Reports signal good sardine run

2010-06-05 00:00

SARDINES should by all accounts lift anglers’ spirits somewhat as there are favourable reports of these fish being sighted off the Transkei and some pilot shoals seen even as far north as Port Edward on the south coast. There is a lot of bird activity along these particular parts of the coast, but as yet there is no confirmed beaching or netting as the shoals are staying out at sea. With the conditions being experienced along the coast, things seem to be going the way of a good run.

Along with the imminent sardine run, shad have come on the bite and were being caught in good numbers at all the regular spots. The more productive areas during the past week have been Winkel Rocks, Foster Road, Amanzimtoti and the Umkomaas beach stretch. The Durban area and the Umgeni north bank also produced some good numbers and a few good fish around the two-kilogram mark were landed. Among these shad a few fair-size garrick have also been caught, particularly along the Illovo stretch during the early morning. These fish should start entrenching themselves along the south coast any day now.

As far as the flatfish season goes, things have slowed down quite dramatically, although there are some reports of big sand sharks and the odd diamond skate being landed. Other good winter fish that are coming out now are small kob, grunter and some very nice stumpie. A few specimens of between four kilograms and six kilograms were landed along the coast before the cold water moved in. There are also reports of some good grunter fishing in the Umkomaas north bank and river mouth areas as well as along the Durban beaches and the Umgeni north bank.

The Transkei is also fishing well with favourable reports coming in from the Port St Johns and Hole in The Wall areas. With the recent cold water spell, quite a few big ragged-tooth sharks were landed at these spots, along with hammerhead and blackfin sharks. Shad angling down here is as good as it can get with reports of some nice-sized fish coming out in the Brazen Head and Poenskop areas.

Anglers fishing in the river at Port St Johns reported some excellent grunter fishing, and the odd fair-size kob is being landed at night.

Zululand is still producing some good catches of flatfish and sharks particularly in the Tugela north bank and Mtinzini areas, although things seem to be slowing down. There is some encouraging news from the Tugela area in that quite a few lobotes have come out here recently together with grunter and smaller kob. Small spinner sharks have also become a menace here for anglers targeting edible fish.

The results of KwaZulu-Natal Coast Anglers’ Union Common Venue Round 4 have been posted on the union’s website at

Ski boats are back in action, and as far as the couta season goes, there are good reports of fish being caught on both north and south coasts. The Aliwal Shoal has produced numerous fish, and anglers there recently have had some great fun with big wahoo. These fish have been in this area for some time now and a few specimens in the 40 kg range have been landed.

On the north coast, the Zinkwazi area seems to be producing some very good fish with the Westbrook and Umdloti areas not far behind.

Fishing skis are also in on the action and reports coming from the Amanzimtoti and Scottburgh areas suggest that fishing has definitively picked up with some good bags of big couta being reported. Skis operating the Zinkwazi area are also getting some big couta, as is the Westbrook area, along with quite a few very big snoek.

A reminder to ski boats, jet skis and fishing skis is that the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) has deployed a few drifter buoys off our coastline. These are black buoys and their basic function is to gather information for ORI about offshore currents and the KZN Bight. If any of these buoys are encountered, anglers are asked to leave them alone or phone the staff at ORI. If they are encountered in the surf zone, a phone call would be appreciated by ORI staff. Contact people are: Lisa Guastella at 082 860 4043, University of Cape Town Oceanography; Sean Fennessy at 073 648 4804; and Lisa Hancke at 082 713 0270.

There will be a fishing competition at the Umgababa Marine Awareness Day. This is an initiative of the Ethekwini Municipality to bring tourism to the area and to create awareness of the marine environment.


Venue: Umgababa Main Beach

Time: 6 am

Date: June 6

Entry: Free

Prizes: category one — biggest non-edible; category two — heaviest edible (three prizes)

The competition is open to the public. Security will be provided on the beach and in the parking area. Municipal services will be in full attendance, as will the Metro Police, SA Police Force and ambulance services.

Don’t forget to watch the action- packed ESA fishing shows on TV. These shows feature both saltwater and bass fishing and are aired on SuperSport 1. The ESA saltwater show is on Thursdays at 7.30 pm and the ESA bass show on Tuesdays at 7 pm.

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