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swoffing safari 2009

11/07/2009  Good on ya Grant
South Africa can lay claim to some fantastic things indeed!

The abolition of apartheid, Mrs Balls Chutney, Ouma Rusks, some of the world's most dedicated and proficient fly fisherman and of course BILTONG !!!

Grant Slinger a fellow expat South African from Durban now based in Sydney, flew out to join me in WA for some fishing and a relaxing holiday away from the bustling madness of the city. Shortly after picking him up, my mate Grant produced a bag of good old South African biltong and this set the tone for the rest of the days spent together on my boat where we enjoyed one another's company.

Grant spent his early years in SA chasing skipjack (giant herring) in Durban Harbour and also pursuing the elusive GTs of Kosi Bay. No stranger to a bit of swoffing danger and armed with a cast and a half, it was great to share the boat with him chasing all sorts of critters, sharing laughs about the homeland and getting back to basics camping under a billion stars that make up the Australian night sky.

Early morning start, food and fuel packed, the boat zooming across the gulf at the speed of life as the sun breaks the horizon..

The weather was kind to us ..

And it didn't take long before graphite started to bend and lines were being stretched

Exmouth Gold !

All the fishing is barbless and everything goes back in the water to live another day

Well almost everything ... spending all day on the water is hard work and growing lads need healthy food to keep going. Nice mangrove jack, potatoes, sweet corn and of course a few cold ones to wash it all down

Western Australia has the most amazing sunsets, on one side of the sky the hues meld from oranges into blues as the sun sets, while on the other side as the night arrives, there's a wash of purples, magenta and the opportunity to reflect on life as another day goes to rest.

There's no better thrill than sight casting to big hungry fish in shallow water. Grant who's armed with a very capable cast, brought out the good old Durban-inspired balsa popper for some sensational surface busting queenie action

I don't need any invitations to join in the fun and on this day by 11am in the morning I had boated what we termed as an Exmouth grand-slam - queenie, golden and a brassy trevally - ALL BIG

Apart from the obvious highlight of spending time with a mate talking copious quantities of rubbish and targeting trophy fish in shallow water ... one of the main highlights was the brassy trevally that we found moving across the flats

These things are virtually identical to a GTs and pull every bit as hard, taking you into your backing over and over again. The beauty about the flats is that once hooked, they only have one place to go and that's away from you at a rate of knots!! Big fish like these are super fun on the 9wt.

While we were both hooked up chasing down some queenies on a remote flat, I was taking photos of Grant hooked up too and lo and behold I lost my footing on the console and before I knew it, I was heading overboard. The funniest thing was that my camera snapped this pic as I was going overboard and we went on to land both fish.

It's important to realise that there's many things in the water that will either eat you or hurt you pretty badly. Sharks, stingrays, stonefish, sea snakes and of course jellyfish. Here's a 'lions main' which we came across one day. The head is about the size of a football and the tentacles spread out about 4m square. These things need to be kept well away from!

Grant, I thoroughly enjoyed your company and sharing the laughs around the campfire with you. Thanks so much for everything and I look forward to the package of biltong that's on it's way in the mail. Much appreciated!!

As a closing thought ... remember this day?

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