Commentary, Conservation, Environment, Mydo, Release, Report, Rock n Surf, Short Stories, South Africa, Southern Cape

Bucktails vs The Law

Bucktails vs The Law

Bucktails vs The Law: “Sean, Sean, please man, we need your assistance. We’ve been arrested for jigging with bucktails! Fishing down here in PSJ!”, came the call.


And so I sprang into action. Called up my dear DAFF contact Bongani, and asked him about it all. Bongani pulled out of the Mtata traffic he was in at that moment, and we discussed the situation. Over the following piece of legislation.

The law!

While there is literally zero chance of misinterpreting the intent of section (c) – its application to real-life normal fishing methods and styles is alarmingly loose.

Back to the victims

And so I called up the two dudes with the R2500 fines in their back pockets. And asked them how hard they were jigging. The response was kind of really vague as he started comparing his “medium” jigging style, to the guys on the boats out at sea. Who jig like crazy, he claimed.

Blame mentality for justification

But ok, I’ve been picking up on a new environmentally destructive mentality all over recently. It goes like this…

“But the trawlers take everything…”. Or, “Have you seen those netters in the Cape…”. Or. “The deep-sea ous catch it all anyway…”. “The spearos shoot them”. And so on…

All kinds of blame is used to justify catching 10 shad, or 5 brushers. And with The Parks Board, nee Ezimvelo, gone and stripped of its guts and morals by corruption under Zuma. And DAFF totally untrained and unready to take on the sophisticated networks of poachers that exist now – it’s a literal free-for-all as the ocean gets looted every day. And people just look on and say nothing. And do nothing. And worse still, use one of the claims above, to become an ocean looter too.

Back to Jigging with Bucktails

Yes well if you gonna jerk up hard with apparent or seeming intent at jigging something in the body, you gonna get busted. This is the price it seems we have to pay, to have the law enforceable. I am sorry for the seemingly innocent dudes who got busted. But maybe in the future, legislation allowing certain lures to be jigged hard across estuary channels teeming with breeding fish will be passed.

But for now, it’s definitely possibly maybe illegal.

I was an illegal jigger

True confession. I was an illegal jigger! Yip. For absolute real. This is the story…

Brucifire and I were staying at Jungle Monkey. This was a long time ago. 2015 to be exact. I was in PSJ with Bruce making a movie about surfing 2nd beach. Which we did, made our point, and got out. But man did we get in trouble for that.

But ok, I woke up at that beautiful backpackers, joined Bruce for a coffee in the lookout. And watched the sun climb through the clouds. The tide was gonna turn soon and it was an idyllic morning.

Something weird was abuzz too. Something in the air, the atmosphere. It was all electric.

“Bruce, I’m just gonna go catch a fish quick, ok?”. Bruce grumbled something encouraging through his coffee-stained morning beard. And I trundled down to the beach. As I pulled up, there was quite a scene going on. I jumped out and looked out over the water towards Agate, and there I saw them.

“Zambies!”, I exclaimed.

“Nay Bru, kob!”, he corrected me in the local PSJ tongue.

I nearly had a heart attack. I’ve never seen it since. Those huge fish were lolling and rolling over each other, as they spawned. In front of my innocently bleeding eyes. I went into that mental state of flow, but it never worked at all. I first put on the wrong spoon. Then clambered back up and changed to a 2 Oz MYDO LuckShot Jighead and a 7 inch plastic jerktail. Pink?! Crashed back down the bank and started at a spot where I was kind of on my own. I saw a guy in the distance lose an honest 20kg garrick right at the bricks. Split ring broke right at the gaff! Fish were everywhere this crazy memorable day. Adrenalin pulsing.

And then it was me. A solid thump. Something really big. And I was vas. For the very first time in all the years, I have tried to get a big fish from the shore, finally, I was in the game. And an hour and a half later, the gaff went in. And the hook fell out.

I had hooked the fish under the chin. Not in the mouth.

I had illegally jigged the fish.

But it was totally by accident I tell ya!

Luckily, the 20lb light tackle had served its purpose and the hook stayed in without its barb helping once, for the entire 90 minutes. That fish was my first, and most certainly will be my last big kob.

You only need to catch one of these magnificent fish - in your whole life!
The TWO wise men -according to Brucifire! Visiting priests from Ethiopia to PSJ were mightily impressed. And took a photo op! You only need to catch ONE of these magnificent fish – in your whole life!

But ok, this all I had to process, before being able to resolve in my head, the fact…that jigging up hard and with seeming or apparent intent, is illegal.

No matter what lure you have tied on.


The two victims that initiated this story, took legal advice. Which was to contact the public prosecutor before the court date, and try to explain the situation.

However, the fines were totally invalid.

They had a court place that doesn’t even exist. There was no public prosecutor to contact. No information on the fines. The actual fining was invalid too. On video taken during the incident, many requests were made for the identities of the arresting officers. One of whom gave a first name, the other flatly denied. It was a $%^$% show and would never have held up in court. Even if there was one.

All the while, the real jiggers, were hiding in the bush laughing their heads off.

And the minute the DAFF dudes left, they were back at it.


Watch this video for some alternate ways of working estuary lures. Bucktails included. Pay special attention to the extremely gentle nature of any rod tip actions during fishing with these lures.

Gently. Is the key. To an estuary.

These days that’s by law!

The Sardine News and the Master Watermen are powered by TLC for your Business. E-commerce pros.

Just in case you’re not aware of who Brucifire is…

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