Piet Botha (son of Pik) and his band "Jack Hammer",
started playing their relaxed African music at sunset on the beach.
They carried on well into the night marking the start of a four-day
music festival called "STRAB" - 30 of Southern Africa’s best and up
and coming bands.
But for us diehard fishermen, STRAB was only an
added bonus in this already perfect setting. Ponta Malongane is one
bay north of the southern tip of Mozambique, which is Ponta do Oura.
The launch at Malongane is slightly trickier than D
Oura but is a more popular fishing destination because of the
numerous reefs in the bay.
Traditionally kayak fishing tactics have involved
trolling artificials as fast as possible, or slower trolling or
drifting baits. Recently vertical jigging has become more possible
for us paddlers. We had planned to jig on a reef called Cloud Break,
which is 2.8km offshore and goes from 32m down to 41m.
Of course, in our small, specialised craft it was
all dependant on the weather.
The jigging lures we used were 1.5 ounce to 3 ounce
Berkley Nitro jig heads accompanied by 5 or 7inch Berkley soft
baits, as well as bucktails and the very new squid jigs.
On our 1st launch the weather was immaculate and
this allowed us to explore the deeper reefs extensively. It was not
long and Derek, the wetbiker in our party was stuck into something
solid. He was using light tackle, and after a 30 minute battle
landed a stunning Ignobilis of 13 to 15kg. His day and week
Between the 3 kayakers out there we only managed a
few bottoms, which was rather disappointing.
The second day and we were on the water before
sunlight. We trolled articficials straight to the same reef, without
success. The westerly was blowing and with it us off the outside of
the reef. So after 4 or 5 downs with your jig, you would have to
paddle toward the shore and back onto the reef. Again we only got
some stunning swallowtail rockcods.
After 3 hours of hard work against the wind we
decided to put 2 baits out and head out to shallow water. My plan
was to pull a mackerel behind a pink skirt with a baitswinner and a
sardine behind a pearly duster on the top. As expected, within
seconds of putting the sardine out, the ever-present Remora took it.
rebaited, got some distance between me and the "suckers" and let my
lure out again. To my disgust another "tekkiekop" ate my last
sardine. So my mackerel was to swim solo back to land.
With the figures on the beach growing ever clearer,
I started to plan my my beaching, but the great blue ocean had other
Loud splashing behind my kayak, and my 6 foot 6 Ugly
stick is doing a frantic dance! I looked back and something with a
bill was viciously shaking its head above the water. I accelerated
by giving 5 deep dug strokes, hoping that this time the hooks would
set properly. This time they did, and my Penn Torque 200 confirmed
this when my 30-pound big game started stripping off at blinding
a surging run, the fish came back to the surface to do a majestic
tail walk. When my adrenalin pumps I loose track of time and the
tailwalk felt like 10 minutes - but was probably only 30 seconds.
It dived back into the water and this time its run
was straight towards me.
For a split second the headline for the next day’s
newspaper flashed in my brain. "Kayaker impaled by angry billfish".
Fortunately the Toque’s high cranking speed got me
back into contact with the beast.
My fishing partner, Rudolf, was about a kilometre
away from me, being certain that I wanted to release this fish if I
landed it, I shouted and waved like my life depended on it. Rudolf
put some back into his strokes and the fish pulled me slightly north
and then out towards Rudolf.
saw something jumping, is it a Dorado?" Rudolf asked me. "It’s a
Sailie", I screamed, "Please come get my camera".
So like a professional photographer and a true
fishing partner, Rudolf paddled after me while the fish towed me
After some serious pulling on the fish, I got my
first glimpse of it. "Is it a sailie?" The sail was not up - but
this was a big boy. It might even be a small marlin.
After giving me a real run for my money this
beautiful creature came up glided next to my kayak.
Using my cap to grab its bill, it gave 2 more tired
shakes of its long body, before I rested its head on my lap.
The perfect hook up, the 4x strong treble in the top
of its mouth and the single in the top of its bill. For once
everything had gone right on that big fish - and it didn’t get away.
After removing the hooks and a couple of photos, I
put his big eye back into the water world it knows.
Jacob is a passionate kayak fisherman and owner of
Hunter Ski kayaks. He has been fishing from the day he
could walk and has not stopped since. The new challenge
of fishing from a kayak has inspired him to new heights,
"there is nothing quite as rewarding as landing a fish
from a kayak, totally solo!"
I used its massive sail to turn it upright and
straight away it started to swim again. I pulled it forward and let
The magnificent fish was free and would live to
Thanks to STRAB, to our team "Hunter Ski" from campsite 11, to
Ponta Malongane and mostly to the great God up above, for giving me
this experience I will never forget!