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29 Jul 2020

#FishEagle: Shad draws out the crowd

(North Coast Courier: Sealice Freelancer) Picture: Surf angling from Umhlanga to Durban remained quiet on Thursday, probably because of all the food that was around but early morning shad anglers found the shad back on the bite early on Friday.

Last week began with a beautiful morning at first light on Monday. Although a bit chilly, sea and surf conditions were perfect for fishing. Not long after first light, netters were busy down at Port Edward where sardines had moved close inshore.

Sardines were also netted at Durban’s Laguna Beach. There were plenty of anglers at recognised shad angling spots from Umhlanga southwards.

It was another beautiful morning on Tuesday and, as expected, shad anglers arrived early in the vicinity of the Umhlanga lighthouse. On Monday there had been about 6 anglers, but by the afternoon the news was out that shad were on the bite and the crowd grew larger, with the Eastmore guys now moving to the lighthouse.

Sardines were also netted again at Laguna Beach, where they managed to bag three small nets.

From Wednesday, they seemed to have disappeared yet again.

Surf angling from Umhlanga to Durban remained quiet on Thursday, probably because of all the food that was around but early morning shad anglers found the shad back on the bite early on Friday. A friend of mine was fishing from before first light and landed four nice sized shad on spoon. The first shad was hooked and landed in the dark.  The shad did not remain on the bite for long and, anglers had to be sharp otherwise they returned home empty-handed.

Local shad anglers should expect catches to improve from now onward and no doubt popular angling spots such as Boulder Bay could turn on big time.

This year has been another good one for the copper bream but good quality fresh bait has been a must. Fishing for copper bream sometimes is best left to the specialists who have extensive knowledge of fishing rocky areas.

This winter there have been a few outsized blacktail in some areas, plus a few big stone bream as well. Friends who fish in a group at night were out trying their luck at their favourite Durban North beach. They were targeting grunter and, on their first outing managed to catcha nice daga salmon weighing 17kgs. Two stumpies weighing in the 3kg range were also caught but no grunter.

Fishing proved to be slow on their second outing but they did manage a kob of 9kgs. The kob regurgitated a fresh sardine after being beached, showing there were sardines not far out to sea.

Surf ski anglers were out in force during the week off Umhlanga and Durban North beaches. There were plenty of snoek about again, and although quite a few fish were caught, one angler told me that he expected catches to be better than they were. He said there were plenty of bait fish in the water where he was fishing off Umhlanga.

Several guys were fishing  the backline off Durban North beaches for garrick but, for some reason, they seem to have been a bit scarce so far this year. Maybe this will improve now that the sardines are becoming more scarce themselves, and shad catches are improving.

Ski boat anglers fishing bottom reefs continued to catch some really nice fish. A couple of big cracker were caught down south last week, plus some impressive rock-cod and red fish. Daga and geelbek salmon have also made up catches along with plenty of shoal kob.

Launch conditions have been good and apparently down in Port Edward a couple of red steenbras were caught and released back to the water.

The north easterly wind was blowing the entire Saturday however, sea and surf angling conditions remained good but, the early part of this week could be marred by a bit of bad weather again.