The pampered life of the freshwater angler

2013-01-19 00:00

FRESHWATER anglers lead a somewhat pampered lifestyle.

We stand on our boats, surefooted and poised on our sea legs. The boat hatches are filled with everything from a well-packed lunch and array of rods to a first-aid kit, life jacket and rain suit.

Freshwater angling comes with all of the exquisite extras that you will probably never need on the calm and subdued waters of Albert Falls. And if you don’t like your current fishing spot, you can easily make use of your overpowered motor to zoot to another one at the touch of a throttle.

Shore angling requires that you carry everything you may need with you. In other words, you will be overloaded like a pack mule while you walk kilometres to your chosen spot.

If you’re smart, you’ll remember shoes and if you aren’t, well, you’ll probably be seen sprinting down the beach towards the water so that you can cool off your scorched feet in the refreshing saltwater.

A group of friends and I were among the many who used the festive season to its full advantage and took the opportunity to travel to new places. Nine of us gathered together early on Boxing Day and set off to explore the fishing waters of two of our neighbouring countries, Swaziland and Mozambique.

Swaziland is a freshwater fishermen’s dream and is the home of a wide variety of species. We were the only guests at Mbuluzi Game Reserve for the duration of our three-day stay, and the bubbling rivers did not disappoint. An array of indigenous species were plucked from the water with a frequency that would see most artificial lure anglers in South Africa reduced to the beaming enthusiasm of a child with their father’s old rod in one hand and their first fish proudly displayed in the other.

Swaziland left us confident that the fishing aspect of this 10-day getaway in itself would be enough to make the trip worthwhile and we enthusiastically set off to enjoy similar success in Mozambique.

Our next stop, Chidenguele, is about 300 kms beyond Maputo. We were confident that we would be pulling in fish a lot faster than we were able to drive in the hazardous Mozambican traffic.

Most of us had little to no rock and surf experience and many of the men in our party had confidently splashed out on new saltwater rigs. Anyone who enjoys angling knows it is an expensive sport, but kitting up for the first time can leave your pockets jingling with the sound of lonely coins bouncing against one another as you leave your local store.

It was my first trip to Mozambique and the array of small fish swimming in the cool, clear water did not disappoint. Our prowess, on the other hand, was a cause for concern.

I walked the shoreline, bravely giving my feet up to the sharp rocks that lined water’s edge, but after being swept off of my feet I timidly retired to the pristine sandy beach to watch the fishing from a safe distance.

After six days, most of us had managed at least one small fish, but one of our group, Johan Bestel, had managed little more than a bandaged foot.

Still he persevered, often limping to the best spot. He threw spoon after spoon until eventually, on the last day, as everyone was making their way back to the 4x4, Johan decided to make one last cast. That cast made all the difference. He finally got the hit he had been waiting for. After a tough, 20-minute tussle, Johan landed a ’cuda of between eight and 10 kilograms. It was the fish of a lifetime.

Our foreign fishing adventure has been the source of many a daydream, but I, for one, will be glad to return to the comfort of a well-stocked and comfortable boat at the upcoming Annual Satellite Skins Bass Tournament being held February 2 and 3.

All sneaker, paddle and pedal-powered boats are welcome. Call Rod Freese at 082 573 4544 for details.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.