With the weekend chill a thing of the past, we can hopefully look forward to better weather and better fishing conditions. Although this cold front was unwelcome by some it was just what the doctor ordered in order to get the Sardines moving. Some unconfirmed reports have been received of bird activity in the Port Edward and lower South Coast areas. Lets hold thumbs and hope that the 2012 Sardine Run has started, with the fishing having slacked off and the real winter species not having come on the bite yet, this would be a welcoming taunt.
Kosi Bay Deon Naidoo landed a Black fin Shark of approximately 40 kilos. This area hasnt really produced that many fish, bar a few small edibles mainly on small Prawn and Chokka baits and Redeye cutlets.
Sodwana The Mission Rocks area seems to be the spot. Various species of Saltwater Barble have been caught, which is a just reward for the long walk. Small edibles such as Cave Bass, Stump nose and nice Black tail have kept light tackle anglers quite busy.
St Lucia The Shad and Kingfish are still around – especially on the early morning and late afternoon sessions. The Shad can be targeted on artificials, e.g. Spoons and Ondas, while the Kingfish prefer McCarthy Minnows fished on lighter Jig heads. No big Sharks or big edibles have been landed during the past week.
Richards Bay A few small Kob in the 1 3 Kilogram range have been caught mainly on Chokka and Sardine or Redeye combinations, smaller throw baits on light to medium tackle have had the best success rate. A few anglers not using wire were bitten off and when wire was introduced some small Spinner Sharks were found to be the culprits as well as the odd Shad.
Salt Rock/Ballito This area saw some Bonefish on smaller baits especially Prawn or Lango-tail. These feisty fighters can be very rewarding especially on light tackle while using 1.0 to 3.0 sized hooks. A few Kingfish, mainly Black tip or Yellow spot were the main species, caught on either Drop shot or traditional baits. In the early evening just before dark Kingfish have also been targeted on Glow-in-the-Dark Spoons.
Blythedale Steve Rouland successfully landed a beautiful Ridgeback Grey Shark of 63 kilos on Friday night. This is really a nice size Grey Shark for this area. Well done, Steve.
Umhloti/Umhlanga The Umhlanga Lighthouse area has yielded a few Grey Sharks in the +/- 20 kg range. These fish were mainly caught on Mackeral slide-baits or Mackeral head and cutlet combos.
Durban North Some lucky Anglers able to put in an early morning session and managed to get a live Shad (over 30cms) have been rewarded with Garrick. Although these fish are not plentiful this trend should continue.
Durban The Durban Beachfront has produced a mixed bag. Some Black tail, Shad of various sizes, small Kingfish and Karanteen are all up for grabs. The high tide being the best platform to fish off, as this allows deeper water and when it is outgoing the fish will feed more readily.
Toti/Winkle Both spots are still producing Garrick on a daily basis. The Saltwater Garrick Slide-Trace with no steel wire has proven deadly and due to the make-up of this trace it can be used for Shad, Karanteen and Black tail live-bait slides. The Garrick seeming to be most active at first light and fade away as the morning warms up.
Umkomaas The Umkomaas northern river bank is still producing the smaller Kob either on Prawn and Chokka combos or Chokka blob-baits, fished on 1.0 hook with a light nylon hook snoot. Grunter are also being caught on Sand Prawn/Cracker Shrimp, some Shad caught mainly on traditional tackle with bait 3.0/4.0 offset hooks.
Scottborough Some early morning Shad caught mainly to the side of the points in the bay areas have led to a few Garrick being landed. For those fishing after work in the late afternoons, some small Spinner Sharks have also been reported.
Pennington This somewhat unfished area has seen its share of Shad and Garrick in the last week. Unlike further south these fish have not been spoilt by live-baits so an early morning session with a Chisel-nosed plug or Bullet Spoon retrieved quickly could definitely land up with a grilled Garrick being on the menu.
Margate Should be renamed to Shad Haven there are plenty of these fish ranging from half a kilo to a kilo plus. Some beautiful Bronze Bream fished with a no.6 Mustad Big Gun hook and small float are also around, and these beautiful eating fish really give you a go so your dinner is well earned. The Wildeperd or Zebra Fish are also in amongst the gullies so if you feel like a family day out, this is definitely a spot for young and old a-like.
Port Edward – Shad have been on the bite and plenty of these sought after table fish have come out in many areas and some really good sized fish are being caught. Kob are also eating well and some bigger fish are now around. Just to mention, that although Shad are the most targeted species, Bronze Bream are biting well especially just south of Port Edward.
Transkei With lots of Sardines around in the form of smaller pockets, they are easily spotted by the bird activity. The main shoal is still around the Waterfall Bluff area although the cold spell should have pushed them further up the Transkei coast. For the edible Anglers there are some nice sized Shad, Garrick on live-baits and for the Kob anglers remember the ever popular 6-inch Mc Arthy Paddle tail in the late afternoon/early evening. For the non-edible anglers with Sardines we get Sharks and the Transkei is known for the bigger brutes. Heavy tackle and strong arms are all that is required. This area is only going to improve as more Sardines move through and is a definite must for a long-weekend or holiday trip.
Richards Bay/Mapelane With a few Yellow fin Tuna still around, skippers should take advantage as they will start tapering off in the weeks to come. There are still a number of Natal Snoek around and the traditional Strip or Fillet bait is still working its magic. For Anglers targeting the bottom-fish in unrestricted areas, some Red Fish, nice Rock Cod and Kingfish can be targeted with an occasional Queen Fish also making an appearance.
Blythdale/Umhloti Some better sized Snoek and an occasional Couta have had some skippers smiling. Once again the fillet baits have produced the goods. The fish seem to be caught mainly opposite river mouths and the backline area. Maybe a live Shad thrown into the mid-break water could produce a Garrick for skippers with the know-how.
Durban With the odd Couta here and there more anglers have fished bottoms targeting the Geel bek and Daga Salmon in and around the wrecks. Other species such as nice Slinger and Rock Cod are also being boated. The backline area has large shoals of Shad and these fish are wreaking havoc on Sabiki bait lures for skippers targeting Mackeral and Maasbunker for live-baits. The Sharks like the Springboks are also rampant. Mike from Blue Water Charters sent in this report With Fat Girls motor now reconditioned, we had three 5hr charters booked for this weekend, 2 for Friday and one for Saturday. It was great to be back on the water and Fat Girl ran well. It was interesting to see how the water temperature dropped over these 3 trips with Saturday morning giving us readings from 22deg.C up to 23.5deg.C and the afternoon giving us 20deg.C to 21deg.C, by Sunday the readings where from 17deg.C to 21deg.C and we even found a small current with 12.3 deg.C out deeper. With this cold front looming and the water temp dropping I think we will see sardines very soon. Friday morning gave us a light SW wind and flat seas, whilst the afternoon gave us glass seas and an ultra light SE wind, Sunday was a moderate NW breeze with flat seas, but as the morning progressed the swells were getting larger and larger. The water was crystal clear once we passed the 20m depth range. Sunday was incredibly cold. Brrrrrrrrr.
Over the trips we had the pleasure to see many humpback whales, and on Saturday morning they were breaching giving us an awesome display, we also saw dolphins and came across a huge pod of 400 or so on Sunday, amongst them was some rather large Yellow fin Tuna in the 20Kg range, tried as we did there was no success to catch them, it was awesome to watch them going airborne. The fishing was tough and we got several Kawakawa in the 4Kg range, and some nice Yellow fin Tuna in the 5kg range. Bottom fishing was not so easy and we only got smaller fish, I think the current was too strong as we struggled to keep our lines down.
Toti/Winkle With noticeably less Couta and only a few Snoek, this area seems to have gone off the boil; this may be due to fewer bait fish such as Redeye and Mackeral resulting in less of the game fish. Some smaller Kingfish have been targeted on Drop shot.
Umkomaas has seen some Wahoo on faster trolled baits such as Mackeral and small Bonito. Predominately the early morning sessions have been the most productive. Like the Toti area, there does not seem to be a ready supply of bait fish.
Pennington With a few Yellow fin Tuna still around – some skippers have been successful. As winter comes into bloom and the familiar species start disappearing along the warmer days, perhaps targeting Garrick on the backline or fishing deeper spots for bottom fish could result in a new turn of events.
Although not able to go as deep as their motorised counterparts, the Paddle-Skiers have also had mixed results for their efforts. They too have had Snoek, Couta and for the wave-weary some Garrick off of the backline area opposite estuaries/river mouths. With the sea getting on its head over the weekend, it was definitely time to do maintenance and trace-tying rather than receive a dunking in the cool water. Like the Rock and Surf anglers, paddlers are also looking forward to a good Sardine Run with lots of Game Fish following the pockets on their north bound journey.
Fly-fishing With cooler temperatures the fish are still feeding. With the upcoming spawning season it is time to add some colour to your Fly arsenal. Pancora Woolly Buggers with yellows and orange as well as the Mrs Simpson patterns could definitely improve your cast to catch ratio. With a small amount of Snow during this past cold spell, it could be a sign of better things to come.
Bass The coastal dams like Hazelmere and Goudetrou seem to be fishing a lot better than the colder inland dams. Slow fishing methods with various worms and jigs will produce the bite. As the water is cleaner and there is less sediment its best to match lures to the various water colours in order to entice fish. Slow and steady is the way to go.
Carp Like the Bass, the Carp also seem to feel the cold smaller specimens have been reported from most dams and a lot more ground feeding is required to keep the fish on the bite and in your target area. As the water is quite clear, well presented baits are a must.
Tiger Fishing As the colder weather moves in; so the Tigers seem to be tamed. Slower fishing with more natural baits such as Sardine Fillet and Chicken liver are the best bet. After lunch when the water has had some time to warm up, is probably a better option to fish as the water will have warmed up and the fish will be feeding.
Due to an unfortunate oil-spill in the Bay coupled with rain from the recent storm there is a fair amount of debris in the water. This has made fishing a bit more challenging and the fish seem to be lying up in deep/cleaner water. Some small Grunter caught mainly on Cracker Shrimp have had a few anglers smiling. The Sand Gurnitts fished with 2 and 3-inch McCarthy Jerk Minnows on a really slow retrieve can still account for a great session with the sea not being its best.
The Tiger-fish a relative of the Piranha is native to the Zambezi River and are silver with horizontal brown strips and sharp protruding teeth. Some Tiger Fish can grow to over 30-inchs or 76 cms long. They are amazing centre pieces in larger aquariums but are not recommended in smaller tanks. Their natural diet consists mostly of smaller fish and Shrimp. So perhaps the next time youre heading toward Jozini Dam give some Shrimp a go. The Goliath Tiger is the largest of the Tiger species and these monsters can get up to 15+ kilos with ease.
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