Future of SA Angling looks bright!

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Leisure Boating’s Gary Randall recently made the trip up to the gorgeous and verdant KwaZulu-Natal north coast for the annual Junior Interclub competition held at Mapelane Ski Boat Club to bear witness to some of the country’s best up-and-coming young anglers at work.

Set in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Mapelane ski boat club went all out to ensure that this competition was set up and run perfectly for the junior anglers. The camp sites were perfectly located among the lush greenery that KZN is known for and which of course teems with all sorts of wildlife. There were playgrounds for the younger ones, perfect beaches, and even a stand up fishing simulator from Jig Star Africa – all adding to ensure this would be a weekend these juniors would never forget.

On the eve of the competition everyone congregated around the campfire, discussing the following days’ forecast and tactics. As there was a cold front approaching and bad weather expected, the consensus around the fire was that chances of catching a fish, let alone beach launching the ski boats, were looking slim.

However, this did not seem to curb the enthusiasm of the boys I was chatting to in the slightest, they were here to fish and no weather or barometer was going to stop them. I spoke to three juniors regarding the tactics they would employ during the competition, Ricardo Goncalves (9) who was on the winning team in 2013, Andrew Morrison (13) and Barbarians – left to right: Jason Jeslings, John Jeslings, Francois Jeslings. Mapelane – left to right: Hennie De Beer, Riaan Vermaak, Pierre Vermaak, Robin Vermaak. Dylan Westoby (13).

I was most impressed by the way these young anglers’ fishing minds worked; every tactic was considered and calculated, various routes were planned for the day and every aspect of the day’s fishing was well planned to suit each team individually. The one thing that these boys did agree on was that they were here to fish and fish hard!

Day 1
Rising early, we were on the beach at first light and were greeted by a sturdy breeze and a choppy sea with a tricky shore break that looked like it was only going to get worse during the course of the day. The teams and skippers stood watching and discussing whether surf launching was possible and in the end only three boats opted to launch, Majazane skippered by Brent Goncalves (last year’s winning boat), H2O and License To Chill. The other skippers remained reluctant and the day’s fishing was called off, but Majazane and H2O decided to battle the elements regardless in order to get a day’s practice under their belts. H2O managed to hook a decentsized sailfish only to lose it right by the boat after a fierce duel. However, the day was not a total loss in terms of enjoyment. With temperatures in the mid 20’s, the Left to right: Bradley, Derek, Dylan Knowles. remainder of the day was spent swimming and playing on the beach, while for some it mostly consisted of lazing around camp and unwinding under a tree.


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