Another trophy ox eye tarpon in the Umzimkulu

Another trophy ox eye tarpon in the Umzimkulu

Ox eye tarpon.

Chris Leppan and his trophy ox eye tarpon taken on the Umzimkulu River estuary this weekend
Chris Leppan and his trophy ox eye tarpon taken on the Umzimkulu River estuary this weekend

Just the name should send shivers down your spine. And all the way to your rod tip.

As you shall discover when in a dog fight with an ox eye tarpon. When pulling hard, they vibrate somehow, sending the vibrations right up through your line into your rod tip and down to your gut. It is an amazing sensation.

But that’s not half of it. Acrobatics. Just like its Atlantic cousin, this tarpon goes hell for leather when you pick a  fight with it.

Best you have your equipment in top shape, fresh leaders and extremely sharp hook. They are notoriously hard to hook. Hard, hard bone. Throughout its jaw. Like its cousin.

And here’s the kicker. The Ozzies have got this like weird angling association and they rate fish. They rate Barramundi at 1.2. Blue marlin at 1.5. And an ox eye at 1.6!

Yes. This fish carries more esteem than a blue marlin.

All I can say is I am so stoked I caught one before this beautiful fish by the quasi stunt double of himself and the other Chris Leppan. You see, there are two Chris Leppans around here who both are excellent fishermen in their own rights. One just surfs a lot better than the other though. But ok, this is my trophy ox eye tarpon, 11 years ago, near the Umzimkulu mouth.

But ok, the crew that Chris fishes with, is kind of led by my schoolmate Rory Lawlor. He has assembled an amazing pool of talent and this is evident in just this last weekends catch gallery.

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PS: Just so you know what I am talking about…this is Chris Leppan, the surfer…aspirated by none other than the inimitable Hate Speech led by our totally untamed lawyer Mr. Russell Stroud.

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