Hail to the computer techies for fixing my trustworthy stead, I may now gallop forward to glory. As we draw closer to dark and cold mornings with the sun seeming to take forever to raise, that wonderful phenomenon known as the Sardine Run is upon us, more details to follow further into the report€¦.

Kosi Bay €“ This pristine part of the country is a sought after fishing destination. Currently the water temperature is superb €“ very clean and the majority of the Anglers fishing this area with Chokka and Red Prawn baits have been rewarded with Bonefish of various sizes. The Three-spot Pompano or Wave Garrick has been great fun on light tackle, especially Drop shot €“ this is great news for the younger generation €œteething€ their way onto bigger fish. As winter moves on and the water temperature drops further, it could definitely be a mid-year school holiday destination.

Sodwana €“ A lovely family destination which offers nearly all facets of fishing styles for the whole family. At the moment 10 €“ 15kg juvenile Sand Sharks targeted in and around sandbanks have been predominant. The occasional big Ragged Tooth Shark has also fallen to bigger slide baits. For the smaller Sand Sharks, Mackeral head or Mackeral cutlet baits have been their dining pleasure.

Cape Vidal €“ The Mission Rocks area with clean water of approximately 22 degrees Celsius has produced some nice Ragged Tooth Sharks. Big bloody baits such as Bonito flap baits or whole Mackeral with inside out Sardines as a skirt entice these monsters. There have also been some lovely lantern fish or Cave Bass caught on smaller throw baits especially Prawn/Chokka combinations.

Mapelane €“ Shad, a few Kob and some Grunter have made up the species count for this area.  The Shad have been mainly caught on spoons in the early morning and a single fillet on a traditional cork trace €“ later in the day. Redeye head and Cracker Shrimp have been fantastic for catching the Grunter.

Mtunzini €“ Amatikulu seems to be Spinner Shark haven. A number of Spinner Sharks in the 2 €“ 3 kg range have been hooked on various baits, especially the fleshy type baits. Some lucky Anglers armed with local Mackeral have been given a bit of the €œburn€ by some big Shad as well.

Umhloti €“ This area has gone off the boil a bit, with mainly small Grey Sharks being the order of the day. Mackeral cutlet baits with a lot of foam, fished in the late afternoon/evening sessions seem to be the trick.

Umhlanga €“ The Lighthouse area has produced the occasional Stumpy and is definitely worth putting the time in. Their preferred poison is a Mole Crab or Sea lice on a 2/0 Mustad Kendal round hook. Your target time for these fish is late afternoon, fished on a turning tide. Some Shad have also been caught in the early mornings.

Durban Beach Front €“ For the early risers lucky enough not to travel to work, spinning / artificial lures have been the best for targeting Shad and small Kingfish. S-bend spoons as well as the Kingfisher Bullet type spoon in silver have proved to be their down fall. The water is clean and the temperature is perfect.  Take a cup of coffee to go and it will be worth your while.

Bluff area €“ A few (hushed) Brusher reports have come in. Remember their natural diet is fresh mussels, so put these to good use. Remember to use a thick hook snoot and strong leader. These dirty fighters know their habitat well and head straight for the un-plastered bricks to cut you off.

Toti €“ The Shad are still shoaling in and around the points, especially during the early morning sessions. Spinning or baiting is working equally well. Anglers lucky enough to get a few, should definitely slide or throw a whole Shad as Garrick are in the area. Give it a go; if your Shad isn€™t eaten you can still fry it for supper.

Winkelspruit ­­€“ This is the spot to be. Both sides of the pool area are working really well. There are Shad, smaller Blacktail and a few Karanteen and these are ideal early morning slide-baits to target a number of Garrick, which seem to be congregating here.

Umkomaas €“ There are still a number of shoal Kob falling mainly to Cracker Shrimp and Chokka baits. The north side of the river mouth (bank area) has been producing a lot more than the Ledge area. Best time to target these fish is during a change of tide in the late afternoon, into the evening.

Margate €“ Splash Rock is still working and producing a number of Garrick. The saltwater slide-trace with no wire designed to target these fish is perfect from this high vantage point. A number of Shad have been caught on the bay to the right. The white water area off the front of the rocks has also been a hidey-hole for the Shad.

PORT EDWARD – With the arrival of Shad down there, much activity is taking place on the rocks and plenty of these fish are being caught. The game fish are also on the bite and in one morning this weekend five Garrick fell victim to the ‘live bait brigade’ on Splash Rock. Some Shad are still undersized and one has to be careful about swimming these fish. In one incident there, a youngster was asked to retrieve his live bait by wildlife officials and was charged and fined R1,000.00 as the Shad used was 20 mm undersized.

Transkei €“ What a surprise for the Competition Anglers that travelled further down this weekend. With numerous reports of Sardines all over the place, many Anglers fished in €œno bite bay€. All of the big fish were out snacking Sardines and Anglers watched in awe to see big smashes and birds diving just out of reach.  The most productive area seems to be Hole in the Wall, with mainly Kob in the 5 €“ 10 kilo range, Raggies from 80 €“ 90 kilos, some nice Shad and an odd bus Blacktail. The slide-baits of big Bonny / Mackeral combination for the Raggies worked well and smaller Chokka throw baits were perfect for catching Kob. For the artificial lure Anglers, the McCarthy 6 inch paddle tails, especially Baby Elf and Gold fish were fantastic. With such positive reports of Sardines all over the place at this time of the year, it can only argue for a fantastic Sardine Run in the coming months. We can expect all the usual suspects, bigger Garrick on Plug, Couta on Spoon and the big Bronze Whalers caught on the bunch Sardine (banana boy) baits lobbed into the shallows, just next to the netters. Roll on winter and the Sardine Run.


Richards Bay/Mapelane €“ Is still producing some nice fish with Snoek, Couta and some Yellow fin Tuna. Over the next few weeks, Skippers can expect bigger Snoek, large Couta and a really good bumper session; your main baits should be Bonito, Sardine fillets and Shad.

Sodwana €“ With some very nice clean water and good temperatures, Sodwana has been producing predominately Yellow fin Tuna in the 5 €“ 10 kilo range, some Snoek and a few Kingfish for the guys using Bucktail Jigs also being reported.

Durban €“ Zinkwazi has been €œZinging€ for want of a better word. Some nice Couta in the 15 €“ 20 kg range caught mainly on live-baits. Predominant species being; Maasbunker, Shad and a few Mackeral. Walla-Walla has also proved to be excellent bait. For the really big Crocs, large Bonito have been prized baits.

Toti €“ Reports of big Couta on the ledges at Umkomaas and towards the Aliwal Shoal area. Bigger baits fished deeper have proved to bring up larger fish with a more aggressive take.

Shelley Beach €“ Is now the Tuna capital of South Africa. Many fish have been caught mainly on live-baits. The Halco Chrome Pink colour lure trolled early morning has produced some nice fish. As per usual, where there are profits there is the taxman and Anglers need to be aware of the need to try boat their fish as soon as possible.


North €“ Umhloti etc – Snoek, Couta and Tuna have been the order of the day. Lovely sized Tuna in the 10+ Kilo range caught in the early mornings on live Maasbunker have had the ratchets screaming! Small Halco€™s and strip fillet baits have produced some lovely Snoek, up to 6 kilos. With the Couta seeming to be feeling the winter chill, are feeding later and in deeper water ranging from 5 €“ 10m. Majority of the fish are caught on live-baits. The tax inspectors are still around so make sure you have a few traces in your box before heading out.

Durban – UKFC (Umgeni Kayak Fishing Club) Competition held over this weekend was well attended with over 100 paddlers. Plenty of Couta were caught in the Blythedale/Tinley Manor area with the biggest being just under 23 kilos. There were lots of Snoek and a few Yellow fin Tuna. The winners of the various categories are as follows:  Wade French with top honours with a 22.75 kilo Couta, Hank de Wet 14.55 kg Tuna, Rob Waites 8.1 kilo Snoek (a very nice fish) and then 4th place Luke Dolton with a 3.5 kilo Kingfish. The Umgeni Kayak FC won the inter-club competition so well done to all the Umgeni guys. We really look forward to next year€™s competition.

Durban Bay €“ With lovely clean, clear water a number of big Grunter have been lured from the deeper water. The standard running-trace with Siglon fluoro-carbon hook-snoot is a must have. Main baits to use are the Cracker Shrimp/Sand Prawn and very thin €œpencil-type€ Chokka baits. For the light tackle artificial enthusiasts, fishing either Drop shot or surface lures, some lovely Springer on the surface, small Kingfish in the Mid-range and Sand Gurnets fished on bottom, have had the rods bending.


Fly-fishing €“ With the water temperature dropping – but still remaining clean, the fishing has been good all over. The purists can now take pleasure in fishing throughout the day with natural patterns still being the most proficient. Damsels, Minnows, Hamills Killers and Woolley Buggers are your €œGo to€ flies. The intermediate lines are best utilised, just be aware of weeds as the colder temperatures have not eradicated the majority of the weeds.

Tiger Fishing €“ As the water temperature starts to cool, so it seems that the bites do too. As we head into the cooler periods, fillets/live-baits seem to be a lot more productive. Anglers fishing deeper down seem to have been getting bigger fish and it€™s a case of seek and ye shall find.

Carp €“ Inanda Dam recently hosted the World Carp Championship Trials. After much perseverance a few fish were caught. The conditions however, were not ideal and Anglers were really put to the test. Shongweni €“ slow going with a few fish caught €“ mainly small specimens. With better weather predicated, it should improve with the larger fish coming out in a few weeks. It is time now to get some practice in on the smaller fish, so you are ready for the big one to claim your personal best.

Bass €“ Throughout the various Bass dams, majority of the fish have been landed in the early morning, caught on surface lures. Strike Pro Poppers and Stick baits fished around structure seem to beat the Bass. Anglers using various colours have reported good results and it would seem the bigger the better. Fortune favours the brave and for those who put the time in you will be rewarded.

Fishy Facts

The Potato Bass is one of the largest of the Grouper family. This fish can weigh in at a hefty 650 pounds (approximately 280 kilos). This extremely curious fish is often easy prey for spearfishermen and as such has been declared a protected species. Beware the black and brown monster.

For the latest KZN fishing news presented by O.J., tune into East Coast Radio at 5.40am Monday – Friday. Any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area, please send an email to mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za or fax 031- 368 4007.

Check out the new Kingfisher web site: www.kingfisher.co.za and become a member. Membership is totally free and there are great prizes to be won every month. They have just updated the tide tables for 2012 and come with a few new added bits of information, like tidal movement, sunrise, sunset ETC.

The trading hours of The Kingfisher are as follows: 

Mon €“ Fri.  8:00am €“ 5:00pm

Sat.            8:00am €“ 1:00pm

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