Vive la France – as we do one final surf & turf tour to Jeffrey’s Bay with French Father and Son

Winding up the Summer of 2022/23

As we bid goodbye to the 2022/2023 summer season, we were getting ready for one final surf-and-turf tour to Jeffreys Bay and Port Elizabeth. It was going to be epic!

We'd been planning this trip for over a year with a cool pair from France, Charles and Alexis - a father-son duo with a major love for all things fishing. Their dream? To lock horns with some massive sharks over 100kg, species didn't matter. Alexis was also psyched about the idea of seeing a black ray in person, which is quite the task because they're stubborn, a bit rare, and can put up quite the fight!

Problem was, the weather was acting all kinds of crazy. The forecast wasn't looking too hot and, as their guide, I won't lie, it had me a bit worried. The last thing you want is bad weather messing up the fishing. The seas were rolling out huge waves, which meant we had to change our shark-fishing plan from the surf zone to big bays and rocky points. This change of plans came with its own problems. Now we were looking at big, toothy critters, rocky shores, and the increased chance of getting cut off on the rocks, especially with first-time rock-fishing folks like Charles and Alexis.

And So It All Began

Charles and Alexis arrived late in the afternoon on the first day, with the sea looking wild and gnarly. So we figured we'd start fresh and early the next day. After going back and forth on the weather forecast, I decided that we were heading to St. Francis the next day. It seemed like the only feasible option given the consistently high winds and big seas.

Day one came, and the morning was quiet. However, as the tide started to push in the afternoon, the east wind kicked up and things started looking more hopeful. However, our first shot at a 100kg plus shark came at the worst possible time! I was out hunting for mussel cracker bait and Alexis and Charles had line issues. By the time I got to the rods, it was too late - our chance for a big catch that day was gone. Still, we managed to pull in a solid Smoothhound shark before the day ended.

The next day, we headed to the same spot, and the action started almost instantly with some baby sharks and a couple of small bites. When the tide pushed in, the big ones came to play. Alexis landed a Raggy about 130kg, opening the 100kg account. Dad, Charles, didn't stay behind either, landing a nice Raggie of around 115kg. We also had a brush with a big Bronzie that fought for an hour and bit through the steel wire. Overall, a pretty successful day, though the strong west wind cleaned up the water completely, which was a bit concerning.

And Onto Day 3

On day three, we decided to start later and fish into the evening. Charles scored a nice juvenile mussel cracker, and Alexis wrestled with a black ray for about two and a half hours. We didn't manage to land it, but just seeing the beautiful beast up close was a real thrill.

Their last day, we hit the surf zone with a change of scenery and it was a total blast! We got a ton of live bait, and everyone was hyped to try their hand at beach fishing. We pulled in several Garrick, and managed to land two Bronzies and a good-sized Raggie, ending the trip on a high note.

Winding It Up

It was a rad trip, proving that even when the weather throws you a curveball, South African fishing won't disappoint. Charles and Alexis started as clients and left as buddies. Charles even booked another trip later this year in Mazeppa Bay, so it looks like we'll be hitting the water together again soon. Can't wait!

If you're planning a fishing trip, consider going for at least 5-7 days. That way, even if you have some bad weather or slow fishing days, you'll still have ample opportunity for those unforgettable, epic fishing days. It's totally worth it!


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