The unexpectedly gentle but persistent pull of a yellowfin tuna taking a fly which then accelerates into a blistering unstoppable run stripping hundreds of yards of backing from the reel is indelibly seared into my memory as one of life’s great fishing experiences
– Clive Williamson, December 2012
Yellowfin / Longfin Tuna
Yellowfin tuna on fly has to be the ultimate challenge for any serious saltwater flyfisher and is what I like to call EXTREME fly fishing. Anglers from around the world have fished with us in pursuit of trophy yellowfin tuna on fly. After landing yellowfin tuna with us their opinions have been unanimous – they never expected the sustained power and brute strength that the yellowfin tuna are capable of.
Captain Dave’s personal best yellowfin tuna to date on fly rod on heavy tippet is 76 kg taken on a 14 weight SAGE. On 10 kg tippet (IGFA) his biggest yellowfin tuna is 51.58kgs smashing the current world record of 46.8kgs! The biggest taken onboard Obsession under Captain Dave’s guidance weighed in at 86kgs!
Nothing can describe the take of a big yellowfin tuna on fly rod and the ensuing run – you have to experience it for yourself to truly appreciate the incredible power and brute strength of these fish on fly. David Christie started targeting big yellowfin tuna on fly rod in Cape Town about 10 years ago now. After loosing several fish at first due to a variety of factors Captain Dave was back at the drawing board many times convinced that it would be possible to land these behemoth fish on fly rod. Having worked out what works and knowing what does not he is the most experienced and successful big game yellowfin tuna fly fisherman in South Africa. He has personally guided many keen anglers into landing what can only be described as their fish of a lifetime.
Some charter skippers say that catching huge yellowfin tuna on fly is not possible, that is because they have failed to be successful. However Captain Dave has proven that not only is it possible, that with the correct know how one can be confident to get a trophy tuna on a day out with him.
More trophy yellowfin tuna have been successfully landed on fly tackle onboard one of our fleet boats than any other boat in South Africa. Captain Dave is a world leader on catching big tuna on fly. Let his experience assist you in landing your fish of a lifetime.
86 kg Yellowfin on fly?…. you’ve got to be kidding – he wasn’t! As a fanatical fisherman the thought of monster Yellowfin was exciting, the suggestion that they would take a fly was mind blowing! I had to do it! Seldom have I set out on a trip when the attitude was “when” we are going to catch one, not “if”. Having reached the fishing grounds I was preparing to chill out but the dead drifted chum fly was taken almost immediately by an 86kg Yellowfin. The line tightened unrelentingly until the fish felt the tension and it was off! I didn’t realise Tibor Pacific’s did soprano! The fight was long and hard and my hands and arms were sore for days afterwards but I still am dining out on the story and smile when I look at the photos. Dave runs an exceptional operation with the best equipment and unsurpassed knowledge. It is a must do trip for any fisher with the added interest of albatross wheeling about and whale watching. Just do it…you won’t regret it and you too will have the photos of a memorable trip for a very long time!
– Clive Williamson, December 2012
Yellowtail / Snoek
Not to be confused with yellowfin tuna, yellowtail are caught on fly both inshore and offshore. Inshore they hang around reefs and often chase schools of baitfish to the surface while offshore they tend to hang around current lines and underneath anything that has been floating for a while offshore such as a kelp rafts or a buoy with some rope still attached that has broken off a ship. We generally target the yellowtail on 10 to 12 weight flyrods.
Snoek otherwise known as the “cape sailfish” are caught midwater drifing over large schools and stripping a sinking line with a baitfish imitation fly attached.
Fresh water Yellowfish
For those looking to fly fish more extensively in South Africa – enjoy a freshwater yellowfish safari with On the Fly
- Dave Christie