Anyone who looked at a popular website with regards to weather would have written off this weekend for Rock and Surf completely. Its a pleasant surprise when the predicted weather changes to very favourable conditions and all the Anglers that took part in the Durban Beachfront Fishing Festival were greatly relieved when the weather men were proven wrong¦.
Rock and Surf
Kosi Bay With a large portion of the week being somewhat inclement weather and winds blowing wither and hither many Anglers were in doubt as to travel or try and fish local. There were only a few fish caught and once again the Kingfish species, odd Bonefish and a lonely Honeycombe were all that were beached.
Tugela True to form the rains did bring in dirty water and it seems a lot of the fish swam out to cleaner water. With only a handful of non-edibles mostly small Skates and Lesser Sand Sharks, hopefully better weather will get this top spot back in shape.
St Lucia Saw a lot of action for the early risers with some nice size Shad caught on Falcon spoons as well as the traditional Saltwater Sport Shad trace with the red cork float. Its nice to see healthy Shad populations especially as most of these fish were of legal size, this bodes well for a good Shad season for the whole KwaZulu-Natal Coast.
Mtunzini Banks Predominately after a couple of days of North-easterly this area produces lots of fish on the first day of Westerly winds. Last weeks wind changes hampered fishing and this weather pattern deterred Anglers from travelling up.
Richards Bay Suffering the same fate as a large number of the coastline area, the weather patterns did not help fishing that much and the beaches were fairly quiet. Those Anglers in the know fished the harbour with some good successes. Smaller Kingfish, a few Grunter and Sand Gurnard were caught using various techniques from traditional Chokka blob baits to Drop shot and artificial.
Ballito Oh how the mighty have fallen. Last weeks pick of the week of resulted in some under sized Shad for the early morning spinning enthusiasts while the hopefuls in the early evening targeting Grey Sharks were left in No-bite Bay. Dont write this one off the list, it can still produce fish on the turn of a hat.
Umhlanga With a larger number of up country visitors staying in the area, there was a larger contingent of fisherman flocking to the beach. The gullies and white water area to the left of the new pier were put to good use with Drop shot, with some small Natal Stumpnose, Stone Bream and Blacktail all being caught. Anglers fishing to the right of the Lighthouse landed the odd Grey Shark and a few Lesser Sand Sharks.
Durban Piers With bigger seas only the brave ventured onto these vantage points with very mixed results due to the barometric pressure changes. A few Grunter round about the kilo range and Southern Pompano ranging from small to just over 2 kilos were caught.
Beachfront What a fantastic event was held this weekend – with Cast-SA Events as well as the Ethekwini Municipality, The Kingfisher Fishing Tackle Store and various other sponsors. The guys really came to the fore with some fantastic prizes and this competition can only go from strength to strength. With boundaries from Blue Lagoon to Sun coast Casino, many Anglers took part with predominantly Lesser Sand Sharks, small Dusky Kob, lots of Wave Garrick, a lonely Southern Pompano and a beautiful Shad of 60cm, left the elusive Grunter which was the main prize being the most targeted species. Two of these fish were caught, one out of bounds and one lost in the Shore break what more can we say¦ A list of all the prize winners can be found on the Durban Beachfront Fishing Festival website. There were also a few juvenile Honeycombe and Brown Skates caught along this stretch.
Toti/Warner Beach This area which is most popular for targeting smaller Grey Sharks in the 5 to 7 kilo range saw some action on Friday evening. These fish were mainly caught using Mustad Big Gun hooks and Sardine and Chokka baits ranking tops.
The 2013 Easter weekend hosted numerous fishing events on our KZN waters and there was no better way to kick it off than the 6th Annual Junior Angling Bonanza organized by High Tide Fishing and hosted by Warnadoone Ski Boat Club.
This years event hosted 96 junior anglers and had a record number of girls all competing for what the Easter bunny may have left them in the ocean. Registration started 07:30 with the lines being set to cast at 08:30 and although the rain seemed to make an imminent appearance that morning nothing could possibly keep the 96 kids adrenalin down from fishing. By 08:30 all competing junior anglers had their eyes peeled to their watches and within seconds of the horn starting off the comp 95% of all lines were being casted.
It was approximately 2 minutes before the first fish of the competition was caught by 3 year old Tylin Rampursad who had a double up with a Kingfish and a Pompano. The kids could not have had a better start to the competition as from that moment on fish were being constantly reeled in from the surf as well as the rocks. The voluntary weigh masters certainly had their work cut out for them; however they were extremely efficient and well knowledge as they measured and educated the junior anglers on the species of fish and how to release them without any harm. As the day went on the weather cleared and a variety of fish was caught, the species were Snapper Salmon, Kingfish, Blacktail, Rock Cod, Bream, Karanteen, Grunter, Mullet, Cave bass, Moonie, Toby and even a Dogfish.
The competition ended at 12:30 and amongst the 96 competing junior anglers there were over 150 fish caught, measured and released. The day did not stop at the handing in of the score cards for the kids, they were also offered a complimentary hotdog, an Easter egg hunt and there was a jumping castle to keep them entertained as the points were being tallied up. For extra entertainment there was a fishing simulator at the venue which kept the kids intrigued and eager to catch more fish.
The prize giving started at 13:15 at the Warnadoone Ski Boat Club. All the competing anglers sat patiently and marveled at the towers of prizes as they waited to hear their name amongst the winners. 3 prizes per age categories was handed out and although not every angler won the competition prizes, every angler still went home with a prize for entering. As the previous 5 kiddies competitions this years event has grown from strength to strength and none of it would have been possible without the helping hands from the sponsors, volunteers, staff, family, and friends and off course High Tide Fishing Tackle and Warnadoone Ski Boat Club.
Umkomaas It seems the Snapper Salmon have been hanging around this area with large numbers being caught mostly in the evening whilst early morning has seen some small Shad and even smaller Grunter.
Scottburgh The point produced a few Grey Sharks and some small Honeycombe Rays. In the early morning a handful of small Shad and one Grunter was all that was reported.
Pennington Anglers targeting the Snoek in the early mornings have battled the weather and not too many mornings were productive. With better weather expected for the next few days, hopefully we will have more pictures on our website of happy Snoek seekers.
Transkei With a number of points being able to fish during either an Easterly or Westerly wind, the competition Anglers will be watching the weather conditions carefully for their next Postal. Reports received were of Hammerhead Sharks, a few big Shad as well as a couple of big Sharks in the mix. To travel or not to travel is the question.
Ski-boat and Paddle-Ski
With biggish seas, strong winds and fish still on the bite, I dont want to be a Skipper standing on the beach. On days when Skippers and Paddlers could launch there were a fair number of catches Snoek, Couta, Yellow fin Tuna and Dorado all filling the hatches. Some were lucky to get more than one whilst others where content with a small family braai.
North With a number of competitions being held and even more competitions still to come, Skippers, Paddlers and the Jet-ski fraternity are abuzz with expectation. Mapelane and surrounding areas hosted a Bill Fish competition with some mixed results and congratulations to all the winners. Durban boy Nirosh was leading the comp on day one with a Black Marlin of 100 plus kilos. Well done Nirosh, great fish.
Central The Blythedale and Zinkwazi areas when fishable has allowed all sea faring scouts the opportunity to target some nice Snoek although not as plentiful, some bigger Couta, Yellow fin Tuna and Dorado. The Yellow fin Tuna seem to have taken a liking to the Kingfisher Wild Dog lures, predominantly the Pink and the Sardine/Mackerel colours which have been effectively pulled through bait balls. The white Onda has done some damage with the Snoek, especially for the Paddle Power enthusiasts.
South Anywhere from Scottburgh down has had a number of Skippers and Paddlers dying to get out when the weather permitted. Bait fish seem to have been deeper down with bigger Couta hiding underneath. A fair amount of Yellow fin Tuna were also caught whilst smaller Rattler lures from Kingfisher trawled at a medium speed also produced some Snoek, albeit not that plentiful.
With the recent adverse weather conditions a number of Anglers have taken to the bay to get their fishing fix. There have been reports of some nice Grunter in the 1 and a half to 2 kilo range. For those Skippers anxious to get their hands on some Wala-Wala there have also been a few of these in the Bay. And those Anglers fishing from the side have seen some lovely juvenile Kingfish, a few Sand Gurnard and the odd Eel.
Fly-Fishing Whilst the majority of the Fly-fishing fraternity target Trout, the bigger Woolley Buggers have been put to the test to target Bass in various locations. Mixed results were received from a number of public as well as private dams with regard to successes so if the Trout dont fancy the Fly give the Bass a go.
Bass With most dams reporting average catches, Albert Falls seems to be the crÃ¨me dla crÃ¨me with a lovely specimen of just under 3 kilos.
Carp With a bit more fresh water coming in from inland due to recent rainfalls, it seems the water levels have risen slightly which still hasnt stopped Carp feeding on the surface. Careful attention to bug patterns can really mean a productive day on the water. Anglers fishing from the bank should use less ground feed in order to bring the fish on the bite and definitely now is the time to ensure bait presentation is 100%. The new Korda products that have just come in could really give you the edge to bag a bonus fish.
Tiger Fish The previously mentioned Daiwa Tiger Tamer rod which is a 7ft, 2 piece rod with a Daiwa Regal 3000 reel has become the go-to” combo for Anglers targeting fish at Jozini. Excellent reports have been received from a number of novices fishing both in early morning and late afternoon with Africa lures spoons and smaller live baits in the late afternoon/evening sessions. Some lovely fish of 800g through to nearly 1.5 kilos were all caught over the weekend.
When Anglers question legal size limits, it is often a contentious issue, here are some examples of little known facts with regards to some species of fish. The Southern Pompano has no legal size limit however has a bag limit of 5 i.e. 0 cms and up is legal. The general belief amongst Anglers that a Wave Garrick or 3 Spot Pompano or Astronaut has a legal size limit of 15cms is also a fallacy as there is in fact no legal size limit. However, in the interest of conservation all small specimens should definitely be released to be caught another day. Pretty interesting???
ASFN Season 2 premiers on Monday nights on Super Sport 6 at 19h30 be sure not to miss it, there will also be six rebroadcasts during the week.
For the latest KZN fishing news presented by O.J., tune into East Coast Radio at 5:40am Monday – Friday.
The Kingfishers trading hours are:
Mon, Wed, Thu & Fri 8:00am 5:00pm
Tue 8:30am 5:00pm.
Sat 8:00am 1:00pm.