A Lifetime of Fishing
I have been living and fishing in Mexico since 2005 and am currently based in Cabo San Lucas on the Southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. Back in 2006 I saw my very first Roosterfish or Pez Gallo underwater whilst freediving off the coast of Michoacan on Mexico’s central Pacific side and that was definitely the beginning of my love affair with pursuing, catching and releasing these amazing fish with surf rod and lure. After that first encounter, I basically dove deep into my research looking for everything I could find on how to catch roosterfish from the beach with rod and line. At that time, I actually couldn’t find too much information, but my research did eventually lead me to an absolutely beautiful, wild stretch of coast in the state of Jalisco about a couple of hours drive south of Puerto Vallarta.
South Beach, Tehualmixtle, Jalisco - August 2012
Playa Mayto, Jalisco with 'Cuervo' - July 2010
This is where it really all began for me in terms of learning to catch these fish in the surf and although I had been fishing all my life in South Africa, I found myself on a pretty steep learning curve in terms of how to successfully target these fish with spinning gear and all the specialized techniques and tackle choices necessary to optimize one’s chances. During those first few years fishing that particular stretch of coast, I had the good fortune to meet some amazing people and to fish alongside some incredible spin fishermen from the States who were also venturing down to that part of Mexico looking for adventure and of course, to experience the amazing surf fishing there. I learnt so much during that time and got to experience some of the best surf fishing I had ever experienced all of which has really set me up well to enjoy the absolutely incredible surf fishing that I am so fortunate to be able to live and experience here on the Southern tip of the Baja!
My Early Days
Bass Fishing - Natal, South Africa
27kg Kob - Scottburgh, Natal South Coast
To earn extra pocket money to help fund my fishing, I started diving off the North pier with a few friends from school to collect sinkers that we would find stuck in the rocks and I remember many a Saturday and Sunday collecting bags of these which we would then sell back to the fisherman on the pier. Whilst doing this we would see some amazing fish and this really got me very seriously into freediving and spearfishing during my late teens and on into my twenties when I relocated to Cape Town and the colder waters of False Bay and the Overberg coast in the Western Cape. This introduced me to a whole other range of species both underwater in the kelp forests and off the rocks and beaches which really helped me develop my fishing knowledge, skills and techniques for targeting different species like Galjoen, Musselcracker, Cape Yellowtail, White Steenbras & Red Roman to mention a few. When I look back at my childhood and all my time growing up in South Africa, I really am so grateful for all that I was able to experience in fishing. It gave me everything really and my passion, love for nature and commitment to conservation is as strong today as it has always been.
Tigerfish with Dad on the Zambezi River, Zimbabwe
I grew up in Durban on the warm waters of the Natal coast in Southern Africa. My father was a commercial ski boat fisherman in the 1970s so I got to spend a fair bit of time on the boat ramps and amongst fish at a very young age. My mum tells me that my very first word was 'fish' so you could say that I've pretty much been obsessed with fish and fishing all my life. For as long as I can remember, water has always captured my imagination and I've always been fascinated with learning to catch fish and trying to get better at it... what can I say, it's become part of my DNA really. As a young kid, my favorite ‘classroom’ was Durban harbor and I pretty much spent all my weekends there. I started fishing off the jetties for mullet using corks (floats) and then progressed to wading out onto the sand banks at low tide to fish for spotted grunter and kingfish and whatever else would bite. I loved freshwater too, bass and trout and my Dad got me into the art of fly fishing from a very young age which is really where my interest in fishing with artificials all started.
Dad's Ace Craft Ski Boat - Point Yacht Club, Durban Harbor 1975
As a kid growing up in Durban I kind of had the best of both worlds really ,the tropical surf of the Natal coast as well as the beautiful trout lakes and rivers of the Natal Drakensberg. In my early teens; I got big into saltwater fly fishing and continued to fish a lot in the harbor but with my fly rod targeting mainly kingfish on the fly which were great fun on light tackle. From there I progressed from fishing inside the harbor to the North and South piers at the harbor entrance which opened up a whole other world of fishing to me. This is when I got my first proper surf stick and started learning how to rig properly with bigger baits and live bait targeting mainly garrick (leervis) from the South pier using live karanteen which we would catch off the rocks.