Coast KZN

07 Jul 2023

Sails away for big offshore sailing event

(Berea Mail) Picture: Submitted. The ORC race gets underway with Shiloh, Zing and Liquid Blue heading up to the top mark on the first day of the MSC Week hosted by Point Yacht Club.

Last Monday arrived with great expectations of sardines shoals appearing along most of South Coast’s beaches, but they were seen moving north out deep about three kilometres from the shore. A few sardines were netted in the Warner beach area but there was not much other action on the day.

On Tuesday morning a small net was hauled in near uShaka and a fuller net pulled ashore at North Beach.Then all hell broke loose as the heavens opened up and a deluge of rain fell from the sky.

A crazy “whoosher” of a south-westerly buster also came through, creating much damage.

The South Coast rivers were in flood by the afternoon pouring dirty water and debris into the ocean, and by late afternoon the rivers in the Durban areas also burst their banks and contaminated the sea. The sardines then disappeared and although the netters searched up and down the South Coast, it was to no avail.

It certainly seemed as if this year’s sardine run was done and dusted, as it would take some for the waters to clear. The only glimmer of hope was of a shoal of sardines spotted just south of the Wild Coast being hassled by birds and other predators. Rock and surf anglers did cash in last week Monday and Tuesday, especially along the South Coast beaches because of the sardines. The shad were “thick” but many were on the small side. Along with the shad were garrick as well and the guys fishing among the rocks were happy to find the bronze bream back on the bite along with a few nice stumpies in the dark.

After a good morning’s fishing on Tuesday the storm arrived and before long the sea water had turned brown, thus ending good fishing for the week. Fishing along local beaches was quite productive last week with plenty of shad being caught from the usual shad hotspots. Unfortunately, some anglers are still not observing the catch or size limits.

Many rods have been brought out of mothballs as well, and the productive areas are quickly becoming “bamboo forests”. The shad have also brought the garrick with them and the usual garrick hotspots between south of Ballito and the Tongaat River mouth are producing some nice catches. Unfortunately, Westbrook beach remains a bit of a concern at present with the sewage problem and the bridge over the Tongaat River also causing a problem for the anglers.

During the week a boat skipper reported a lot of debris plus parts of trees floating in the water 15 km out to sea. Skippers travelling out to the deeper reefs will have to be wary of the debris and trees which can cause damage to boats and engines.

The dirty water will obviously influence gamefish angling as the winds will help to distribute the dirty water over a wide area.

There are still plenty of snoek around but the couta seem to be becoming a bit scarcer as they normally do at this time of the year. This means skippers now opt to fish the bottom reefs which seem to be producing some nice fish at present. Daga salmon catches are improving with a few geelbek on the bite out deep, and in some areas some really nice half kob are being caught.

The usual red fish and several rock cod species are being caught on every outing and next week’s long range weather report is looking quite good, so sea conditions should favour those wanting to fish out deep.

Boat anglers could very well find themselves among pockets of sardines this week and this can ruin their day as the fishing will then become really quiet.

Tight lines for this week.