By Julien Fievez
Leaving the Hout Bay harbor at the crack of dawn is an experience in itself, enough to convince you that Cape Town is where you belong, and your day only gets better from there. If you’ve never been tuna fishing before, you should know that it is not like any other kind of fishing. One of the first things I was told after being handed what can only be described as a monster fishing rod was “Don’t try to fight the fish. It’s stronger than you.”.
It became apparent that fighting the fish was indeed futile. You’re strapped into the rod, so it isn’t going anywhere. You get a feel for it pretty quickly, but you need a combination of patience, strength and planning to bring in a really big fish.
Last week, Bob from Belgium caught a 97.6kg Yellowfin Tuna. As an experienced angler, Bob made the 25-minute fight look simple. “Just watch how he waits for the swell to come and then reels in when he can.”
You’ve got no real perception of distance once you leave the mountains behind. Slowly, they fade away behind the swell and you’re left in the deep blue. We went out far. I mean really far. For hours we saw incredible birdlife appear and disappear, turtles on the surface enjoying the sun’s rays and most spectacularly, whales.
It’s a place of contrasts. The hot sun and the cool ocean. Importantly, there’s that addictive smell; a combination of fish, sunscreen and salt, mixed with the up-and-down of a boat on the ocean, the sound of engines and the screaming of reels. If the idea of getting your line wet excites you, you know that smell and that feeling and that sound and it’ll keep calling you back, over and over again.
Fishing with Hooked on Africa is a bucket list item. There can be no debate about that.