On Teusday 10 September 2019 I took a small walk ( about 3 Km ) from St. Lucia to Mapelane and fished the bay at Mapelane itself. There were a few shad coming out, so I decided to swim one. This has a common name among fishermen called walking the dog. I was quite lucky and had a good pick up in less than five minutes, but this fish was lucky and escaped during the pick up stage.
Feeling depressed, I caught a second shad and swam that too. Once again my bait was in the water less than five minutes before I had a second pick up. This fish was also lucky and after about ten minutes of serious arguing it just spat my hooks out. I was now really depressed, but as I got back a holiday maker, fishing in the bay at Mapelane came up and gave me a fresh shad, and said better luck on the third attempt. This fish was rather lively, and swam a bit deeper than the first two, but in less than five minutes I was on with the third pick up.
This fish felt a bit smaller than the second fish, but really gave me gears. This fish ran quite hard and stretched my line quite well. This fish really gave me a good work out and had two more good runs before it started to tire out. We argued for about ten minutes, then she started coming in little by little. I walked up the beach to give me the advantage of the stretch in the nylon, and slowly forced the fish into the wash zone of the long beaches that we currently have along the shore line here in the St. Lucia area. I loosened the drag just a small touch, coz this is the zone where most anglers snap up, as the fish gives a serious spurt of energy when the wash is receding, so one needs to be very careful.
This fish held true to all past experiences, and tried to use the wash against me, but I was ready, and the fish lost. This wash zone is always a problem for inexperienced fishermen, and many do not keep enough pressure on the line, simply try to reel up the slack as the waves push in. This is a serious error, and one must simply walk or if the waves are a bit fast, run backwards, keeping the pressure on the line, ensuring that there is no chance of slack line, as this can allow your hook to dislodge, and your fish to escape. At this stage one needs to be real careful not to put too much pressure on the fish, coz your line may snap, or the hook pull loose.
The guys fishing with braid need to be more careful here, due to the fact that braid has zero stretch, and a snap off can occur as the fish uses the power of the receding water very efficiently. I personally do not fish with braid simply because it has no stretch. Others enjoy the fact that there is no stretch, and that is their personal preference. The stretch of your line is the key to keeping pressure on the fish as each new wave pushes the fish closer to the beach, and you as the angler need to use the power of the wave to bring the fish up the wash zone, and understand the the fish will use this same power to get back over the lip and into deeper water. By ensuring that you keep pressure on the fish and hold it in the wash zone as it gets shallower, robbing the fish of the advantage of deeper water as its belly touches the sand.
Do not ever let this fool you as a fish swimming on its side still has immense power, but the sand will stop the fish once the water recedes enough. A fish on the sand is not in the bag, and very often the next wave will have your fish swimming again, and this time with much more vigour, as it understands that this is a life and death situation, so be prepared, and do not take tension off the line until somebody has got hold of your fish and is running up the beach with fish in hand.
This garric weighed in at just over seven kilograms ( 7.4 ) and when gutted proved to be a female with eggs. I do not do the tag and release thing, as I catch fish for the pot, if not mine, then some body else will enjoy cooking and eating what I catch.
Any way enough bragging about the fish I caught, and now for a request of help to get the 4u2fish campaign some social media coverage and some positive public perception management points. The #4u2fish campaign is all about returning consumptive tourism to the South African coast line. Our initial focus at the 4u2fish campaign will be on the Elephant Coast region, which was previously called the Maputuland Coast. Since the IWPA ( ISIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK AUTHORITY ) took over the management of the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park way back in December 1999 things have slowly changed for the worse with the IWPA being anti domestic tourism, and promoting international tourism at the expense of us as South Africans, causing many serious issues including the loss of more than 20 000 jobs, as a consequence of bad management decisions and related community anger.
This anger is slowly building up and the management of the IWPA just simply brush it off and carry on regardless. The 4u2fish campaign aims to stop the IWPA in their tracks, and reverse the anti domestic tourism drive that they have been running since they stepped into the picture. The local population of Umkhanyakude District Municipality is reliant on the passing trade associated with domestic tourism, so bringing back consumptive tourism is a big issue, as this is basically the domestic tourism market.
Your help in talking about this and getting the topic of consumptive tourism out there in the social media will be appreciated.
Sorry guys, but my old tablet wont publish the pic, I will get the pic published from another device just as soon as I can.