May/June 2016 Volume 32 Number 3 COVER: SHINING GLORY Shane Dennis with a beautiful dorado caught near the ships off Durban.
Dredging Different tactics to target billfish — by Erwin Bursik
Spin Me Round Catching broadbill on spinning gear — by Bobby du Plessis
Rigged! Part 1: Outrigger basics — by Paul Borcherds
Overcoming Your Nemesis Part 2: Choosing tyres — and pressure — by Malcolm Kinsey and Erwin Bursik
Boat Review Yamaha’s 190FSH jet boat — by Erwin Bursik
One for the Bucket List Catching yellowfin tuna on popping gear — by Brad Arthur
The Ocean Beckons Introducing the Open Ocean 750 & 800 Luxury Expedition Cats
Stalking Marlin 2016 Two Oceans Marlin Tournament — by Johan Smal
Online! Useful apps and websites for fishermen — by Craig Thomassen
Where to Fish in Africa Wildfly Travel takes you there
DEPARTMENTS 8 38 47 48 61 62
Editorial — by Erwin Bursik SADSAA News Subscribe and WIN! Kingfisher Award Rules & Winners Mercury Junior Anglers Marketplace
34 65 66 67 72 73 74
Reel Kids Property Sales Smalls & Ad Index Business Classifieds Charters & Destinations Directory Rapala Lip — Last Word from the Ladies
The official magazine of the South African Deep Sea Angling Association
Publisher: Erwin Bursik Editor: Sheena Carnie Advertising Executive: Mark Wilson Editorial Assistant: Vahini Pillay Advertising Consultant: Joan Wilson Accountant: Jane Harvey Executive Assistant: Kim Hook Boat Tests: Heinrich Kleyn Contributors: Brad Arthur, Paul Borcherds, Erwin Bursik, Bobby du Plessis, Malcolm Kinsey, Johan Smal and Craig Thomassen. ADVERTISING – NATIONAL SALES: Angler Publications Telephone: (031) 572-2280/89/97/98 Mark Wilson cell: 073 748 6107 Joan Wilson 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 Subscriptions to SKI-BOAT: R160 per annum (six issues). New subscriptions and renewals: SKI-BOAT Subscriptions Department, PO Box 20545, Durban North 4016. Telephone: (031) 572-2280/89/97/98 Fax: (031) 572-7891 • e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • 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 May/June 2016
HE very letters M — P — A should start the alarm bells ringing in the mind of every angler who fishes in the Indian and Atlantic oceans that wash the shores of South Africa. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), both legislated and voluntary, have played a significant role in the offshore and inshore fishing of South Africa over the last three decades. The formation of these protected areas is often supported by the very anglers they affect because they do, in many instances, allow an area’s fishery to recover its former glory. Every sport angler enjoys his access to fish, Erwin Bursik but he also knows how critical it is to ensure the Publisher future of the fishery and the sport, not only for his own pleasure but also so that his children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren will be able to enjoy the sport we love. Although in the past there has been a fair degree of resistance to the idea of resource management — particularly when recreational anglers felt they were being unfairly targeted — in many instances the regulations have been accepted and those playing the sport have largely toed the line. Why the need for alarm bells now? We anglers have never before been so restricted that we were precluded from fishing within the vast majority of our traditional fishing areas, but the time is fast approaching when that will be the case. The bombshell dropped on 3 February 2016 when the Government Gazette included numerous notices by the Minister of Environmental Affairs of plans to establish a number of new MPAs and calling for public comment on these proposals. The full text is available on <www.environment.gov.za>. The sites of the proposed new MPAs are dotted all around our coastline. They include one at Benguela Bank near Lamberts Bay on the west coast, an iSimangaliso MPA stretching from the South Africa-Moçambique border down to the Cape St Lucia lighthouse, the Agulhas Front MPA off the Eastern Cape, the Browns Bank Corals MPA south of Cape Agulhas, the Childs Bank MPA west of Hondeklipbaai, the Namaqua Fossil Forest MPA near Port Nolloth, the Protea Banks MPA off the KZN South Coast, the Uthukela Banks MPA off Zinkwazi, the Aliwal Shoal MPA off Umkomaas, the Amathole Offshore MPA off Kei Mouth and Port Alfred, the Addo Elephant MPA near Sundays River and the Robben Island MPA — among others. It became obvious from this list that these MPAs would cover the majority of the fishing areas on South Africa’s coastline, and South African anglers felt a dark cloud overshadow their fishing plans. If these MPAs come into being, the ability of recreational anglers — whether they play in the surf, off the beach, in estuaries or offshore — to participate in their sport will be severely curtailed. Needless to say, organised angling associations together with the entire support industry — tackle shops, boat builders, marine shops and fishing tourist destinations — are being called on to form a united front to object to most of the proposed MPAs. The entire angling fraternity and its very large base of influence are calling for a detailed revision of most, if not all of the proposed MPAs. Revision is the operative word here. We are not asking them to totally set aside the idea of these MPAs, but are instead asking that they reconfigure them in such a way that each and every recreational angler in South Africa retains his democratic right to have access to the ocean to catch fish. The earnest request by the doyens of the sport and its related industries is that anglers not just stand back and hope that this “black cloud” will simply drift away; they need to give their full support to those who are fighting for our sport’s very survival. SADSAA is already involved in talks around this issue (see page 38) and a number of public meetings have been held which highlighted the dramatic effect these MPAs would have on areas that rely on income from tourism. We need to exert pressure from every conceivable direction to ensure that government rethinks their strategy and negotiates with those who rely on the ocean for their sport in order to arrive at an acceptable solution to this extremely vexing problem. Till the next tide.
By Erwin Bursik
FIRST encountered the practical use of dredges during a trip to West Palm Beach in Florida during the 1990s, when I went across to take part in a sailfish competition. The dredge we used there featured a number of split-tail rigged mullet all about 20cm in length, three or four to a line, and each with a ball sinker chin-strapped to each mullet. The rigged mullet were pulled from a so-called umbrella rig made of sturdy wire struts (two or four) extending from a centre pivot with a big ball bearing swivel. Two or three lines of mullet were attached to each strut. It must have taken hours to prerig all those mullet, but when it was carefully deployed by experienced crew on board the charter boat I was fishing on, it looked phenomenal. At that time the dredge was dragged about three metres behind the boatâ€™s transom from One of the original dredges deployed off Florida USA made with rigged mullet.
10 â€˘ SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
the lowest cleat on the port rigger. The dredge attracted a number of inquisitive sailfish, but one in particular got so angry with the shoal of mullet that it slashed and boiled all over it and eventually got its bill tangled in amongst the mullet. The crew, desperate to save the dredge, whisked it out of the water, thereby disentangling the sailfishâ€™s bill, but most of the mullet were smashed to pieces and needed replacing. Did I think it worked? Absolutely, but as we were only carrying one pre-made dredge on the boat, that put an end to pulling a dredge that day. Did I ever try to make one? No, it looks like too much work and in our waters I was scared a Zambezi would destroy it long before a billfish would. Many such dredges became available on the market, most of them with strings of small squid or plastic skirts. However, most models had only one umbrella/spreader bar with about five strings of lures suspended from it. These were difficult to deploy from an outboard powered ski-boat, but once the dredge was set in position and pulled in moderate sea conditions, it
certainly looked brilliant as it skimmed across the water’s surface at five to six knots. Unfortunately, during rough conditions when the dredge becomes unbalanced and twists around itself or its leader line it is very difficult to manage. Two other times it became very difficult to use was, firstly, if it happened to get tangled up with one of the lure lines or if a crewman wound his kona into the dredge, and secondly, when you had the nightmare of getting the teaser onboard while winding in the other rods after a strike from a billfish. Up until 2015, each year at the OET Bill- and Gamefish Tournament we used the conventional inline teasers off Captain Kidd’s B’s Nest. They were deployed by means of an electric teaser reel on each side of the cabin area and a glass ring on the base section of the outriggers; I found they were easy to deploy and extremely quick to retrieve after getting a strike. At the 2015 OET Captain Kidd confronted his crew with the latest Big T umbrella-style dredge with six stays, each carrying three to six plastic skirts and a central line with a 10-inch hook-
less chugger lure. It looked formidable, but initially I thought it would be a disaster to use because ahead of the dredge was a big torpedo weight attached to the boat’s downrigger system. The day and a half we did manage to get to sea during the competition we used the dredge and it worked extremely well and was surprisingly easy to deploy and retrieve. With a Kidd-style verbal instruction manual, none of us messed up the deployment or retrieval of said dredge despite the horrendous seas we had to endure. I have since acquired the dredge from Brad Kidd so that I can experiment with it aboard Mr Ski-Boat. So far I have tried it twice while trolling out in the deep. The difficult part of this is that, even though I only deployed it four metres behind the boat, the downrigger kept it well below the water’s surface so I couldn’t see if it raised fish or not. When Brad Kidd was fishing with the renowned Guatemalan skipper Brad The Big T Dredge about to be deployed. Note the rigged half bait at the end of the longest lures. SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 11
Nicholas Kuhn displays the Big T dredge and the dredge weight. The dredge head is machined out of solid brass and allows the umbrella to be easily collapsed for storage.
Phillips in the Seychelles, they successfully used dredges specifically for marlin fishing. It’s worth noting that initially the dredges were decimated by wahoo and had to be revamped with wire cable. Captain Brad Phillips vows that using dredges is a must when trolling for billfish, saying that the new system of trolling dredges below the surface really works. He’s a man worth listening to in this regard, because he recently achieved worldwide fame for releasing the 30 000th billfish of his professional skippering career. That’s a brilliant achievement for a born and bred South African who started his fishing in this country and who has, over the years, contributed much to a number of tackle talks during his annual returns to South Africa. Getting back to fishing dredges from our ski-boats, one has to acknowledge that extreme care has to be exercised when deploying or retrieving these teasers. The skipper of the craft obviously has to be acutely aware of the dredge’s position when he makes any substantial alteration to the course being travelled and when handling the craft during a strike. When you’re retrieving the dredge it’s advisable to make a slight turn of a continued slow troll towards the side on which the dredge will be retrieved to avoid any chance of the outboard motors’ propellers being caught up in the dredge lines. I go as far as switching off my starboard motor when retrieving the dredge on my boat as my downrigger system is on the aft starboard side of Mr Ski-boat. The Big T dredge system I am trying is extremely well made with a lot of thought having gone into the overall design and the way it is put together. It is reasonably easy to “collapse” for storage which is vital as storing it in its fully rigged state is cumbersome. 12 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
Sea Cat 565 CC
Seacat 636 FC
18ft, on galvanised breakneck trailer, 2 x 90hp 21ft, on galv b/neck double axle trailer, 2 x E-tech motors with trim and tilt, VHF and 29meg F115hp Yamaha motors, T-top, clears, VHF radio, radio, fishfinder/GPS unit and safety included. Lowrance fishfinder/GPS, fighting chair, outriggers, hydraulic steering, Flotex carpets.
Cobra Cat 525
AR 190 Jet Boat
Explorer 190 SC
Ski Vee 500 Sport 16ft, on a galv b/neck trailer, 2 x 40hp
19ft, dual purpose boat on galvanised b/neck trailer, 2 x 60hp Yamaha motors equipped with a side standing console and supporting bum seat, trim and tilt, ski bar and plenty seating.
2-stroke Yamaha motors with trim and tilt, fishfinder, safety, stainless steel T-top, water separators and carpeted deck.
Sea Cat 16 FC
FIRST IN SOUTH AFRICA 19ft, 1 x Yamaha motor with trim and tilt and T-top.
R699 000 2012
Sea Cat 465 FC
Wave Runner 1800HO
Sea Cat 520 CC
17ft, on galv b/neck trailer, 2 x 125hp Optimax Mercury motors, 2 x bait boards, fishfinder/GPS, deck lights, nav lights, push plate, VHF & 29meg radio, bumper rails, binnacle mounts.
5.1m, on galv breakneck trailer, 2 x 60hp Yamaha 2-stroke motors (only 14 hours on) with trim and tilt, Lowrance fishfinder/GPS, livebait well, boat cover, push plate and safety.
4.6m, on a galv b/neck trailer, 2 x Yamaha 40 XWLT motors (only 8 hours on), trim and tilt, beaching kits, stainless steel T-top, full safety, deck lights, roof light and fishfinder/GPS.
3.32m, on galv b/neck trailer, 1 x Yamaha motor, 1800 high output Wave Runner (under 30 hours on), plumbed luna tubes, rod boxes fixed to trailer, fishfinder/GPS, colour coded tubbies.
17ft, on galv b/neck trailer, 2 x F60hp Yamaha 4-stroke motor with beaching kits, stainless steel T-top, factory leaner seats, livebait well and stainless steel roll bars, Garmin fishfinder.
16 â€¢ SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
An unusual catch — broadbill on spinning gear.
by Bobby du Plessis
AVING caught many broadbill over the years off Kenya — both in daylight and at night — it has become one of those fish that fascinates, almost to the point of being an obsession. The strength, shape, biological characteristics, extreme depth at which they live and hunt — and the fact that it’s the finest of all table fish in my opinion — make broadbill my personal fish of choice. A while back I set myself a specific broadbill-based goal and my brother Calvin and I started to develop a plan to make history on the South and East African coastline. The plan I had in mind was to catch
a broadbill swordfish on a spinning rod and reel and to be the first to achieve this on the African coastline. As far as we know this has been done by a couple of people in the United States, but never before in Africa. The gear we chose for this crazy feat was a Power Jig rod, a Shimano Saragosa 20 000 spinning reel loaded with 70 lb PowerPro braid and 80 lb Suffix mono leader joined with a trusty Albright knot. The idea was to troll Pulsator softies with squid strips attached — one on the downrigger and one on each outrigger. The North Kenya Bank was our area of choice as we’d come across many
broadbill out there on the last few trips. The bank starts around 40-odd miles northeast of Malindi and our broadbill spots were another 18 miles out to sea. The North Kenya Bank covers a huge area and is generally flat on top at a depth of 360 feet and then drops off steeply to beyond 3 000, creating the perfect habitat for broadbill to thrive, along with an abundant supply of bait. We left the muddy waters of Malindi Bay at a leisurely 9am on Monday 13 January, running out for the first two hours. We started swimming our lures around five miles short of the start of the bank and wasn’t long before we had two nice dorado in the ice box, folSKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 17
lowed by a wahoo. As we worked our way over the top of the bank we raised a small blue marlin that pulled about 20 metres off the reel before jumping off. Conditions were looking good, with a light northerly blowing and a moderate south-to-north current. Half an hour before dark we rigged up the lures with double stiff rigs and squid strips on a 50 lb Shimano Tiagra stand-up set-up, one on each outrigger. The spinning rod was going on the downrigger with a blue-and-pink Pulsator softie, and this was the first line that was let out. The sky turned a light shade of red and soon we were all alone in the darkness with just the glow of the moon and our cylume lights on the water surface to guide us. Sitting by the downrigger with spinning rod in hand, I was sure it would not take long for the first strike... The clock ticked by ... 7 o’clock came then 10 then 12, with me frequently winding up and checking the downrigger lure and nothing to show for all the hours we had put in. Naturally the morale was low and Calvin gave me the wheel while he curled up on the seat for some shuteye. I was positive we could not fail and that it was just a matter of time before things started to happen. I could not stand the thought of having to go back and tell the boys that we had failed
after the good run that we’d been having out on the bank with various size broadbill on conventional gear over the previous few months. I was the only one awake with the dim glow of the plotter shining on my face while I worked our waypoints and tried to imagine what was happening in the black depths down below. At exactly 2am the Saragosa screamed to life and I shouted for Calvin to take the wheel. Thinking back, it all happened in a split second; bright deck lights blinded my vision, I grabbed the rod, Calvin dived onto the wheel and Daniel brought up the downrigger and two remaining lines. I looked down to see half a spool of line remaining and the fish increasing in speed as it swam away. I knew that I was in trouble and that this had probably been a bad idea. The look that Calvin gave me just confirmed it! With the rod bending to almost breaking point and the reel warm to the touch, the fish finally stopped and allowed me to get 20 or so turns on the reel. Soon afterwards it shot to the surface and jumped in the darkness; the sound it made when it hit the water was like the crack of a whip. I wound like hell and started getting my line back with the help of Calvin at the wheel. After 15 minutes the fish was directly below us and we began to see the
The 85kg yellowfin Calvin du Plessis caught on a previous trip made him cautious about fishing with light tackle.
glow of the light stick. It gave a few more short, powerful runs before Daniel grabbed the trace and slowly pulled the fish up. As it came up it whacked the side of the boat with its broad bill. We’d done it! We all cheered and gave each other high fives. We had achieved what we’d set out to do — and on the first attempt at that. It was by no means a big broadbill which was probably lucky for us, but I was buzzing knowing that I was the first person on the entire African coast to have caught a broadbill on spinning gear. It was even better that I’d had my brother with me and that we’d caught it off our own boat. We cleaned up the deck and set out the lines again, and I asked Calvin if he wanted to put the spinning rod back out for his shot. He just smiled and said “We’re finished playing games, let’s fish properly now.” I knew exactly what he SOOLYMAN SPORTFISHING OOLYMAN Sportfishing is a successful charter company operating off Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates and off Malindi, Kenya. The company was started ten years ago by Bobby, the eldest of the three Du Plessis brothers who grew up fishing in Durban. Calvin, the youngest of the brothers currently runs the Kenyan operation. He was the first skipper for Soolyman Sportfishing and started running charters off Dubai at the age of 19. The middle brother, Darren, is also involved in the Dubai operation. Soolyman Sportfishing currently runs a fleet of four charter fishing boats — three in Dubai and one off Kenya — and is proud of the fact that all their skippers are South Africans hailing from Durban. Having spent many years fishing the fish-rich waters off Kenya which are situated a mere five hours’ flight from Dubai, the brothers always wanted to expand their operation to those waters. They believed the Kenyan waters would offer their Dubai clients a wider choice in terms of billfish and, in particular, access to broadbill swordfish. Fur further information visit <www.soolymansportfishing.com>.
SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 19
meant — on his previous trip Calvin landed an 85kg yellowfin tuna on the downrigger in the early morning, and he didn’t want to lose all his braid and get smashed up by a similar fish on the light spinning outfit. We put the spinning rod away and instead put another 50 Tiagra back on the downrigger. Thirty minutes later the rod bounced and the reel sang that sweet song that only a Tiagra can sing. Unfortunately the fish fell off once we had cleared the remaining lines. The
20 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
moon started to set soon afterwards and we knew the bite was coming to an end. The sky turned grey; it was the start of a new day ... We trolled back to our ruby snapper spot and had a good catch with nice big snapper on every drop; we even caught them while jigging. By midday we’d had enough and put the lures back out and started trolling back to Malindi. An hour later we hooked a small blue marlin on the same Pulsator blue-
and-pink softie. After a short fight we tagged and released it. Another trip, another day and another memory that I will keep with me forever. Special thanks to Calvin and Daniel for making this achievement possible. We are extremely privileged to have chosen a career that allows us to spend so much time out on the ocean and to live the life that we do, experiencing what few people get to see and others only dream about.
22 â€¢ SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
BACK TO BASICS
Part 1: Outrigger Basics By Paul Borcherds
HIS series of articles will focus on ever ything you need to know about outriggers, but before we get into too much detail we need to clarify the basics for first-time users and those anglers who are contemplating a set-up on their own boats. Riggers can generate a complex debate and many people have different opinions on them which just serves to create confusion for new users. Almost every outrigger user will have an opinion on the following aspects: • The best types of outriggers and centre riggers; • The best types of outrigger mounting bases and mounting angles; • The best methods for rigging outriggers and centre riggers; • Whether to use tag lines or release clips. I believe the first-time user should gain theoretical knowledge and practi-
cal experience and then make a decision based on budget versus practicality, the type of species being targeted and, most importantly, what will work on their size ski-boat or sportfishing vessel. In all my years of selling and setting up outriggers and centre riggers I’ve only found one common denominator — no two boats or owners are the same. The person who’s helping you set up your rig needs to take on each job by listening to the owner and other users should only give advice if they can foresee impracticalities based on the ongoing debates mentioned above. In Part 1 of this series we will only discuss the very basics and then we’ll go into more detail on each of the subjects listed above. Interestingly, outriggers are not essential for trolling and do not suit every fishing application. One of the best ways to use outriggers is to know when not to use them. It is actually far less troublesome and less time consuming to troll lures and baits directly from
the gunnels or transom, especially when you’re working around a pinnacle or suspended bait ball. However it is not always possible to get such defined scenarios out on the wide ocean so we have to go looking for the fish and that is where outriggers and centre riggers form part of the arsenal of accessories fitted onto seagoing craft. ADVANTAGES OF OUTRIGGERS The basic outrigger set-up can be as simple as a long pole — even something as basic as a surf rod blank — which is mounted to the boat by an adjustable bracket. Of course there’s a wide variety to choose from right up to the top class aluminium poles with stack towers and tension cables and specialised fold–out brackets, but the basics remain the same for all of them. Outriggers are used to give a wider trolling spread when you’re trolling lures looking for big fish. They also increase the number of lines that can be trolled from the boat whilst covering SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 23
action near to the surface. The higher position also means that lures can be trolled with the leader and swivel out of the water creating less distraction for the targeted species. Lures with a tendency to spin and twist lines will do so less frequently when trolled from an outrigger. Fishing with outriggers also provides automatic drop back when you use outrigger release clips, and this is essential when you’re fishing for sailfish or other gamefish. When the fish strikes the lure, the line is pulled loose from the release clip creating some slack and causing the lure to stop in the water, simulating an injured fish. This allows time for an unhooked fish to pick up and swallow the lure or bait. Outriggers also create space between the lines when you’re turning the boat in a tight arc, thus reducing the risk of tangles between lures, baits and teasers in the spread.
Basic outrigger set-up.
water over canyons, underwater mountains, current lines or along reef edges. Depending on the size of the boat and competency of the crew, it is possible to run two lines from each outrigger, four or more from the gunnels or transom trolling board as well as an additional deep line (Shot Gun or Japan) that may be trolled from a centre rigger. Outriggers also help to keep lures (or natural baits) out of the boat’s wake
and in the clean water, thus increasing the spread of your lures and enabling you to cover a much larger area. Lures trolled in the outer wake have a more life-like action and are more visible than lures in the turbulent propwash. When you’re using an outrigger the line trolling your lure starts from high up on the pole so the lure can be run much further behind the boat while still maintaining its position and life-like
An early morning pre-launch scene with boats sporting a wide variety of outriggers.
THE BASIC SET-UP Each outrigger pole will have a continuous lanyard or halyard line attached to it. The lanyard runs through pulleys or eyelets at the top, middle and bottom of the outrigger pole, much like on a flag pole. Attached to the lanyard you’ll have a line release clip — typically this is of a pin, roller or peg type. The lanyard is pulled in (down) to bring the release clip down to the rod tip, then the main fishing line is attached to the release clip, and the lanyard is then run back up the pole. Once the release clip nears the desired height on the pole, it improves the trolling width and height. The line is now towed from the clip until a fish eats or strikes the lure or bait. At that moment the clip releases the line and the angler is then free to hook and fight the fish. When you’re fishing with soft lures and dead- or livebaits it is essential that there is a small amount of slack line between the rod tip and the outrigger release. This “cushion” is called “drop back” and the theory is that it’s there to allow the fish to take the bait, knock the line out of the clip and then turn to face away from the boat before the line comes tight onto the rod. The ideal scenario, particularly when using a circle hook, is that the hook is then pulled back into the corner of the fish’s jaw while the fish is swimming away from the boat, increasing the chance of a solid hook-up. In Part 2 of this series we will discuss the various types of outrigger and centre rigger poles as well as mounting bases best suited for different ski-boats and sportfishers. For more information and enquiries contact Paul Borcherds on <prorig email@example.com> or visit <www.prorigfishing.co.za>.
24 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 â€¢ 25
BACK TO BASICS
Part 2: Choosing the right tyres and tyre pressure By Malcolm Kinsey in association with Erwin Bursik LL beach launching ski-boaters have a common nemesis — tyres and tyre pressure. Speak to any off-road enthusiast and they will tell you that driving on desert sand is very different to working a boat on the beach. Under magnification desert sand is comprised of smooth, rounded particles whereas beach sand particles are a mixture of jagged bits of rock and shells. Different tyres are recommended for each situation and tyre pressure also needs to be adjusted to fit the occasion. Those of us that work our craft over beach sand know that beach sand differs significantly from one beach to the next as well as from high tide to low tide and the infernal “lip” that results has to be negotiated using different driving techniques and, above all, appropriate tyre pressures. Incorrect tyre pressures are the major cause of vehicles getting bogged down in beach sand, especially when towing a fully loaded ski-boat. When you’re standing around a tow vehicle that has dug itself into the sand right up to its axles you hear so many conflicting recommendations on what the deflated pressure should be — each voice more adamant than the last. One point two ... one bar ... point eight ...point five ... the numbers fly around, completely confusing the poor guy who’s grovelling in soft beach sand trying to deflate his tyres. If they’re too hard the tyres dig in very quickly, but if they’re too soft you can pull the tyres off the rims. We recommend the following: • Use 0.8 bar as a soft average. Make sure the boat trailer’s tyres are deflated to the same pressure. • In extremely soft conditions or if you get caught with water washing up on the beach, you have little option than to deflate the tyres to 0.5 bar to work your way out. Just be ver y careful and keep your front wheels as straight as possible; keep a slow and steady pace until you’re out of the danger zone.
TYRES The variety of tyres on the market once again leaves the ski-boater with a massive quandary as to what one should look for when deciding which tyres to fit to the 4x4 vehicle and boat trailer . SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 27
c = contact patch
Area of reduced contact THE IMPORTANCE OF CORRECT INFLATION It’s almost impossible to judge the pressure of a tyre simply by looking and many garage airline tyre guages are inaccurate. Under-inflated tyres may give a smooth ride, but the additional flexing of the tyre causes rapid heat build-up, particularly on rough roads. This may cause a blowout as the tyre breaks up. It may also affect braking as there is an area of reduced contact in the centre of the tyre’s contact patch with the road. Over inflation reduces the patch and makes for a bumpy ride. Pressures must be checked when the tyres are cold. Tyres come in various diameters and widths and have different load-bearing capabilities. It’s important to understand what all the markings on the side of your tyres mean to avoid being fooled by dealers who may try to off-load tyres that are not suitable for your intended application. Bear in mind both the legal and insurance implications pertaining to your vehicle and boat trailer if your tyres are below specification in respect of speed and load. Let’s have a look at a typical tyre and what the markings mean. For example: 265/65 R17 112T M+S Radial Tubeless • 265 — The width of the tyre in millimetres measured from sidewall to sidewall. • 65 — The ratio of the tyre’s cross section compared to its width expressed as a percentage i.e 65% of its width.
TYRE LOAD RATING TABLE Load Index Load in kg 110 1060 111 1090 112 1120 113 1150 114 1180 115 1215 116 1250 117 1285 118 1320 119 1360 120 1400 121 1450 122 1500 123 1550 124 1600 125 1650 126 1700
16” 205/80 215/65 235/70 235/85 235/85 245/70 245/75
R R R R R R R
16 16 16 16 16 16 16
104T 98T 106S 120/116S 114/111S 111S 120/116S
XL SL SL
17” 235/65 265/65
F F F F F F G
E E E C C E C
72dB/2 72dB/3 71dB/2 75dB/3 75dB/3 72dB/2 74dB/3
73dB/3 75dB/3 SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 29
Notice how the vehicle’s front and back tyres travel in the same “footprint” when you turn very slightly, but how that’s not true if you turn too sharply. Photos courtesy of Harald Pietschmann <www.4x4abc.com>. • R — Radial • 17 — 17-inch rim size; the wheel’s diameter. • 112T — T is the speed index up to 190km/h; 112 is the load index giving 1120kg per tyre. • M+S — Mud and snow ability • Radial tubeless — exactly that, the majority of tyres these days are radial and have no inner tubes. SAND DRIVING TECHNIQUES So now that you’ve got the right 4x4 vehicle to tow your specific boat and you have the “right” tyres rated for the soft sand towing, why is it that you still get stuck on occasions? That’s the big question, and unfortunately there is no simple answer! There are many imponderables attached to the vexed undertaking of towing a heavy boat over a soft, sandy beach. One also needs to remember that you’re not only likely to get stuck on the beach. For example there’s the notorious “sand hill” ever y rig entering the Guinjata/Paindani Resorts has to climb. Drivers heading to those resorts have to deal with soft sand which has been churned by countless tyres spinning their hearts out; deep ruts that cause the entire rig to bounce; deep follow-myleader tread paths with high “middlemannetjies” of soft sand that has to be flattened by the rigs passing; uneven side banks where drivers have tried to get purchase on the supposedly harder surface and, finally, the never-ending climb. In the end it’s the driver’s experience and the split second decisions he takes that determine whether he’ll successfully summit the hill or shout for help. It all boils down to techniques and experience. With the vehicle, tyres and tyre pressure covered, there are a few simple
techniques to be learned to ensure that you can get out of a jam if you get into one. If you make a mistake — and we all do — you need to know how to extricate yourself and the rig from the hole, especially if there is no help to call on to tow you out of trouble. The main technique with sand driving is the slow and steady use of the tow vehicle’s power. Once the wheels start spinning under traction the game is over. With manual transmission 4x4 vehicles it’s advisable to use low range to provide constant torque and to ensure the tyre’s large footprint (due to correct deflation) on the sand is not lost. Very steady movement and even use of the throttle is essential to avoid the tyres spinning and digging in. With automatic transmission vehicles the vehicle’s forward momentum can “shift gears” without any loss of momentum and the torque converter always provides the extra needed torque. However, heat generated in the torque converter over long, sustained, difficult pulls can lead to overheating. Fortunately, with the ski-boater’s normal short application need this is unlikely to happen. Again it’s essential to use low range 4x4 on the auto transmission. When studying the sand build-up in front of the pulling/traction wheels and the trailer wheels, one will appreciate the need for the tow vehicle to follow as straight a line as possible. What happens is that the leading wheels push the created mound, but it hardens and flattens the tread path as it moves forward. This results in the rear wheels having to ride and grip this hardened track which has no mound pushing up ahead of it. It was often for this very reason that the ski-boaters of yore — who admittedly had much smaller boats to pull —
used to insist that their trailer wheels tracked those of their tow vehicle. Today’s generally larger craft make trailer tracking virtually impossible, but as double-axle trailers are generally used nowadays, the deflated tyre foot print on soft sand is doubled. Remember to make gradual manoeuvres on and off the beach sand. The sand drag resulting from a sharp turn, especially when reversing, creates a large amount of sand build up, impeding the momentum of the rig and tow vehicle. The photographs above of what happens to a 4x4 vehicle on sand shows very clearly the need to undertake ones’ manoeuvring on soft sand in as straight a line as is physically possible. In the early days it was virtually unheard of to reverse one’s boat and trailer down the lip into the shorebreaks. Long sausage rollers for the monohulls and big round balls for the cats were used to manoeuvre the boats over the sand to get them both in and out of the water. However, these days manoeuvring one’s rig over or up the lip on the beach is perhaps our biggest obstacle. It is during these manoeuvres that one’s 4x4 vehicle is tested to its limits. Whether the lip is on the water’s edge or far up the beach, it still poses a formidable barrier. Even if your tow vehicle is on a reasonably hard surface and you’re able to gain momentum, do not think that speed alone will get you up over a moderate-sized lip. The best way is to drive parallel to the lip until you spot an area where it reduces or becomes more gradual, and then climb over it at an angle and ease your way over. If it looks as if you are not going to make it, swing the vehicle directly towards the downhill side where the momentum and the slope will assist you in retaining forward momentum, then SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 31
Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and you end up in a hole. Often the situation is such that you can’t get a hydraulic jack under the spring assembly, and that’s when a high lift jack with a big base plate — such as the one used in the photos alongside — comes in very handy indeed.
32 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
try again. These are two major factors that need to be ingrained in your thinking when driving in soft sand. The first is that you must use the correct tyre pressure. Bear in mind that the softer your tyres are, the slower and straighter you need to drive. Remember to reinflate your tyres as soon as is practical, especially if you follow your beach work with towing on tar roads. Tyre heat and flexing will cause tyre damage. The lower the tyre pressure the lower one’s speed needs to be when you’re back on the tar road. If you’re using one bar of pressure all round do not travel over 50km/h; if you’re using point 8 of a bar or lower, be extremely careful until you’re able to reinflate your tyres. Also try to avoid driving over driftwood or rocks if you do not want to have to replace your tyres. The second factor to take into account is directly related to speed. If you think you can take the beach on at high speed to get through and over a very soft patch, you are wrong. When the rig starts “floating” on the soft sand you lose your ability to steer and the vehicle will tend to follow ruts or sand mounds. Regardless of how hard you try to control the steering you will get yourself sidetracked and in trouble. Slow and steady wins the race.
34 â€¢ SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
by Erwin Bursik
WAS a bit wary as I stepped into virtually unknown territory, climbing aboard a very chic and beautifully presented jet boat at Inanda Dam near Durban. The 19ft 190FSH jet boat was imported by Yamaha to introduce this type of craft to the South African market. It will certainly turn heads at the inland watersports venues but is also styled to allow fishing enthusiasts to use the craft for fishing offshore, in estuaries, big rivers and on dams. My priority was to check out her capabilities with regard to offshore fishing and estuary-style boating, and I took to the water after a short briefing by Yamaha SA’s Marine General Manager, Greg Bennett. Jet-powered craft and their high speed capabilities were brought to our attention 30-40 years ago with pictures, movies and, latterly,TV footage showing craft careering over turbulent, fast flowing rivers in New Zealand. After their introduction a few jet motors were installed on ski-boats, but they did not perform ver y satisfactorily, purely because at low speed there was virtually no steerage. Then came the big T-craft with huge twin jet motors and adjustable “buckets” that enabled a skipper to direct the tremendous f low of the water jet. Using the ability to direct this f low from straight out the stern and redirect it towards the bow of the craft to “back up”, a skipper can then use both motors to reverse his craft and can manouvre it almost as well as if he had shaft-driven propellers on a sportfisher. Today, with the huge number of fishing skis and smaller craft driven by jetski power (see the review on the Indigo 430 in the September 2012
issue of SKI-BOAT magazine) the expertise gained in the use of jet power for offshore fishing has made this style of craft extremely popular. The experience I’ve gained using these small jetskis enabled me to understand the difference I was about to experience with the 190FSH series Yamaha jet boat. Greg Bennett explained that these American-designed and built craft had, to a large extent, overcome the slow speed steerage problem by modifying the external jet “nozzle” through the installation of a small rudder or steerage vain (see pic) or, as they call it, an articulating keel. There are three models of this craft — the 190FSH, the 190FSH Deluxe and the 190FSH Sport — all of which are powered by the same Yamaha high performance 1.8-litre high output marine jet engine. With a moderate north-easterly wind blowing, I initially spent a lot of time using a fair amount of throttle. What fun! From fast troll speed to full bore I ripped up the water of Inanda Dam using the revs in the 2 500 to just over 7 000rpm range and reaching speeds of 25mph or about 40km/h. This craft does not have the flat bottomed hull design of the New Zealand play boats, but rather a specially designed deep V that gives her great directional stability at high speed. During moderate speed manoeuvres she is able to turn quite tightly without the cowboy-style slide one tends to
expect from a jet boat. I spent a moderate amount of time testing her fishability by trolling a line out the stern while manoeuvring at slow troll to and around some white buoys demarcating the no wake zone. To achieve this I set the throttle marginally above idle, and even with the wind blowing at about eight knots I was able to put the craft’s steering ability to a serious test. Taking into account the size of the craft, the extent of the wind and using static marker buoys, I was able to get a surprisingly tight trolling pattern. Once I reached higher troll speeds from about three knots upwards, together with a short burst of power into the turn, I couldn’t have asked for better. The only other aspect of the 190FSH Yamaha jet boat I needed to test was the possibility of taking on the surf at places like Port Alfred, Krom River at St Francis Bay or any other launch site that isn’t a straight beach launch. To do this she needed a fast take off, ability to turn tightly and run away from a wave, make a hard turn to face the surf and have enough power to take a break to get to sea. Whilst her take off speed is not electric, she doesn’t need to dig herself out of a hole like most outboard-powered craft need to do. I was happy with the way she executed very tight turns both to port and starboard and picked up the speed required to find the break. I had her at full lock with almost full power to test how her jet reacted to churned, broken water and to ascertain if she sucked air or foam, as that would affect her acceleration. During the test I did not feel any
SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 35
hesitation whatsoever. Once out of the water I studied her intake position and could understand why she didn’t seem to suck air or foam. The intake is far aft on the hull and in an area that should always be in clean water. How she would react in foam generated by a breaking wave still needs to be evaluated, but considering the way jetskis perform under these conditions I would think she’ll be fine. Flat water on a dam is dead water, even if there is a fair wind blowing, whereas in saltwater with the same 36 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
wind but an accompanying swell, the water is alive and allows any hull to perform that much better. I would have loved to take the 190FSH Yamaha jet boat offshore in a 15 knot wind as I am positive she will be much more fun to skipper in those conditions. To get back to what I said at the beginning of this article, this craft will appeal to the perfectionist who has a strong affinity for fishing but has a stronger desire to have a lot of family boating fun, skiing and wakeboarding or cruising down the Vaal River for
example. The other major advantage with a jet-powered boat is the peace of mind it offers when you have lots of people playing around the boat. At least you know there is zero possibility of a proprelated accident occurring. I used the word “perfectionist” on purpose, because this craft not only rides beautifully, but also has striking good looks and is immaculately moulded and finished. Everything is perfect, from the well-hidden, quality lay-up finishes and practical stowage areas, to the helm station, upholstered seating and the incredible hardware that’s fitted throughout the craft. I could spend a great deal of time raving about simple things like the anchor support system in the forward anchor hold, the simple yet very clever fishing rod racks and their tie-down elastic straps, but the only way to really appreciate this craft, other than on the water, is to view the 190FSH Yamaha jet boat at your nearest Yamaha dealer. Bear in mind that I’m reviewing the craft purely from a fishing perspective; I’m not overly concerned with her ability to facilitate waterskiing or wakeboarding because I have no idea about the demands of that fraternity. The deck layout from the forward casting area with its swivel casting seat, to the aft area with rod holders, trolling area and open fishing deck is well designed and practical for light tackle angling. A livebait hatch (18 gallons) with circulating pump as well as a raw water “jet wash” washdown facility is also provided — practical and very efficient for today’s anglers. I enjoyed using the helm station and found it was very comfortable to skipper when standing, sitting and relaxing while trolling. The boat’s small but efficient windscreen is easily removed for low profile storage, and is very substantial in design and manufacturing. A full array of instrumentation can be fitted, but the model I reviewed only had a rev counter and a speedometer. Whilst there is a model that has a full custom-designed T-top, the boat I tested had a fold-down canopy that can be stowed with a full zip-up covering whilst not in use. We raised the canopy within minutes and it has poles and clips to hold it in position. The canopy is easy to use, strong when erected and does not require the guy ropes and clears we are used to. The canopy is also very tough, so I was able to run at high speeds without worrying that it might fly off. What’s more, it did not have much effect on the ride of the craft. This craft is designed for a very discerning owner as she does not come cheap, but she has everything necessary for a light tackle enthusiast who has a watersport-loving family.
SADSAA NEWS & VIEWS
Geoffrey Wanvig, SADSAA President
N the March/April 2016 issue of SKI-BOAT I began my report by saying that SADSAA seemed to be sailing much calmer “political” seas this year. The proof of that statement was that a SADSAA Council meeting was held on 4 March in Johannesburg and it turned out to be an extremely productive and convivial meeting. It’s truly amazing how much can be achieved when those sitting around the Council “table” strive towards fostering a common goal i.e. furthering the interests of South African deep sea anglers. The harmony and conviviality was palpable and I believe, for the first time in years, we were able to focus fully on the job for which we were all appointed — growing the sport of offshore angling in South Africa.
SAMSA SAFETY Although we’re limited by the vexing parameters of matters which are “sub judice”, those at the Council meeting were advised of the strides that have been made by those employed by SADSAA to lodge skippers’ ticket applications and control the large number of queries emanating both from our members and the general public with regard to boating safety legislated regulations that have emanated from the turbulence of the last quarter of 2015. The inadequate distribution of qualified Safety Officers was discussed with SAMSA and the “needs analysis” they require for the appointment of additional Safety Officers is to due for action via the provincial associations. MARINE PROTECTED AREAS Following the publishing of a draft notice by the Minister of Environmental Affairs in respect of a number of new Marine Protected Areas that she wants to create all around the South African 38 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
coast, SADSAA’s Vice-President, Phillip Marx, and the Association’s Environmental Officer, Mark Beyl, spearheaded discussions on this complicated and possibly detrimental issue and the impact it will have on all forms of angling in South Africa, especially offshore angling. An urgent meeting of the Association’s Provincial Environmental officers, together with a number of senior executives, marine scientists and legal experts was arranged for 9 April 2016 in Durban. The reason for this meeting was to get a comprehensive understanding of the proposed MPAs and to strategise the way forward to counter such a move. At the very least we need to redirect government’s thinking to ensure that all sea anglers of South Africa have their say, and so that whatever legislation is promulgated will not unduly impinge on recreational anglers’ access to the sea and the resources they require to partake in their sport. The importance of this matter was noted; for the sport of recreational sea angling it is by far the most detrimental proposal for control of the seas off South Africa ever to rear its head. All the recreational anglers of South Africa — not only the deep sea fraternity — need to be very aware of this looming disaster and support all meetings and protest groups around the country to ensure that the voices of those involved in angling, marine-related companies, tourist facilities and the vast economic base that fishing supports are heard by Government. Your support is vital to our survival!
RECORDS Dave Oostingh informed the council that during the preceding four months
six records have been applied for and accepted. • Mariette Hendiksz’s 100kg yellowfin tuna taken on 24kg line was awarded South Africa and All Africa Women’s records. • Jonathan Booysen was granted a South African record and an All Africa record for striped bonito — a 2.8kg fish on 2kg line class. Another 2.4kg striped bonito which he caught on 3kg line was inadmissible in the South Africa record listings, but was awarded an All Africa record. • Dale Leenstra was awarded the men’s South Africa record for a 15kg dorado in the 8kg line class category. Full and ver y detailed updated record listings for both SADSAA National Records and All Africa Deep Sea Angling records are available from Dave. Feel free to email him on <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
FIPS-M Dick Pratt, the SADSAA International and Local Tournaments Officer, advised the meeting that the Federation International Peche Sportive — Mer (FIPS-M) fishing organisation based in Europe, of which SADSAA is a member, is seriously considering a recommendation made by South Africa to create an additional fishing discipline within their complex rules to accommodate bottomfish boat anglers. This application has been structured to afford anglers within SADSAA who compete in the bottomfishing category in one of the Association’s five angling disciplines in national and international competitions an opportunity to strive for the highest honour in their facet of our sport — Protea Colours.
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by Brad Arthur
HE fishery along the continental shelf off Cape Town has long been known as one of the best and most consistent places in the world to target big yellowfin tuna over 70kg. However, the Cape seas and weather make it very difficult to access these waters, which is probably why they are still so productive. When I had an opportunity recently to go and chase the big tuna I went with a different mind-set than I’ve had before — this time I wanted to target them on popping gear. Over the last couple of seasons a number of the local anglers have been popping for the tuna and I have been absolutely frothing to give it a go. Without much notice my good friend, Justin Kemp, invited me on a popping trip on his boat, Big Catch, out of Hout Bay and there was no way I was going to miss out. It was a case of: “I’m going popping for tuna tomorrow with Chris and Dave. Are you keen?” Nobody has ever booked a flight from Durban to Cape Town faster than I did then… The day dawned with cool temperatures and fog for miles. After driving two hours south towards the Canyon the fog finally cleared and we could actually see what was going on. On the previous days shoals of surface-feeding tuna had been seen closer in to shore, but because of the fog we had no chance of seeing anything like that. The general methods of finding fish there are either to locate hake trawlers and chum behind them for the tuna that follow, or to troll lures until you get a hook-up and then chum to keep the shoal with you. We were lucky when another boat radioed to tell us they had found some fish. We stopped about 300m away and began chumming. Our friends hooked up once… twice… three times and still nothing showed on our sounder and no fish appeared in our chum line. The initial plan was to get fish into the chum line and feeding on the surface and then to throw poppers to hook them. We also had one rod with a bait in the chum just in case they were
Awesome fish on a popper. Under two minutes to the boat — just my lucky day! SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 41
feeding deeper down. Although nothing was showing up, we decided to throw poppers anyway and try to call something in. Within the first few throws my big Hammerhead popper was savagely engulfed by a yellowfin. Uncharacteristically, the fish just thrashed on the surface and didn’t run far or dive down at all and within two minutes it was lying beaten next to the boat. Now I know that the Stella I was using is strong, but honestly to get an 80kg tuna on popping gear to the boat in under two minutes is a complete f luke! Regardless of how it had happened, I was over the moon to have landed my first trophy tuna on my popping outfit. That fish certainly wasn’t alone, and it wasn’t long before Chris and Justin were hooked up too Unfortunately for them, their fish were not as obliging as mine and were fighting in true tuna fashion — blistering fast runs and then
diving deep down. It took plenty of sweat and tears to get them back up to the top. Tackling these fish on popping gear, with only a bucket and no harness to help you makes one appreciate the true power and stamina of a large yellowfin tuna. It’s no wonder many anglers around the world name them as the strongest fish in the ocean. What I found very interesting is that while this was all happening we still had a bait in the water and it remained untouched. It was only after four fish had come up onto the popper that we had the first hook-up on the bait and the conventional gear. This just goes to show that sometimes those big tuna will initially hold 50m away from the boat even though there is plenty of bait in the water under the boat for them to feed on. Once the shoal came into the chum we were treated to something special
— for people who don’t regularly fish the Cape tuna fishery that is — tuna ranging from 60- to 90kg came gliding under the boat eating small pieces of sardine almost out of our hands! This lasted for five hours. The initial strikes we had on the poppers were very aggressive, but once the fish started eating the chum their behaviour changed. At first it was a case of the bigger and louder the popper, the faster the bite, but once they were in the chum line they seemed to prefer eating stickbaits or smaller cupfaced poppers with a more subtle presentation, and tended to just roll on the surface as they inhaled the lures. We were being entertained by huge boils on the surface followed by screaming reels and plenty of banter between the anglers. It didn’t take long to realise that the bite was by far the best part — what followed was just painful. Sore forearms and back are the
TACKLE BOX OR interest’s sake and from a technical aspect, the tackle we used was as follows:
Reels: Shimano Stella 18 000 or 20 000 with 100 lb Powerpro Hollowace or Powerpro Original braid and 220 lb monofilament leader. In hindsight I should have used a 20 000 as the slower retrieve gives you some extra torque when lifting the tuna from the depths, and during a long fight you’ll be very grateful for any help you can get. Hollow braids are a popular choice for popping as they float, meaning faster and more direct hooksets. You can also splice your leader inside the braid to make it a wind-on leader. If you only fished for tuna and didn’t go to places with GTs you could easily fish 80 lb here. In fact, a little extra capacity would be welcome as I have no doubt there are fish in those waters that can run 300m of braid off even the tightest drag. Rods: Saltywater Racepoint 200 and Shimano Lesath 300. Racepoints are designed for the bluefin tuna fishery in the USA; their more forgiving parabolic bend and massive pulling power are perfect for tuna fishing. The Lesath is a GT rod and although it is very strong and works, I wouldn’t suggest using a GT rod for this application as it puts too much pressure on the angler. Lures: Hammerhead G-Cup poppers, Darkstar Ulua 120 and Angel Roso stickbaits. Hooks and terminals: VMC 7560 Tropic trebles with Decoy #11 splitrings. •
The bigger the splash, the faster the bite.
SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 43
Justin Kemp with a solid tuna caught on the stickbait. standard, but if you really want to get hurt then foul hook one! I had one fish hooked on the top of the head and because I was unable to turn its head during the fight I almost had to pull him backwards to the boat. Forty minutes of being pinned in the corner of the boat trying to pull a 60kg+ fish backwards was a painful leveller after
44• SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
my two minute battle earlier in the morning. By lunchtime there were some very tired guys on that boat, but smiles allround because we all managed to get a few tuna. If you don’t go to Cape Town then fish of that quality don’t come around very often at all. I have fished many incredible places
around the world, and what we have right on our doorstep in South Africa is truly very special. I don’t know of many places in the world where, if you go out on a decent day, you are guaranteed to hook a 60kg+ fish on a popper. I completely understand that fighting these huge fish on popping gear isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you want to be challenged and enjoy surface fishing then it’s something you just have to try. But be warned, those tuna are not your friends — they will test your tackle to the maximum and will reveal any weak points. It’s a place for Stellas and top-end popping rods as well as super strong hooks and terminals. Make sure your knots from braid to leader are perfect. One nice thing about hooking a tuna in 1 000m of water is that if he doesn’t take all your line on his first run, you just have to outlast him and that’s just a case of patience and working through the pain. You won’t have to hold like you do for GTs and dogtooth tuna in fear of being reefed, so you can afford to fish lighter on your drag settings. The weather windows afforded by the Cape weather systems for this type of fishing are small and inconsistent, so if you get a chance to experience it then go — it’s an experience you’ll never forget…
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SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 47
OUR favourite offshore angling magazine, SKI-BOAT, in conjunction with The Kingfisher and the South African Deep Sea Angling Association, is proud to offer all South African skiboaters the unique opportunity to win awards for excellence in angling. All deep sea anglers who achieve laid down prestigious standards of excellence will be entitled to apply for the KINGFISHER AWARD. Upon ratification by a panel of adjudicators, the angler will receive a handsome certificate, suitably inscribed, PLUS a hand-embroidered cloth badge – both confirming the catch achievement.
Complementing this section is the second award category: 2) Kingfisher Award - Outstanding Catch To satisfy the requirements for this award, anglers can catch any recognised fish and the weight of that fish must equal or exceed certain laid down fish weight:line class ratios. Awards will be made in the following ratio categories: 3:1 – Bronze Award 5:1 – Silver Award 7:1 – Silver Award 10:1 – Gold Award. Applies to IGFA line class 1kg , 2kg, 4kg, 6kg, 10kg, 15kg, 24kg, 37kg and 60kg. Certificates Certificates will carry all the information about the catch (fish, weight, line class and ratio), the successful angler's name and the date on which the catch was made. Digital emailed photographs should be high-resolution.
RELEASED BILLFISH AND GT (Ignobilis) KINGFISH With the strong trend towards releasing these and other fish, we have decided to amend the Kingfisher Award rules to provide for acknowledgement of all released fish. All we need is a photo of the fish being released or prior to release (e.g. GT held on boat) and the approximate weight of the fish which should fall in line with the stipulated weights set out below.
SPECIES Gamefish: Barracuda Dorado Kingfish (Ignobilis) Garrick (Leervis) King Mackerel (’Cuda) Black Marlin Blue Marlin Striped Marlin
NOMINATED WEIGHT 20kg 15kg 20kg 15kg 24kg 225kg 150kg 75kg
SPECIES Gamefish: Prodigal Son Sailfish (Pacific) Spearfish (Longbill) Spearfish (Shortbill) Tuna (Big Eye) Tuna (Longfin) Tuna (Yellowfin) Wahoo
RULES: 1) There is no restriction on the number of awards which can be applied for. 2) Award-applicants must submit a photograph of the relevant fish with the application form, preferably a photograph of the angler holding the fish. 3) SKI-BOAT reserves the right to use the photograph as it sees fit. 4) Entries must be on the official form which is included in all issues of the magazine. 5) Entries must be received within 45 days of capture. 6) Certificates awarded will be as follows: Meritorious Fish - Gold
Kingfisher Award Application Form I hereby apply for the Kingfisher Award in the category:
Tick the appropriate box and supply us with the following information. Please remember to print clearly.
Applicant's Details: Name: .................................................................................. Address: .............................................................................. .......................................................... Code: ........................ Tel No: ................................................................................. E-mail: ................................................................................. Club (if member): .................................................................................... I, the undersigned, agree to abide by the rules of this award. Signature: .............................................................................
NOMINATED WEIGHT 18kg 35kg 20kg 20kg 30kg 25kg 50kg 20kg
SPECIES Gamefish: Yellowtail Shark (Hammerhead) Shark (Mako) Shark (Thresher) Shark (Tiger) Bottom Fish: Kob (Daga) Musselcracker (Black)
The Kingfisher Award will be made for fish caught in two sections: 1) The Kingfisher Award - Meritorious Fish To satisfy the requirements for this award, anglers are required to catch a fish included in the list detailed hereunder, equal to or better than the nominated weight. Tackle used is of no consideration here, the fish's weight being the main criterion. The different eligible fish and their corresponding minimum nominated weights are as in the accompanying list below.
A gold certificate and a hand-embroidered cloth badge will be awarded for this achievement.
NOMINATED WEIGHT 18kg 200kg 80kg 110kg 200kg 30kg 27kg
Outstanding Catch 3: 1 - Bronze; 5: 1 and 7: 1 - Silver; 10:1 - Gold. Cloth embroidered badges will be awarded in all categories. 8)
No witnesses of the catch are required. The award is made in the true spirit of sportsmanship and relies on the integrity of the angler to make a just claim. 9) A selection of award winners’ names will be announced in future issues of SKI-BOAT, along with relevant photographs. 10) Award applicants should allow 30-45 days for processing of applicants. 11) There is no charge for Kingfisher Awards.
Meritorious Fish Species: ....................................................................... Weight: ........................................................................ Date of Capture: .......................................................... Where Caught: ............................................................ Skipper's Name: .......................................................... Outstanding catch Category applied for (tick appropriate box): 3:1
Species: ...................................................................... Weight: ........................................................................ Line class: ................................................................... Date of Capture: ......................................................... Where Caught: ........................................................... Skipper's Name: ..........................................................
Introducing the Open Ocean 750 and 800 Luxury Expedition Cats ADVERTORIAL
WO Oceans Marine Manufacturing and design partner Du Toit Yacht Design recently launched their second Open Ocean 750 Luxury Expedition Catamaran as well as the largest power catamaran ever to be launched in South Africa, the Open Ocean 800 Luxury Expedition Catamaran. These impressive cats were expertly built by Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing and designed by Du Toit Yacht Design in Cape Town, South Africa. Adventum, a 75ft (23m)Open Ocean 750 Expedition catamaran follows in the wake of her sister ship, Quo Vadis, which was launched in November 2012. Her sailing cousin, HQ 2 , the Open Ocean 750 Sailing Catamaran, was launched in November 2013. Ultra Vires, the 82ft (25m) Open Ocean 800 Expedition Catamaran, is the largest of the cats in Two Ocean Marine’s Open Ocean series, and the largest power catamaran ever to be launched in South Africa. The 750E and the 800E are both powered by two Cummins 228 kW/305hp motors, are robustly built for transatlantic voyages and are capable of motoring long distances economically,
independently or while towing another boat as big as 50 foot. They are built to cross oceans effortlessly and with speed and have a motoring range of around 4 500 nautical miles. Designing and building these impressive catamarans is a project that took many months, with four designers involved at various stages in drawing up the interiors, lines, structure and various mechanical details in consultation with the owner and builder, Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing, at all stages of the project. Adventum and Ultra Vires are expertly built in a sandwich construction using epoxy E-glass with a PVC foam core. Two Oceans Marine are renowned as industry leaders and specialists in building custom-designed luxury catamarans with a build quality and attention to detail that is exemplary. Adventum was designed for a family and their guests to chase perfect fishing conditions and similar adventures in destinations such as Moçambique and the Seychelles. Ultra Vires is designed as an on-the-water home for a kiteboarding and surfing family who want to chase the perfect kiteboarding and surfing conditions. She has ample storage space for kites, kite boards and surf boards.
Both are yachts of elegance, with beautiful lines and intricate features. The interiors have been designed for effortless ocean living as the easily accessible spaces are open and freeflowing. The interior design of Adventum is by Nica Maree of Nica Design Studio and the décor is simple, functional, and stylish, with the octopus theme beautifully woven into many of the furnishings. The 800E’s interior is predominantly wood and monochrome and the interior layout, furniture and finishes were done by Du Toit Yacht Design, while the décor and design are by designer Hanno de Swardt. Both catamarans boast a spacious saloon and galley, with all the comforts one could ask for on a luxury holiday — air conditioning, sound system, TV and DVD player in the saloon, plenty of fridges and freezers as well as appliances such as an ice-maker, microwave, coffee machine, dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer and a gas oven and hob in the galley area. The main saloon of both cats is spacious, with the galley being part of this area. On Adventum, the 750E, the saloon is on the starboard side, while Ultra Vires’ saloon is on the port side of the boat. Both have a state-of-the-art SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 51
navigation station in the corner of the main saloon. Moving out of the saloon into the spacious aft cockpit, one finds plenty of comfortable and stylish custom-made outdoor furniture and a bar area with braai and a fridge on teak decks. Both boats have two spacious aft cockpits — one upper and one lower — both of which are protected from the sun and the elements. The upper cockpit on the flybridge is the main command centre of the catamaran, and is sheltered from the elements. The extra five foot length on Ultra Vires allows the upper cockpit to be significantly bigger than that on Adventum. Accommodation is luxurious and comfortable, while at the same time highly practical: Adventum’s starboard
hull is the owner’s hull, designed to accommodate a family spaciously with a double bed, sitting area, bunk beds for two children and the owner’s heads. The port hull contains the guest accommodation consisting of a double aft cabin and en-suite head, a fore cabin that can either be made up as two single beds or as one double bed and a guest heads. Ultra Vires has two cabins in each hull, each with its own entry way from the saloon and galley area, and each with an en-suite head. All the cabins can be made up with either a double bed or two singles, and all heads have a vanity and shower. Both boats also have accommodation for four crew in the front of the hulls — each hull has a crew cabin with double bunks, a head and a shower.
Above deck the seemingly endless decks are beautifully finished in teak, and around every turn on the beautifully laid out exterior is another toy — an SUP, a jetski and a smaller RIB/tender on the foredeck, and a large davit which holds a large 16 foot RIB/tender on the 750E’s aft deck and a 21 foot ROB/tender on the aft deck of the 800E. The Open Ocean 750E and 800E are perfect examples of the way in which close collaboration between the boat builder and designer, working with the owner every step of the project, can create the perfect ocean-going vessel and home. Two Oceans Marine and Du Toit Yacht Design have shown this to be true over and over, and Adventum and Ultra Vires are true works of art from the team.
Adventum and Ultra Vires at anchor in Hout Bay.
52 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
by Johan Smal
An early morning misty shot of some competing boats leaving the Struisbaai harbour.
54 â€¢ SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
EISURELY driving into Struisbaai en-route to the Suidpunt Deep Sea Angling clubhouse for the captains’ briefing of this year’s Two Oceans Marlin Tournament (TOMT), I pondered the probable outcome of this, the tenth running of the event. What surprises were lurking out there? Would EI Nino perhaps bat in our favour and engender some outstanding catches? I then realised that I was not actually mulling over the final scorecard results anymore, but rather over the reams of anecdotes etched in the remarks columns behind these scores. These are the incidents usually penned in invisible ink, because for some,“What happens on the boat stays on the boat...” I noted one of the larger boats, Mystique, Gerard Rupert’s 1250 Rodman — too large to enter the tiny, shallow harbour — was lying at anchor in the picturesque bay. Her smooth lines were intermittently masked as she swayed in the clear, cobalt blue swells. “Picture perfect,” I thought, until I recalled how precipitously the notorious “graveyard of ships” can actually turn such serene scenes into
tragedy. The most unsettling reminiscences of such occasions was the 2013 misfortune when a 60ft Marauder broke loose from her moorings in a fresh south-easterly gale. She washed out on the beach, with calamitous consequences. Just two years earlier the participating boats anchored in the bay also suffered the ferociousness of an angr y sea. Eventually all of them either started to drag anchor or actually parted from their moorings, fortunately with no serious loss. Brooding over the tarnished Cape of Storms’ persona, I recalled the disconcerting rollercoaster ride of emotions the participants endured over the previous few days whilst tracking the weather forecast for the week ahead. The predictions changed almost on a daily basis and created an unpleasant and annoying itchiness amongst all. Crews have to invest substantial time and money to participate in such an event, and they naturally want at least some return on that investment, even if it’s only the opportunity to pull some lures around.
Getting nervous about such unsettling weather forecasts habitually induces a quest for some solace, and the usual option is to phone a friend. Although he’s not a meteorologist and is incapable of doing anything about the weather, Mr TOMT, Paul van Niekerk, had to take the brunt of these calls. Well done, Paul, for coping with the extra pressure! BOOGYING WEATHER CONDITIONS At the captains’ briefing on the Sunday night it was generally accepted that only Tuesday, Thursday and/or Friday would be fishable, and Monday’s fishing was duly called off. However, with excitement levels well beyond threshold limits, some skippers decided to launch anyway to test the waters and have a look for themselves. As the morning progressed, various updates were received of crews taking strain in the rough conditions which were generally deemed not to be suitable for marlin fishing. Most of the boats finally returned with loads and loads of nice sized yellowfin tuna, reportedly the best catches ever made in the region.
SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 55
Unfortunately, due to another sudden weather change, Tuesday’s plan for fishing also disappeared over the distant horizon. A south-easterly gale moved into the area on the Wednesday, so Thursday’s fishing also moved off the radar. Blowing straight into the bay, the combination of these strong gusting winds and high swells forced boats anchored in the bay to move out and seek shelter in the Gansbaai area. Again some crews utilised their freedom to face the rough seas and try some social fishing, and again some outstanding tuna yields were reported. Other individuals decided to capitalise on these idle times by returning to the office, with still others utilising the opportunity to explore the inland region. Those who were left behind rekindled old friendships, with certain groupings engaging in intense teambuilding exercises. The local Pelicans Harbour restaurant, Black Oystercatcher restaurant, Suidpunt Deep Sea Angling clubhouse and a popular waterhole in Baardskeerdersbos were chosen as the best-equipped venues for such important activities. Eventually Friday, the first fishing day of a long week, dawned and 31 participating boats with firmly pumped up crews, took to sea. The harbour was unable to satisfactorily cope with launching and trailering so many boats in such a short space of time, and a logjam formed. This resulted in a long line of boats bottlenecking way back into town. The atmosphere at the slip, however, was euphoric; the expressions on the individual faces said it all. Despite the anglers’ eagerness, with only three marlin sightings and four onoffs reported for the day, it soon became clear that the day was turning into a very long and frustrating excursion for those marlin-hungry hunters out there. By lines-up at four the tally was still zero. To crown this disappointment, the last possible fishing day of the event, Saturday, also had to bow to a total blowout! Despite the lack of billfish, the bycatch was copious, with boats retuning to shore with loads of tuna, a couple of wahoo and even some dorado. The tuna were so abundant and feeding so ferociously that lures could not be kept in the water long enough to entice any marlin into real feeding fevers. Live baits also yielded no results because 56 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
invariably the taxmen also made their presence felt. Due to the full moon conditions and with the abundance of smaller baitfish, squid and especially the tuna around (with the latter stuffed mainly with swimming mantis shrimps and mackerel), it was thought that the marlin were probably foraging at night. “Perhaps they are lethargic and lying low because they are well stuffed, especially during the first part of the day, or they simply have a bad bout of lockjaw,” some suggested. Commercial chokka boats operating in the area complained that their squid were being stolen by marlin from the jigs at night, confirming the theory that the billfish were active and feeding at night. For the first time in the history of this prestigious marlin tournament the organising committee had quite a predicament on their hands. How do you actually conduct a prize-giving ceremony without any winners? A decision had to be taken, and whatever it was someone would be unhappy. The event was duly extended to the Sunday from 7am to 2pm, which was unfortunate for those who had to get back home, and only 20 boats took to the sea on the day. Once again very little marlin activity was encountered, with only four sightings and two on-offs reported. Eventually Marco Polo, owned and skippered by Ricus de Beer, experienced a solid marlin hook-up and successfully boated a textbook self-releasing black marlin. Fortunately they already had the leader in hand when it broke free and the estimated 100kg specimen could be declared the winning fish of the 2016 TOMT. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND Once again it’s the stories on the sidelines that really make these events memorable, even if the fishing is forgettable. Mammals, especially Cetacea — the scientific order of large aquatic mammals that includes all whales, dolphins, and porpoises — are genetically engineered to survive; they are adaptable creatures, incessantly fighting for their own survival. Like many other aquatic species, they also proliferate richly and are especially protective over their young. Being opportunistic feeders, boundlessly migrating across the oceans in search of appropriate sustenance, one would expect them to pounce on any free meal given the opportunity. Be that as it may, having a killer whale hook-up whilst marlin fishing — and a double hook-up at that — is surely a new one! The anglers aboard Met Eish, owned and skippered by Stephen Griffiths, were reeling in two hooked
tuna when they saw a pod of killer whales closing in on the free meal. Two of the orcas, one adult and a juvenile, got hold of the stricken tunas and hung onto their prey whilst slowly swimming behind the boat. Suddenly the rest of the pod closed ranks and completely encircled the youngster. They then started to swim directly towards the boat! With the tightly bunched pod bearing down on the boat, some quick decisions had to be taken. The line was cut which immediately defused the situation and the pod, visibly more relaxed, started to spread out again. The feeding adult surfaced again, by now substantially closer to the boat on the starboard side, and the remainder of its meal was duly returned to the bewildered crew. Raggedly severed just behind the gills, the 15kg tuna’s head still had the marlin lure neatly dangling from its mouth. The men aboard Colin de Beer’s boat, Bad Romans, also had a tale to tell. When one of the boat’s propellers mysteriously and quietly disappeared into the deep-water kingdom, she had to return from the 12 Mile Bank powered by one engine only. The skipper really showed his prowess by successfully and safely trailering the limping boat in a strong gusting cross-wind with some fast-moving swells running squarely onto the stern. However, one cannot help but wonder if this was the phantom of the graveyard of ships’ warning them about getting ahead of themselves ... Right at the beginning of the week Bad Romans’ crew appeared on the club’s Facebook page proudly posing with the 2016 TOMT’s trophy — before a single lure could even be pulled through the water! Rather cheeky, and not at all prophetic! For some time now I’ve been keeping tabs on any new or strange catches encountered in Agulhas waters. In what seems to be a direct result of the global warming phenomenon, many species have been added to the list of local catches over the last couple of years. Recently some reports started to surface about tropical yellowtail (Seriola rivoliana) also starting to show their shiny faces in the region. David Christie recently caught one whilst spinning from his boat, Big Catch, on anchor in the harbour in 1.5m deep water.
The 2016 TOMT Event flag created by Amanda Bruwer.
The long line of boats backing up well into town patiently waiting their turn to launch.
The proud faces of Marco Polo’s team claiming their 2016 TOMT winner’s position.
The winning boat Marco Polo returning from the hunting grounds proudly flying the flag. SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 57
The veterans who were instrumental in the formation of the TOMT some ten years ago — Hannes Schreuder, Gawie Bruwer, Andrew Perrins and Johan van der Walt. Lourens Odendaal was not present. PLAYING THE BLAME GAME While searching for reasons for this event’s poor results, one tends to (confidently) apportion a great deal of liability to the El Nino spectacle. This stance is reinforced because except for the Cape guys who experienced an improvement in marlin action off Cape Point, all the other regions further up the coast also reported rather meagre catches compared to their norms. However, considering the wide variation in the number of marlin boated over the previous nine events, one must concede that this cannot be such a straightforward verdict. There are just too many factors at play to come to any hasty conclusions. In order to better understand these factors we need to be become more attentive and imaginative about the marlin’s habitat. Instead of just focussing on how to target them, we should also acquire an understanding of their preferred marine conditions where they seek to survive, eat and multiply. When it comes to these factors, the Agulhas theatre (and Cape Point for that matter) is probably in a league of its own as a marlin venue. Situated towards the end of an approximately 5 000km long “marlin production line” which stretches south from the equator, it’s probably far more complex and particularly susceptible to the myriad natural influences playing themselves out in the various regions. One of the obvious geological, hydrological and meteorological characteristics which has a significant influence is the narrow, swift and deep Agulhas current which follows the continental drop-off. Due to KwaZuluNatal’s mainly uniform narrow shelf, the current’s core closely hugs the shoreline in that area. On a macro scale the current essentially maintains a uniform flow throughout the KZN regions. Off Struisbaai, due to the very large coastal offset called the Agulhas Banks, the cur58 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
rent’s core remains some 300km offshore with only some peripheral water pushing closer inshore during summer months. This however does not happen without instabilities constantly caused by large Mesopelagic eddies. Except for the Natal Bight there are no other major underwater geological features along the KZN coast which cause major instability in the current’s normal flow. The Natal Bight, however, causes major volatilities further downstream, especially down in the Agulhas Bank region. Eventually colliding with the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the Agulhas current retroflexes and turns back on itself, heading eastwards into the Indian Ocean. Then of course there’s the wellknown Agulhas “ring-shedding” phenomenon which spawns warm-water rings into the Atlantic Ocean. Some massive Mesopelagic eddies are constantly at play there. With KZN located some 30% closer to the equator, these fisheries also enjoy more temperate conditions compared to the Cape of Storms. That’s yet another set of factors which no doubt influences the presence of marlin in those particular areas. Globally there seems to be a trend for more sport anglers joining forces with scientists to get a better insight into the ecological issues affecting the fisheries that lie close to their hearts. Perhaps this is an opportune time for us in South Africa to start taking a holistic look at our local marlin fisheries, even if we only start by sharing results from the different regions. By discussing and comparing these stats on a regular basis we should be able to establish some useful patterns from which some valuable information could be gleaned. For many years now we’ve been debating the presence of marlin in Agulhas waters and have tried to figure out their migratory patterns, but we need more substantiated statistics, information, scientific research and meaning-
ful debates. Hoping to learn more about these migratory patterns, we have also joined the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) project collecting marlin genetic (DNA) samples. The aim of the study is to identify the presence and geographic location of different striped and white marlin populations worldwide, as well as the extent of mixing between these populations. For further details visit <www.vims.edu/research/department/ fisheries/programs/marlin_genetics_net work>. END OF THE TOURNAMENT By the Sunday afternoon most of the participants were under severe time constraints in order to get home and face the normal Monday blues, so many of them left Strauisbaai before the closing event. Despite being poorly attended, the spirits of those present at the prize-giving ceremony were back to the normal high that we’ve become accustomed to over the years. During his speech Paul van Niekerk paid special tribute to all the sponsors for their generous contributions, without which the event wouldn’t be possible. He also acknowledged the small core of individual “building blocks” who were instrumental in the formation of the TOMT some ten years ago and who still actively support the event. Paul also thanked the local NSRI — Station 30 — for their continued support, solid backing and quick response when needed, and commended the organisers, support staff, participants and Amanda Bruwer for all playing highly valued parts in making this event a success . In closing, we need to acknowledge that despite the frustrating wait for a window of opportunity, disappointing lack of time on the water, lack of marlin activity and poor results, this event was once again well organised. Well done to all involved, we look forward to the 2017 event..
60 â€¢ SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
INTRODUCING THE DF6A
UZUKI launched its brand new DF6A, DF5A, DF4A light weight and portable outboards with an exclusive preview at the Düsseldorf Boat Show in January 2016. The new DF6A will be available in South Africa in a short- and long shaft from May 2016 at a suggested retail price of R20 000 and R21 000 respectively. The key user benefits of these new models are that they are lightweight, easy and quiet to use, incredibly reliable plus they also boast a new design and unique colour. With a compact design and weighing in at only 23.5kg these new outboards are sure to be popular with many boaters. The technical innovations and some simple, yet effective, ergonomic design features, make these new models incredibly easy to live with. Their light weight and two sturdy carry handles means there’s no problem to lift them on and off your boat or in and out of storage. Suzuki has even made stowing these outboards easier with a new three-way storage capability. The improved fuel and lubricating systems allow extremely convenient storage of the outboard on any of three sides (port, starboard or front) without the worry of fuel or oil leakage. The new forced lubrication system is unique as it has an additional oil passage to the upper and lower crankshafts and connecting rod big end. The addition of a first-in-its-class oil filter greatly increases the reliability of this system. Once on the boat, operating the new DF6A/5A/4A is a breeze. The new gravity-fed fuel delivery system means you don’t have to prime the fuel line before starting after storage. An easy recoil starter means less effort is required to get up and running and, once underway, the new tilt system improves the overall operation of the outboard. An important selling point of these new models, and something with which Suzuki is synonymous, is their smooth and quiet running. This is partly due to the fact that these engines benefit from an offset crankshaft which results in a smoother piston movement, thus improving operating efficiency and reducing vibrations. Suzuki has also made improvements to the tiller handle to limit vibrations being transmitted to your hand during use. These little outboards are also highly durable and benefit from Suzuki’s anti-corrosion system. Applied directly to the aluminium surface, it maximises the bond between the finish and the surface, increasing the protection and durability of parts that are constantly exposed to saltwater. This is great news and will keep the new decals and new Nebular Black colour of the outboard cowling in pristine condition. For more information, please visit <www.suzuki.co.za> or visit your nearest Suzuki dealer.
62 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
Useful apps and websites for fishermen By Craig Thomassen
HE internet has opened the path to a whole world of information on any subject. Anybody with a smart device can check on weather, tides, tackle prices and see how the fishing has been at different locations â€” all at the push of a few buttons. There is no reason not to be informed these days. Some useful apps, Facebook pages and websites are available to all for free and make life so much easier for anglers, so I thought I would make a list of a few that I find useful. WEATHER There are a number of good weather sites and each has their own speciality. Knowing what the wind is going to be doing as well as what sea conditions are going to be like, can be a big help when it comes to planning a trip. I use a combination of weather services and cross reference the information to try and get a clear prediction. WindGuru, YR.NO, AccuWeather, Magic Seaweed and Wind Finder are all good Apps and weather pages. By using these you can get a good idea of what the wind is likely to do, what the barometric pressure is doing, whether it is going to rain and details such as swell size and time between swells. TIDES Thereâ€™s no need to carry tide tables anymore as our smart devices allow us to check the tides for any place on any date. I use TideApp which gives all of the necessary tidal information including sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset as well as high and low tide times and tidal differences.
INFORMATION There are numerous fishing web pages and blogs that cover every aspect of fishing, and forums allow us to interact with other anglers, chat to them and ask them questions. These forums also have many archived threads on just about every fishing related subject. If you are able to navigate some of these sites without being drawn into pointless time wasting in the form of keyboard battles, then you will find a huge source of information to mine through. Some ver y good South African ones are Ultimate Angling, Sealine and Flytalk. Membership is free and there is daily chat on the fishing and conditions in all of our waters. YouTube is also packed with video tutorials on how to get the best out of tackle and all sorts of fishing tips as well, so it can be very enlightening to spend a bit of time searching for subjects of interest on there. FISHING TACKLE With the exchange rate as high as it is now, and with most fishing tackle being imported into South Africa, fishing is becoming an expensive hobby. It is worth going online to compare prices, especially for high-end items. One can save a lot of money by doing some comparisons and buying tackle online. I know that it is always best to physically feel rods and reels and compare them, and that will always be true, but if you already know what it is that you want, then you can save money by ordering it online and it will be shipped to you. South Africans are slowly getting used to the idea of shopping online from the comfort of their homes or offices, and are starting to trust the systems in place as they have good experi-
ences. Some of the good South African tackle stores such as Basil Manning have an online shop as well as a physical store. The Inside Angling and Wildfly shop in Nottingham Road, KwaZuluNatal, has also opened an online store at <www.insideangling.com>. There one can browse tackle, compare prices and place orders. When shopping online it is best to check what the minimum order is that will qualify you for free shipping. This often works out to be very cost effective and the courier services are quick and reliable. FACEBOOK PAGES There are some ver y informative Facebook pages that one can join and follow, which give real time information on the fishing, conditions, what is biting where etc. Depending on your personal speciality, some of the following pages are valuable resources: Salt Fishing South Africa, EC Rock and Surf Fishing, Lighttackle.co.za and Fishing Durban. These are all useful pages where guys exchange information, buy and sell tackle and share tips with each other. Basically our phones, tablets and computers have become additional fishing tools. The information that we can gather from them is significant and has changed the sport of fishing forever. There are obviously many more apps, websites and Facebook pages than those that I have listed here, but these are some of the ones that I find useful. When the wind is blowing and the sea is unfishable, use that time to find some more online fishing resources to make your life easier. Tight lines and happy hunting!
MY BIGGEST YELLOWFIN by Luke Johnson (11)
T 5am on 11th October 2015 my dad and I went to the petrol station to get petrol and then to get ice; at 6am we left Simon’s Town on Redeye. The sea was rough and the south-easterly wind was blowing at 10-12 knots. We trolled for four hours with no result, then our friend,Tim Bacon, who was also aboard shouted that he’d got a yellowfin on the bait! Tim was at the stern, my dad was in the middle and I was in the bow. I put a small 3.5cm piece of bait on the hook, threw out a handful of chum and then cast my bait. I waited ten minutes before I started to feel something biting and before long it was hooked! I was fishing with 50 using 8kg drag and 80 lb line. When the fish took it went mental and swam under the boat then came back around. I was using a Black Magic standup harness. The fish ran under the boat, taking 250m of line with it, and it took me 45 minutes to bring it to the side. When we saw the fish near the boat Tim picked up the hand gaff and my dad got the big gaff ready. The fish did nine circles, and on the last circle my dad gaffed it. I pushed the drag to freespool, then Tim put in the hand gaff and I lay back on the fish box. I was exhasted but still had to unclip and put my rod in the gunnel. Once that was done I just watched as my dad and Tim pulled the fish aboard and put it in the fish box. I was so happy I jumped high into the air. When we got back to the club we weighed the fish — it pulled the scale to 64.87kg, a whopper! Everyone came to take photos of me. It’s a day and a fish I’ll never forget.
• Luke was hoping his fish would be a new junior record, but the U10 world record was 76kg ... close but no cigar!
66 â€¢ SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
4 Roomz Photography . . . . . . . . . .60
ARMIN recently introduced the Striker series, a new line of fishfinders with CHIRP traditional sonar and CHIRP DownVü and SideVü technology that come standard with a builtin high-sensitivity GPS receiver. Fishermen will now have the ability to see fish and structure below the boat and be able to mark hot fishing locations and get back to them. With GPS on board users will also have access to accurate speed over the ground (SOG) information, even at very slow speeds. The Striker series is a powerful tool to help inland and near-shore anglers find and catch more fish and raises the standard for fishfinder performance and ease of use. “With brilliant sonar systems and unrivalled fishing features, the Striker series is the entry-level solution for anglers who want the best sonar available at an affordable price,” said Chris Gillet, Garmin Southern Africa Marine Category Manager.“CHIRP is the sonar technology our customers want, and thanks to the addition of the Striker series, it’s now available across our entire product line. Striker also adds GPS, so anglers can get back to their favourite fishing spots next week, next month or next year.” The Striker fishfinder series is available in bright, sunlight readable 3.5”, 5” or 7” colour displays that feature a new rugged design and keyed interface that is built to withstand the harsh marine environment. All models are equipped with a built-in high-sensitivity GPS antenna and waypoint map, so marking and navigating to favourite fishing spots and other areas of interest like brush piles, stumps and docks, is quick and easy. When trolling, the high-sensitivity GPS provides an update once per second, giving fishermen the precision needed to dial in the exact trolling speed and optimise lure presentation. Users can also share waypoint data across multiple Striker units, as well as all echoMAP series devices. CHIRP traditional sonar comes standard on all of the new Striker devices. Instead of just sending one single frequency, CHIRP sends a continuous sweep of frequencies and interprets them individually upon their return, creating crisper fish arches with better target separation. Even when the fish are stacked up, CHIRP sonar helps anglers better determine how many there are and which one is the largest. All Striker fishfinders come with a trolling-motor and transmon transducer and mounting hardware to make getting on the water fast and easy. The Striker series is compatible with a wide-range of optional Garmin scanning transducers to customise sonar performance and installation options.
Anantara Bazaruto . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Anglers Apparel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Atlantic Suzuki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Big 15 Game Fishing Kenya . . . . . .60 Boating World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Boating World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Club Marine Insurance . . . . . . . . . . .4 Durban Boat Show . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Durban Yamaha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Eikos Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Fishtube.TV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 Garmin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Johannesburg Boat Show . . . . . . . .39 Lowrance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Lucky’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 McCrystal Insurers . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 MDM — Raymarine . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Meerensee Ski-Boat Comp . . . . . . .32 Mr Winch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Natal Caravans & Marine . . . . . . . . .2 Natal Powerboats . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 ProRig Fishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Rapala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Rapala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Rutherford Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Rutherford Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . .76
Shelly Beach Ski-Boat Festival . . . . .30 Ski-Port Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
BOAT FOR SALE
DEADLINE for the July/August 2016 issue of SKI-BOAT magazine is 18th May 2016.
COBRA CAT 500 (2013) in excellent condition with Garmin 702s f/finderGPS combo, outriggers with bases, livewell with pump, sound system, VHF radio, extra Scotty rod holders, full safety equipment and galvanised breakneck trailer. Price: R220 000 neg Contact: Jacques on 082 556 4374
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Southern Power/Volvo Penta . . . . .44 Supercat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Suzuki Marine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 The Kingfisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 TOPS @ Spar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Turboformance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Two Oceans Marine . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Vanguard Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . .50 Wildfly Travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68 Yamaha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Yamaha Machete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Z-Craft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 • 67
72 â€¢ SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
SKI-BOAT May/June 2016 â€¢ 73
OR the past week or two I have been dreaming of sunny days, calm seas and no wind. Is that too much to ask for? I think my subconscious just wants my beau to head out to sea and get his fix of fishing and fresh air. It has been three weeks since he ventured out the harbour and onto the big blue coming home reeking of sardines. For someone who generally fishes three to four times a week this little dry spell is becoming just too much for me to handle, nevermind my deprived beau. I have to admit that there have been days when I’ve wished for a beast of a wester to hit our shores just so that my beau can stay at home and spend the day with me, have a little lie in and not have to be woken up by that dreaded alarm clock which sounds like a fire truck is outside your bedroom window at 2am. However, I’m now retracting those wishes — just a wee bit! I still love a good westerly on the odd occasion, because nothing beats a 25 knot downwind when I’m on my SUP. I’m so used to my “me” time on the weekends — a quick paddle or surf in the morning, catch up breakfast with my crew, lunch with the girls, afternoon tanning session at DUC and then head home to meet my fisherman, but those “me” days have flown out the window. My “me” time is now limited to mornings only as I have to rush home to entertain Beau. Don’t get me wrong, I love having him home, but there is nothing worse than having a grumpy fisherman loafing on the couch all day long looking at his Windguru app every five minutes to see if there is a change in the weather pattern. Then my Rapala lip really shows.
74 • SKI-BOAT May/June 2016
Last word from the ladies The problem is I’m running out of ideas to keep my beau engaged. I’ve even offered to accompany him on a drive up to the Midlands for the day to catch some trout or bass. I love a good old adventure — Beau can catch some fish and I can catch up on some reading and maybe pop in at Blueberry Hill for their delicious homemade cheese cake and blueberry sauce. You never know, I might even join him at casting a line or two and hopefully catch the biggest trout of the day… Best I don’t try that, it would really slump his mood even further! As long as I don’t beat him at his own game it could end up being a winwin situation, but no — Beau wants to stay home and watch fishing programmes! Apparently a little Deadliest Catch will ease the pain — either that or countless phone calls to all the deprived anglers in Durban complaining about the weather. I’m all for a little loafing sometimes, but all day? It’s true, he has spent ample time on the boat, sprucing and polishing it from top to bottom and you’ve got to know that after three weeks of maintenance our boat looks brand new. I don’t think his baby has been in better condition since he bought her a few years back. Even the jerry cans have been neatly lined up in the garage, waiting to be filled. There are also neat little piles of made up traces just waiting to be put to
use — dorado traces, ’cuda traces, snoek traces and even bottom traces, despite the fact that bottom season is still a few weeks away. He has taken such pride in packaging them all individually, and even his beautiful marlin lures have been washed and stacked neatly away, all the hooks have been sharpened, ready to hook onto some beast of a marlin. When he wasn’t keen to go fishing in the Midlands I suggested that he pack up and head to the ’Berg for the weekend with his hunting buddies. If there’s one thing Beau loves more than fishing, it’s hunting. He can easily spend hours on end walking in the bush tracking animals or even just going for a little game drive. It’s not my thing, but if it makes him happy then I’m all for it. After all these years of seeing pictures of buck or even real life buck they still all look like little bambis to me. Being in the bush is absolutely relaxing, but any longer than two days and my ADD comes out to play. Beau could easily spend days and days on end there, though. When I married my fishing crazy beau I vowed that he could fish any day of the year except my birthday and Christmas — a pretty reasonable request considering that he fishes at least one-third of the year. Now, every year without fail I get a phone call from one of his fishing buddies a day or two before my birthday to ask if Beau can go fishing. My response quite often is yes — actually it’s always yes, much to my chagrin. My answer is usually followed by the said friend asking, “Are you really sure?” Suspicion then kicks in and I ask his buddies why they’re double checking, to which they respond, “Well, it is your birthday after all…” At that point I look across at Beau and shake my little finger at him — he’s too chicken-poop to ask me himself! He then gives me his you’re-the-bestwife smile. How can I deny him his fishing? I turned a whopping 32 last week and am still waiting for his buddies to call and ask if their Captain can venture out to sea! I’m so desperate for him to go fishing that I might end up calling his buddies asking them to take him fishing, but what’s the point, Windguru says the easterly will be howling again tomorrow. It’s strange how we often wish for something that we can’t have and then when our wish is granted we want it reversed. The (mostly) bright side is I’ve had my man at home for three weeks straight, but the down side is I haven’t had fresh fish in ages. I guess the wise ones are right — be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
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 Apr 30, 2016
Since 1985 Ski-Boat magazine has been providing deep sea anglers in South Africa and abroad with top quality content. Articles cover all asp...