TAMING ’TAIL — How we do it South Coast-style
By Adrian Dela Hunt
WITH the onset of the winter months we start to run into the back breaking yellowtail, one of our favourite species to target on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. Taming these violent, full-of-attitude fish takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but that just makes our successes that much sweeter.
Thinking about these fish reminds me of an outing we had in September 2017. We heard there were a few geelbek around at a well known “brick” (reef) off Shelly Beach and hatched a plan to target them. The night before our trip we sat in the garage doing some tackle preparation. We planned to have a spell of bottomfishing in the morning then some tuna fishing on Protea Banks in the afternoon. Peter-John Botha, Wesley Pauls and I sat making up some traces that night and hit the sack early to prepare for a long day’s fishing. We were awake the following morning at 3.30am and packed the Cobra Cat 630 (Watt 4) in record breaking time. The boys were keen!
When we arrived at the launch site a light westerly wind was blowing but we knew it wouldn’t last for long so we shot out and darted to the bait marks off the Port Shepstone river mouth and filled up with some lovely bait. Finally we arrived at the mark and stopped the boat to check the current. Conditions were perfect — 1.8 knots of north to south current and a 10-15 knot westerly, to hold us up nicely into the current.
Without wasting time we baited up for the first down and did a sound around the brick to find the fish. What greeted us was scary! A huge red ball (see image alongside) was looking us in the eyes and it was sitting high off the brick. I looked at Peter John and he just smiled at me, then I shook my head, walked over to my rod and cut off my trace.
The plan had just changed — Kendall rounds weren’t going to do the trick for the showing that just burnt holes into my eyes!
READ THE FULL STORY IN THE MAY/JUNE 2018 ISSUE OF SKI-BOAT.