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Greenspot Kingfish by Christopher

1 for 12 on Kingfish in the Umzimkulu

1 for 12 on Kingfish in the Umzimkulu

1 for 12 on Kingfish in the Umzimkulu: Christopher and Cuan arrived on time. I already had Mighuil and Dandre chomping at the bit. While I was waiting on the slipway, the kingfish appeared in full view again. Smashing the mullet and prawns that gather in front here daily now.

We departed from the jetty and headed north upriver. The North East was howling like a Banshee already. But we were neatly tucked away in the lee of the north ridge that forms the Umzimkulu’s last big turn towards the ocean. The water was smooth and calm – so we could see for miles.

Enjoy the picture show…

Strike One

Never happened at all on this first two-hour trip. But they came up. All around us. So fast. Lightning actually. The water is clean, even after the recent couple nights rain. Grey shapes darting at us. But missing…

We had more guests to collect.


For this next session, it was Krish and Ashlin that joined us. They had no idea what they were about to be a part of…

This time we pushed off the jetty and went south towards the ocean with the dropping tide. The second bank is the huge sandbank between the Umzimkulu Marina and Spillers. And where gamefish love to hunt. It’s the piece of water right in front of the Umzimkulu Marina lodge.

As we approached the bank, Christopher on the pink surface popper started yelling! He was vas! And the fish smacked the lure right in front of everyone’s wide-open eyes. This fish was screaming away so I galloped across the deck to check the drag setting. But the fish stopped. Christopher never knew to crank as hard as possible to thwart the kingfish’s cunning plan of swimming back towards the boat and shaking that hook loose.

Strike One did not work out. I voluntarily took the blame!

After this strike – for a few seconds, we were surrounded by kingfish. Cuan went away next on his stick bait but it never stuck either. The tide took us further towards the howling north-easter and the mouth area. The gamefish came up again – this time noticeably bigger – so we decided to moor up against the inside of the Sandspit. And give it a go down that side. Where Krish wanted to throw a sardine bait too.

Windy, but a lot of fun as the team spread out along the sand and used the wind for some huge casts. The gamefish came up every few minutes but carefully stayed just out of the range of our biggest casts.

Nothing chowed on the bait which left me wondering as to what goes through the minds of the party of people fishing next to us on the beach with dead bait – when gamefish are smashing all around them. Ashlin got a tiny kingy under the bridge in the newly formed pools. Did I mention he is only 6 years old?


After an hour of the wind blowing right through our brains, the only thing more to report were three tiny garrick that harassed my lure endlessly as I also had a few casts. These tiny little fish were the same size as the lure!

Then we learned some intel from a tern operating in the bowl on the lee side of the bridge. Diving and smashing these little visiting sprats to pieces. The sprats were shiny silver and about 5cm long. I got everyone to change their lures to what looked like these sprats. Except Christopher since he already had a good strike on his pink popper.

It was on this homeward-bound trip that things got mad. Cuan started the tally with a good fish again on the shiny silver stick bait he had put on. It took miles of line before it shook the tiny treble hooks right by the boat. A single single hook is a far better way of fishing a stick bait than with the double treble configuration they all seem to come with.

We made our way very slowly up towards the lodge. Just after Spillers – Christopher broke the Mombakkies as he hauled a very colourful and pretty looking little kingfish from the water. It was so small yet it smashed that huge pink plug that Christopher was throwing. Went back very healthy. Minimal interference in its busy life and schedule.

None of my guys on board this trip had ever been spinning for gamefish in water like this. And they all had improved soooooo much during the session. As our new team came together. One of us would spot the fish boiling or breaching. I’d fire up that motor and head full taps to the action. Cutting the motor as we got there. The lures would fly in all directions – and the fish just did not stop coming.

Even I decided enough was enough and I took down a 30lb braid spinning outfit from the roof. With a brand new rod to replace the last one that broke on a kingfish a little while back. Immediately I went vas on my Mydo lure and gave the screaming reel to the kid Ashlin. He sweated and sweated. It was a bigger fish – at least 3kgs probably more. My 30lb braid held on tight. The kid pulled and pulled. Then the hook pulled out right at the boat!

This fish was still angry though – nowhere near netting time or anything of the sort. It still had a good ten more minutes of fight in him. Anyway, he got away. A “forced release” as Brad Elliot coined the term in the exact same situation countless times before. It’s a great attitude since we had the excitement of the strike, the adrenalin of the fight, the satisfaction of seeing what it was, and the delight that it swam free without any damage whatsoever.

Ashlin never saw it like this!

In amongst all this, Christopher lost a big one. His drag was just way too tight and the fish way too strong. The fight never lasted a few seconds.


And so I let loose again, with the little Mydo. And BANG! But this time I though I’d better do it – much to Ashlin’s chagrin. I got the fish to the boat quick enough to realise that it never even thought it was hooked. When it did, it went under the boat, came out again, and screamed across the surface at a huge pace. Knowing my little Mydo sports a 4/0 single hook, the only weak link in my chain was the 20lb leader now. Or so I thought.

I took it a bit easier on the fish until it came back to the boat and started really performing green. I was hanging out off the aft corner trying to keep the braid from touching anything as this spirited fish just would not let up for a photograph. The fight is on camera we will see later how things transpired but SNAP was the sound. As the brand new rod crumbled in the middle and broke. Note to self – never use bright blue fishing rods sourced from dubious people.

I jumped into handline mode and promptly snapped the 20lb leader as I over-enthusiastically tried to overpower him. He was a good 4 to 5 kgs of muscle. A slab of a estuary kingfish.

With my rod broken, I was happy as Larry watching these guys get annihilated over and over. Until we all just stopped fishing! And reflected on the hours of adrenalin we all had just been through.

1 for 12!

If this is your kind of way to spend the day – the river is clean and clear. And full of fish! Sean on +27793269671 or You can also just use the WhatsApp button for a direct line to the boat.


These statistics would have been remarkably improved upon if the guys had been properly equipped. Thsee are fast, mean, angry, strong fish. You need power. Strength. Durability. Check this out for what actually is required for this stuff…

Video to follow!

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