Yellowtail appearance in Strand and Gordon’s Bay after 15+ years

When we got to the working birds we saw a large school of feeding fish (we thought it could be Katonkel) but to our disbelieve we saw yellowtail chasing our lures.

On March the 11th myself and an old Gordon’s Bay boat angling club league fishing partner Bradley Bartlett set out to go and catch some shad that were around in the shallows around Gordon’s Bay, so we planned to put in a few hours of fishing in the early morning hours. Despite our plans of leaving early this all came to a standstill when our one engine’s did not want to start so we had to make a plan, we tried and tested the batteries and that was not the fault, we tried all sorts of other tricks and theories as to why this engine did not want to start, but to no avail we could not get it running. That’s when we decided to go on the other engine, after all we were just going to spin and troll for some shad.

We eventually got on the water at about 10 AM and started trolling up and down from  Gordon’s Bay to Strand, and we picked up a good number of small shad as well as some bigger shad in the 40 – 50cm range. After a while we spotted some “Sterretjies” working and decided to head there at top speed on one motor (7 knots). When we got to the working birds we saw a large school of feeding fish (we thought it could be Katonkel) but to our disbelieve we saw yellowtail chasing our lures. On the very first cast I went on with the CID shiver stick just to get absolutely beaten and it reefed me after about 15 seconds.

We then started trolling as we only had light spinning tackle and we at least stood a better chance if a yellowtail smokes the lure as it normally comes easier this way, but Nothing!!! We saw another 3 or 4 yellowtail cruising a wave but had absolutely no interest on troll.

We then moved back to spinning, chasing the shoals of Yellowtail at a max speed of 7 knots,  which was quite frustrating. With both myself and Bradley getting on each other’s nerves because we both wanted to catch our first Gordon’s Bay yellowtail, as we both heard the stories about the “good old days” with the yellowtail being thick in this area.

Eventually Bradley and myself came right on the spinning gear and we landed 9 Yellowtail on light spinning tackle in the area myself on my Shimano twinpower 4000 and Bradley with his Stradic 5000 and we both had 20 – 25 lb braid on so the fight were quite tense and long. We were amazed by the average size of the fish being so big, we had 3 yellowtail over 7 kgs and our biggest one was very close to 8 kg and the rest of them were all in the 5 – 6kg range.

This was truly one of my best days fishing in False Bay and to have it less than a mile from shore made it even more special.

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