Last week I fished Kosi Lakes for the first time in many years. I was interested to see what the fishing would be like after all this time. I packed two outfits for the lakes, one light and one medium. For the light outfit I put in at Shimano Crucial 7'2 medium action rod, paired with a Shimano Sustain 3000 reel, which was loaded with 8lb Sufix 832 braid (I am loving that braid!). The medium outfit was a Shimano Crucial 7' Heavy 2 piece tiger rod, with a Sustain 5000 loaded with 20lb Sufix 832. I figured that these two set ups would cover my needs as there is very little structure in the lakes and clean sandy bottoms, so no need to go too heavy.
I fished with Ewan Kyle, who grew up on the lakes and has fished them his whole life. Ewan is offering a guiding service at Kosi and he put me on the fish despite difficult conditions at times. There was a cyclone in the Mozambique channel and the weather was ever changing, with the barometer jumping up and down like a yo yo, not ideal conditions for catching fish. Despite this we had a lot of fun with the smaller river snapper around the fish kraals, mostly on surface lures, but also on floater divers like the 5cm Rapala Shad Raps. Small Rapala Skitter Pops and Storm Chug Bugs also got smashed. We also got stuck into small kingie such as big eyes, GT's and greenspots as well as some juvenile barracuda.
We did have a few sessions that produced some good fish, with Ewan landing a nice sea pike on a needle nose plug early one morning in 3rd lake
And a nice GT on a soft plastic worked weightless as a jerkbait in second lake. He was working the lure quite fast so that it swam on or just below the surface, and it got smashed properly. This fish gave him a very hard fight.
I was amped to get a decent rock salmon (river snapper) as Kosi has some real lunkers and is the best place to land them as there is not much structure for them to cut you off on. My chance came one afternoon when we were coming back from fishing first lake and we noticed a shoal of big snapper congregated next to the mouth of one of the channels. I cast a Rapala X-Rap Walk 13cm surface stickbait at them and slowly walked it over the shoal. The water exploded and I was on. I go the fish right next to the boat and the hook pulled. I quickly cast at the shoal again and went vas a second time. This time the hook stayed in and I was very stoked to land a 10lb fish, which Ewan tagged for me.
As you can see from the smile on my face, I was well chuffed with this awesome fish! Ewan then had a throw at them with a Rapala Subwalk and it also got hit hard. He landed another lovely snapper, which was quickly tagged and released.
Ewan was kind enough to sit back and let me have a full go at these fish, as he could see how amped I was and knows that this is my favourite estuary species. The next one I hooked was an absolute bomber, it pulled line like a steam train and gave me a great fight. It was quite a different colour from the others, they have very variable colours. This one weighed in on the boga at 15lb's which is a seven kilo fish!
I got another two good fish after that, all on the same lure, and both very good fish.
Below is the outfit that did the damage with the River Snappers. Note the Single VMC inline hooks, which I am replacing trebles with o my lures.
The lakes are still beautiful and there are quality fish to be caught in them. As far as I am concerned this is still Africa's premier light tackle lure estuary destination and it is right here in SA.