Plenty to catch as sardine season approaches


INTO the fifth month we go and the fishing continues to surprise! With reports of sardines starting to gain momentum, the excitement of the silver tide is spreading.

The geelbek and daga are starting to make a real appearance on the reports from the bottom fishing guys while those targeting gamefish have landed some impressive fish (including late season dorado).

Couta have been the main species targeted up north and for good reason. The bigger couta generally patrol the closer inshore waters and are usually moving alone or in a pair. These bigger fish require stronger tackle as they are bigger and a lot smarter than the generally shoal size couta. Look at using 30lb Maxima Ultra green nylon on a reel with a good, smooth drag system (Daiwa Saltist Black/Blue) and a rod with some decent backbone like the Poseidon Offshore Couta Ski rod.

Tuna have played their part in the north with some cannons falling for a frisky live bait. See the tactics below for some trace tips.

The waters offshore of Durban are producing some epic fishing. The tuna have made up the bulk of the catches with some beasts landed. Live bait has been the most successful method of targeting these bigger specimens, although catching them on poppers is a lot more exciting. A 6/0 circle hook on a section of fluorocarb­on is all you need in terms of a trace for these tuna. Even though we are on the cusp of winter, there are guys still catching dorado.

The South Coast has seen plenty of bottom fish action from the shallow reefs all the way to the deep. Many anglers have switched to the electric reels (like the Daiwa Tanacom

1000) for the very deep water as this is a lot less effort. These new reels have more than enough power and allow you to fish fairly easily in 400m or more. The bottom fish catches have been a mix of reds and bigger rockcod but predominan­tly geelbek.

The rock and surf scene has seen some amazing catches recently. From another big couta caught on a drone bait to some big kob, it has been a good fish week.

Durban has been producing a few grey sharks and diamond for the guys targeting inedibles. Fleshy fish baits mixed with chokka are a great way to target multiple species at the same time. Use a basic full nylon trace with a short bite wire section attached to a 9/0 Mustad Tuna Circle hook. This trace has accounted for multiple species and works for most of the year.

The edible fishing has been nothing to pull your nose up at. The stumpies have been of an impressive size. Tight lines and screaming reels.

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