Hemingways, Kenya: December 2011 – a Report by Wayne Wiid

Chris Rothmann and I had the good fortune of being able to take our families for a few days to Hemingways during December 2011. I have been to Hemingways a couple of times before and have fished there in competitions on Provincial, SADSAA & Protea levels. Chris has also fished there before and we both agreed that the venue was ideal for a family holiday.

We departed from OR Tambo on the midnight flight on the 9th of December. Saturday early we got a connecting flight to Mombasa and from Mombasa we were transported in a taxi (which the hotel arranged) to Watamu. It was a bit of a mission to get cold beers for the trip but we managed to stock up on some Tuskers in the end. Kenya Airways didn’t disappoint us with any delays but lived up to their “lost luggage experience”; Chris’ wife (Elsabe) suitcase was AWOL.

Sunday was a leisure day and we did things for which there isn’t normally time on a “men only” fishing trip. A snorkelling trip in one of the glass bottom boats to the one section of the marine reserve was enjoyed by all. Late afternoon we took the sun downer trip in a dhow down Myda Creek, the drinks and snacks were magnificent. We met an old couple (Rod & Margaret) from Cornwall, these two old people are serious rugby fanatics and Chris and the boys talked at length with them about the SA rugby. It is amazing how well they know our players.

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Deep Sea Angling reacts to the Social Media explosion

Social Media

The world is getting smaller and smarter. The internet, cellular phones and computers are responsible for accelerating and revolutionising the way the world collaborates and conducts business today. Social media and web 2.0 applications are the big drivers of this evolution.

The term Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, by allowing for the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Social media can take on many different forms, including collaborative projects like Wikipedia, blogs and microblogs like WordPress and Twitter, content communities like YouTube and social networking sites such as Facebook.

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IGFA Creates New Rule for Assist Hooks

Assist hooks are hooks that are attached to lures with leads typically constructed of multifilament, wire, monofilament or other similar material.

Assist hooks have become wildly popular with vertical jigs and are also being increasingly used with plugs in place of traditional treble hooks.

Until recently, IGFA did not have rules that specifically addressed the use of assist hooks on lures. However, because of their increasing popularity the following rule has been created that governs their use:

Assist hooks or other such single hooks that are attached to a lure with a lead constructed of monofilament, multifilament, wire or other such material must conform to the following: When using assist hooks on any artificial lure, other than a skirted lure, the lead cannot be more than 1 ½ hook’s length and the bend of the hook may not be more than 4 inches (101 mm), whichever is less, from the closest point of attachment on the lure. Double and treble hooks may not be used as assist hooks.

IGFA believes that this new language will make it easier for anglers to understand and comply with rules regarding assist hooks. In addition, it also helps facilitate their use with plugs, which are far less damaging to fish than traditional double and treble hooks.

Source: IGFA

New Spreadsheet System for ORI Tag Members

Please see the following communication from the Oceanographic Research Institute

Dear ORI Tagging Member

The time has come to upgrade to the new age of emails and leave behind the snail post. For this reason we have created two spreadsheets for those of you who have email and are literate in Microsoft excel. The first spreadsheet (spreadsheet 1) is to record all tagged fish on, i.e. tag releases. Simply transfer the data from the white tag cards onto the spreadsheet and return it to me. Many of you are already familiar with this procedure. IMPORTANTLY, PLEASE KEEP YOUR ORIGINAL TAG CARDS incase a mistake is made either by you or me. The second spreadsheet, which none of you have seen before, is for recaptured fish. Instead of sending us those old style yellow forms please enter the tag recapture information on the spreadsheet attached (see spreadsheet 2) and send it back to me as for the previously mentioned spreadsheet for tagged fish. Both these spreadsheets are designed to make life easier for you and me, as well as save us valuable money. If you are unable to get to a computer often enough to convert your tag information into the above attached excel spreadsheets then please continue to send your data via post as you have done before. Please feel free to email this document to your fellow taggers.

Spreadsheet for Taggers (1)

Spreadsheet for Recaptures (2)

Look forward to seeing some nice returns

Kind regards

Tagging Officer
Oceanographic Research Institute
Direct Tel: +27 (31) 328 8159   Fax: +27 (31) 328 8188
E-mail: oritag@ori.org.za
1 King Shaka Avenue, Point, Durban 4001 KwaZulu-Natal South Africa
PO Box 10712, Marine Parade 4056 KwaZulu-Natal South Africa

Grander Tracking – Number 9,10,11,12,13 & 14

Since my previous post on Grander Tracking on 21 July 2010 –  another 6 Granders have been confirmed… Lets take a look at the different fish:

Grander #9: Blue Marlin – 1,000 + lbs – Vialmoura, Portugal

The 9th grander for 2010 was caught and released off Vialmoura, Portugal on Thursday the 8th of July.

Captain Thiago Palma on the Blue Shark released a blue that was estimated at 1,000+ lbs.

Grander #10: Blue Marlin – 1,005 lbs – Bermuda Continue reading

Grander Tracking – Number 3,4,5,6,7 & 8

June & July seems to be the time for BIG fish with a total of six Granders caught in the last couple of months… Lets take a look at the different fish:

Grander #3: Blue Marlin – 1,038 lbs – Mexico

Blue Marlin - 1038 lbs

The third grander for 2010 was caught off Veracruz, in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday the 19th of June.

While marlin fishing for his first time, in the 9th Annual El Pescador Marlin Tournament, angler Paco Iniguez Aguilar aboard the La Valiente (a 21 ft trophy center console) caught this 1,038 lbs blue marlin.

The fish was to large that she could not fit into the boat and they had to ask for assistance from another tournament participant in order to bring her in.

She was caught on a Black Bart RPP in yellowfin tuna color and the approximate fighting time as a little over one and a half hours.

Grander #4: Blue Marlin – 1,000 lbs – Cape Verde Islands
Grander #5: Blue Marlin – 1,200 lbs – Cape Verde Islands

Blue Marlin - 1000 lbs

The 4th and 5th grander for 2010 was caught off San Nicola, Cape Verde Islands on Wednesday the 30th of June.

Captain Ferdi Worst on the Bebiche had a double grander day. They boated a Blue Marlin that was right at the mark but there were no adequate scales to weigh the fish. Her tail girth was right at the magical 20” mark.

The second fish – also a blue was estimated at 1200 lbs but the leader snapped while the crew was handling the fish next to the boat.

The anglers were Jon Albisu and Rafael Modrego from Spain. The first fish was caught on a “Big Grander” lure with a fighting of about 1 hour while the second fish fell for a Mold Craft softy with a fighting time of about one and a half hours.

Grander #6: Blue Marlin – 1,097 lbs – Cape Verde Islands

Blue Marlin - 1097 lbs

The 6th grander for 2010 was caught off the Cape Verde Islands on Sunday the 4th of July.

While fishing in the Blue Marlin World Cup, angler Chris Brand caught a Blue Marlin of 1,097 lbs on the Happy Hooker captained by Berno Neibuhr.

This is the 3rd GRANDER caught in this international tournament in its history.

Congratulations to the Happy Hooker on the impressive fish and the Blue Marlin World Cup trophy.

Grander #7: Black Marlin – 1,150 lbs – Panama

Black Marlin - 1150 lbs

The 7th grander for 2010 was released off Panama on Sunday the 11th of July.

Captain John Richardson released a huge black marlin in Panama’s Perlas Islands. Not known as a major marlin destination. The fish was estimated around 1,150 lbs

Congratulations to John and the expert crew on the PICAFLOR for this astounding catch.

Grander #8: Blue Marlin – 1,012 lbs – Bermuda

Blue Marlin - 1012 lbs

The 8th grander for 2010 was caught off Bermuda on Monday the 12th of July.

Captain Kevin Winter on the Playmate weighed in a 1,012 Blue Marlin. The fish unfortunately died during the battle and came up dead after two and a half hours.

Congratulations to the angler John Andryszewski.

Sources: From The Water Magazine & StripersOnline SurfTalk

Sodwana daytime broadie – a plan comes together

Congratulations to the crew aboard “Lihann” for capturing a Broadbill Swordfish of Sodwana Bay in “broad” daylight. This is truly a magnificent catch and surely the start of a new target quarry.

We would like to remind everybody about the recent ban on vertical jigging and therefore urge all anglers to practice this method responsibly!!!

Story and pictures supplied by Jonathan Booysen

On the 6th of June 2010, Denis Booysen, Hannes and Michael Duvenage, Divan Coetzee and I launched Hannes’ boat “Lihann” off Sodwana. This marked the last day of a 3 day fishing trip in which we would target broadbill swordfish during the day. On the previous days, we had tried to determine which area we needed to concentrate our efforts on and after much debate, we decided that the ‘big W’ area was our best bet. We had tried fishing in depths from 350m to 450m which only resulted in large thresher sharks. On the last day, we unanimously decided to focus our efforts in the deeper water.

The weather was perfect with no wind and when we arrived at our designated area, there was no swell and very little current. I clipped on one of the squids that I had rigged the night before and let it out behind the boat. I then attached a few lightsticks onto the windon leader followed by a heavy sinker. All this was attached to an 80Lbs braided main line fished on a two speed reel on a bent butt 80Lbs marlin rod. This whole setup was slowly lowered to the bottom until the weight hit the ground. I then took a few turns on the reel to lift the sinker off the ground and we all settled down to wait.

Broadbill Rig

After about half an hour, the rod bumped a few times and the reel started running. My Dad took the strike and began the task of retrieving 500m of line. It took 45 minutes before the leader came up and when I took the trace, I saw the fish to be a nice yellowfin tuna. We gaffed the 30 odd kg fish and repositioned ourselves for the next drift. The same procedure of dropping the lightened rig to the bottom was used and again we waited for the strike.

At about 12:00 the rod tip gave the slightest bump and then bent slightly before coming back to the usual position. We all assumed it was a swell but the slight bump had us all wondering. Over the next ten minutes the rod tip indicated that the weight was bumping on the bottom and I would give the reel a few turns to keep it off the bottom. After a while the 500m marker came out the water and the tip still showed the rig was bouncing on the bottom. Hannes and I asked what the depth was and when my Dad said it was over 550m deep, we realised there was something strange happening. I told Michael to get into the chair and retrieve the rig and whatever was pulling the weight up. After about 30 minutes, the weight was about 80m from the boat but the line was angling to the surface. I told Michael that we probably had some kind of bottomfish on the line that was surfacing. Everyone on the boat agreed as this was the most logical explanation.

Broadie on the beach

A short while later, the sinker line broke off causing the line to come up even faster. With the line right on the surface, we were expecting to see a fish come floating to the surface. The next moment, the long dark bill broke the surface followed by the bronze body of a broadbill! This spectacular sight was met with spontaneous shouts of “BROADBILL!” from everyone onboard. The drag was immediately slacked and we were all in panic stations! The fish fought on the surface for about 15 minutes jumping clear out of the water four times. As the fish tired, it started making big circles under the boat. With each circle, it came closer and closer. I took the trace and brought the fish up the last few meters. As soon as it was in range, Hannes and Divan sank 2 gaffs into the fish’s head and swiftly pulled it on board. I am sure that boats off Diepgat heard the shouts from everyone onboard.

The Broadie Team

After a few photos, we packed up and headed for the beach. More photos were taken before we loaded the boat and left for Richards Bay.

We arrived at the Richards Bay Ski Boat Club at just after 6pm where the fish weighed in at 31,2kg.

This fish marks only the second broadbill ever caught in South Africa during the day. The first being caught be the crew of “Aphrodite”.

Congratulations once again to everybody involved!!!

Fisheries Minister Cans 500% Levy Increase

The Minister of Fisheries who took over as the political executive in charge of South Africa’s fisheries administration on 1 April 2010, confirmed that the proposed fish levies published by her colleague Buyelwa Sonjica earlier this year were both “bizarre” and “ridiculous”. She confirmed that the income from fish levies cannot alone be used to combat fishing. The Minister confirmed that MCM relies heavily on income from the sale of confiscated product and that this income could be utilised to combat poaching.

The fishing industry, artisinal fishers and the recreational sector must be thankful for this moment of sanity. The Minister’s frank and critical analysis of the draft levy proposals must be considered against the background that MCM’s financial woes continue into the current financial year.

Managing this financial crisis – the umpteenth one for MCM since 2005 – will be particularly challenging for the new Minister as she has committed her Department to a number of daunting fixes – not least the successful re-opening of the abalone fishery. As any diver will tell you – if you want to successfully open the abalone fishery to commercial diving again, make sure compliance is up to scratch, which it currently is not.

Poaching remains unacceptably high and brazen. Residents and divers in the Buffeljagsbaai and Gansbaai area reported to Feike that approximately 100 tons of abalone and lobsters were poached two weekends ago… and during the day. The Minister of Environmental Affairs did commit to re-opening the Hermanus Environmental Court in her budget vote on 16 April 2010 – although no date or timeframe for this was committed to. A dedicated, well resourced environmental court in Hermanus is a must-have in the battle against poaching. It is also time to review our sanctions and legal tools as the last legal review took place back in 2003. For example, it should become mandatory for convicted poachers to pay a fine based on a multiple (say 100 times) of the market value of the illegal product as well as forfeiture of all assets associated with the crime. For example, if you are caught with illegal dried abalone worth R100 000 on the international market (or any other illegal fish for that matter), your fine will be R10 million, alternatively an equivalently lengthy prison sentence.

The costs of poaching must far exceed any possible financial benefit.