Coast KZN

29 Jan 2024

FishEagle: Ongoing poor conditions test anglers’ patience

Sealice (North Coast Courier) Picture: File photo

Last week was a disaster for anglers, mainly the rock and surf guys. As expected, more heavy rain turned the sea water murky along most of the KZN coastline. In many areas a lot of debris entered the ocean, and coupled with the dirt, created conditions which made fishing near impossible.

Anglers will have to be patient and wait until the water clears before casting their lines again.

The Tongaat River mouth was basically a no go area. It was the same south as the La Mercy mouth was open and also flooded the sea with dirty water, while the light southerly wind made it worse by moving the murky water in a northerly direction.

Anglers who managed some fishing time found mostly inedible fish on the bite, mainly grey sharks, but this can be expected in the discoloured water. The local fishing spots did not produce much because of the adverse conditions, so most of the action took place a little north. Tinley Manor was one of the areas that produced some catches before the discoloured water moved in there as well. Umdloti was another area that had cleaner water for a while until the north-easterly changed things.

Just a couple of days of rain are predicted for this week so the water should begin clearing. The edible species should come back on the bite with salmon probably making up the majority of catches, but the wave garrick, stumpies, small kingfish and even small shad should move into the wave zone again.

Being in the middle of summer, the big sand sharks and rays should be plentiful now that the water temperature is remaining around 26 degrees. The most productive fishing times should be at first light and late afternoon going into the early evening.

Although the surf was pretty small for much of last week, the off-shore anglers launching through the surf were beach bound for a couple of days because of the debris in the water. There was a lot of weeds and plastic floating around which could foul up the props of outboard motors. When the guys were able to launch they found the murky water stretched far out to sea. This meant they had to travel to find clean water but this posed it’s own dangers with the amount of debris present.

Some big dorado, couta and one or two wahoo were hauled in though.

There was a bit of a swell running out deep for much of the week but it moderated by the weekend, which also had great off-shore angling weather.

It was reported that billfish were sighted and there were a couple of strikes but no reports of marlin having been caught. The game fish anglers will have to continue to fish the deeper water for a while yet until the water clears but the majority of anglers will probably opt to fish the bottom reefs. Some nice fish are feeding on the bottom and they include Cape yellowtail, the odd cracker, big rock cods and the usual red fish species.

A cyclone moved across the Indian ocean last week that caused a lot of damage in Reunion but fortunately the storm moved east away from the African coast. It is the time of the year that cyclones occur, so some bad weather could be in store for the northern coastline in the near future.