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Thread: Grunters, prawns, rapalas and the myth

  1. #1
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    Default Grunters, prawns, rapalas and the myth

    Let me start off by admitting that I am no expert with Grunter.
    There are plenty other fly fishers that have caught many more and are far more experienced than me.

    This is a condensed conversation I had with a fisherman that fishes estauries for grunter and his experiences.
    He lives on an estaury in the southern Cape and fishes 3 to 4 times a week for all species.

    He reckons all the "hoo-ha" about grunter is a lot of bollocks.
    According to him they are easy. Especially when they are tailing.

    He says the most important part with tailing grunter is a lure or fly that disturbs the mud.
    He used the example of Rapala with a lip that digs in.
    Your fly or lure should disturb the bottom. As you retrieve the it should look like a prawn that tries to dig itself in and "kicks up some mud"
    He reckons a small rapala is the best.
    Cast past the grunter so that it does not spook.
    Retrieve slowly and when close to the grunter retrieve faster so that the rapala dives and digs into the mud and kicks up a cloud.
    The grunter darts to the "escaping prawn" and sucks it in.

    As said in my first sentence, I am not an expert, but the general reasoning makes sense.

    What do the forumers say about above?
    Maybe the secret is to tie flies that will kick up a bit of mud.
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  2. #2
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    From many observations myself, it makes sense but I have caught mostly on a suspended fly in the mud blown out by the Grunter. I have dipsticked a Grunter that blew up under my fly rod tip and watched it track down the fly in the mud/sand and take the fly - a 70cm fish which was my biggest last year. I have crawled Crab flies through many muds and the take rate has been poor but they do take occasionally. In winter I have crawled a tan Zonker/clouser along the bottom and taken a couple of species but has not really worked for me during summer. I think the jury is still out on how to consistently take this elusive fish as the spinning guys have been catching them on "walking the dog" surface lures which is a far cry from from creating a mud trail along the bottom. However Permit used to be an elusive fish on fly and now it is a consistent catch on the flats. Maybe change to a clear intermediate line with a heavily weighted Zonker/Clouser and pull it past the tailing fish?

  3. Default

    Such an effective technique for so long under the radar......so many of the top lure guys not knowing about this/doing it.....


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  4. #4
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    Phillip
    As you know, along the coast, there are a couple of hardcore fishermen, that are not members of forums, do not write articles, with tons of knowledge that discover new techniques or ways of fishing and share it only with their 3 or 4 friends.

    Another techinque for shad or elf is plastics.
    In the "old days" we had sardines, with a cork to keep of the bottom and a big sinker.
    Now, the guys are using plastics instead of sardines but on the same rig
    He reckons he cannot remember the last time he bought "sardines/bait" for shad.
    His hands never smells and the car does not have the sardine whiff.
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  5. #5
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    I also heard about the small Rapala "mud diver" option and think this may work on the correct day Last time I was at the Breede River I struggled with the conventional "grunter flies" and decided to try a smallish olive sculpin fly (tied with a sculpin helmet so it swims right on the bottom) as it would mimic both a prawn trying to get back into their muddy holes or a goby (klipvis) darting along the bottom. On my first cast to a nearby mud cloud the grunter took it, but as I struck the very thin leader popped. I only had one of those flies, but have just tied up some more and am heading down to the Breede this Thursday. I will definitely try a few again. Also tied larger versions on a 3/0 hook for cob. Will let you know.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niel Malan View Post
    I also heard about the small Rapala "mud diver" option and think this may work on the correct day Last time I was at the Breede River I struggled with the conventional "grunter flies" and decided to try a smallish olive sculpin fly (tied with a sculpin helmet so it swims right on the bottom) as it would mimic both a prawn trying to get back into their muddy holes or a goby (klipvis) darting along the bottom. On my first cast to a nearby mud cloud the grunter took it, but as I struck the very thin leader popped. I only had one of those flies, but have just tied up some more and am heading down to the Breede this Thursday. I will definitely try a few again. Also tied larger versions on a 3/0 hook for cob. Will let you know.
    I have heard Gobis are some of their fanourite food, and that in Stillbaai, thats the go to method to catch them.
    Check out some of my FF pics - http://www.flickr.com/photos/30562135@N07/

  7. #7
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    On the old Weizter fly fishing site, I tied a sand goby that worked very well for Grunter.
    Will go thru my old images and see if I still have some photos and post it here.
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  8. #8
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    Korrie
    I am going to Breede next week for a few days with my Kayak to rekindle my lapse from Flyfishing for 10 years. I would really like to target the Grunter. would it not work if you tie two short heavy mono filament spikes facing upwards so they dig into the mud as you retrieve a Charlie or Clouser?
    Any advice would be appreciated on where at Breede to fish for them.

    Craig M

  9. #9
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    Hi Craig
    it is one of those "try it, it might work"
    As mentioned, I am by no means an expert on grunter.

    I have another friend that retired on the Breede, and does a lot of fishing with fly, who reckons his best results are with an intermediate or DI3 line.
    I have posted on Flytalk about it awhile back.
    He is also one of those, below the radar, do his own things. He catches a lot of grunter on his own concoctions.
    I assume that the fly line lays on the bottom and help keep the fly "in the zone".
    The more I listen to all the methods and flies that are used to catch grunter, the more I think it is not so much the fly but more how the fly is fished. As with 90% of all fly fishing.
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

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