|35.5kg Daga Salmon - Chris Coates - KZN North Coast|
Oh and don't forget the 'beginners luck' story, how many times have hear of some newby shooting an awesome fish? In fact it was only a month ago some chap in a surf suit and plastic fins got a monster salmon off Shieffield on a reef that I have dived a thousand times and never seen one.
Call it 'luck' but you cant take it away from the guys they walked up the beach with the fish and you didn't. Then there is the earned fish, the ones you target and do the hard yards to get. Daga off the wrecks is a good example, put it what ever way you like its just not easy diving. ....unless you are Jaco!
So where am I going with all this?
Daga have just been an elusive fish for me. It took years to even see one. Then some more years to get one. Then even more years to get one over 20kg, and despite doing the hard yards on the wrecks and get a number of good fish. It just seem like I was never going to break the 30kg mark. What makes it worse I dive with guys that sometimes break the 30kg barrier on a weekly basis ...... it just pisses me off!
So with all our record rains messing the sea up and being on the back end of Daga season. I kinda had written of this being my season, that was of course until yesterday. Desperate for a dive I got my Mrs to drop me off at one of the local spots that looked like it had some dive-able water in between 2 large patched of yukky river water. When I got there I was kind of committed to go, either that or go pick up kids and go shopping, guess what I chose? The water was not looking great and I grumpily put my gear on and headed off, knowing I was probably going to be 'mulleting' around in 2-3m vis in a futile mission looking for shadows.
Long story short the water was not as bad as I had expected and I landed up on one of my favorite ledges. (one that apparently guys have gotten Daga on, but after 20years I have yet to see one there.)
Anyway after diving the ledge for almost an hour I do a dive right under my buoy that is reefed over the ledge. I hit the bottom and scan around to again see very little. Then out the corner of my eye there is this thing that is not reef next to me. I turn and look, my brain does not even register ..... I swear I though it was a Skate at first. "DAGA" my salt saturated brain finally kicks in, and starts to process at a gazillion terrabites a millisecond. All I can think of as I bring my gun around is when is this going to bolt and wave me good bye, but it just sat there. As I get my gun up and start to aim it sluggishly moves away little, giving me a perfect 45 degree shot above the pec and out the gill plate.
So not only did I pop the 30kg mark, I clapped an absolute sitter! I no longer have to go, " why cant I just dive down and plugg one." I have gotten my 'luck' shot ...too stoked. Best of all now I have my own 'camp fire' story to tell.