Wild Coast to KZN

photo of port st johns umzimvubu river

Port St Johns on the Umzimvubu River

Leaving Mazeppa we took N2 National Road as far as Umtata, then veered back towards the coast and Port St Johns. This scanic route winds it’s way through the rural part of the Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal, along some really poor roads. It’s worth it though, this is maginificent landscape – anyone with a suitable vehicle and the time really should travel this region.

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Deep Water Mazeppa

photo of deep water at Mazeppa Bay

Access to deep water for shore anglers at Mazeppa

Deep water is only  a short cast from the rocks when fishing Mazeppa Bay in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Whether an angler is looking for large sharks and rays, or a deep water edible species, Mazeppa Bay can be very productive at times.

Fishing Mazeppa – Day 2

Day two at Mazeppa began with a nice early start – the wind had changed direction to North East during the afternoon of day one, becoming so severe by late afternoon we decided to break from fishing and do some sightseeing instead. By 2.30 AM no-one had much interest in sleeping any longer. During the night the wind had dropped off completely, so off we headed to the ledges, determined to get baits in the water as soon as possible.

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On to Mazeppa Bay

photo of sea at mazeppa bay south africa

Mazeppa Bay, our first destination on the rugged Wild Coast. Mazeppa Bay is well-known for shore-based angling for big sharks. Sharp drop-offs from land to ocean result in deep water access close inshore, with the big sharks and rays coming within reach of cast-bait angling methods.

Mazeppa Bay Deep Water Fishing Spots

There are 3 popular deep water fishing spots around Mazeppa Bay; The Island, Boiling Pot and Shark Point. With a name like “Shark Point” what else could we expect to find except sharks. Situated just North of Mazeppa Bay village Shark Point has provided many anglers lot’s of battles with sharks over 100kg…

One of the species on my expedition list is the Zambezi shark (AKA the Bull shark). Zambezi’s get big – several hundred kilos and come very close inshore. Zambezi’s are probably responsible for most non-fatal  shark attack injuries in South African waters. They range from the tropical east coast to the Eastern Cape (in summer when the water is warmer). I haven’t before landed this species, so the Zambezi is high on my list of desireable fish to catch.

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Next Stop Kowie

kowie beach

One of the beaches at Port Alfred

Port Alfred on the Kowire River became the first real stop-over on our journey North. A pleasant town at the mouth of the Kowie River in the Eastern Cape, Port Alfred has magnificent clean beaches, good fishing (yes, fishing) and a wide choice of places to stay over.

Blaaukrans, J-Bay and PE

Leaving Vic Bay, we travelled the Garden Route north-east, by-passing Storms River (it’s a marine reserve so no fishing) and heading for Port Elizabeth. I really wanted to take the old road – through the Blaaukrans Pass, bu no way – the road is still closed to all but a handful of residents, so had to stay on the boring N2 highway, over the concrete bridge. I wonder if that road through the pass will ever get repaired and re-opened…

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Victoria Bay

victoria bay

Victoria Bay, South Africa

One of the worst kept secrets on the Garden Route, Victoria Bay grew in recent years from a small quiet holiday resort to a small hamlet with a handful of semi-permanent residents. Originally there was only a camping ground, and later a small shop that opened during holidays and weekends. Victoria Bay in those days was a haven for surfers, and occasionally fishermen.

Vic Bay – First Stop

Victoria Bay is ony a short distance from Mossel Bay, so it may seem strange to make this the first stop on our journey North. However, it’s been some time since last I dropped a line in the water here, and after a late departure Jen and I decided to overnight here, do a bit of night and early morning fishing before continuing our expedition.

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The Unpleasant Tasks of the Boss

I had a really unpleasant task this morning: Telling my crew I will be moving on to hopefully greener pastures.

It’s one thing to fire a worker for an infringement, another thing altogether to have to tell them they will be out of  a job in the near future. Worse still when two of these guys have been part of a team for so many years.

It Could be Worse

Still it could be worse. They have about 4 months to find alternatives, and I have colleagues who I know will take on my long-term crewmen. Nor will they be left destitute, the two blokes who have been part of my crew for many years will have decent severance packages.

Thomas Plaaitjies could probably retire if he wanted to. Faisal is a darn good artisan, and learns fast too. The other two youngsters leave with good practical experience and on-the-job skills training.

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Do You Want a New Saltwater Angling Magazine

Please vote – multiple choice answers are permitted – choose whether you would like to be able to buy the magazine from a store, or to subscribe (Or both if you would like both options) and tell me where you live (AND FISH)

Here it is, one of my options for a new career.

Please help me to establish the potential for a new career related to my favourite occupation, FISHING by taking this survey.

Voting on this survey is totally anonymous. No personal details are collected. I will not be able to send you e-mail because your personal information is not required.

This survey is purely to provide me with an indication of the desirability of a new magazine to replace ESA Magazine (Read my post What happened to ESA Magazine).


Ray the Fisherman

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Extreme Sport Angling Magazine

What Happened to Extreme Sport Angling Saltwater Magazine

Extreme Sport Angling Saltwater Magazine (ESA), for several years the premier saltwater English language angling magazine in SouthAfrica suddenly dropped off the bookshelves and disappeared. What happened to it?

Extreme Sport Angling Saltwater MagazineESA Saltwater Magazine occupied a fond place in numerous anglers hearts for several years. Along with a weekly television production, a weekly angling competition held all over the country, each week in a different place, good value prizes, fishing trips for subscribers… This was a very popular publication, so what happened to make it disappear virtually overnight.

It seems the publication traded hands from one publisher to another several times before it’s demise, finally ending up in the hands of one of South Africa’s leading media houses, Avusa Publishing.

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My Future in Industrial Contracting

Industrial Contracting
Industrial Contractor for 25 Years

I have worked in the industrial contracting sector for nigh on thirty years, first as an apprentice boiler maker and welder, later for myself as a subcontractor. The job has been good to me: I never expected to get rich, and definitely that is the case… but I have enjoyed the work, the camaraderie of fellow workers in this rough and tough industry…

I have had the opportunity to build a small succesful business, and have a core team of workers who are reliable mostly, some who have been with me a long time, one who has stayed through thick and thin  since I started out for myself.

Times Changing, Time to Change

I work mainly for a few prime contractors, one of whom provides about 80% of my work. It’s been a good arrangement, they procure the work, manage part-time workers, and take care of much work I would otherwise have to do – and spending time negotiating for contracts is time out of earning a living.

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It’s Been a While

fishing rodIt has been nearly 2 months since I wrote anything for this blog. I haven’t given up the keyboard though, nor have I given up fishing… I have just been busy with work, away for a fishing trip, and giving my future a lot of deep thought.

Working the Shutdown

I’m an industrial maintenance contractor (sub-contractor) so December and January is traditionally  a busy period: Factory staff often have leave this time of year, and a lot of industries shut parts of their plants for maintenance. So this is a busy time of the year for the us.

Fishing the North Coast

Into the second last week of January, work had become slow as always, so Jen and I took the opportunity to take a needed three week holiday in KZN. I have lot’s to tell about this in the coming months; hot weather, fishing, travel, sightseeing, more fishing.

Other things undertaken during this trip included a number of discussions with other fishermen, over braaivleis and beer about some possible work ideas related to fishing

My Future Career

When I started writing this blog, one of my first posts mentioned I had my sights set on a change in direction. I am now well into my fourties, and the time has come to decide how I want to spend the next 20 years of my working life.

I don’t see myself continuing much longer in the sub-contracting game. I take a too hands-on approach to sit back and become a desk-jockey, and would find that terribly boring. So I have had to do some very careful thinking about what I want to do, what I can do, and what opportunities exist.

With this in mind, after Jen returned to her office job, I spent more time travelling, ending up in Gauteng for nearly 2 weeks, discussing an idea I had come up with – (Jen jokingly suggested I take this path), with another keen fisherman…

Read my next few articles to see why I want to change, and what I am thinking about doing…

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