With the popularity of Land-Based shark fishing again reaching a point of interest, which hasn't been seen since the late 1970's, I figured it was time to release some information I have diligently worked on gathering and researching over the past few years. We do not just participate actively within the sport of land based shark fishing, but we also like to pay homage to the history of the sport, to get a clear picture of how this revolutionary style of angling began, and if we can learn anything from the fore fathers of the sport. So it brings us to this day and age, its the year 2010 and do we know who really was responsible for the beginning of land-based shark fishing? Well, now you are all about to find out who these visionaries were and what their accomplishments consist of. It's truly amazing that not many have heard of this group of anglers from Durban South Africa, for their accomplishments were nothing short of amazing. This is the beginning to a multiple part series that we will be spotlighting the anglers and their achievements, along with how they executed these miraculous feats, that I can honestly say I didn't believe were possible until enough research was done, until I finally got to see it for myself, as you are about to witness first-hand with your eyes, so sit back and be prepared to be left aghast with the stories and pictures of "The Demons of Durban".
Early in the twentieth century, in a town which is now known internationally for its history of violent shark attacks, a group of men would fish on the legendary South jetty of Durban South Africa just off the edge of the shipping and whaling lanes for grunters and various other pan fish for table fare. But over the course of the years during the South African whaling season, the anglers would constantly see numerous large sharks that entered the lanes to feast upon the whales scraps that were useless to the whalers, and tossed aside into the harbor's dead end. Every year between May 1st and September 30th, the south jetty of Durban, would be littered with the anglers that formed a small group called the Durban Shark Club.All these anglers congregated here during this time for the sole fact that this was the time period allotted for hunting the Baleen whales that migrated down the African coast, and that was the signal that the demons would be entering the harbor to feed. When the whalers would arrive back at port with their catches in tow, the sharks would be nipping at the heels of the boats and their prize harvest. Many accounts have even recorded that up till the moment the entire whale carcass was drug up the whaling chute, that there were Zambezi (Bull) sharks, hanging onto the carcass until the last possible moment to get one last chunk of the rich blubbery flesh before they awaited the return of the next whaler in the fleet.
With the assistance of the railway that ran offshore on the south jetty, which was placed there to lower large rocks into the water around the jetty for repairs after rough seas damaged the structure, the anglers would head over to the whaling slip and gather their bait for the afternoon. They would then proceed to place a hundred pounds or so of discarded whale blubber on the railcar and begin the trek to the end of the jetty, where the demons patrolled the channel,looking for yet another opportunistic, and easy meal to be presented toward them. But the task ahead was a tall one, with many of these sharks eclipsing the 500-1000lbs mark, how could these men hook these fish, never the less have a shot and landing one of these giants..........