Sardines made a somewhat welcome and surprising comeback last week when a few shoals surfaced out of nowhere to beach in the Warner Beach vicinity last Friday. Quite a few nets were taken but sadly not many fish were accompanying these shoals. Saturday anglers and seine netters alike were searching the coast for these elusive shoals but as quickly as they appeared they again did a disappearing act. Apart from the sardines, anglers are now generally finding some good fishing from the shore although not as prolific as in previous years. Sharks that are normally associated with the sardine run at this time of the year were far and few between and only a handful of these big sharks were landed. However shad have entrenched themselves all along the coast and some very good catches are being made at all known spots. Garrick are also being caught on the South Coast and in the Durban area. The Blue Lagoon has produced the odd garrick with angler Mahen Reddy landing one of about 10.5kg on a live mullet. Shad have made their appearance along all of Durban’s beaches with some excellent catches being reported. The Transvaal Ski-boat Club has just completed their annual Club Compo, celebrating their 50th Anniversary, which was fished off Shelly Beach, but with weather and sea conditions not being very favourable, not many fish were caught. However, the “Laughing Hyena” Conrad Edwards managed to boat an ignobolis kingfish on vertical Jig, weighing 27kg’s. This fish was caught on 15kg tackle and on a Diawa Exceler 4000 reel. This is a new club record and I am sure a new reel record for the Diawa Exceler 4000. (See photo) There as been some great fish landed on the Exceler spinning reels, I can think of a magnificent sailfish boated by Trevor Sweeney on an Exceler 3500, maybe we should start an Exceler club? Top lady angler, Helen Third landed a prodical son of 7.2kg’s and Chris Illing was top Junior. A great compo was held by all. This week is the turn of the juniors, with the Junior Nationals taking place from the 14th to the 18th July and hopefully Mother Nature plays her part and allows the kids some time on the water. Ski boats have had a good start to the annual geelbek and daga salmon season as good catches are being reported from Durban based boats fishing at night. General bottom fishing has also picked up well with good bags of reds and rock cod being reported. As usual hordes of marauding sharks are sometimes making fishing almost impossible.