The author with a typical Blue Kurper taken at Mkhombo Dam (Renosterkop).
"His first boat" was a tractor tube used on the Vaal River at Barkly West in 1958, commissioned out of frustration from to being able to get to the "best" spots while fishing for yellowfish. While wading the shallows did produce fish, the tube enabled him to place lures and bait in spots that he couldn't reach before, and catches improved dramatically.
This experience started a lifetime love of fishing from a boat - fist a canoe and paddles, then a modest dinghy with a small outboard, to big, sixteen foot off-shore skiboats modified for inland use.
The ultimate was a centre-console powered by a single 75hp Mercury.
In 1982 he joined the Light Tackle Boat Angling Association as a member of the Sentski Club in what was then Northern Transvaal (today Gauteng-North) and gained provincial colours in 1986. Today he is a SA Representative of the International Game Fish Association (IGFA).
South Africa is a country with low and mostly erratic rainfall. It has a scarcity of natural lakes and few navigable rivers. Nevertheless, small-boat fishermen are in the fortunate position of having an impressive number of inland dams on which to launch their boats and go fishing.
Along the coast pollution in various forms and from various sources have sorely depleted the number of available estuaries, but those that are still navigable and relatively healthy offer quality fishing for a challenging variety of species. Despite the problems, South Africa's inland waters and estuaries still offer good fishing throughout the year. Yes - even in winter!
The distances that have to be travelled are possibly the greatest obstacles for small-boat fishermen. With the country's extensive tar road network, however, it is the travelling time needed to get there that presents the greatest problems, not the condition of the access road, the quality of the fishing or the availability of shore facilities. A sedan or bakkie towing a boat on a trailer can easily reach even remote waters.
All our boat-fishing waters offer good quality fishing and most, if not all, venues offer adequate shore facilities to make a small-boat fishing trip enjoyable for the entire family. Boat-fishing of course adds another dimension to fishing, namely boatmanship. With no legal qualification other than age required for anyone to skipper a boat, it is imperative therefore that boat fishermen know how to handle a boat on the water, and to know what to do should an emergency arise. A boat provides the boat fisherman with an important advantage over his bank fishing colleagues, namely mobility. A boat allows one to actively seek out fish, and therefore boat fishing can be as active or as sedentary as one wishes. Another big advantage is the ability to get away from crowded banks and to seek out secluded bays and areas that are impossible for bank fishermen to reach.
This guide provides practical information to help you make the most of the opportunities.