Classic events at Umlalazi and Durban this weekend

2010-04-24 00:00

SHAD have been coming out at most known spots and the average size seems to be getting better. These fish seem to be feeding well during the mornings, with anglers getting their quotas fairly quickly at places such as Amanzimtoti and Winkelspruit. Shad have also made an appearance on the north coast, with the Umdloti River mouth and the La Mercy stretch starting to produce quite a few fish during the past week. The same can be said for Durban and the piers, where some good bags have been reported recently. Some very nice stumpie — some up to the six-kilogram mark — have been reported from the Isipingo, Doonside and Greenpoint areas.

There are reports of good grunter fishing in the Umkomaas north bank and river- mouth areas. Although generally on the small side, a few specimens in the four-kilogram range were landed recently. Among the grunter, a number of shoal kob have been landed.

Terry Nel of Tacklenet in Port Edward reports that some good sport was had at the weekend when hound sharks and skates came on the bite. Careful planning by the local club saw members reeling in a number of these fish, giving them a good score for the competition round.

Grunter have also been reported from the Umgeni North bank and Durban bay. Numerous big fish have been caught in the vicinity of the Centre Bank area. Boats operating in the bay have also had very good results with grunter recently, and there are reports of snoek and smaller kingfish being caught as well.

The inedible species, however, are keeping anglers busy, and there are reports of good catches on both the north and south coasts. A few nice-size sand sharks were caught in the Tinley, Ballito and Tongaat areas recently together with some brown skates.

A few above-average honeycomb rays have been reported in the Illovo and Greenpoint areas, and good catches of sand sharks and skates in the Umdoni area.

The Transkei is also fishing well with favourable reports coming in from Port St Johns and Hole in The Wall. Mostly hammerhead sharks are coming out, but there has been some decent grey and spinner shark activity as well.

Shad angling down here is as good as it can get, with good reports of some nice-size fish coming out in the Brazen Head and Poenskop areas.

Zululand is still producing some good catches of flatfish and sharks, particularly in the Tugela North bank and Mtinzini areas. There is some encouraging news from the Tugela area in that quite a few lobotes have come out recently with grunter and smaller kob. Small spinner sharks have become a menace there for anglers targeting edible fish.

Boats operating off Durban are still getting the odd dorado, but couta have moved in and boats are now getting some good fish in the Durban and surrounding areas. This is a good sign for those anglers fishing in the Durban Ski Boat Club annual competition this week- end. The average fish has been rather on the bigger size and numerouscatches of over the 20 kg have been reported, so anglers can expect to see some big fish being weighed in.

Further down the coast, the Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks have lived up to their reputations recently as a large variety of fish have been caught there for the past few weeks. Some very big couta and wahoo have been accounted for, along with dorado, yellowfin tunny and a variety of other game fish. Unfortunately, sharks are now also in on the action at these venues and many hooked fish are being converted by the taxman. Fishing skis are also in on the action and some good reports of couta have come from both north and south coasts.

On the north coast, the Zinkwazi area seems to be the place, while Amanzimtoti, Greenpoint and Scottburgh have produced some very good catches during the past week.

Hilton Botha of the Umlalazi Ski Boat Club reports: “The Umlalazi Couta Classic is upon us, and it is that time of the year when our club has the opportunity of showing its potential by angling against some of the best anglers in Zululand when it comes to catching couta. Since the inception of this tournament in the early eighties (then called the Zululand Gas Tournament), we have showcased some of the best couta fishing grounds along the KZN coastline, and produced some of the finest fish, the biggest being 44,5 kg to date. As past committees have done, we have strived, together with our sponsors, fellow anglers and members, once again to present to you a tournament which firmly places us on the fishing ­calendar. In order to promote esprit de corps, rules have been kept to a minimum, consideration has been given to those who feel launching is a challenge, and a greater emphasis is placed on conservation. The entry fee is R400.

“Launching is therefore allowed from Richards Bay, Mtunzini and Amatikulu, with beach control officers at each site, namely: Richards Bay — Roy J. van Rensburg at 083 441 8235; Mtunzini — Wally Harper at 082 446 0466; and Amatikulu — Hilton Botha at 078 854 9358

“A venison spit braai and salad bar will be available after the briefing under the lapa, for those who wish to indulge a bit longer.

“Prize giving is scheduled for 4 pm on Sunday afternoon.

“Security guards will be deployed to provide security for those wishing to leave their boats at the club.”

The 2010 Durban Ski Boat Festival will be held this weekend. Top prize is a Sea Cat 565 Ski Boat (Walk Thru), complete with two 90hp Yamaha two-stroke engines, state-of-the-art Garmin electronics and a custom-made break- neck galvanised trailer, all finished off with four rod-and-reel combinations. Originally 70hp engines were to be fitted, but to celebrate Natal Caravans and Marine’s 50 years in business, the company, with Yamaha, has agreed to add a sweetener to mark this grand occasion. It is a prize worth R450 000. Certainly a chance not to be missed.

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