How To Fit A Fish Finder

Does your wife think you’re having an affair? Do you always come home blank after blank, no proof you’ve been fishing? Then it’s time you fit your kayak with a fish finder!!

“Fish Finder” is a miss leading name, suggesting you can simply FIND the fish. The finder is used more for determining the depth of water you’re in, if there is reef and structure below your kayak, water temperature and to find bait. The last point is key, having the best baits in the water will improve your catch.

Once you’ve installed your finder and using it, remember to look after it. They take a beating out in the sun and salt for hours on end. Wash it all down with fresh water, let dry and spray silicone on the exposed bits.

Here is an old pic with my finder (got a nice couta that day).

My view on my old kayak

My view on my old kayak

Time to install your newly purchased Fish Finder. Brett aka Chally, from Stealth Kayaks demonstrates just how simple they are to fit.

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How to Keep a Freak Happy

2014 has been a slow start for the Fishing Freaks as both Wez and I have made big changes in our work careers and have been finding it tough to fish together and even finding time to fish! And then when we do fish we BLANK so to say that our 2014 Summer has been a bit of a disappointment is an understatement!

However we are determined to get Fishing Freaks back in action and we are making sure we get on the water more and fish together more! So the opportunity arose one Wednesday Afternoon when i had an avid fan and newbie to kayak fishing Alain Tardin from East Coast Radio come into my studio and say “Come Im calling Wez and we going for a paddle!” Alain has just got his new Stealth 525 from Brett so he has been itching to get on the water, I then told my boss that i am ahead of my work so im going for a fish!

An hour later and we were on the water at one of my favorite fishing spots on the Kwa-Zulu Natal coast, Umdloti and it was a cracker of an afternoon with a bit of swell but the water looked amazing with current lines and small bait balls! I wasn’t going to mess around and put couta baits out straight away and headed for the drop off with Wez and Alain in tow! It was quiet we had seen one small snoek jump and also one lonely bonnie and that was it, Wez and Alain tried to find the snoek but i wasn’t wasting my time and stuck to my plan and continued to the drop off.

I got to the drop off checked my macks which were still clean and perfect,so I put them back out and started puzzling what i should do next, just ahead of me was a small bait ball going bananas on the surface so i took a slow paddle up to them to see what they were and as i came close to them i could see these big fish swimming underneath my ski, it took me a few seconds to realize but it was a huge shoal of Kingies!!!! So i drop my Onda down and let it sink to the depth the fish were and jig it back slowly a few came and had a look but none had a go! So i changed over to the Williamson Slick Jig Olive colour knowing that the bait ball was small sprat so im trying to match the hatch, I cast it into the bait and let it sink for about 10 seconds and start a quick retrieve jigging style and within 3 winds BAM!!!! ON and my reel was screaming!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOO i started screaming calling Wez and Alain over, i get the fish to the kayak and its an awesome little Black tip Kingfish my first on a Kayak and new species for me!

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Wez gets the pic for me and i release the kingy pick up my flick stick and throw again into the bait ball let it sink click over the bail arm 3 winds and BOOOM ON AGAIN!!!! YESSSSS PLEEEEASE!!!!! Woooooooooooooo man it was a JOL!! Now Wez and Alain are trying to find the right lures to put on in a hurry as they can just check me bending and screaming!!! For the size of the fish these kingies have power and just too much fun to catch! Get this fish up next to me pick it up out the water and its a beautiful Threadfin Kingy, another first and new species for me so im grinning from ear to ear.

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Alain then goes on and he starts shouting with excitement, turns to Wez and i and goes this is how you make a fishermen happy!! I release my Threadfin and cast again into the bait ball let it sink click over 3 winds and ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz on AGAIN!!!! 3 out of 3 I could not believe my luck Wow what a jol , all this time poor Wez is still trying to find the right lure and get a hookup, i then get the fish up after a good 8 minutes and its another Black tip Kingy, I was really blown away at the strength these fish have they really know how to box.
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As the sun went behind the hill they went off the bite and we paddled in, what a great afternoon on the water and some new species to tick off my list. Its amazing how catching a fish can change everything for a fishermen, just having a fish on the line and having it peel line off your reel! This is why we fish and this is how you keep a FREAK happy.

Open Water Carnage

Cape Vidal

The Fishing Freaks are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful area. The East Coast of South Africa is warm through winter, hot in summer & teaming with pelagic gamefish. Being in Durban puts us just 2 hours south of the breath taking, Cape Vidal situated in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park.

Every year at the start of summer (November) the warm Mozambican current flows strong and close to the launch site bringing with it Mahi Mahi (Dorado), Marlin, Sailfish, King & Queen Mackerel, Yellow Fin Tuna and much more all within paddling distance.

With this constantly in the back of our minds, it’s tough fighting that urge to just jump in the car and take the 2 hour drive north. So we did it!

Cape Vidal does come with a paddlers WARNING! The current is extremely dangerous especially when the North East wind is blowing as this pushes the North to South current even faster and stronger, but this also brings in the fish. Only fit and experienced paddlers should dare launch Vidal. Vidal is best fished in a fresh South Westerly wind after 3 days of North Easterlies.

On that note, the conditions were just that and the fish were on the bite! Wez had two live cigar scads out on a simple steel trace with a single #2 lead hook and a #4 treble in the back with a shiny skirt on. After trying in vain to down rig the one livie with a 4oz sinker and very brittle elastic bands, Wez decided to leave the one (on his right) 6 feet from the back of his ski so his baits didn’t swim together and knot his line… The results? Well watch the video!

The Freaks Tips #42 – Relaunching in the surf zone

Here is Tip #42 by The Fishing Freaks.

This post is aimed more for the newbies starting Kayak Fishing. If you’ve been doing this for more than a few launches you will have done this at least once. If you live on the east coast of South Africa you will have done this MANY times!

First and most IMPORTANT: Always wear a life jacket, no matter how “good” you think you are. Here I wasn’t wearing one, thought it looked flat out… But let me tell you, I sank like a stone! And I had a loooong swim after that wave took my ski.

There are two scenarios where you will be swimming for you ski. Going out or coming in. The slide example here is of me coming in and eating it. My ski was taken by the foamy and washed 100ft ahead of me. Now if you’re in this situation be very aware of the rip currents. I was lucky and there was very little movement.

Always hang onto your paddle. ALWAYS. I do a version of freestyle and doggy paddle whilst periodically throwing my paddle with each stroke. With each wave that passes, you will get pushed toward your kayak, you can now use your paddle in the waves to pull you toward the beach.

Once you get to your ski grab the closest handle. Often your kayak will be upside down. Provided you checked all your hatches like you should always do before reentering the surf zone, you stuff will still be sealed tight. If you’re on an American plastic kayak, now is the time to upgrade. If you’re short like me and can’t reach the sand below your kayak, you will have to do a little dunk under the water then push the side of your ski up with all your might and it will flip over one time.

Now slide your body up and over your seat so your belly is now in your seat. Then sling your leg closest to the tale over like a horse or bike. Boom you’re back on, now quickly check you’re not about to get drilled by another wave. If when you get to your ski there are still waves washing through, hang onto the tale or nose handle until there is a gap to get back on. If it’s really gnarly out you can just hang on and get dragged back to the beach.

If you come off your kayak when going out much the same applies. Turn to face the beach (which is where your kayak should be headed), get on your kayak but turn to face the sea and take your time to find the best gap and gas it.

Remember, we’re not professionals, but these techniques are tried and tested by us. We’re simply sharing what works for us. Only enter the sea when you feel it is safe enough for your level of paddling.

Relaunching in the surf zone

Relaunching in the surf zone