Coast KZN

23 Jan 2021

FishEagle: Game fishing action heats up

(North Coast Courier)- Sealice Picture: Fishing by kayak off the coast of Umdloti on Monday, Ballito Ski Boat Club member Jason Pretorius managed to reel-in two snoek, weighing roughly 3.5kgs each, as well as a 10 kg tuna and couta of 12 kgs.

A couple of big crocodile-sized couta were caught at Umdloti last week along with the usual dorado and big tuna.  Numerous billfish were seen again and in the deeper waters anglers fishing for marlin experienced a couple of hook-ups.

The game fish season has been progressing well, with waters off Umdloti becoming popular. Lower North Coast game fishing angling spots have been producing and fishing spots off Ballito and La Mercy have their supporters too.  Anglers able to fish game fish grounds offshore were the ones that scored last week, owing to a storm last Friday night accompanied by heavy rain and strong winds.

Saturday was blown out by a fresh south-westerly wind. Conditions there were mainly good and the waters had cleaned up considerably.

Although there were craft fishing at Umdloti the sea did not look congested like it sometimes does, especially during weekends when game fish are running. I believe anglers pulled a few really nice fish as well.

Following last Monday night’s extension of level 3 lockdown, on Tuesday morning I was surprised to see a convoy of 7 municipal police vehicles at Westbrook Beach. They had also visited Umdloti and there was also a vehicle driving along the boulevard at Umhlanga. I saw a comment from someone which read: ‘The municipal police were doing a sterling job in protecting beaches from deadly surfers.’

There was some confusion after the minister’s so-called clarification of the new regulations but anglers were able to carry on fishing even though nobody was sure of the beach regulations.

Although not that many anglers fished during the week, a few said they were successful and had caught some decent sized spade fish and others. Those fishing the sandy beaches pulled the occasional sandie and fairly sized shark during the evenings. Light tackle anglers have caught a number of wave garrick on every outing and in-between there had been the odd bull mullet which had given the light tackle angler a run for his money.

Hot, humid weather has ensured that anglers arrive at the beach early then opt for home around about 8 am, returning for a late afternoon session of fishing around 4pm.

Durban Bay has produced some nice sized catches, with plenty of edible fish. Grunter, stumpies, plenty of kob and salmon were on the bite, with one angler reeling-in a big grunter which any off-shore angler would have been proud of.

Unfortunately the Bay is more polluted than ever. I saw a photograph taken by an angler of raw sewerage floating right where he was fishing. Plus, one has to put up with all the waste matter which is pumped into the Bay, including what is dumped by the ships at times. It is safer to return any fish caught there to the water, alive and unharmed.

On the word of excellent catches at Hazelmere dam, I decided to take a drive there. The area was nice and neat, and although there were a few anglers, the dam was not overcrowded at all. You could choose your spot for the day. I saw rods bending, and six bass weighing between one to two kilos caught and returned to the dam. All fish caught were on lure, although the southerly wind was blowing a bit, the area in which fish were caught was sheltered and one could hardly feel the wind at all.  I would recommend that anyone looking for a nice, peaceful day out, pack your braai equipment!

Remember plenty of fluids plus your light tackle fishing gear – you will enjoy the day out.