And the Sardines keep coming! After weeks of Sardine action, the run hasn’t stopped yet, with even more good fishing happening now than in the previous weeks. Game fish have been plentiful, Sharks have been abundant and the Sardines are hanging around long enough to let anglers enjoy the fun.

Rock n Surf:


With most of the action happening down south with the Sardines, the North Coast spots have been relatively quiet in comparison and seem to be slowing down somewhat. Kosi Bay seems to be struggling for larger fish but has yielded a variety of smaller edibles such as Bonefish, Pompano, Shad and Stumpnose.

Further south at Cape Vidal however, things took a slightly different turn and provided hours of good angling with excellent sized fish such as Cave Bass and Stumpies as well as some very nice Pompano. Chokka and Red Eye mix baits have worked well, however fresh Sardine will do well at this time of the year too.

Maphelane had a decent week seeing some lovely Stumpnose as well as a few shoal size Kob.

Richards Bay also struggled to produce quality fish and has only had Spinner Sharks and the early morning Shad to bring to the party. In these quiet times, many anglers overlook the Richards Bay Harbour and its excellent reputation to produce some serious fish including Shark, Garrick, Kob and a variety of Kingfish. Anglers who fished the harbour managed to get stuck into some lovely fish including some good sized Grey Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks and also a few nice Kob.

After being a bit on the quiet side, Tugela mouth has suddenly come alive with action and reports are coming in thick and fast of Kob which are now being landed in good numbers daily. Apart from that, the Garrick have also begun to show face and as many will know from experience, this is one of the more productive areas to catch Garrick in the winter months.

The most popular game plan for this area is to take three rods with you on your trip to Tugela. Most anglers will fish for Garrick on a heavy rod with a live Shad as bait and at the same time, plug in the general area if the bait in order to draw the Garrick in. As the sun starts to set, the two Garrick rods are packed away and the medium rod is brought out to either cast smaller Kob baits or to slide a smaller bait such as a Mullet. Paddle tails such as the McArthy 5″ or 6″ are also extremely productive in this area and are highly recommended as they are able to catch a variety of species including Garrick and large Shad too.

Ballito is where the action starts; the Dolphin Coast has come alive over the last week with game fish from the Surf as well as species such as Kob and Brusher. For the anglers targeting inedibles, the main action has been with the Spinner Sharks and Grey Sharks which have been plentiful.  Snoek and Kingfish on light spinning tackle is the talk of the town at the moment and with the game fishing that we have been experiencing over the last week, it is going to be some of the best surf spinning that our country has to offer at the moment.

At this stage of the year, all areas around Salt Rock and Ballito begin to produce good numbers of Shad in the mornings and afternoons. The bite has improved and will remain at its best for the next month or so and thereafter remain right up there as one of the best Shad spots for the next few months.

Tongaat River Mouth has begun to fire on all cylinders and has been on top form with not only Pompano, but now Garrick as well, and with multiple catches over the last week, this is definitely a place to take into consideration for the upcoming weeks!

Umdloti has been one of the less popular spots for spinning over the last year, but has all of a sudden come to life and has produced a good number of fish including some lovely Garrick and Kob. The Shad have also been on the bite in this area and even the odd Snoek.

Central –

In the general Umhlanga area there were Sardines which were netted, and along with these there were a variety of fish that were landed by anglers too, including a nice Snoek of 8kgs.

Glen Ashley beach fished well and produced a few Snoek on spoon close to shore. Blue Lagoon has started to produce more Shad of late, and will not begin to appeal more to the Garrick angler.  With the increase of Shad in the area, it is generally a sign for anglers to start targeting the Garrick at Blue Lagoon at this time of the year, and as things are going now, we are in for an excellent season.

Durban beaches remain on good form and have produced good catches of Stumpnose and Pompano, Shad in decent numbers and also a few Blue Rays which is lovely to see so soon.

South – This area has been a Garrick fishermen’s dream.  There have been millions of Sardines all the way along the coast and all the usual suspects along with them. Toti has had plenty of Sardines around and has brought the fish in nicely. Garrick and Shad being the most abundant.

Winkelspruit was also fishing well and produced a casual SA record Grey Shark of 325kgs!! Apart from that, Snoek, Shad and Kingfish have been out of control in these areas, not to mention the hundreds of Garrick being landed.

Down at Port Shepstone, the Sardines are around and are holding good fish. If anglers find the Sands, they will get fish off them. Larger Sharks, Garrick, Kob and Kingfish have been plentiful. The Transkei has also seen millions of Sardines in the Waterfall Bluff area with big shoals of game fish with them. The majority of these fish have been Yellowtail or Yellowfin Tuna.  The rest of the Transkei has been relatively quiet with only a few Kob and Shad being reported. Towards the end of the week, nice edibles such as Brusher and Bronze Bream were caught.


As per usual for this time of the year, the Harbour tends to become very exciting and anglers come from far and wide to experience what winter brings up the coast. For some, it is the Kob and for others, it may be the Garrick. But for the vast majority of anglers it is about the excitement of waking up early, filling a flask with coffee, hitching the boat and getting onto the water dressed to the ears in warm clothes.

The hunt begins early in the morning close to the Harbour entrance, searching for the more often than not, elusive live bait. Once the hatch is filled with Maasbunker, Shad, Pinkies or whatever else the angler can get their frozen hands on, it’s off to their favourite spot to put a newly acquired bait out in a desperate attempt to hook into a fish that only visits the Harbour for around one month a year. The Garrick have started to bite and the time is now. Garrick were caught in the bay over the weekend and a few others were seen patrolling the banks. A bait runner reel is generally the preferred option as far as reels go, due to their ability to free spool and click over to the main drag in a matter of split seconds. The Daiwa Emcast bait runner in the 4000 size option is by far the most versatile and capable of the entire bait runner available on the market and comes in at a competitive price.  Filled with Sensor 10-12lb nylon, there is no other outfit that will outperform it. Paired to a 7ft medium heavy or 8ft medium rod, this outfit will subdue and Garrick hooked in the Bay, in fact this exact outfit accounted for a very nice 6kg Garrick on Saturday morning.

Ski boat:

North – The Ski Boat front has been relatively quiet of late on the north coast, as has the Rock n Surf angling. Apart from the Couta and Snoek at Maphelane and surrounding areas, there has been very little reported. Most of the action has started from Tugela and downward with a few Garrick making an appearance on backline and are becoming more abundant by the week. Snoek have also been relatively active along the coast all the way from Maphelane down to Umdoni point.

Local –   Blue Lagoon and Virginia have been hot-spots on the local sections, with larger fish up to 8kgs not uncommon. Most of the larger Snoek have either been landed on Red Eye fillet trace or spoon, which should be retrieved with various speeds throughout the session in order to locate the fish at certain depths. Not only have the Snoek been on the bite in Durban but the bottom fishing has turned on and has been producing some lovely fish including some large Cracker, Geelbek and some quality Daga! The Slinger have been particularly large and a 3kg fish has been common in the deeper water. In the colder water, often indicated by the turning up of the scales on a Slinger, anglers will find themselves hooking into far more Fish Tail Barbel than in the warmer waters. These fish are excellent eating and can be kept for the table. If it is other fish that you are after, move off to another reef when the Barbel are on the bite, as they will not move off and often swim in shoals of 50 strong.

South – On the South Coast, many boats have been netting Sardines and getting in on the action of the game fish with the Sards. Garrick, Tuna, Kingfish and Snoek have all been caught regularly and have been plentiful throughout this year’s Sardine run. As usual, bottom fishing along the south coast has been excellent and the Sardines have supercharged the catches. Geelbek, Yellowtail, Cracker, Daga and many others have been plentiful and making excellent sizes.

Bass –
With many families traveling down to the coast in hope of getting in on the Sardine action, most dams seemed to be less busy over the last week. Bass fishing has been slow at most waters but have had the odd cracker day and produced a few fish to write home about. Albert Falls is steadily dropping with this lack of rain we have been experiencing over the last few months but has still managed to produce fish over 4kgs for the anglers who fished deep and slow during the week. Jigs have once again proved to be the key to fishing deeper cold water.

Many of the anglers adding large trailers to their jigs have been more successful, particularly near the river section where movement and lure detection is everything.

Inanda has been the dam to be at and with no less that around 10 fish per boat according to reports, it seems that Inanda has regained its former glory. As far as winter fishing goes, this is as good as it’s going to get for the time being. Many anglers have been moving around the dam in search of spots after the recent quiet spell, which has resulted in a wealth of dam knowledge and has now put many anglers on new spots which have been fished less. Areas such as Car Body, Cactus Point and most bays between Donkey Bay and Cactus Point have produced many fish.

Fly fishing – With the temperature dropping to below zero in most of the Trout fishing destinations in Natal, most fish will definitely be preparing themselves to attempt to spawn in dams and lakes and to actually spawn in the rivers. The key to success in these times is to establish where about the Trout are in the spawn and work from there. This will help the angler determine which fly to use. If the fish are cruising in the shallows and have red cheeks (gills and jaw) they tend to become skittish and want smaller flies suspended from a dry fly such as the DDD. Some anglers have up to three flies suspended at different depths to locate these fish.  This style of fishing often entails casting out and waiting for the fish to locate the fly. The fish tent to cruise a set path and multiple casts should be made to locate these paths. It is very slow fishing, but on the bright side, the fish are larger than normal. If it is that trophy double digit fish you are after, it is now the time to get on the water!

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.

This year The Kingfisher Rod Sale starts on Thursday the 25th of June and ends on the 27th June. They have Samples, Repairs, Demos, Seconds, end of ranges etc. at really great prices so they hope to see you there!!

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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