Local angler makes Protea colours again
RANKED third in the ladies’ division shore angling records of South Africa, local angler Melissa du Randt returned from the South African Shore Angling Nationals in high spirits.
“I got back on Saturday,” Du Randt said. “Different provinces fished against each other. We fished on Tuesday February 14, and we fished last Thursday and Friday. It’s a three day competition with one day off.”
Du Randt explained that her ranking is based on points gathered over three years, from 2015 to the present.
“It’s a three year ranking, based on 2017, 2016 and 2015 yearly points, just to clarify,” Du Randt said. “And this is my second year making my Protea colours.”
Du Randt, who said she got into fishing as a means of growing closer to her father in the beginning, became invested in the sport in 2008 by participating in club competitions. In 2010, she made the national team. According to Du Randt, shore angling has become a means of becoming free of the mundaneness of life.
“I do it because it gets me away from the town away from all the busyness and all the worries that we have,” Du Randt said. “I won my first competition with my dad many years ago. I was seen by an EC representative from our club and he said, well, why don’t I go to Eastern Province trials?
“It was the first ever Eastern Province ladies’ team that I tried out for,” Du Randt continued. “Trials were in 2010, and I made it to go to SA Nationals in 2011.”
The road to being ranked third has not been without its hardships and struggles.
“When I made the Eastern Province team, I had to be able to cast for myself, and bait up for myself,” Du Randt said. “Your dad or spouse is not allowed to do it for you when you get to national level.”
Du Randt has made a number of catches, including sharks.
“My biggest fish is a 6kg kob,” Du Randt said. “My proudest catch was a 5.5kg black musselcracker. You get different types of musselcrackers; it’s a rock fish. But 5.5kg is very big.”
With the shore angling sport being mainly male-dominated, Melissa Du Randt’s accomplishments in becoming ranked third cannot be overlooked – and her passion speaks volumes for herself and her team. Shore angling is very competitive.
“We [once] fished in Struisbaai.. Our guide from Struisbaai said it was his first time seeing ladies fish the way we do. He said it opened his eyes as to how hard we actually fish and push for those fish. We wade at least 100m into the water before we cast our bait out. It’s eye opening. You’re standing on fish and you’re kicking peoples’ lines. You want that fish!”
Du Randt, who is currently studying towards her teaching qualification through Unisa, also teaches at Graeme College in Grahamstown. She also moonlights as a barmaid at Kenny’s Sports Bar.
[23 February 2017]