The day the amateurs went fishing

A klipvis was the smalles catch of the day when a bunch of amateurs went fishing

The day the amateurs went fishing

12 November 2018 | Tourism

Tanja Bause

Last year in December we - a bunch of friends - drove down to the coast again, something we do every year. But the difference this time around was that we had decided to do some serious fishing. Our friend Ashley is a member of a rock and surf angling club at the coast and we could therefore rely on her expertise and knowledge.

While still in Windhoek the preparations already started. Dad’s old fishing rod was taken out of the garage and dusted off. The reel was taken to the local camping outlet for a service and new line. Once at the coast we went to the local fishing shop to acquire hooks, sinkers and bait. Easy, right? Or so we thought.

Fortunately Ashley was in charge. You need to make use of sinkers according to the size of your rod. If the sinker is too heavy for your rod you will not be certain of the best cast. Everyone knows you can only catch fish if your line is in the water, so there is no time to play around with the wrong gear.

“The same goes for hooks”, she said. Small hooks for fish with small mouths like galjoen and black tail. Bigger hooks for your steenbras and cod fish, while huge hooks are required for those big sharks.

As could be expected, the bait also turned out to be a complicated issue. Gone are the days where one only used pilchards as bait and hoped for the best. Each fish prefers different food and you need to decide what you would like to catch and then buy your hook and bait accordingly. If you want galjoen or black tail the smaller hooks and white mussel bait are a must. Pilchards and chokka are used for steenbras and cod fish.

After all the essentials had been bought, we headed for the beach ready to cast and hopefully catch our first fish. The excitement was mounting as we prepared our bait under the expert supervision and with assistance from Ashley.

We were finally ready to cast. The first couple of casts were a dismal failure but eventually some managed to get just behind the first wave. Disheartened they wanted to reel in and cast again. “No, leave it. Behind the first wave is good, because you find fish there too,” shouted Ashley. All lines eventually landed up in the sea; some actually further than the first wave and then the waiting began.

Ashley of course was the first one to hook a fish. We were all shouting for her not to lose it and mentally all helping her reel it in. When the fish finally landed on the beach it was a sand shark. “This is not uncommon as they also feed on pilchard and chokka. You can also catch a St. Joseph shark - also known as elephant shark - because of its looks”, explained Ashley.

We ended up catching a lot of different fish that day. We measured them and those that were undersized were obviously released back into the sea.

I also caught a fish, although it was the smallest one for the day. It was a tiny klipvis that took a bite of my white mussel intended for a galjoen, but nevertheless the day turned out to be a huge success with all of us having a lot of fun. You should try it too during the upcoming holidays.

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