Technology makes for App(ier) fisher folk

Rickus Kleinhans

Technology has advanced so much over the last 20 years that the angler has better means to plan an outing and especially narrow down the odds of getting tangled in the misfortune of adverse elements.

There are many mechanisms available, so the angler can make more informed choices – which will ultimately save time and money.

An app called fishtrack is very useful for deep-sea anglers – such as tuna and bill fish anglers – who venture out beyond the sight of land.

This app highlights the warm water current and allows you to pinpoint the depth and water temperature accurately.

Better planning, including for fuel, can then be done. It also allows you to go directly to the area rather than randomly search the vastness of the ocean off our coast hoping for the best.

What I did notice at present is that Algoa Bay is experiencing a pocket of cooler water at 17°C compared to the 21°C out where the action should be for hopefuls competing in the Tuna Classic.

The trophy tuna will mostly be found in the warmer water.

As always, the wind is a huge factor as to whether one can access that region, which is about 70km or more south of Port Elizabeth at present.

The blessing of the fleet is 7am today with weigh-in from 4pm each day of the competition.

The Port Elizabeth Deep-Sea Angling Club boasts a brand new facility for the hosting of the event and the prize-giving will take place at 7pm on Sunday.

Pedsac welcome the public to share in the fun and activities at their new indoor venue during the competition.

Unusual catches take place, especially at this time of year, when warmer water and colder water (in pockets) merge, influencing angling conditions and especially the species that get moved this way out of their natural habitat zone.

A number of good grunter and shad have been caught for some time now, most notably a Natal stumpnose that was landed at Sundays River by Rickus Kleinhans measuring 65cm and likely to tip the scale at around the 5kg mark!

The local species seldom reach more than a kilogram in weight.

An interesting survey has been conducted in Australia regarding the project to try and turn around the decline in their malloway or jewfish stocks which are the same species as our dusky kob. After a number of years of added restrictions (reduction of daily allowable and increased minimum keep sizes) the recovery has not been nearly what was expected, if any.

After an investigation it was found that the practise of estuarine shrimp trawling had impacted the juvenile stock that were caught as a by-catch.

In fact, this was a loophole that was exploited as a result.

This practice to my knowledge only takes place in KwaZulu Natal and it is forbidden that it be allowed to extend to the rest of the country.

We have witnessed first-hand how illegal gill-netting has affected estuaries over the years.

We experience a light to moderate northerly wind today which hopefully will give those angling in the BLG Tuna Classic a fair chance to get out to where the fish are. There is high expectation this year for huge tuna.

Tomorrow experiences a westerly that peaks at 33knots by 2pm. Sunday a light easterly will prevail. High tide is at 8.51am tomorrow with the moon in its last quarter.

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