Coast KZN

26 Feb 2024

#FishEagle: Snoek keep anglers in the game

Sealice (North Coast Courier) Picture: Stock image

A south-westerly wind arrived on Thursday night bringing cooler weather throughout the weekend. Although fishing conditions were not always in anglers’ favour, the surf ski and ski boat anglers found snoek in Durban and Durban North waters last week. The shoals of sprats have certainly ensured the snoek were kept busy feeding and most catches were recorded off the Umgeni River mouth. Snoek were also caught in the Umdloti and La Mercy areas with a few couta among them.

Towards the weekend the water temperature was at 26 degrees and ideal for summer game fish.

The barracouta have not been as plentiful as in previous seasons, but it is still early days, as the fish seem to feed better during April and May on the lower north coast. Anglers fishing in the Richards Bay, Cape Vidal and St Lucia areas are catching couta daily and the recent cold water spell could have delayed the shoals from moving south.

Other game species caught recently have been nice-sized dorado and yellowfin tuna, and although the tuna have been a bit slow this year, they are increasing in numbers. There have been reports of shoals of bonito operating in the deeper water.

The windy conditions continue to ensure anglers have had reduced fishing time, so there has been no news of billfish out in the deep, although there have been plenty hook-ups in the Sordwana Bay area.

The bottom reefs continue to produce good results with the usual soldiers, slinger, rock cod and odd kob being caught. The north-easterly winds have resulted in currents running at sea and in certain areas anglers have found these to be a problem, especially if it is a reverse current. On a couple of the inshore reefs, lucky anglers have found good fishing with rubber lips on the bite, plus a few decent stumpies and small salmon – especially in discoloured waters.

Rock and surf anglers continue to find summer flatfish plentiful with sand sharks in the majority, but a few big rays have been caught as well. Several big diamond rays and the odd honeycomb ray have stretched arm muscles to the limit. Grey sharks are also plentiful at present so the guys searching for edibles have had to look hard.

The surf has been a bit rough at times because of the wind and I have seen one or two big fish lost in the shoredump recently by anglers not really equipped to catch these fish.

Recently, anglers have found snapper salmon feeding in the Blythdale Beach area and locally there has been the odd bronze bream and small salmon caught. Guys fishing the rocky gullies have found fishing to be hard work in the windy conditions and rough water. Anglers looking for edible fish could look to Durban bay where the fishing is returning to normal with grunter, some kingfish and even sea pike weighing around two to three kilos now on the bite. The sea pike is the real barracouta and will prove a lot of fun to catch. If one is a little sceptical about fishing in the bay there is always North Pier which has always been a popular spot.

The weather should begin to settle a little from now onwards and mixed conditions have been forecast for this week – some hot days with rain at times, so anglers will have to plan their fishing trips carefully.

The sea water is cleaning up nicely and down south small shad are beginning to arrive in numbers. Locally, if the warm water remains and the sea settles, anglers should target pompano.