Geelbek Salmon at night: with umzimkulu.co.za
A great evening out on the Niteshift, with John van Reenen and Elvis Olimpio as crew…
“Winter time is Geelbek time, and although the ‘Bek do feed during the day time, night time, is the right time.
So when conditions do play along, and the surf is small…and the tides are right, and the Umzimkulu Mouth acts like a harbour…and it lets us out for a 3 or 4 hour window.
The night previous had produced nothing but an Englishman, and we had a lot of trouble with the anchor at Boboyi…there must be so many anchor ropes and chains down there, after all these years!
But the current did turn out to be be very slack…so this last night we used the conditions to buzz around all the spots we could, sounding around…and dropping baits, to see where these Geelbek have been hiding.
There was heaps of bioluminescence in the water, and fishing on the seaward side of the boat, John Fever and I both clearly saw a white mushroom cloud burst up silently into the total blackness, some distance in front of us?! All sorts of thoughts. And then the sound…it was a whale exhaling, the cloud of air illuminated with bioluminescence. The things you see at sea at night?!
But no fish at this stage. Nothing. So after scouring the Port Shepstone reefs, the Old Man, on a hunch, took us 4 miles south through whale infested water…to one of his very first Geelbek stomping grounds.
The new Garmin CHIRP system on the Niteshift, is so powerful, it picks out our baits! So when we we got our first showing of red, the anchor went straight down.
And spot on. Dad goes away immediately. We found them!
I got one next, but on my next down something huge took my middle bait, and after a huge tug-of-war, my trace broke on the snootie?!
Then Elvis starting making weird noises as the biggest Geelbek of the night tried to pull him overboard.
By this time my Dad had his quote of two, so he helped Fever catch two more. I had more trouble, this time with a shark, and that’s how I ended up. Then just before our safe window of conditions were up, Elvis’ rod doubled over…but he made short work of the fish this time…which turned out to be half a fish. Tax.
Then the huge shape appeared around the anchor rope…milky white in the ultra clean and flourescent, phosperous water. It might have been a great white for it’s size, and it leered up at us circling underneath…breaking the water with it’s tail a few times, in some sort of defiant gesture.
The whales had also been barking at us some more, we were surrounded on a few occasions, so we pulled anchor and hightailed it into the outgoing tide at the Umzimkulu River.
Total fish – 7.5!
A hard days night!”
For more information on the Umzimkulu Marina…click here.
Or check out their current promotion…
Check out the catch and cook series on thesardine.co.za for how to best savour the flavours of Geelbek Salmon…
And a gallery of photos…