Natal Pompano on a brush fly
“Featuring another bomb blasting war story from JP Bartholomew who fishes the Durban area and surrounds. Properly” – Xona
It was March the Snoek were wild at WestBrook North Coast that Thursday a baitball of Anchovy’s had blown in and was sitting in the shorebreak the Snoek as well as kingfish a few small Tuna had followed them in and were smashing into them and fisically driving the Anchovy’s onto the beach.There were a few Guys Spinning for the Snoek including Me as I said the Snoek were wild and plenty were coming out avaraging around 4\6 Snoek per angler it was a epic session that avie things soon died down with the baitball moving out to backline again taking the game fish with them.I left for home with my catch of 5 Snoek I had landed that avie session.
That Friday morning I returned to WestBrook to see if there were anymore Snoek hanging around after throwing a variety of colour’s in the Coutta No 2 size in the CID Spoon range I decided to hang up the Spinning gear since the Spinning side of things was quite I grabbed my fly rod from the RAV-4 locked up and headed up the beach towards the Tongaat River Mouth to throw some fly for a while and see if there was anything hanging around.I saw a nice piece of stretch in front of me with some nice sand banks behind a nice drop off running parallel to the banks yes please the tide was slowly pushing in and thewhite water would be pushing and bait of the banks into the gully.I stopped to set up my Explora 9Wt rod with my Expla 9Wt reel I decided to go with a Brown Big Eyed Brush-Fly just to blend in with the sand banks and immertate a Shrimp or Sea Lice.
I started peeling of line to start throwing some fly the weather turned overcast which was good in a way I’ve caught a lot more fish in overcast weather.I kept casting and walking following the deep channel as far as it allowed me I had been casting and walking for about 30 minutes and decided to call it a morning and started turned around to start mywalk backto my RAV-4.The stretch of beach I had covered was a very nice section and had a lot of great fishing potential for future outings up North for me.The surroundings, reefs ,drop offs and scattered structure made it home for a great variety of fish species….!!!
I was about 10 minutes into my return walk when I could see some activity on the waters surface I quickly peeled some line of and started to target whatever was feeding a couple of casts I landed one good throw into the zone of where the activity was happening I slowly let the fly sink and then started retrieving the fly slowly back towards me nothing I threw another 3\4 times nothing what ever was there had moved on.I kept walking and casting back to were I had parked I pulled out some extra line just to see if I could reach a little closer to the water pushing over the sand banks I cast and was making some good ground close to the white water and the banks,tiered and the will just to keep casting in hope of picking up something for my time spent up here at WestBrook at the North Coast I kept at it.
I pulled my line back andgave it a good hard burst of energy to get over the bank I slowly let the fly sinkand roll around a bit then slowly bounced it off the bottom like a Prawn BOOOOOM…..!!! I went tight had I hooke a rock or had something picked me up before I test to see what I had hooked into the fish took off then knowing it was not a rock the fish started peeling line off my reel with such speed I was battling to hold onto it wasit a kingfish did’nt feellike a kingfish but had the strength of one I just kept holding it as muchas I could and tried to retrieve at least some of my line back before it took me in to my backing.I slowly braked on the reel trying to slow down what ever was on the other side of my line.I graduly started winning slowly with this fish and started bring him in closer towards me I was happy about that then off he screamed again as if he was given a second wind damn I had to start all over again.
Now I was getting a wee bit not impressed with this fish tiered and sore from the Spinning the day before and this morning I just wanted to land and see what fishI had hooked into, I started retrieving line in quickly before it decieded to get a 3rd wind in I held the rod up and cranked that Expla reel getting the better finally of this fish I was so desprate to see.I kept at it retrieving more of my line back and pulling it closer to the shore break with my 9Wt rod bending nicely with the force of the fish on thee other end was a good site to see in front of me….I had a few more burst from this chap he was’nt givng up without a epic fight slowly slowly I started bringing this fella in the closer I could see the Boykie,as the white water cleared in front of me I finally got to see my fish I had caught a Natal Pompano roughly about 5 kilo’s I was stoked my first Pompano on fly it’s as close as you can get to fishing the flats for Permit on fly in the Tropic’s……!!!
I tightened up on the line reeling more in try to use the waves to bush it onto the beach I finally landed my first Natal Pompano it was such a awsome feeling one you’ll never forget.Not messing around I quickly got a pic holding it,measured it tagged it and got it back to the water and watched it swim off epic always seeing your fish swim off to fight another day.Remember to let your fish roam free….LET GO LET GROW…..Fish for the FUTURE……!!!.