Spinning for gamefish from the beach in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
On the east coast of South Africa, in the KZN Natal province, that I live in, there are some hardcore fisherfolk. But down in the Cape is where the guys get really, really serious…
I was invited to join Jeffreys Bay local, Mikey Meyer. No, not surfing! Fishing. No J-Bay local EVER invites you surfing.
But I was stooooked. Not only was this Mikey Meyer (bespoke surfboard artist and outside charger), but he is also fishing obsessed. Spinning with lures! And I was going fishing with him – at one of his secret spots!
Next morning. Early bells. J-Bay Surf View (where many a world champion has laid his head), and where I am blessed enough to be staying...with a view right out over all the action!
But we weren’t going surfing today.
An Isuzu 4wd with two big dogs riding in the back pulls in. Mikey steps out. Looking serious.
“Morning”…etc…”What you taking?”, Mikey asks.
“Uhhhh…water, two rods, a bag, a dog (Chelsea)…no beer!”, says I.
Mikey goes…matter of factly…”Wetsuit.”
“Uhhhh”, I go…“Ok, booties too, I suppose”
Affirmative headshake action.
Into the warm cab. Yak, yak, yak…
Sharp turn right. Mikey changes from casual conversationalist to US Marine – “Open the gate, let us through, close the gate, get the hell back in!”
I follow orders. Smartly. This oom has kakked me out in the line-up a few times already. Once for having the wrong sized board even!?
Back in the cab. Music is Fleetwood Mac. But no talking as we bounce and weave across this strange but beautiful terrain. Smell of fynbos reminding me where I am in this wilderness.
The Izuzu is fynbos grey specially done for camouflage since we were not on public land anymore. And we soon enough disappear down a track and into a dense thicket. 10 Kms bouncing through the bush!
And then up to some daunting, but striking sand dunes. Huge.
We stop underneath them. Can hear the waves on the other side. Light onshore breeze. Otherwise it’s just birds and nature.
“Ok, cool, gather it all up, prepare for a short hike”. Says Mike.
Ready to go.
100 Metres to the dunes. Bush on either side. Marsh. Swamp. Mud.
Chelsea dog in my arms. Carrying all my kit.
Wading through, it’s a metre deep now. Freshwater and muddy, it’s hard going for sure.
But what a place! So amazingly beautiful. Breathtaking.
Finally we trek across the swamp. And now to climb the huge dune. Over the top we go.
The most beautiful and endless seascape of beach and ocean rolls out in front of us.
Letting me take it all in, Mike points north, into the distance, and says, ”Theeeeeere it is…”.
5 Kilometres up the beach!
Mikey’s dogs and Chelsea team up and set forth, Mikey and I bring up the rear.
It’s now like walking on Mars. Weird rock surfaces and dune formations.
Simple desolate beauty. Nobody anywhere. For miles.
Walk, walk, walk.
Finally we stop! Ok, wetsuits. Uh, and booties. Sheeez. Ok, well, stoked. New tackle, new lures, and a all new fishing experience for me! Mikey leads the way and points out the slight variance in the shorebreak contour, a current, a little sand bank point, and some deep water behind.
Here on this long and distant beach, this is called structure, and we have come miles to fish it.
And so we start up. So many casts. 50 Before a short break. Change lures, chat, swop spots.
2 Hours go by. It is so beautiful. Really amazing. Only like the Southern Cape area can be. Light east is blowing. Things are cool.
Mikey is up to his chest in waves. He casts and casts. My lures, his lures. Fishing HARD! Both of us.
Wading in this deep, in such sharky water. This place is full up. The day before I was winding sharks in the corner at the surf spot Albatross. Some kid was giving his girlfriend surf lessons whilst I was pulling sharks from in amongst them?! Right behind the shorebreak! They never even got out of the water when they both saw me releasing the sharks.
And we were way into the wild. Miles from any form of civilisation. I wouldn’t have been surprised if a dumb White Shark casually strolled past whilst we fishing?!
But then my equipment started to fail. Mainly my fingers though. It had been hours of casting that thin braid eventually cutting in.
I had to get out and warm them often just to keep going.
And then back into the water. Deep into the water.
I was never gonna let Mikey fish harder than me, but I had no chance. He outfished me totally. But Nada. No fish today.
Just frozen fish fingers.
And then. Ha ha ha you would never believe what happened…
I tie on a MYDO SS Spoon but with a treble hook, a bullet-like spoon, in the hope of something buying in on the bottom, the spoon being erratically dragged in from way out the back. Right on the sand.
A few casts in and with Mikey standing right next to me, BANG, I was vas. Whooohooo!
Mikey is stoked, I am over the moon as the fish shows some mettle and has me on my toes and swimming hard backwards for the shore. Barely holding and then these Veedub sized holes that just form are all around and you fall right into them all the time.
But 5 minutes later (my 20lb Braid spinning outfit skrik vir niks) and a stupid sand shark shows itself. A hapless one that I have dragged my spoon over, with ultra-sharp treble hook, and heavy bullet spoon. The spoon is embedded in it’s tail!
What a laugh!
But Hell by now I was too cold at this point and used the whole incident as an excuse to leave Mikey casting his thoughts to the ocean for another full hour, ace out.
I shook my neoprene, donned warmer kit and wondered at the sheer determination.
We get back at lunchtime. Back to work for both of us. Mikey to his surfboard creating factory and me to tying lures.
As he leaves he asks, “In the morning?”
If you would like to try this kind of fishing over here in South Africa – please get in touch with Sean on firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp +27793269671, anytime! The torture part come free-of-charge!
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