Dorado

Shaun-Begg-fishing-for-dorado-off-Port-Shepstone

Deep-Sea fishing: the most important rod on the boat

Deep-Sea fishing: the most important rod on the boat

Deep-sea fishing: The most important rod on the boat, is not what you might think…

Having been through a lot of tackle through my fishing life, I learnt one BIG lesson through all of it…don’t get too attached to your fishing tackle.

Things happen! Rods and reels overboard. Stolen. Borrowed. Or simply, destroyed by my charters. And so…I started buying middle-of-the-line equipment, as opposed to the expensive kit. It seems that products in the middle of the range pricing wise, benefit the most from technology, quality and price.

Deep-sea fishing: live-bait is just the most thrilling way to catch marlin - but it all starts with catching a live-bait! And a flick stick, or spinning outfit, is by far the most effective way to catch the right bait.
Deep-sea fishing: live-bait is just the most thrilling way to catch marlin – but it all starts with catching a live-bait! And a flick stick, or spinning outfit, is by far the most effective way to catch the right bait.

And the rod I use the most on the boat. By far. Is da spinning stick aka flick stick. Since it is primarily meant to catch the super high-quality game-changing live bait needed to break records, win the event, or just make your day out!

Like a little bonnie when chasing ‘couta. Or a big shad. Or a baby yellowfin? Or a wolf-herring? Or a rainbow runner? Or the very best…a shiny brand new stripey skipjack tuna?

And these rods really get to work. All day long. In an ideal scenario, we have two rigs upfront casting out each side as we drag lures or baits. And it’s the splashing and flashing of these lures coming in towards the boat that attracts the eye of outlying gamefish that would not have seen a thing otherwise. They then come into the wake and see the spread. Bang!

Sometimes, when sight-chasing baitfish on the surface like we do, you may as well not even put lures out the back, as the finicky tuna or bonito or skipjack will only be fooled by the reactionary bite – as the flash of metal mimics the flash of a baitfish, on some days. In the chaos and turmoil of a baitball, this is how you will get your livebait, every time. As opposed to lures out the back.

So, these spinning sticks need to be lightweight and easy for anyone on the boat to pick up and have a throw. They are really just over-sized bass rigs. Or estuary rigs. And when spooled with 20lb or 30lb 8x casting braid, you can put a lure over the horizon. Anyone can. They need to have a bit of drag, but not too much since we are just catching bait and are using small hooks. Metal alloy gears. A bunch of ball bearings. Forward sloping eyes on the rod. Rods about 8 or 9ft fit on most boats just fine.

And this is where the Okuma Metaloid rod range comes in. The blanks used in their construction have been really good to us. The right amount of grunt, but lively and responsive in the tip. Making for enough power to turn a stubborn GT or screaming yellowfin, and yet enough sensitivity to make your lure behave exactly as you want it to. And they cast beautifully, without any effort. Just a flick and you are in the game.

They look real cool too. The ones we have been using on our charters are decked out in shiny red and black. Which looks amazing with our little Okuma Ceymar coffee grinders – which we also favour big time.

The range of these medium priced rods is wide too. From ultra-light tinies sporting 12lb and less, to heavy 9 footers and up – built for 50lb braid and more, and HUGE casts. Heavy lures. Heaving fish.  They are still manageable and easy to wield, however. Anyone can pick one up and have a go. Even these heavy models.

The finish is really slick… and design is top-notch. Forward angled guides reduce air knots and improve casts. The winch and grips flow together beautifully.

And so, all you need is a decent coffee grinder, also in that selection of the overall price range. Some braid (8x wound is really worth the extra few bucks for an extra few metres and less chance of the dreaded wind knot). A spool of leader line and off you go. This type of thinking puts you on the water and in with a chance, for R1500 upwards. At R3000 you have that yellowfin in your sights!

To harp the importance of these spinning rigs, even more! They can also be used to catch fish from the shore or rocks. In estuaries. And even inland to tackle outsized barbel and other freshwater monsters. And anyone can use ’em!

The Fishing Pro Shop has a bunch of Okuma Metaloid rods available on their website and in-store.

Click the following link for the rod of our choice right now. It is on promotion!

Okuma Metaloid on promotion right now. Click HERE. To check it out the imagery and to learn more.

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Post by The Sardine News.

Dorado water off Port Shepstone KZN

This is what happens when your freshly gaffed dorado misses the hatch!

This is what happens when your freshly gaffed dorado misses the hatch!

Pro angler Shaun Begg features in this video of his dorado almost getting clean away!

Dorado! Magnificent in character. So keen to smash your live bait to into pieces and devour it. All lit up. High speed. Agility. Strength. The strike is explosive always resulting in an ‘aerobatic’ dance that only a dorado can perform. Cartwheels. Tailwalks. 180s and 360s. Lightning changes of direction.

A real challenge no matter who you are!

And so this beautiful Thursday morning dawned still and colourful. Clouds were pink and orange. A super keen Shaun had driven down from Johannesburg yesterday, and was at the gate dead on 4h30 bells.

Shaun was here for his first dorado. And things were on his side. Yesterday we caught two fish. On live red-eye sardines. That video is taking a little bit of time, but will follow shortly. Dorado are really funny feeders, and demonstrate some weird quirks, as they did yesterday.

The day before

We had gotten ourselves a live mackerel each. It took ages to find the little guys dodging around our usual reefs. We also had a mozzie or two, and a pinkie. I had caught two razorbellies in the estuary a few days ago and they had been waiting patiently in the freezer, just for this chance. So the spread was well populated when my Dad nabbed a good sized and frisky red-eye sardine, as we were slow trolling along the well-formed water line.

Bang!

As the live sardine hit the water, we got our first dorado of the morning. There were only the two of us so the video really comes out dodge. Then twenty minutes later, Pop got another one. Which I rigged in seconds and seconds later I was vas again. Again the video is really abstract, with only the two of us out there. Camera person required!

Shaun’s dorado

After another fun-filled launch, we (Sean, Shaun and Brian), headed back to the bait spots. Where we found bait. A lot of bait this time. We loaded about 20 mozzies, one shad, a few pinkies and not one mackerel?!

But it sure was enough to go on, and soon the Niteshift was heading north to the start of our patrol. The water was 26 degrees again, but it had that Cape Town green tint to it, and was filled with sediment and things. Not really couta water, like it had been the day before.

Anyway, we got a strike straight away, and typically enough, the fish bit through the nylon leader meant for dorado. Does happen a lot when you use nylon to target dorado specifically, and then a toothy comes along and bites you clean off. And so we rigged again and headed back along south with the current. Towards Port Shepstone, where the fish were the day before.

Luckily the fish were hanging around and soon Shaun was fighting his first dorado. Which typically tail walked and jumped all over the other lines! Which were quickly sorted out and Shaun and the dorado squared off lekker at the front of the boat. For a good fight.

The gaff went in and the fish seemed calm and subdued when all hell broke loose. The wily fish had flipped over and gotten itself clean off the gaff and was now dorado wild on the deck! I got tail smacked once properly before I was able to literally sit on the fish, grab it, and get it into the opening in the hatch! That fish almost jumped clean out of the boat!

The tides at the moment meant we couldn’t really stay out too much longer or risk touching sand on the way back in through the surf zone. And so we packed up and returned to base. Where Shaun was to start up a whole new chapter of fishing. This time we were focusing on the estuary, and the monsters that lurk therein.

Shaun had quite a few species on his target list for saltwater. He has literally caught all the freshwater challenges on offer. Even fishing abroad for catfish and other exotic looking fighters. And so the notorious rock salmon and the inimitable Zambezi shark made it onto our priority fish list for the next few days.

Stand by for that chapter!

Post by The Sardine News. Stay up-to-date with the fishing conditions and seasons on http://thesardine.co.za. Check out http://umzimkulu.co.za for more information and pics and vids of the Umzimkulu Marina down in Port Shepstone. Port Shepstone is only a half a days drive from Pretoria so we get many anglers coming in on Friday, and leaving back for work on Monday morning real early, getting into JHB before lunchtime.

A fantastic weekend away that the family will really enjoy too. Blue flag beaches. Shopping malls. Banks. Restaurants. Even a golf course…is a few minutes drive across the river bridge.

And fishing are options are all over and exciting. Shad and karanteen at Grannies Pool in Umtentweni. Gamefish out deep-sea. Kob and garrick off the Sandspit. Grunter, perch and rock salmon in the estuary. Catfish and tarpon up near the new bridge. Or just enjoy fishing right out the front of your chalet.

Get in touch with me, Sean, on umzimkulu@gmail.com or WhatsApp +27793269671. Or. Chat to Johan in store at The Fishing Pro Shop