BARRY'S BLOG


  • Amazing Fly Fishing Trip For Yellows - 06 November 2013

    Fly fishing for our indigenous Yellows must seriously be one of the most under-rated fly fishing experiences in the world. Having only fished for Scaleys in Natal on bait and later on fly, I have always wanted to go and fish the Vaal, Orange or whatever river to try to catch a Mud Fish, Small Mouth and a Large Mouth. When the offer of a trip to the Orange came up, I jumped at it. An old school friend, Craig de Villiers, now living in Gauteng, Peter Drake, my rock and surf fishing buddy and I joined a group of guys from all over the country for four nights at a lodge hosted and guided by Jacques Marais and his team.

     

     

    Read More  

  • July 2013 - 17 July 2013

    Definitely not what was to be expected from a sardine perspective!  Things seem to have been thrown out of balance somewhat as the fish have not made any appearances on the Natal coast yet.  This has led to some interesting happenings.  Most notable of these is the prolonged presence of some crocodile Couta on the boat and the odd one off the shore and an abundance and prolonged presence of big Blackfin, big Greys and the odd Diaimond from almost every beach and point on our coast.

    Read More  

  • You have to stop over in Matatiele - 17 July 2013

    I got very excited recently to dust off my fly-fishing kit and had to make some quick additions as everything had been previously focused on Scaleys and Yellowfish.  When David Rawlins told me about the amazing Trout in the Matatiele area and invited us up to sample the wares, I couldn’t wait.  At the time he was on his way through to Cahorra Bassa where his Uncle has a Tiger Fishing lodge, Chawalo Safaris.

    Read More  

  • Spinfishing - 24 June 2013

    Spinning or spin fishing has grown enormously in popularity over the last 2 years.  The reasons are numerous but there is no doubt that discerning anglers find it appealing because it is quick, clean and stimulating. The other major factor is the quality and quantity of lures that are available on the market today.

    Read More  

  • June 2013 - 19 June 2013

    On the off-shore side, there are still some good Couta around although they are a lot fewer than last month.  There have been some serious Tuna moving around with the Dolphins, which has prompted something that is relatively new in this country, but has been done extensively in places like Australia and Oman. 

    People are now actively casting GT Ice-Creams at these schools of Dolphin and the accompanying Tuna are coming up and smashing the surface lures.  The big advantage of the Ice-Cream is the distance and accuracy.  Some really good Queenfish have also been caught off-shore particularly on the barges and the bait-fish seems to have arrived at last.  Quite a few Snoek in the Durban North area whenever the sea is settled.

    Read More  

  • May 2013 - 22 May 2013

    The next couple of weeks are going to be very exciting from a “what should be happening” and a “what does happen” point of view.  On the saltwater side there were stories of sardines low down in the Transkei almost a month and a half ago. 

    Read More  

  • A dream fish to cross off the species list - 29 January 2013

    As most people have gathered my 5000 Shimano Stella, 11ft Shimano Lesath and I are fairly inseparable. We spend almost every morning getting in a bit of exercise, seeing in the beginning of the new day and doing what we enjoy most, which is revelling in the challenge of luring some fish.

    Read More  

  • Technical fishing tips - How to Tie titanium (Kinky) wire to your leader - 06 August 2012

    While on location in Mozambique Barry demonstrates how to tie titanium (Kinky) wire to your leader.

     

     

    Read More  

  • Overview of GT Ice Cream Plugs - 14 June 2012

    GT Ice Cream Cone

    This cone-shaped surface action casting lure is the original GT Ice Cream, the name being derived from the conical shape and the fact that the GT’s just couldn’t stop eating it.  It is still favoured by some GT anglers but definitely does not cast quite as well or create quite as much splash as some of the other versions that have evolved.  It will also tend to tumble at high speed.  Hook-ups can be a little more difficult when using stingers but are not bad with big treble hooks.

    Read More  

  • At Last I Can Talk About It ( The New Assassin BeachMaster FSSC M-XL ) - 04 May 2012

    It is always difficult trying to cap your enthusiasm when you are really excited about a new product that is not yet available in the market.  I have been fishing with a prototype of the above rod for some time now and besides a few close friends and one or two inquisitive fellow anglers, I have pretty much kept it to myself waiting for the rods to arrive.  At last they are here.

    Read More  

  • What a Beautiful Morning - 04 May 2012

    My last few visits to Umhloti have been amazing.  Until now surviving on the odd pull from Salads, little Kingies, Garfish, etc and then earlier this week watching my son being pulled to his knees by a Kingie grabbing his spoon at his feet kept the enthusiasm going.

    Read More  

  • Casting with long mono leaders on a fixed spool reel - 31 October 2011

    Casting with long mono leaders on a fixed spool reel - A hard mono that is wound onto the reel certainly presents challenges, primarily because of the rigidity and memory in the hard mono or fluoro carbon and then the absolute limpness and zero memory of the braid.

    Read More  

  • Video on Knots - 28 September 2011

    Read More  

  • Queen Mackerel Mayhem - 26 September 2011

    Those that were fortunate enough to have been at Umhloti main beach with a spoon and a fishing rod on Wednesday 24th August 2011 will surely agree that it is the best day's spinning they have ever had in their lives.

    It started off early in the morning with huge sharks mauling balls of rather large anchovies in the shore break.  This was happening along the entire length of the Umhloti coastline.  Schools of dolphin then came in and joined the fray.  This moved the sharks on and as soon as the dolphins had left, shoals of Eastern Little Tuna smashed into the bait balls behind and on the backline.  In the shore break Blacktip Kingies were balling up and smashing the bait. 

    Read More  

  • Throwing Paddle-Tails, Jerk Shad, Plastic Squid and Flies with Surf-Spinning Gear - 25 September 2011

    Some species such as your bigger reef predators and especially Kob are very susceptible to soft plastic Paddle-Tails. In many cases when they cannot be caught by using regular bait or other lures.

    they will fall for a Paddle-Tail. When predatory fish are obviously evident but are not responding to plugs or spoons very often a Jerk Shad, Plastic Squid or a Fly will work incredibly well. In the past, getting this type of lure to where the fish are has always proven to be difficult. The easiest way to do this is by using a weight and a dropper type attachment.

    Read More  

  • Leerie Lucks at Lugs - 24 September 2011

    Every now and then when I don't have much time in the morning I end up popping into Blue Lagoon for a throw.  Sometimes it is to test a new outfit, sometimes just for a throw.  Recently I have been

    working on a new flat faced surface plug which is basically a GT Ice Cream Needle Nose with the end of the nose cut off.  I did this for a very specific reason.

    Read More  

  • A Day on The Diamond Fields at 'Zini - 23 September 2011

    According to Buoyweather, Saturday 26th March 2011 was going to be a cracker and well worth the effort of prospecting the banks at 'Zini.  Peter Drake wanted to christen his brand new Shimano

     Trinidad 30A.  I had just  finished putting together a prototype Assassin for big baits and big casts with a fixed spool and my youngest son Blayne just wanted to get stuck into some big flat fish on a Stella 10000 rather than his normal Ultegra.  He really felt the Stella was going to teach the fish a lesson but the wise and experienced know that it is all very well having a big gun; you've still got to be able to shoot it. 

    Read More  

  • GT Surface Action - 31 August 2011

    Types of Lures

    GT surface lures can be divided into three basic groups, the first being the floating, popping type lures.  These generally have a cup-head and are referred to as poppers, pushers or chuggers.  The second group are sub-surface lures and are often referred to as stick baits, sliders, sub-walks, etc.  The third group are nylon or wooden weighted plugs that are made primarily for casting, will sink if not retrieved and can be fished at long range both on the surface and sub-surface.

    Read More  

  • What to Consider in a Spinning Reel - 30 August 2011

    Starting with the most obvious things that one should look at when trying to decide what reel to use, the first consideration is brand.  If you intend to do a fair amount of fishing or you are looking for a reel to see you through a holiday to a good fishing destination, don’t ever fall for one of those “but it is just as good as” obscure brands.  Stick with the top brands and your chances of being disappointed decrease rapidly.  Generally speaking, there are two really big names when it comes to fishing reels, namely Shimano and Daiwa.  The others that one could consider are Okuma, Mitchell, Quantum, Abu Garcia, Penn and Finnor.  Two other brands that are up there with the very best in Shimano and Daiwa, are Accurate and Van Staal, but one still needs to go through the rest of this process when determining what best suits your needs.

    Read More  

  • The Tropical Garrick - 29 August 2011

    About fifteen years ago I was browsing through a French angling publication with some amazing pictures of fishing in Gabon.  One of the pictures really caught my attention.  It was a 25 to 30 kilo fish that looked like a cross between a Queenfish and a Garrick, with the head of a Natal Snoek (Queen Mackerel).  I had never seen anything like it before and was fascinated as to whether this fish would have the sharp teeth of a Queen Mackerel, or the sand-papery jaws of a Queenfish or Garrick.   

    Read More  

  • Spin Fishing Using the Dropper Technique - 28 August 2011

    Very often spin fishermen come across situations where they know that the fish are about, but for whatever reason they are not interested in taking the lure or are extremely hesitant to commit.  There can be numerous reasons for this, but inevitably it normally gets down to lure size and the ability of the lure to suspend in mid-water in a very natural squid or small bait fish type pose before darting off again. The problem lies in getting this small much lighter lure to the fish.  This is where the dropper technique comes into play. 

    Read More  

  • Perfecting Spinning with Braid - 27 August 2011

    With today’s technology, if you are not spinning with braid, you are at a huge disadvantage.   Here are some “learnt the hard way”, solutions to the two casting problems you may encounter, the dreaded “FRRRT” and the “ZA-BA”.

    Read More  

  • El Dorado - 26 August 2011

    “The Mystical City of Gold”

    Off shore of Fujairah, Northern Oman, must surely be the mystical city of gold.  Can you imagine somewhere between 300 and 500 semi-permanent floating FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices), all perfectly legal, moored off shore in a warm Dorado-rich current?   

    Read More  

  • Dorado on top Waters - 25 August 2011

    Summary of what we learnt and experienced on this mind-blowing Fujairah expedition.

     Dorado love current and will always be concentrated on the upside of any floating object or ship anchored at sea.  They are also partial to the sunny side rather than the shaded side of the vessel or structure.   Because they learn very quickly, always try to drag or pull a hooked fish well away from the others as quickly as possible.  Once they have wised up to your lure or technique, you either have to change lures, technique or location.  Big Bull Dorado are definitely more partial to the bigger lures and tend to hang around on the outside of the main body of smaller fish. 

    Read More  

  • All About Lures - 24 August 2011

    Size

    The size of your lure is very important.  Matching the hatch or imitating the bait fish present on the day is your first step in the right direction.  Remember the profile should fit as well.  If the fish are long and thin, don’t go using a wide flat lure.  A general rule that says “the bigger the lure, the bigger the fish”, often holds true and should always be considered depending on what you are targeting.  In rough or turbulent conditions a bigger lure is obviously a lot easier to see for the fish than a smaller one.  In very clean calm conditions as a first choice, opt for the smaller lure.  Invariably it will prove to be the better option. 

    Read More  

  • Surf Casting with Fixed Spool Reels - 23 August 2011

    The latest surf casting trend in South African waters is the movement toward fixed spool reels and braid.  It is far easier for somebody starting out to learn to cast with a fixed spool reel.  It is also a lot easier for people that battle to throw big baits to do so with these reels.  At the end of the day it takes the frustrations of down-time out of the equation.  Braid too comes with huge advantages.  Braid is a lot thinner than mono-filament which means you can hold and fish in stronger current and wind than before.  Bite detection is also much easier and one can feel peckers that one would not normally feel with mono-filament.   It is little wonder then that there is this strong movement toward fishing with coffee grinders and braid.   

    Read More  

  • Reading Water Part 1 - 03 August 2011

    The ability to study the prevailing conditions and come to an accurate conclusion as to what is happening and will be happening in the next few hours certainly enables the shore-angler to make far better decisions.

    We have a particularly high-energy coastline and conditions vary greatly as do the species that are most likely to be encountered as well as how and where to best target them.

    Gary Player said, “The more I practice, the luckier I get”.  The more time one spends at the beach, the better one gets to understand the various dynamics that affect our fishing.  Not all of us can afford to spend this time, but collectively we can learn from each other’s experiences.  

    Read More  

  • Reading Water Part 2 - 02 August 2011

    Rocky Shores

    Rocky shores are always very interesting and come in many guises.  The key to catching fish on these shores is to understand what lies beneath the water that you are looking at and where the fish will be moving or lying.  What is really exciting is that there is a huge variety of species and sizes of fish that one is likely to encounter on a rocky shore.   Similar to the beach, drop-offs, current, colour and depth are very important.  Fish use the current not just to bring food to them or to get a whiff of potential prey, but also to help bring oxygen over the gills and provide some lift as they glide or swim.  The sort of places that are frequented by your bigger non-edible fish and edible game fish tend to be quite different to those inhabited by the smaller edibles or pan fish.  It is easier to cover big fish spots and small fish spots separately.

    Read More  

  • Reading Water Part 3 - 01 August 2011

    Rocky Shores

    Pan Fish Spots

    There are many edible species that are caught along the rocky shores of our coast.  Most of very specific in terms of preferred structure or habitat.  The best approach is to have decided what fish you are going to be fishing for, what they feed on and the sort of structure one needs to try to find.  The focus of these articles is on trying to decipher what lies beneath the water with a view to targeting certain fish.

    Read More  

  • Artificial Revolution Part 1 - 01 July 2011

    RECENT EXPERIENCES WITH SPOONS & SPINNING

    Part of the Artificial Revolution – Part I

    Plastic or drop-shot fishing really has got things going on the fishing front. It certainly is my favourite form of fishing. Suddenly there are a whole lot of exciting things happening and a whole lot of new challenges. It has undoubtedly caused the average person to take a more in-depth look at the latest in fishing technology and tactics. In short, the average angler is becoming a lot more educated on the technical front.

    Read More  

  • Artificial Revolution Part 2 - 02 July 2011

    RECENT EXPERIENCES WITH PLASTICS AND LEAD-HEADS
    There is no doubt that there is a strong progression towards bigger plastics and bigger fish, especially in the surf and estuaries. Four to six inches is now becoming the norm in Jerk Shad and Paddle-Tails and some amazing fish arebeing caught. It is seldom that one gets the opportunity to do some seriousexperimenting “in the field” so to speak, purely due to the scarcity of “guineapigs”.

    Read More  

  • Artificial Revolution Part 3 - 03 July 2011

    LAND - BASED SURFACE PLUG FISHING - Part of the Artificial Revolution – Part III -Casting surface lures from the side at feeding fish has to be one of the most exciting methods of fishing ever. Each species has its own characteristics, but almost all of them cause a huge commotion on the surface, heart-stopping stuff. Traditionally, most of these lures were fashioned from wood, the old broomstick handle and so on. These wooden lures did the job, but had a tendency to start becoming waterlogged. This obviously changed their action and the other problem was that fish with big teeth tended to hang on to them, giving your arms a bit of a stretch and then letting go. Kingfish in particular have a tendency to try to steal the plug from another one’s mouth and the good grip that was ensured by a wooden plug meant broken split rings, wires and straightened hooks. The power that is generated when two big Kingfish get their heads together and pull against one another is unbelievable. Nylon plugs changed all of this and certainly made for good hook sets and much longer lasting lures.

    Read More  

  • Explanation Of Picture Of Sand Banks And Troughs - 30 June 2011

    Picture 1– in this picture there is a very obvious trough very close to the beach where there is no evidence of white water and there is a little wave that has just come off the sand bank at the back. The left hand side of the picture shows that the trough is wider and in all probability gets wider and wider out of picture.

    Read More  

  • The Hottest Action This Summer Will Come From Spinning - 29 June 2011

    The most exciting development in angling recently is long-range, shore-based spinning.   The volume of Natal Snoek and other game fish that have been caught from our beaches and rocks this year has grown significantly.  Snoek have to be one of the more common catches, but some really good Garrick, Kingfish, Queenfish, Springer, etc., have made this even more exciting.  This success is definitely attributed to the use of braided lines and fixed spool spinning reels.  There is also a lot of new technology that has come to the fore with rods, reels and lures. 

    Read More  

  • Sliders Part 1 - 11 June 2011

    Sliders – How to be more successful

    PART ONE

    The SHAKE-DOWN™, Non-Return Slide, Pondo-Trolley, or whatever you choose to call it, is no doubt one of the most significant developments to hit the rock and surf fishing fraternity in recent years.  It is certainly a system that works, particularly for people that struggle a bit when casting big baits. The exciting thing is, it creates a whole lot more opportunities and brings the thrill of huge fish to more anglers than ever before.

    Read More  

  • Sliders Part 2 - 12 June 2011

    THE TRACE – CONTINUED FROM PART ONE - Hooks

    The sort of hook one uses on a slide-bait is very important. Whilst there are many arguments advocating the use of circle hooks, there is a very strong argument in favour of the Boss Octopus pattern with squashed barbs. Once broken off they certainly fall out of a fish a lot easier than a Circle does. The other huge advantage of the Boss Octopus is that it is generally off-set and especially for the second hook that goes into the main body of the bait, this off-set is critical as it presents a sharp point away from the bait when applied correctly.

    Read More  

  • Sliders Part 3 - 13 June 2011

    TECHNIQUE

    If you are a little unsure as to what bait to use, where to throw or whether there is likely to be weed in the water or not, it is always best to test the spot you intend fishing with a slide, by using a throw-bait first. This will help you to establish the following:

    Read More