WATCH: Fishing trip makes dramatic turn after 70kg brindle bass takes bait 

RICHARDS Bay angler Morné van Antwerpen and his 70kg brindle bass. Picture: Supplied

The fish was safely released.

Richards Bay angler Morné van Antwerpen’s social fishing trip to overcome the Sunday boredom blues last weekend, took a dramatic turn when a giant 1.5m, 70kg brindle bass mistook his tasty bait for an easy lunch.

Van Antwerpen was fishing in the canal near the steel bridge when the monster struck for a two-hour battle of the fittest.

Man and beast locked horns for two agonising hours before Van Antwerpen managed to land the fish.

After the obligatory photo shoot, the brindle bass was successfully released.

Brindle bass is the largest specie in the rock cod and grouper group found in southern Africa’s Indian Ocean waters between the Eastern Cape and Mozambique, and is on the IUCN critically endangered list.

They can reach lengths of almost three metres and weights of well over 300kg.

In 2007, a Richards Bay angler was fined R220,000 for catching and not releasing a brindle bass.

The marine equivalent of a rhino, the brindle bass is protected from capture by legislation, owing to its low numbers.

Watch the video below:

This article first appeared on Zululand Observer and has been republished with permission.

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