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Angling Report – November 1, 2013

In an update on the story of the 5,4 meter oarfish that was featured in last week’s column, marine scientists dissecting the fish found that it was a female full of eggs. They could however not find any injuries or other clues to what led to the fish’s demise. Just a few days after the …

In an update on the story of the 5,4 meter oarfish that was featured in last week’s column, marine scientists dissecting the fish found that it was a female full of eggs. They could however not find any injuries or other clues to what led to the fish’s demise. Just a few days after the oarfish was found, another, measuring 4,5 meters in length, washed up on a California beach, also with no apparent injuries. This led to widespread speculation and concern around why these deep water fish are dying. Many residents are worried that the dead fish could be a sign of an impending earthquake because as much as 20 of these fish washed up on the coast of Japan before the devastating earthquake in 2011. Ancient Japanese fishermen law indeed suggests that these creatures rise to the surface to warn of impending earthquakes. To add some intrigue to this tale, a 6,4 magnitude earthquake was recorded in the gulf of California just two days after the second oarfish was discovered. Scientists remain sceptical however as there is not enough recorded evidence to build a strong case for this theory.
With every passing day the fishing conditions became more and more unfavourable last week. The surf was rough but fish-able on Monday, with the water a nice ginger beer colour. On Wednesday this had all changed as the sea turned a bit wild and by Thursday things were ugly with a south to north current running like a river. Conditions did not really improve on the weekend and the rain also did not help.
Rock and surf anglers are currently mainly targeting the rocky areas where the guys willing to put in the hard yards are catching some nice edibles. Apparently a few copper bream, blacktail, lantern bream and the odd brusher has come out recently. It has been hard work however in the unfavourable conditions, with the rough seas adding a further element of risk in trying to get to the popular gullies.
There were very few anglers fishing in the surf, but the guys I had a word with said that there was little happening except for a couple of shad, which off course had to be put back into the water. The popular Umdloti area has produced the odd grey shark during the afternoons. It was unfortunate that the weather was so bad because the water really looked ideal for the salmon – maybe this week will be a better proposition.
The Umgeni area looked a real mess after the river came down in flood and showed the huge problem of pollution, with all sorts of items washed onto the banks at the mouth. It is just another reminder how our rivers are being used as dumping grounds, with the biggest visible problem being plastic waste. Plastic is bad news in the sea and it causes the death of many sea creatures when they either ingest this or get entangled. Education is key to stopping dumping. Lets hope this will happen in time to preserve the many vulnerable species living on our coast.
As expected, there was no deep sea fishing news and the last I heard was that a few yellowfin tuna and the odd wahoo were caught on the lower South Coast by gamefish anglers. I know that local offshore anglers are gearing themselves up for the coming gamefish season and are hoping for a good one this year.
Sealice

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