Coast KZN

05 Sep 2023

#FishEagle: Garrick run on the uptake

(North Coast Courier)

It was a rough week once more as another cold front moved in during mid-week, bringing with it strong southerly winds creating rough seas. It was a good beginning to the week with sardines being netted at Mtwalume on the South Coast and favourable weather making for good fishing conditions on Monday and Tuesday. This changed by Wednesday. Until then fishing was lively, and the rock and surf anglers managed to catch a number of Garrick feeding at most of the recognised spots such as north of the Tongaat River mouth and Chaka’s High Rock.

It certainly seems as if this year’s run is going to be really good. Shad catches seem to have eased a bit, but a fair number of fish were still caught during the early morning periods at the usual hot spots. South Coast anglers said the shad were “thick” in some areas and mostly over the limit size. Since the shad move up the coast from the Cape, they do not mind the rough sea and surf conditions. Other areas producing shad at present are Blue Lagoon, where there is always a big crowd, the Durban North beaches, while Umdloti is now becoming more consistent.

Young Mackenzie Garvie caught this 8kg garrick all by himself recently between Tinley Manor and Blythedale while fishing with dad, Kenneth. As the sea water slowly cools, kob or salmon should become more numerous, and already some sizeable fish have been caught in some areas. A nice salmon was brought in at Salt Rock last week, so fishing in the dark could be the way to go at present. Fresh fillet baits, catfish or mixed grill baits will all produce a decent pull but sometimes anglers should not be too keen to strike because many big salmon have been lost in this way.

When fishing in the dark, there is every chance of landing a big stumpnose and these fish seem to be quite plentiful at this time. Those preferring the rocky outcrops are finding success, especially with copper bream. Sheffield has produced a few bronzies recently and the popular La Mercy rocky outcrops are also beginning to produce a few sizeable copper breams. Stone breams are feeding well, and the light tackle guys are doing quite well with karranteen and blacktail. The rough water did create a problem for a few days but over the weekend returned to normal.

Offshore game fish anglers are still finding the odd big couta off Umdloti, with one of the fish caught last week weighing in at around 30kg. A very nice sailfish was also hooked last week by a Durban angler but some of the guys are now switching to fishing the backline for Garrick. Most offshore anglers are now concentrating on fishing the bottom reefs when conditions allow, the reason being that there are a lot of decent bottom fish being caught at the moment.

Geelbek salmon are roaming around on the deep reefs and on the shallower reefs the usual big red fish species, various rock cod, including a couple of big yellowbellies’ and plenty of half kob in some area, plus the odd daga salmon and musselcracker are keeping the anglers busy. On the inshore reefs, rubber lips and lantern bream are quite numerous, so there seems to be something for everyone.