Greetings, Sardines! The long wait is finally over! The Sardines and all of the fish which usually follow them up the coast have been found in large numbers throughout the coast.

For many, having the Sardines come this far up is enough to get the adrenaline going, let alone having the Shark and Game fish activity that we have been having with the Sardines. We are still in the early stages and can expect even better fishing to come.

Rock n Surf:

North – Kosi Bay is still producing good catches of Kob, Kingfish and plenty of Wave Garrick, even though the water temperature has begun to drop substantially. Anglers spinning in the mornings have had fewer catches than last week but still managed to do some damage with the Kingies. This area, along with St Lucia and Cape Vidal all begin to produce good catches from this time of the year, which include Kob, Garrick and Shad.

Most of these areas become Shad hot-spots and are extremely popular holiday destinations. St Lucia/ Vidal have produced Shad and the odd Garrick in the mornings already, which is a good sign for things to come. Maphelane has had reports of good Shad action and some Sharks as well, which can be caught on Shad head, cutlet or live Shad during this time of year when the Shad are in abundance.

Richards Bay produced some Milkies on most bloody baits. Anglers found that by using Chokka baits, the Milkies took longer to locate the baits and a wider variety of species were caught. Shad and the odd Diamond were also caught throughout the day, which means that there is a strong Shad presence and the Diamonds have stayed in the area for the Shad.

Salt Rock is also producing Shad and some small Greys on throw baits, as well as some nice Snoek on spoon. This area has been busy with fish activity and the Snoek have been spotted daily by divers.

With spinning becoming more and more popular and anglers being in the market for a decent spinning reel to target Snoek, Kingfish, Kob and Garrick this winter, Daiwa has released its latest Exceler range of high speed spinning reels! These ultra smooth, ultra strong reels have been put through their paces with some of our countries strongest fish and have come out on top. Available in sizes 1500, 2500, 3000 and 4000, there is a size for every spinning application and with features such as the Aluminum body and air rotor, this reel is the ultimate in light spinning reels.

Ballito has yielded some Shad in the early mornings on spoon and bait. Spinning enthusiasts have also been trying for Snoek off the points with less success than the Salt Rock / Sheffield area, but still seen some action.

Central – Umhlanga Lighthouse also saw some Shad and Grey sharks in the 5-8 kg range as well as a few small edibles. Virginia has come back with good catches of Shad and Pompano off the pier. Blue Lagoon has also seen some Shad and although most were on the small side, they have been increasing in size and quantity too.

The north bank still remains the top spot for spinning enthusiasts with good Shad catches and a few smaller Kingfish. Durban piers have been quite active with Shad, Pompano and Grunter being caught. The beachfront areas have also been productive with Shad, Grunter, small Greys and decent sized Pompano. The Bluff is starting to get small Shad and there have also been reports of Musselcracker.

South – Toit was an interesting spot to be in last week. Anglers off the rocks were catching Scotsman and Slinger which is strange as these are predominantly deep sea fish. Shad and Garrick have been sporadic in the Toti and Warners areas. Illovo had plenty of Garrick action with 13 being caught on Sunday. Most fish were caught on live baits although some were caught on plug and spoon.

Umkomaas was very active with netters trying to net a small pocket of Sardines. Scottborough also had 2 pockets of Sardines but they were too far out in the deep. Some Shad and Pompano were caught off the rocks. Hiberdene saw a few early morning Shad. Sandspit was the place to be with a Shad smash and a crowd of 300 anglers strong. The Shad were on the bite from sunrise to sunset. Most of these fish were undersize but a few got their bag limit of size fish. The wildlife officers were on duty to check bag/size limit.

Port Shepstone was quiet as well as the rest of the lower South Coast. Port St Johns has had good Garrick and Shad catches. The points are also working in the Transkei with Raggies, Kob, Garrick and Shad all coming out. The whole area has large shoals of Sardines with plenty of Dolphins and Birds.

Harbour – Durban Harbour has been on form recently and seems to be fishing better and better as the temperature drops. The deeper water was definitely the more popular area over the last week, with the majority of catches coming from the Channel or closer to the mouth.

Smaller Pickhandle Barracuda have been landed on lure in the Wilson Wharf area, as well as plenty of anglers having fun with Mullet on bread and Sardine around the same areas. Grunter of 5kgs have not been uncommon over the last week and have been taken on Cracker as well as a neatly presented Sardine fillet bait.

Ski boat:

North – Ski boaters have had an interesting week and some excellent fishing. Up north,the Couta have been in full force having been caught on most days by charter boats and local anglers. Maphelane has been fishing extremely well and has had good catches of Couta, Snoek and also the odd Queen fish. Most of these fish have been caught on bait, with the majority of Snoek being caught on smaller lures or spoon.

The action does not stop there as anglers in the Richards Bay area have been catching what seems to be an endless supply of Geelbek on the deeper marks. Along with the Geelbek, other species such as Daga, Rock Cod and other General red fish have been plentiful. Bottom fishing from Richards Bay and down has been excellent and has put anglers into winter bottom fishing mode.

Along with the good bottom fishing, anglers from Zinkwazi down to Westbrook have all had good success with the Couta and Snoek, with a few of the Paddle Ski anglers taking home Couta over 30kgs. A few Dorado are still hanging around in our waters as anglers fishing out in the deep have managed to land some good specimen up to 14kgs.

Central – Durban has come alive with action and has seen a cracker of a week with Snoek fishing as well as bottom fishing. Blue Lagoon was on fire for the most part of the week and had boats and Skis catching anything up to 10 Snoek per angler. Most of these fish were landed on Red Eye or Sardine fillet, with the odd larger fish up to 8,9kgs coming out on spoon. Brad Jardim managed a respectable fish of 6,5kgs on light tackle using only 15lb Gatorbraid with a small Sprat spoon. Well done Brad!

Geelbek have made an extremely good appearance and many of the Durban boats have caught good numbers off Glen Ashley and the Bluff. With the Sardines present off the South Coast, anglers have managed a few Garrick off backline. This is the start of the Garrick and anglers will start getting more and more off Durban from this point, with Winkelspruit and the Cutting being other hotspots.

South – Further south, Tuna, Garrick and Yellowtail have been caught in and amongst the Sardines along with a number of larger Couta.


Bass – Inanda dam fished well over the last week, producing much better catches than the previous few weeks. During the week, a few anglers fishing with crank baits and spinner baits hooked into a few fish between 1,5kgs and 3kgs close to Durban Bay. Many smaller fish were landed on jig and Texas rigged plastics in the same areas, but due to the clarity of the water, anglers found that the bite was better in the deeper water with white plastics producing better bites. Anglers fishing off kick boats in Durban Bay also had good fishing, surprisingly enough on Buzz baits.

Albert Falls fished well and seems to be back to its record producing form. Many reports included the phrase “personal best” and many of the juniors managed to boat larger fish. The weekend saw good fish at the river mouth and at Kyalami Bay, using spinner baits and jigs fished deeper and extremely slow. In this cold weather, many anglers will prefer the use of jigs and other soft plastics that can be fished very slowly in deeper water.

Generally, slow moving baits which have very little action such as Dinger style baits produce more bites as the Bass feel that there is less of a chance of the bait evading capture, a slow moving bait is an easy meal. Jigs are bulky and if fished slowly in the right areas can imitate many kinds of forage and is as versatile as can be.

Carp – Shongweni has fished well over the last week and has produced fish on conventional tackle and on larger boilies. Tiger nuts have produced very few fish recently, leaving boilies champion of the baits. In the dropping temperature, Anglers have been getting extremely cold over the last week but have been productive. Here, tiger nuts have worked well and smaller boilies have also produced good fish. Albert Falls has been slower and produced far fewer fish than in the previous weeks. This could be due to the boating activity or the drop in temperature/pressure.

Towards the end of the week’s fishing, anglers did manage to hook into some good fish at the public slipways and off the boats around the river sections. It is highly recommended to fish the river section at this time of the year and if done correctly, this can produce more fish than most areas. Correct anchorage is the key, along with a stealthy approach and well-presented baits.

Calling all Fly Fishermen / Fly Tyers, the Durban Fly Tyers Society will be holding a clinic on Saturday the 4th July from 9 – 12 noon, at The Kingfisher, 53 Hunter Street, Durban. A variety of fresh and salt water patterns will be tied and any questions will be welcomed and advice openly offered.

The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday, Wednesday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Tuesday 8:30 to 17:00, Saturday 8:00 to 13:00 and closed on Sundays.

Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to or fax 031- 368 4007.



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