Winter is coming… okay it’s here!
Welcome to winter...
The storm has past, the swell has silenced & the wind is still. There’s a bubbling on the water you’re paddling towards. Your reel starts singing the therapeutic hymn of the clicking drag ratchet. It’s so sweet you can already taste your catch coming off the braai grid. Suddenly a big splash, a loud bang & you wake up to a rainy howling wind on a chilly morning.
What happened in June?
Many of our members headed out to go find the first fish of winter. Well many of our them ended up doing very well. As a matter of fact some of our members caught their first, second & third fish ever!
Deon & Dennis the menace with a bunch of our members took to the waters had a blast out in Table Bay. It was a festivity that’s not to be missed! I think the next fair weather day I’m going to paddle with these hooligans just to get in on the bonnie bonanza vibe!
Some of our members took on the treacherous paddle towards Dassen Island & got rewarded nicely! I advise to anyone thinking of doing this paddle to take the steps our members did… Go in a group, have VHF radios, flares (plus other safety equipment) & have a safety boat nearby. They were lucky enough to choose the best weather day which favored them beautifully!
There’s still a few members who need to catch their first pelagic fish but the best advice for them is to keep paddling while those lures are swimming you are bound to get vas soon!
Check out the gallery at the end to see some really amazing photos of our members!!
ATLANTIC FISHING BREAKDOWN:
Key things to note about winter fishing…
- It’s the Atlantic’s time to shine
- It’s cold
- The fish are a bit more unpredictable
- Baitfish is commonly anchovies
- Whales, dolphins, penguins & seals will be feeding aggressively on them so watch out around bait balls.
- The fog get’s thick quick (GPS!!)
- ALWAYS HAVE YOUR GPS! Mark your launch spot so you have a path back in the blinding fog.
- It’s cold
- Watch the boating lanes!!
- When heading out deeper/going to Robben make certain you check for boats in the lanes. They might look far away but they move FAST!
- Go in groups! Paddle with some of the other members. They don’t bite.
- Well except for Scotty & Neal…
Members in the spotlight:
FIRST TIMERS CLUB!!
Congrats to a few of our members who nailed their firsts in the past month.
MEET THE ANGLERS:
Deon Hignett, the man behind the bonnies (literally)
Work wise who are you without a paddle? “I work for Nature Conservation (CapeNature) in the biodiversity component in charge of compliance & enforcement (animals, plants, hunting and… feeesh.)”
Fishing style? “I’m a huge fan of trolling for pelagics. Bottom fishing for dermesals is okay, but not my cup of tea.” “I haven’t tried slow-pitch jigging much yet, but it looks like it could be fun.”
Favourite species? “I am fond of targeting bonito/katonkel. They’re not as fussy as yellowtail, are plentiful & widespread” “Taste great as sashimi, grilled or smoked. Maybe after i have caught a few yellowtail, snoek or tuna off the kayak, this will change.”
Any interesting fishing stories? “I took delivery of my kayak literally the week before we went into hard lockdown in 2020, so had a fun time paddling virtually in my garage for several month before it even touched the water & lockdown allowed kayaking. I was watching pretty much every Youtube video on kayak fishing. Youtube feeds such as Cpt. Gingerbeard Kayak Fishing (Devin Muir) & KayakFish (Sean Wethmar) proved valuable sources of infomation on multiple aspects relating to fishing and kayaks.”
Guy Balme, the long distance paddling kayak fisher who runs wild with leopards on land.
When you’re not paddling you are… “I work for an NGO based in NY that funds, oversees & implements conservation projects on wild cats all over the globe. I direct their leopard programme with projects all over Africa, the Middle East & Tropical Asia.”
Favourite fishing style? “Slow-pitch jigging!!” Favourite target species? “Yellowtail but the thrill of slow-pitch jigging is that you catch such a diversity so you never know what’s going to be at the end of your line.”
Any interesting fishing stories? “Being almost knocked unconscious while trying to release a very ‘green’ dorado in KZN. No wonder the buggers there don’t do much catch & release!”
Ernst van Rensburg, the ‘dip stok’ fisher pasop!
Without a paddle, who are you? “I’m a logistics manager at Signal Hill Products, from August I will persue a career in sheep farming in Herbetsdale.”
Favourite fishing style? “Will always be the old school ‘dip stok’. It doesn’t make sense on a kayak but it’s the most fun you can have with or without clothes.”
Favourite species? “Black tail, best fight for it’s size in my opinion.”
Any crazy fishing stories? “The whale that got hooked in my anchor line at Simonstown that pulled me a bit. I still have a video some where.”
Danelle Vivier, the Kalahari-Karoo-Strand looper. Just kidding he’s just Afrikaans.
Without a paddle who is Danelle? “I am a mechanical engineer working at a company in Paarl.” “I wish to one day have a job or position where I will have the flexibilty to be able to go fishing in the week when the conditions are perfect.”
Favourite fishing style? “I love paddling out far beyond Cpae Point in the direction of Bellows. Chasing the birds & shoals of yellowtail busting up on the surface & then casting a spinner right in the middle of the feeding frenzy, anticipating the aggressive bite from a good sized fish.” Favourite species to target? “Yellowtail for now. Most of the time they are a challenge to hook even if they are around and provide a very good fight even on heavier tackle. It is the reward for a long paddle. I’d like to land a yellowfin tune from my kayak.”
Any crazy fishing stories? “One of the most memorable moments of my kayak fishing history will be the recent trip to Dassen Island. We launched 6am (still dark until 7am in June) & started the 13km paddle to the South of the Island. It was very dark because the moon wasn’t up and the stars were perfect. There was bioluminescent algae on the water & every paddle stroke caused an amazing glow in the water. It was surreal experience which I will never forget.”
STAY TUNED FOR JUNE’S CATCH OF THE MONTH!!
Thinking of starting out kayak fishing?
Make sure you tick all the boxes & are legally on the water. This video shows all you need to know about starting kayak fishing in the Western Cape.