End of 2017 Competition - Namibia

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End of 2017 Competition - Namibia

Postby Jeri on November 16th, 2017, 11:16 pm

We have just had the last of our ‘All Namibia’ clubs competition for 2017, and now folks are busy doing calculations on their year’s performance, as to whether they qualify for potential selection for National teams in 2018.

The last competition was held in an area where there are a lot of mixed ground types to fish, including some areas where wading is obligatory to get even close to the sharks – wading out 4-500 metres through shallow water to get to the edge of the sand banks – a challenging area with huge potential on the right day. Our competitions are basically like ‘Roving Comps’, but with the difference that we use 4x4 vehicles to move around the zone. Usual zones are about 10kms (6½ miles).

The scoring is all on length:weight charts for the different species with mobile weigh masters driving the beach to measure all the fish and sharks caught, this also allows for a hugely beneficial release of all shark species, as well as edible species if the angler desires. Entries are open to all club affiliated anglers and everybody fishes on equal terms, though points are allocated to various age groups, men, ladies, over 40, over 50 and over 60, as well as Under 21 and Under 16.

Our last competition of the year was on a day that was perhaps a little too calm, but we can never book weather or sea conditions, and the water was perhaps a little too clear for really big catches to be made. Our club is an evolving entity, it used to be very ‘male’, but since my wife and other ladies have joined, and the guys have all started to have families, there is a good mix of men, ladies and juniors in the club now, and we fielded 20 anglers on the day ranging from absolute beginners to seasoned International class anglers. Other clubs with smaller membership didn’t field so many, and some of the really large clubs fielded what seemed like an entire tribe!!!

On the day 220 anglers fished, and being the last competition of the year, we fished from 7.30 in the morning to 4.00 in the afternoon – a slightly non-typical long day. I fished the day with one of our ladies in my vehicle, while my wife fished with another lady in her car. Our first spot was a rock platform, where in amongst a group of about 8 anglers we were all casting small mullet head baits out for Spotted Gully Sharks – a bit like a Bull Huss, but on steroids with the speed of a Tope. I was fortunate to get a pick up and then the shark ran me into the rocks, but only snagged the sinker, so I did manage to get the shark out – eventually – it measure 138cms, which reckoned out at 11.8kgs – a great start. Spotted Gully sharks are a feature of the early morning fishing, as they come close during the night, so nearly everyone focuses on them first thing. That was pretty much the only fish that came out from that spot all day, but we moved around tried different spots. Found one place that was producing a lot of undersize Kob, they have to be over 40cms long to count, so we had a few, but nothing to go on the score cards. We tried a couple of other spots over high water that have potential to produce sting rays, but only undersize Smooth Hounds!!!

Then we moved to a deep water bay, where someone had just had a Bronzie – Angelique cast out a huge of Mackerel gills and guts with chops bound over the sides of the very bloody mess. As it was deep water, I cast out very deep with Mullet head – hoping for a big Spotty. There were about 12 anglers in the bay, and most were focussing on Bronzies, but this particular bay has a history of throwing up numbers of Spotties. As luck would have it, the angler next to Angelique picked up the Bronzie and after a 35 minute fight brought what looked like a 65kgs shark to the beach for measuring and release. Then the whole bay went quiet, and we moved again to some more deep water hoping to pick up something to get Angelique’s blank off, but it was not to happen. We ended up fishing alongside my wife and Megan, and they had tried a similar plan earlier in the morning, but focussing on Kob and Guitarfish, as Megan is still learning and is slightly restricted on casting distance. They had had a number of species, but all undersize.

Back to the meeting point at the end of the day, and the score cards for the club were processed, one guy was still on a Bronzie, and under the rules allowed to fight it, as it had been hooked before ‘lines up time’. Another guy came in with a score card of 3 Bronzies for a combined weight of 177.9kgs, and a couple of single Bronzies for other anglers. One guy had a sheet of Spotties and Smooth Hounds, and had a combined weight of over 60kgs, it was looking good for the club status. One of our other ladies brought in a score card with 1 Kob and a Guitarfish for a combined weight of 4.3kgs, which when the finally reckoning was done placed her second in the ladies category. My Spotty of 11.8 gave me first place in the Grand Masters category for the over 60’s. Others had found it very tough to get fish all day, and our of the total field of 220 anglers only 107 scored. Two of our Under 16 juniors had a good day, and were placed 4th and 5th respectively, with 4.7 & 1.6kgs each.

So, as a club we had done fairly well in the individual categories, but like all these things there is an element of luck, as well as a factor where drivers of the vehicles are selecting spots that all the occupants of their vehicle can fish, especially the likes of one of the fathers, fishing where his 12 year olds can get a chance, rather than picking a wading spot, where the 12 year olds would never get near the fishing area.

The final analysis of the day was 220 anglers, landed a total weight of 1739kgs of fish and sharks, just 8 Bronzies, 58 Spotties, 29 Smooth Hounds and a host of other species. 3 guys in our club came in 1st, 2nd and 3rd with 177.9, 119.2 and 112.7kgs respectively, and our club won the club award for the day, which only takes the top 6 scores of the anglers in the club, with a combined weight of 538kgs. The top lady angler landed 33.7kgs with 2 Spotties, and the biggest Bronzie of the day was 112.7kgs for the guy that had to fight the shark after ‘lines up’.

The final positions of various anglers in their age/sex categories for the year will not be announced formally before the end of the year, but it looks like I have dropped a little from last year in the Grand Masters placings to 3rd, probably due to a couple of blank competition days, and my wife has maintained her position as 9th Lady overall, so we will possibly be contenders for National teams for next year.

Looking back on the day, we perhaps should have gone wading out to the edge of the sandbanks, as that was where the majority of the sharks were caught. Had we done that Angelique might have had better luck, but then spending a couple of hours waist to chest deep in relatively cold water is not comfortable, but that is a trade off of competitive sports surf fishing.

One aspect of this style of competition series is that its a great development program for bringing folks of all ages and genders into the sport. Over the last 10 years we have seem a huge influx of ladies into the competition scene, and they are very competitive as a group. It also helps considerably that there is a lot of mixing of skills on the beach, that only raises the level of abilities, all within a very social environment. Sure we don’t perhaps see the numbers at the competitions that are held in the middle of winter, but when you consider the size of the country, and that clubs come from far and wide to fish, some travelling over 8 hours to get to the coast, it is very rewarding. Getting towards the last years of my competitive angling period, I now spend a lot of events helping and tutoring some of the anglers in the club – putting something back into the sport that I have so much enjoyed.

Apologies for no pictures – too busy fishing!!!!

Cheers from sunny Africa
Jeri
 
Posts: 130
Joined: March 26th, 2015, 9:35 pm
Location: Namibia - Where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Namib Desert

Re: End of 2017 Competition - Namibia

Postby JustinEdge on November 18th, 2017, 2:08 am

Nice write up!
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Re: End of 2017 Competition - Namibia

Postby John239 on November 18th, 2017, 1:14 pm

Jeri wrote:Apologies for no pictures – too busy fishing!!!!


Nice report and I like ya style man, I feel the same since I started back up fishing again..no time for pictures just release the fish quick and get ya line back out there asap.
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (Romans 15:13)
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