This last week i had the pleasure of guiding and fishing with Barry and Gary, father and son. These two have been fishing together ever since Gary was a young-gun, still at school. Barry used to call the teacher, and tell her Gary was going to be away for a few days on a fishing trip with Dad, and that was that..... We agreed, he probably learned more about life in those few days, than anytime at school. Time well spent, and Gary enjoyed the fishing time more than school. Those days brought about many more trips together, just like this last one with me. The fact that if you have the certificate of vaccination for covid, you no longer need a test for entry into Mozambique , made the trip easier.
Barry is 78, and keeps up with his son.... In fact, they ended the 6 day fishing with a tie of 3 days top fish per day each. A real inspiration, and an honour to learn, and be able to fish with them. I pray I'll be as strong as him when I'm 78.....I've still got fish I need to catch.
Day one, top fish was a 10 plus kg Dorado, that Barry brought in from a rigged halfbeak, with an islander skirt in front. The real challenge is that he fishes left handed, with his left hand on the handle of the reel, so with a multiplier reel, he had to fight the fish with the rod upside down, and turn the handle the opposite way.....
Day two, at 06h45 done and dusted, top fish for the day was a caught and released Sailfish of about 27 kg, caught by Gary also on a halfbeak, after he saw the fish jumping, and we went after it!
The reef had very little current, and the wind was variable. Game fish were in hiding, sulking presumably. Fish were scarce.
We caught rainbow runner, rosy and green jobfish, yellowspot trevally, bluespot trevally, bigeye trevally, snapper, rockcod, grouper, goatfish, pickhandle barracuda, mostly on light tackle, and after keeping table fare, we released most of them.
Most of the tackle was on the lighter side, because that's how they prefer it. Paddletails, jigs, spinnerbaits.....
Needless to say we got bitten off through mono, and got a hiding into the rocks at times, but these are how memories are created, and its certainly always better to catch fish on your own rods, than on mine. When you put wire, then the fish don't always bite, so you got to take it on the chin. Gary did get a fine speciman of a coral trout on the light stick, amongst others. Memorable.
The last day the current was on, and the big fish were back. We managed to hold onto a few, but we were just outgunned. The rocks are not your friend, and trevally over 10kgs are brutes. Not to mention the odd GT. Shoals of pickhandle barracudas didn't make the job at hand any easier.... We had fun!
Time for reflection, regroup and come back better next time. Time spent on the water, the hunt, the strategy, the preparation, and then when it comes together, it is priceless. Never forget to not get too busy earning a living, to forget to live your life. Time spent fishing is given back to you at the end of your life.