I often say how fortunate I am to meet the people that I meet, and that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy my days on this earth. It lets me spend time with interesting people from all over the world in a fishing boat. We share common ground, in it is all about the fish….
Andrew and Francois have been to Silver Fish Lodge before, four years ago actually, and it was a tremendous compliment when they contacted me to say they would come back. It happened late April this year. They came for five nights, four days fishing.
Some guests come mostly to relax and get away from the concrete jungle, other are more serious, and others are very competitive where they need a trophy fish, and or the biggest.
These guys were all the above, and have travelled around the world, usually together, in search of big fish and even bigger animals. Both are avid hunters. What people don’t realise is that it places a huge amount of stress on me, because they here for the fish, and my job is to put them on the fish. This is easy when the fish are here and feeding. It’s a challenge when the fish are scarce, as each day I got to prove myself. You live by the fish; you die by the fish.
Our notorious national airline managed to get the baggage wrong, so François didn’t get his checked bag on arrival, with all his fishing lures, his fold up popping rod, reel, and a few clothes. The fishing equipment was what upset him the most……, considering that they are essentially Popping and Jigging specialists. Fishermen and Spearos like using our own stuff.
The fishing was challenging, partly because of the big cyclone up north, that hit Beira, and we had to search to find the fish. These two guys are older than me, but they certainly didn’t lack any resolve and determination to get the fish. They threw hundreds of popper baits, usually getting no reward. But they plugged away, determined, looking for that one fish that would make it all worthwhile.
The Frenchman arrived on the boat each morning with the same assortment of begged and borrowed clothes, with my flick stick, wondering if he was ever going to see his stuff again. We were rained on, other days we got sunburnt, other days we got nothing. It tests your character, your patience and your inner being. I get grumpy when I don’t find fish- they would come up to me at the end of the day, smile, and buy me a beer, and soon we would be talking strategy, game plan, timing, baits, colours, weather, temperature, poaching……and then go again, the whole day.
On some of the calmer days we saw the yellowfin tailing around a shoal of rainbow runner. You couldn’t see many, but if you looked closely, you could see them. Some were good size. That made for a game of cat and mouse in that we would need to move up current, up wind, to get the perfect cast.
These guys are incredible, they go from the morning till I tell them we got to go back now. Its serious stuff. I love it!
We were rewarded on the last day with Francois getting two Yellowfin Tuna, one of 15,3 kgs and the bigger one of 16,9 kgs, both on a popping stick. Andrew threw more plugs, but didn’t hook up with the bigger Tunas. Crazy how that works. Some other fish including a bludger kingfish on the jig, and other yellowfin tuna, and a small dorado was what we got. Not a big bag by anyones standards, but hey, that's fishing.
François got his luggage bag on the 2nd last day, while we were out at sea, so he could fish the last day with it. It was full of fishing stuff- very little else……., and real heavy. Ooh, and a rain jacket which of course he didn’t need on the last day.
We had a great few days together, and then they went off hunting in South Africa.
Good bunch of guys, was a privilege to be their guide. Special thanks to Andrew and François, till next time!