The Story of Salty Dog
The story of Salty Dog started long before it actually started! As dreams usually do … First of all, a little background on Paul and where it all began. His dad taught him how to fish in South Africa when Paul was a little boy. And so the seed was planted. The love for the sea was always there.
Paul got to know the oceans of the southern coast of South Africa as a young boy. Surfing and fishing in the infamous False Bay. He carried on to explore the waters as a teenager when he spearfished and dived for delicacies such as lobster and abalone. Paul left South Africa for the first time in 1996 as crew on a catamaran, sailing from Cape Town to the Caribbean. Since then, fishing and boats have always featured in Paul’s life.
Firstly, Paul owned a small clinker hull wooden dingy, after moving to the UK in 2004. After that came a Druscombe Lugger, a day sailing boat. They were all mostly to mess around with on the water with the family. In those days fishing was mostly done on the trout lakes at Albury, where he also frequented Peter Cockwell’s game angling shop.
But then in 2007 Paul’s son died of brain cancer at the age of 4. He realised the importance of pursuing your dreams, because life’s not waiting for anyone. After this life changing event, doing something he loved and felt passionate about, became an urgent need and so the idea for Salty Dog was born.
Bass Fishing UK
Paul went on a few exploratory fishing trips with good friends and likeminded fishing fanatics in Chichester harbour and it proved to be very successful. Paul only needed the perfect vessel now, but he had something in mind. After realising the potential of a flat bottom hull for local inshore fishing, Paul commissioned Brian Wilson to build the Salty Dog in 2010. From then on Salty Dog became specialists in salt water fly fishing with the target species European Bass.
Images of our guided bass fishing trips can be seen on the Galleries page.
In 2008, a family friend introduced Paul to Sao Tome & Principe, islands off the west coast of Africa. Ever the adventurer, Paul had to visit. After getting a few friends together and arranging the trip, Salty Dog West Africa came into being. Paul knew that as far as adventure fishing travelling goes, West Africa is mostly unexplored territory. He had found a niche in the market and wanted to pursue it.
After the initial recce trip to Sao Tome, trips to Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Gabon and Liberia followed. Currently we offer trips to Gabon and Sierra Leone, and launching this summer, also blue water game fishing trips to Sao Tome & Principe islands.
Our trips are tailored to suit our clients, and deliver destination fishing adventure to remote and seldomly explored parts of this beautiful region of Africa.
Did you know that you can subscribe to the Salty Dog channel on YouTube?
Paul Haldenwang, owner
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