Coast KZN

30 Jun 2021

FishEagle: More sardines yet to come

(North Coast Courier: Sealice) Picture: Vanisha Moodley: Sunnyside Snaps. The main action was at Scottburgh last week, where a number of nets were brought ashore.

The 2021 sardine run is already said to be giving last year’s run a run for its money and the Sharks Board says there is still more to come. Netters are recording large hauls with some struggling to bring their bulging nets to shore! In some instances, nets were opened and beachgoers invited to take as many sardines as they could carry.

Some netters have found more than sardines in their nets. Snoek, shad and even the odd Prodigal Son have been caught in cast nets at times. There have been memorable sights of big sharks attacking full nets right onto the sand.

Near-perfect weather conditions throughout the week didn’t do much to cool waters down below 21 degrees Celsius, and this kept a lot of the fish out in deeper waters.

The netting continued down South Coast way throughout the week. The main action was at Scottburgh, with some more nets further down south.

The main action was at Scottburgh last week, where a number of nets were brought ashore.
Photo: Vanisha Moodley, 
Sunnyside Snaps.

Sardines were also spotted as far north as Tinley Manor, but well offshore, so it seems as if the sardines are now spread all along the South Coast and well into the North Coast. Early on Saturday morning there was a successful net just north of Addington Beach, and several pockets were spotted heading north between La Lucia and Umhlanga Rocks.

A massive shoal at Doonside near Amanzimtoti was accompanied by game fish and sharks, with the usual gannet activity. No doubt there will be more sardine activity in Durban this week and the tides should be favourable for the sardines to move in close in-shore.

As expected, there was some hectic surf angling action down south, with shad making up the bulk of catches. Most were over the legal limit size with several big shad being caught.

Margate Pier was working well again, as were several of the popular South Coast angling spots. Those anglers using spoon landed snoek, shad, garrick and a couple of sizeable kingfish. Other anglers preferred to target the big sharks near nets loaded with sardines. These guys had some hectic battles, losing some but also landing a few of these big predators.

Anglers fishing at night down south have been catching some decent size kob plus the odd big stumpnose and grunter. Umkomaas has been a popular angling spot recently and anglers targeting shad have caught fish well into the night. Because of the ever-present criminal element, anglers are fishing in groups with people watching over parked cars. Unfortunately, these spots are crowded and fishing has been uncomfortable at times. But just about everyone has returned home with a fish.

Tides have not been in favour of early morning anglers. Most shad have been caught when the tide has been on the rise. Local anglers working the surf have found fishing a bit quiet.

With a better tide this week, plus pockets of sardines having passed by, the surf angling should be more productive.

Off-shore anglers told me there are bits and pieces of sardines all over the place out deep and fishing has been suffering as a result.