Coast KZN

30 Jul 2021

FishEagle- Anglers score off-shore

(North Coast Courier: Sealice) Picture: Skipper, Craig and junior anglers Cameron, Bevan and Rowan show off with the day's catches at Salmon Bay on July 11.

The first real cold spell hit the coast last weekend, bringing fresh southerly winds and creating a large in-shore ground swell. Beaches between Blue Lagoon and the Tongaat River are still closed and rough surf would have made rock and surf angling rather difficult, if not impossible. This is normal this time of year and surf anglers welcome these conditions, breaking sand banks that build up during summer months.

It seems the sardine run is now over, although pockets of the small fish could pop up from time to time along the coast. Surfers waiting for their waves just off the backline in Bluff said they have seen plenty of pockets swimming underneath them on several days last week.

This season rates as one of the better sardine runs of recent times.

As expected, there has been little angling news locally after the chemical spill that caused the closure of beaches. The heavy seas of last weekend should help clear waters. But until authorities proclaim the sea free of contamination, don’t eat anything caught between Umgeni Mouth and the Tongaat River mouth.

Up north there have been some notable catches. Some big garrick have been caught at Richards Bay, with a few big kob caught up north, too. Quite a few shad have also been feeding at first light although the majority of the fish caught have been small.

Larger summer flatfish are becoming difficult to find. Big sharks have provided some excellent sport for the heavy tackle anglers.

The South Coast continues to produce excellent catches with shad being the primary catch. Unfortunately big crowds can now be found at most of the productive fishing spots and angling has been very uncomfortable at times. There have also been quite a few heated outbursts against learner anglers from the more experienced guys.

When shad are running, anglers try to catch as many as possible before they go off the bite.

A number of really nice garrick have been nailing the small spoons which anglers have been casting hoping to hook snoek that have been plentiful at times as well. Margate Pier has been one of the more productive fishing spots for snoek, garrick and shad.

Nighttime fishing has been good, even tempting some anglers to ignore curfew. A few big kob or salmon have been caught and these have been the main target. But a number of shoal sized fish have also been caught using fresh fillet bait.

Other catches included grunter and a few very nice stumpnose. Baits used have been fillet, sea lice, cracker shrimp and prawn, also mixed grill baits made up of sardine and baby squid.

Local off-shore anglers have found plenty of snoek along the backline areas just after first light, with some nice sized fish being landed by surf-ski anglers. Small spoons with fresh fillet baits seem to be doing the trick, and the odd garrick has been caught by surf anglers fishing the backline spots.

Anglers report that there is plenty of life along the backline, and I think once the sea settles a bit anglers will return to the deeper reefs searching for crackers, big rock cod and the red fish.