The Gordon’s Bay Mountain ranges from Gordon’s Bay harbour to Rooiels beach and only contains a handful of fishing spots where one can land a big shark or stingray. Most of the fishing spots along the Gordon’s Bay Mountain are dangerous and one should pay careful attention to the size and period of the swell when wanting to fish in these spots. In some places simply getting to the fishing spot can be dangerous and caution is advised, especially in rainy conditions as the rocks do become slippery. The steep terrain of the mountain makes the relatively short walks to the fishing spots more like a hike than anything else.
When fishing the mountain, it is advised to fish in groups rather than alone, even when fishing for smaller fish such as Galjoen or Hottentot. The rocks are dangerous at times and one slip could result in an injury. The rocks from which you fish are mostly safe to fish from in a big swell (4m +) however the danger comes in when one goes to the waters edge to land a fish or to simply wash their hands. It is thus advised to wear suitable footwear and to have a fishing buddy with you to watch for big swells while you are at the water’s edge. In the event of somebody ending up in the water, you should empty and throw your cooler box to them as it can be used as a floatation device which increases their chance of making it to safety. Phone NSRI as soon as possible
When an angler is on with a big fish and they must lean back with their body weight to move the fish, ensure that you or somebody else stands behind them as this will prevent them from injuring themselves on the rocks if the line snaps or if the fish comes off. Take a first aid kit incase somebody falls or cuts themselves.
When to fish (Conditions)
When fishing the mountain, you are looking for a big swell (2.5m and bigger) and a North Westerly wind as these have proven to be the best conditions when fishing the mountain. The North Westerly wind must blow for at least two days before fishing the mountain as this will give the water a dark green colour which is what you are looking for when fishing in this area. The mountain also provides fish at spots closer to Rooiels when the Southeast wind has blown for up to two days after the Northwest wind. The large swell and short swell period (8-10 seconds) create a chop on the water and increase the dispersion of your baits smell which makes it easier for fish in the area to find it. A good indication of a small swell period is the white foam that can be seen floating on the surface of the water along the mountain. Once again caution is advised when fishing off the rocks in a big swell.
Tackle and Gear
When fishing the mountain keep in mind that you are trying to catch fish in excess of 100kgs if you are fishing for non-edible species that is. When targeting large sharks and rays it is advised to use at least a 65lb braid, if you are fishing a coffee grinder and 0.60mm monofilament, if you are fishing with a multiplier.
You need a strong reel that can handle the pressure of a big fish and one that has enough drag to stop a fish before it gets into the reef and cuts you off. Your reel also needs to have a large enough spool to accommodate large amounts of thick line. I would recommend that you fish with reels similar in size to the Shimano Saragosa 20000 or the Penn Slammer 8500 as these reels are big and strong enough to land the sharks or rays in this area. If you are going to use a multiplier reel then make use of a reel like the size of a Penn Fathom 40 or 60. Your leader must be extremely strong as it often touches the sharp reef and the rough skin of sharks, while under a lot of pressure. Ensure that you fish at least 180lb braided leader on a coffee grinder reel or 1.4mm-1.8mm tapered leaders for multiplier reels. I make use of T-line tapered leaders as they are extremely strong and go through the rod guides with ease.
Your trace should be made from carbon or nylon coated steel ranging between 150lb-250lb in breaking strain. Use strong, large hooks as they need to be able to withstand the strength of the shark or stingray as well as the large amount of pressure that you need to apply to the fish to get it to the side or away from the reef that is found in the water at most of the fishing spots along the mountain. My hook of choice is a Mustad 12/0 Tuna Circle. Use size 1 or size 2 power swivels to ensure that the trace does not part. It can be challenging to make traces with such thick steel if you are doing it for the first time, I advise you to use the Flemish loop knot as it has never failed me and is a small and neat knot. When fishing the mountain, you are fishing in big swells and deep water, thus you need a heavy wire sinker to keep your bait anchored to the bottom. Make use of sinkers of 6oZ and heavier to ensure that the swell does not move your bait. To throw a big bait with a big sinker you need a strong rod that has enough ‘backbone’ to throw a heavyweight. Make use of rods that have a casting weight rating of at least 6-8 oz as you not only have to throw a big bait, but you must pull a big heavy fish as well. If you do not have a tackle that is suitable for this area do not attempt to fish for large sharks and rays as you will only end up frustrating yourself and you will leave hooks and line attached to fish.
Handling of fish
When handling fish on the rocks make sure to have at least two people to help when removing the hook and taking measurements and photographs, this will make the process a lot faster and the ordeal shorter for the fish. Remember that fish are not meant to be on land and can be damaged easily if handled incorrectly. If you catch a smaller shark such as a Smooth Hammerhead or Soup fin shark (Vaal haai) rather pick the fish up than drag it over the rocks by its tail, however, this is obviously very dangerous – so do not do it if you do not feel comfortable doing so, rather leave the fish where it is, remove the hook and send it on its way. The fish’s life as well as yours is way more valuable than a photograph.