Thursday, September 4, 2008

More on Dolphins - Spearo Assitants

I was out on a steenbras hunt with Mark Jackson.
I had carefully tracked the weather and probable position of thermoclines was good as per my model.
Modelling sea conditions is part of my mentorship program!

Alarm bells were ringing in my left brain claiming it’s time to go right now, the window of opportunity would soon close as there was a fresh westerly blowing that would essentially zero success if we waited a few more hours.
No sooner had we entered the water and the click and squeak parade arrived. Bottlenose Dolphins.

Delighted by their presence I sat silently on the bottom gazing at the mixed pod of juvenile and adult dolphins.
I essentially wrote off getting a steenbras with these big predators cruising about. Especially after the recent newspaper article in which a paddle-skier claimed that a bottlenose dolphin had displayed a musselcracker it caught and seemingly offered the fish to him.
Anyway, Mark was already pulling anchor as he saw no likelihood of getting success with the present company.
I decided to try one last spot, the dolphins had just left and I checked my land marks and landed within a 2 m radius of where I wanted to be.
I quietly settled on the bottom and gazed off to the east while partially tucked behind a hollow sandstone ridge under which was a small cave that sometimes produced tasslefish (baardman). Nothing doing – I could hear the outboard engine starting up in the distance as Mark prepared to pick me up. I decided to look for a tassle and pushed back on the sand and looked into the cave – what’s this?!
A large silver glow revealed a steenbras within – most unusual – the dolphins had spooked it and it took temporary refuge in the cave.
I backed up the 1.1 m gun which was still pointing out over the ridge and managed to swiftly move back myself to get in a position to attempt a shot.
The fish started to move but I was faster and lined the fish up with a very irregular angled shot.
The shot was solid and I extracted the white steenbras – I was very surprised as these fish seldom enter caves.
Mark was equally surprised at this success.
I have seen more than my share of fine-sized white steenbras but only on one other occasion had I seen one in a cave – that was on the wreckage just north of the Queen Victoria’s wreck off North End, Port Elizabeth.
Anyway thanks to the dolphins on this day I got a really unexpected 16 kgs white steenbras.

Here is one the same size as that one was:

This fish was also take after precise timing of winds and weather modelling.
Wanna know how to do it?
Sign up for my online mentorship program today - see

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