It’s time for garrick, kob and stumpies
MACKEREL! This has been the only bait that the late-season summer fish have considered eating over the last week. Guys have been throwing freshly-caught redeye sardine into the same areas but the mackerel baits have been getting the pulls. This may be due to the specific smell or the slightly hardier bait that remains intact even when the peckers are around. Unfortunately, the summer fish are few and far between. This means packing away the big sticks for the medium to light gear. It also means garrick, kob, brusher, stumpies and a whole host of other edible fish. So, this cloud definitely has a silver lining! The North Coast news has come from the scratching boys in the Cape Vidal-Maphelane area. The bait of choice has been chokka. Double hook traces and circle hooks is the way to go when fishing in these areas as it will reduce the amount of time you spend stuck in the rocks, and the fish you hook you will land. The central zone has been dominated by a few inedible species along the beachfront while the piers, Blue Lagoon and Umhlanga are throwing some nice edible fish. The inedibles coming out are diamonds and grey sharks which have both been favouring mackerel baits. The edible species have been shad, pompano and stumpnose which have been feeding very well on cracker shrimp and pink prawns. A standard trace with a 4/0 Mustad Ringer Soi hook will be the way to go for both of these species. The garrick have started to come on the bite especially at Winkelspruit. Live shad have been the bait of choice for these predators but remember that they have to be legal size to be used. Make use of a slide clip and either 1 or two 6/0 hooks. The inedible species coming out have been some late-season sandies and diamonds. There have also been some good fish hooked and lost. These were likely blackfin sharks. As mentioned above, mackerel have been the choice bait for these fish. One of the most overlooked aspects of planning a fishing trip is the packing of enough food and water. It is essential to pack enough water to keep yourself hydrated. Note that it says water and not alcohol. Alcohol only dehydrates you, so it is not a good idea for a fishing trip, not to mention being dangerous. Trying to walk on the rocks after one, two beers is going to end in disaster. Even though we are moving into a colder time of the year, hydration is still as important as it is in the height of summer chasing diamonds. Make sure to pack at least 1L of water in your bag. So, history was made this past weekend! A very well done to Mike Wheeler who is the first kayak fisherman to be crowned “King of the Sea”. He won this title by landing a 32.35kg couta during the Saffire King Of The Sea Competition last weekend at Pumula which saw ski boat, jet ski and kayak fishermen pitting their skills against each other. A reminder that the Umhlanga Ski Boat Competition is also nearing and the excitement is beginning to build. This is another competition that sees ski boats, jet skis and paddle skis pitted against each other. The south zone of KZN saw the King Of The Sea Competition held last weekend and there were plenty of decent fish caught in all the different facets. Best of the catches and King Of The Sea was a kayak fisherman that weighed in a monster of a couta. In other news, the south zone launch sites saw some decent tuna coming out and a proper-size prodigal son was landed by a female angler (fisherwoman?) launching out of Umkomaas. Well done Sarahlee on showing the boys how it’s done (#GirlPower). Also in this area, there have been some massive wahoo seen off Aliwal. These monstrous fish require stout tackle and heavy wire to land. Tight lines and screaming reels.