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11 Mar 2023

#FishEagle: Good conditions for game fish anglers

(North Coast Courier: Sealice) Picture: Now that the crayfish season is open, anglers targeting pompano can add crayfish to their bait collection.

Improved weather and a water temperature of around 26 degrees gave game anglers some great opportunities last week. Anglers found a few couta in the Westbrook and Umdloti areas during the early mornings, but as usual had to beware the sharks that operate in these areas at this time of the year. Dorado seem to be sticking around again this year, and tuna are still feeding in the deeper waters. Shoals of bonito were seen off Durban last week and a number were caught for those needing bait for billfish.

Snoek were feeding on sprats in some areas and a few big fish were caught by those working close to the backline off Umdloti during the week. Big snoek were also caught just off Blue Lagoon as well.

Apparently anglers venturing out to the 36-40 fathom areas have found some big rock cod and the usual reds on the reefs. The bottom anglers should find the weather turning slowly in their favour for a month or two. The odd dorado was still being caught among the ships and I believe one or two wahoo were caught as well.

Local rock and surf anglers found the fishing conditions a bit tricky at times with a wave reading of two metres towards the end of the week.

Those fishing for edibles were mainly targeting stumpies, plus hoping for a pull from a pompano and a couple of the guys were rewarded with a couple of nice fish. Now that the crayfish season is open, anglers targeting pompano can add crayfish to their bait collection. Catching crayfish is not that easy these days because of continuous poaching and the guys are having to dive deeper to find decent sized bugs. A word of caution. Fisheries officers were operating on the South Coast last week and a number of anglers were fined for offences such as having no fishing permits or being in possession of undersized fish, so make sure you are operating within the law.

There seems to be plenty of kingfish around at present, so anglers should target these fish from the local deep water rocky outcrops.

Light tackle anglers have also been having some fun catching the smaller fish in the shorebreak.

Inedibles such as sand sharks and the various ray species also provided some excellent fishing last week. A few sandies were caught but it was the big rays that provided most of the sport. As long as the water temperature remains high, these summer flatfish will continue to provide excellent sport. It has been a good summer angling season so far but fishing further north is problematic present because of the dirty water from the flooding rivers.

Along the Durban beachfront and in the bay, big grunter continue to be caught. It has been a brilliant grunter season so far and friends of mine that specialise in fishing for grunter at their favourite angling spot north of Blue Lagoon, have caught a number of big fish with three or four weighing more than six kilos.