We are eagerly anticipating this years Tuna Season in the deeper oceanic waters off Cape Point, South Africa! During the months of October to June we run Deep Sea Fishing Charters specifically targeting the larger fish species such as Yellowfin Tuna, Big-Eye Tuna, Longfin Tuna and Skipjack - As a result of the mixing of two large ocean currents (Benguela and Agulhas currents), as well as the prevailing winds, nutrient rich water is found at a place know to locals as the “Canyon” – this area is found close to the continental shelf and it is here that we target the large Yellowfin tuna. These sought after fish reach sizes in excess of 100kgs and make for an unforgettable experience for any fisherman, beginners and experienced alike! One can expect to take anything from 1 to 4 hours to land these incredibly strong fish. Cape Boat Charters have just the right equipment needed to land these fish - “Black magic” harnesses are used to fight the bigger fish, which can take several hours to land. These tuna can be caught trolling with lures, or by using bait in the warmer blue oceanic water found in the area. Longfin tuna are also caught in the same area and range in size from 10 to 30kgs. they too, also put up a fantastic fight.
Today's Pelagic Bird Watching Charter was nothing but spectacular - Our skipper, guide and 5 bird enthusiasts headed in a South West direction off Cape Point in search of the magnificent Pelagic Birds! At the tip of Cape Point itself the bird life was phenomenal - there were several large groups of birds including Common Terns, Cape Gannets, White-Chin Petrels and Sooty Shearwaters all feeding off massive bait balls of anchovy, which were being chased to the surface by Yellowtail and Katonkel fish. We were off to a great start!
Much to everyone's amazement, we started seeing thousands of Pintado Petrels about 25 nautical miles off Cape Point - This was highly unusual for this time of the year as they usually migrate north by mid August. Soon after we had four species of Albatross greet us including the Southern Royal Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Shy Albatross and the Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross. Everyone managed to get some amazing pictures throughout the morning and it was time to start making our way back, but just to add the cherry on-top we were greeted by a group of Pilot Whales which started to follow us home!
These intelligent mammals received the name "Pilot Whale" from the belief that the pod will always follow a single leader, which is why there is speculation of these mass stranding's that occur from time to time. The pilot whale diet consists of fish, octopus, squid and shrimp and are known to dive up to 500 meters while searching for food. They also known as "Long-finned Pilot Whales", (you can see why in the picture below) and calve between April and September and are found practically everywhere around the world!
Bird Guide: Vince Ward
Our guests today, Mark and Sharon, joined us on a Half-Day Inshore Charter to Cape Point - We departed from Simonstown at first light and made our way past Boulders Beach, home to thousands of African Penguins, formerly known as "Jackass Penguins". As we arrived at Cape Point we put our lines in the water and before the line was even properly set we had our first strike with a Yellowtail on a Rapala. After Mark landed the first fish, it was on! We continued to pull fish one after another (Katonkel and Yellowtail) until it was time to head back. On our return home we came across a group of Humpack Whales doing there thing in the distance. We managed to get a few pictures to end off the great day! Well done to Mark and Sharon on their catch! :)
Cape Boat Charters has been hauling in the fish lately in and around False Bay, Cape Point! Running back to back Inshore Charters, we've manage to get out almost every day weather permitting, which has allowed for some good times on board "Destiny". Recently, we've been mainly targeting Yellowtail and Katonkel around Cape Point with the odd Cape Snoek inside Buffels Bay. Our guests, a family from Saudi Arabia joined us today for a fun filled day off Cape Point and once again on our return back to Simonstown, we were greeted by a group of Humpack Whales not far off the coast! It is still very early to say, but we are hoping for a explosive Tuna Season this year (October to June), where we target the larger elusive Yellowfin and Lonfin Tuna in the deeper oceanic waters off Cape Point. These sought after fish reach sizes in excess of 100kg's and make for an unforgettable experience for any fisherman, beginners and experienced alike!
Today was one of "those" days where everything seemed to turn out perfectly - With warm water, 16.5 degrees to be exact, there were thousands of Common Terns and Cape Gannets feeding off massive Anchovy Bait Balls as we arrived at Cape Point. To our surprise, there was only one other fishing boat out, but hey, we weren't complaining - Just meant more fish for us! We started troweling our lures as we reached the "washing machine" (a well known area at Cape Point for mixed currents colliding) and it wasn't long after that we had our first strike! We started off landing one's and two's of Katonkel for the first hour and then the Yellowtail decided to play! Our guests from Germany (all six of them) took turns in pulling fish, almost non-stop until we had our allowed limit, sometimes all three rods would go off causing for some real action! Before we knew it, we had a boat full of fish and the sun was setting, so we decided to head back to Simonstown.
On our way back we were greeted by three or four different groups of Southern Right and Humpack Whales - We made sure to keep our legal distance and the guests were able to get some good pictures of these incredible animals doing their thing! Once we got back, we helped our guests fillet one or two of their catch and off they went smiling from ear to ear! As we like to support the locals, we decided to give the remaining fish (20 or more) to the local haven, "Happy Valley Home", a place for the homeless and hungry people in Simonstown and it's surroundings. It was a perfect way to end off such a outstanding day at sea!
As you can see in the picture below, our local guest Terry (right), holding whats left of his Yellowtail fish after a long and tiring battle between himself and a Cape Fur Seal - Fortunately, Terry won the tussle and managed to land his fish along with a few more, including a couple of Katonkel. Despite the seals making it more of a challenge, both our guests were happy with their catch and how the day turned out - On our way back to Simonstown, we thought we would get a picture of our guests holding their fish with the culprits (which made our day that much more challenging) in the background ha ha! Well done guys, great catch! :)
(The Cape Fur Seal is the only seal species that breed here in South Africa, however we do occasionally see Elephant Seals and Sub-antarctic Fur Seals popping up along our coast lines. Male "Bull" seals can grow up to 2.5 meters in length and can weigh up to 350kgs max, where the female "Cow" seals are much smaller, growing up to 1.5 meters in length and weighing up to 80kg max.)
Our guests from France joined us today for a Half-day Inshore Fishing Charter to Cape Point - On our route to Cape Point, we had two Humpback Whales pop-up next to us and to our surprise they didn't seem one bit phased by us, in fact they proceeded to follow us in the opposite direction, which was quite something to witness! After a quick stop off for some pictures at one of the smaller Cape Fur Seal colony's near Millers Point, we started seeing a lot of bird-life in the distance which meant business! When we arrived at Cape Point, there were Common Terns going crazy on big shoals of Yellowtail and Katonkel with 14.5 degree water - It wasn't long until we hooked our first fish on a Rapala (backlines), but as the morning went on it seemed that the fish were more interested in us spinning, resulting in a few more pulls! After having pulled a couple of Yellowtail and Katonkel, the guests were happy to be heading back. To end off a superb day at sea we were greeted by another two whales on our route home, this time two Southern Right Whales, which also seemed to be mating/calving!
(Our whale season starts from July and ends at the end of September and one can expect to see plenty Southern Right Whales, Humpack Whales and Bryde's Whales - One of the main reasons why they come into False Bay is to calve as the bay is more protected.)
Our guests from Spain joined us today on a Scenic Eco Trip to Seal Island, False Bay! The island is home to well over 60 000 Cape Fur Seals and a variety of bird life, including 4 different species of Cormorant. With the Cape Fur Seals being the Great White Sharks main source of food, there is always a chance of witnessing a once in a life time encounter between the two species! With the Island being situated approximately 16kms (8 Nautical Miles) from Simonstown, we frequently encounter other magnificent sea animals like Dolphins and Whales, like we did today! :)
The morning started with one of the most stunning sunrises we've had this year! When we arrived at Cape Point this morning around 7:30am, our tempreture gage was reading a mere 14 degrees which is relatively cold for our game fish, but that didn't stop us from giving it a try! Before we knew it we had large shoals of fish breaking the surface near us, but unfortunately with the water being so cold, the fish weren't really biting properly - We started off trolling up and down the tip of Cape Point, dragging some of our best lures, resulting in some strikes on the backlines. We ended up landing 7 Yellowtail and 9 Katonkel, making for an awesome day of fishing! :)
False Bay was alive yesterday with MASSIVE pods of Common Dolphins and plenty Southern Right Whales. Despite having rain with us for parts of the morning, we were lucky enough to run a half-day Scenic Eco-Charter to Cape Point! Our morning started with a brief stop off at Patridge Point in False Bay to view a small seal colony of approximately 100 Cape Fur Seals - We then made our way to Cape Of Good Hope (most South Western tip of Africa). Cape Point from a sea perspective is breath-taking and a must for all keen photographers. These guests made sure they captured the moment before heading back home.
On our return home we spotted five Southern Right Whales in the distance - Our guests fortunately had good cameras and were able to get some great pictures of these amazing animals! It was a great day for all involved! :)
Sundays Pelagic Bird Watching Charter saw only one trawler, but it was heading home (back to Cape Town) with relatively few birds following behind. We did however have a good day out - Birds seen today included a Northern Royal Albatross, Manx Shearwater's, Shy Albatross, Black Browed Albatross and White Chin Petrels.
Interestingly, we also saw 6 Egyptian Geese heading out to sea, with very little chance of surviving - There was no explanation for this according to our Birding Guide: Cliffie Dorse