Tuna Fishing on the Zulik
A great day out at sea!
A great day out at sea!
Running out of the Hout Bay harbour in the early hours of a windless morning with a charter of six on board the vessel Zulik, powered by twin Suzuki 140 horsepower motors, which consisted of three adults and 3 kids. The boats skipper Fred headed towards the tuna grounds a 25 nautical mile journey to the South West, with 25 nautical miles being the equivalent of 46.3 kilometres.
Upon reaching the tuna grounds we started the process of looking for the right coloured water, once found, we immediately went into action and started to troll Rapalas, it was after 20 minutes and the sound of sweet Shimano music could be heard as both Shimano reels started to peel off line simultaneously.
Immediately the charter clients were handed the rods and the fight was on, after a few minutes the first fish was landed, a longfin tuna weighing in at about 15 kilos. The gas cannister of a yellowfin tuna was not yet ready to give up the ghost and proceeded to go on a number of wild runs before being landed successfully on the deck, this little slab weighed in over the 50 kilo mark.
Seeing some yellowfin tuna jumping in the distance and giving our clients a majestical display of aerial gymnastics, I turned the bow towards the jumping tuna, and as we came closer the twin Suzuki engines were switched off and the vessel glided through the calm waters.
Popping rods and reels were now the preferred arsenal of choice to entice these majestical beasts to come on the bite. As soon as we cast our first popper into the school of marauding gas cannisters, it was on dad and the youngest of the charter to do battle with the fish (check out the videos). Unfortunately it was the luck of the draw, as the tuna gods and King Neptune had won the fight as the young man was unable to land this monster of the deep.
After losing the tuna we also lost sight of the marauding shoal which now went off the bite. Being outwitted a call was made to head home to port, on the way back however, we found birds working a bait-ball +/- 3 nautical miles off Cape Point. We decided to troll the Rapalas one more time which lead to some success as we managed to boat 5 more tuna fish – 3 slender tunas and 2 smaller long fin. Slender tuna as far as I know, is the only species of tuna that is not prized for its meat, many fisherman would rather use this species for cat food.
To some up the day the tuna gods answered our prayers as we were able to enjoy a perfect charter on the vessel Zulik.