Coast KZN

29 Aug 2022

E. coli contamination plagues anglers

Sealice (North Coast Courier) Picture: eThekwini Metro closed beaches from Westbrook to Amanzimtoti after high levels of E. coli were detected.

eThekwini Metro’s announcement of E. coli-plagued beaches threw anglers a curve ball last week when beaches were closed from Westbrook to Amanzimtoti. Pollution has been on the rise in various forms lately, leaving anglers scratching their heads searching for new angling spots.

Winds have begun to pump, heralding the start of the windy season. From the middle of the week we will officially head into spring, arguably the best time of the year for surf anglers when shoals of shad begin to move up the coast to spawn. Sadly, with most of the beaches being closed, anglers will have to look at areas north of the Tongaat River mouth.

At the beginning of last week sardines were seen passing Warner Beach and Isipingo, but they were out of range of netters. Some were netted at Addington Beach on Friday and Saturday. More are likely to be netted.

Off-shore commercial anglers say there are still plenty of sardines to be seen over a wide area. Fishing has been slow because of the abundance of food in the water, but plenty yellow fin tuna were to be found, with last week seeing a 56 kg tuna being caught.

Snoek have been found at times, but the fish seem to be becoming few and far between.

While anglers continue to persevere, fishing the bottom reefs with some decent hauls, good catches are hard to come by. A few daga salmon were caught last week and anglers said that half kob seem to be back on the bite. Geelbek salmon have been scarce but I heard some anglers found some and recorded nice catches.

The ever-popular red fish such as soldiers and slinger have also been a bit scarce, but that is to be expected when there are plenty of sardines around.

Some big spotted and captain fine rock cod have been caught along with the odd yellowbelly, so there are still some fish around. Remember to stock up on bait during the quiet fishing times.

Shad anglers are still battling, but a few garrick have been caught. Most of the action remains in the rocky gullies where copper bream are providing excitement. While fishing has been classed as quiet overall, it has been another exceptional season for copper bream along with the ‘bronzies’. With fishing practically dead from Umgeni through to Westbrook, water from Ballito and northward remain  is much cleaner and free of bacteria.

For those who enjoy fishing at Tugela, some nice salmon and garrick have been caught and I believe a couple of lesser sharks have also been hooked.