Local sport

#FishEagle: High seas put angling on the back burner

Unforgiving southerly gales and monstrous swells brought a halt to fishing activities in the past week, with even the most avid anglers deterred by storm-like surf conditions.

There was no opportunity for any meaningful fishing taking place from the middle of last week.

Monster southerly gale force winds caused massive swells and storm-like surf turned even the keenest angler’s mind off a trip to the water.

The sand was stripped from some local beaches leaving just bare rock, with wild surf crashing against the built-up sea walls.

Monday and Tuesday were basically the only days the sea conditions allowed fishing before the rough surf caused havoc the rest of the week, including the weekend.

Umdloti beach looked like a disaster area on Saturday morning with bare bedrock showing and no sand visible as it was all scoured out.

Stumpies were the majority of the edible species caught locally but the anglers had to put in the time to land catches.

Most of the stumpies caught at present are average sized. Most of the guys are fishing the rocky outcrops targeting copper bream along with the stumpies and other species usually found among the rocks.

I would think that once the anglers are able to get to the rocks again, there are going to be many gullies and holes scoured out.

Early week surf angling news from down south were of some small shad.

Caught during the early mornings in some areas, several nice-sized pompano along the upper South Coast, plus some small salmon and a few nice stumpies.

It seems as if the stumpies can be found along the entire coast at present.

It is still a bit early to expect shad, as well as the garrick that follow the small shad up the coast.

The most popular baits used last week were sardine, squid and sealice for the pompano, with some anglers using mixed grill baits of sardine and chokka.

Shoals of bonito continue to be plentiful over a wide area at sea, especially in the outer anchorage areas.

During last weekend’s Durban Ski Boat Club competition, competing anglers all said that live bait was scarce. Some anglers resorted to using live bonito as bait for the couta, with excellent results.

The game fish grounds in the Bluff area produced much of the barracouta caught last week before the swell arrived. Some of the couta exceeded 15kg in weight. Snoek were caught in the Umgeni area
Unfortunately the water off Umdloti proved to be on the dirty side so little was happening there.

During the weekend’s competition, anglers had to negotiate the three- to four-metre swell at sea and fishing was not easy. Catches during the competition included barracouta, a few snoek, dorado and a very nice queenfish caught by a lady angler.

The fish mentioned were all caught on the first day and at the time of writing, the second day’s results were not available.

Early in the week anglers fishing the deeper bottom reefs again recorded some respectable catches.

Big rockcod of several species, nice-sized soldiers and even a few decent shoal kob were pulled in.

Sharks, of course, continued to be a big problem and many quality fish plus traces were lost, leaving anglers frustrated.

By late Sunday afternoon the swell at sea was moderating nicely and was measured at seven foot. The storm surf had also dropped to a wave height measuring six foot.

Some rain is forecast for the beginning of the week but conditions should then settle.

Fishing should be back to normal with the offshore guys able to launch and the rock and surf guys able to fish their favourite angling spots.

I would think that the rock and surf guys will be targeting copper bream and stumpies while the good run continues.

Offshore anglers will probably spend much of their time dodging the sharks on the bottom reefs after trying for game fish early in the morning. Anglers will be hoping that the winds will be a thing of the past but nothing is guaranteed these days.

Stay in the loop with The North Coast Courier on FacebookXInstagram & YouTube for the latest news.

Mobile users can join our WhatsApp Broadcast Service here or if you’re on desktop, scan the QR code below.

Back to top button