“Nothing beats fishing from rocks on the notorious Wild Coast and seeing Garrick smashing your lure on the surface.”
Quite a few years ago I was given the opportunity to go with a couple of fishing buddies to the Transkei to target the notorious game fish- Garrick on lures. What an experience! In such a way that I now, personally don’t target Garrick in any other way.
It is so exciting to see the fish chase the surface lure, the way I love fishing for Garrick, I just about have a heart attack every time it happens. On my honeymoon a good couple of years ago I nearly had 16 heart attacks in one day. It was worth every second. In this article I would like to share my experiences and knowledge with my fellow anglers.
I target Garrick over early November to end November in the Transkei when the Garrick are moving back to the Eastern Cape and Cape Coast but it is a good time to target them during the sardine run from end June right through to the end of September in the South and North Coast as far up as Cape Vidal. I have heard of Garrick being caught as late as middle December at Port Edward, how true this is I don’t know. As the age old saying goes “All fishermen are liars accept you and me but I am not sure about you some days” Ha, ha!
Rods that I prefer to use must be as light as possible in the 1 to 302 Range in the length of 11 – 13 feet. There are times that you must get quite a long cast in up to 120 m plus. There are quite a few models on the market such as the Kingfisher Poseidon HMG range and Blue Marlin tuff flex. My preferred reel has a 5.2.1 gear ratio.
Surface lures that I have had the most success on when the water is calm are white chisel nose plugs No 9 made by Tryton Lures. The fishing technique used when casting plugs is to hold the rod at a 45° angle during the retrieve to keep the plug on the surface and when the fish takes the plug wait for the rod to be pulled down before you strike or you will miss the fish. I fish with a very tight drag as to get the hook set but ready to loosen off because a Garrick can take a lot of line depending on its size. If the water is choppy and rough I prefer to use spoons, V backs or bullet spoons between 5 and 8 cm long. If you see small Garrick chasing your plug but they don’t take it, it is possible your plug is too big, try downsizing your plug or lure, it worked for me a few years ago. I put my long rod down and took my drop shot rod, the Garrick chasing where 2-3kg. To my surprise a ± 7 kg fish ate my plug of 3 cm long – what a fight it was and great a memory I will never forget.
Other fish species that will take plugs are shad, normally quite big ones. “I meant the Shad” especially in the Transkei and Eastern Cape. You stand quite a good chance for Kingfish on the South and North Coast during the sardine run but good luck with them on light tackle. Remember to limit your keep and don’t keep your limit.
Tight lines and big fish, rather a bad day fishing than a good day at work. I make custom rods for Garrick, boat rods, drop shot and plugging rods.