Angling: quiet time on the Coast

2010-11-27 00:00

ANGLING along both north and south coasts has taken somewhat of a knock as fish seem to have gone off the bite a little. Reports suggest that the annual garrick run has almost come to an end as summer approaches. As warmer water pushes in and the weather — hopefully — starts settling the much awaited flatfish season can kick off in earnest.

In less than a week the shad season opens and that should get all and sundry back on the beaches, but as tradition has it these fish are very scarce during the December and January periods.

Anglers who are “scratching” for bronze bream and the bigger brusher are getting fair returns.

Those willing to put in endless hours in adverse conditions have been well rewarded at places like Trafalgar in the South and along the Twini and Isipingo ledges closer to Durban. Terry Nel from Port Edward informs us that shad have been in the area and it is anticipated the shad will stay as the season approaches.

Once the season opens at the end of the month, the amount of bait and activity in the water should keep them here so ensure that your tackle is operational early or you might have to stand in line to have repairs and the like done. Last year some really nice shad were taken at the start of season.

Garrick have also been caught over the last week and as we say goodbye to the large amount of bait fish at sea this time of the year, the game fish should come in to feed.

Some small kob have been on the bite and the place to try for them is the open estuaries in the evening. (Do be careful about your vehicle safety if you park in a remote area.) On the subject of river mouths, fishermen are having a bumper time catching kingfish on lures a little upstream from the beaches.

One angler caught and released 27 of these fish in one day. Another well known angler has also had a large catch record and a remarkable fish amongst these was an oxeyed tarpon of two kilograms.

Anglers going to the Transkei can expect good shark angling. Favourable reports have come from traditional places like Hole In The Wall, Brazen Head, and the Port St Johns areas. Fair-sized hammerhead and grey sharks make up most of the catches, but the odd big Zambezi has also been hooked.

In the Mazeppa Bay area, a lot of big raggies have been hooked and landed. Lloyd Pereira from The Kingfisher landed and released a good one of 153 kg last week. There were also a few large bronze whalers and black fin sharks hooked over the past week.

On the edible side, some nice size garrick were landed on plugs as well as kob up to eight kilograms on drop shot.

Ski boats are still concentrating on bottom fishing and the daga and geelbek salmon are the main target.

General bottom fishing as far as “reds” and rock cod are concerned is still on the slow side but should start picking up.

As for game fish there were quite a few good size snoek on both north and south coasts, but these fish seem to be targeted more by the Fishing Skis than ski boats. Some couta have already been caught and seen in the Aliwal Shoal and Scottburgh areas. Although a bit early it certainly has got the Fishing Ski and Ski Boat fraternity taking notice.

Mike Laubscher reported how he spent two days to catch two fish. “On Wednesday, the weather forecast got it completely wrong. It said the wind would die down by 8 am which it did, but it also said the weather would improve from there which it did not. When we saw that the wind died down exactly on time with the forecast we made our way out to the deep, and as we were setting the spread a southwest wind of at least 30 knots came through along with a heavy rain, and so we packed up and made our way home in the snot, getting back at 10.30 am. What really made him mad was that by 11 am all was clear.” On Thursday, with “a screaming south north current” and the wind raking up four metre swells rolling in from the West, Laubscher got lucky “after seven hours of nothing” and landed a large queen dorado (mahi mahi) “which gave a really hard fight and used that screaming current to her advantage”. A bull dorado next took his lure. It was hooked quickly but managed to dish out a few whacks on deck.

Cape Vidal produced a variety of game fish with good size couta caught by Ski as well as Ski boat anglers. Other fish to come out at this venue include dorado, smaller tunny and the odd wahoo.

Further north ski boaters venturing out at Sodwana for marlin are now experiencing one of the better starts to a billfish season.

Many marlin — mostly black and striped — have been accounted for during the past few weeks.

A good number of sailfish have also been caught. Back home the boys at The Kingfisher are preparing their annual sale of samples, shop-soiled, end-of-range and demo models at month end.

Any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area please send to mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za or fax 031 368 4007, attention, Mike.

For the latest KZN fishing news presented by O.J., tune into East Coast Radio at 5.40am Monday to Friday.

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