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04 Dec 2020

FishEagle-Shad season reopens

(North Coast Courier: Sealice)

Shad anglers will be happy now that the season has reopened as of December 1, and usually a big crowd makes for the beaches on the first day of the open season. But catches have not always been what anglers expected. Although there have been a few well sized shad caught recently it is now the back end of the shad run. Usually the small, sometimes undersized, fish now put in an appearance.

The early morning tides will be more favourable this week, so I think that it will be worth a couple of trips to the beach. Shad have been showing a preference for mackerel fillets lately. I have seen anglers using sardine fillets or spoon have struggled to catch fish when mackerel has been cast into the water.

Although most anglers use a cork on their traces for shad, I have found that excellent results can be had without a cork and using a running trace. Although fishing was slow last week shad were feeding just beyond the shore break. In recent years I have found a mixed grill bait of sardine fillet and baby squid has proved to be very productive, especially if small fish are on the bite.

With the water a little discoloured, there is every chance of picking up a salmon or a nice stumpie. Arriving at the beach around 3 am could be the correct move. These days first light is around 4.15 am, and a few of the really big shad recently caught have been in the dark before first light.

The past week’s weather was not favourable for fishing. I saw a few guys battling but I never saw anything caught.

When you catch as many fish as Brad Hawkins, one is likely to end up in your mouth. Accompanying Brad is Andrew Hawkins. Between the duo, three queen mackerel, a spotted mackerel and a Natal couta were caught.

I firmly believe that if the fishing is quiet up until 7 am, then it is time to pack up and maybe try later in the afternoon and early evening.

Some very nice grunter and a few decent salmon and kob, including some big stumpies and shad, have been caught around Durban Bay. But with the highly polluted waters, one does wonder whether eating fish caught there could result in illness.

In years past I really enjoyed fishing in Durban Bay and from North Pier, but everything has changed. There is nothing better than catching big fish with light tackle in the calm waters of the bay.

Now is the time of the year that off-shore anglers begin to enjoy the summer angling season. The weather and sea conditions tend to moderate from now. This allows for some excellent sea time.

There is a nice competition coming up at Salmon Bay in a couple of weeks and I believe that off-shore angling could be really productive. No doubt anglers will be targeting dorado and big yellowfin tuna but, who knows. There could be a sailie or two caught as well.