CONTENTS March/April 2015 Volume 31 Number 2 COVER: The Red Brigade They took on DAFF and won. Gary Thompson and John Rance, together with BDSAA, took DAFF to court to challenge the ban on red steenbras. The victory was a triumph for justice. See page 12. Photograph supplied by John Rance.
Unbanned! Minister’s decision on red steenbras is “irrational” — compiled by Dave Rorke
Proteas Strike Silver So close at World Championships in Brazil — by Michael Riley
Natal Snoek Time These traces will improve your success rate — by Jonathan Booysen
Albacore Bullets of the west coast — by Stewart Norman
Hot Lines! 67
2014 Billfish 15 000— by Blyde Pretorius
Knot Savvy — Part 6 Getting yourself in a twist — by Paul Borcherds
How the Wet Was Won — Part 6 — Conclusion The evolution of sportfishing boats in South Africa — by Johan Smal
Suzuki Powers Ahead The new DF200A is making waves in SA — by Mark Wilson and Suzuki
What Lies Beneath? Get the whole truth with Insight Genesis — by Dale Grobler
PWC Fishing in the Western Cape Why you should fit an outboard to your jetski — by Ruan Kukard
Under Pressure! Anglers need to take responsibility for their actions — by Craig Thomassen
Big Fish Bite — Including Three Granders! Plenty of action at Bazaruto — by Mercia Jacobs and SKI-BOAT reporter
Sailie Alley 187 Sailish in five days — by Nick Gray
DEPARTMENTS 8 9 48 71 73 83 84
Editorial Comment — by Dave Rorke Postbox SADSAA News & Views Subscribe and WIN! This issue’s Kingfisher Awards Mercury Junior Anglers Reel Kids
90 91 91 92 96 97 98
Bits & Pieces 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
Managing Editor: Dave Rorke Editor: Sheena Carnie Editorial Assistant: Vahini Pillay Publishing Executive: Erwin Bursik Advertising Executive: Mark Wilson Advertising Consultant: Joan Wilson Administration Executive: Anne Bursik Accountant: Jane Harvey Executive Assistant: Kim Hook Admin Assistant: Sunny Kandaswami Boat Tests: Heinrich Kleyn Contributors: Paul Borcherds, Jonathan Booysen, Nick Gray, Dale Grobler, Ricky Jacobs, Ruan Kukard, Shaheen Moolla, Stewart Norman, Blyde Pretorius, John Rance, Mike Riley, Duarte Rato, Craig Thomassen, Johan Smal, Geoff Wanvig. 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; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHERS: Angler Publications cc PO Box 20545, Durban North 4016 Telephone: (031) 572-2280/89/97/98 Fax: (031) 572-7891 e-mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions to SKI-BOAT: R160.00 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: email@example.com • Through www.africanangler.com, or • E-zine digital subscriptions — visit www.africanangler.com > SKIBOAT > SUBSCRIBE, then choose your option. • Click the E-zine short-cut on the magazine’s home page, www.africanangler.com, or visit www.zinio.com/SkiBoat. 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 March/April 2015
USTAINED utilisation of the South African offshore linefish is the lifeblood of our sportfishing industry. We at SKI-BOAT have for the last 30 years continually and unrelentingly supported this concept in the fervent hope that the pleasure derived by so many from sportfishing will be passed on to generations to come. Those who have passed on bequeathed us a love for a sport which we so jealously guard and protect — most of us, anyway, those amongst us who can rightfully call ourselves sportfishermen or women. So, so many amongst us currently enjoy the pleasure of catching fish responsibly — indeed, it’s a way of life — and I like to think that the vast majority of us do so within the law. Dave Rorke But the simple words, “Marine Protected Areas (MPA)”, have surfaced recently, raising more questions than answers for the recreational offshore sportfishing fraternity who view this activity as a long-term recreational sport borne out of a love for the sea, the excitement of enticing a fish onto a hook and the camaraderie of fishing with like-minded people. We’ve always supported the proclaiming of MPAs which have been demarcated for the specific purpose of conservation of certain fish species, especially in nursery areas. Currently, a proposal is on the table for the establishment of additional MPAs to be dotted along the entire South African coast, strategically placed at all the hotspot fishing areas used predominately by recreational offshore anglers. Is this yet another vindictive Government/DAFF attempt to further curtail sportfishing? Who is behind this, and who initiated it? After the Supreme Court of South Africa overturned the red steenbras ban because its original imposition was based largely on irrational, unjustifiable and outdated scientific research into that species along our coast (see page 12), the lawmakers had to find another way to attempt to ban offshore angling or to get back at the deep sea angler. And once again they have done so without adequate scientific studies of the numerous species and areas involved. According to the proposal, “The Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (DAFF) provided data for fisheries effort, catch and bycatch data and data to support ecosystem-based management of fisheries.” That statement alone should raise a red flag and be sufficient ammunition to challenge the proposed proclamation of the new MPAs. If DAFF is successful, it will mean sudden death for many areas along our coast in sportfishing terms. It will not only have a direct impact on the offshore fishing fraternity as a whole in these MPA areas, but also its large support industry, including tourism. Sustained utilisation doesn’t seem to be included in the vocabulary of those supposedly responsible for the management of linefish stocks off our coast. Because of their total inability to police existing legislation which, in most instances, has had the support of the deep sea angler, the big stick of a total fishing ban is their next attempt to prevent sportfishers getting to sea. If we can’t go to sea, this equals no fish being caught — a concept that sits very comfortably with DAFF, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and a section of our scientific community. All deep sea anglers in South Africa need to be aware of the impact of these new MPAs. Don’t be fooled by statements such as “it’s only 4% of the South African coast and only ten envisaged new MPAs”. Indeed, each MPA has been cherry-picked, both from a boating and fishing perspective, virtually issuing death sentences to the clubs that have for many years utilised the proposed areas, have established club facilities there, and have attracted members to invest millions in everything required to go fishing in the deep. Take up this very serious matter with your club, your provincial structure and SADSAA to ensure that the MPA white paper, due for release in March 2015, does not escape stringent examination. This proposal could result in the demise of our constitutional right to access linefish resources for recreational angling purposes. Happy reading and good catches.
Letters to the Editor Something on your mind? Write to The Editor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
persuade billfishers to change. It will happen, but how long it will take is the big question. The cover shot was taken by Erwin Bursik in Kenyan waters where he was a guest aboard a charter boat. The fish was safely released. — DR.
NO DOUBLE-HOOK RIGS PLEASE Dear Dave Greetings from Angola. Firstly, congrats on a great magazine! Great cover shot on the January/February 2015 issue, but it shows perfectly why we shouldn’t be using double-hook rigs for billfish. The fish in the picture has a hook lodged in its top jaw and the other in its lower jaw. If that fish were to break the line, it would die of starvation. In this day and age, as responsible anglers, we should be releasing all billfish. Double-hook rigs are dangerous to the fish and equally dangerous to the mate trying to release them. Please, let’s leave the double-hook rigs at home. Singlehook stiff rigs are just as effective and promote healthy releases of billfish, with much less risk to the crew. Keep up the good work. CAM NICOLSON <email@example.com> Thanks for the compliments, Cam — and it’s nice to know the mag is being read in your part of the world. As for your wish for the release of all billfish, you are dead right. Indeed, the age of the blanket releasing of all billfish is getting closer and closer. Fifteen years ago — only fifteen years ago — virtually every billfish caught off the east coast of South Africa was killed, and this applied to Angola as well. Now I would say that almost 90% are released which is a remarkable achievement for “third world” Africa. As far as double-hook rigs are concerned, the modern trends towards stiff hook rigs in lures and circle hook rigs in baits are becoming more and more popular, as they should, for the reason you so correctly explained. However, for the foreseeable future there will still be those, not only in Africa but worldwide, who cling to the belief that double hooks provide a better hookup rate. There is a strong push to
A TRAGIC ENDING Dear Dave Tuesday 25th November 2014 was indeed a sad day for me and anyone who has fished on my boat and for Nomads Game Fishing Club. My boat, Watermark, was stolen from my driveway and later set alight when it became a hot item on social media and 702. The same month at least six other boats of various makes and styles were stolen. I would like to share this story with all boat owners so that they can take the appropriate steps to prevent the same thing happening to them. At around 4.10pm, shortly after our maid had left for the day, two white men in a white Citi Golf drove up to my driveway, cut the gate off the hinges with an angle grinder, cut the locks off the wheels of the trailer, hooked it up and drove off. My neighbour across the road had noticed the Golf parked in an odd position in the adjacent main street, so they had obviously been watching and waiting for the maid to leave. Fortunately he had the wherewithal to call the police when the gate swung open in the wrong direction. He also managed to take a few photos of the Golf towing the 2.5 ton boat into peak hour traffic. These photos hit social media in a flash, and I would like to thank the boating community and all who shared the incident on Facebook, Sea-Line and Block Watch pages. Unfortunately, however, the heat of social media, I believe, spooked the common garden scum and the night after the boat was stolen they dropped Watermark in the street outside Glenhazel Primary School and set her alight. The motors, controls, instruments, GPS, fishfinder and the like were all removed, obviously. Watching one’s boat smoulder is a gut-wrenching experience.
There was, however, some good news, and I would like to thank Kmdt Robbie Roberts and DSgt Simon Selomane of the Edenvale SAPS branch for their efforts. With the help of all who sent me information or called me with possible sightings of the Golf or suspicious behaviour, we managed to assist the police and they arrested one of the suspects. The boat’s trailer was recovered (albeit dramatically modified), as well as some of the tools with my boat’s name written on them. The suspect made bail but not before he provided some important information to the police. MARK COCKCROFT <MarkCockcroft@hillintl.com>
TAKING A JETSKI TO MOÇAMBIQUE Dear Dave Thank you so much for your article Tips for Travellers to Moçambique. I am a first-time traveller and was wondering if you can assist me. I want to take my jetski to Ponta do Ouro. I am, however, a little bit worried about the documentation I require to be able to go to sea there. Are any special licences or documents required? Or can I just pay the launch fee and launch? ANDRIES FOURIE <firstname.lastname@example.org> Lyn Adams replies: “You need to take your COF and COC with you, then get a launch permit for your ski, plus a fishing licence from the resort you are residing at or the Maritimo. It’s as easy as that. Make sure you get a receipt.” RECENT VISIT TO CAMP CARLOS Dear Dave I thought it important to convey my recent experiences when visiting Moçambique. We left for Maputo on 4th January 2015 with our boat in tow. We went through the border at Komatipoort without a hitch and had no trouble with the authorities. The queue coming the other way stretched for many kilometres, so I’m not sure how long it took them to get through the border. We travelled to Club Naval to launch our boat and I was amazed how much has been achieved in a year since I was last there. New buildings were going up everywhere, people cutting the verges, rubbish being cleaned up, really amazing when compared it to what is happening in SA. Again we had no problems with the authorities and arrived at Club Naval without a hitch. It cost about R2 200 to launch and leave the trailer there for ten days. We launched and headed for Camp Carlos, spending ten wonderful days there. It was great holiday. Well done to Moçambique from Poisa and crew. JAMES CHANCE <email@example.com>
SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 9
compiled by Dave Rorke
Together with Border Deep Sea Angling Association, John Rance (right) — Environmental Officer of BDSAA — and Gary Thompson took the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to court ... and won. After the ban was lifted they went fishing off the Transkei coast and Gary landed this very decent ±36kg copper.
Minister’s Decision on Red Steenbras is “Irrational and Nonsensical” IN the previous issue we announced in a Stop Press as part of the Editorial Comment that the (recreational fishing) red steenbras ban imposed by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries had been set aside. The matter between Border Deep Sea Angling Association and DAFF was decided in favour of the applicants, thereby setting a precedent for the proper management of marine resources in the future. Indeed, the judgement has far-reaching consequences, which will become clearer as you continue reading the contributions to the debate by Shaheen Moolla, managing director of Feike, a Cape Town-based natural resources advisory firm and former head of Marine and Coastal Management, Jessica Greenstone, a WWF-SA Marine Fellow at the UCT Marine Research Institute, and John Rance, one of the applicants and Environmental Officer, Border Deep Sea Angling Association. Firstly, Shaheen Moolla reports on the judgement, adding his personal input: WHAT CONSTITUTES RATIONAL AND LAWFUL DECISION-MAKING? by Shaheen Moolla HE North Gauteng High Court on 24th November 2014 handed down one of the most important judgements in recent
12 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
times concerning the determination of catch allowances. The application was brought by, inter alia, the Border Deep Sea Angling Association against the Fisheries Department (DAFF) and its Minister. The Association sought to review
and set aside a 23rd November 2012 decision by the then Minister, Tina Joemat Pettersson, to ban all harvesting of red steenbras by recreational fishers. The Association contended that the decision was, inter alia, irrational, taken arbitrarily and capriciously, and one that
no reasonable person in the position of a Minister would take. The court agreed with the Association, reviewed and set aside the red steenbras ban in so far as it concerns recreational fishers, and awarded costs against DAFF and the Minister. The judgement, however, provides a crucial precedent and standard for the determination of what constitutes rational and therefore lawful decision-making when determining catch limits, and it has dire implications for the way DAFF has been summarily and heavyhandedly deciding catch allowances in fisheries such as lobster (particularly the recreational sector) and abalone. For too long DAFF has been operating on the basis that it will simply do as it pleases and ram through annual catch allowance allocations with little to no consultation and on the basis of appallingly outdated and irrelevant research data. For example, in the Border Deep Sea Angling Association matter, DAFF tried to convince the court that its reliance on 13-year-old research data was rational and justifiable. The court rejected this contention as being nonsensical and irrational. DAFF also tried to convince the court that catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) data showed that the red steenbras stock was overfished. Once again, the court rejected this contention, correctly noting that CPUE data is irrelevant to determining stock status as it does not prove how much fish is in the sea. In other words, CPUE data is not a substitute for actual research into stock status. This ruling is particularly important for the abalone fishery where DAFF continues to rely substantially on CPUE data to reduce TAC limits (especially in Zones E, F and G) because DAFF has never undertaken actual research or its research is embarrassingly outdated. The court also emphasised the need to take into consideration the economic impacts of such decisions. DAFF currently does not in any way consider the socio-economic impacts of its TAC decisions which are taken under veils of secrecy, poor or dated science and irrelevant documents which are substantially aimed at being verbose and to obfuscate fair and transparent decision-making. The manner in which DAFF is presently mismanaging the determination of the abalone TAC (Total Allowable Catch) for the 2014/2015 season is a case in point, and the Border Deep Sea Angling Association ruling opens the Minister and his department to a review application on similar grounds. DAFF further contended that it was not necessary to actually determine whether it was commercial fishing or recreational fishing that resulted in the overfishing of red steenbras stocks. The court rejected this argument as being clearly nonsensical and irrational. The
court rightly asked how is it possible to design a solution for a problem if you are unable to understand its causes! This is of course the definition of insanity. Once again, DAFF’s repeated decisions to punish the legal abalone fishery when it is the illegal fishery that is decimating stocks will — on the prece-
dent of this judgement — be held to be unlawful. In fact, the evidence is worse for DAFF in the abalone fishery where it has accepted that the legal fishery takes about 120 000 (95 tons) abalone annually while the illegal fishery harvests nothing less than 7 500 000 abalone (+2 500 tons). It is inconceiv-
“To a red steenbras and a fisheries scientist,” says Jessica Greenstone, “both a commercial fisher and a recreational fisher result in dead fish ...” A sweeping statement indeed. Here John Rance Jnr. measures a copper before tagging and releasing it, using the SeaQualizer. (See Gary Thompson’s feature on releasing fish in the next issue.) SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 13
able that any rational and reasonable decision-maker would ever curtail the legal fishery while allowing the illegal fishery a free hand to poach. The same will apply to the lobster TAC. Who is responsible for the ongoing decimation of stocks? Recreational fishers? Interim relief fishers? The commercial fishery? The fact that DAFF has not undertaken research to determine this and then simply proceeds to punish entire sectors arbitrarily and without any basis for the decision will mean that sector-wide reductions of the lobster TAC will, in all probability, be declared to be capricious, arbitrary and therefore unlawful. Finally, what this decision exposes as well is the state of poor management that our fisheries department finds itself in. How is it that the most recent scientific research on a critical stock such as steenbras, which is part of a section 16managed fishery — a fishery in environmental crisis! — dates back to 1999? How relevant and sound is the research pertaining to our other fisheries that DAFF is purportedly “managing”? Why is DAFF not undertaking socio-economic research? Given that DAFF is not even able to allocate fishing rights any more, what exactly are they doing? What are we actually paying this government department to do, then? Murray du Plessis with his “proper copper” caught off the Transkei coast a few days after DAFF’s ban was lifted. RED STEENBRAS — THE BIGGER PICTURE N the article titled Missing the big picture, Jessica Greenstone criticised the court judgement favouring recreational anglers. The article was well written and would have appeared credible to laymen unacquainted with the facts. But it was essentially propaganda and — to their discredit — WWF agreed with the article. To have written that article with the authority of an institution such as WWF from a scientific platform, and to have criticised the judgement so emphatically, the writer should have studied the court papers and the detail of events and submissions leading up to the ban on fishing for red steenbras. The Applicants in this case, Border Deep Sea Angling Association (BDSAA), Gary Thompson and I have been at the forefront of marine conser vation. BDSAA created the marine reserves off our coastline as voluntary areas in 1980 and were instrumental in having them officially gazetted then upgraded into full Marine Protected Areas. Resulting from the officially-sanctioned commercial slaughter of red steenbras in the 1980s and 1990s we’ve campaigned since 1993 for greater pro-
JESSICA GREENSTONE With the unbanning of the red steenbras, Jessica Greenstone of the WWF in Cape Town responded on behalf of the WWF. For the record, according to her profile in the Daily Maverick, she only “... joined the WWF South Africa Seafood Market Transformation team within the Marine Programme at the beginning of this year and heads up the organisations SASSI species assessment work, as well as leading on the Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) and Fishery Conservation Projects (FCPs) that WWF South Africa are involved in.” Ms Greenstone hails from the USA where she completed an environmental law degree at the University of Michigan School of Law and, after practising in the environmental law field in the US and Moçambique, she also completed an MSc at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in Conservation Biology. John Rance responded to her widelydisseminated article with the following:
tection for red steenbras, in particular to have them decommercialised, maintaining they should never have been allowed to be commercially plundered in the first place. We wanted these fish protected so we could continue catching them in a sustainable manner. To some people prejudiced against hunting or fishing, this seems a contradiction. A scientist involved in this debate once stated publicly “you can’t protect something which you want to kill ...” But that’s where they are so wrong. It’s precisely because recreational hunters and fishermen want to hunt or fish for species that we protect them. No species worldwide is in danger of extinction through recreational hunting or fishing. On the contrary, there are many species which are multiplying through the efforts of hunters to protect them, so they can continue to hunt them. Some of the worst propaganda in environmental protection is misuse of the term “endangered species” to deliberately confuse the distinction between populations of species and the species as a whole to achieve nefarious objectives, such as banning hunting. By the late 1990s it had become clear that populations of red steenbras had been hammered by legal and illegal commercial fishing. Typically with the fault of “too little, too late”, legislators belatedly passed regulations limiting the catches of red steenbras to oneper-person-per-day with a closed season during the spawning months of September to November. The number of commercial linefish licences was also drastically reduced. By the early 2000s legal commercial fishing for the species had all but ceased as it was too costly to target them for the catch limit of one-per-person. As a result, the species rebounded in our region. However, increased catches couldn’t be recorded as quotas were limited. Because of the rebounding of the species, illegal commercial effort increased. These people fraudulently use recreational fishing licences to catch and illegally sell fish under the smokescreen of legal fish sales. Concerned about the slaughter and despairing of incompetence in policing, scientists called for a complete ban on catching, citing the increased effort of “illegal recreational fishing”. We maintained what they termed “illegal recreational fishing” was in fact “illegal commercial fishing” involving the fraudulent use of recreational fishing licences, and responded with more urgent calls for longer closed seasons, a ban on the commercial catching and selling of the species and more effective policing, to no avail. The marine scientific principle SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 15
“Catch Per Unit Effort” (CPUE) is used to determine fish stocks. This correlates the number of fishermen and time spent catching with the number or mass of fish caught. It’s not an exact science, but is an accepted method of broadly determining stocks. When the CPUE baseline for red steenbras was originally determined, catches were unlimited, there were many more boats fishing for them, and no closed season. To back their prejudiced and dogmatic views, certain scientists dug up the latest legal commercial CPUE statistics of red steenbras catches and predictably found this had declined by 99%, called “panic stations” and bamboozled naive DAFF officials and the Minister to legislate a complete ban on red steenbras catches. But we knew this to be untrue because we were catching those fish far more easily than before. It’s simple to see the fallacy in their argument. The regulations alone would’ve reduced the CPUE by over 90%. Therefore the regulations caused the drop in fishing effort which caused the drop in CPUE, not necessarily a decline in fish numbers. We pointed this out, but no one listened — and the total ban was enacted based on a scientific untruth. During the process of deliberating on this action, information was requested from DAFF as to why they considered the species to be so endangered that a total ban, including recreational fishing, was justified. For nearly two years they refused to supply this information. Even when the Promotion of Access to Information Act was invoked, it was still unconstitutionally denied. As a result, a judicial review of this legislation was applied for. Thankfully, a perceptive judge decided to only set aside the ban on recreational fishing and not for commercial fishing as well. She also referred the matter back to the legislating authorities for review, taking into consideration the principles embodied in her judgement. We’ll be using that opportunity to again call for better protection for red steenbras involving, inter alia, more effective policing of and sentences imposed for illegal fishing, simply because we want more and bigger fish for our grandkids and their kids to catch. The judge essentially ruled you can’t use untruths, illogic, outdated research and unconstitutional methods to enact legislation. Greenstone appears to maintain that the means justifies the end, including propaganda-style articles. Appallingly, the WWF agrees with her. And they have the effrontery to criticise the judge for her “heavy-handed” decision and for “missing the big picture”. If species like red steenbras ever do become extinct, it will be because of the misguided efforts of such people, 16 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
Scientists and scientific opinion
I think we must be careful of slating the marine scientific community per se. It is sections of them which are at fault, notoriously the Linefish Scientific Working Group which is a secretive group, not allowed to state opposing or alternative views. It is fortunate that such prominence was given to the article by Jessica Greenstone, as this gives us some insight into certain influential thinking. On the contrary, it is DAFF and certain sections of the marine scientific community that are missing the big picture. Their views are narrow and archaic, they misuse scientific data and their minds are closed to alternatives. As recreational fishermen, we have always said we respect the scientific data and knowledge of the marine scientific fraternity. And we have or had some of the best scientists in the world in this field. That is when their knowledge is honestly applied to the scientific data. However, when they start expressing personal opinions, sexed up as scientific fact, they do their profession an injustice. When they mix this with prejudice against recreational fishing, they completely lose our support and respect. The problem for other scientists is they discredit themselves when they don’t speak out against this. I checked with WWF and they support Greenstone’s views. She is a Fellow at the UCT Marine Research Institute. These are important opinion makers. Look at some extracts of what she said: “... the recreational sector is the least understood and the most rapidly growing.” Who says? “Recreational fishers are those who fish for sport.” Huh? I certainly fish for a complex mix of love of the sea and outdoors, an atavistic instinct, excitement, sometimes danger, companionship ... who is she to classify us? “(Recreational fishers) are not constrained by the economics which may prevent over-fishing in the linefish commercial sector.” Complete rubbish and utter bias. “(Impacts on linefish stocks by this growing sector) are universally recognised by scientists as substantial due to the substantial fleet size and its financial resources.” Based on what research? “... there are few limits on their catches.” Can you believe she said this with the support of WWF? “The court ruled ... on the basis of a hunch that a small group of recreational fishers did not meaningfully impact on the red steenbras population.” Untrue. “... both a commercial fisher and a recreational fisher result in dead fish and the actions of both need restriction.” It’s obvious she knows nothing about resource management in South Africa, nor the release of fish by the recreational fishing fraternity, especially along the Border and Eastern Cape coast. This kind of opinion is being flaunted around in our backyard, unexposed and unchallenged by our associations. What are they doing if not protecting our right to fish? This matter was not about red steenbras — that was merely the totem. It was a far greater picture involving the rights of recreational fishermen to be heard, to be viewed independently of commercial fishing and to have access to the resource. JOHN RANCE Environmental Officer Border Deep Sea Angling Association not because recreational fishermen want to hunt or fish for them. * * * In response to Ms Greenstone’s article, Shaheen Moolla was more forthright and didn’t mince his words: BASED ON OUTDATED AND IRRELEVANT SCIENCE ... HE point is — and this is overlooked by this article and others who bleat about the precedence of “science” — the attempt at regulating this fishery is based on outdated and irrelevant science. The most recent scientific data that the department could put forward dated back to 1999. How is the court’s rejection of this “heavy handed”? DAFF also stated that you don’t need to understand
the causes of the problem to present a solution! That is hopelessly irrational and nonsensical. And to answer the question about the future of other imperilled stocks, the obligation is on the regulator to ensure that its science is reliable, up-to-date and relevant. In addition, the regulator must appreciate its obligations under Section 2 of the Marine Living Resources Act, and therefore also understand the socio-economic consequences of its decisions. That is the job of fisheries management. Decision-making in a constitutional democracy requires it to be justifiable, rational and lawful. That the science is weak, outdated or irrelevant can’t be an excuse under the “precautionary principle” to hold entire communities and even economies to ransom.
by Michael Riley
Janes Wasserman and Mike Riley with one of the 18 white marlin the Proteas caught in Brazil.
PROTEAS STRIKE SILVER! So close at World Championships in Brazil
ANIE Visser, Johannes (Janes) Wasserman, Jaco Hendriksz and I were thrilled when selected to represent South Africa at the 23rd World Big Game Fishing Trolling Championships, held in Vitória, Brazil, at the end of November 2014. Our pride at being chosen was soon surpassed, though, when we returned home with the silver medal. Immediately prior to our departure for Brazil, the team assembled for a ceremony at a hotel near OR Tambo airport. John Pledger, President of SASCOC, handed each of the team members an official Protea cap and wished us tight lines. The adventure had begun. We arrived in Brazil well ahead of the competition and immediately char-
tered boats to gain some important knowledge about the area. This later proved invaluable as we got into the rhythm of working as a team, at the same time learning a great deal about how to fish those waters. We loved being in Brazil and our team was warmly welcomed throughout the event, thanks to the members’ humour and character and their engaging manner. It was a real honour to captain this great group of anglers and to represent our country. The opening ceremony was incredible and because the teams marched out in alphabetical order, we as Afrique do Sul were first in line, walking out while our national anthem played. It really was very moving. The entire competition was run on
Michael Riley, Jaco Hendriksz, Danie Visser and Janes Wasserman arrived back home proudly wearing their silver medals. 18 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
a catch-and-release basis and a great team effort saw us release 18 white marlin and 15 dorado. Throughout the competition we rigged and used deadbait — no artificial lures were used at any stage. Rules were very strict and each catch had to be video recorded for the team to be awarded the points for the catch. All the videos were played on a giant screen throughout the venue, so the entire scoring process was completely transparent. Aside from being very serious about the fishing side of the championships, we also took our role as South African ambassadors very seriously. When we were out on the water we worked incredibly well together, and back on shore we socialised well with all the other teams — as South Africans like to do. It was heartwarming to hear the loud cheers for our team when we went up to receive our silver medals at the prize-giving ceremony. Angola won the tournament and Brazil finished in third position. Although the competition was very close, Angola had an incredibly successful first day at the competition, making it almost impossible to catch them. Despite that we gave it a very good try. We were thrilled to have finished in second place, and more importantly, to have represented South Africa so well. For me, personally, captaining this side and fishing alongside these great individuals was one of the highlights of my life and will remain one of my most treasured fishing experiences.
by Jonathan Booysen
These traces will improve your success rate ...
ISHING for queen mackerel (aka Natal snoek) is considered a highlight on the calendar of many KwaZulu-Natal anglers, and from June to August every boat that launches is armed with an array of spinning- and light gamefishing rods. Meanwhile, tackle shops are stocked to capacity with the latest and greatest trolling and casting lures — and their bait freezers are full to the brim with “fresh Natal sardines” and redeyes. During the work week, everyone watches the weather forecast for the first sign of a fishable day, and when that day comes, you can bet there are many empty desks as countless believable excuses to skip work are proffered as the snoek hunters head to sea. Natal snoek are regarded by some as the most unpredictable and frustrating fish in the sea. Indeed, I have yet to find anyone who has really figured them out. One day they will eat anything that moves, and the next they will refuse everything. Snoek are often affected by the slightest change in weather. They switch on- or off the bite in a seemingly random manner, and this is what makes them so challenging. You will often know that the fish are there because you see them on the echo sounder or free swimming on the surface, but they simply refuse to eat anything you offer them. An hour later, for some or other reason, they’ll switch on and you won’t be able to rig baits fast enough. To get these finicky fish to eat, you need an assortment of different rigs to try out during the day. Below are a few of the go-to rigs that work well for me and will hopefully bring you a few more fish too. In addition to the many trolling and casting lures available on the market, there are also a number of natural baits that work exceptionally well.
FILLETS Without doubt, one of the most popular snoek baits is a sardine fillet. This consists of a full length fillet of one side of the sardine. The fillet needs to be trimmed along the edges and thinned out before you bind the Right: Jacques Spence with a lovely snoek caught on a fast trolled fillet. SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 21
Some basic trolling lures for queen mackerel (above) include small Halco and Rapala lures as well as Clark Spoons . Casting lures for queen mackerel (top, right)include weighted Mean Machines, Onda Ondas and Bullet Spoons . This trace (right) has become popular with Durban anglers — The sucker stick helps keep the fillet straight. If you can’t get hold of a sucker stick use a wooden kebab stick. tapered tail-end to the trace and hook. The trace consists of a 1m section of no. 3 piano wire, with a tiny power swivel on one end and a medium swivel on the other end. I also like to slide a live-glo or pearl white duster onto the wire to protect the fillet from the water
rush. I then attach a short section of no. 9 piano wire to the medium swivel. A trick I use is to leave a short section of the tag end of the wire attached after I make the Haywire Twist. This “pin” holds the fillet straight while I’m rigging it all. I now snell a 4/0 Mustad
Kendal Round to the no. 9 wire and the rig is ready. This bait can be slow trolled with other baits or fast trolled with Halcos/Rapalas. When I’m fast trolling, I like to weight my rigs a bit by placing a sliding
SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 23
sinker on the no. 9 wire between the hook and the medium swivel. The bait will cover the weight so the fish can’t see it. This standard rig can be tweaked a bit by using fresh redeye sardine or razorbelly fillets. A small spinner blade threaded onto the no. 3 wire adds flash and vibration which triggers more bites. Another trace that has become popular with the Durban/Umhlanga anglers
who target snoek using fillets is to bind a plastic sucker stick onto a bass hook and then tie the sardine fillet onto this. The sucker stick helps keep the fillet straight so that it can be trolled for longer periods and at faster speeds. The bass hook is very sharp and provides a good hookup rate. This terminal rig can be used with or without a mini-eye or skirt protecting the leading front of the stripbait.
This is a good way to rig your trace if you’re fishing with a fillet as your bait. The weight is useful when you’re fast trolling.
This redeye trace was made using a very small chrome “Bait O Matic” bait swimmer (The one with no skirt on and no hook moulded into it.)
REDEYE SARDINES During the snoek season, large shoals of small baitfish can be seen on the surface. More often than not, these are redeyes which form a major part of the snoek’s diet, so it’s logical that they would be a deadly bait to use. Redeyes can be bought from most tackle shops, but freshly-caught ones are definitely a superior bait. To rig them I use two different rigs. The first one uses a very small chrome bait swimmer. I start with a tiny power swivel and 1m of no. 3 wire. Slide a tiny green glo-bead onto the wire, followed by the bait swimmer. Attach the nose hook (a no. 1 single Mustad red tarpon 7766NP) and then use a piece of no. 5 wire to attach the tail hook (a 1/0 single Mustad red tarpon) which I offset slightly. Sometimes I use a no. 4 red VMC treble, but I find I pull a lot of hooks when I’m using the treble. If I want to change things up a bit, I put a day-glo Yamashita skirt onto the bait swimmer, but trim it back so that at least half of the bait sticks out. When you’re putting the bait out, remember to maintain tension on the line so that the bait swimmer does not slide off the nose hook, otherwise it will affect the bait’s action. The second redeye rig that I often use is a scaled down ’cuda trace. Use the same snoot (tiny swivel and 1m of no. 3 wire) and slide on a live-glo minieye duster — they have fewer tassles than the standard dusters. I use the same hook setup as on the first trace, but I slide a 1/8oz teardrop sinker onto the nose hook and squeeze the eye tight onto the shank. This acts as a bait swimmer. Then I trim the tassles of the duster back to where they just cover the front hook. I often pull a fillet and redeye down deep using a 6oz sinker on an elastic, set about 15-20m up from the bait. This is especially effective when the sounder indicates showings near the bottom. HOOKING UP Remember that snoek have excellent vision and can be very shy in clean water. As a result, I try to keep my leader as light as possible, often not using one at all. Once you have a strike, mark the spot and work the same area over and over. Try to be on the grounds as early as possible because quite often snoek feed well just before the sun rises and switch off soon after. Don’t be surprised if you get a few ’cuda pulls between the snoek, although they usually bite through the light wire. Make sure you always have one rod rigged with a ’cuda bait just in case there are a lot of them around. Happy fishing!
The second redeye trace I use is a scaled down ’cuda trace. 24 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 â€¢ 25
Part 1 Longfin tuna used to be abundant off the west coast of South Africa, but in recent years catches have fluctuated. The anomaly where none were caught during the 2014 Tuna Nationals has led to the belief that their numbers have dwindled dramatically. Anglers have their opinions on why this is, but in this article and its continuation in the following issue of SKI-BOAT, scientist Stewart Norman will share his knowledge and opinions on this matter with readers.
HE speed, power and prevalence of tuna have made them one of the most highly soughtafter sportfish. They also rate among the most commercially valuable, with skipjack and mackerel being rated among the top ten most important fish species, according to Associate Prof Colin Attwood. At their peak, the various tuna species contributed some 6million tons to global production, but that figure has dwindled as excessive high-seas fishing has reduced stocks. Now regional fishery organisations are trying to re-build tuna populations, but without binding laws, their efforts are not very effective. To achieve sustainable management of tuna populations, governing bodies need to understand the biology, movements and habitat preferences of each species, as well as the effects of environmental conditions and fishing fleet
dynamics. Tuna are highly migratory, so they’re not confined to any one country’s jurisdiction. Individual fish can roam across entire ocean basins. What sets tuna fisheries’ management apart from most other species is the role of regional fishery management agencies that rely on cooperation (i.e. collective restraint) among member states. South Africa is party to three of these governing bodies — the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT). Albacore or longfin tuna (Thunnus alalunga) are members of the sub-fami-
by Stewart Norman
ly of tuna that has the most advanced physiology. Like bluefin tuna, the longfin is a temperate species. They inhabit cooler waters on either side of the tropics in latitudes as extreme as 50°N and 45°S. Albacore spawn in waters warmer than 24°C, but only once they are sexually mature which is when they’re approximately 90cm in length or five years old. In the Atlantic Ocean scientists recognise three stocks of albacore corresponding to the North Atlantic, South Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. Indian Ocean longfin are considered as a single stock. Both the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean stocks are fished by South Africa. South Atlantic longfin tuna migrate
Figure 1: Albacore catches by gear 1985 to 2000. The circles indicate the relative importance of each gear type to that area. PS = purse seine, LL = longline, O = other, PL = pole and line. Map courtesy of Alain Fonteneau, IRD tropical tuna scientist. SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 27
annually across their distribution range between 10°S and 45°S. Juvenile and sub-adult albacore are present in the Benguela region throughout the year, but move freely along the west coast, feeding along the edges of upwelling zones. Adults of the South Atlantic population occur mostly off Brazil, Argentina and Namibia. The South African albacore fishery (pole and line) is predominantly based on juvenile fish, whereas international fleets catch the adults with longlines off South America. The South African albacore fishery is the second largest in the South Atlantic with landings around 4 000 tons a year, of which 80% are caught by pole and the remainder on longline. Although some recreational clubs keep records of their members’ catches, there’s no central database and no obligation to record these catches. By far the largest exploiter of albacore in the South Atlantic remains the Figure 2: Relative catch composition of tuna species by the South African tuna fishTaiwanese longline f leet which ery in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans from 2000-2013. accounted for 46-90% of total annual bluefin tuna lives for up to 40 years — along the sides of live fish, but quickly landings between 1970 and 2004. double that of the giant northern fades once fish are caught. The first Other tuna species from the South bluefin tuna. dorsal fin is a deep yellow, while the Atlantic contribute relatively small The estimation of the age of a fish, second dorsal fin and the anal fins are a amounts to the total South African tuna or a measure of growth over a known lighter yellow. catch. period of time, is necessary to deterAlbacore do not grow to the same Adult albacore tuna have long pecmine its growth rate. There are various size as the larger tuna species, with an toral fins that can reach greater than 30% age-determination techniques which estimated maximum length of 130cm in of the fish’s fork length. Juvenile albaexamine the alternate annual bands the Atlantic and a maximum lifespan of core, however, have relatively short pecdeposited in hard structures. The struc15 years. Bigeye tuna, which share a torals and can be mistaken for juvenile tures most commonly used to detersimilar distribution to albacore, can bigeye tuna. The body is wide in the mine a fish’s age are the sagittal grow up to 250cm total length and live middle, tapering towards either end, and otoliths, dorsal fin spines, scales and to be 11 years old. The tropical yelis covered with small, cycloid scales. vertebra. Figure 3 shows a transect lowfin tuna can attain a maximum They lack spots or stripes, which through the nucleus of a 7-year-old length of 239cm and may live up to distinguishes them from other tuna longfin tuna’s otolith. eight years. The trend of smaller species, and are metallic dark blue on Albacore are able to increase the species living longer also holds among the dorsal side and silvery white venefficiency of their muscles through the the bluefin species. The southern trally. An iridescent blue band runs A blast from the past. In 1988 Maureen Colyn caught a superb 32.5kg longfin which still holds the 24kg-class World Record. Maureen also holds the 4kg-class World Record for a 19.5kg fish. Both fish were caught in the deep, southwest of Hout Bay.
SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 29
Figure 4: Transverse section of a left sagittal otolith from an albacore/longfin tuna. Growth increments were read along the ventral edge.
Figure 4: Common prey of albacore tuna feeding around Cape Canyon during April and November. A: Lycoteuthis lorigera is widely distributed between 30°N and 50°S, occurring on the continental shelf. B: Muellers Pearlside (Maurolicus Muelleri) live at depths down to 1 500m and grow up to 8cm. C: Hector’s lanternfish (Lampanyctodes hectoris) is fished in waters off South Africa and is ground up to make fishmeal and fish oil. D: Heterocarpus sp. E: A mesopelagic shrimp ,common in albacore stomachs. adaptation of counter-current heat exchangers that enable them to reduce heat loss generated through muscular
activity. This is useful as it allows them to maintain body temperatures higher than the ambient water temperature.
A younger Lafras Uys, fishing for Natal during an interprovincial at Hout Bay, shows why the albacore is also known as a longfin tuna.
Fishing for S.Tvl in the same era, Trevor Ashington set a 6kg-class longfin World Record in 1985 with a 22,5kg fish. It was bettered before it could be ratified.
30 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
This means that albacore can maintain their red muscle at 20.7°C, even when the water temperature falls to 11.5°C. As in other tuna species, swordfish and some sharks, this ability allows the albacore to forage for extended periods below the thermocline where they have an advantage over other types of fish and invertebrates that are slowed down by the cold. To maintain condition an albacore must eat at least 4% of its body weight every day. They are able to digest the entire contents of a meal within eight hours. Albacore are opportunistic, nonselective predators whose diet is controlled by the availability of prey. It appears that they will eat anything that they can fit inside their mouths. As predator size increases, so does the size of the prey consumed, although large fish will continue to eat small prey. Albacore have two modes of feeding — either they catch individual prey one at a time by running them down or picking them off a bait ball, or they filter-feed. During the day they are predominantly hunters of squid and pelagic shoaling fish such as sardines, anchovies and mackerel. Albacore swim in schools to increase the probability of locating patchily distributed prey. At night albacore filter the water through their gill-rakers, catching large plankton such as shrimp- and crab larvae. Filter feeding is less energy-efficient than hunting, so presumably it will only be employed when large prey are absent or visibility is impaired. The plankton community undergoes very predictable vertical migrations, so at night the albacore can filter feed above the thermocline and retain their body heat. During the day it might be necessary for the albacore to dive below the thermocline to chase squid, but their forays below the thermocline are not sustained for long. After an hour or so they need to return to the warmer surface waters to regain body heat. The focus of research in general is the connectivity of the various stocks in the southern hemisphere’s oceans and the causes of f luctuations in abundance. In the next article I will look at the Atlantic and Indian Ocean stock assessments of albacore in some detail. South African anglers have their own opinions of what has happened to albacore in our waters, but I will give a scientist’s perspective. Perhaps this article will generate some discussion which can strengthen our knowledge, as our perspectives are derived from very different sets of data, yet there can only be one truth. Read the full text of Stewart’s research into the biology of albacore at <https://open.uct.ac.za/bitstream/ item/6669/thesis_sci_2013_norman_ stewart.pdf?sequence=1>.
COMPETITIONS DURBAN SKI-BOAT CLUB FESTIVAL — BETTER THAN EVER
by SKI-BOAT Reporter
ITH excitement building for the upcoming Durban SkiBoat Club Festival, SKI-BOAT caught up with Hilton Kidger, Commodore of the Durban Ski-Boat Club and Convenor of the festival. SB:The Durban Ski-Boat Club Festival is the largest offshore festival of its kind in Africa and possibly even the world. What’s new this year? HK:There are a few new aspects, but it’s important to mention that our format is very much the same as last year. In a nutshell we try to offer our ski-boat mates a truly value-formoney festival experience. Show me any other bonanza-type fishing event that has an early entry fee of R450 per angler, with the same amount of real value prizes, and I will be impressed. However, we try to find something new each year to keep it fresh, and this year we have an insured prize — a 636 Seacat with twin 115hp Yamaha 4-stroke engines, complete on a twin-axle galvanised breakneck trailer, valued at R660 000. This will go to the angler who meets or bet-
34 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
ters the target weight of a ’cuda (king mackerel). I need to make it quite clear this prize is over and above the Seacat 610 with twin 60hp Yamaha 2stroke engines and galvanised trailer that will be won by the angler who catches the biggest ’cuda. This effectively takes our offering of Seacat boats to over R1-million. SB:This really is one for the books. How does that work? HK:Firstly, I want to thank Malcolm Osborne of CC&A Insurance, who handles our short-term insurance at the DSBC, for putting this together. There’s a lot of historical catch data that needs to be collated before any re-assurer will take on the risk. Secondly, the rules have to be very specific and the target weight must be realistic. In short, anglers must have a fair chance of winning and the re-assurer must have a fair chance of paying! Settling on a figure becomes quite difficult. SB: Well, what is the weight? HK:That will be revealed on Sunday night, 26th April, at our prize-giving.
I can say, that we will be looking to confirmation from at least two boats in the vicinity of the boat that caught a winning fish, and the angler must radio to our tower the time of the catch and other details which we will specify. We will also have two boats permanently on the water — one to the north and the other to the south — to assist the angler who has caught a potential winning fish. As with most events of this sort, the fish must be unmutilated. SB:With such a high value prize, aren’t people tempted to engage in a bit of skulduggery? HK: In the past there may have been a person or two who might havedreamt up a way of beating the system, but the anglers have always played it straight down the line. Having said this, we also have a duty to protect the re-assurer against antiselection, and there are certain things in place that will reduce this risk to zero. For further details on the competition see our advert on page 32.
T BATTLE OVER! Penn has the weapons you need
HE all new Penn Battle II Spinning Reels have finally arrived in South Africa. These reels were awarded the 2014 iCast Best of Show award, which is not surprising as Penn has once again proven their first class innovation on saltwater spinning reels. The Penn Battle II boasts a full metal body, rotor and sideplates, allowing them to maintain precise gear alignment when under severe punishment. Penn have also gone the extra mile and made the reels lighter than their predecessors and have given them a bigger drag due the oversized HT-100 carbon fibre drag washers. This means a silky smooth drag for the complete duration of the battle, ensuring the angler can land the fish of his life. The Battle II reels proudly hold six sealed bearings including an Instant Anti-Reverse bearing, ensuring there’s no back-play on the handle when fighting big fish as well as ensuring a smooth retrieve while casting spoons, jigging, plugging or trolling. The heavy duty aluminium bail wire is built to ensure there’s no play while fighting big fish and helps with a perfect line lay, reducing wind-knots. As with all the Penn reels, the Battle II come standard with Penn’s Superline Spool, which is a durable rubber band on the spool that allows the angler to tie the braid directly to the spool without any slipping. Lastly, Penn’s Line Capacity Rings on the spool show the angler how much line he has out when a big fish is on the end. It shows when the reel is full, two-thirds full and when you’re down to a third of your line, giving the angler confidence in fighting any species of any size. The beautiful looking Penn Battle II reels are available in sizes, 2 500, 3 000, 4 000, 5 000, 6 000 and 8 000, so if you’re looking for a reel to jig, plug, spin, troll or surf fish with, this is the reel for you.
BRAID TO MATCH The new Spiderwire Fluorobraid, Stealth and Stealth Camo Braid use the highest grade of Dyneema. This 8-carrier, high-pick-count, radial braid is ultra-round, ultra-smooth and ultra-strong, and with the new innovative technology, it makes for one of the strongest and smoothest braids in its class. Available in 125- and 300 yard spools in 8 lb, 10 lb, 15 lb, 20 lb, 30 lb, 50 lb, 80 lb and 100 lb, there’s a size to match each of your Penn reels. For more information on these and other Pure Fishing products, ask your nearest tackle dealer, or contact Pure Fishing on 0861 527 336.
March/April 2015 • 35
36 â€¢ SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
by Blyde Pretorius, photos by FourRoomz
SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 â€¢ 37
T was Friday, 14th November 2014, the last day of the 28th Billfish 15 000 Invitational Tournament and it was still anyone’s to win. Strong, gusting winds were blowing, but with promises of reduced wind from the weatherman ringing in their ears, all the teams were waiting on the beach at Sodwana Bay for the “go-ahead” whistle to be blown. What an incredible sight it was looking down on all the boats, ready to launch. Every November deep sea anglers from around the globe get their angling gear ready and head off to Sodwana Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This is where the cream of the country’s marlin anglers come together to show who’s boss and how it’s done. In The November 2014 event, there were 70 boats competing for the massive first prize of not one but five Chery QQ3 cars, sponsored by Chery SA, plus an invitation to fish in the Offshore World Championships in April 2015. Behind the scenes, last minute preparations were done by the Organising Committee of Dorado SkiBoat club. For my husband,Willie, and I it was again such a privilege to coordinate one of the most prestigious tournaments of its kind. The planning is all done 700km away from Sodwana Bay, but with a great committee behind us, we are one well-oiled machine. Here are a few interesting facts for those who do not know how we determine the winner ... No marlin are allowed to be boated in this tournament, so it is not about the single biggest marlin caught, but rather the winner is determined according to a unique points system. Because it’s only tag-and-release, teams must provide a photograph of their released fish to score points, including the date and time of catch, and they must be able to download the photo for us. In the event of a billfish hookup, the skipper must liaise with beach control in order to obtain details of the correct colour armband to be shown with the fish when photographed. Striped marlin rarely weigh over 100kg at Sodwana and it is very difficult to tell the difference between a small blue- and a striped marlin while on the
One of Break Away’s marlin about to be released. leader, so for this competition they counted as one species. Black marlin are easy to identify in the water or in a photo, so they’re awarded a species bonus point. A boat will qualify for bonus points on released fish after their first fish, as the intention is to rate more consistent crews higher than the lucky crews that catch one big fish. There is also a certain amount of skill needed to target different species, hence the reward of species bonus points. The thinking behind the points system is that the overall winner should be determined more by skill than by luck. The Billfish 15 000 committee has been brainstorming for a while, figuring out how to make this tournament even more special without complicating it or changing its character. We wanted to make sure it remained, beyond doubt, the only tournament of its kind in the world. Our statistics for the last couple of years show that on average anglers have caught five billfish species on the Monday of the Billfish 15 000 tournament. This is a great achievement, both nationally and internationally. There are
very few billfish grounds around the world where you can successfully target black-, blue- and striped marlin, sailfish and shortbill spearfish on the same day. We know that the best of the best billfish anglers compete in our tournament, and we are convinced that we can achieve something greater with the combined knowledge and skills of all these exceptional anglers. The only available species of billfish that has not yet been caught during the Billfish 15 000 is the gladiator of the deep — broadbill. A number of anglers have caught broadbill at Sodwana during day time fishing hours in the past three years. Although the technique is new and different to what most of us are familiar with, we added a sixth species to our target list — broadbill. Unfortunately, the weather in November 2014 was not really suitable for catching swordfish, and with gusting winds and untamed sea conditions there were two days of blow outs. Activities began with the sponsors’ evening on Saturday, 8th November, in the huge Total marquee pitched inside the Ezemvelo KZN camping site. On Sunday morning goodie bags were presented to all teams, followed by registration and the skippers’ briefing. It was like an angling family get-together where everyone was informed of the week’s procedures. Every night during the week all anglers gathered in the marquee for the daily prizegiving. The master of ceremonies, Jaco Hendriksz, kept proceedings running smoothly throughout the event, and Bols Brandy provided did a great job soothing the dehydrated bodies. The first day started with the siren which would be sounded every morning if it was safe to go at sea. No boat was allowed to launch before Beach Control, in the form of Bets Von Weilligh and Rina Bowie, were ready in the small beach control tower. They are linked to every boat in the tournament and once again they did an excellent job with the launching and beaching of craft. They were also responsible for collecting all the fishing data through the course of the tournament. The Manitou heavy-duty machines
SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 39
All the anglers who tagged and released marlin (above, left) received medals. Team Hotline (above, right) celebrate their win. were also ready day and did an excellent job ensuring the smooth flow of traffic on the beach by towing the boats out of the way to make space for other boats to beach. We also had the honour of taking Lucas Steward, Product Line Director of Navico USA, marlin fishing, and all that he could say after beaching was, “This is extreme boating, but what a wonderful experience!” There were early reports of a number of marlin being tagged and released with a few bycatches. On the first day Fanta Sea set the benchmark and a total of eight marlin were successfully tagged and released. The next day the wind picked up but anglers still went to sea and we recorded 39 strikes, 25 positive hookups and another eight marlin successfully tagged and released. The tournament was well on its way. Fanta Sea was still in the lead, but everyone was still in the hunt for first prize. Tig Andrin from Boating International set the mark for the biggest bycatch with a 37.8kg yellowfin tuna. Due to the fact that no marlin were being boated, the Calcutta prize was for the biggest bycatch of the week. The prize money was a healthy R60 000, and Tig’s team easily pocketed that. On the third day the weather turned and it was unsafe for the boats to
launch so a blow-out was called by the weather committee. That evening all the anglers gathered inside the marquee for the traditional Wednesday night auction. A beautiful mounted dorado made by Andre van Rooyen Taxidermy was up for grabs, and the proceeds donated to improving rhino safety in Ozabeni. Ozabeni is a section of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park and is approximately 65 000 hectares in extent. It also has 7 000 hectares that has been fenced where rhinos are kept for safety. At the moment it is not open to the public, but that will change once the park develops further. Hopefully, soon we may see some tourism in this section of the park. The Honorary Officers are a group of volunteers who are assigned to Ozabeni and they play a big role in the effective management of the area. They assist by aiding plant control, maintenance, education, awareness, and fundraising. These funds are used in the park where there is a shortfall. In association with Sodwana Bay Lodge we also managed to auction a painting of a rhino — and it was auctioned off four times. About R48 000 was collected for the Ozabeni rhino fund, as well sponsorship for tents. Willard Batteries also pledged to supply them with batteries for their vehicles
The hardworking Dorado Ski-boat Club committee (above) can be justifiably proud of yet another hugely successful event. 40 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
and lights for the next two years. This show of support brought tears to the eyes of Karl Bentley, one of the Honorary Officers who spends most of his time in the bush looking after the rhinos. Sadly, the fourth day was another blow out, but that gave every team a chance to reconvene, build some team spirit and work on their fishing strategies. Everybody was hoping for better weather on the last day ... And there we were on 14th November 2014, the last day of the Billfish 15 000 tournament, with all boats gathered on the beach, waiting for the wind to subside. Around 8am the wind finally started to calm and all boats launched. Competition was fierce with no less than 54 strikes, 38 hookups and 20 marlin tagged and released for the day. With only a few points separating first and second place, Hot Lines edged ahead and won the 2014 Billfish 15 000 tournament with 508 points. Close on her heels was Certainty, with 505 points, who took home a dune buggy from US Trucks. Third place, and the prize of an HDS-10 fishfinder and Sonic Hub from Lowrance, went to Fanta Sea. At the final prizegiving everybody was rewarded for their hard work in making the 2014 Billfish 15 000 such a a success. Every angler who successfully tagged and released a marlin was awarded a medal as a memento of that wonderful achievement. In total 36 billfish were tagged and released in three days of fishing. Congratulations to all the teams! The Dorado Committee wishes to thank each and every sponsor for their generous contributions. Without your support, this tournament would not be among the best billfish tournaments in the world. To the anglers — without your love of fishing and your spirit there would be no reason for such a tournament. Thank you all for a wonderful Billfish 15 000 Tournament. We hope to see you all at the 29th Billfish 15 000 which will be held at Sodwana from 9th-13th November 2015.
BACK TO BASICS
by Paul Borcherds
Part 6: Getting Yourself in a Twist
N the knots article in the Januar y/Februar y issue of SKIBOAT I demonstrated the first of three double line loops — the Spider Hitch. In this edition I will demonstrate how to create a Bimini Twist, a loop secured at the top with a long barrel of coiled line created during the tying process. A Bimini Twist is a very strong knot and is one of the few knots that does not weaken the line in which it is tied. It is a fairly simple method of doubling fishing line to create the necessary loop, without losing strength in the mainline. The origin and history of the Bimini Twist is not clear, but research shows is that it may have been used by commercial tuna fishermen in Nova Scotia way before monofilament came on the scene, and it required two deckhands to tie it. With the advent of monofilament nylon after WWII, many new knots could be tied and many older knots had to have turns added so that the “slippery” knots in monofilament would hold. The earliest reference to the Bimini Twist that I could find in magazines or books was in a 1952 copy of Fresh & Saltwater Spinning. It was written by Eugene Burns and Clyde Childress and was published by AS Barnes and Company.
Calling the knot a “100 percent loop knot”, Burns and Childress showed their knot pictorially in four shots. The 100 percent loop knot was a 15-turn affair which was finished off with a single half hitch. Tom McNally’s Complete Book of Fishermen’s Knots, published in 1953, showed a five-turn version that finished with two half hitches. That knot was called the Japanese Fisherman’s Knot. NOTE: The story about the Bimini Twist originating with a Venezuelan marlin fisherman is completely false. The number of turns does not have to be limited to 25 or 30, as suggested in the instructions below. You can use more or even less. However, the more turns you have, the greater the shockabsorbing properties of your Bimini Twist.
TYING THE BIMINI TWIST These instructions are for tying Bimini Twists in line classes up to 20 lb (10kg) in monofilament and all line classes in superlines (braid) I have found this to be the easiest way to make a Bimini Twist in lighter line classes prior to fishing or whilst on a boat out at sea because you can sit on the gunnel, hatch or cooler box and thus eliminate elementary mistakes due to the rolling of the boat.
1. Double the required length of line (braid or monofilament). In this demonstration the required total length from knot to end of the loop is 1m, thus a length of 140cm folded in half. The extra 40cm will be used for the tag end. To start, place one hand in the end of the loop created when you “fold” the line. If you’re right-handed, place your right hand inside the loop, otherwise vice versa. Grip the tag and standing lines with the thumb and forefinger of your left hand, approximately 2030cm from the loop in your right hand. 2A.Start twisting the loop with the hand that’s in the loop. Normally you would make 23 to 27 turns with monofilament and about half of that for braid. As I said earlier, though, the number of turns can be more or less than that, but additional turns produce even more shock absorbing properties in the Bimini Twist. With superlines, additional turns will not increase any shock absorption due to its inherent low stretch make-up. 2B. Keep moving your left hand away from the twists being formed until you reach the pre-determined mark (the final length you require) or slightly less with monofilament or, 2B.
SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 45
7 & 8.
in the case of braid, 50cm or less. 3. Now place the big loop around your bent legs, just above your knees. Grip the standing line between the thumb and forefinger of your right hand, and the tag end with the thumb and forefinger of your left hand. Pull the standing and tag ends apart at approximately 45 degrees to each other. Slightly open your legs to start compressing the twists in the loop. Do not open the loop too much at this stage, though, otherwise you will overcompress the loops and the resultant friction will burn the line. If this happens, cut the line and start again because the burn would have halved the lineâ€™s breaking strength. 4. Place the middle finger of your left hand on the line where the first twist was made. This finger will help to keep the twists from overlapping, and it will guide the tag in your right hand to form rolls down the twists in the next step. 5. Keep the tension on the twists and, ever so slightly, move the tag in your right hand approximately 510mm below the first twist. This will ensure that the rolls in step six will neatly form on top of each other around the initial twists. 6. Open your legs a little bit more and, with the right hand index finger, start guiding the tag end around the twists. 7. Keep exerting pressure on the twists by opening your legs a bit further. This ensures that the tag end will form continuous barrels that will neatly continue all the way down. 8. Keep forming the barrels all the way down to where the loop started. Stop there and do not exert any extra pressure on the line because you do not want any more rolls to start forming below this crossing on the main loop. 9. Keep the same tension on the loop and grip the bottom end of the knot that has formed thus far between thumb and forefinger of your left hand. 10. Keep the tension on the loop and make an overhand knot (half hitch) around one leg of the loop. This will keep the rolls from slipping by keeping the twists and rolls together. 11. Pull the overhand knot up tight against the leg of the loop. 12. Make another overhand knot on the opposite leg of the loop and pull it tight. 13. Now you can release the tension on the loop by removing the loop from around your legs. Place the same loop around your reel handle or around the ball of your foot or ask someone to hold the end of the loop.
14. There are many ways to seat and finish the Bimini securely, but for the purpose of this article I will demonstrate the reverse whipping knot that secures the Bimini 100%. Start by encircling both legs of the doubled main line once with the remainder of the tag end. 15. Encircle the double line with the tag end another five or six times, all the way towards the Bimini Twist.. 16. Now push the tag through the centre of the double line. 17. Grip the Bimini Twist and tag end
with one hand and start to reverse the encircled line twists in the opposite direction around the main loop/double line. 18. Keep these rolls neatly up against each other as they start forming. Keep doing this until all five or six of the wraps are untwisted and there are no more twists around the main loop. 19. Hold the small loop created by the untwisted line in one hand and start pulling on the tag end with your other hand.
20. Keep pulling on the tag end to close the small loop. Once itâ€™s closed, pull the tag tight against the Twist. 21. To seat the knot completely, place a hand inside the loop and run it up tight against the knot. 22. Trim the tag end leaving only about 5mm of tag. In the next issue of SKI-BOAT I will demonstrate some slight variations in the making of the Bimini Twist using a rod and reel as an aid, as well as making it in heavier line classes with another person assisting. SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 â€˘ 47
Geoffrey Wanvig, SADSAA President SELECTED NATIONAL TEAMS UR sincere congratulations are extended to the following anglers who have been selected for teams and have thus been awarded their Protea Colours in our sport.
CONGRAULTATIONS TO OUR PROTEAS! OMPETITIVE sport in South Africa is all about winning medals. Two of our international Protea teams have done just that.
• FIPS World Big Game Trolling Championship, Lobito,Angola 28 March to 4 April 2015 Jonathan Booysen (Cpt) Zululand Neil Coetzer, Southern Gauteng Friedel Kirstein, Southern Gauteng Handro Swart, Mpumalanga • EFSA European Boat and Line Championship, Orkney, Scotland 1-8 August 2015 John Watkins (Captain) Natal Allen Ford, Border Martin Gierz, Eastern Province Gary Truluck, Free State HISTORY IN THE MAKING ITH the selection of these two teams, SADSAA has once again been a part of histor y in the making within our sport. This is the very first time that a World Championship has ever been held in Angola and it is also the very first time that SADSAA has selected a bottomfish Protea team to participate in the EFSA championships in Scotland which is a bottomfish tournament. This angling discipline has never been available to us in the past but from now on there will be many more opportunities for anglers to participate in this arena.
At the FIPS-M World Trolling Championship held in Brazil in late November, the Protea team of Mike Riley, Johan Wasserman, Jaco Hendriksz and Danie Visser (above) was placed second overall and received a silver medal. Read more about this team’s success elsewhere in this issue of SKI-BOAT.
SADSAA CONTACTS: Office phone: (012) 996-9007 Email; firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sadsaa.com 48 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
In December a Protea team consisting of Dave Martin, Jaco Lingherfelder and Anton Lingherfelder fished in the annual ILTTA Tournament in Guatemala and also won a silver medal. They also achieved individual success with Anton being placed second, Dave ninth and Jaco 26th out of 81 anglers overall. Read more about this team’s success in the next issue of SKI-BOAT.
HISTORY The pride of Two Oceans Marine’s sportfishers, the Two Oceans 48 was manufactured according to the CAD (Computer aided design) of American marine architects at Mark Peters Yacht Design. They were briefed by the client, incorporating his personalised wish-list in the hull design. For logistical reasons, the upper deck and layout plan was entrusted to Cape Town’s Du Toit Yacht Design who are responsible for most of Two Ocean Marine’s yacht designs.
In this, the final part of Johan Smal’s historical overview of the evolution of ski-boats and sportfishers in South Africa, the narrative comes full circle as Johan ends his intriguing series right where he began — in Duban — before focusing on imported sportfishers. Johan continues where he left off, following the evolution of the bigger sportfisher in Cape Town. WO Oceans Marine, located in Paardeneiland, were mentioned in the ski-boat section of this historical account. They’ve become major role players in the boat manufacturing industry in South Africa, both ski-boat and sportfisher, the com-
52 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
pany owned and run with a hands-on approach an a quest for perfection by Rod and Mark Delany. They built their first large sportfisher, a 43ft catamaran, in 2001. During 2011 they built a 48ft monohull gamefisher — Two Oceans 48 — claimed to be the first world-class sportfisher built in South Africa, a definite highlight in the company’s relative short history. (See the nine-part feature about custom-building a sportfisher in South Africa, “From concept to completion”, in SKI-BOAT, from July/August 2011 to January/February 2013). Currently, 50% of Two Oceans Marine’s total production is exported, mainly into Africa.
SUPERCAT’S FUTURISTIC STATE-OF-THE ART CONTRIBUTION The Schulz’s Supercat Marine, located in Port Alfred, started by building skiboats, but by the turn of the century they introduced changes to their production line and produced a 38ft Supercat Sport Custom model. Bought by a group called Club 15 — fitted with a pair of 85hp Yamaha 2stroke engines and named Castle Lager — she was driven under own power to Watamu, Kenya, where she still operates as a big gamefishing charter vessel. The resounding success of this craft convinced Supercat Marine to pursue the high-end niche market of displacement hull-type catamarans.
by Johan Smal Supercat’s CAD of their 29ft Sliver. The CAD is integrated with their CAM (Computer aided manufacture) which then produces the plug for the mould (right and below).
In 2006 all the moulds and tooling for their planing hull ski-boats were sold to generate factory space for the new large displacement hull production lines, a bold decision at the time but never regretted since. Currently, 95% of Supercat’s production is exported mainly to East Africa, with odd boats going as far afield as the United Kingdom, the Ivory Coast and Thailand. They currently produce two models consisting of the 38ft Sport Custom and her smaller sister, the 29ft Sliver, with their showpiece, a 67ft cata-
maran currently in production, due for completion by the year-end. Supercat’s designs were always devised in-house, progressing from the conventional drawing-board blueprints to state-of-the-art Cad/Cam production (“Computer aided design”, and integrated “Computer aided manufacturing”). The Sliver 29 was fully designed using this state-of-the-art tooling. (See accompanying photos of the unique plugmaking system at the time, using complex 3-D assembly, ensuring improved accuracy of construction.)
BUTT CAT’S 47FT SPORFISHER Having built his first catamaran ski-boat in 1955, Stan Butt’s first steps into the sportfishing arena were taken in 1967 when he build his first 47ft catamaran fitted with twin 37hp Perkins diesel engines. She was also constructed in concrete moulds built in the ground on the riverbanks on his farm near Kenton on Sea. In 1973 Stan Butt built a one-off 47ft sportfisher called Barracuda, for Claude Matzner. Fully-foamed for buoyancy and fitted with two shaft-driven 85hp Perkins
Supercat’s 38ft Sport Custom boasts a displacement hull, contrary to the conventional planing hull of most ski-boats and sportfishers. The benefits, says Supercat Marine, include ease of maintenance, lower cost of outboards, lower fuel consumption, power and sail option, a wide range and a good speed of 22-27 knots.
SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 53
diesels engines, she was capable of 16 knots. Subsequent big vessels were all built for commercial fishing, especially the chokka sector or for the marine diamond mining industry. NATAL SPORTFISHERS Information about Natal sportfishers is rather sketchy, but the first recorded craft ordered for sport fishing was named Pocketa and built by Fred Nicolls in 1949 for Cape-based Hymie Policansky. This company also built a craft for George Thompson and his son, Mervin, during the early 1960s, which was then advertised in the April 1965 issue of Field and Tide. Her name was Bonito and she was a 39ft craft with twin screws powered by two 135hp supercharged Perkins diesel inboard motors that gave her a top speed of about 20 knots. She cost R16 000. This craft was based in Durban and fished extensively and very successfully out of this port. A photo in a later issue the above magazine shows Mervin Thompson landing a 61 lb yellowfin tuna from Bonito, whilst in another picture, renowned deep sea angler Alby Upton, who skippered the boat that day, is seen standing on the transom with George Thompson on the aft deck. Bonito was synonymous with the sport of deep sea sportfishing, and Mervin Thompson was one of the few South African Springboks to land a grander black marlin. He caught his from Bazaruto in 1967 and she weighed 1 067 lb. This craft was sold by the Thompsons in 1975.
Butt Cat’s one-off foam-filled 47-footer, Barracuda, was built for Claude Matzner in 1973. Power was via two shaft-driven 85hp Perkins diesels engines.
The April 1965 issue of Field and Tide featured George and Mervin Thompson’s Bonito in an advert for the 39ft Nicolls Craft, built by Fred Nicolls (Pty) Ltd. The first “true” sportfisher to be launched in Durban, however, was a 42ft boat called Skip Jack. She was a Ray Hunt American design, built locally during the early 1960s for Jim Stark by a company called LJ Wilson’s Boat Builders, located in the area where Wilson’s Marina is now situated. This craft was magnificent and saw
service not only out of Durban, but did several trips to Bazaruto for the marlin season. Unfortunately, we cannot find any photographs of this craft. LJ Wilson Boat Builders subsequently built a few more sportfishers, using the using the expertise gained building Skip Jack. One of these craft, Waikiki, was also an outstanding craft and was
LJ Wilson’s Boat Builders built Durban’s first “true” sportfisher, the Ray Hunt design 42ft Skip Jack. Using expertise gained with this project, they later went on to produce world-standard craft, including Waikiki (right), a well known sportfisher which plied the waters off Durban, then Bazaruto, before returning to permanent moorings in Durban Harbour.
SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 55
56 â€¢ SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
One of the grand old ladies, Bebe Grande, built in 1955 and imported from the UK, is curently being refurbished in Granger Bay. built for Mr Anderson of Robertons Spices in Durban. Waikiki also saw extensive service up the east coast, as far north as Pemba where she was used as a support craft for the commercial prawn fleet that
was operating that area before the Moçambique war. After her return to Durban she was purchased by a well known local ski-boater, Billy Clark, who chartered her out of Durban. Waikiki was later owned by Cecil Hansen of Durban whose son, Ryan, became well grounded in boating and fishing on her. He is now the owner of Durban Yamaha, one of South Africa's leading offshore boating dealers. Windsong was the other craft built by LJ Wilson as the sister ship to Waikiki. She was built for Albert van der Riet and Mike Youngleson, two of the most revered deep sea anglers in the history of billfishing, both nationally and internationally between 1950 and 1970. IMPORTED SPORTFISHERS OF NOTE By the late 1940s the unprecedented quest for more advanced and better equipped sportfishing craft by intrepid deep sea anglers resulted in the synAboard Bonito in 1966, Alby Upton gaffs Mervin Thompson’s 61 lb yellowfin (below), while a fellow angler exaggerates its size. Left: Back in Durban Harbour, Alby Upton (background), skipper of Bonito, reflects on their excellent catch. George Thompson is in the foreground.
chronous evolution of both ski-boats and sportfishers in South Africa. Due to important factors such as sea conditions, launching practicalities and cost considerations, ski-boats had a very strong east coast partiality which completely outstripped that for sportfishers which again had a very strong Cape bias. Due to the financial implications of the acquisition of a sportfisher, not many sport anglers could afford such a large craft, resulting in ver y few builders committing to sportfisher construction. In order to fill the void left by the limited number of sportfisher manufacturers in South Africa, some craft were imported from overseas. Jimmy Rawbone-Viljoen took the lead in 1948 by importing a brand-new 32ft V8 petrol engine Chris Craft directly from the factory in the USA. Named Belinda she was specially equipped for sportfishing and could do 32 knots, the fastest boat in the fleet at that stage. By 1958 South Africa’s most expensive tunny boat was Bebe Grande, imported from Portsmouth, UK, by Jack Gerber and costing him £25 000. Built in 1955 she was 53’ 8” long, weighed 44 tons and was powered by twin 250hp supercharged Rolls Royce diesel engines. The deck and wheelhouse were of an oak-cladded aluminium construction with a 3-inch thick fibreglass hull, the world’s biggest hull ever moulded in Halmatic Limited’s version of GRP called “Deborine”, a combination of Crystic 189 polyester resin with matted glassfibres. Currently she’s being refurbished by her present owner, Ian Herschon, and is moored at the Water Club in Granger Bay. In 1974 Jeck (not Jack!) Ovenstone owned Marauder which he had built for him in Cowes, Isle of Wight. She was a luxurious sportfisher with accommodation for six persons and complete with two bars — one for the top deck and one for the lower deck. Designed by Renato Levi and built by WA Souter & Son, she was 59’ 6” long, fitted with twin V12 GM diesel SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 57
By all accounts the most expensive and biggest sportfisher in South Africa is Midnight Blue, owned by Peter Rawbone-Viljoen, son of sportfishing pioneer Jimmy Rawbone-Viljoen who imported his 32ft Chris Craft more than 60 years ago. engines, had a total weight of 29 tons, and was capable of reaching 31 knots. Her cruising speed was 22 knots and she set him back some £80 000. Her navigational aids were the most sophisticated at the time and included automatic pilot, echo sounder, radar, Decca navigation system, automatic direction finder, VHF and single sideband radios. Over the years she had various owners, but sadly, during the 2013 Two Oceans Marlin Challenge at Stuisbaai, she broke loose from her mooring in the bay and washed out on the beach, unfortunately with calamitous consequences. During 2008, exactly 60 years after Jimmy Rawbone-Viljoen purchased his 32ft Chris Craft in 1948, his son, Peter, bought his 59ft luxurious sportfisher, Midnight Blue. Fitted with twin Caterpillar 715hp Marine diesels, she cruises at around 20 knots with a top speed of 30 knots. Marauder’s sad demise — on the beach at Struisbaai in 2013. She was just over 59ft from stem to stern, and was imported from Cowes in the Isle of Wight in 1974.
58 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
Custom-built by Salthouse Marine in Auckland, New Zealand, she was taken to Australia’s northeast coast for her sea trials where she was put through her paces and comprehensively tested at the Great Barrier Reef. After final adjustments, she was wrapped and shipped to South Africa. Midnight Blue is currently the biggest, most modern and most expensive sportfisher in Africa. Landed in South Africa, she cost her owner R14m. Other imported craft plying our waters include Hatteras (American), Bertram (American), Riviera (Australian) and Rodman (Spanish) designs, with the latter two mainly representing the newer generation of craft. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Compared to the challenges in locating historical records for the evolution of ski-boats, tracing authenticated records for development of the sportfisher in
South Africa was indeed much easier. Were it not for Charles Horne’s dedication in meticulously recording the evolution of sportfishing in South Africa, in the process generously sharing the names of many craft engaged in the process, it would not have been possible to put this part of the history of our sport’s boats together, not within the 12 months that it has taken. With the assistance of old SKI-BOAT magazines, but especially the help of Dave Rorke, Erwin Bursik and their team, extensive deliberations with numerous descendants of these early and current boat owners, as well as visits to various boat builders, I have managed to compile the account. Indeed, it’s only a small sample of what’s really out there. To everyone who contributed, a very sincere thank you. We salute you! Delving into and wading through all the details, at times somewhat draining and frustrating, this was also one of the most intriguing and rewarding subjects I have ever dealt with. This is especially true if you can bloodhound something until you hit the jackpot — tangible and fairly well-authenticated information which can be published with confidence and cherished over many years to come, especially by our descendants. Yes, there are still gaps and information that might not be fully represented, but we finally have a chronicle which can be added to. Please feel free to share with us anything that we might have missed. All boats tested by SKI-BOAT since 2002 can be found on our magazine’s website at <www.africanangler.com/sb_ boat_tests.asp>. If anyone would like to contact Johan Smal, please email him at <email@example.com>.
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by Mark Wilson and Suzuki
The new DF200A is making waves in SA
ECEIVING an invitation to one of Suzuki’s launches is always exciting, and seeing as I’d missed the previous launch, I was intrigued and, yes, eager to see what they had waiting in store at the Port Elizabeth Harbour. Other boating magazine journalists and I landed at the Port Elizabeth airport on a perfect day. Anyone who knows PE will understand just how rare it is to have a windless day in Port Elizabeth, never mind on the same day as an outboard motor press launch. When I commented on how fortuitous the weather was, Tanja Maes, Suzuki’s Marine Division Manager, nonchalantly replied, “We at Suzuki plan well ahead, and the weather respects that.” Three of Suzuki’s South African dealers, Natal Power Boats, Atlantic Suzuki and Nauti-Tech were also present, showing off their various craft and ensuring that all who attended enjoyed an exhillirating day out on the water. Something that really stood out at the presentation by Suzuki is that in a short space of time they are fast approaching a 25% marketshare of all outboards sold and have 29 dealers in their marine dealership network across South Africa. That virtually guarantees
that you’ll find a dealership close to you and that you’ll have excellent, conveniently situated after-sales service and maintenance. The reason Suzuki invited us down to PE was to introduce us to their latest offering — the new four-cylinder DF200A, Suzuki’s latest lightweight, fuel-efficient outboard motor. According to the press kit from Suzuki, the new DF200A delivers the kind of impressive performance one would only expect from a V6 engine — but from just four cylinders. In addition, the new DF200A benefits from a whole host of high specification features which deliver real customer benefits. These include: • Direct air intake and variable valve timing for higher thermal efficiency and exceptional performance. • 2 867cm3 “Big Block” displacement and a higher compression ratio for impressive acceleration and low-end torque. • Lean Burn Control Technology for improved fuel economy. • Knock, oxygen (O2) and water detection sensors and systems to monitor and control internal engine operating parameters and improve reliability.
Importantly, the new DF200A weighs just 226kg, more than 12% less than Suzuki’s current V6 DF200 model. Just one look at the newly designed cowling of the DF200A tells you that this outboard is something special. However, the shape of the cowling represents more than just contemporary styling. Its design and the special baffling underneath work together to provide a semi-direct air intake system that provides cooler air directly to the engine’s long track tuned intake manifold. The engine breathes even more efficiently thanks to Suzuki’s proven variable valve timing system and twin intake and exhaust valves for each cylinder. By allowing the engine to breathe cooler air, both acceleration and topend speed are improved. In fact, Suzuki factory testing reports a 1.2% improvement in top-end speed and an impressive 3.4% improvement in 0-50m acceleration when compared to competitive models. Another contributing factor to these improved performance numbers is the 10.2:1 compression ratio. By increasing compression of the fuel/air mixture by 9.7%, Suzuki engineers have dramatically improved the power output from its impressive 2 867cm3 displacement douSKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 63
A number of Suzuki South Africa representatives were on hand to introduce the DF200A to the media: Andre Venter, Divisional Manager — Sales and Marketing, Yukio Sato, Managing Director, Tanja Maes, Divisional Manager — Marine, Errol Quan Chai, Technical Manager — Marine and Motorcycles and Naruhito Wada, Assitant Managing Director. ble overhead cam (DOHC) powerhead. When it comes to speed and performance, boaters must balance power and weight. Until now, many boaters have had to deal with the weight of a V6 engine in order to achieve the level of performance they desired. Now, with the introduction of Suzuki’s new DF200A, there’s a real alternative to a V6. With the DF200A weighing just 226kg, boaters can choose a lighter, inline four-cylinder engine without sacrificing power or performance. For those boaters in the market for a new boat and motor, or considering repowering from heavier V6 4-stroke outboards (or even older 2-strokes), the new DF200A provides an attractive choice in terms of size, weight and fuel
economy. The addition of knock- and O2 sensors helps keep the engine running smoothly. The knock sensor “listens” to combustion and provides information to the ECM, in order to precisely manage engine timing. The O2 sensor monitors engine operating conditions and provides input to the ECM to manage the fuel/air mixture for maximum efficiency and optimum performance. In addition, the DF200A features a water detection sensor to warn of moisture in the fuel system, a common concern given today’s use of ethanolblended fuel. With the introduction of its Lean Burn Control Technology, Suzuki’s engineers have made fuel-efficient 4-stroke
Members of the media present at the launch watched a dual-outboard set-up being put through its paces by the crew from Nauti-Tech and Atlantic Suzuki. 64 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
outboards even more economical. By taking full advantage of the computer control afforded by the 32bit onboard ECM, and through the use of engine sensors monitoring everything from engine timing to ambient temperature, the system is able to provide the precise amount of fuel needed throughout the rpm range. The inline4 DF200A also enjoys a significant improvement in fuel economy over Suzuki’s V6 200 horsepower outboard. Suzuki factory testing indicates a 19% improvement at top cruising speeds. In addition to the DF200A, Suzuki is also introducing the DF200AP which benefits from even more technology. The DF200AP will be the first 200hp outboard on the market available with Keyless Ignition, Suzuki Precision Control drive-by-wire controls and Suzuki Selective Rotation. With Suzuki Selective Rotation, dealers and boat builders can set up engines in either standard or counter rotation, thanks to specially designed gearing in the lower unit and the engine’s electronic shift controls. When Suzuki first introduced its 4stroke outboards over 15 years ago, it pioneered many technologies that are taken for granted today. For example, Suzuki was the first to feature fuel injection on its 4-strokes, the first to incorporate the offset drive shaft with the two stage gear reduction and a long track intake manifold, and when Suzuki introduced the world’s first 200-, 225-, 250 and 300hp 4-stroke outboards, it designed its engines to be consistent with the industry standard mounting dimensions. In fact, every Suzuki outboard — from the portable DF2.5 up to the flagship DF300AP — fits on ABYC standard 26-inch centres, which is a fact appreciated by any boater considering repowering with new outboards. With a surprisingly low weight, advanced technology like Lean Burn Control, knock- and O2 sensors, as well as performance enhancing compression and intake specifications, boaters looking for a new 200hp outboard need look no further than the DF200A and DF200AP. The advantages in terms of cost of operation (less weight, improved fuel economy, easier maintenance) and exceptional performance, make this engine a perfect match for all kinds of boats in the leisure and commercial sectors. Now available in South Africa, the new Suzuki DF200A is set to redefine lightweight outboard performance and fuel economy. The DF200AP will be available in May 2015. For further details visit <www. suzuki.co.za> or email Tanja Maes <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
by Dale Grobler
Get the whole truth with Insight Genesis
OST skippers have fancy GPS/fishfinder units on their boats, but how many actually know how to use those smart little machines to their full extent? Many of us just use them to get back to the place we last had a good catch, or to look for good showings of fish, but don’t use their mapping abilities to fully explore the waters beneath us. If you’ve used any of the mapping/ chartplotter systems on the market which allegedly show you details of the area you’re fishing in, you’ll know that they’re not always 100% accurate. Now there’s a way to make sure you do get a 100% accurate map. Recreational fishermen can now prevent “wasted time” on dead water by using highly detailed Insight Genesis custom contour maps to quickly locate productive fish-holding structure, bottom-hardness transitions and sweet spots in and around vegetation. So, if the areas you tend to fish or dive have little or no mapping available, or perhaps you just want to help build a sociable map that can be shared with everybody, take a closer look at Insight Genesis — it will change your view on what lies below your boat. Anglers and other boaters can download free Insight Genesis Social Map charts for use on the water in their Lowrance, Simrad and B&G sonar/GPS chartplotters. For those who don’t know, Insight Genesis gives you control over the
waters you travel. It allows you to create custom maps from your own sonar data. These can then be overlaid on the community-sourced Insight Genesis Social Map,or can be kept for private use only. Sonar data can be recorded on the majority of the Lowrance units directly onto a memory card. I have found that logging every half-hour is a good idea, as that way if any data becomes corrupted you will not lose the whole day’s fishing. At the end of your fishing trip, simply remove the memory card from your unit, take it to your PC or lap-
top, plug in the memor y card and upload the data to the Insight Genesis website where all the work is done. It automatically processes the sonar data you uploaded and creates your own incredible custom maps. In this way you can map your own fishing/diving areas in incredible detail. Importantly for most boat owners, you can choose to keep your sonar data private for your own maps, or you can improve the Social Map by contributing community data anonymously (your trails, waypoints and other personal
This is what you’ll see if you take the time to map Durban harbour using the Insight Genesis software. Once it’s done you can zoom down to one foot. SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 67
data are never shared). It doesn’t end there, though. Each sonar log you upload will be automatically tagged with weather, temperature and barometric-pressure readings taken while you were on the water. This data can help you chart and analyse trends that contribute to more successful excursions. I have found that after you merge the maps you wil find plenty of exciting new details of the seabed. You will be drawn to go out and map those areas even more to find out what is there. It’s an adventure every time you get on the water — to boldly go where no man has gone before ... The Insight Genesis maps show the seabed accurately down to one foot (30.5cm) contours. I can now park my boat on a dropoff and know whether it is on my port- or starboard side. Being an avid diver, I am now able to dive reefs that had never been dived before because no-one knew they were there. I now know exactly what is below my boat in near photo detail. We all know the cost of running around looking for diveable or fishable reefs. Indeed, Insight Genesis takes the guesswork out of all that. It has changed the way I look at the sea — I can now see where once I was blind. Imagine making a few trips in the same vicinity and merging the logs. The result would be a set of very useful, highly-detailed maps that can be viewed via your chart plotter/combination unit or smartphone. It took me about nine hours on the water to get the level of detail shown on the map of the Durban harbour on the previous page. Every time I fish the harbour the map just gets better, thanks to the new logs I upload. This map is available for free upload to your Lowrance units. (Please check website for unit compatibility.) I will be running some in-depth training in this regard. If you are interested in finding out how to get the most out of your Lowrance unit and how use Insight Genesis to its full potential, you’ll benefit from one of these clinics. For further details email <email@example.com>. In upcoming weeks I will be logging sonar data and some sidescan images of the wrecks off Durban on my Lowrance combo unit and will show them to readers in the May/June 2015 issue of SKIBOAT. Those exciting images will be added to the Insight Genesis Social Maps so that anglers can see the detailed mapping which can easily be produced. Keep mapping, people! These images are of Number One Reef off Durban. Each screenshot shows a progrressively more detailed view. With this software anglers will be able to see exactly where the dropoffs and pinnacles are and will be able to fish much more effectively. Each time you fish your favourite spots your knowledge — and map — will grow. 68 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
• For a quick, to-the-point video of how Insight Genesis works, go to <https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAeF2Oev ntM&feature=share>.
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Ruan (left) with a 30kg kob caught from his jetski.
HE Western Cape’s Breede River sees the annual return of many enthusiastic fishermen thanks to its serenity and majestic fishing waterways. Unfortunately, for anglers who want to use a personal watercraft (PWC), CapeNature’s governing laws on all Western Cape estuaries forbid any jet-propelled engine to be used on any of the region’s estuaries.
In the November/December 2014 issue of SKI-BOAT, Heinrich Kleyn wrote an article — “Safety First” — discussing the pros and cons of fitting an outboard motor to a personal watercraft, aka jetski. Ruan Kukard has done just that — and he has found some other advantages ... 74 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
BACKGROUND Since 1998 advances in technology have made the PWCs of today arguably the safest and most environmentally-friendly vessels on any given waterway. For this reason the PWC has become the logical choice of craft for many fishing fanatics. All vessels, including PWC over three metres in length, have to be certified by SAMSA and therefore must carry all the required safety equipment,including a VHF radio and the operator’s licence,COF,etc. Of course,the operator also has to have a
by Ruan Kukard valid skipper’s ticket. This has made owning a PWC just as expensive as most other vessels on the market. The associated costs and legal operating age limit also place a burden on the younger generation and recreational enthusiast, driving them away and leaving today’s average PWC owner a more mature and law-abiding individual. According to Racetech Yamaha, Pinetown, this swing in the market is clearly evident. The majority of their customers and people interested in purchasing a PWC are all above 40 years of age — and plan to use the craft purely for fishing. In 2012 I began to talk to CapeNature and the Lower Breede River Conservancy (LBRC) to motivate them to lift the ban on fishing PWCs so the owners of these craft could enjoy the same privileges as any other vessel owner. This motivation was supported by studies conducted in the USA on 15 different estuarine waterways (to-date no comparative studies have been conducted in South-Africa), as well as motivational letters from various ski-boat clubs and direct suppliers within the watercraft industry. In August 2014 CapeNature informed me that the Western Cape Government had drafted a Terms Of Reference (TOR) document in order to formulate a policy for the use of PWCs on Western Cape estuaries,which will become a governing project. This will mainly be applicable to waterways where the only access to the sea is by means of the estuary system, like the Breede River. Until such time as the new governing policy and legislation is finalised (which might take some time, with no guarantee of a positive outcome), PWC owners who want to use these waterways will need to invest in the Neptune Bracket and fitment of an outboard motor. This will convert your PWC into an outboard-driven vessel and will grant you direct access to the sea (where you can then start your PWC’s engine), as well as enabling you to fish the estuaries. This may seem like an absurd length to go to, but if you are longing to fish these magical waters, the advantages far outweigh the cosmetic sacrifice. SAFETY FIRST In December 2013 I was granted access to the Breede River by using a small electric motor. I had to time my fishing to coincide with the tides since an electric trolling motor was not strong enough to control the PWC in the currents of the mighty Breede River. On one specific day out at sea,I lost my anchor and experienced electrical problems (and, yes, I did have a twin battery pack, spare fuse and plugs) in 16m of water and began drifting towards a shore of rocky ledges. A nervous 30 minutes passed before, finally, in 5m of water with the backline breaking just metres away, my dad and I got the engine going and we headed home. I’m still not sure what caused the problem on that day, but now that I’ve fitted a Neptune Bracket and 5hp Yamaha 4-stroke outboard motor, this will never be a concern again. The motor operates independently of the mechanics of your PWC and can be connected to your main PWC fuel supply which will get you home from anywhere. The recommended size outboard for a PWC is between 4- and 8hp. One cannot ask for a more reliable safety precaution which will give you peace of mind every time you hit the water,especially when you’re fishing alone. REDUCED FUEL CONSUMPTION Using the outboard motor to move between closely situated waypoints consumes approximately 30% of the fuel that the engine of myYamaha FX 160 would use. The 5hp 4-stroke motor propels the PWC at 5-8km/hr (depending on current and conditions) and is connected to my main 60 litre fuel supply. If you assume a conservative average speed of 5km/hr at a fuel consumption of 1.9l/hr @ 5 000 rpm, a mere 10 litres of fuel can transport you over 25km.
CONTROL AND MANOEUVRABILITY It goes without saying that pontoons need to be fitted to your PWC before you consider installing a Neptune bracket and outboard motor. Various makes and models are available on the market, but some of the earliest producers of these accessories are Racetech Yamaha in Pinetown. They also supply clip-on pontoons which can be added and removed as you please. The pontoons will provide extra stability, and you will notice very little difference after the fitment of the outboard motor. In December I fished in tandem, and despite the weight of two fully-grown men and the outboard, I was able to launch my ski through the surf every single time with no reduced performance or manoeuvrability. It is, however, very important that your outboard is properly secured before you launch through the surf. This is taken care of if you install a Neptune bracket. The motor can be transported attached to the back of the PWC, but it’s advisable to travel with the motor in a locked-up position. This will require a secure strap on the back of the seat to ensure minimum vertical movement during transport. The outboard motor and Neptune bracket can also easily be removed if you just want to play around in the surf or on the dam. FISHING BENEFITS The main benefit of fitting an outboard to your PWC will be the accessibility to new waterways and different methods of fishing. These adaptations have enabled me to fish for various river species in the Breede, including grunter, garrick and kob. Large kob are plentiful in the Breede, but remember that the minimum legal size is 600mm, and while you are allowed five fish per day, only one may be greater than 1.1m in length. Preservation is key and many kob have been returned to the water to ensure the protection of this species. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of kob in these waters, and the vast number of juvenile kob in evidence is a great sign of a healthy ecosystem. Another benefit of using an outboard on your PWC is the reduced noise level and the constant speed which I’m sure will increase my strike rate when I target pelagic species with small bonnies as livebait . The other important benefit of having the outboard is that tracking remains straight after hookup, and the PWC can be handled with much bettercontrol when you’re fighting the monsters of the deep. In addition, when using your outboard motor while fishing you will save up to 60% of the running hours on your vessel which will help retain the resale value of your vessel. PERMIT REQUIREMENTS Before launching your outboard-fitted PWC into the Breede you must have a valid permit to access the Lower Breede River Conservancy area. Permits can be obtained from the LBRC admin office and information can be obtained via <email@example.com>. The permit price list and application form can be downloaded at <http://breede-river.org/documents> and mailed to LBRC administration.. • If you’re looking for self-catering accommodation in the Witsand area, try Ferdisue Accommodation. All you needs are catered for and braai facilities are provided, plus there’s sufficient parking for vehicles and PWCs. For further details contact Ferdi or Sue on 082 899 8252 or email <ferdisue@ telkomsa.net>. VALUABLE CONTACTS • Charles Raymond, Neptune Bracket <firstname.lastname@example.org>. • Greg Bennett,Yamaha <email@example.com> • Racetech Yamaha <firstname.lastname@example.org> SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 75
Anglers need to take responsibility for their own actions
This fine haul of spotted mackerel and ’cuda caught in 1961 is typical of the huge catches of gamefish brought in by Durbanbased ski-boats between 1946 and 1966. Photo reproduced from A Fisherman’s Tale by Joe Mara.
T is obvious to even the blindest of fishermen that there are not as many fish to be caught today as there were in the past. The numbers have declined at a rapid rate over the past 50 years or so, and we are now playing with the last remaining stocks. I was having a beer at my ski-boat
76 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
club the other day when I was approached by an elderly gentleman who wanted to chat about fishing. He told me stories of how he and his mates used to go down to the Transkei in the “old days” and always had a fantastic trip, never failing to come home with cooler boxes and deep freezers full of
lovely fresh fish fillets. Bronze bream, musselcracker, galjoen, blacktail, etc., were bountiful in those days. Slowly the fishing started to deteriorate, he said, until they could barely catch enough to keep them fed with fresh fish on the trip, and often they came home from their holiday empty-
by Craig Thomassen
handed. He paused and looked into his beer, shaking his head and muttered, “Those Japanese trawlers.” I hear variations of this story everywhere I go. Tales of the plentiful fish in days gone by and how anglers could pay for their holiday by selling fish fillets when they got home. Without fail, the teller of these tales will wistfully shake his or her head and cast the blame upon some distant fishing trawler or longliner. Stories of the sounds of diesel engines, as the trawlers move into the shallows to rape our coast late at night, abound. It is always the fault of these foreign commercial vessels that our fishing is not what it used to be. What strikes me is that very few, if any, fishermen ever see themselves as part of the problem. The concept that we could have had a massive impact on our own fish stocks with rod and line appears to be totally outside the realms of possibility. Now don’t get me wrong: the commercial fishing fleets do indeed have a huge impact on the fish in our ocean, but the answer to all of our fishing woes does not necessarily lie with them. Many of the species that are under pressure today are not target
species or even significant bycatch of commercial vessels. In fact, most of our inshore species are almost never netted or caught on longlines and are only harvested by recreational anglers. Such is our inability to look at ourselves as culprits, however, that many will never accept that they are part of the problem. There is another relatively new sector which is now also a popular scapegoat, this being the subsistence fishermen along the coast. According to some of the bar experts, these men and women strip the rocks of all life and, therefore, the food of the fish, and they also catch fish on rod and line, emptying the sea of fish. It’s amazing how a man with a rod can be responsible for the fishery’s collapse when he is a local African, but there is no way that a holiday maker could do the same. You only have to look in the catch record books of some of the older hotels, fishing cottages and lodges to see the decline in catches along our coast. Just after World War II, recreational anglers were regularly catching big kob from the rocky points near river mouths on spoon and bait, using cane rods, centrepin reels and flax line. They couldn’t cast further than about
50 metres with those outfits, but the fish were there, so they caught them. Today we have braided line, geared reels, non-return slides, bait boats and bait launcher tubes. Anglers are regularly getting big baits out to well over 100m from the shore and are now getting stuck into the sharks and rays, as most of the big fish have gone. There are still some ski-boat fishermen who feel that it is their right to pay for their day’s fishing by selling their catches. Slow-growing species such as red steenbras and black musselcracker are under enormous pressure. King mackerel have become so scarce in the last few years that they are now a surprise catch. I would like to put it to every fisherman out there that every single one of us has an impact on our fisheries. Yes, there are other user groups who may be doing more damage, but we can only control ourselves. If each angler takes responsibility for his own actions and fishes responsibly, leaving some fish for tomorrow, then we can make a difference. So, instead of sitting muttering about the trawlers, do your bit and fish responsibly. Perhaps then your children will be able to enjoy the wonderful bounty of the sea too someday.
SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 77
78 â€¢ SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
HE 21st annual Pestana Bazaruto Marlin Classic, held in November last year, was just as popular and successful as the previous 20 have been. Hosted annually by Ricky Jacobs of Mozambique Tours, the increase in demand from participants has seen the competition grow dramatically in size from its small beginnings. From 1993 to 1997, just three boats participated each year, then from 1997 to 2005 eight boats participated each year. That jumped up to 12 boats each year from 2005 to 2013, and in 2014 18 boats and 78 anglers from all around southern Africa participated. Everyone described it as a fantastic week of fun with exciting fishing. In the November 2014 event, eight days’ fishing produced 38 strikes with 11 fish being released, of which two were in the region of 750 lb — a great achievement. As always, the Marlin Classic was held at Pestana Bazaruto Lodge whose staff go out of their way to make sure the event is a success and that everyone has fun. The following 18 boats took part in the Classic in the event: from Zimbabwe there were Aladin, Beluga, Katarina and Quatro; from Zambia there was Copper Bullet; from South Africa we had Cayrima, Offshore, Tequila Sheila, Ponty and XTSea; from Vilanculos there were Artic and Game Changer; and then there were the Bazaruto locals — Suli-Suli, Boa Vida, Wonder, Tamos Junto, Santa Ana and Bazaruto Explorer. The weather conditions were favourable for all eight days, with nice blue water and a number of good fish being hooked and lost over the period. For some reason baitfish were rather difficult to catch and livebait fishing has become quite difficult in the Bazaruto Archipelago due to the increased shark activity in the whole area.
by Mercia Jacobs
Quite a few of the marlin caught this year were hooked on skipped baits and lures, with the bigger fish landed on the odd live yellowfin tuna that skippers managed keep away from the sharks. Each day anglers returned to the lodge brimming with all the stories of that day’s fishing which would be shared around the afternoon beach braai. At the evening’s happy hour loads of prizes were handed out during the lucky draws. The following boats released fish: Game Changer — 3; Bazaruto Explorer — 2; Suli-Suli — 2; Copper Bullet — 1; Quatro — 1; Wonder — 1; and Boa Vida — 1 (they also weighed a black of 585 lb). Of the 11 fish landed and released, nine were black marlin, one was a blue marlin and one was a stripey, showcasing the variety of species on offer. After eight days the final positions were as follows: 1. Game Changer with Mush Nichols at the helm (450 points). 2. Bazaruto Explorer with the Du Plessis brothers from Dubai aboard (300 points). 3. Suli-Suli skippered by Piet van Dyk (300 points). A huge thanks must go to our wonderful sponsors — Pestana Hotels and Resorts, CDM MPT, KWV, Shimano, VMC, Pulsator Lures, The Kingfisher and Black Bart Lures — who have all supported the Marlin Classic every year. Special thanks also to the GM of Pestana Bazaruto Lodge, Tony Driscoll, and his staff, Luis Nunes and Roger Macdonald, for their efforts in making the classic a most memorable experience. All the teams are looking forward to another great classic from 7th to 17th November 2015. For further details email <email@example.com>. See you there!
BIG FISH BITE! 2014 Pestana Bazaruto Marlin Classic SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 79
by SKI-BOAT reporter
GRANDER! Vamizi releases three big blacks off Bazaruto
ITH a winter sailfish run and the recent discovery of reliable blueand striped marlin fisheries out wide, which seems to peak outside the traditional season and even into the colder months, the waters of the Bazaruto Archipelago realistically offer year-round billfish opportunities. However, September to December is undoubtedly the peak time to target the giant black marlin the area is famous for. Although at times the fishing was inconsistent due to unseasonal weather conditions, most anglers and boats that visited the area for the peak of the 2014 season were satisfied both with the quantity and certainly the quality of the fish encountered. The crew of the 31ft charter boat Vamizi, in particular, will not soon forget this season. Captained by Duarte Rato, with deckhands Alex Zivane and Alberto Massane, they managed to release three marlin around the 1 000 lb mark. Vamizi started the season in early September and, mostly fishing out wide, caught a number of good blue marlin up to 600 lb. By the end of September black marlin fishing was firing on the edge and on 28th September they raised their first really big fish estimated at over 1 200 lb. Despite coming in on a short lure three times, the marlin never struck. There were a few up to 700 lb in between, but Vamizi’s crew had to wait until 14th October for another really good one to show up, this time behind a live skipjack tuna. On its first jump the crew called the fish at 1 000 lb, but then, to everyone’s utter disappointment, the bait went flying. Luckily she was hungry and tailed the bait. As soon as the crew engaged the throttles and started skipping the now dead bait, the big fish piled on it. This time the 20/0 circle hook found the spot and Lowtjie Nel from South Africa was hooked up to his first marlin. 80 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
With most of the fight on or near the surface, with numerous jumps, the fish soon tired herself out and was released in just less than two hours. Of course, without weighing her the crew couldn’t be 100% sure that she was a grander, so just to be safe they decided to call the fish 950-plus!
Just five days later, on 19th October, another big fish showed up, this time on one of the long lures. In the chair was angler Carl Jankowitz, no stranger to these waters and who has previously weighed 1 107 lb and 1 098 lb marlin with the same crew. Carl has become such an aficionado on these waters that he recently bought his own boat, a 31ft Triton, that he keeps and fishes off Bazaruto year-round. Once again this was a cooperative fish that fought on the surface and jumped her heart out. With Carl’s expert technique applying well over 60 lb of drag for most of the time, it took just over two hours until they could release her. Everyone knew the fish could easily be over 1 000 lb, but being borderline again and humbled by catching two such great fish within a few days of each other, the crew decided to once again call her 950-plus. Although the crew on Vamizi released a lot of good fish up to 850 lb in between, the third really big fish only showed up six weeks later, on 9th December. Amazingly, Carl Jankowitz was again on board for his third charter of the season, but this time it was his good friend Peter Dowling’s turn in the chair. Even more remarkable was that the fish took the same lure on which Carl caught his fish in October. However, this fish behaved completely unlike the other two which had stayed on or near the surface for most of the fight and tired themselves out with endless jumping displays. This one behaved more like the stubborn bulls big blacks are known to be. To add that extra challenge, the reel’s drag started slipping and the fight dragged on for almost four hours. It was already pitch dark when they eventually managed to release this great fish which they estimated at well over 1 000 lb. A season to remember indeed. For further information about fishing off Bazaruto, contact Duarte Rato on +258 82 805 7160 or +258 84 639 0466 or email <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
82 â€¢ SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
MY BEST FISHING HOLIDAY
by Megan Barclay (9)
WAS five years old when I started fishing and I really love it. Since then I have also started fishing out at sea with my dad and love catching rockcod because they put up such a good fight. Last September we took a trip to the Wild Coast. On the Thursday we left home at 4am. It would take us four hours to get there, so we settled in our seats and spent the trip talking about what it would be like when we got there. Eventually we arrived, and after we unpacked we got all the tackle ready and then went to bed early. The next morning we climbed onto our boat with a flask of hot tea because it was so cold, and once we were out my dad put the baits in the water and we pulled them behind the boat. It didn’t take long before one of the reels started making a big noise and my dad started shouting that we were on! My dad and my brother, Owen, reeled in the other rods and my dad passed me my rod. The fish was really heavy and I thought my arms were going to break, but my dad kept talking to me and helping me and eventually this huge fish was next to the boat. It was a garrick and it was so big it couldn’t fit into the net, so we had to put the head in the net and lift it into the boat by its tail. My arms felt like jelly and I couldn’t even pick it up for the photos. Later my dad weighed it and said my garrick weighed 18kg. I had so much fun and I will remember that holiday for ever. I can’t wait to go fishing again, and now my dad and I are hoping I’ll catch a dorado bigger than me!
UR baits had only been in the water for about three minutes when the first sailie picked one up and moved off. As it accelerated away a second bait was attacked, then a third, and before we knew it three fish were hooked up! Then the fun really started, with all three sailfish jumping and crossing each other’s paths whilst the anglers manoeuvered themselves around the boat. This was to be the pattern for the duration of the five days’ fishing, with several triple and many more double hookups. Having enjoyed a very successful fishing trip there in 2013, eight of us had travelled to Kuala Rompin in October 2014 to target sailfish in this somewhat remote part of Malaysia. The water is quite shallow for some distance out to sea and the proliferation of bait and the warm water accounts for the large quantities of sails in this area. Apparently they spawn in these waters in the early part of the year, and since sails grow quite rapidly, mature fish are caught around the October to November period. The advent of the monsoons prevents any fishing during the December to March off-season, but sails can be caught for most of the rest of the year. Apart from Nail Island, some 40 nautical miles north of
by Nick Gray
the estuary, there is little bottom structure, However, fish aggregating devices (FADs) have been strategically placed along the coast to attract baitfish and, naturally, these are the main spots where the sails congregate. It is absolutely amazing how many sailfish there are in these waters, with regular sightings of free-jumping fish and fish “balling” bait at almost every FAD. The fishing techniques used here are somewhat different to those we are accustomed to at our local venues and along the east coast of Africa. For the aficionados there are opportunities to flyfish, but the preferred method is to use livebait. Occasionally a fish is taken by anglers using plugs or poppers, but although we had several fish follow the plugs we had no hookups. Tackle can be supplied by the charter operators, but we chose to use our own light/medium two-piece spinning rods and “coffee grinders” (Daiwa 4500H is my choice), spooled with 50 lb braid and 100 lb fluorocarbon leader. The boats are locally built, some 10m long and fitted with twin outboards. They are very comfortable fishing platforms in what are mostly very flat seas. It takes between one-and-a-half and two hours at full SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 85
Location of Kaula Rompin on the east coast of the Malaysia peninsula in relation to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur (left), and an aerial shot of the estuary shows the resort’s position in relation to the tidal estuary where the boats are moored. for the smaller baits a “count of ten” is usually adequate, speed to reach the fishing grounds, stopping en-route to catch whereas for the mackerel baits we let the fish eat for up to a bait with Yozuri-type jigs. Although almost any small fish will minute. Then it’s time to click over the bail, raise the rod tip suffice, the bait of choice is Indian anchovy which congregate to 45 degrees and hold on tight! in large shoals around the FADs and are readily caught in great These sailfish are the same species (Indo-Pacific) as those numbers. On this trip we also caught long-jawed mackerel caught off southern and east Africa and are just as acrobatic. which proved to be excellent baits as they live longer in the They fight hard for their freedom and will really test your livebait well. Being somewhat larger than anchovies, they are tackle, so it’s important that leaders are checked for damage strong swimmers too. Furthermore, the hook doesn’t pull out after every fish. Regular inspection of the braid and the of the bait as easily as it tends to do with the anchovies. clutch drag also needs to be done. Terminal tackle consists of a 5/0 circle hook tied to the In these waters conservation is enforced so all fish are leader with a Rapala knot where the loop is designed to give released, but since tags are not used, sadly the recapture rate the bait more action. The hook is placed through the back of is an unknown. the baitfish, close to the top of its head. Although the bait is In our five days of fishing we caught and released a total usually allowed to swim freely, we used balloons for the bigger of 187 sails, with many more fish lost for various reasons. mackerel baits as they tend to want to swim to the bottom. Apart from the first day when the fish were rather small, the When you get to a FAD, the boats either tie up to it or drift average weight was in the range of 35-45kg, with three fish around it, and the reels are on free-spool to allow the fish time estimated to be over 60kg. to eat. Eating time is always a matter of personal choice, but
SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 87
A low-flying missile off Kaula Rompin.
Nick Gray and two members of the party with their successes, three of 187 sails caught in five days.
A rural Malay town, Kuala Rompin is situated on the east coast of the Malaysian peninsula, about 250km from Singapore, and access is by good but congested roads. The fishing activities are centred on a wide tidal estuary and basic accommodation is in air-conditioned chalets with a fine seafood restaurant run by a man named James, for whom nothing was too much trouble. Charters are inclusive of all costs from collection and return at Changi airport in Singapore. The only extras are beers and wine and any other items of a personal nature. Malaysia is a Muslim country so very few people touch alcohol, but it can be bought, although wine is not so easy to find. Our trip was put together by Ian and Dominic at Singapore-based Fish Zone Charters who very professionally organise everything and are great hosts, one of them joining us on the boat whenever possible. For further information visit <www.fishzone.com.sg> or phone me on 082 567 5886.
Malaysian sportfishing craft, at moorings in the estuary near Kuala Rompin. 88 â€˘ SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
BITS & PIECES
Items of Interest
MERCURY INTRODUCES NEW SEAPRO 4-STROKES
TWO OCEANS BILLFISH UNIVERSITY 2015
RWIN Bursik of SKI-BOAT magazine and Ryan Williamson of Pulsator Lures recently conducted a billfishing training seminaar at the Suidpunt Deep Sea Angling Club in Struisbaai. This twoday event was extremely well organised and allowed the participants (pictured above) to increase their knowlege of billfishing by attending talks and practical demonstrations, and through interaction with other billfish anglers. Erwin and Ryan were delighted at the enthusiastic response and dedication shown by the participants which made it a worthwhile experience for everyone who learnt a great deal from the hands-on experience. Look out for the full story in the next issue of SKI-BOAT.
THE WORLD’S FIRST COMING SOON: WIRELESS RADAR RIVIERA 50 ENCLOSED F
URUNO now brings to you the NMEA award winning, world’s first wireless radar that you can access directly from your iOS devices, transforming your iPad or iPhone into a 4kW pulse Radar via WiFi connection. The innovative FURUNO DRS4W is the first radar antenna that allows you to wirelessly access radar images on your iOS devices, combining ease of use with great flexibility. After installing and setting up the application you can look at radar images directly on your iPad or iPhone. Plug in the radar, set up the app and you’re good to go. It’s a breeze to use, and you can even use two iOS devices simultaneously. With the new 1st Watch Wireless Radar, you can do things that were previously impossible — you can take the radar display wherever you go and it will even fit in your pocket. The Furuno Wireless Radar was voted Best Radar 2014 by NMEA, making this a 39 year winning streak for Furuno in the Best Radar category. For more information or to locate a dealer near you, contact Imtech Marine South Africa on 0861 123 555 or email <info.za@imtech marine.com>.
THE LINE THAT’S TOUGH ENOUGH
AMEFISHING is a tough sport that needs a line that’s every bit as tough to stand up to harsh conditions and powerful bluewater predators. Stren Hi-Vis Green’s combination of highvisibility, strength, durability and impact resistance delivers the tough performance needed for serious offshore fishing. Stren Hi-Vis line is available from tackle dealers around the country, but if you need further details on these and other Pure Fshing products, contact Pure Fishing on (011) 023 5100.
90 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
UILT by anglers for anglers! Every inch of the new Riviera 50 Enclosed shows that the Australian manufacturer has paid close attention to what anglers want and need. Boating World’s Derrick Levy and his team are very excited about the imminent arrival of this magnificent sportfisher at the end of March. After docking in Durban, her maiden voyage will take her up the east coast to her permanent home in Richards Bay — the playground of billfish and big gamefishermen. Powerful twin Volvo IPS 950 diesels (725hp) will get her there safely, and once she’s languishing on her moorings this head-turner will be the envy of anglers everywhere. Hot on the gossip list will be her new design from the keel up giving her a sleek, modern appeal. The Riviera 50’s new owner has had her kitted out for absolute fishing success. The electronics list reads like a book and includes GPS, Chirp and downvision sounders, fish attracting underwater lights and much more. There’s an abundance of rod holders, spreader and central outriggers and cleverly concealed storage for rods in the most unexpected places. The huge flybridge will probably be the most popular spot on board. From a fishing point of view, the second control station mounted on the aft rail of the bridge is a really clever addition! From this vantage point, the skipper can easily manouevre into the best position, especially when backing up on a billfish. The expansive cockpit has room for several anglers and has been specially geared with the latest equipment. A large fish box has been fitted into the cockpit floor along with large tubes, a livebait tank and a bait prep station. Below decks there are three very generous sized staterooms with comfortable beds. For more information on this and other Riviera craft, contact Boating World on (021) 418 0480 or visit <www.boatingworld.co.za>.
ERCURY Marine has announced the global introduction of the new 75150hp SeaPro FourStroke engines. The 75-, 90-, 115- and 150hp SeaPro engines have been designed to provide increased durability and longer engine life in commercial applications without compromising the power. Offering a robust high-displacement, lowweight design, the SeaPro 4-stroke engines deliver the performance required by commercial users, providing three times the engine durability of recreational engines. “The launch of the SeaPro range of motors is very exciting for us in the South African market because to date we haven’t seen a dedicated commercial product that addresses the specific needs of commercial boating. We are stoked to finally be able to provide this offering locally,” said Shaun van Rooyen, Director Rutherford Marine. With over 75 years of experience Mercury is the leader in 4-stroke technology, offering the broadest, most modern range of 4-stroke outboards in the industry. For further details contact your closest Mercury dealer.
GET A CLEAR VIEW OF YOUR PREY
HE Berkley® Falcon is a high profile, fullview wrap frame with performancesculptured temples for a comfortable fit. The high quality, scratch-resistant polarised lenses reduce glare and protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Injected hinges provide durability and the Megol nose- and temple pads prevent slipping. This frame is designed to fit medium to large head sizes. Berkley sunglasses are available from dealers nationwide, but if you need further details on these and other Pure Fishing products, contact Pure Fishing on (011) 023 5100.
WE’VE GOT WHAT YOU NEED
O matter where you are in South Africa, Ski-Port Supply promises to get your boating requirements to you. They stock everything from safety equipment and GPS units to fishing wear and repair supplies — and everything in between. Visit and like their new Facebook page (look for Skiport-Supply) to see all the latest exciting news, as well as enter the brilliant competitions they will be running from time to time. You can post pictures of your big catches or boating stories on their Facebook page, and Ski-Port’s helpful staff will be able to answer any questions you may have. For further information visit <www. skiport.co.za> or phone (031) 332-2691.
A D V E R T I S E R S ’
BOAT FOR SALE
OBTAIN your SAMSA skipper’s certificate of competence. Theoretical, practical and surf launch training by an experienced commercial skipper. Phone Kobus on 082 891 3652, (012) 348-9078 or (012) 361-2617, e-mail <email@example.com> or visit their website <www.twobar.co.za>.
BOAT FOR SALE
760 BUTT CAT Sportfisher (2014) with 2 x 140hp Suzuki Lean Burn 4-stroke motors (only done 5 hours), radar, fishfinder and GPS (Lowrance), 27Mhz radio, Sony front loader and Boss marine speakers, 8 x 25 litre jerry cans, complete safety gear, lifejackets, flares etc — all brand new. Price: R700 000 Contact: Kobus on 083 660 3607
BOAT FOR SALE
170 KINGCAT (2010 model) with 2 x 90hp Suzuki 4-stroke motors (done 290 hours and just been serviced). Includes livewell,T-top, safety equipment,CD player, 29meg radio, Lowrance HDS 10 fishfinder and GPS, hydraulic steering, outrigger bases, built-in luna tube, deckwash,boat cover,Scotty rod holders,trailer with oil-filled axle. Excellent condition. Stored under cover. Invoice can be arranged for finance. Price: R345 000 Contact: Barry on 082 775 1840
KINGCAT 2407 (2007) with 2 x 150hp Suzuki motors (2010 models — done 500 hours). Includes Lowrance HDS 10 plus Lowrance HDS 5 with 1kw bronze transducer,Rupp aluminium riggers with bases, Mallards marlin chair, luna tubes, deckwash, freshwater shower, 29 meg and VHF radios, auto pilot, livebait well, safety gear and double axle trailer. Can be viewed at garage number 5, Richards Bay Ski-boat Club. Price: R600 000 Contact: PZ Oberholzer on 082 923 1480
DEADLINE for the May/June 2015 issue of SKI-BOAT magazine is 18th March 2015. BOOK YOUR SPACE NOW! Phone Joan on (031) 572-2289 or Lyn on (011) 425-2052
INDEX Billfish 15 000 Thanks . . . . . . . . . . .41 BlueWater Boats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70 Boating International . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Boating World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 Club Marine Insurance . . . . . . . . . . .4 Corrosion Block . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82 Durban Boat Show . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Durban Ski-Boat Club Festival . . . . .32 Durban Yamaha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Fishtube app . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Furuno - Imtech Marine . . . . . . . . . .31 Grant Thompson Fish Replicas . . . .96 Guinjata Bonanza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Honda Knysna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89 Jonsson Clothing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Komatipoort Boatel . . . . . . . . . . . . .91 Leecat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Lowrance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Lowrance Parking Trolley . . . . . . . .34 Lucky’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Matoya Lodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Maxel Trading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100 McCrystal Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . .22 MDM Raymarine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Mercury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 Mozambique Tours . . . . . . . . . . . . .77 Mr Winch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84 Natal Caravans & Marine . . . . . . . . . .2 Natal Powerboats . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99 Pulsator Lures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Pure Fishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Rapala VMC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Scylla Lures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81 Shelly Beach Ski-Boat Club Festival .66 Shimano . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Ski-Port Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 SMD Telecommunications . . . . . . . .17 Solly’s Angler’s Corner . . . . . . . . . . .78 Supercat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Suzuki Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 The Kingfisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 TOPS@Spar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Turboformance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82 Two Oceans Marine . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Vanguard Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . .86 Vilanculos boat for sale . . . . . . . . . .82 Vilanculos house for sale . . . . . . . . .78 Volvo Penta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Wilcraft Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 Wildfly Travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 Yamaha - Seacat Blast . . . . . . . . . . . .69 Yamaha commercial . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Z-Craft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 • 91
96 â€¢ SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
ForPhone the best results! Erwin Bursik Tel: (031) 572-2289
ONLY R500 PER BLOCK! PHONE JOAN ON (031) 572-2289 NOW! SKI-BOAT March/April 2015 â€¢ 97
HAVEN’T got married yet. No, I haven’t found the need to. Sure, I’ve tagged and released a few prospects who seemed a good catch soon after being hooked but failed to measure up to my expectations on being landed; and the odd seemingly-ideal prospect has got away “at the boat”, so to speak. But I’ve been having too much fun to put down roots at this stage of my life. I enjoy doing my own thing ... that’s my story and I’m sticking to it — for the moment! A few weeks ago I took the morning off to get measured up for a dress for a friend’s wedding. I’d arrived early at the dressmaker and the shop was empty, except for the lady working there. This one-on-one situation left things a little awkward, and I soon began to feel that tension that often builds in the minutes preceding an outbreak of small talk. A few minutes later, it broke out. “So, are you the maid of honour?” “No, bridesmaid,” I replied. But it didn’t seem to be enough,
a fool of myself. “Time for you to settle down and get yourself a little man. If you don’t move fast you might be left on the shelf,” she concluded. A “little” man? And “on the shelf”? Never ...
Couples who marry early in life end up with hundreds of kids ... The rest of my day was incidental, and I’ve spent the time since meditating over what she’d said, trying to justify my unweddedness and, in case I failed to do so, plotting the entrapment into wedlock of the nearest passing male. While I’m not exactly new to this experience, it is a little unsettling, directly after somebody of indeterminate sexuality has questioned one’s marriagability. But I’m glad to say, it’s okay, guys — I’ve succeeded in my justification. You can relax now. I’m sure you’ll agree that there are all kinds of important reasons for not
Last Word from the ladies
wedding night until half-five in the morning because, let’s face it, the earlier you take leave of them, the earlier you can get to bed. Also, please remember that a woman is reputedly at her sexual peak in her early thirties. That’s the time at which a man would want to go on honeymoon with you, not when you’re 21 and want to spend the whole day riding around on the banana boat or playing volley ball on the beach. And, of course, you can fish while on honeymoon, giving priority to the things both of you love. Another benefit to tying the knot when you’re older is that your in-laws are probably dead, or close to it. Or maybe they’re in comas. Or they’re nuts. Whatever the situation, they’re going to be so out of it that you’re unlikely to have to listen to the usual inlaw demands for too long, demands for things like regular Sunday visits, Christmas cards and ... grandchildren. Yes, in-laws insist on grandchildren. Many couples who get married early in life end up with hundreds of kids, purely out of frustration with the in-
... and especially for the one that got away and unease forced me on: “One of seven. And there are only four groomsmen. The poor things will be rushed off their feet when it comes to the dancing. Ha ha.” “I see. And where is it going to be held?” She smoothed the wrinkles from her measuring tape. “At the coast,” I replied. Then, after a pause:“At Kenton-on-Sea.” I felt about as grown up and independent as the time when I was getting fitted for my standard six dance dress. “Should be nice,” said she, ignoring my reply, then leaning over to measure my waist: “Are you married yourself?” she asked. I’m not sure what it is about this question, but it always unsettles me when I’m asked it by a woman, particularly one who wears a bright yellow dress, works in ladies’ fashions and thrives on gossip. I thought quickly to find a way out. “No,” I said, failing to find one. “No, I’m not.” “Ah, you’re getting on a bit.” I was about to explain to her that I’m not quite as old as I look, that my short hair puts years on me and that I never asked for crow’s feet around my eyes, but luckily I managed to stop before I made 98 • SKI-BOAT March/April 2015
rushing into marriage at an early age. These reasons include lack of maturity, the need to enjoy what the world has to offer, uncertainty about what you want from life, and the fear that your mother will nag the hell out of you. But the really important reasons, the reasons that make me comfortable with the fact that I am not yet married, require a little more thought. If you get married when you’re older, your friends will be older too. So they will be earning more than when they were in their twenties. This means, obviously, that they can afford to buy you much better presents. You should use this knowledge when drawing up your wedding list. There will be less pressure to put in a few cheap items to cater for the paupers who are still wearing the same clothes they had soon after leaving school. In short, get married young and you’ll end up with a surplus of singleslice toasters; wait a while and you’ll end up wondering where you are going to store your surplus of ever-so-expensive ionized water decanters and bone china. Chances are that your friends are no longer party animals either. It’s unlikely that they’ll still be partying on your
laws’ refusal to countenance a fruitless marriage. No, getting married when one is older has its justification, especially since I’m simply mad about fishing, about places where fish are caught, about men who fish. Single men, of course. But mention — by chance, of course — a word beginning with “S” (as in “single”, unmarried), the good men seem to lose interest very quickly, the older men think they’re onto a good thing, and the married women suddenly get Rapala Lips and tell their husbands that “it’s time to go home”. So these are the reasons I am at ease about not having walked down the aisle. It’s an explanation much friendlier to my ego than the real one. No, it’s got nothing to do with the fact that I fish better than most of the men I’ve met, and nor is it because the ravages of sun and sea are beginning to exact their toll. Well, that’s what I like to think. So when, in twenty years time, you happen to meet a sun-and-salt wizened old woman of the sea, perhaps at your favourite fishing haunt, please don’t ask her, “Are you married?” I might just respond with another Rapala Lip. To tell the truth, I’m not married because he’s the one who got away. Several times ...
NEW BOATS Cit
Power Play 33 2 x 200hp Mercury Optimax motors R359 000
Tom Cat 19ft CC 2 x 90hp Yamaha motors with trim and tilt R195 000
Cobra Cat 900 2 x 275hp Mercury motors R850 000
King Cat 16’6” 2 x 70hp Yamaha motors with trim R195 000
Unique 575 2 x 60hp Big Foot Mercury 4-stroke motors R249 000
Cobra Cat 525 2 x 90hp Evinrude Etec motors R229 000
Swift 575 2 x 90hp Yamaha motors R149 000
Swift 575 FC 2 x 90hp Honda 4-stroke motors R195 000
Cobra Cat 585 2 x 115hp Mercury motors R249 000
Sea Cat 525 2 x 70hp Yamaha 2-stroke motors, trim & tilt R259 000
King Cat 2 x 90hp Suzuki 4-stroke motors R379 000
Gamefish 595 2 x 90hp Yamaha motors R289 000
Butt Cat 760 2 x 140hp Suzuki 4-stroke motors R700 000
Sea Chaser 2600 2 x 250 Suzuki 4-stroke motors R495 000
Gamefish 595 CC 100hp Yamaha 4-stroke motors R385 000
Kosi Cat 16 2 x 60hp Bigfoot Mercury motors R159 000
GO ONTO OUR WEBSITE TO VIEW OVER 150 BOATS THAT WE HAVE FOR SALE.
Since 1985 Ski-Boat magazine has been providing deep sea anglers in South Africa and abroad with top quality content. Articles cover all asp...
Published on Mar 1, 2015
Since 1985 Ski-Boat magazine has been providing deep sea anglers in South Africa and abroad with top quality content. Articles cover all asp...