Coast KZN

17 Dec 2023

FishEagle: Topsy-turvy fishing conditions

Sealice (North Coast Courier) Picture: Stock image. Last week’s up and down weather was very much like the fishing.

Last week’s up and down weather was very much like the fishing. Anglers reported fish caught one day, then it went dead the next. Inedibles made up most catches, with the areas from Tinley Manor northwards producing most of the bigger fish. The sandies, skates and sharks are feeding along the entire coastline, hence the difficulty in finding edible fish.

It is encouraging to see more anglers are now targeting the big summer flatfish, but also encouraging to note that just about all the sandies or skates are being returned unharmed to the sea.

Although catches of edible fish were hard to come by, the rocky gullies from La Mercy through to Tinley Manor produced a few of the much sought after copper bream, although anglers had to work hard for their fish.

Surf conditions hampered anglers at times, especially during the mid-week period, but the experienced guys persevered.

Apart from copper bream, several nice-sized stumpies were caught as well but not much else was on the bite. A few small blacktail kept a few anglers interested and I believe one using the drop shot method in the Ballito area hooked but lost a nice fish at the end of the week.

A few shad were brought in but were on the small side. Anglers should note that when fishing for shad, they should fish the shore dump area because this is where they move in to feed. A cork or top bung is not needed when fishing just over the shore dump and if the bait is moving a bit, so much the better.

Fishing the shore dump area also opens up the possibility of catching other edible species such as mullet, wave garrick or three spot pompano.

Off-shore game fish anglers found dorado on the bite again last week and they are slowly growing in numbers, but not yet as plentiful as this time last year.

Those fishing the Umdhloti and La Mercy areas for couta found them to be scarce.

A few yellowfin tuna were caught in the deeper water but a bit of a swell did not help anglers in their quest for game fish. The water temperature was not stable and fluctuated between 21 and 24 degrees, which sometimes put the fish off the bite.

It is still very early in the season, so improvement in game fishing will become a reality as soon as the hot weather settles in.

Fishing the off-shore bottom reefs continues to produce a variety of catches but in some areas currents with patches of cold water were encountered.

Cape yellowtail along with big rock cod and the usual red fish species made up catches and apparently baitfish are still plentiful.

Unfortunately, after a good day on Saturday the rain arrived during the night causing the cancellation of any further fishing plans.

Light tackle anglers fishing the Durban harbour continue to catch grunter, with a few really big fish being recorded. This year has seen an exceptional number of grunter caught and at present there seems to be plenty of snapper salmon in the bay as well.

A few big springer, small kingfish and a few of the summer flatfish have also moved into the bay.

No doubt plenty of local and visiting anglers will be looking to the coming long weekend for some productive fishing.

The long-range weather report does not look favourable, but I’m sure some quality fishing time will be found.