Smashing the SA Record

I arrived in Cape Vidal on the 22nd of August, 3 days before the 34th Winter Gamefish Competion. I was very excited to dive the competition with some big names– I met up with Rob Allen,Chris West and Andrew Botha at the camp site where we stayed. That night I heard some great stories from the old timers of days gone past and went to bed early for the next morning’s dive.As much as I tried to, I only managed fall asleep a couple of hours after the lights went out, as I was thinking of all the amazing things that could happen at this special place I had heard so much about.

At 5:30 the next morning Andrew came to my tent and said: “Hey, staan f*ken op laat ons vis kan gaan skiet!”. I was out of my tent and into my wetsuit in a matter of minutes, and we headed for Leven Point on Rob’s boat. We started drifting along the shallow reef. I didn’t have a flasher at that time and after about an hour of seeing nothing, curiosity got the best of me and I headed for the inside to see what was going on. There was lots of fish life on the inside and some very big Parrots that swam right up to me as if to say “F*@k you, you can’t shoot me!” then scratched themselves on my spear tip and slowly swam away…

As I was checking out the cocky Parrots, a huge Bluefin Kingfish came screaming past, made a sharp u-turn and came straight back, and started to swim circles around me. He was swimming so fast that I couldn’t follow him with my 1.3 Rob Allen Rail Gun. After the third time he went around, I thought to myself, “I need to find another method to shoot this fish ‘cause he is not going to stick around forever…” So, I stuck my gun straight out in front of me and waited. It wasn’t long before I saw him out of the corner of my eye, and he was right on a collision course with my spear, without me having to move the gun up or down. As soon as the tip of his nose lined up with my spear, I pulled the trigger.

The spear hit him behind the gill plate and a bit high. He turned on his after burners and took off with a massive speed, swimming for about 30 metres and then reefing up real bad, going under and over the same rocks a couple of times. I stuck my hand out and called the boat. Rob, who was top man for us, headed over to me. When he arrived, I had already donea dive to try get the fish out but had no luck. On the 2nd dive down I grabbed his tail, pulled him out of his hole, grabbed his gills, took my knife and killed him. I surfaced again, out of breath and wanting to go down again immediately but Rob told me to calm down and take my time. I relaxed and got him out on the next dive. Rob said it was an awesome Bluefin Kingy, the biggest one he has ever seen, so I felt good about my fish.

Back on shore, I almost filletted my Bluefin but decided just to gut and gill it and freeze it whole as I was feeling lazy… which was a good thing as it turned out! The next day Dane Salmon arrived, saw my fish in the freezer and came over to ask if I knew what the current SA record for a Bluefin Kingfish was. I had no idea, but he thought it might just be a record fish.

He fetched his scale and his laptop, checked the current record (which was 5,8kg) and that I was a paid up member of SAUFF. Then we weighed the fish. Everyone in the camp had their guesses at the fish’s weight before it was put on the scale. Rob’s guess was the closest to the actual weight of at 6,77kg.

My fish was well above the SA record, so I was very chuffed, with everyone there congratulating me! The next day at the official comp weigh-in, Triple Dave weighed my fish on the calibrated scale and the final weight came out at 6,54kg

I thanked Dane on multiple occasions throughout the weekend, because if he hadn’t been so nosy and looked in our freezer, I would have been none the wiser about my record fish!

Big thanks also go out to Rob Allen for his moral support, his awesome gear (Rob Allen, The Gear Behind The Records!) and for the unforgettable weekend. Thanks to Dave for his scale, Andrew and Chris for lots of laughs, and Andy for teaching me his Snoek and Couta secrets!  

If Dane hadn’t been so nosy and looked in our f Dane hadn’t been so nosy and looked in our freezer, I would have been none the wiser about my record fish!


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