Bad Brad’s Kingfish at Pomene

Bad Brad’s Kingfish at Pomene

The legendary kingfish at Pomene have been under threat from overfishing and nets the last few decades, but this last trip we were there, they came alive! Bus loads of them!

I am not sure if they are Big-eye Kingfish, or juvenile GT’s – they look so similair at the size we were catching them – up to about 3 or 4 kg’s.

But the big ones were in there too!

In the mellee we saw at least a dozen metre long GT’s and yellowfin kingfish smashing along with the juveniles – teaching them how to be a proper bad mooded kingfish.

It was late afternoon when Bad Brad of Durban cast his luminous pink popper in the right place, and soon we had out first little trophy. The pink popper thing was hot to trot and it wasn’t half an hour later when he had his bigger fish of the two. They both swam away completely unharmed, and more experienced in life.

The fish were in hunting shoals, moving with the tide and creating a fracas in the deep channel on the far side of the estuary. We would position ourselves up towards the mouth, and drift in with the current – much the same tactic that the kingfish were using. Then as the kingfish cornered the baitfish they attacked from all sides, whipping the water wild, and making a sound like a live Rodriguez concert.

There were fish just everywhere!

And then as soon as they had started, they stopped. Completely. And disappeared. Gone. Silence. In the sunset.

Back to base, where whilst staying in the water chalets, we could hear the very same kingfish attacking right outside our door, intermittently through the night!

The aggressive and intelligent locals – the humpback dolphins, who have been patrolling the Pomene estuary for as long as I have been frequenting it, came to visit. And one time, when I wasn’t looking, a massive explosion of sound and water got me turned around just in time to see a huge black fin slicing the water in a patch of foam and blood as big as a kombi. Now what that could have been? Shark? Huge GT?

This story is not meant to be one telling of the Pomene estuary’s fantastic fishing. No, no. That is long gone. What is left, can be roughly estimated, at about 10% of it’s former glory. When little sailfish were caught right up in the mangroves. Huge yellowfin tuna beaching themselves as they miscalculate the tides and shallows. Brindle Bass would shy you away whilst snorkeling the reefs. Seahorses bouncing around all over. All this in the estuary! Never mind how good the ocean was back then. Couta off the rocks. Huge GT’s in the shallows…

And then the saddest thing, is even after all the effort to protect this prime fish nursery, there come some prospective investors in the area, from South Africa, rent a boat from the lodge, and come back with three little dead kingfish.


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