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Thread: Why we fish

  1. #1
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    Default Why we fish

    Some of my earliest memories involve being woken up at 04:00 in the morning on a Saturday to go to a dam for a spot of fishing with my dad or uncles. Rust De Winter, Bronkhorstspruit, Loskop were all venues where I got my first experiences of fishing and as a small boy, these were the moments you lived for and the memories you hold onto.

    Bonus times were those when the adults actually wanted to camp over for the night and many a night was spent sleeping in a car without any tents involved. Imagine that! The size of fish or numbers caught came a distant second to just being able to spend time outdoors with the people you admire and love. This was real bonding time I was very fortunate and glad to have had.

    As I grew up, things changed and these trips became fewer, people spent more time at work and of course I went to school where sports and other "sports" over weekends took precedence over this activity. After school there was a brief period where a friend and I started fishing in the afternoons after work as well as over some weekends. Being dirt poor meant no fancy long distance trips or state of the art equipment, we had to focus on water within a very short distance from our homes and in this fortunately was possible given our location. Again I started accumulating memories that still make me smile to this day, like when we got stuck in clay ground next to a dam during a huge thunderstorm or when we launched our punctured Seagull pool inflatable "bass boat", surely a comical sight as neither of us are the smallest blokes in the world.

    Again life happened and these activities ceased as we grew older, had more responsibilities and got to know our future wives. Work and social commitments relegated fishing to the back of the mind.

    About five years ago, the bug bit again with a vengeance. My father booked a trip to Santa Maria where we went out on a charter for some deep sea angling. We caught fish of various species most of which I cannot remember the name of but I will always remember the feeling you get when that reel starts screaming, there are very few things that compare to it.

    After this trip, I started freshwater fishing again on a regular basis, specifically for predatory fish like bass and quickly realised how much I enjoy just being able to switch off and think of nothing else. The Santa Maria trip became an annual event that has been interrupted by the current pandemic but will hopefully happen again next year.

    In the meantime I realised the need for a boat in order to progress and improve my skills so in 2018 I started the search for an affordable secondhand bass boat. The only hard and fast rule for this purchase after affordability was the motor, it had to be a Yamaha and anyone who has been in the same boat will tell you there are many bass boats for sale but few have Yamaha motors.

    Eventually my boat came up for sale and with cash in hand I took the trip to seal the deal. I ended up with a boat just beginning to show its age and use but I was happy. Happy because it was within budget and more so because the motor is a good one. Over the last three years I have learnt how expensive a boat can be but the money I have spent have always improved the experience and made angling more enjoyable. Today my boat is just about fully refurbished to as new condition and something to be proud of.

    I also learnt that having a boat doesn't make you a good angler. The first few trips were less than successful in terms of catching fish, however just being able to get onto the water was rewarding in itself. I cannot adequately explain how relaxing it is being alone on the water with nothing to think about other than how to outwit those dastardly, clever green fish! I did persevere and spent a lot of time learning about the habits of my target species. Leisure time not spent on or near water became dedicated to reading and watching videos about the ways in which you can become proficient as an angler, however actual experience trumps book knowledge and slowly but surely I became more confident to the point where in the last two years I have had days where I will catch in excess of 50 fish but rarely less than 10.

    As I do more and more fishing I have realised that instead of becoming less interested the opposite is happening. I have introduced/ reintroduced people to the fishing hobby to the extent my dad also bought a boat and we spend a lot of time together again doing something we enjoy immensely whilst some of my friends are nagging me to go with on the next trip. There is just something about being out in nature with a rod in hand that soothes the soul in a way no other activity can, at least for me and it seems other people too.

    It is such a shame most youngsters never get to experience the excitement of being woken up at 04:00 in the morning to go fishing with dad. It doesn't matter if you as a dad are a great angler or complete novice, a child cherishes that time with you regardless and it cements the bond you have in ways that still resonate into their adult lives. I wish I had children of my own to share this with.

    So, when someone asks me why we fish, the answer isn't simple. It is slightly different for every person and something you can only understand once you experience it firsthand.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Grew up in PE and got woken up early plenty by my father to go fishing, we sometimes even did overnighters. I moved to Jozi in my early twenties and totally stopped fishing for really long time, it bit me about 6 years ago especially bass fishing. To me fishing means basically freedom from my daily grind, also bass fishing to me is about the first hit when you hook up, that feeling is hard to explain to non fishing folks. In a months time Im moving to Durban and then I believe I will be in my element, cant wait to hook up on shad/elf and prepare a fresh fish at home.
    Last edited by Yster1979; 2021/02/10 at 08:25 PM.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Well said... I'm 34, been fishing since I could remember... Was a period while at varsity the fishing was put on the back burner... Over the last 6 years or so I've been getting back into it... My old man and I have our monthly outing. We don't necessarily make a weekend of it, but do enjoy the time out... Been into bass fishing of late, have been fortunate enough to upgrade all my rods and reels to what I think is a good setup to target bass... Mostly bank fishing, but bought a 3.8m inflatable that will help me get out on the water.... Sadly don't have space for a large bass boat...

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    Default Re: Why we fish

    So well written.

    My earliest memories is on a a tiny cabin cruiser on the Swartkops and Sundays River. My dad often fished after work and we went with as 2 and 4 year olds. I can still feel that warmth under dad's jas in the front of the boat.

    The sounds as he took the boat out the water and then carrying me into the car.

    Camping at Sundays River. Most probably the only caravan park that has not changed in 50 years.

    Falling into Sundays river off the back of the boat at 2 years old.

    Later years living in George and bass fishing on Lake Pleasant with earth worms. Black bass and Blue Gill.

    Then deep-sea boats out of Mosselbay and Kaaimans River. Memories of drama and storms and the sad day my dad's boat overturned and my uncle died. Dadda never went to sea again.

    Fished the Knysna Lagoon with him till his death.

    Now I have had the privilege to fish with both my son and daughter and also grand children.

    Best memories yet.

    Sadly as an adult I never got into fresh water fishing and only fishes about 10 or 20 days a year. Jealous of you

    My son got his skippers yesterday and I received such great photos of him on the Knysna Lagoon tonight.

    Fishing and boating is in our blood and has been passed on.

    Enjoy.
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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Growing up in Vanderbijlpark in the 80ties and 90ties, fishing in along the Vaal was good memories. The rather large expat Polish community would congregate regularly in small areas pockets fishing, braaing.

    later on my mothers brother came from Poland and he was a lake fishermen. Regular overnight fishing on the wild banks of were Emerald casino now stands. today If I smell some bluegum leaves fresh or on flames Im transported back there in my mind immediately.( the method of fishing shall not be mentioned)

    later in high school is was great fun hanging out with friends or overnight on the vaal fishing, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes.

    Around 7 years ago while working on a project at the east coast in Haga Haga the building contract, Pieter from Clarens, introduced me to surf fishing off the rocks.

    after 5pm we would go wet a line way into the night.

    now itís mainly bass some tiger and surf fishing in ponta.

    on average I would guess from every 10 fishing trips i would catch a fish once or twice- so patience is required.


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    Default Re: Why we fish

    I also grew up fishing. As a child, we would very rarely go on vacation without wetting a line or two.

    I mainly do shore angling nowadays and still get up at 04:30am in the mornings to fish (I believe the best time to fish is just before sunrise and till three hours thereafter).

    Its a family tradition and one I am busy instilling into my kids. They enjoy driving on the beach as much as I do.

    I do feel sorry for my wife though

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    Cheers
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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Quote Originally Posted by Koebelwagen View Post
    There is just something about being out in nature with a rod in hand that soothes the soul in a way no other activity can, at least for me and it seems other people too.

    It is such a shame most youngsters never get to experience the excitement of being woken up at 04:00 in the morning to go fishing with dad...
    Very well written!

    I feel exactly the same, there is something ancestral and natural about it...it's probably what humans have being doing for thousands of years...

    https://www.alimentarium.org/en/know...ng%20practices.

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    Default Re: Why we fish

    I must say I was sort of dragged into fishing by my youngest son who is somewhat obsessed. It started out with catching the odd kuiper in the Kyalami estate. It was pretty much an obsession from the begining, and my older son gets dragged along and sort of got into it was well.

    We have rods and gear now for every occasion from bass and carp to trout, spearfishing which is a lot of fun, and mostly now deep sea. Along the way have had a dam/skiing boat, then a rubber duck and now a ski boat.

    This is an expensive hobby for sure, and i have learnt that you can never have enough rods. Drop shot, bottom, popping, jigging, trawling in various sizes. The list goes on.

    Very happy to support the addiction as I like the boating aspect and love having my kids not being mall crawlers. I don't recall when last I caught a fish, but when that rod starts screaming and everyone is panicking it is really fun to watch them enjoying it. The few mates that don't get seasick also seem to enjoy the fun of it. Then there are the tuna and dorado which stuff the freezer in season. You get mates quickly with that for sure.

    I went with just my youngest son to Sodwana for a week just before Christmas and it was awesome and I don't know if I will have too many more times like that with them before they are away for good, so one really treasures these moments.

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    Default Re: Why we fish

    You know your a fishermen when you have to stop to look at a body of water or river to see if you see any fish ,but you tell the family you stopping for the view or a nice photo

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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post
    You know your a fishermen when you have to stop to look at a body of water or river to see if you see any fish ,but you tell the family you stopping for the view or a nice photo
    I know what you mean...
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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Koebel, care posting a pic of the boat when you bought it VS now and what you improved/renovated on it?

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    Default Re: Why we fish

    This was one of my favourite catches.

    I was angling for galjoen and used very light tackle. Then this guy decided to have a bite. Not the biggest shark, but it kept me busy for 2 hours.

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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    I must say I was sort of dragged into fishing by my youngest son who is somewhat obsessed. It started out with catching the odd kuiper in the Kyalami estate. It was pretty much an obsession from the begining, and my older son gets dragged along and sort of got into it was well.

    We have rods and gear now for every occasion from bass and carp to trout, spearfishing which is a lot of fun, and mostly now deep sea. Along the way have had a dam/skiing boat, then a rubber duck and now a ski boat.

    This is an expensive hobby for sure, and i have learnt that you can never have enough rods. Drop shot, bottom, popping, jigging, trawling in various sizes. The list goes on.

    Very happy to support the addiction as I like the boating aspect and love having my kids not being mall crawlers. I don't recall when last I caught a fish, but when that rod starts screaming and everyone is panicking it is really fun to watch them enjoying it. The few mates that don't get seasick also seem to enjoy the fun of it. Then there are the tuna and dorado which stuff the freezer in season. You get mates quickly with that for sure.

    I went with just my youngest son to Sodwana for a week just before Christmas and it was awesome and I don't know if I will have too many more times like that with them before they are away for good, so one really treasures these moments.
    We don't even have a ski boat but are fully kitted in terms of rods, reels and lures for deep sea angling so we don't have the frustration of fishing with battered/ abused charter equipment or cheap ineffective lures. Clubbing together with my dad makes the hurt on the wallet a little less noticeable and gives us the ability to buy decent equipment.

    I always lusted after the shiny Tiagra 50/ 80W reels mounted on heavy glass roller guide rods but quickly realised these often weigh more than the fish you catch with them and that for our purposes of mainly targeting smaller game fish like King Mackerel, Wahoo, Dorado, Sailfish and Tuna a quality stand up rod fitted with a good old Shimano TLD25 does the job more than adequately, especially now we have access to braided lines that allow you to spool up with considerably more line.
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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Quote Originally Posted by MANDREAS View Post
    I do feel sorry for my wife though
    So do we...

    On so many levels.



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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Quote Originally Posted by Koebelwagen View Post
    We don't even have a ski boat but are fully kitted in terms of rods, reels and lures for deep sea angling so we don't have the frustration of fishing with battered/ abused charter equipment or cheap ineffective lures. Clubbing together with my dad makes the hurt on the wallet a little less noticeable and gives us the ability to buy decent equipment.

    I always lusted after the shiny Tiagra 50/ 80W reels mounted on heavy glass roller guide rods but quickly realised these often weigh more than the fish you catch with them and that for our purposes of mainly targeting smaller game fish like King Mackerel, Wahoo, Dorado, Sailfish and Tuna a quality stand up rod fitted with a good old Shimano TLD25 does the job more than adequately, especially now we have access to braided lines that allow you to spool up with considerably more line.
    I go to Mias in Woodmead and have a similar affliction. I was looking at one of those big 80w tiagras, and the guy there told me to stop being a poephoel. He is a very experienced fishing hand from Toti and said that I was being stupid. He said the TLD25 will catch everything you need in durban and that I would be wasting money getting one of those big impressive rods. So far he has proven correct.

    We have not hooked a marlin yet, and he said that will wreck the equipment, but I don't particularly want a marlin, as I am not sure what I would do with it near the boat, and most of them seem to die if they are released so theres that. A nice sail fish would however not go amiss.

    The other problem, is that we normally fish with 5-7 rods behind the boat, and you cant ensure that mr marlin will grab the rod you want, so you have to invest 150k-200k in rods to ensure that all of them are marlin proof, and then like you say, catching that dorado or similar becomes a lot less fun as you just winch it in.

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  27. #16
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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Well written.

    I literally grew up at Loskop, memories I will never forget. We religiously spent Decembers and Easters camping at Loskop. My dad would tow the caravan, leave it there, return the same day (to boksburg), and we as family would then all leave the next day, my dad this time around towing the boat. Same pattern when it was time to go home.

    Catching kurpers and babers. My favourite part was sitting on the nose of the boat, while we were on our way to our "secret" spots with in the dam. When taking the boat out of the water, I could not wait to stand on the trailer fenders, feeling the water rush over your feet as the 3.0 Cortina pulled the boat out of the water, and later the V6 Sani, and eventually the V6 Colt.

    Our boat was in the family from new for 34 odd years, it was a 186 Interceptor. I loved that thing, being young and small the cabin felt like your little hide away from the world. I often slept in the cabin rather than the tent or caravan, as it was my little "house".

    Sadly my dad moved to the coast, and took the boat with, but eventually sold it as it was just standing, he could not stand to see it just being wasted and my sister and I did not have the means to tow or store it here in GP, so it moved on. I was gutted that I could not keep it in the family some how. If I get the money tomorrow, I will take a drive to the oom that bought it, and force him to sell it back to me. If I had to take a guess the 140 Yamaha probably only had 100 hours on it.

    I can only hope that I can own a boat again one day, and give my daughter the same memories. I still fish today, at the vaal, from the side, twice a year ..... it's just not the same. Below are the photos I took when we had to sell it, nothing was ever refurbed on the boat, it was mint.
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  29. #17
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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustie View Post
    Koebel, care posting a pic of the boat when you bought it VS now and what you improved/renovated on it?
    Certainly:
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    When I got the boat, the first thing I did was to replace the basic fish finder with something better, in this case a Garmin Striker 7 Plus CV.

    As you can see the carpets are very worn and the hinges for the hatch lids have been replaced as the originals had disintegrated over the years.

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    Removing the old carpet, sanding/ cleaning, fabricating new hatch lids, sanding/ cleaning. This was a lot of work, it took 5 days to complete.
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    New carpet and re-upholstered seats.

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    New trolling motor.

    On the motor: I bought a rebuild kit for the carburettors as the motor, even though it has relatively low hours, was manufactured in 1985 resulting in the seals and o-rings being hard/ brittle. I replaced the petrol pump and fuel hose, gearbox seals and impeller.

    Updates have been mostly cosmetic in terms of carpet and of course I replaced the weathered hatch lids.

    Game changers for me were the electronics and of course the trolling motor with its GPS and spot lock function.

    Next upgrade: Another Fish finder with side view at the helm and moving the existing unit to the bow.
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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Thanks and nicely done!
    That is a great piece of kit.

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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainier Vermaak View Post
    So do we...

    On so many levels.

    Jy is nie die eerste of die laaste een wat dit vir my gaan vertel nie
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    Default Re: Why we fish

    Iím not sure if I hate reading this thread or should embrace it to get back into fishing, an activity I truly loved as a youngster. For the last few years I now and then get the urge to go fishing, but never pull the trigger. Referring to dam/river fishing not at the coast.

    I have lots of kit, some very old as my dad passed away 3 years ago and I inherited all his kit plus I have quite a bit.

    As young boys of 13 my nephew and I would camp all by ourselves at Loch Athlone dam at Bethlehem where I grew up. Those days it was possible, now Iím not so sure. I fondly remember all the rituals of creating the perfect bait, rowing in 100ís of meters to catch the Big one

    I did quite a lot of dam fishing with my dad and it is something Iíd like to teach my 6-year old son (fishing in general). As mentioned I think this activity strengthens the bond between father and son. My dad did end up fishing surf and rock for SA many many years ago. Somehow I have not had much luck the few times I fished at the coast, always take all the kit with, but sadly donít make time or effort in putting in the time. About 6 years ago I bought a new Daiwa Sealine SL30SHK reel to catch the big shad and it is still in its box, never used, sad.

    So can this thread lead to motivation to get out there and just do it?
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