Monster catch

MYTH or a fact? Recently while talking to one of the golden oldies of angling, a fact (or myth) became the topic of conversation. Cats were supposedly used on sailing boats back in the day to determine high and low tides.

A cat was kept in the captain's cabin out of direct sunlight and the size of the cat's pupils would determine the tide. This was especially important in bad visibility.

These boats usually hugged the coastline and the tide was important to negotiate the reefs that abound, especially around our shores.

I always wondered why so many ships were wrecked along our coast.

Over the years I have always been fascinated by the Sundays River as it is very different to the Swartkops but is just a neighbour along the coast.

Being very scenic and remote back then, it was probably named Sundays River as it was a weekend retreat and a family destination of note.

There are camping facilities at the river's mouth or B&Bs at Colchester to cater for all, either in or out of season.

Recently it has become a strategic boundary of the Greater Addo Elephant National Park. Like the Gamtoos it has also produced those giant cobs over the years that every angler dreams of catching – like a hundred pounder, now measured at 45.46kg.

And the dream came true when Kevin Comley caught a cob of such magnitude on 4kg nylon this past weekend!

It was not a record but still a catch of note. The national record for cob was caught at the Gamtoos back in 2006 by Deon Gerber being a 67kg specimen.

The Sundays is very different to the Swartkops as the Swartkops boasts a flood plain of mud banks while the Sundays has long elongated meandering water that stretches up to before Addo where the tidal zone ends. This is ideal for recreational activities such as water skiing and swimming.

The water quality of the Sundays also differs to that of the Swartkops in that E.coli is absent in the numbers that appear in the Swartkops and as a result is now home to the Redhouse River Mile, the oldest swimming competition of its type in the country.

It is not uncommon for fish to venture up well into the fresh water zone.

This became evident by the telemetry monitoring programme running at the Sundays and adjacent coast where fish have been tagged with transponders that relay information.

Each fish has its unique signal, so the information gathered is associated with an individual fish and its behaviour can be monitored.

As the cob is the species of note at Sundays, fishing with live bait is a must. Artificial lure anglers can also have a ball here.

The Sundays River is a boating paradise where cruise operators take long trips kilometres up and down the river. This is still one of the unspoilt rivers of which the Eastern Cape can be proud.