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21 Aug 2020

FishEagle: South has shad, but where’s ours?

Sealice: (North Coast Courier)

Summer-like temperatures were plentiful last Sunday when an offshore wind blew for just over half the day, causing people to flock to beaches, many with fishing tackle in search of shad.

Fishermen later abandoned their posts at the popular lighthouse beach fishing spot at Umhlanga Rocks, where scores of inexperienced fishermen had earlier flocked. Owing largely to inexperience, many fishing lines became entangled killing the fishing mood.

First light last Monday morning saw crowds back at the beach but with many of the same problems from the day before.

Anglers said that they had seen plenty of baitfish in the water over the weekend, with sardines again being netted near uShaka Marine World on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There were red eyes mixed with Natal sardines. It has been a magnificent, prolonged sardine run and the professional netters in Durban are convinced its not over.

The weather people have predicted that there will be some wind for anglers to contend with this week. It is the windy season so watch the weather reports and sea conditions carefully before planning any fishing trips. The wind should mainly be from the North East but there are reports of South Westerly winds as well and as usual, for this time of the year, the best fishing time is at first light and the high tide period will be spot on for much of this week.

I had a good look at the water at the weekend and the water had a definite ginger beer colour to it. Ideal for the kob, with anglers recording a few decent sized fish recently. Anglers fishing popular beaches at night have had a good winter season so far with several daga kob plus shoal salmon and there have been some sizeable grunter caught as well.

During the week I visited several of the popular shad angling spots and received mixed reports. A few fish on the one day, then nothing the next have left anglers a little frustrated and all have said there is too much food in the water, so shad are not moving into the surf to look for food.

On the days that the shad have made an appearance, anglers have managed 2 to 3 while the guys throwing spoon have also managed a couple of fish but catches are below par for this time of year.

Down south, anglers are catching bag limits on a daily basis with some decent sized fish among those caught. Local anglers still have 6 or 7 weeks to catch their fish before the season officially closes at the end of September.

Those fishing the rocky areas have enjoyed an excellent winter season so far with copper bream being the main target. The past couple of seasons have been excellent with plenty of copper bream being caught over a wide area. It is the same this year, anglers have caught nice sized fish at almost all of the recognised rocky angling spots.

Along with copper bream, other species such as stumpies, stone bream, a few small rock-cod and some big blacktail have been caught.

The garrick are still proving to be scarce, which is not surprising considering the amount of food in the water.  Every year one will see anglers on the beach or fishing the backline during the winter at the Tongaat River Mouth. This area has long been recognised as an excellent garrick angling spot, but now it is the middle of August and I have yet to see anyone fishing the backline there.

This can only mean that garrick fishing has been quiet and is not worth the risk of fishing the unpredictable backline. I am sure that garrick will appear at this popular angling spot in the near future.

Anglers are reminded about the Kingfisher Biggest Shad competition for the months of August and September.