logonewfish

 roamfree4             04 00 05 06 02
fish roaming free
blueline1





Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Volcanic Trout

Volcanic Trout

Talk about the equator and Trout fishing doesn’t seem to belong in the same sentence.

Yet, despite being less than a degree from the center of the Earth’s circumference, the glacial catchment of this extinct volcano delivers a constant flow of cool water in which both Brown and Rainbows thrive.

Mount Kenya is a towering alter that is worshipped by the tribes that surround it and we recently paid our respects on the South Western slopes, where remarkably you can encounter elephant, buffalo and leopard that call this Montane forest their home.

The Ragati lodge sits plum in the middle of this unique wilderness, the water a stone’s throw from the log cabin. The challenge was to notch up a Ragati Red, being a Rainbow Trout that has a distinct lateral line coloration reminiscent of a fish in bright spawning colors all year round.

                          

...
Continue reading
1982 Hits

Dorado and Black Marlin Bonanza!

Been a crazy start to this season with hectic weather and weird fishing. In past seasons we have battled with gamefish by catch but had great Blue marlin fishing. This year we are having a Dorado bonanza out there with an abundance of small black marlin with fewer blues and stripes. Not sure if its due to the amount of food out there for the blues but they are feeding very shy, although it must be said that the water and current is late and has only just arrived. Was expecting green water yesterday after the 2 days of south, but thankfully the current has set in hard and the water was awesome and finally in its slot with great current lines and purple crystal clear water.
Myself and Dale had our hands full in the morning trying to run a spread with baits in a strong south with a 4 meter swell running and a very rough sea. Just 2 up on a 40 footer with Dorado attacks and marlin knock downs and a crazy sea was great fun if not a bit manic ha ha.
End result we dropped a Blue that eventually switched to a bait rig and then came unstuck. Great dorrie action and then stuck a small Black on the way home. Strange how we have nailed 4 blacks in a row as they are notoriously difficult to hook on lures yet the blues are not hooking up even though they are generally easier on lures. Guess thats fishing and it will even out again.
The action has definitely come on and we should see more and more blues now. Lets hope they start feeding full on.

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC02165.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_DSC02161.JPG

Continue reading
2879 Hits
0 Comments

Season Opening Black

Belter day out on the ocean today and conditions were much as expected. Water was not great this morning at 24 degrees and greenish. Worked deeper and North and temp slowly came up to 25 with better water colour. No birds or bait so nothing to work on. Hit the 700m area and had fish swipe the long left and miss - turned on the mark and the fish came up on the halfbeak on long right and hooked up.
First marlin for Mark our mechanic who slaved in the small space to get the motor up and running . Nice Dorado late in the day as well!
Water pushed in through the day and got up to 26 degrees by late afternoon. No blues or other life but with the weather of late thats not surprising and the water is only now getting back into the ledge. Weekend should show better results with better weather.
Glad to report our season open and hoping the bite will come on as the weather settles.

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC02144.JPGb2ap3_thumbnail_DSC02141.JPG

Continue reading
2677 Hits
0 Comments

Very Cool!

 So cool to see the pics of my samples on the new VIMS website showing our samples we did on the marlin last season for research at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Will be doing some more again this season and helping to further understanding of these animals we treasure so much - warm and fuzzy ha ha:

 

http://www.vims.edu/research/departments/fisheries/programs/marlin_genetics_network/what_happens_in_the_lab_gallery/index.php

 

 

...
Continue reading
1282 Hits
0 Comments

Kosi Bay Rock Salmon

Kosi Bay Rock Salmon

Last week I fished Kosi Lakes for the first time in many years. I was interested to see what the fishing would be like after all this time. I packed two outfits for the lakes, one light and one medium. For the light outfit I put in at Shimano Crucial 7'2 medium action rod, paired with a Shimano Sustain 3000 reel, which was loaded with 8lb Sufix 832 braid (I am loving that braid!). The medium outfit was a Shimano Crucial 7' Heavy 2 piece tiger rod, with a Sustain 5000 loaded with 20lb Sufix 832. I figured that these two set ups would cover my needs as there is very little structure in the lakes and clean sandy bottoms, so no need to go too heavy.

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_6703.jpg

I fished with Ewan Kyle, who grew up on the lakes and has fished them his whole life. Ewan is offering a guiding service at Kosi and he put me on the fish despite difficult conditions at times. There was a cyclone in the Mozambique channel and the weather was ever changing, with the barometer jumping up and down like a yo yo, not ideal conditions for catching fish. Despite this we had a lot of fun with the smaller river snapper around the fish kraals, mostly on surface lures, but also on floater divers like the 5cm Rapala Shad Raps. Small Rapala Skitter Pops and Storm Chug Bugs also got smashed. We also got stuck into small kingie such as big eyes, GT's and greenspots as well as some juvenile barracuda.

We did have a few sessions that produced some good fish, with Ewan landing a nice sea pike on a needle nose plug early one morning in 3rd lake

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_6739.jpg

...
Recent Comments
Ernest van Zyl
Dear CraigWhat a great article. I have been going to Kosi for the past 5 years and have never even such big fish being caught in t... Read More
Friday, 18 December 2015 08:33
Craig Thomassen
Hi ErnestI am so pleased that you enjoyed the article. Yes, Ewan would most definitely improve your catch rate at Kosi, he is very... Read More
Friday, 18 December 2015 11:11
Continue reading
9759 Hits
2 Comments

XX – Connecting you and your fish

XX – Connecting you and your fish

XX – Connecting you and your fish

My love affair with this brand of lines started when I worked at Basil Manning. I had just joined Barry and his team and was quickly signed up as a member to the Natal Coastal Anglers Association. Our first competition was fished at Kosi Bay, an area I had only read about; so I couldn’t wait to get there.  After landing a few smaller species as bait, we were all looking forward to the prospects of a successful nights fishing. Well, I will never forget that bite. The rod felt as though it was going to be pulled from my hands. I was new to targeting these hard fighting species, so I had no idea as to what I had hooked. My fellow team members were all undivided with their thoughts; for them it was a Honeycomb Ray. I had previously heard a lot of stories about long battles lost to these mighty fighters, so from early in the tussle the thought of losing this possible fish of a lifetime was in the back of my mind. This is where the XX 0.52mm (43lb Hi Abrasion) gained my respect. I pulled as hard as I could and the XX held up to all my efforts to land the fish. After an hour and twenty minutes I managed to land the fish; a massive Honeycomb Ray of 135 kilos which was a new South African record and still stands today. Since then I have used XX nylon, leaders and fluorocarbons; whether fishing in fresh or saltwater, throwing baits or lures, wherever and whenever possible when testing the waters for the elusive big one lurking to find my bait or lure; knowing that once the fish has been hooked, I have a XX’tra chance of landing it. So; as the summer season starts to approach and you are gearing up, make sure to spool your reels with DOUBLE X.

                                             XX OUR REPUTATION IS ON THE LINE.  

                                b2ap3_thumbnail_Andrew-with-the-135kg-Honeycomb-Ray.JPG        

 

...
Continue reading
4461 Hits
0 Comments

Ten Pound Trout takes the TOPS at SPAR Kamberg Trout Festival

Ten Pound Trout takes the TOPS at SPAR Kamberg Trout Festival

Ten Pound Trout takes the TOPS at SPAR Kamberg Trout Festival

Pounds were invented for us fly fisherman, as were centimeters for that matter.

When you talk about trout of half a meter, it grabs a person’s attention and double digit fish roaming in any dam is what drives us to any destination, let alone distraction.

The TOPS at SPAR Kamberg Trout Festival is one of the oldest fly fishing gatherings on the calendar and it has taken a tremendous amount of effort from this close knit community to build one of South Africa’s finest events. The hospitality embraces every angler who visits and the festivities might leave you wondering about your ability to maintain.

...
Continue reading
6913 Hits
0 Comments

Storm Flatstick Glider, a deadly new lure!

Storm Flatstick Glider, a deadly new lure!

I have been playing with the Storm Flatstick Glider in my swimming pool for a while now, getting the feel for this lure and how best to use it. I was immediately impressed by its erratic action on the slow twitch and the big wobble it does at the end of each twitch, causing it to throw an enticing flash. I couldn't wait to get the opportunity to put it to the real test, in the Indian Ocean.

On a trip to Madagascar last week I had the perfect opportunity to give this lure a decent test run. I was fishing out of Sakatia Lodge with James from Madagascar Fishing Adventures. James told me that the kingies had been very skittish over the last couple of weeks and weren't hitting any poppers, and only occasionally taking smaller, more subtle surface stickbaits. He asked if I had any sub-surface stickbaits with me and I was happy to tie on the Storm Flatstick Glider. I had changed the hooks on the lure, removing the trebles that it comes rigged with, replacing them with the new VMC in-line single hooks, ideal for rigging on lures.

It is always nice to test lures when conditions are tricky or fish are skittish, as this gives a true result, unlike testing a new lure when the fish eat anything you throw at them.... 

The first strike of the morning came on the Flatstick Glider and turned out to be a very decent bluefin kingfish, which gave me a good fight on the light tackle I was using. I had decided to use the Shimano Trevala 7' MH with a Shimano Spheros 6000 and 50lb Power Pro braid. A nice light outfit to cast with for hours, but with plenty of power if needed.

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_6002.JPG

...
Continue reading
6700 Hits
0 Comments

Alien invaders on the Zambezi

Alien invaders on the Zambezi

We were recently approached by a local fishermen who had found mysterious creature in his fishing net. The creature in question turned out to be an Australian red-claw crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus, a highly invasive species of crayfish. Introduced as an aquaculture species in Zambia and Zimbabwe in the early 1990s the species has been known to have existed for several years in the Kafue River and has established a large and rapidly growing population in Lake Kariba. There have been unconfirmed reports that it has spread downstream of the dam wall, and in September 2013 they were reported near Chirundu but his is the first confirmed sighting that we have seen this far downstream (15 km east of the Kafue confluence).

IMG_0101.JPG

Although they are known to be highly invasive, there is very little information available on the extent of the invasion so far, even in Lake Kariba where they are known to be well established. The red-claw is a fast breeding and tenacious species and currently are practically impossible to eradicate once established. They are voracious feeders and have the ability to modify habitat and negatively impact native fish species. Although the exact extent of their impact is difficult to predict, it is likely that with their ability to rapidly colonise large areas they will impact on other species through predation and direct competition for resources. Red-claws also consume large amounts of living and dead vegetation and may modify vegetated habitats including those used as breeding habitats by native fish species.

This is not the first invader to become established in the Lower Zambezi, the Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) another escaped aquaculture species has become widespread throughout the Lower Zambezi National Park and adjacent GMA. Like the red-claw, Nile tilapia breed rapidly and outcompete native species of bream for space and resources. Their selective feeding can affect algal communities (important as food for certain species). They are also able to hybridise with other species such as the three-spot tilapia (Oreochromis andersonii) leading to erosion of genetic diversity and as shown in a recent study in the Kafue system areas where three-spot populations may consist almost entirely of hybrid individuals. In the Lower Zambezi, this also seems to be the case and nile tilapia and its hybrids are commonly caught by recreational anglers.

Species such as the red-claw crayfish and the Nile Tilapia have the potential to play a keystone role in the ecosystems that they invade. The generally held belief in the scientific literature is that red-claw crayfish invasions will have large food web impacts in the systems that they invade. However, there is a lack of experimental and observational evidence of what these effects might be. The effects of invasions are often difficult to predict as they may be positive for some species and negative for other. Elsewhere,  red-claw crayfish have been found to provide a source of food for predatory bream species. In the Zambezi, it is possible that they may be preyed upon  by top predators such as tigerfish or vundu, but they could also act impact on existing prey species through direct competition, modifying habitats, or by introducing diseases or pathogens. The subsequent loss of biodiversity may have destabilising effects upon the ecosystem as a whole. 

...
Continue reading
6879 Hits
0 Comments

Fishing for edibles in Transkei, rock and surf

Fishing for edibles in Transkei, rock and surf

It is amazing to see how rock and surf fishing has evolved and changed over the years. When I was growing up, there were no more than a handful of hardcore anglers who specifically targeted sharks when they went fishing. Almost nobody fished for any flatfish on purpose, unless it was a shark fisherman who needed a live bait for a big Zambezi.

 In those days the primary objective of catching fish, was to get an edible fish that could be taken home to eat. The tackle used for this was generally a twelve to fourteen foot surf rod, with a Multiplier reel on it and twenty five pound breaking strain nylon. In those days nobody spoke about line in diameter, breaking strain was all that mattered.

 How things have changed! Nowadays most serious rock and surf anglers primarily target sharks and rays. Fishing for edibles is generally referred to as scratching, and it plays a much smaller part in rock and surf angling than it did in the past.

The reasons for this are mainly the growth of competitive angling, where the weight of the catch transfers to points scored, and the fact that edible fish have become far scarcer along our coast than they used to be.

...
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Ivan vd Mefrwe
The Transkei just one hell of a special place to be. The fisherman of old caught many a large fish of the rocks. My step father ... Read More
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 10:09
Continue reading
16944 Hits
1 Comment

Back in the Bay

Been a while since the last report but its not for a lack of fishing. The trip to Angola was all time and the sails were out in force. 520 released by 50 boats in four days- incredible fishing and definitely going to go back for more! Released 33 for the trip - not shabby!

On the home front the big yello's are going bananas in the cape as well as good reports from R Bay.

Will be back in R Bay for a short stint next week before heading off to Gabon. Some big S-West forecast for the rest of the week hope it doesn't mess the water too much. Time for a fat one in the bay again and maybe a nice Yellow to ride!  

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC01382r.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_DSC01401r.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_DSC01391r.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_DSC01415r.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_DSC01478r.jpg

Continue reading
4804 Hits
0 Comments

Musselcracker on light tackle

Musselcracker on light tackle

I was fishing for bronze bream at Wavecrest hotel in the Transkei last week and got a really nice surprise when this musselcracker took my bait and pulled my rod down flat. I was fishing with fresh redbait at the time on a size 1 VMC 7102 BN Carp hook, a great hook for bronze bream. This sharp little hook is made of vanadium and stood up to the test of a strong fight from this lovely cracker. It was even more special as I was using light tackle in the form of an 11 foot Shimano Aerocast rod with a Shimano Ultegra 4500 grinder and 30lb Sufix 832 braid. The outfit stood up to the fight, taking care of the hard runs of the fish as it tried to reef me on rocks and amongst the kelp. It cast a 3 ounce sinker and baited hook without a problem. This was a special catch and was released back into the sea after a few pics.

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_5713.JPG 

Continue reading
6985 Hits
0 Comments

Shimano up to the challenge!

Shimano up to the challenge!

When fishing around the Port Elizabeth Harbour wall for garrick, myself, Chris Schoultz and Paul Cowley all used the same set up. We had Shimano Trevala six foot six medium heavy rods, with Shimano Sustain 4000 reels. The reels were all loaded with 15lb Power Pro braid. This outfit was perfect for the job and we landed a number of decent garrick during the afternoon session.

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_7621.JPG

The quality of the tackle allowed us to fish fairly light for good sized fish. The reliable drag in particular on the Sustain reels meant that we didn't need to go up a size and fish with a 6000 size reel, which would have added weight and would have been more tiring to use for an afternoon of spinning. The Trevala series of rods are one of the most versatile and reliable rods ever to become available in South African tackle stores.b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_7609.JPG 

Continue reading
6014 Hits
0 Comments

KWT Bassmasters' Tagged Fish Competition

The KWT Bassmasters will be hosting their 3rd annual tagged fish competition on Wriggleswade Dam in the Eastern Cape on Sunday 02 February 2014.

R100 entry fee for all participants.

Some awesome prizes up for grabs
Continue reading
4850 Hits
0 Comments

Fish-friendly competitions: doing more than just catch-and-release

b2ap3_thumbnail_classic.jpgIn November last year, just before the close of fishing for the year we held our annual end of season event: The Valley Classic. What started out  is an annual informal fishing competition held among the  guides, managers and owners of Lower Zambezi Lodges has evolved into a great opportunity for the valley community of guides and managers to give something back and contribute to the protection of the amazing place that they live and work in. Each year we are amazed by the generosity of those who attend and this year we raised a staggering $10 000 for Conservation Lower Zambezi.

In 2013 the LZCRI also used the competition to demonstrate some principles for the design of more fish-friendly competition formats that integrate data collection and reduced impact on fish populations, yet still remain challenging and fun. We tested this at the competition, which in a single day of fishing added over 100 more catch records to the LZCRI catch database and showed that it's not always about chasing the biggest tigerfish as competitors chased down as many species as possible in a challenging multi-species format.

Download the full report here to find out more about how we went about designing a more fish-friendly format and also how collecting the right information in the right way can not only make for easier admin at the end of the day, but also provide valuable fishing intel for organisers, anglers and conservation.

(All Valley Classic proceeds were donated to Conservation Lower Zambezi. Thanks to all the lodge managers, guides and owners who participated in the 2014 Valley Classic and donated generously to conservation in the Lower Zambezi. Special thanks to the staff and management of Wildtracks Lodge for organising and hosting the event, Fringilla Farm for providing meat, Gwabi River Lodge for providing refreshments and Wildfly for sponsoring some of the prizes.)

 

...
Continue reading
3130 Hits
0 Comments

Gabon Billfish Roundup Report

My 2 week report for my trip as follows:

Amazing result in the Billfish Roundup in Gabon. Released 3 Blues and a Sail in 3 days to blitz the opposition, taking top honours on all 3 days, top angler and winning the league for the combined 2 comps - Clean sweep!!! Awesome experience!! Back in SA Sunday.

Now for the Richards Bay billfish season!

 

 b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC00928r.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_DSC00965r.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_DSC01011r.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_DSC01033r.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_DSC01047r.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_P1060414r.jpg

...
Continue reading
4745 Hits
0 Comments

Fishing Report July 2013 Benguerra

Fishing Report July 2013 Benguerra

 

Fishing Report Talang Sportfishing

We have had some really good fishing of late out of Benguerra Lodge in the Bazaruto Archipelago - Here are some photos of our recent catches :

 

A Nice King Mackeral caught on live bait , we estimate it at 12 kilos 

...
Continue reading
4745 Hits
0 Comments

Here comes the boga-man

Here comes the boga-man

Do lip-gripping devices help or harm released fish?

Lip-gripping tools (like Boga-Grips and others) are undoubtedly useful tools for catch-and-release, especially when dealing with toothy species like tigerfish, but can they do more harm than good? Post-release mortality is unfortunately a part of catch-and-release fishing and the consequences of capture on a fish are not always immediately apparent. A fish may appear healthy when it swims off, but there are often longer lasting physical, physiological and behavioural effects that may not only affect that individual's immediate chances of survival but can also inhibit growth and breeding. The manner in which a fish is handled plays a major role in determining these post-release effects.

Many anglers prefer to use lip-gripping devices to handle fish as it is a good means of securely holding a fish and also prevents damage caused by landing nets to the fish's armour of scales and protective slime layer. They also have a handy in-built scale for weighing the fish and therein lies the problem. Weighing a fish with a lip-gripper involves suspending it vertically by the jaw, something that may not do it very much good. Research in Australia has found that vertically suspending barramundi with a lip-gripping device caused misalignment of the cervical vertebrae (in the 'neck' of the fish) that had not returned to normal when x-rayed 3 weeks later1. Bonefish is another species where lip-grippers have been shown to cause serious injury. In a study in the Bahamas more than 80% of bonefish sustained jaw injuries when held in the water by the jaw with a boga grip (the rate of injury was 100% for fish held out of the water). Of these, 40% were severe injuries that included broken mandibles tearing of the soft tissue and separation of the tongue from the floor of the mouth 2. Although there has been no specific research lip-grip associated injuries in tigerfish, it is reasonable to assume that they would be susceptible to the kind of injuries incurred through suspending a large, lively game-fish by the jaw.

A count of Fishtube.tv releases showed that of the 90 tigerfish recorded, more than two thirds of the fish released were photographed using a lip-gripper of these 19 were suspended vertically and another 10 close to horizontally. Another 14 fish were held with a lip-gripper, but were supported underneath. Of the fish that were photographed without a lip-gripper, the majority (34 fish) were held in a horizontally supported position. Of concern though, were 10 fish held with fingers inside the gill plates, which risks damaging the delicate gill filaments. There is also a trend among some fishermen to flip the lip-gripper back underneath the jaw, forcing the mouth open and also perforating the soft tissue on the underside of the jaw. While the photo may look impressive and it does mean that the underside of the fish can be supported, should the fish shake its head there is a risk of tearing the soft tissue or doing greater damage to the lower mandible. While it is not possible to conclusively tell from photos whether or not a fish was injured during handling it seems that there was an almost fifty-fifty balance of well-supported to suspended or poorly supported tigerfish that could be at higher risk of injury to the jaw or spinal vertebrae.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Boga.jpg

...
Continue reading
5359 Hits
0 Comments

Brands that Support our roam free project

11.jpg21.png04.jpg02.jpg14.jpg22.jpg03.jpg12.jpgAbugarcia.jpg06.png24.jpg26.png07.jpg18.jpg10.jpg23.jpg05.png01.jpg