Summer kob Fishing

Summer Kob fishingby Brett HarrisSeeing that so many anglers prize this widely distributed fish it would be prudent to share some information on the distribution, feeding habits, baits and tactics commonly used to target this species.The Kob, commonly known throughout South Africa by many names (Kabeljou, Salmon, Daga) has a distribution along our entire coastline, from the West Coast past Cape Town up the East Coast and into the South and North Coasts of Kwazulu-Natal. Although Kob are considered as a Summer quarry in the Western, Southern and Eastern Cape the Kwazulu-Natal anglers can enjoy this species throughout the year and actually report better catches during the winter months. are essentially shoaling fish and will visit the coast line in large numbers to both feed and spawn. They can be found virtually anywhere along the coast, but prefer hunting off sandy beaches and structure protected bays. Very much an ambush predator Kob will normally look for features such as deep holes, gullies, working or rip banks. From these vantages they will feed on virtually anything the ocean can offer, well know prey would include, amongst others, Elf / Shad, Mullet, Piggy / Gorrie, Sardines and Herrings. Providing that sea conditions remain perfect Kob will remain feeding in the same area for days until the food source is exhausted or the beach and weather conditions change.Tidal rivers and estuaries such a Breede, Kabeljous, Gamtoos, Swartkops, Sundays and Fish Rivers are dotted along the Southern and Eastern Cape and are well known breeding grounds providing the nursery for future stocks of this highly prized commercial and recreational species. Over the years these river systems have notched up very impressive catches. Many believe that over exploitation from these systems coupled with the pollution and slit deposits in many of the river systems along the South Coast of KZN have led to a year on year reduction in fish stocks. This situation is severely aggravated by the commercial sector that relies heavily in Kob catches to sustain a livelihood. can be caught at any time, but generally come on the bite better at night. The most productive times are the 2 hours before and after the high tide. Kob can be caught throughout the day and favour discoloured water in and around prominent features or in deep holes. Most common baits include Chokka, Sardine, Red Eye, Mullet and Octopus legs. Neatly presented combinations of these baits can also prove deadly. Kob are generally aggressive feeders and the bite consists of two or three hard pulls followed buy a strong pull or drop. There can be times, especially in calm water when the fish can become a bit shy. The best way to counter this is to lengthen your hook snoot and scale down the terminal tackle and line thickness used. A standard trace will consist of either a single or double paternoster or slide sinker trace construction, 30 &ndash 60 lbs mono, 6/0 &ndash 8/0 hooks and a 4 &ndash 8 oz grapnel sinker. Foam can be added to float the bait, but not necessarily required. Floatation often helps keep the bait out of reach from crabs, the little toothed brigade, Barble and Shy Sharks when the fishing is a little slower.Other specialized methods include the presentation of live mullets, which done correctly are know to be the most successful tactics in targeting Kob. In the Eastern Cape it is popular amongst anglers to use weighted Rapala&rsquos and large spoons. Bounced at various retrieval speeds along a sandy sea bottom this method is a highly specialized technique, but definitely the most rewarding way to target the species.As mentioned Kob are generally aggressive feeders and a simple rule of thumb implies that the larger the bait, the quicker the bite and the larger the fish! Remember to keep your bait fresh and plumb a different spot in your chosen area until you find a pattern to how, what and where the shoal are feeding. A lazy fisherman will always be out fished by an active angler.Important Restrictions,Kob caught in estuaries and from shore (west of Cape Agulhas)Fifty centimetres (50cm) and five (Five) fish per angler with a valid fishng permitKob caught in estuaries and from shore (North of Cape Agulhas)Sixty centimetres (60cm) and 1 (One) fish per angler with a valid fishng permitIt is important to note that this once abundant species is now under threat. To ensure that we can continue to enjoy this fantastic catch for generations to come anglers must be considerate to King Neptune and his dwindling bounty. Too many fish are legally caught, taken home, never to be eaten.Tight Lines,Trophy (aka Brett Harris)

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