Proposed cost of recreational fishing permits to be reduced

2010-04-17 00:00

WITH continuing good weather, anglers seem to be getting some good results. Shad have been coming out at most known spots and the average size also 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 Winklespruit.

Some very nice stumpie have been reported from the Isipingo, Doonside and Greenpoint areas. A good specimen of six kilograms was landed in the Park Rynie area recently.

There are also reports of some good grunter fishing on the Umkomaas north bank and the rivermouth areas.

Although generally on the small side, a few very good fish in the four-kilogram range have been landed recently. Among the grunter a number of shoal kob have been landed.

The inedible species are keeping anglers busy, and there are good reports of fish on the north and south coasts. A few nice size sand sharks have been caught in the Tinley, Ballito and Tongaat areas recently, together with some brown rays.

A few honeycomb rays have been reported in the Illovo and Greenpoint areas. Good catches of sand sharks and skates have occurred in the Umdoni area.

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

Shad angling is as good as it can get, with nice-sized fish coming out in the Brazen Head and Poens­kop areas. Zululand is still producing some good catches of flatfish and sharks, particularly on the Tugela north bank and in the Mtunzini areas.

Some encouraging news from the Tugela area is that quite a few lobotes have come out recently together with grunter and smaller kob. Small spinner sharks have also become a menace here for anglers targeting edible fish.

Finally, some good news for us anglers about the proposed fishing-fee hikes. According to a report by the Mercury’s Melanie Gosling, the proposed price hikes on recreational fishing permits are “way too high” and will be reduced to a more realistic amount, Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat- Pettersson announced recently.

She also said that marine and coastal management (MCM) will be transferred in its entirety to her department, ending speculation that some sections will remain under the control of the Water and Environment Affairs Department.

In a pre-budget briefing yesterday, Joemat-Pettersson said that new, “more realistic” levies for recreational fishing permits than those currently proposed will be announced soon, and will be based on the consumer price index.

Some of the proposed price hikes were up to 500% higher, causing an outcry among recreational fishermen. A crayfish permit had been set to increase from R85 to R500, and an angling licence from R60 to R200.

And, on the freshwater side, the KZN Fly-fishing Association will host the next round of the KZN League tomorrow, to be held on the Bushmans River in the Giant’s Castle reserve.

Fishing will take place from 8 am to 4 pm in a continuous format of two-hour fishing and marshalling sessions in marked beats. Junior anglers will be paired with seniors. Although entries to this round are closed, any interested fly-fishers are welcome to come and observe the league set-up and chat to the regular anglers on their marshalling sessions.

For more information, contact Linda Gorlei on 083 631 5301 or visit www.kznffa.org

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