09 Aug 2013

It's was just before 5am on Thursday morning it was human rights day when the new owner and his captain and 4 crew including myself (Greg Alice) all met at the Blue Flag Marina in Granger Bay to prepare the Riviera 33.

The weather was pristine with not a breath in the air, the temperature was warm and the water was still . This was the Riviera 33 'Gunners' maiden voyage and we could feel the excitement in the air. The vessel was to leave Granger Bay for her new home in Gordon's Bay.

The journey to the agreed  spot took us around 3hours to reach cruising at around 18knots. We took it slow and really got a chance to experience why Riviera boats are such sought after vessels - Comfort! While skipper Chris Gerber manned the helm and set the course on the auto pilot the rest of us were free to relax. Lying on the soft leather couches in the saloon listening to our choice of music chatting and sharing past fishing experiences. The ride was extremely smooth considering the sea conditions and we felt safe and comfortable on this strong sports fisher.

We reached our destination and we set the rods up to trawl. We had 6 rods in the spread with our choice of Halco/ Rapala luhrs and some soft squids which are known to be a deadly bait for Yellow Fin.

Soon the reel was screaming Ismail took the first fish and we started to clear the lines to prevent any burn offs or tangles. Then 2 other rods screamed out as 2 more fish where hooked! It was a triple up! Excited we cleared the remaining lines and began the 3 fish battle. 1 fish managed to throw the hook, this can happen for many reason you just have to take the punches and carry on.

The 2nd fish we got to the boat, it must have been approximately 15kg.

In the distance we saw a large stern trawler on the horizon, these trawlers drop down large nets which they let soak for a couple hours before pulling up again. we raced over to him as big Tuna are often caught by anglers when they lift their nets fish often come loose and the game fish follow the nets up eating the dead of injured fish. When we got closer we noticed that they had already raised their nets and dropped them back in... We had missed the boat

Speaking with some fishing buddies over the VHF radio they gave us their position where they where, they were one of about 15 fishing boats that where sitting along side another stern trawler and were on to some nice fish.

It didn't take much we pulled in the lines and raced over to their position. We picked our spot right behind the trawler navigating between all the other fishing boats and started baiting the water with cut blocks of sardines and two hooked pieces of bait.

It was now close on 4pm and we upped lines and headed to our new home in Gordon's Bay harbour. It was a comfortable run as we set the auto pilot and sat back and reminisce about the days experiences on board this luxury Riviera sports fisher.

We had a fantastic days fishing with some serious highs and lows which we have learnt and gained priceless knowledge from. Some people enjoy fishing as a hobby, for some it is their lively hood. It can be extremely dangerous fishing in the rough seas off South Africa and you need to take extreme precaution and plan ahead. We urge all boaters not to 'skimp' on safety equipment and be prepared for any kind of situation. Check our local weather stations before going offshore and make sure your boat and electronics are in good working and safe condition. Happy Boating and Tight lines :) Read the full version of Greg's story in the August edition of Leisure Boating.