After seeing Petri De Wet from "Hier gaan ons alweer"catching all those large Garrick and Shad we just had to go and explore it for ourselves. We spoke to good friends Paul and Amy who have been there before and arranged that we would be traveling with them.
First we had to get our tackle right and we needed spinning rods of 10 or 11 feet with 4000 to 6000 size reels depending on the size of your spinning outfit. Based on the feedback from Paul, Amy and Petri, you cast the whole time and you want a outfit that is as light as possible but with the backbone to handle big fish.
I decided on a Shimano Aerocast 11 feet that has a good weight casting range and it is a travel rod so it breaks into three pieces. I paired this rod with a Stradic 4000 with 20lb J-braid and I attached a 1.5m 30lb fluorocarbon leader to help me land the fish through the rocks. Even though Garrick is a clean fighter the shad is a whole different story. I also took a back up rod and reel and some additional braid because you can not buy tackle there and you dont want to break a rod or reel and then not be able to fish after traveling 2500km. (We did actually break a rod)
Once the rods and reels were packed we also had to make sure that we had the right lures for the adventure. We were told that needle nose and chisel nose plugs are the best and we took the 1 to 3 OZ plugs in various colors. We also took some spoons, drop shot weighted hooks and a lot of paddle tails for cob. We changed all the trebles on the spoons and plugs to single hooks with a split ring and a swivel to improve hookups.
We were going to camp at Flamingo Lodge so we had to pack tents sleeping bags, camping equipment, food and booze(Although there is a very clean and reasonably priced Shoprite Checkers in Namib about 50 km from Flamingo). Once everything was packed into Paul's 4x4 Hilux Double Cab we were ready for the long road.
We left Gauteng at 2am on Thursday morning to get to the Botswana Pioneers Gate border when it opens at 6am. We cleared the border without incident and drove straight on the A2 towards Namibia. The roads were very good and we made good time. We crossed into Namibia via Buitepos border post and drove straight to Windhoek.
We arrived in Windhoek at 8pm Thursday night after a long but incident free trip. We pre-booked an AirBnB flat which was clean and had wifi. Friday morning at 3 am we left the flat and started driving again north towards Angola. We arrived at Oshikango boarder post at around 12pm and it took about 2 hours to cross the border without incident. From the border to we headed towards Lubango and at around 4 pm we stopped next to the road just shielded from the main road and "camped" next to the road.
The next morning early we packed up and traveled to Lubango. We arrived in Lubango at around 9am, it is a big city, probably the size of Maputo. It is subtropical and you can find litchis and mango's there. From there we headed west towards the coast and first soaked up the beautiful Serra da Leba pass. It’s one of the famous hair pinned roads in the world. At the bottom of the pass the desert begins and it just becomes more sandy as you get closer to the coast.
We arrived at Flamingo Lodge at around 11:30 and set up camp. Each camp site has ablution facilities, running water and a brick and mortar kitchen net. There is also a bar where you can enjoy n drink and something to eat, while looking over the beautiful bay.
That afternoon we started fishing. You are allowed to drive on the beach. We packed the hilux full of tackle and looked for a spot with a middle break where we could cast our spoons into and some working white water. We had to wade into the water waist deep in order to cast deep enough to get the fish. The water is cold so best to pack boots with inner's that will protect your feet against the sharp rocks. Also long sleeve rash vests and tight long pants from the same material that would protect you from shafting and the sun. It is also cold when you get out of the water so take something warm.
We caught lots of Shad between 3 and 5 kilo's and took one or two for dinner that night. They jump out of the water when you catch them and they swim towards the rocks. The longer spinning outfits help to direct them away from the rocks and to get enough distance in the casting to get hookups.
We stayed for a week and caught plenty of Shad and some Garrick. The weather was not conducive to drive the doods akker towards the kunene river mouth where the cob is wild. We drove into Ilona park the one night to see if we could catch some cob but the wind came up and almost blew us away. It must have been the worst night I have ever spent on a beach. If you want to go for night fishing check buoy weather and go prepared. We tried to catch with bait and we only caught some black tail, sea barbel and small sand sharks.
This trip was amazing. The fishing was tough, but rewarding. If you dont put in the effort then you will not get the fish. The drive is very long and there is an option to fly to Lebongo if you are short on leave and long on cash. Come and speak to myself Benjamin, Thinus (Centurion Branch) or Kobie (Montana Branch) about our next trip to Angola or about the trip that you are planning and we will help you to catch more bigger fish.
Special thanks to Paul and Amy for an adventure of a lifetime.