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Easterlies, whales, ships, waves, amberjack, bonito and yellowfin tuna!

John van Reenen Yellowfin Tuna

It started out smooth and calm, with a nice launch at 7:30am, but soon the beasterly easterly started to whisper. Captain Brian Lange at the helm of Niteshift, from the Umzimkulu Marina, was driving, with John van Reenen and Sean Lange as crew. By the time we had 10 livies, it was up to 15 knots, but since the tide had run out half, we were stuck out there for the next 6 hours! The ride to Protea was like being in a skatepark, and when we got there, the wind was up to 20. But, there was very little current and we only had to deal with wind drift really – staying on the reef was easy. But the fish weren’t there. Our livebaits stayed live and the wind picked up even more.

We were only entertained by whales exploding all around us. So many of them, travelling north, south, east and west! After no strikes at all, we headed to a deep brick off Tweni, and got the anchor to hold. A ship came out of the south straight for us, but luckily adjusted course and passed on our inside, by a few hundred metres.

It was rough going on the anchor, with the boat going half airborne sometimes…we got a huge Bonito, an Amberjack…on the bottom with the livebaits, and then it happened. Tuna! Yellowfin! Coming up behind us. The home-made plug and the Mydo spoon went flying with the east gale, and both went away as they hit the water. Some 25kg class mixed up with football sized. Luckily we got a few smaller ones to start with, as the gas bottles hammered us…first the popper got annihilated, then the Mydo spoon… John van Reenen had his eye on the Okuma T30 as it started to growl…’wicked tuna’ style…he set the drag to max and strapped in. 30 Gruelling minutes, many close calls and two gaffing attempts later…one gaff got the tuna by the tail and the second gaff swung in…O.D.B…on da boat! So it was a great day…an awesome catch in the end…goes to show what Captain Paul Cook preaches…’Fishing is like school…good marks for good attendance…!’

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