As usual, sardines lift anglers’ hopes … and then disappear
SARDINES have made a welcome return to the KZN coast, with some being netted in the Bazley area during the course of last week. Although not many were netted, they have certainly lifted anglers’ hopes of a good run this year. Unfortunately, as it so often happens, these fish have done their famous disappearing act and seem to have been swept off the face of the earth. But anglers need not despair as there are still huge shoals moving up from the Transkei and there are also some scattered shoals on the middle south coast.
Apart from the Sardines, shad have moved in along the coast and are feeding well at most known spots. Anglers fishing the Durban and Umgeni area have had some very good days where shad have been biting well during both early mornings and late afternoons. Here, anglers have also been getting some nice grunter, small kob and the odd big stumpie at night. On the South Coast, places like Toti, Warner Beach, Winkle and the Umkomaas beach stretch have produced some very good numbers of shad during the course of last week.
Spearfishermen operating in the Isipingo area reported some big shoals of garrick moving along the backline and were successful in landing a few big specimens. Anglers targeting garrick have got stuck into some good fish almost all along the middle South Coast. Fishing off the high rocks along the Park Rynie and Scottburgh areas have also picked up. Some big yellow fin tunny were caught here with Trevor Osborne landing a very good specimen of 19 kg.
With strong early morning offshore winds, the kite anglers have also come out in force particularly at the Umkomaas car park. These anglers have had some measure of success lately with the oddabove-average size sharks being landed. Further down the coast, the Port Shepstone area is still fishing very well with a lot of shad being reported as well as garrick and kob.
Terry Nel from Tacklenet in Port Edward informs us that garrick have arrived and a number of these popular game fish have been taken over the week and Splash Rock is the place where fishermen are descending on to try their skill at catching these fish.
Shad are plentiful and many are being slid back as live baits for garrick. Even though this is great sport, the much more exciting method of catching garrick is plug and spoon yet none are trying it. A good reason for this, other than the hard work of casting all the time, is that it is frowned on by the live bait crew as it can cross their lines. Another good fish landed here was a sea pike of seven kilogram. We have heard from the guys fishing from ski boats that a few killer whales were sighted off Port Edward.
In the Transkei, the Port St Johns area at this time gets very active and many anglers flock to this spot to catch mainly garrick and big kob.
Ski Boats are now getting some good bottom fish as well as game fish. General bottom fishing has picked up with the first geelbek and daga salmon being reported. Couta, although slowing down a bit are still being caught on both north and south coasts. With sardine activity on the south coast, anglers can soon also expect some good couta fishing.
The Albert Falls Bass Tournament is 30 years old this year. It was started by the South Africa Art Lure Association in 1980 and taken over by the South African Bass Angling Association as their main fund-raising event. They use the funds generated by this tournament for International Tests. They have three teams that participate in Tests against Zimbabwe and one team that participates in a Zone six event.
The funds raised go a long way to reducing the individual angler’s costs towards these events as they receive no government funding. Our main prize for the heaviest bass is a fully rigged boat. Each entrant receives a complimentary T-shirt, a commemorative AFBT badge that depicts the year as well as a “goodie” bag with products. This year we are proud to have confirmed that a Hybrid boat with a Mercury outboard motor is up for grabs.
The tournament entries are limited to either 200 or 250 boats depending on the level of the dam.On each boat there are two anglers. The combined total of their daily weights go towards the team prizes but their individual weights are recorded for the individual prizes.The prize-giving is held on the last day of the tournament about four hours after the last fish is weighed.
The tournament is fished over two days with registration taking place the day before. Entry forms and posters will be placed in tackle shops at the beginning of July. For more information contact Wendy Watson at 083 881 9383 or fax 086 563 4731.
Don’t forget to watch the action packed ESA fishing shows on TV. These shows feature both saltwater and bass fishing and are aired on SuperSport 1. The ESA Saltwater show will be broadcast weekly on Thursdays between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm and the ESA Bass show will air weekly on Tuesdays between 7 pm and 7.30 pm.
The Kingfisher at 53 Hunter Street, Durban hosts a free ski fishing clinic on their premises once a month by Markham Pollard. These monthly clinics are there to help beginners and experienced anglers see what the sport is all about and how to target certain species of fish.
To book for one of these free clinics phone the Kingfisher at 031 368 3903.
Any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area please send to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 031 368 4137, attention, Mike.
For the latest KZN fishing news presented by O.J., tune into East Coast Radio at 5.40 am Monday to Friday.