Still good angling opportunities up and down the coast

2010-02-27 00:00

AS you sit back in your chair and read this, the bad weather has probably hit already, with some strong south-westerly winds. The good news is that the sea and weather will be back to normal by today or tomorrow at the latest.

Terry Nel of Tackle Net tells me that redeye sardines are plentiful down Port Edward way. Apart from that, the fish have been scarce. The boats have been getting the occasional big couta, but few and far between.

Bronze bream are still on the bite as well as the smaller reef species, but that is pretty much it from down the deep south coast.

In the Umkomaas area there have been shoal cob and some grunter. Aliwal Shoal has been fishing relatively well, with some smaller yellowfin tunny and nice-size wahoo.

The Durban beachfront has been producing a couple of grunter and some sporadic pockets of shad. Anglers who have been targeting skates and sharks in Durban have had some success when finding some discoloured water or persevering through the night. A few smaller diamond skates have been landed in the Ushaka area.

Unfortunately, the sandsharks have been missing somewhat this season on the north and south coasts, but the honeycombs and brown skates have made up for them.

The Durban harbour is still continuing its great season, with some fantastic light-tackle spinning action and some great grunter. Many reports have come in about Zambezi sharks frequenting the harbour right on to the banks in water as shallow as half-a-metre.

After a very successful dorado season, boats are reporting that things are slowing down, but anglers who are venturing far out to sea off Durban report that there is still quite a bit of marlin activity out there. These fish are mostly smaller black marlin, but a few striped marlin have recently been hooked.

Closer inshore, couta remain a bit elusive in local waters with the occasional bigger fish being boated.

Umhlanga has been producing some lovely- size snoek over the last week off the boat and paddle skis.

Up north the occasional couta has been reported, but snoek are still appearing and disappearing as usual.

Not too many reports have come in from the north coast rock and surf anglers — I think the crystal-clean water has made fishing extremely tough.

Tugela has been producing some labotes, grunter and snapper salmon, alongside the obvious good run of skates and sharks.

The Zululand coastline is still producing skates and sharks when the conditions are right. Mtenzeni, Port Durnford and the surrounding areas are the hot spots for this time of year and for another month at least.

The weather to look for is very hot conditions and at least one full day of north-easterly wind before you make the effort. Generally, to start on the low tide and fish the pushing tide is most effective. Generally, your target species this time of the year up there are the diamond skates, with honeycombs, browns and the occasional sandy in between.

Baits to use are redeye sardines, chokka, mackerel and bonnies, most of which you will be able to get from The Kingfisher.

At the weekend a ski boat interclub competition was held. Rod & Reel took first prize with Mapelane in at second. Mapalane member Alex McMullen contributed nicely with a couta of 16 kg.

That’s all for now. Happy angling and tight lines for the weekend.

The Kingfisher hosts free fishing clinics on its premises once a month. Booking is essential. These clinics are there to help beginners and experienced anglers see what the sport is all about and how to target certain species of fish. It also shows anglers what equipment to use and also elaborates on safety.

Shane of Freedivers is hosting a diving clinic today at The Kingfisher, 53 Hunter Street, Durban. This will be a great clinic, especially as the crayfish season opens on March 1. To find out more and to book, phone The Kingfishers sales staff at 031 368 3903.

The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday and Wednesday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm, ­Tuesday 8.30 am to 5 pm, and Saturday 8 am to 1 pm.

Please note that The Kingfisher will be closed on March 1 and March 2 for stock-taking,

The good news is that the sea and weatherwill be back to normal by today or tomorrow at the latest.

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