Recaptured fish: What a joy!

Hi,I tagged a leerie in the Breede estuary on 20 January 2010 (see my catch report below) – 51.5 cm fork length. I just heard that it was recaptured by Shane 839 days later at splash rock in Port Edward KZN – 1144 km further as the crow flies. It grew around 32 cm and was measured at 83 cm fork lenght. Great news – makes up for all the hard work. Thanks for releasing it again Shane – much appreciated.

Ps a small leerie I tagged above Mudlark in January 2013 was caught 30 days later – still in the Breede estuary.”Hi, Made a few casts at Kabeljou Bank near the mouth while I waited for the tide to turn. Caught a puffer fish for my efforts! Then fished the Breede River sand bank on the pushing tide. Started about 400m towards the mouth from the main leeries fishing area and worked my way back to where the boats normally anchor on the sandbank. About 250 m from the boats I started getting chases and hook-ups. Most on a small flipper with a pale blue belly. At times things got extremely hectic and virtually every cast resulted in either a chase or a hookup. Several fish fighting for the flipper – sometimes not sure who would win, the fish or the flipper trying to escape towards the edge of the drop-off. Sometimes the takes were virtually at the drop-off’s edge under the rod tip (don’t stand too close to the drop-off). I tagged 5 here, and am convinced I would have caught more if I did not tag them, as the fish came past in small schools – I like to think of them as hunting packs. By the time the fish was measured, tagged and the card filled in they have moved on. There were some bigger fish too, but they may have avoided the smaller flipper. Mike Dohlhoff apparently caught one of 70 cm+ on a large popper. I then changed to a larger flipper. As the tide was getting high I needed to move on towards a safer area. I stopped about 400 m upriver where the water was flowing fast over the sandbank and into a deep area for a few casts, pushing my luck. First cast and 3 fish going mad for the flipper. A 5c4 cm leerie won the race and was rewarded with a tag and a photo on the FlyTalk website. Moved further along the sandbank, but the water now too high. Had to get out of there. As it was I had to wade chest deep through the water to get to the bank. All the time hoping that the tagged, or untagged, zambesi sharks were elsewhere. Had another take in the small bay at the end of the sandbank, but no hookup. Tried for some grunter on the sandflat, but no hook-ups. All-in-all a very satisfying day’s fishing. Total for the day, 6 leeries 40 – 54 cm with several others lost. And of course the puffer fish! I celebrated with a nice braai and a Windhoek Light. Niel Malan 20.1.2010″


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