Out with the Sardines, in with the Shad! It’s that time of year again, where the whole family can go down to enjoy hours of fun with the Shad at many spots along our Coastline including the most popular areas such as the Bluff, Blue Lagoon, Umhlanga Lighthouse, Ballito, St Lucia and Cape Vidal. With the start of the Shad being unbelievably productive, we should be in for an excellent season.
Talking about Shad, on the 1St August, The Kingfisher starts their “Biggest Shad Competition”. This year it will be run over a two month period, August and September, with three prizes each month. The heaviest Shad for each month will receive a Daiwa SL 50SHK Reel, valued at R1625.00, the second heaviest Shad will receive a 13’6” Kingfisher Coastline Medium, three piece, 4-6oz Graphite Rod, valued at R1145.00, and third heaviest Shad will receive a Daiwa AG 6000 Reel valued at R598.00.
Please note that all Shad (fresh) must be weighed at either The Kingfisher, 53 Hunter Street or Tackle Centre, Old Fort Road or The Fishing Tackle Shop, Warner Beach during trading hours. Please remember there is a bag limit of four and the minimum size is 30cm and that the season closes 30th September, re-opens 1st December 2015.
Rock n Surf:
Kosi Bay has begun to produce the goods, starting with good numbers of Shad in the mornings which has moved steadily up the coast into Mozambique. These Shad can be caught on spoon or on bait but will often be more pleasurable to fight on a lighter spinning outfit using a Toby or Falcon spoon. These fish are a shoaling species, so when the bite slows down, stay in the same area and wait for another Shoal to move in.
A few Snoek have also been landed off the rocks around the Kosi Bay area, taken on bullet spoons cast as far as possible for Kingfish.
Maphelane has done exceptionally well with smaller edibles as well as larger species such as Kob and Garrick, which have both been targeted on lure and bait in the mornings. Anglers testing the new Daiwa D Minnow did well with the “bone “colour with Garrick and also a few Kingfish. This lure has proven deadly for Shad and has been a go-to lure for many anglers targeting them. The Shad seem to prefer a constant slow retrieve whereas the Kingfish and Garrick have enjoyed a fast ripping action.
Down to Richards Bay, the Garrick and Kob action continues, with no need for the mention of Shad, which have now made themselves fully aware of. Most of the Kob and Garrick seem to have been caught on live bait, with only one or two reported to be caught on lure, unlike the Shad, which have been unable to leave the drop shot and Falcon spoon alone. A handful of anglers have still put out larger baits in search of a larger inedible species and a few have been successful. The odd Sand Shark and Honeycomb has been taken during the day in the beginning of the week, but this was short lived with the arrival of the bad weather. Anglers fishing in the bad weather towards the end of the week still managed to land good number of Shad.
Most of the action from the Richards Bay area down to Durban has been slow, with the exception of Tongaat river mouth, which has continued to produce good numbers of fish ranging from Garrick to Kob and other species such as Grunter. With the huge amount of rain that KZN experienced over the weekend, all of the rivers came down with dirty water, resulting in discoloured seas for many km up and down the coast. This has made for excellent Kob conditions and many of the anglers who fished for Kob around the river mouths had good catches of not only Kob, but Grunter too. With the Shad moving up the coast steadily and in full force, species such as Kob and Garrick naturally move up the coast to feed on these Shad. It is advised to use live Shad or Shad belly in these Shad runs, as the catch rate will increase heavily.
Central – Most of the action that was reported last week involved Shad or Kob, and Blue Lagoon was right up there with the top performing spots. Most anglers would have got their 4 fish quota as well as a few undersized fish which went back to the water. There were a few days that the Shad were much smaller and very few made size, but this is typical for this time of year. Besides the Shad, there were hardly any other reports which included other species besides the odd Geelbek which came out at night during the week.
These tasty species of the Salmon family are usually found a lot deeper out at sea, but do come inshore when the water conditions are right. They are not fussy on which bait they feed on, however better results have been had on Sardine or Red Eye.
Snake Park Pier also saw a fair amount of action and although very crowded and difficult to fish on, saw good catches of Stumpnose, Geelbek and also Shad.
Durban Beachfront has seen few anglers over the last week partially due to the rains. The areas close to Addington such as Ushaka have all had Shad running, for the majority of the week, and although not as good with numbers, has had much better sized Shad than Blue Lagoon.
The Bluff as usual for this time of the year has picked up well and is producing fish daily. Shad are feeding well on spoon around Cave Rock, Kingfish have been caught along the Bluff stretch and Brusher are coming out consistently. With a strong Westerly predicted for Friday, we should expect the Bluff to produce good numbers of Kingfish, Brusher and Bronze Bream.
South – Toti and Winkelspruit have seen a few Garrick, Shad and Stumpnose throughout the week and although catches slowed down somewhat from the previous weeks, Garrick are still around and have been stretching the scales a touch more. Spear fishermen have spotted shoals of Kob just behind the backline, just out of reach for many of the anglers in these areas. This is when it becomes important to make use of a heavy spinning setup. Braid is a must, as well as a decent reel to handle the increased work load. The Daiwa Saltist Nero has been put to the test and has performed extremely well for edibles as well as non edibles with the use of braid or nylon. Much more affordable than the Blue Black Saltist, for an angler on a budget this reel is a must.
The action down the coast towards Umkomaas has slowed down recently, which is due to the lack of anglers in the area. The Shad, Kob and Grunter are providing good sport for the anglers willing to spend the hours in this area.
Scottborough Point has seen a few Snoek and Kingfish for Spear fishermen, as well as the odd smaller fish for anglers spinning from the point. Edibles have been slow but have been seen on the incoming tide on the river mouth side.
Down towards Margate, the Pier is still producing excellent catches, including Yellowfin and Yellowtail. Shad have not stopped biting and are if decent size.
Port St John’s has had a very good run of Kob on artificials, which include paddle tails, buck tail jigs, diving stick baits such as the Daiwa D Minnow and also on spoon. Live Shad has produced good numbers if Kob too, as well as Garrick and a few smaller Sharks. All the way along the lower South Coast, the main target species has been Shad and Kob, both of which have been in full force and taking baits readily.
In the Port Edward area, the weather conditions have not dispelled the keen and eager fishermen and even through bad wind and rain the waterfront is still busy and Shad are on the bite. Plenty Shad are being caught, a number not making size, many are kept, and disturbing onlookers especially as the numbers are far exceeding the legal limit of four a day, guys please remember that the legal size for Shad is 30cm. Shad used as live baits are paying good dividends as a number of Garrick caught on them come to the rocks. Also remember that your live bait forms part of your daily quota and also has to be 30 cm.
Surprise catches of Yellowfin Tuna are now more common proving that these fish are feeding close to the shore and many anglers have been stripped of their line being ‘taken to the cleaners by these gas bottles’. Thanks to Terry Nel from Tacklenet for this info.
Hole In The Wall has been particularly productive and has seen much larger Shad being taken on stick baits and casting divers.
Harbour- The Durban Harbour has once again proven to us that the widening of the mouth has improved the fishing. During the week, three Kob of over 5kgs were landed at various spots around the Harbour, one of them being as far in as the Round Bush area. Apart from the Kob, Rock Cod and Stumpnose have been caught in the same areas and have made very good size, particularly the Stumpnose which have been recorded at 2,5kgs and one over 3kgs. Grunter on the banks have also been of a larger sort, being caught by charter boats as well as recreational anglers during the week. For those who are keen to do some spinning in the harbour, there have been a few Kingfish around, but the main fun is to be had with the Garfish which have been taking small spoons and Strike Pro Jerk Baits.
A small Halco Rooster Popper has also do the trick from time to time. These fish prefer a slightly slower moving bait, so slow down your retrieval if you do not get many strikes. If you are getting strikes but are not setting the hooks, remove the hooks from the lures and tie 3 or 4, 3cm lengths of shredded stockings to the hook loops. This will get caught in the Garfish’s teeth every time and will also not damage the mouth.
North – The flat seas have made Ski boat and Paddle Ski fishing a breeze over the last week, which was ended abruptly by the icy cold weather and rough seas brought through on the weekend. From the North Coast, we have received very few reports of fish being caught out at sea, a few anglers managed to put fish in the hatch during the week, the odd Couta, Snoek and Kingfish which have been smaller than average. The only spot which produced the goods was Maphelane, with good sized Snoek being caught all week. The next spot along the coast which produced fish was Richards Bay, seeing more Snoek and Couta. The Couta have been few and far between, but are making decent size. Bottom fishing seems to be the way to go in these areas if it is dinner you are after. Tugela is the one spot which has consistently produced fish this year and has not stopped yet. The bottom fishing has been out of this world recently and Geelbek, Rock Cod, Slinger, Cracker and Daga Salmon have been on the bite daily. Game fish have been slower but still around, with Garrick being the main target species at the river mouth.
Local – Durban seems to have had its fair share of Tuna over the last week, as well as a few Snoek here and there for those who out the time in. The Bluff saw the lion’s share of Tuna with Jet Ski anglers catching up to 5 fish each session. These fish have been caught along the 50m mark, trawling Rattlers and Halco’s at around 15km/h. It is often a case of getting a bite and maintaining the same speed in order to get the second bite. If the Ski or boat is taken out of gear or slowed down, the second lure will not get a bite.
South – Anglers on the South Coast struggled for fish but had a few good days where Snoek were landed, particularly in the Winkelspruit area and Umkomaas stretch. Sprat Spoons and strip baits worked wonders in these areas. For certain anglers, one technique that worked extremely well was trawling two spoons out the back of their Ski. The two spoons were let out the same distance and trawled as fast as possible. Anglers on the lower South Coast in the Port Edward Port and St John’s areas had a good time with the Yellowtail and other bottom species such as Cracker, live Mackerel was the key to success for these anglers.
Bass – For the last two weeks, anglers have found a good pattern for most of the dams that they have fished. Albert Falls has seen good fish on crank bait and drop shot off the drop offs, Inanda has had fish feeding well in the grass and Midmar has had good results in the afternoons on crank baits off rocky points. Over the last week things have been a bit different for many of the anglers and with the cold weather pulling through, many have had to change their game plan. After becoming dependant on one technique, most have found it difficult to change, but after a few hours of trying, have got used to a new style.
Albert Falls fished very well on the drop offs using larger plastics such as Ol Monsters and 8″ Senkos. A few anglers even found themselves being smashed in the shallows by huge fish on the new range of Kingfisher frogs, which have been undergoing testing. It is with no doubt that these frogs are by far the most life like on the market and have been effective as any other for half the price. Inanda dam has fished much the same with the larger fish being landed on spinner bait, which has been slow rolled along matted or reeded shorelines. After very metre, the spinner bait should be paused and allowed to sink slightly, which allows the skirt to flare. The bite usually occurs as the line is tensioned again and the blades start spinning.
Carp – A very cold weekend of Carp angling has passed, and without doubt has been one of the best weekends this year as far as Carp angling goes. Many of the fair weather anglers would have packed up their tog and gone to enjoy a cuppa at home, but the anglers who stayed on the water and continued to stay positive, the fishing at Inanda and Shongweni was on fire. Whether it was the rain or wind or the temperature drop, the fish came on the bite late on Saturday night and did not stop till the Monday afternoon. Many anglers resorted to using simple rigs and mouse trapping, as PVA systems did not survive in the rain. The fish were caught mainly on Tiger’s and smaller Boilies, but were also caught on conventional tackle during the day.
Barbel anglers also had a bit of fun in the evenings, catching smaller fish on Chicken livers in the shallows at Shongweni dam. A small feeding area can also be made for these fish close by, which should start to froth with fish as the sun goes down.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.