I’ve been contemplating ways to alter the attack when the surface bite for Breede and Kleinbrak grunter slows down, and I think, as always with the help of mates, I’ve found one or two things worth trying.

I’ve fished Karoolskraal only twice, both times the fishing was rather challenging. Which is fine because the vibes were awesome, but I digress. First time round, one of our party (I forget who) took what ended up being the only grunter for the weekend, on a fly described as “a turd tied so kak that it sank.” I’m sorry those weren’t my words, fellas, but it got me to reach for a pattern that had been vrotting in my box for 4 years.

The idea of sinking the turd (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, do us a favour and search the blog? Shot!) has been brewing in my head ever since the creation of the Ironman pattern. Some prototypes from back then survived, but I never fished them until that weekend. Having heard of the sunk-turd-sucking grunter, I tied on a rather over-the-top engineered suspending hybrid Ironman/JAM Fly from 2018, and had it murdered by a fish that still has it.

LeRoy Botha Spotted Grunter

The butt-ugly sinking mud-prawn, tied in 2018 and much later stolen by a grunter. And a rusty EDC for effect.

So, back home, I tied up a simplified prototype and fished it almost exclusively on our next visit to Karools a weekend or two ago. It got me the only grunt of the weekend, having taken one of very few viable shots at feeding fish. Yass. Below is the now-refined Mud Rocket, a very simple Sculpting fibre turd, tied to mimic a swimming mud prawn in silhouette, from the sides and below. Ironman is only concerned with what it looks like from below, not the sides. A less detailed subsurface fly might seem odd, but I honestly think that silhouette is all you need when fishing actively swimming mud prawn imitations. I have a feeling this thing will come in handy in more than just the Breede and KB.

LeRoy Botha Spotted Grunter Mud Rocket

LeRoy Botha Spotted Grunter Mud Rocket

Platon Trakoshis LeRoy Botha Spotted Grunter Karoolskraal

The first Mud Rocket victim at Karoolskraal – Pic above by Platon Trakoshis and a closer look by Jazz Kuschke below:

Jazz Kuschke LeRoy Botha Spotted Grunter Karoolskraal Mud Rocket

 

Besides sinking the turd, I’ve also been playing with the idea of different sized Ironmans. I’m particularly excited about the trophy hunting potential of the big rattling version.

LeRoy Botha Ironman Spotted Grunter

Experimenting with different sized Ironmans this season. Standard sized (size 2 B10S) in the middle.

Both the above ideas feature some changes to the way I usually tie the bodies and construct the joints between the hooks. More on that, how to fish the flies and hopefully some more test results soon! Meantime, things are heating up at Karools and the Breede as we speak.