Winter is definitely in the air and those that have gotten up early enough can surely feel it. There is still a fair number of Shad around, although they are here today and gone tomorrow and most of the popular sites have started to see better sized fish. The lower
Rock and Surf
St Lucia/Cape Vidal Both of these spots are still being inundated with Shad in the early mornings and late afternoons. Some of these Shad runs have lasted up until the next tide has pushed them out to sea again. In amongst these Shad other species such as Kingfish and a handful of Goatfish were also caught on bait.
Mapelane/Richards Bay Shad are running quite well here, especially in the early morning, although there does not seem to be too many Game fish chasing the Shad. For non-edible anglers there have been a few bigger Sharks around and it is well worth using the Saltwater Slide trace with Mustad Hoodlum hooks to target one of these fish.
Tugela Recently a group of anglers went to fish this spot and although the water was off colour they still managed to land some small Kob on Paddle tails and Shad in the early morning.
Umhloti/Umhlanga For the non-edible anglers this would be the pick of the week, as last week saw bigger Grey Sharks in the 15-20 kilo range. There were a few anglers that used small Sharks for swim baits that had 250 pound wire bitten through cleanly.
Virginia/Umgeni North Bank A somewhat quieter week for these areas with Shad being somewhat sporadic and small at that. Majority of the fish were caught on Japanese Mackerel and it seems that the Shad have wizened up to the silver spoons in this area.
Bluff This popular spot is once again a go to as the Shad have been more consistent here. The Kingfish are still in fair numbers. Why not give the Paddle tails a try in the late evening and try and catch a Kob in the sandy areas around the rocks.
Toti With fair catches of Shad coming out, this spot is also just as popular and its nice to see good numbers of anglers on the rocks in the early mornings. During last week a few lucky anglers that slid out live Shad were rewarded with a Garrick, although the Garrick have been very infrequent indeed.
Winklespruit It would seem that the Shad frequent this area mainly on a low tide and for short spells at a time. If you are lucky enough to catch one, then its definitely the bait of choice to put out to try and tempt a Garrick.
Umkomaas The river mouth area and the Pier have produced some small Grunter and Snapper Salmon with the odd bigger sized Kob in the 10+ kilo range coming out. The area further south known as the ledges has also produced some small Kingfish, mainly Black tip Kingies and some nice Cave Bass with a Stone Bream or two in the mix.
Scottburgh Another spot that usually this time of year delivers the goods has not lived up to its reputation. Only juvenile Grey Sharks and a lonely Skate were all that was reported for last week. Anglers targeting Shad in front of the hotel have been left scratching their heads as the fish are there one day and gone the next.
Sizela Not a well-known spot except to those local to the area. There have been a few Garrick caught on live baits in this area, although the live baits have been difficult to catch.
Hibberdene/Trafalgar For some strange reason and perhaps its too early in the season, the usually plentiful Bronze Bream have not been forthcoming. Anglers have had to put in longer hours in order to catch these fish. Hibberdene is still producing Shad and like their cousins further up the coast have started to prefer bait to the traditional S-bend spoon.
Margate With the holidays in full swing, this area has seen a bit more activity than usual. There have been reports of Shad, Stone Bream and the odd Bronze Bream all being caught. The non-edible anglers try as they might have not had much success with only a few small Grey Sharks and one small Skate. Terry Nel from Tacklenet reports that in the Port Edward area, fishing last week has been pretty good, with Shad being landed every day and having Garrick coming out almost daily at all deep-water points in the area. Bronze Bream are still on the bite with Stone Bream and Black tail coming out. Reports of Kob have also been coming in with the odd one being caught off the points.
Ski-boat and Paddle-Ski
For those getting up in the dark to ensure they launch on time, some have been well rewarded whilst others could have rather slept in. Some Snoek, the odd big Yellow fin Tuna and good bottom fishing have kept Paddlers and Skippers on their toes when fishing the right areas. Bait fish are more plentiful now, so put these to good use when you are on the water.
Central Great showings of Geelbek, but they dont seem to be feeding yet. Although in the deep at approximately 100 fathoms they are being caught, but getting heavily taxed by Sharks. Some decent Rock Cod have also been caught off the Bluff as well as some Garrick passing by. Good size Tuna have also been coming out although not plentiful they are nice size fish, with the current heaviest Paddle-Ski Tuna being 27 kilos. A beautiful fish for a Paddler to boast about.
South Port Edward, Aliwal and Shelley Beach area the Couta are scarce whilst some Snoek were caught off the shallows off Umkomaas. Reports have also been received of good Yellow fin Tuna catches and good catches of Reds off the Shelley Beach area.
Both the bank and boat anglers have been testing their skills in order to target mainly Grunter. There have been a few decent size fish in the 2 2.5 kilo range whilst most of the Grunter have been juvenile fish. There seems to be a lot of Shad around, unfortunately also not making size. Centre Bank area produced 1 lovely Grunter of just over 4 kilos caught on a Sardine Belly bait.
Bass Bass Angling throughout
Goatfish can grow to a fair size and are often brightly coloured. These fish are part of the Mullet family and are bottom feeding fish. They have deep elongated bodies and whiskers similar to Barbel which they use to target invertebrates. These fish are highly prized for what they bring to the culinary world.
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.