Fly fishing for kob and grunter: During early March I had the good fortune to spend some time and fish my favourite spot away from home, the beaches and estuaries of Central West Africa. Now apart from the main attraction, tarpon, there are all sorts of other fish that makes this trip special. Especially the ones that reminds me of the fish I normally catch on a weekend in the Western Cape salt. That’s right; over there you will commonly catch a few West African spotted grunter as well as Senegalese kob (aka otholite). If you’re lucky you’ll catch the rather elusive Liche, the West African version of leervis (read more about the whole leervis clan here). During this recent trip we managed to get both grunter and otholite.

Back home I had time to fish the inshore reefs of False Bay  and managed a few silver kob. Catching a silver kob and their Senegalese brothers in the same month was a special moment and a first for me. Although I also did a trip to the mouth of the Breede river estuary, the dusky kob were not as forthcoming as their silver brothers. But I did manage to get a spotted grunter, another species double up for the month of March. Here’s a quick look at the Brothers from Other Mothers and what makes them tick.

SENEGALESE KOB

Pros – Aggressive and strong, will eat whatever fly you put in front of their nose. Although not Argyrosomus, it it definitely the prettiest of all kob-like fishes, sporting rows of spots not unlike spotted grunter. It’s got a sleek build and sports a beautiful corvina-like tailfin.
Cons – the 5000kms that separates me from them.

SILVER KOB

Pros – Where we target them in False Bay they can be as thick as fleas on a dog, they are aggressive and fight harder than their dusky brothers. Access to good water is easy, making quick morning and evening sessions possible.
Cons – They can disappear without warning, making you feel like a jilted lover.

WEST AFRICAN GRUNTER

Pros – Not full of shit. Will flat out smash a clouser. Bit of a slut fish.
Cons – Ugly Betty, a bit chonky and not as pretty as SA grunter. But hell, what they lack in looks, they make up for with eagerness.

LOCAL SPOTTED GRUNTER

Pros – Quite common along the southern and South Eastern seaboard of SA. Handsome fish and sizeable specimens will put up a good scrap. The best thing about our grunter is the possibility to target them while sight fishing  exclusively. Many anglers consider catching spotter grunter while sight fishing over white sand flats as good, if not better, than fishing for glam species like permit or bonefish.
Cons – They are notoriously full of shit and will spook like no other fish. Well, I guess if they were easy we wouldn’t have loved them so badly.