WITH warmer weather steadily settling in, anglers should start seeing off the tail-end of the winter fish.
There were good rains along the coast recently and a few rivers have already started flowing and discolouring the sea. This is good news for anglers who are targeting some early-season flatfish. Already reports are filtering in that some skates and the odd average-size sand shark have been accounted for. The south coast has seen a surprising amount of garrick being reported.
Anglers who chance their arm at fishing with a live shad have had good results, but live mullet have also produced results and are a much better option.
Areas like Green Point, Illovo and Toti have reported decent catches of garrick, and favourable reports have come from spear fishermen in the Isipingo area where large shoals of garrick and snoek have been seen.
With the shad ban in place, there is not as much activity on the beaches as usual, but those anglers who are fishing for brusher in particular have had some good results in the Twini and Doonside areas in the south and along the La Mercy stretch in the north.
Fishing in Durban bay has for some time now produced some excellent angling as far as grunter are concerned. Some specimens in the five-kilogram range have been reported and many average-size fish are also being taken. There are also reports of the odd Natal snoek being caught.
Garrick angling along the north and Zululand coasts is still in full swing and some good results have come from the Tugela north bank, Amatikulu and the Richards Bay piers. The odd big kob is still being accounted for by anglers targeting garrick.
Locally, fishing has been a bit slow due to the adverse weather of late and not many favourable reports have come in.
Terry Nel reports that in the Port Edward area a lot of action has taken place in our estuaries, and kingfish up to the five-kilogram mark, rock salmon over two kilograms and sea pike of four kilograms have all been caught and released.
Most of the fish have fallen victim to dropshot and poppers. (Dean Pretorius popped into The Kingfisher a few days ago and purchased a remarkable outfit for this type of fishing — a Team Daiwa TDX 6’10” light spinning rod and a Team Daiwa Sol 2500 spinning reel. He and his son must have had a lot of fun catching those fish.)
On the rock and surf side, not much apart from small reef fish have been caught and the sea has been clean and calm most of the week.
The Defence Force nationals are taking place in Durban this week and we hope that 88 anglers fishing for five days can produce some good weights from the area. We wish them the best.
Fishing in the Transkei is still good, but the garrick and kob seem to have disappeared for the season and most anglers have turned their attentions to bigger fish such as sharks and flat fish.
Ski boats are mostly concentrating on bottom fishing and the daga and geelbek salmon are the main target species, but marauding sharks have made for some interesting fishing. General bottom fishing as far as “reds” and rock cod are concerned is a bit on the slow side but should start picking up. As far as game fish are concerned, there are quite a few good-size snoek on both north and south coasts, but these fish seem to be targeted more by the fishing skis than ski boats.
Anglers taking a chance and venturing up to Cape Vidal can expect some good angling if the conditions permit. Some early season couta have been landed along with dorado and smaller tunny.
Mike Laubscher reports on the first dorado for the Durban season: “This was one of the few days when a client asked to stop fishing because we were catching too many fish and he had no more energy to fight them.
“The sea was gorgeous and flat, the water was blue and so clear that we could see our lures running 30 metres back and three metres down. The water temperature was 23,8ºC, there was a light south-westerly wind which later changed to a light north-easter — perfect conditions for a comfortable day out at sea.
“We headed out to the deep and at 150 metres depth started fishing on some of my older marks that I have not used for some time, and this is where everything went mad and reels were screaming, rods bending, some multiple hook-ups and it just didn’t stop.
“The first forado (Mahi Mahi) for the Durban season were on deck, two nice-sized bulls, and we lost another one.
“The yellowfin tuna were going berserk and would not leave us alone, and we even managed some kawakawa and a bunch of tropical yellowtails.
“We only fished for around four hours, but our catch for the day was something else, with four species on deck and a total of 37 fish, including the two dorado (Mahi Mahi), 24 yellowfin tuna, four kawakawa and seven tropical yellow tails.
“What a day, the one we dream about.”