It was another gorgeous morning up on the Gourits River here in South Africa. Most of us were a little gruff however from a poor night sleep. We had a herd of horses freak out several times during the night on the edge of camp. Just like they won’t jump a fence, they wanted to walk along the river but we were in their way.
While friends of Ed Truter had to leave we had the choice of fishing and camping one more night or leave early and hit some saltwater near Ed’s house tomorrow in Port Elizabeth. While we love the Gourits River, a chance to return to the salt couldn’t be missed. We packed up camp then fished on the Gourits until about 2 PM.
Ed suggested I use my last hours on the Gourits River wisely and try to add the banded tilapia to my species list. We dabbled for him yesterday and despite being only the size of a pumpkinseed sunfish the attractive little fish has skills for spotting an angler. This being said, Ed pointed a heap of them out to me the first day so we went right to that spot and I got it done with a small nymph.
After I knocked the banded tilapia off the list we went on a hunt for some nice bass but they would have none of it. I hooked the very first smallmouth we spotted but then after not any of us hooked a bass. We figured out they had lockjaw pretty quick and gave up on them and went on to tear up a few yellowfish. I can’t get over how hard these yellowfish fight on my 5-weight.
It’s about four hours from the Gourits River to Ed’s house in Port Elizabeth. We were tightly packed for the drive in Anthony’s rig. I expected to pick up some sleep but there were things to stay awake for. We had at least a dozen tortoises cross the roads in front of us along with springbock. We saw a couple warthogs and went through some nice towns that are always interesting to me.
The highlight of the drive was this puff adder that crossed the dirt just as we left camp. South Africa is crawling with this highly venomous snake and we were lucky not to step on one while hiking the banks of the Gourits. Ed says the colorful snake has a lightning strike so I stayed back for the picture. The puff adder moved in a straight line looking more like a centipede going forward than a snake.
We arrived at Ed’s around 7 PM. Everyone was exhausted. Ed ran to the store and picked up some chicken and we put down a fast meal then hit the sack. Tomorrow its back to the salt where we will focus once again on the spotted grunter.