As usual, sar­dines lift an­glers’ hopes … and then dis­ap­pear

Weekend Witness - - Sport - MARKHAM POL­LARD An­gling update

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 king­ 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.

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