OPBC to Robben Island - A Tale of Tails

August 29, 2015 by Wickus Nel

Trip Info


After we got entertained on Friday by the Southern Right whales it was game faces on for Saturday 29 August 2015. We arrived at OPBC (Oceana Power Boat Club) at 5:45 and our clients were already waiting anxiously. During our meet and greet we exchanged some information with fellow fisherman also getting ready to launch. With the weather prediction having it spot on for a change and the boat ready; we launched and made our way out the harbor.

It was overcast, a little bit of a drizzle and somewhat cold, but as long as the wind stays calm we were in for a nice fishing experience. Making our way towards the bell buoy, the “manne” quickly ripped out cell phones taking photos and video footage wanting to share their experience of their first time on a boat.

20 minutes after launch we started putting our buffet out on the backlines rigging every possible combination that should work to see what they felt like eating today. 5 year old Alexander also decided to join us on this trip after his successful “snoek” expedition to the West Coast with us earlier in the year. This young man is seriously chasing his species list and already told us on the boat that he wants to catch a Marlin.

After working the area around Whale Rock we moved more towards the south west side of the island and next moment we were vas. Kevin quickly took the rod and started reeling in on what would’ve been his first yellowtail, but the hook pulled close to the boat and he was watching it swim away. With the water temperature about .3 degrees warmer than the previous day at 13.5 degrees and the 2-6 knot Northerly wind, there was no excuse not to get fish.

While working the backlines all of us were spinning on portside, starboard side and in the bow hoping to land something on the blind. Next moment Alexander’s little rod went screaming, and this young man did not let anyone get in his way trying to get to his rod. With him being settled in; 30 seconds into the fight, it was then when he told us all “ek wil nou Marlyn gaan vang”, easy Alexander, let’s get this bad boy landed first. Me on the camera and the wheelhouse trying to keep the boat Starboard side for the young man, Justin was ready to gaff or leader Alexander’s fish. Soon as we had color on the fish we saw that it was not his intended specie, Mr Yellowtail, but a Katonkel / Atlantic Bonito, never the less, it was a first for him and a tick of his bucket list. Fish safely landed he was a happy guy and we moved on.

It wasn’t long and we were landing Katonkels all morning with everyone removing their “mombakke” and also a first for majority of the crew onboard Piranha Group – Fish Tales. Finally a very strong hit and miss on one off the rods and soon after he came back and took on Alexander’s rod, this was it, there is no way that a Katonkel have this much power;  Alexander was fighting this fish alone with absolutely no help. Closer to the boat and with the fish surfacing it was a stunning 3.45kg Yellowtail and Justin made sure with a perfect head gaff to land this fish safely. The excitement on the boat from all the anglers was something spectacular as we cheered him. Posing all proud and finally getting two ticks in one day the young man decided to call it a day and he took the fetus position in the wheel house.

Finally the signs were showing that the tail is coming up to the surface, we all were super excited and suddenly the birds came to life. Like I always say, the “Viskoors” kicked in and it was grafting time before the predicted 20knt southerly wind started chasing us of the water. But it went quiet, not even a Katonkel interested. So we decided to make our way to the eastern side of the Island and maybe get lucky on some snoek.

Reaching the eastern side and working the area for a while with backlines, spinning and bait things looked dull when we got a phone call from one of our fishing buddies also on the water “Lenny” to come back to where we were as it seemed the fish started to liven up. Lines up and ready to roll, we made our way around the Northern side of the Island and saw an insane amount of birds working the area. Trying to cast and see what happened, we had no luck. Full steam ahead back to the South West and backlines back in we got a strike. Again it was Kevin’s turn, but again the hook pulled what could’ve been his second first yellowtail.

It wasn’t long and a strike on the spinning rod and this time Andrew was behind the rod, first time spinning rod, first time yellowtail, so this could give him some serious adrenalin for the next couple of minutes. Yep, the man is smiling and he landed his first yellowtail. Next moment my spinning rod went vas and also a nice size yellowtail was landed. We then started to see breaches on the water and cast after cast they kept following but not interested in taking. We got a couple of hookups on Katonkels and yellowtails, but then at about 14:30 the predicted wind was blowing in all its glory and we decided to call it

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