penta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Wildfly Travel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Williamson Lures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Yamaha Explorer 19 . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Yamaha F150 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Z-Craft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 • 91


96 â&#x20AC;¢ SKI-BOAT January/February 2016


SKI-BOAT January/February 2016 â&#x20AC;¢ 97

Last word from the ladies






EFORE I write any further I have to tell you that I love my beau and I love fishing #justsaying. Actually I love the marlin and gamefishing facets of fishing — please don’t make me spend the whole night out at sea catching snotty and stinking dagga. I’ve been there, done that and I don’t miss the days of washing my hands countless times trying to remove the snot or going out for dinner with my girlfriends only to have them turn up their noses because I smell like a fishmonger’s wife who’s been hard at work at the market selling her husband’s catch! I’ve even gone as far as wearing gloves and gum boots to protect myself from the smell but that didn’t turn out so well ... I know this might cause a little stink with some of the Rapala Lip readers, but there are days when I wonder why I had to fall in love with a fisherman. Seriously, couldn’t I have chosen someone who came home from work and his hobby smelling all fresh and clean? Things have gotten so bad in our household that I’ve had to convert the spare room closet into the “fishing closet”. No matter how many times I soak and wash those darn fishing clothes, nothing gets rid of the stink. I’ve even been tempted to dump all my love’s fishing clothes and stock up on fresh gear, but then I realised there’s no point — they’ll be rotten again in just a few days. Yes, I do feel sorry for houseguests that might visit, but most of them are stinky anglers too and probably won’t even notice the smell. There’s a ritual in our home: after a night of bottomfishing hubby returns home smelling “beautiful”, dumps his clothes next to the washing machine — yes, next to the washing machine, rather than in the machine — and stinks out the whole house. Then he very sneakily tries to climb into bed. After all these years of being together he ought to know I’m a light sleeper — and I can smell that snot from miles away. “Fair try, Dude,” I snap, “but there is no way you are climbing into our bed!” Invariably the linen has just been washed and the bugger is trying to pull a sneaky on me! You have no idea how quickly a person can wake up and boot the culprit’s lily-white bottom off to the shower! This little lady can be full of dynamite when she’s pushed to the limits. It’s one thing being woken up on a school night in the wee hours of the morning to try encourage a tired fisherman to shower, but it’s 98 • SKI-BOAT January/February 2016

that much worse when they push the limits and climb into bed full of scales and all the jazz that goes along with it. I think I’m a pretty fair wife when it comes to supporting the fishing habits in our household, so could you please pay me the same courtesy — shower please and leave the fish scales outside! You should see the size of my Rapala Lip the morning after a night like that! It’s not only my bed linen that’s being ruined by this fishy habit, though ... A couple of months ago my beau left for a month-long fishing trip which began with a week-long packing process! Having said that, I think the “packing” might well have included having a few Captain Morgans with the crew and exchanging exaggerated stories of catching huge marlin . Little did I know that all my beach towels would be making the trip too. In my hubby’s defence, he did ask which beach towels he could use to wrap up the “babies” — his precious 80 lb and 130 lb Shimano’s. Yes, I get it, they are super pricey, so I said he could use a couple of the older towels to protect them. However, it wasn’t only the older towels that disappeared — it was much nicer, newer ones too, and I began to wonder if the 20 lb, 30 lb and 50 lb reels also required extra protection. Surely fabric off-cuts would have sufficed? When he returned from his extended fishing trip my towels slowly started reappearing — all except for my favourite plush beach blanket which seemed to have had an accident somewhere along the way. My darling eventually made amends and my Rapala Lip reduced in size ... until the day I came home and saw that the “babies” were safely coddled in my favorite teal couch

blanket — on my lounge floor! It seems noting is sacred — before long my socks will probably be turned into handle covers and my bike lights will land up on the boat as spare navigation lights. What am I talking about? That’s already happened! A few weeks’ ago I was heading off for an early morning bike ride with my girlfriends and couldn’t find my lights anywhere. We searched the garage high and low for them and I blamed numerous people for their disappearance; I even complained to my beau about them being missing. When I innocently asked if he’d seen them he looked at me as if I was bonkers. I didn’t really think he’d taken them because the man is allergic to any sport other than fishing and wouldn’t know what to do with a bike. Eventually I borrowed a light from a friend and off we went. A couple of weeks passed and hubby and I were heading off to Richards Bay for a little fishing weekend. I hopped on the boat and started putting all our bags and cooler boxes in the cabin when something familiar caught the corner of my eye — lo and behold, there were my bike lights! They still haven’t been returned to my bike, and I learnt a valuable lesson that day — if in doubt blame your husband first — 99% of the time they are the culprits! So once again I get back to the same question: why is it that we put up with these stinky, beach-towel-and-bike-light stealing fishermen? It’s simple — life would be so dull without them; most of them can cook a darn good piece of fish and we get to go on beautiful holidays. Remember, wherever there’s an ocean there’s a tropical beach for suntanning!








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Ski-Boat January 2016  

Since 1985 Ski-Boat magazine has been providing deep sea anglers in South Africa and abroad with top quality content. Articles cover all asp...

Ski-Boat January 2016  

Since 1985 Ski-Boat magazine has been providing deep sea anglers in South Africa and abroad with top quality content. Articles cover all asp...