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.
When we arrived the tide was well on its way out and the banks were an easy wade. We didn't move too far up the beach before we found one of those banks that you just cannot walk past. We parked the beach cart right there and it was a race to see who could tackle up first. Blayne hadn't been in the water very long when he got bitten off above his full metal jacket. I had just cast and gave him my rod to hold while I tied a new braided leader with a full metal jacket onto his outfit. As fate would have it, I was still busy tying the leader knot when Peter started shouting that my son was being towed into the sea. I hadn't realised quite how tight the drag was but it wasn't too serious as Blayne dug his heels in and managed to stop before the lip. What followed was a Diamond teaching a young buck a lesson. The fish were particularly strong on this day and the fact that he had a monster didn't help him much either. When he eventually landed the fish it measured 2 metres and 8 centimetres, which would definitely have been a new Junior Record if I hadn't thrown. From this point on the day was almost a blur of action.
It was a great opportunity to experiment with different traces, hook configurations, baits, etc. Peter was really relishing the new reel with fish after fish and once Blayne had recovered he set the Stella to good work on these "wonderful to catch" fish.
I got to put the new rod through its paces and also refined the leader-trace configurations. Having had enough of the Diamonds, I started to throw bigger floating baits to try to pick up a Java Shark. I didn't get the intended fish but was delighted to be able to take home a wonderful Prodigal Son for dinner.
Douglas McFerren had arrived with his son, Douglas Jnr and they too caught a pile of fish. It was wonderful to watch Doug's young son hook what I think was his first good sized Diamond on a grinder. He was obviously delighted and although he was absolutely bushed couldn't sit back and went on to catch a few more.
For anybody that enjoys a really good tussle with a big fish in a very unique setting, the banks at Mtunzini are the place to be. The fishing really kicks off towards the end of October and although December can be a big quiet it probably peaks in February and does not go much beyond March. The really nice thing is that these days with the coffee grinder and braid it is a hang of a lot easier for the average angler to get in on the action. It is hard to describe the feeling at the end of the day like this after having had some really good strong physical surf fishing. There is a deep sense of exhilaration and sense of accomplishment. Real good stuff for the heart and soul.