Coast KZN

19 Nov 2021

FishEagle: Anglers face many obstacles

(North Coast Courier: Sealice) Picture: Graham Ludwig shows off a 9.3kg Bonito he caught off Ballito on Saturday.

Beaches along the coast are polluted, and so too is the bay. And to make it worse, rivers running out to sea create dirty water conditions.

With no fishing allowed in the surf along most of the lower North Coast and the harbour, anglers are hard pressed to find suitable angling locations. Available beaches are crowded and outsiders are not made welcome at some popular angling spots.

Early morning anglers are still fishing at Durban’s northern beaches despite the closure. One angler claimed he was unaware of the ban and was fishing when weather permitted. He admitted most of the guys were targeting shad, despite the shad season being closed. At Blue Lagoon, a fairly large crowd was targeting shad and several anglers ignored the legal bag limit of 4 fish. Some ‘cowboy’ anglers fished as well and it was surprising that a fight did not break out.

Garrick were feeding among the shad and I saw at least 4 good sized garrick caught. A couple of anglers had problems landing their garrick though, because they got no help from fellow anglers as fish swamped up and down near the water’s edge.

Illegal targeting of shad is also occurring near the Tongaat River mouth. This area has always been a popular and productive fishing spot, with excellent daga salmon catches at night. Anglers now avoid venturing out there after sunset, however, as it is no longer safe.

Rocky lower North Coast angling spots present the best fishing prospects right now, but some adverse weather has been predicted for the week ahead

There are still a few copper bream around, as well as the usual stumpie and other species normally found feeding in the rocky outcrops. Surf conditions were ideal last week for fishing among the rocks, but results were poor.

Most of the offshore interest at the moment is focused up north at Sodwana Bay for the annual billfish tournament. This is a catch and release tournament and a few KZN anglers are taking part again this year.

Other action is just south of Cape Vidal, where fishing was said to be hectic at times. A number of game fish have been caught recently, including barracouta, dorado, tuna and snoek, and also some wahoo and billfish. Cape Vidal can be a great location for offshore anglers, but the wind can be problematic at times.

Local anglers have found dorado becoming more plentiful and the guys continue to haul in big yellowfin tuna and bottom reef fish.

It is still early days for this year’s game fish season but there are great expectations after last year’s barracouta run.

At the moment anglers are still fishing for garrick along the river mouth backline areas. Last week surf conditions were great and several garrick were caught along the backline, especially at Umgeni where garrick seem to be concentrating.