Spinning for Yellowtail in SA

Discussion in 'International reports' started by blaasoppie, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. blaasoppie

    blaasoppie Senior Member

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    [SIZE=medium]Hey Guys,[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=medium]Happy New Year to All 360’s![/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]Have not posted in a while, as I haven’t fished for the past nine months; spent the Christmas vacation down in St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa - home of the most full of S#!@ fish to catch on lure from the shore – the Yellowtail (Seriola lalandi).[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]I have caught small Yellowtail on lures from the shore before, but the big one always eluded me, so it was my mission to land a decent fish (10-20kg) from the bricks this holiday….yeah right, I will have to put that off until next time again![/SIZE]

    [SIZE=medium]Found this 15kg plus Yellowtail skull on my first morning; thought is was going to be a good omen..[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]The “Tail” are so freaking fussy on which lure they will hit, and wind direction, barometric pressure, water temperature all have to be just perfect, when and if you finally hook a decent fish their sole objective is to reef you, so the odds of catching a decent one are really slim.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=medium]Ended up with numerous follows from some big fish, landed one small one and dropped another on the rocks as I was about to grab it. It is amazing how close they follow behind the lure without smashing it; am sure they taste it with their lips before committing.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=medium]Small yellowtail that I caught...[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]The spear fishermen that I saw on the boats in the same area shot a number of big Yellowtail when we were fishing and I saw one boat with about twenty fish in the range of 12kg’s plus; on this day we didn’t even have a chase from a tail, which just shows how particular they are! [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=medium]My mate Dennis with a decent size fish...[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]I am interested to hear from California, Japan, Oz and New Zealand 360 members who fish for Yellowtail from the rocks which lures work best for them. The most effective lure in SA is the nylon plug, not short, fat or wide…it has to be slim, fairly long, back weighted with minimal tumbling action on the retrieve. I challenge any high dollar lure to beat this $3 plug, although I would like to get some custom lures made up with foil for next December to try something different (Merve, et al). The nylon plugs are so simple, but effective and are very durable on the rocks.[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]I purchased 2 x Major Craft X-Ride Shore Jigging Rods for my trip, as my intent was to give shore jigging a full on go, but I did not have a single hit on the jigs….i still believe that this will be a very effective method from the shore, but they had to be stowed to make way for the nylon plugs. [/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]The Shore jigging rods are also designed for lure casting and I paired the X-Ride 1002MH with a new 2013 Stella SW6000HG with Torro Tamer 20# hollow braid and 60lb wind on leader and the 1002H with a 2013 Stella SW8000HG and 40 lb Jerry Brown Hollow and 80lb wind on leader. These rods are honestly the sweetest rods that I have ever owned and I plan to expand my Major Craft collection.[/SIZE]
     
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  2. blaasoppie

    blaasoppie Senior Member

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    [SIZE=medium]The 20 lb Torro Tamer hollow was freaking expensive $99.99 for 300m, but was worth it, as it is really beautiful handling line and I love the wind-on spliced loop connections. Look forward to JB producing the 20 and 30lb hollow for some pricing relief![/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]I was a bit nervous about the poor reviews of the Stella 2013 models, but after using them this holiday I am sold …. they perform beautifully, and I think that the drags are smoother than the 08 models.[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]Our other bread and butter game fish down in South Africa is the Leerie, also called Garrick (Lichia amia); these are good clean fighters and they are commonly caught on artificial lures in the ocean and in the estuaries.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=medium]On my first day of holiday when me and a mate walked down from the car park we saw fish busting everywhere on shoals of anchovies that were near the shore and we had an absolute blast with hundreds of fish in the 3-12kg range chasing our lures over the three or four hours that we fished. [/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]They were more picky than usual due to the bait in the water, but I ended up with three good fish and lost some fish in the 12kg range.[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]Hooked two Streepies like this; was lucky that they did not spool me...:huh: [/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]My mate Dennis got a good Lerrie of 12kg’s plus from the rocks later in the holiday and he also got a good size tail of around 11kg’s.[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]A smaller Leerie that I caught off the rocks at the point..[/SIZE]

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  3. blaasoppie

    blaasoppie Senior Member

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    [SIZE=medium]An Oyster Catchers eggs along the walk path to the point...[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]The Mother Oyster Catcher strutting for the camera...[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]Some Sea Otters I saw just before the Oyster Catchers nest..[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]Towards the end of the holiday my other mate found shoals of free swimming Leerie out in the bay which were also feeding on Anchovies, but these fish were very picky on the lures and I finally found that leadheads were the poison of the day; I also discovered a new technique which resulted in six of the eight fish I caught…I would retrieve the leadhead in on a very fast jerking retrieve and if they were following I would drop the leadhead back about 3m before the boat and just jigged it with a fast action letting it fall about 1 or 2m every stroke; when I saw the fish turn on their sides and flash I would give the lure a hard strike and most times it would be fish-on.[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]Leadheads were deadly..[/SIZE]

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  4. blaasoppie

    blaasoppie Senior Member

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    [SIZE=medium]Fish were full of Anchovies...[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]The estuary in St Francis Bay is a madhouse over December due to all the holiday makers water skiing and your patience can really be tested if you are fishing; my daughter caught a really good size Skipjack which is family of the Lady fish you guys catch over in the U.S, except ours grow up to 22kg’s and are one of the most exciting fish to catch in the river. [/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]Was really disappointed at my lighthouse photo attempt; wanted to capture the light rays extending in the sky, but the only way that I could capture some was using a fast exposure and I didn't feel like taking a bunch of photos and merging them, so I just took one long exposure.....next time![/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=medium]All in all not a bad vacation from a fishing perspective![/SIZE]
     
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  5. Anuvat

    Anuvat Senior Member

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    You have no idea how much I enjoy your reports and awesome pics. Thanks for taking the time to post. HNY
     
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  6. AaronD

    AaronD Moderator

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    blown away.. awesome read and the pics belong in a magazine!
     
  7. Fishermex

    Fishermex Senior Member

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    Your pics are awesome! Thanks for sharing them.
     
  8. blaasoppie

    blaasoppie Senior Member

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    Thanks Anu...was a challenge getting decent photos with only a wide angle lens; did not feel like lugging the 70-200 around!
     
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  9. Anuvat

    Anuvat Senior Member

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    Amazing with a wide. Love pic2 in post#2. How long was that exposure and what filter did you use.
     
  10. blaasoppie

    blaasoppie Senior Member

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    Thanks Aaron and Mex.

    Anu, I used a Hoya ND400 (9 Stop filter)... f16 at 30 sec.
     
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  11. Definitely one of the best picture post for a while and very productive on decent sized fish from shore. Nothing to compare to except for salmon upriver or Stripper/Bluefish from river mouths. Thanks for sharing
     
  12. cory2160

    cory2160 Senior Member

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    Great pics! What lens did you use? Thanks for posting this. That pic of your stella and rod on those rocks is fantastic!
     
    JerseyBrian likes this.
  13. blaasoppie

    blaasoppie Senior Member

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    Global....we also catch Bluefish in SA, but for some reason or other they were missing on this trip. Fishing from the rocks is a blast when the fish are around, as there are so many elements that you have to factor in to land a fish.

    Cory...Tokina 11-16mm wide angle lens.
     
  14. oilpatch

    oilpatch Senior Member

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    Those leerie's look like an overgrown blue runner. Bet they do pull. You take the most amazing pictures...
     
  15. elsyd

    elsyd Senior Member

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    A visual feast right there. Top write up
     
  16. Anton

    Anton Junior member

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    Wonderful report there Blaasoppie. I was in Knysna for the holidays and the fishing was much less productive. We fished Robberg a number of times and it was dead. No gamefish or bait to speak of despite very promising conditions of warm water and 15kn SE wind on a number of days - normally ideal conditions. A couple of mid size leeries and some cob on the spinner is all I was able to connect with.

    It is good to see Dennis getting some nice fish on those new rods of his. He was very excited about them when I was with him in PE last year. He has to be one of the most remarkable, thinking anglers I have met. The array of lures, clips, tackle that he has created could almost be called an eastern cape land based fishing museum. He is without question responsible for many things that the modern day Landbased angler in SA takes for granted.

    Great to see the feedback on the Majorcraft rods. These look like a wonderful alternative in the Landbased arena.

    I believe that the 40lbs St Francis land based yellowtail has to be one of the most mythical captures for a South African spinnerman.

    Your pictures really did justice to a truly amazing piece of our coastline and angling heritage.

    Regards
    Anton
    Ps. An 18kg Dorado was landed in the Knysna lagoon on my last day of holidays. The last one I heard of was one landed by my father off of his kayak in 2001 while drifting a sardine for shad in Feb 2001.
     
  17. blaasoppie

    blaasoppie Senior Member

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    Oilpatch, yeah, they kind of do look like Blue Runners; they catch Leerie from South Africa, up the West Coast of Africa and up into the Mediterranean. I have also seen some photos of Leerie from Columbia, which blew me away, as I did not think that they would be that far west. They are a fantastic fish to catch and really put up a good fight.

    Thanks Elsyd - you get any Yellowtail that far up north in OZ?

    Anton, conditions were really just perfect in St Francis and I think that the anchovies brought all the fish into the bay. I was going to go to Robberg for a day, but now I am kind of glad that I did not. Yeah, Dennis is a freaking fish magnet and i really enjoy fishing with him...those French rods of his are nice, but I think that i converted him to the Major Crafts. Not sure if he will be able to open a museum, as whenever I see him I normally depart with half of his lure stock :ph34r:

    Wow an 18kg Dorado in the lagoon must be a flipping catch of a lifetime; i saw a photo of a Tropical Yellowtail that a guy caught in the Swartkops river when i was at Alcocks shop....now that is something that i would never have believed if i did not see it with my own eyes!
     
  18. Anton

    Anton Junior member

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    That says a lot for the Majorcraft rods. They also come at a very favourable price point given the components that are used. If one purchases that quality of compenent it would cost almost the same as the completed rod from Plat excluding the shipping. That does not leave much room for the cost of the build or the cost of the blank. Makes these rods a fantastic option for land based especially given that this discipline of angling is notoriously tough on tackle.

    The big game reel that Dennis built from scratch has to be one of the most impressive pieces of fishing kit that I have ever seen. You are very fortunate to be able sneak out there with some of his lure stocks. I do believe that owner or mustard may be very interested in some of his home made jigs that he uses to make his lure clips and variety of splitrings.

    Thank you for a fantastic report. You do our coastline incredible justice. I would love to see a similar photographic report for both Robberg and Rooikrans - places that have similar angling pedigree and are equally close to my heart.
     
  19. bassjedi

    bassjedi Member

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    Those are some great pics.
     
  20. blaasoppie

    blaasoppie Senior Member

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    Anton, they are definitely the best value for money out there; last year I bought a GraphCast-1 10'6" rod and imported Titanium K-Guides which just for the blank and components was more than the X-Rides cost complete. When is the best time of the year for Rooikrans...I have an invitation, so will make it there at the end of this year.

    Thanks Jedi.