by Jan Espen Andresen
As the Mustad Webmaster, I don’t get the chance to go fishing very often myself, but I really appreciate the few chances I get. Last December I went to South Africa to work for a few days at the Mustad Office in Cape Town , and since my son, Simon (18), was in South Africa for a year as an exchange student, I and my daughter Line (12) had planned to take a trip with him for a week. He recommended us to go along the Garden Route, which is the name given to the southern coastline from Mossel Bay to Port Elisabeth. This is a really beautiful area of the country, and being mid summer in SA, we were in for some “quality time”.
|One of the highlights on this trip was to go fishing in Plettenberg Bay , where we had booked half a day’s fishing with The Explorer Ocean Adventures. The crew on the boat suggested that we try different types of fishing, and the first thing we tried was to go for the Bonito. This species had just arrived for the season and with it various game fish. For the Bonito, we used Mustad Baitholder #92247 hooks size 4/0 baited with cut fish, as well as a lure with a Mustad 3549D treble hook.
After a 30 minute trip we came to some skerries where there usually were quite a lot of fish and it didn’t take long for the Bonito to start biting.
|Facts about the Bonito (Sarda sarda):
The Atlantic Bonito can be found in the Eastern Atlantic from Oslo , Norway to Port Elizabeth , South Africa . Also known from the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, as well as the Western Atlantic from Nova Scotia, Canada to Florida, USA and northern Gulf of Mexico; then from Colombia, Venezuela, and south of the Amazon River to northern Argentina; apparently absent from most of the Caribbean Sea.
Epipelagic, neritic and schooling species that may enter estuaries. Known to be cannibalistic, adults prey on small schooling fishes, invertebrates like squid and shrimps and can swallow relatively large prey. Utilized fresh, dried or salted, smoked, canned and frozen. Max. published weight: 11.0 kg. Source: www.fishbase.org
Game fish often prefer live bait and we spent 20 minutes fishing for live bait fish before heading closer to shore to try to catch some Garrick.
What was quite exciting here was that the Garrick would come close to shore to feed on smaller fish, and they could be easily spotted in the clear water against the white sand bottom. But so could another species: Simon, my son, suddenly cried out; there was a big fish swimming just under our boat. And with the characteristic head, it wasn’t difficult to decide that this must be a hammerhead shark.
|We had baited with live bait and the shark started to steal our bait. The first one must have invited all his friends along, because there were quite many of them. Since the shark obviously scared all the Garrick away, we decided to re-rig and try to catch a shark instead. For this we used Mustad Round Bend Sea hooks 2335DT.|
|Smooth hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena )
Reef-associated; oceanodromous; brackish; marine ; depth range 0 – 200 m
Widespread in temperate and tropical seas. Western Atlantic : Canada to the Virgin Islands; Brazil to Argentina . Eastern Atlantic : British Isles to Côte d’Ivoire , including the Mediterranean . Indo-Pacific: South Africa to Sri Lanka ; southern Siberia to Australia , New Zealand and Hawaii . Eastern Pacific: northern California , USA to Chile .
Occurs inshore and well offshore, over continental and insular shelves. Migrates northward in summer; young often in large aggregations of hundreds of individuals. Prefers to feed on small sharks, skates and stingrays, but also preys on bony fishes, shrimps, crabs, barnacles and cephalopods . Regarded as being dangerous to people, but only few attacks can be attributed to this species. Meat utilized fresh, dried-salted, and possibly smoked for human consumption; liver oil for vitamins, fins for soup, hide for leather, and carcasses for fishmeal Become sexually mature when 250 to 300 cm long. The female gives birth to 30 – 40 young. Source: www.fishbase.org
After releasing it we decided to finally see if we could get some Garrick as well.
|We moved the boat closer to shore and since we were quite tired of having the sharks steal our bait, we used a plug with a Mustad Treble hook #3565BD on.
Minutes passed by, and then we saw a fast-moving shaddow coming from the sea towards the shore a little behind our boat. “Garrick on its way!” One of the Crew cried out. We reacted immediately and cast out in the direction of the fish, which must have been hungry. As you can see from the photos below, it paid off, and we ended up catching two of them on “overtime”.
|Facts about Garrick (Lichia amia): Pelagic, oceano-estuarine, brackish; marine, depth range 0 – 50 m.
This is a popular game fish that can be caught in coastal waters both in the Eastern Atlantic : from the southern Bay of Biscay to South Africa , including the Mediterranean, as well as the the Western Indian Ocean: South Africa to Delagoa Bay, Lourenço Marques. It mainly feeds on fish and the maximum published weight is 50 kg. Source: www.fishbase.org
As we experienced, this shoreline offers quite a variation of fishing and on top of that a school of dolphins kept us company for half an hour. In springtime these waters are also excellent for whale watching.
Mustad Treble #3549D, and Mustad Round Bend Sea hooks #2335DT