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Sunday, 27 March 2011

back from africa and the last round at landsend

well judith and me had a really nice holiday with the highlighty without a doubt has to be the cage diving with great whites, what a totally awesome fish. as excpected we were very well looked after by firstly bob and carol long in hermanus for 3 days then we met tony and barb harding for the rest of the time and as you would expect from these 2 we were also looked after just nice. we hired a car for the three weeks so we had a bit of freedom to see the country and it was nice for tony and barb not to have to ferry us about as it must get a bit of a drag for them to see and do things they have done befor, but knowing them they probably wouldnt have minded to much, the sea fishing wasnt as good as it had been but the sea temps were beginning to drop so all i managed were a few sand sharks which is the south africans version of a dogfish(nuff said), i did say to tony that i would like to have a pull on a big fish before i went home so we went to meadowbank on thursday where there is always a chance of a lump so with this in mind tony fished a whole chokka(squid)of about a kilo on a slide rig which is a way of getting a big bait out cos you cant cast a big bait, it entails a type of one way clip which lets you slide a big bait down the line till it reasches the lead which you have already cast out about 100 mtrs. about 1 hour later tony gerts a bite which soons starts to feel like a big black stingray, but we never found out for sure as even with tony his fishing buddy brandon and me having a pull the fish never stopped swimming it just went straight out, its hard to explain the power of what was on the end , but you couldnt even lift the rod to put a bend in it as the clutch was so tight, but the fish just went straight for 45 mins by which time there was 300 mtrs of mono gone and nearly the same in braid backing and it still wasnt stopping, i wanted a pull on a big fish but this was just stupid, tony played a big ray on the same mark last year, but after playing it for 6 hours he had to pull for a break as he was going out for a meal but that fish only went about 200 mtrs max so this ray was probably 300 kilo,s plus, so with over half a kilometre of line out which was so tight you coulg play a tune on it tony decided to clamp down a bit more and the beast still never stopped but the 50lb braid snapped at the reel, oops i was glad he was holding the rod. when he had got over the shock of losing 60 quids worth of line he re spooled and caught a 60lb duck billed stingray a bit later in the day, when i,ve sorted the pics and vids out i will put some on here.
back to landsend and it was my turn to be on johns water so i let niel mercer draw for me and he gave me 42 which is the best peg on the lake ,even dave(beany)westcott won the lake off it in the last round, and with a section win needed to win the lge i was more than happy, to cut a long story short i could only manage third in section which wasnt going to be good enough, mat(the shrimp)tomes put in good performance on peg 51 to win the lake with 110.12 on meat fished mainly each side in the margins, and adrian clark on peg41(another corner)had 90.3 on 6mm banded pellet so that was me done for as far as the lge goes, apart from 1 carp down the edge on daster all my fish fell to 6 or 8mm banded pellet over 4,s fed with a catty at the bottom of the island shelf the top weight on the day went to bob gullick on peg 21 with 158.4 of carp on pellet fished over
2nd mat tomes 110.12 on peg 51
3rd niel mercer 106.15 peg 19
4th adrian clark 90.3 peg 41
5th nick duckett 86.7 peg 34
6th t rixon 62.15 peg 42
tom thick 28.4 peg 1
final lge
mark poppleton 7.5 pts £350
nick duckett 8.5 pts £250
tony rixon 9pts £150
nick collier 10pts £100
bob gullick 5pts £200
martin pettifer 8 pts £100

Sunday, 20 March 2011

still in africa

as i sit here writing this entry, i am suffering from very bad sunburnt feet, after a day beach fishing yesterday(saturday 19th)with mr harding which entailed going down the side of a 150ft sand dune and a 2k plus walk to a spot tony thought looked good!!!!!!!!!!!!. why we couldnt fish straight in front of the carpark is beyond me as the sea all looks the same, we were joined by tony,s team mate ryan who seems to carry to much kit, but what do i know.enough to say that ryan outfished tony and myself taking 2 double figure (kg) smooth hounds , a nice cob of about 8lb which he gave us a side of(nice man) and 1 sand shark, i had 5 sandies whilst my host had only 3 meaning he was last, but he got his own back as we had to walk back through what was now soft sand as the tide was coming in then up the 150 ft dune to the car, all this in 30c temps to say i could hardly move when i got back to the house was an uderstatement, long walks in soft sand dont suite me, not when you are used to gravel paths and no hills lol.
judith and me went to the addo elephant and game park for a couple of days last week, we got there on the thurs and had a drive round seeing ele,s , kudu, buffalo,a mongoose, zebras and lots of other things. we had a self catering cottage overlooking a floodlit waterhole which was nice, so we spent the evening drinking wine and eating steaks and chops that i had masterfully prepared on the braii (african for barbie). we did have a few elephants come down for a drink but it was generally quiet, so it was an early night as we wanted to be up early as the park gates open at 6 and we wanted to be early in as you tend to see more, so up and at the gates for 6 and we were the first there, which wasnt a surprise as it was hammering down and the roads were already awash,after an hour of driving round and only seeing 5 elephants and a couple of kudu we decided to go and have some brekkie and reasess the situation because by now the whole park had become a river and even the animals were refusing to come out, but we did see a lot of african landsnails, and some huge eathworms up to a metre long crawling across the roads.
after brekkie we decided to knock it in the head as it was still pouring, but then the fun began as the exit road had been flooded and become impassable to small vehicles, a quick chat in reception and we were told that the other exit in the south of the park would be ok to leave by, maybe it was but halfway through the 38k drive our path was blocked by another flooded road, so we turned around and went back to the main gate and sat it out hoping the levels would drop enough for us to escape, luckily they did and we managed to get the little renault through the floods at 11.45, then all we had was the 4 hour drive back to tony and bard,s.
i,ve got to say that the country is lovely and the people are friendly so i dont think it deserves all the bad press it gets, as usual its a very small minority making it bad for the majority,
tony and barb are looking after us well as you would expect and they are both thriving well on the lifestyle out here.
we are off for a few days sightseeing to a place called ootsdoorn(something like that)and up through a mountain pass to a place called prince albert it all sounds very nice, then it will be time to think about coming home, i hope it warms up a bit over there.
i understand dean did a good job running the landsend lge for me but he does wonder how i put up with the moaners.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

into africa

firstly i must apologise for not doing the blog for avalon before i went away,but it fished quite well considering we had a cold n e wind blowing down the lake, vince(lead slinger)brown won with 58lb on peg 28, beating paul(proper angler)elmes who had 54lb on the pole on in form peg 48(corner), i was 3rd with 36lb which was just short of 20lb of silvers and 3 carp for 36lb on peg 44, i had the skimmers on the pole using maggot over g bait and the carp on the wag on the deck on 8mm pellet(lovely). alan oram won the silvers with 22lb of skimmers on peg 32 using soft pellet over micro,s.
back to our hols, and dean dropped us off at terminal 5 in plenty of time so we had a good chance for a look around, before you check in there isnt a lot to do or see so we got our cases checked in asap and went through to departures where all the shops are , so much for duty free most of the things on sale are more or less the same prices as you can get them in the high street, even the sarnies were more expensive than the paki(sorry convenience)store by avon angling(can someone txt me to let me know its still there). the flight was ok as there were plenty of new release films to watch which meant my snoring allowed the rest of the plane to get some sleep, those of you that have stayed away with me will have some sympathy for the other travellers lol ,anyway my snoring wasnt as bad as the 12 hours of banging turbulence we had to endure. but we landed on time in cape town(8.30)and it wasnt long before we were on the road in the hire car which was a small renault a bit bigger than a clio. first port of call was a penguin colony half way down the cape near a place called simonstown called buffles bay, now i dont really think that penguins are suited to temps in the high twenties as they were just laid there panting or sat in the shade, but i was enjoying it epecially as you you back home were waking up to a frost and cold winds (ha ha ha ha ), we were going to go to the point but decided it was a tad to far as we had to get back to a town called hermanus to meet bob and carol long and to stay with them for a couple of days ,and it was about a 2 1/2 hour drive from where we were, we did stop at another penguin colony on the way but that was just as exciting as the first one,
we got to hemanus at a bout 4.30 and txt bob to let them know we had arrived, and sat in the mug and bean coffee shop with a serious cappuccino (big)and it wasnt long till the turned up and we followed them to ther hous which overlooks a golf course with mountains as a back drop we didnt stay up to late as we were off cage diving the next day with great whites and we had to be there at 6.45 for brekkie and a safety talk, now it doesnt help when you only put your clocks on 1 hour when there is a 2 hour time difference, so bob was banging on our door at 6.15 to as if i was going or not, panic on, so i made a quick call to the shark people to let them know we were on hour way then made the 1 hour journey to kleinbaai in 35 mins, just making it in time for the brekkie thats laid on, it wasnt long before we were on the boat and heading out to dyer island and the world famous shark alley, but a bout halfway out one of the big out boards decided to pack up and wouldnt restart and the single engine was finding it hard going pushing us along, but it got us there but it may not get us back, there was talk of staying out and then being ferried back to shore in a rigid hull inflatable, but in the end there was another shark tour out with only a few on so we had to transfer boats which meant stepping across from one to the other in a rolling see with sharks allready around the boat, but even though judith tried to trip me we all got across succesfully. and the sight of the first great white is a bit of a jaw dropping experience cos the are incredibly graceful beautiful but scary beasts, we were all soon wrestling with wet suits mine being a nice red one but i was really finding it hard to get on, that was until judith pointed out that i had it inside out and the red was meant to be on the inside. we did wimp out at beind first in the cage but there is no need to worry as the sharks only have eyes for the tuna heads being used as teasers to draw them in close, then it was our turn, i was first in and it must be said that with the sea temps only being 10c it was a short sharp shock to the system, but the shock soon turns to awe as the first shark glides by about 1 mtr away from you, in all we had 5 different sharks around the boat ranging from 3mtrs to 3.5mtrs with the biggest(known as white tip)putting on the best show even attacking a fish head against the bars about 6 inches from judiths hands, it certainly had her pressing her back into the back of the cage, its hard to put into words the the sight of a 12ft man eating shark with its jaws extended at you so you see every tooth and the bright pink gums only inches from your hands, it was probably the most exciting and incredible things on this planet we may ever experience, all to soon the trip was over and we were back on dry land having a light snack provided by the great white shark project, and if any of you get the chance it is a thing you must do.
our last day in hermanus was day spent sight seeing with a bit of wine tasting thrown in, on our way out that evening we went via the waterfront on our way to a resaraunt and were met by the sight of a huge pod of dolphins working the coastline there may have been 40 or 140 but there were just to many to count, and out beyond them there were bryde,s whales surfacing.up on weds morning stuff in the car and off to meet our friends tony and barb harding at a plce called riviersonderend at 12 noon, but due to 6 lots of road works on the n2 they were running about 1 hour behind but they were soon there and it was good to see barb looking as well as ever after her health scare last year, and as for tony he never seems to change all that sun sea and sand really agrees with him, they had booked a coupler of nights at the de mond nature reserve which was a nice quiet place if not a tad basic, unfortunately the brochure wasnt the same as the place as it leads you to believe that the accomodation overlooks the estuary and is only a short walk from the beach, but no the accomodation was behind dunes and bushes and you had to stand on a chair to see the sea , but thats by the by as good company makes up for the shortfalls, we did manage 2 fishing trips to the beach which entailed a round trip walk of about 3miles through bushes a dirt track across an estuary and over 40 foot sand dunes but we did manage 20 sand sharks to about 6lb betwwen us with judith even catching one, tony did a good job with the braii(barby)on both nights so we are being well fed, although ithink i must have walked off about 3stone, especially as we took a short cut across the estuary on the second trip and the sand was very soft making it hard work on the legs.
friday morning and its time to pack up again for the drive back to knysna and tony and barb,s place, but not befor judith and i had gone to the most southerly point in africa known as cape agulhas were a nice german couple took our pics by the stone marker , then i took there pics but made sure i cut there heads off lol, then we had the long drive back to tony and barbs through the 6 six sets of road works(its like being in bristol)but the mid 20,s temps more than make up fot it(jealous), then it was a chineese t/away fo tea a quick look at the scary pics coming out of japan some cider and red wine then off to bed, just to make you feel a bit better we woke up to heavy rain this morning but its still nice and warm, tony has a beach club comp today so he was gone by 6 and wont be back till about 8, just about the same time i will have finished this blog lol, its just nice to be sat here watching the wildlife in the peace and quiet, but i can feel a cappuccino coming on so a trip to town may be on in a minute