Coast KZN

09 Jan 2021

#FishEagle_Lockdown level 3 confusion

(North Coast Courier)- Sealice Picture: Musician and North Coast local, Bobby van Jaarsveld shows off a wahoo he caught off the coast of Salmon Bay on Monday, weighing in at around 20 kgs. A second catch, a marlin, weighed in at 158 kgs.

Our eyes are set on a new year, which will hopefully be far better and more prosperous than the one past. Many will be happy to simply forget 2020, but there are those who spent more time on the beach with their lines in the water. For them the year was more productive with some memorable catches of fish.

A fair number of big shad were caught in December, a couple weighing in at just over 7 kg. There were also several around the 5 kg mark. A few big stumpnose were also caught, with the largest weighing in at just over 6 kg. One angler mentioned that he had caught two sizeable stumpies at Tongaat beach using live ghost crab bait.

On a morning before Christmas, wave garrick were really wild and fishing was fast and furious – at least until small grey sharks moved in-shore. Mullet and wave garrick can be found in several areas as long as the water remains clean.

Last week, there were several anglers fishing the drop shot method in rocky areas at La Mercy and Ballito and caught a number of fish in this style. Two anglers I watched had caught a spotted rockcod – which just made the limit size – and several juvenile stumpies which were returned to the water unharmed. A pompano of around 3 kg was caught using drop shot at Boulder Bay in Ballito.

There was considerable confusion after the return to lockdown level 3. It was announced that fishermen would be allowed on beaches provided they possessed fishing permits. But municipal officials were hesitant to allow anglers onto beaches.

The same experience awaited off-shore anglers when they attempted to launch. Members of the Durban Ski Boat Club took to social media in numbers, trying to find out whether they could launch or not. They were advised that eThekwini municipality had not given permission for the launch site to be used.

Anglers were really keen to be on the water, and for good reason with game fishing picking up quite well just before Christmas off Umdloti. Catches included a few nice sized couta, which arrived spot on time this year. Others included a good sized sailfish and one crew had a black marlin rise up and check out the lures, only to disappear again.

There were also plenty of dorado, plus some yellowfin tuna.

On the last morning of 2020, a number of craft gathered at Umdloti, obviously fishing for game fish. I saw boats fishing as far as Stud Rock at Westbrook. Favourable fishing conditions lasted until early that afternoon.

New Year’s Day was wet and windy, probably appropriate to the mood of the time, but certainly not favourable to any form of fishing.