It’s easy to fall into the calm that only a Kalahari fishing trip can offer, instead of the daily commute to the office guests are now hurriedly packing rafts and strapping down dry bags to answer the call of the water. Kelly, John and Piet had fished for Smallmouth Yellows at the Makhangoa Community Camp on the Bokong earlier this year, and had convinced Rob to join them in targeting a new species. All were very excited to push off into the wilderness and escape the realities 2020 had presented since their Lesotho visit in February.
We were there to target Largies but the nymphing rods were always ready and rigged with big tungsten beaded GUN’s, for when there are perfect looking runs and glides, current seams and undercut ledges. The largie fishing was tough, some very hot and dry days that are common in the Northern Cape combined with a strong low pressure system building further south and sucking all the warm, dry air out of Namibia and down to the Western Cape. It created some challenging conditions indeed, simple tasks like paddling your boat in a straight line become a physical workout. The wind seemed relentless and continued through most of the nights, hot and dry with squadrons of mosquitos between the gusts.
The fishing was tough at times but we had plenty of opportunities and some great fish were landed. Finding, and then capitalizing on small concentrations of fish and feeding windows as the name of the game. And keeping with the folklore of losing fish, the big ones seemed to be as feisty as ever. A few fish really challenging the confidence of the anglers, losing fish on anchor ropes or getting popped off when a big fish makes a searing run while a stray foot traps the line. These are the fish that will keep you working and coming back for more, they’ll keep you up at night, wondering ‘what if’, ‘how big’, ‘what did I do wrong?’
The Gents from Ballito worked harder than most on their trip, with a decent amount of good fish sticking and getting to the net. As is always the case, the tough conditions highlight the realisation that it’s not only the fish that count , there is something priceless about the friendships we make and places we are fortunate enough to fish, the banter at the campfire and connecting with nature. We cant wait to share this experience with you.
Until next time.