Fishy tales of snoek in False Bay

Recreational fishermen still catch snoek in the occasional run. Local Fish Hoek business person Alf Caplen looking happy after a morning catching snoek in the bay.
Recreational fishermen still catch snoek during the occasional run in the bay. Local Fish Hoek business owner Alf Caplen looking happy after a morning of catching snoek.

Lawrence Green, the gem of South African writers who loved the country so deeply, recalls meeting the old fishermen at Saldanha who talked of the days when one man could “haul in 200, even 300 snoek in a great day’s fishing.”

As Green says, “… the fishermen needed enormous catches when a snoek fetched only twopence on the wharf.”

I never caught much above 100 snoek in False Bay and the times that I did break through the hundred mark I could count on one hand.

Already in the mid-1970s commercial fishing was taking its toll on snoek fishing in False Bay. Even the professional fishermen from Kalk Bay did not often catch 100 each a day. Yet there was a legendary skipper nicknamed “Hondered Bedonderd” (Hundred Crazy”) who regularly reached his target. Continue reading “Fishy tales of snoek in False Bay”

Winter snoek fishing from Hout Bay and mountain water

English: Hout Bay, South Africa
English: Hout Bay, South Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you are young the places you experience and the people you meet seem so extraordinary that you promise yourself you’ll never forget those great days that seem to have come out of a dream.

Growing up we lived in Kalk Bay, which sits in the heart of False Bay, and did most of our fishing there in the summer and autumn months. But when the winter came with the cold and the rain and those strong North Easters we’d head out to Hout Bay, travelling across Chapman’s Peak towing the ski boat behind the Land Rover at four in the morning.

One morning when we got to the ski boat slipway at Hout Bay harbour the queue was long. It was so freezing cold that time of the morning that my friend Peter and me took an empty two-stroke oil can, filled it with sand and poured petrol into it. After a few attempts we lit the petrol and huddled around the lighted can to keep our hands warm. Continue reading “Winter snoek fishing from Hout Bay and mountain water”