Big Game Fishing: What’s Up With Winter?

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Leisure Boating: Do you find your charters reduce during winter?

Rob Naysmith: Yes, I find that the charters from overseas tourists slow down but then a lot of the locals take up the opportunity through the winter, specially the guys from Gauteng.

LB: Do you take time to repair, replace and renew your fishing gear during the quieter winter season?

RN: Yes, that’s when I do most of my boat repairs and service all the reels and equipment for the coming season.

LB: Do you do boat maintenance during winter to ready the boat for the more active summer months or do you do continual upkeep and maintenance throughout the year?

RN: If you’re doing a big refurbishment on the boat, it’ll need to come out of the water and that can take a few months where you can’t use the boat for charters, so it is best done during the quieter winter months. Generally a full refurbish takes place every four or five years.

LB: What types of charter fishing would you typically undertake during winter and what types of fish are more common off the Cape coast during winter?

RN: We fish mainly for snoek which is more of a drift or anchor type of fishing rather than trolling, but we do also catch yellowtail. One of the absolute highlights in my charter fishing setup is saltwater fly fishing in the winter, it’s great fun to catch snoek on the fly.

LB: Besides charters, if the weather’s good, do you fish for pleasure with friends and family in the winter months?

RN: I do, yes, I fish for pleasure and I tend to do a lot more beach, rock and surf fishing during the slower months.

LB: Is there any added danger when fishing in the winter months?

RN: There can be. The swells can get pretty big when the west winds blow, but if you watch for the weather forecasts and the cold fronts coming through and avoid
the bad weather and storms, then you’re okay. You get some beautiful, absolutely stunning days in the winter.

LB: Do you change tackle at all in winter?

RN: Yes, we tend to go from the surface game fishing to the deep water and mid-water style of fishing. So yes, we change from top tackle to tackle that suits deeper fishing.

LB: Is game fishing for tuna and marlin possible during the winter months?

RN: We do get tuna and I usually catch them all year round, but it does become hit or miss once you get past June. From June to October you can find the fish today and they’re gone tomorrow. They might stay a day or two but then they move away and you’ve got to look for them again, but no Marlin.

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