Posts Tagged South Africa

Changing Times

Hi all.

It’s been some time since I’ve done any blogging… There have been so many changes in my life the past 9 months, and I’ve had little time to write or fish.

I was made an offer I could not refuse (sounds like a 1930’s Chicago gangster offer doesn’t it) and I am heavily involved with this new work opportunity. There were all the things to do as well; red tape, work visas for Jen and me, sell the house, the vehicles and the furniture, say good-bye to friends and neighbours… Anyone who has emigrated will know what I mean.

I am no longer in Mossel Bay, or even in South Africa any longer, and this blog is mosselbaai – not very appropriate any longer. I haven’t yet decided what I will do with it, whether I will keep it or not. I don’t see myself having much time in the near future to maintain and write new posts however.

I have asked contributors to move any articles they kindly allowed me to use for this blog to their own blogs if possible… Should I delete the blog, it would be a pity for the readers to lose some of the useful fishing information they contain…

Thank you all for following me these past couple of years – it’s been a lot of fun

Ray the Fisherman

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Know the Job

Surely a Contractor Must Know the Job?

Wouldn’t you think a contractor, or a sub-contractor must know the work in order to be awarded a contract? Evidently this is not a requirement  any more.  How can a business award contracts, then hire someone else (who previously undertook the work) to instruct the new sub-contractors how to do it? Seems to me there’s something wrong with this equation.

To my mind, the contractor knows the work. He hires workers able to undertake the tasks, and instructs the workers how to do the job. Isn’t that the way it works. Apparently not. Sub-contractors get contracts without more than a very basic level of skill. I’ve had a welding team in the past month that may be OK to knock up a set of burglar bars or a braai stand, but have no idea how to run a weld for a pressure vessel. Hell, this so called contractor doesn’t even have an argon rig… they arrive on site with a couple of oil filled AC arc boxes – those kind you buy at Game or Makro.

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Pomatomus Saltatrix | The Shad or Elf

The Shad (species: Pomatomus saltatrix – Lineaus), also known in South Africa as Elf, in Australia as Tailor and the USA as Bluefish, is a member of the order Perciformes and family Pomatomidae, and is a popular angling and food fish especially in KwaZulu Natal where people of Indian origin find it extremely desirable…

Read the Article at: Shad or Elf | Pomatomus Saltatrix

This Article has been moved – see reason here:  https://mosselbaai.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/changing-times/

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Shad Run Madness

photo of shad fishermen

Shad fishing South Coast style… (Image from thesardine.co.za)

The Seasons are Changing So Must the Fishing

Mid May and winter is around the corner. We have already seen the change in fish being caught in the area. The species common in summer have become fewer in number while winter fish hasn’t really started yet.

Fewer elf have been seen lately. These tasty bait fish are most prevalent in Mossel Bay during summer, but come the winter months and the drop in sea temperature sees these fish begin their annual migration up the East Coast to the spawning grounds off KZN, and to face the gauntlet of Natal’s ‘shad-run’.

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Footprints in the Sodwana Sand

photo of of beach at mseni

The Beach Below Mseni - Sodwana, South Africa

We left our footprints in the sand and nothing else. Who would leave trash on this pristine beach? Anyone doing so should be expelled from the reserve without refund. During the night it rained, and heading down to the beach on the Mseni side we found sand showing no sign of human presence. If not for the wooden stairway leading to the beach one could easily believe the we were the only people ever to have set foot on this beach…

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Sodwana Bay Nature Reserve

sodwana bay lighthouse form bay side beach

Sodwana Bay Lighthouse seen from the beach

One hundred kilometers south of Mozambique lies the Sodwana Bay Nature Reserve. Forming part of an extensive conservation area incorporating the Lake St Lucia Wetlands, Kosi Bay and several private game reserves, this coastal reserve is second only in size to the famous Kruger National Park. In recent years proposals have been made to extend the reserve to join up with Mozambique, creating one vast nature conservation area in the Maputaland Corridor.

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Arrived at Sodwana

photo of sodwana bay

Sodwana Bay - Seen from Lighthouse path

We got here at last. After leaving the Kingfisher in Durban, we got on to the northbound highway, determined to get to our ultimate destination with no further delays.

A Good Road North

The N2 national road from Durban to Hluhluwe is a pleasure to drive on. Although it carries a fair amount of traffic, the surface is in better condition than many of the other main arterial routes in South Africa, is double-carriage for a good part of the way, and the toll sections are reasonably priced.

On another occasion I may have been tempted to stop off at Tugela Mouth or Mazeppa Bay, but we suddenly realised nearly a week had gone by. For a change we arrived at the campground, run by Conservation Services (the old Natal Parks Board) while it was still light, and the office was open so we could book in. Late arrivals can still check in, paying a deposit to the rangers at the gate, but then must call in to the office first thing the next day to sign the register.

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Rocky Bay, Bait and Heading On

photo of rocky bay beach

The Beach at Rocky Bay - KZN

Good intentions lost out to fishing. Plans to be in Durban by shop opening time got way-laid by the desire to wet a line in the morning. Overnight stop at Rocky Bay, south of Durban found us camped within  50 footsteps of the shore, so the call of the fish was just too powerful to ignore.

Rocky Bay has not Produced Much Fish

That’s what the local early morning anglers had to say. For several years this spot has been un-productive. Theories abound why this previous hot-spot has been so quiet in recent years. Some say the sandbank running along the coast is keeping the fish away from the shore, others say the sandbank will keep the feeding shoals in-shore. Offshore fisherman are catching, so there are fish in the area.

The sandbank theory makes sense to me – It can clearly be seen extending a long way along this part of the coastline, and is very shallow. Waves build up on the bank and break, before continuing to the beach.

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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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