The Milli adventure 2015.
So the dust has settled and the boys are all back to reality after what I believe was another successful adventure.Milli this year was fun as always, the wind blew and the weather was tough but in the end alot of fun was had some epic fish were caught and all round another trip to remember.
So the organising team convoy left around 8am on Tuesday morning,a leisurely cruise was the plan and it sure was.We stopped a few times on the way did some extra shopping for bread and rolls and some fresh milk and then got to the Border around 1 30pm. Definitely alot longer than the std rushed drive.A Small bribe to the border control was deemed in order as he requested to open and unpack one of the vehicles…UMMMM no thanks imagine how long it will take to unpack and of course i had strategically hidden about 15 cases of fishing trip “brown juice”
After entering the reserve we were lucky to have a really big elephant stroll right next to us.Most definitely the biggest elephant i have ever seen and thank goodness he did not get angry with us.We saw quite a few animals on this trip which included some duiker,reed buck, hippos and of course the elephant,out of all the trips this was the most we have seen by along way..the reserve wildlife is definitely recovering.
We arrived, the gilly’s set up our tents, had a sneaky little braai and planned to do the camp set up the next day.
Once the camp was set up and everything in order I got down to making sure all the bits and pieces were done correctly.Food was sorted for the week, beer, ice, showers and more.Everyone starting checking in and arriving for dinner and the briefing.the rules were explained and info shared.One slight change this year was the one fish one specie rule per day, with catch and release being a big part of this event we issued a sticker for each day and the fish picture needed to have this in it.To avoid confusion on a daily basis u could only submit one pic of each specie you caught on a daily basis.Your total number of species however was multiplied over the 3 days.
Over the 3 days the weather really did turn out to be rather challenging with plenty of wind to deal with from all different directions.In fact on the last morning the wind changed direction 4 times before 10 am and every time he blew with force, dropped for 10 min gap and then howled the other way.Not to forget the rain and lightning storm as well.There were some hard core soldiers who fished at every opportunity and as with any fishing if you spend time on the water you will get the results.And it shows the hardcore boys dominated the results and had some epic catches.
Taking a detailed look at all the catches i managed to come up with the following interesting stats.
35 anglers- as with every year this is our max number in order to make catering and logistics simpler.
Only 5 anglers never recorder a single catch…The “blobbers” but in all fairness what competition can boast that 85 % of the anglers all caught something
even in the very tough conditions that we had.
15 different species of fish were recorded across all anglers.
50 % of the anglers recorded either a PB catch or a new specie they had never caught before, in fact some guys caught 2 or 3 new species from their kayak for the first time.
1 billfish- a sailfish i managed to catch and release.
1 released GT or giant kingfish that was estimated at over 20 kg’s
4 other species of kingfish.
2 wahoo- one being a personal best and the other a first time catch
Dorado,rainbow runner, prodigal son,bonnie, yellowfin tuna,kakaap,sea-pike,greater barracuda and Couta
A personal best 25,12kg couta by Mike VehbiA personal best 24,6kg Wahoo by Bruce Brauteseth
Best individual species – 7 in total
20 anglers caught more than 1 specie.
94 recorded catches according to rules but many unrecorder catches were released to sawim nother day according to the rules
Estimated at over 140 catches by all anglers
So lets take a look at the actual results then as these have not officially been announced yet and the prizes and awards will go to all the anglers at the annual UKFC prize giving event in early January.
Top 5 in the species challenge in no particular order- sorry guys still a surprise for the prize giving evening. Scott Hunter,Jono Rhodes,Bruce Brauteseth,Cameron Sim and Jason Pretorius.The big deciding factor here is does 7 species beat 6 species that has a larger bag or total catch? All the anglers in the top 5 recorded 4 or more species.
The remaining top ten in no particular order as well are- Mike Vehbi,Duncan bennett,Wayne biljoen,Ryan Griffiths and Jasper Pons.
The biggest gamefish – excluding billfish was Mike Vehbi with his 25,2 kg Couta.
In the end, the beer flowed freely, everyone ate like kings in fact I even got told i need to teach a few wives…not telling who said that though.We ate some great dishes like fish bites and a seriously tasty fish curry with plenty of daily Sashimi of tuna and Wahoo.
Every night we had the std D… of the day award with some guys doing their best to wear it every day combined with the fines for silly misdemeanors of a large tipo tinto with a small dash of Raspberry.
The final evening was a blast , loads of stories, the ones that got away,YES YES Scotty we know you lost another Wahoo but that story is getting old now.
Some campfire games, a few capsized land mammals… and most definitely a few headaches the next day.
Till our next adventure, tight lines, happy fishing and i hope you all have a great festive season.