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Angling report

Shad anglers found fish hard to come by last week and from what I was told the peckers (smaller fish) were a problem, stripping fillet baits as they were cast into the water. The odd shad were caught but it was a case of 20 anglers fishing and two or three fish being landed. For …

Shad anglers found fish hard to come by last week and from what I was told the peckers (smaller fish) were a problem, stripping fillet baits as they were cast into the water. The odd shad were caught but it was a case of 20 anglers fishing and two or three fish being landed. For most of the week the water was dirty and it was only after the southerly wind on Thursday that the sea cleaned up a bit. The last couple of weeks have been disappointing for the shad anglers after an encouraging start about a month ago when some areas produced plenty of fish.
There is still time for anglers to catch their share of shad before the season closes at the end of the month, but just a word of caution. Anglers fishing at an Umhlanga beach recently were surprised when they were confronted by plain clothed guys checking permits and what anglers had caught. The fishing was quiet that morning, however there were several anglers that were found without permits and these guys were escorted off the beach with their tackle. I am not sure what happened to them but all I can say is those that catch shad after the season is closed must beware as the law enforcement is still around.
One of the regular anglers from Umdloti told me at the weekend that he fished on Thursday morning but found that every bait that he cast into the water was stripped in minutes so on Friday morning he tried a different tactic. He arrived at the beach early in the dark and cast out a fresh leg of octopus or catfish. He put his rod in the rod holder with the drag set very lightly on his reel and proceeded to fish for the smaller fish with light tackle. He said that after a while the small fish seemed to stop biting so he sat on the beach next to his rod in the holder. The catfish bait was in the water for about half an hour then the angler noticed that a couple of metres of line would peel off his reel then stop. This happened three or four times and by then the angler had removed the rod from the holder and then the line again started peeling off the reel but this time it did not stop. The angler said that he allowed about 30 to 40 metres of line to peel off before tightening the brake.
Once the slack line was taken up, the angler could feel that there was something heavy pulling the tip of his rod down. He allowed the rod to be pulled down to about 45 degrees then struck and set the hook. After a battle lasting 20 minutes, the angler landed a salmon weighing 17 kilos with some help from a friend. It was still dark when the fish was landed and although the group fished until 7.30am nothing else was caught.
A friend, Raveen, arrived at my place on Tuesday morning and showed me three nice stumpies that he had caught from a local beach early that morning. The largest fish weighed 4,5kg and the other two were slightly smaller and were caught on crab and crayfish baits. This goes to show that even when the fishing is quiet you can still catch fish if you use the correct bait, tackle and choose your fishing spot carefully. It pays to read the water and decide what species could be feeding and fish accordingly.
Sealice

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