Hibberdene 2014 – Andre Loubscher 36.9kg ‘couta – wins big!
At the prize giving, just before the big moment, Andre Loubscher , the Hibberdene 2014 winner – walks in with a bemused smile – shaking his head and muttering about luck – how he just doesn’t understand how he could win 4 boats in 5 competitions! Well neither can we! But I suppose that’s why we will all be back next year!
Andre tells us that he just could not find a livebait in the Red Sands area he fishes normally, down past Port Edward. After searching around for ages unsuccessfully, he finally moves to the famous ledge off Red Sands – the ledge that has produced so many winning ‘couta over the years, only to find that his spot was crowded full of very serious looking boats and anglers – right up and down the length of it. So he sulks down to the far end, drops his anchor, and chucks out a frozen mackeral.
At 12:55pm, which is theoretical lines up for the Port Edward south crew, Andre’s mackeral goes. Vas! But. They have to do 40kms by sea, to get back to Port Edward, load the boat, then another 80kms to Hibberdene by road, to weigh in, all by 4pm. And he is on anchor.
Staying attached in the milder current characteristic of down south, he fights the fish for that crucial half an hour. The gaff goes in and as the fish hits the deck Andre sees that one treble is broken off and the only other is hanging on by a thread in the soft skin under the gills. Winning fish. Very hard to beat…although many try, with a shoal of fish weighing in over 20kg’s. In fact the average size of all the fish weighed in was 17.53kg, which is pretty much unheard of as a statistic.
So, the next few places to Abed Khan with his 30.0kg couta, and third to Tyler Loomes for a 28kg kingfish and then a very young A. Westoby who at 10 years old loaded a 28.1kg monster.
Analysis shows that most of the big fish came from way down south, with the mid 20 fish found at Turton and Seapark. The huge current put Protea out of the question and spread the 200 odd boats nicely up and down the coast. How it is and why it is that the Transkei puts so many big fish forward has had anglers speculating wildly. The clean water, proximity to the reserve, lack of fishing pressure, sardine season coming soon…the list of factors goes on. But either way, that’s where the action is and that’s where we will all be fishing next year!
The tournament was a great success…check out the Hibberdene Ski-Boat Club website on http://www.hibberdeneskiboatclub.co.za/ and thesardine.co.za would like to congratulate the organisers, sponsors and anglers.