Italian Yellowfin

Woman catching Yellowfin

Captain’s log 2019-10-19

It’s been way too long since I’ve been on the water.

Only watching from a distance… Giving live updates, trip reports & taking bookings. 

On Friday, while Nick’s busy having a jol with good Yellowfin & a triple-digit, Johann phoned me & said that there’s a VIP from Navionics that would like to see the charts in action on our waters and I must come with.

Under normal circumstances, it does not take much convincing to get me to sea, but with us leaving for New Zealand for some kingfish jigging on the 23rd, its slightly more difficult with the kids & family. Ah, the old rubber arm… “so it’s 6 am launch I say”.

5:30 am we meet our guests at the boat and by 6 am we are on our way to the Tuna Grounds.

The sea is slightly lumpy & as with most overseas guests, Katia is pretty vocal about the conditions with a “mama mia” every now & then. This is however not your average woman, she’s been fishing and yachting all around the world.

On our way to our first destination, the sea comes alive! There are birds working & longfin tuna boiling all over. Backlines in. But nothing takes a bite at our lures. We try changing colours but still nothing.

With the fish in the area not playing nice, I decided that we will move towards the original destination. The area I earmarked is an area where the guys from Fish Tales have been getting fish for the past two weeks. This is for a good reason, it’s where the stern trawlers pull their nets up & turn around for the next haul. This action creates a feeding area with more bait in the water than we could ever produce.

Almost at my destination & one rod screams off, a few seconds later its a 2nd, then all of them.

It’s a full house longfin.

With a chum line going, we try to entice more longies to the boat but they are not interested.

After a while on our chumline I see the stern trawler coming towards us, starting to pull her nets.

“Uplines I call” and we move about 1 Nautical mile to where the nets were pulled.

New chum line in the making, now we just wait. 20 minutes in but nothing. 30 minutes and the 1st reel screams with a decent size yellowfin tuna. Then another & another. 

All the guests by now have caught two or three yellowfin each and Katia is ready to take the next one. But it’s gone a bit quiet. After a 20min wait, the reel screams & it’s Katia’s turn.

This fish, however, feels a bit bigger than the others.

She takes it in her stride & has the fish at 10m within 40 minutes. The water is crystal clear blue & there’s an atmosphere of “wow” on the boat as the guests get a glimpse of the beautiful yellowfin specimen. Long sickles with white tips, slowly doing its pinwheels towards the surface.

It’s 2 pm in the afternoon, Katia’s fish is in the boat and all the guests had their fill of fishing so I decided to call the day and head back to Hout Bay Harbour for an early day.

Back at the harbour, Katia’s fish weighs in at a respectable 82KG. 

An awesome day on the water with a few awesome guests, what a way to start the season!!!

Now it’s off to New Zealand for two weeks. I’ll be reading the trip reports with you to see what the Fish Tales guys are up to.

Till next time,

Capt. Justin van der Walt

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