Member feedback on Grandslam 2022 changes

We requested some feedback on changes considered for 2022, and received lots of positive feedback, and support for the majority or committee making the changes, as well as support for conservation.
Below are the comments that stood out, most were in agreement and that’s not copied below.
The changes proposed generally have the same motivation, to make the Grandslam even more competitive/challenging, but also accessible to members. Not everyone has the time or petrol to travel to more exotic locations in search of rare or bigger specimen.

1. Tuna category vs split

  • Option 1:
    1 bucket for all tuna, same points

    Guy Balme and many others argue in favour of 1 bucket for all tuna: “I think this is a great idea. It seems somewhat random which tuna species will arrive in any given year; in 2020, plenty of slender were caught, in 2021, skipjack, etc. There’s also always a chance for an elusive yellowfin ;)”
  • Option 2:
    Split, with most people noting that some species are harder to catch and should earn more points.

    As Danelle mentioned, the average size of fish will generally account for that, whether 1 bucket or split. In the case of split the multiplier makes a big difference.

2. Compulsory release species

  • Rudi rogers
    “Good idea. Fully support C&R. Wider selection than 3 supported.”
  • Coen
    “I would like to see release of Kob bigger than 90cm…think this might be good for the dwindling numbers? Galjoen also catch and release yes”
  • James
    “I don’t think grunter is under real pressure personally. I think if any, only grunter should even be targetable for grandslam. Only silver kob to be considered . No dusky kob. Not hot on the bonus points for release vibe either”
  • Mark
    “galjoen, dusky cob. these are realistic in catching other than expensive trip up the coast which lot of people can’t afford.”
  • Ernst
    Kob all species- make it release for points, if Garrick is a release species it only makes sense if you look at stock status of the two species. As the club is now Western Cape based we can fish in areas that has dusky kob and it will send a clear stance on the clubs conservation direction.
    Not a hippy but as the club is growing in numbers fast its a matter of time before we create noise and Devin must represent us on SABC2
  • Eric
    “I am happy with the release – I learned about new species”
  • Danelle
    “Dusky kob extra 20 points for release on top of the normal measurement points if over 90cm. Otherwise normal points or just 20 for release without measurement. Maybe a bit complex, but we need to protect the big Kob.”
  • Guy Balme
    “I’d suggest going off official South African stock assessments rather than the SASSI or the aquarium list. I’d recommend both kob species be C-&-R only (silver & dusky are both considered severely depleted & it’s v difficult to distinguish between the two), as well as spotted grunter (overexploited & vulnerable due to estuary degradation) & red steenbras (severely overexploited). Honestly, I’m not certain about the other species. Most don’t seem to be common targets on a kayak, but it’s good to include a wide range of species that require different techniques to catch; some are easier by bait, others lures, etc. Tests anglers to develop their skills & gives a broader spectrum an opportunity.”

3. Bonus for release

  • Danelle
    “No”
  • Rudi Rogers
    “Do not agree as not everyone has equal opportunity to get out there.”
  • Guy Mountford
    “Not in agreement. Rather focus on protecting endangered species. Large Kob in particular”
  • Jason Nicholl
    “Lekker idea”
  • Hans
    “No need to do this for non-threatened species.”
  • Ernst
    “Agreed good initiative”
  • James
    “Fine but if the measurement is not 100 percent clear and accurate , whole submission is disqualified.”
  • Mark
    “No not keen or we will just get people catching tons of same species and won’t show true reflection of species caught and size. it will be how many bone can I catch and release.”
  • Guy Balme
    “I think this is a great idea to push the ethos of limiting your catch, not catching your limit. Again, we have a great opportunity for the WCKAC to lead the way in kayak angling from a conservation perspective. This is coming regardless, many countries only allow C-&-R for comps. It’d be good to be at the forefront in SA.”
  • JC Steyn
    “yes, give more than 1 point to promote the release.
    Also how about allocating 1 extra point per endangered specie release if already on the board with that specific species. i.e, 10 points for a cob + 5 for a release. Then you catch two more cob = 2 points.
  • Ettienne
    “Cannot take full quota and release for points.” 

4. Increase Garrick points

  • Ernst
    “Keep the same or reduce and add more release or no measure species to the list, or just more species, people need to go out of their comfort zone and start targeting fish”
  • James
    “Garrick yes. Also method of target. Live bait non admissible. Deliberate target , higher points than lucky fish on the troll specifically on Garrick.”
  • Rudi Rogers
    “Not necessary.”
  • Guy Balme
    “Yep, agreed. Given how few garrick were caught, I think the species deserves more points. Similar to my earlier point, it’ll also encourage the habit of C-&-R.”

    Taariq: Most are in agreement with an increase to 20, James makes a great point about method, but this will be hard to enforce, aside from seeing the fish swim off strong. Targeting any fish for release with live bait will do more harm, fish will be gut hooked.

5. R20 donation to NSRI

  • Ernst
    “Donate a straight R20, as a thank you for safetrx and their involvement in other comps”
  • James
    “Agree. Either re free raffled within the club again , or sold and cash equally distributed. We all have enough fishing shit already don’t we?”
  • Mark
    “always great to support nsri”
  • Danelle
    “I don’t donate to them separately so that’s a good initiative. Also adds to the club’s reputation.”
  • Joseph
    “R20 minimum donation. Would also be nice if we had the option to give more when renewing so that money can be donated through the club.”
  • Caide
    “A raffle or some other form could be cool.”
  • Luke
    “I already donate to them monthly, so I’m good on this one.”
  • Alan
    “Raffle tickets.”

6. Increase COTM allocation

  • Caide
    “I like the cash because different people support different tackle shops but I think the money should go back into fishing.”
  • Ernst
    “Keep at R400 and move R100 to Point 7” (ie R1200 prize for best pic of the year)
  • James
    “Totally agree . Tucker’s will be an option for the south pen guys over Jacita.”
  • Eric
    “R500 is cool – Less PT if it is cash – committee members already work hard enough”
  • Danelle
    “12 COTM prizes makes a small impact on the total turnover so yes. And no for voucher. Each angler preferres a different shop to buy at.”
  • Guy Balme
    “Honestly, I think the bragging rights that go along w CoTM is enough & keep the funds for socials, development of the sport, etc. However, if it’s popular to have a monetary award for CoTM, a voucher is a nice idea (though it could be a challenge for members living outside the greater Cape Town area).”
  • Chris Bews
    “Support local is lekker.”
  • Luke
    “Absolutely. We all need tackle, and I’m sure you could strike a deal with a local tackle shop to get a voucher that’s worth say R400, but may be redeemed for R500”
  • Alan
    “R500. Cash”

    Taariq: We could give members the option of cash or voucher, and try to negotiate additional value from supporting shops.

7. Beach cleanup for 5 points

  • Caide
    “Ya this is a great idea and maybe for plastic out in the ocean could be given something”
  • Hans
    “Interesting idea, but this needs to be clear in terms of what qualifies as a “beach cleanup”!”
  • Ernst
    “Good initiative, best pic gets R1200 from point 6” (ie splitting COTM/Cleanup R400/R100)
  • Jason Nicholl
    “This is a VERY lekker idea”
  • Ettienne
    “Great idea”
  • Danelle
    “At least a full hatch”
  • Alan
    “Yes. Great idea!”
  • Warren
    “Excellent”
  • Luke
    “Yes please”
  • Mark
    “we should be catching litter anyway, should not get points for it.”
  • Guy Mountford
    “Members should clean up as part of their own personal values or we hold a clean up event that members can attend. Cleaning up a beach for grand slam points would feel strange as it’s something we should do anyway.”
  • Rudi Rogers
    “Great idea or garbage collected drifting at sea like when snoek is running.”
  • Eric
    “what about sea cleanup – it will happen more often and get guys to not just row past the junk”

    Taariq: We would keep each other accountable here, some beaches are dirtier than others, it can be best effort. The points are not enough to cheat, but the R1200 prize suggested by Ernst could be a great motivator to get inspiring pics from members doing the cleanup.

8. Other comments

  • Luke
    “How’s about adding chokka as a new species?”
  • Ernst
    “Add some fun small species things to get the newbies hooked, eg chokka on Mantle length, And biggest Mackerel. Eg a whole list of release or no measure species, just a pic of the fish on your kayak each can be 5 or 10 points.

    Have the club represent at the fishing comps and add to grand slam points perhaps. attend gives 5, top ten 10, winner 20. For the sport to grow we will need to befriend the other areas and clubs”
  • Mark Fisher
    “Catch and release species difficult for some as to having cameras etc. keep it to a minimum?”
  • Guy Mountford
    “Nothing further to add. I have no strong opinions on any matter above other than the release of large Kob. Attitudes must change towards this species IMO and we should set the example other anglers can follow.”
  • James
    “Perhaps remove grunter due to logistics. However they are one of my personal favorite species to fish for.”
  • Danelle
    “I love the grandslam. Great fun and great sport. Chokka can also be a fun addition! If hotties are on the list, chokka can be too. Some of those goons can make a good difference in points. I would remove grunter because you can only get them very far away from our core fishing area. ”
  • Guy Balme
    “More socials. Maybe include some educational talks in these by members; about specific techniques, conservation issues, etc. Good excuse to get together, have a drink & learn some more.

    bonus points for “trophy” fish; e.g. kob & YT >90 cm (as long as kob are released), bonnies >60 cm, snoek >105 cm, etc. The thresholds may need to change; this can be decided by previous year’s catches or if there are formal limits for what are considered trophies?

    Also, it’d be great to try to push for more members in other parts of the province; e.g. further up & down the West & South Coasts respectively. Not sure how to do this beyond organising comps in these areas (of which there already are a few), club trips to these parts, etc

    NSW kayak angling club in Australia get members to submit detailed (& often amusing) trip reports & I think there’s a prize for the best each month”

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