GRANT HOOKS BIGGEST FISH IN NATIONAL FISHINGSKI COMPETITION
Hillcrest’s Johnno Grant was the winner of this year’s McCarthy Toyota(Ballito) Salt Rock fishingski (Kayaking) competition that was held on a gloriously mild day – with equally mild sea conditions - on the KZN North Coast over the weekend. Organised by Fishing Corner and sponsored by a variety of companies, that included Hook Line And Sinker, Bidvest Insurance, Shimano, Pinnacle fishing ski’s, Gummy Baits and Hirsch Ballito, the competition which is one of the biggest open water kayaking fishing competitions in the world saw 130 kayak enthusiasts head out to sea to hunt down the biggest fish! The goal was to catch a King Mackerel (couta) weighing in at 28kg or over for the grand prize – a Toyota Hilux from McCarthy Toyota (Ballito) put up by Bidvest insurance. This is the 7th year that the competition has taken place in the area – and the third year running that the prize of the Hilux has been on offer for the winner – and needless to say, once again it stayed safely in the McCarthy showroom in Ballito as Johnno’s couta missed the mark by just over five kilo’s.
Coming second in the competition was Sean Huback who went out in a double Kayak with his brother, Gary – winner of last years competition. Both Johnno and the Hubach brothers – who both hail from KZN - hooked their 20 kg couta off Westbrook / Zimbali where they had launched. Launching also took place off Blythedale, Tynley Manor and Salt Rock. Local fisherman John Shum came in third with an 18.2 kg couta.
Organiser of the competition, Shaun Reid who hosts the Fishing Corner website said that he was extremely pleased with turnout at the competition which attracted Kayakers from around the country. “We were concerned that Top Gear was going to clash badly with the competition, but fortunately it didn’t. We were really lucky with the conditions too and had no casualties.”
Although kayak fishing required an enormous amount of stamina – it pits the fisherman against the elements and leaves him vulnerable if something untoward happens as he has no radio contact with the shore – it has its advantages: The ability to position oneself close to the fish, both when targeting them and fighting them. The kayak can be launched almost anywhere and specialized casting tackle is not needed. Many shore anglers have moved to kayak fishing in the hopes of being able to target more species. Kayak fishing is also popular with competitive surfski paddlers because it is form of cross training – with the additional excitement of fishing!
For more information on other fishingski events visit www.fishingcorner.co.za
Big thanks to all the Sponsors!!!
McCarthy Toyota Balito
Hook Line & Sinker
Pinnacle fishing skis
Daniel Barnard - Barra Beach Club
Blue Dolphin Resort
Go Fish Mag
John Dories Ballito
African Adventures Mag
Steve Honeyset and Dyllan for lifeguards and boats
By: Glenda Thompson