Jozini Report – Crocs, Cows and Tiger Fish
<p>We made our way up to Jozini in the early hours of Thursday morning; it was a lovely clear night. Just a few Kilometres before Hluhluwe I was blinded by the bright lights of an oncoming truck and all of a sudden the was a herd of cows in front of me, I managed to swerve and missed the herd but connected the hip of the last one with the Landy's bull bar (or should I call it a cow bar this time). I felt so bad for the poor creature as I saw it hit the ground in my review mirror, fortunately the police were right there and they dealt with the cow and there was no damage to the Landy. I thanked God that we were not injured in any way as often accidents involving cows can be fatal.
On the trip home we hit some heavy rain from Matubatuba, so slowed down and got home safe.
We eventually arrived at Jozini and commenced with setting up the camp site for our guests, erecting tents and a Gazebo and so on, and by 10h00 all was completed. By this time it was already getting hot and we got the boat ready and put it in the water, and then sat around and chilled awaiting or guests who arrived at lunch time.
They have been steadily releasing water at the dam for some time, and each day we were there the water level was dropping by significant amounts, we saw at least 3m of bank exposed during our trip with the slipway becoming unusable by Saturday afternoon, and had to help several guys get their boats out the water with the Landy and even an Opel Corsa bakkie which was almost in the dam. I have never seen Jozini so low before, virtually all the weed beds are gone and about 80% of my marks were now on dry land, this made navigation difficult as there are a lot of "new" trees and structure around that one has never needed to contend with, but also gave me an opportunity to discover new marks.
The weather was different each day, with Thursday being hot, clear skies and a stiff SW wind, Friday was the best day by far with a light SW wind and overcast conditions, it was also not hot like the other days. Saturday was very hot with a strong NE wind; and Sunday was over 40 deg clear skies and a light SW wind.
The Game viewing on this trip was excellent, and there was a lot of wildlife around, as always we saw the Hippo's, we saw an exceptional amount of Crocs. Elephants, Rhino, Wildebeest, Reed Buck, Nyala, Giraffes, Buffalo, Zebra, Bush Pigs and a host of birdlife including Fish Eagles all made an appearance. On Sunday morning we got snagged on a Gill net, and managed to free 15 fish, but another 35 or so were already dead, after destroying the net we had fun feeding the fish carcases to the Crocs, so at least they did not go to waste. The fish in the Gill net consisted of Barbel and Bream. It is very painful to see what an agonising death these Gill nets give the creatures that get caught up in them.
The food was also good and we fed our guests well, Thursday night was Boerewors Rolls, Friday saw Bacon and Eggs for brunch and Chicken Curry for dinner, Saturday we had Omelettes for Brunch and Rump Steak on the Braai for dinner. Lots of stories and jokes went around under the Gazebo at night and we all had a great time with many laughs.
The fishing was reasonably good, and as with all my Jozini charters we only use lures and fished with light 8lb tackle. Friday was the best of all the days and we landed 14 fish. In total we got 31 fish for the trip, the best was 5kg, followed by a 4Kg, and four 2.5Kg fish. Most the fish were between 1 – 2Kg with 1.5Kg being the average and we only got 2 smaller fish under a Kg. We also got broken up by a bus of a Tiger which I estimate at 8Kg by the way he pulled.
What I found very exciting was that we had 2 small crocs (1.2m or so) take the lures and we got the first one almost to the boat when the hook pulled, the second one was extremely aggressive and he did a massive roll and parted the line.
I am extremely excited about the 5Kg fish as this fish breaks the previous 4.5Kg record for my clients on Jozini. This trip also saw our 1500th fish caught at Jozini on Friday.
A 5Kg fish on 8lb is an awesome catch and my congratulations to the Angler who was 77yrs old.
Lake Jozini is a sanctuary to me, it is one of those places where one can go and refresh the soul, surround by nature and wildlife in a peaceful and quiet environment.
5Kg (11lb) Jozini Tiger Fish
4Kg 9lb) Jozini Tiger Fish
About The Author: Mike Laubscher
Company: Blue Water Charters - Durban
Area Reporting: Durban. KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Bio: Have been fishing since the age of 7 with more than 30 years experience. Fish in both Saltwater & Freshwater Disciplines. Fly Fishing Specialist, Artificial Lure Specialist, Light Tackle Specialist. Love Fishing, completely addicted to fishing.