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.
It is not always the size of the fish that makes it special, it is very often the sense of place or just the fact that it is a new specie on the tackle. Any game or lure fisherman has to have a ranking or hierarchy in his mind which is going to feature the likes of GT, Samson, Rooster, Couta, Tunas, Durado and others. But there is no doubt that the list would not be complete without seriola lilandi, the famous Cape Yellow Tail or Yellow Tail Kingfish if you are kiwi. Those that fish the colder climates tick this off on a regular basis but for a warm water angler, it’s often a fish never to be forgotten.
A friend and fellow lure fanatic from Cape Town invited me to join him on a few excursions whilst in False Bay recently, the Rooi Kranze Yellow tail thing is awesome but I really wanted to notch one up on the 5000 and the 11ft. My success with the iron candy couta casting spoons and in particular the new green glow gave me the confidence to keep throwing it even when we hadn’t seen a fish in 3 outings.
When the time came it couldn’t have been more spectacular, I had just changed from a proto-type new development Gt-ice cream which was skipping in the windy conditions, to the glow green Couta casting. On about my 3rd or 4th cast I could not believe my eyes- the unmistakable torpedo shape of a serious predator moving just under the surface came flying at my spoon, its first attempt was a complete miss, and it became even more determined on the second, so much so that the spoon came right out of the water and I felt a distinct knock on the braid. My heart sank and I almost wanted to be sick as I honestly thought id blown this amazing opportunity. Normally a solid knock shys off a fish as it realises that the lure is a lot harder than what it thought it was about to eat. This fish however seemed to get really peed off and i could not believe my eyes when I saw him zig-zagging to and fro trying to locate the spoon again. Somehow I managed to contain myself (apart from the very loud noises I was making) and got the spoon going again. As soon as the fish saw it, it came in even more aggressively and smashed it. At this stage the fish was a lot closer to me. When I tightened up and made sure that we were “vas” the fish opened its mouth and shook its head from side to side, almost not believing that this whole thing was a hoax. He obviously realised that it meant trouble, turned and took off like a rocket. At that stage the fish was 18kilos at least. The challenge now was to get from the side wall next to the railway line in Simons town to the beach, which was 100m or so away. On the way we had to dodge the odd piece of floating kelp but apart from 3 other strong but fairly short runs, the fish was happy to be lead in that direction. Once I got to the beach with Anton, very kindly taking a couple of snaps along the way, I had to live through one last heart stopping run towards the very visible reef 30/40m away and then the fish turned and came to be slid up the beach. I must be honest i was a little disappointed in the size (79cm fork length) but could not stop admiring the beauty and strength of my first yellow tail on that outfit. This is one of those memories that I will forever cherish.
Thanks Anton, I hope I can get you a Snoek or geet next time you are in Durban!