Gamefishing in the Umzimkulu River April 2014

Gamefishing in the Umzimkulu River April 2014

With a spate of great catches, the Umzimkulu River has come alive with crystal clear water bubbling with live bait and predator fish. And it’s been fishing with artificials that’s been producing most of the variety. Bigeye Kingfish, Oxe-eye Tarpon, Rock Salmon and a few that got away…caught and released on imitation rapalas and Mydo Luck Shots dressed with tiny paddletails. Both in white.

And check this out…

Although a bit on the small side...that bite can only be made by a Zambezi

Although a bit on the small side…that bite can only be made by a Zambezi

Marc Lange demonstrates how...

Marc Lange demonstrates how it happened…

Marius Awcamp has encountered more sharks fishing down at Spiller’s Wharf, and check the pic of a perch bitten in half, by what can only be a Zambezi, found floating down the river. A shore angler had hooked the perch and whilst fighting it, the shark came in and grabbed it. They both held on – the perch stuck in the middle, until the line broke – the shark must have swallowed down his half and left the other?! Another angler’s big kingfish was taken at the Block by a “big dark shape”, the same “big dark shape”  having being seen lurking around the river mouth area a few days before the incident.

Ian Logie has been getting his bag of fish each time, and lost a big garrick as it twisted his line around his anchor rope, just before dark a few nights back. Marius lost a big salmon right at the slipway at Spillers…and on the whole it’s been great. It would be even greater if so many anglers would just take their rubbish away with them and not leave the banks and fishing spots littered with plastic, bottles and all sorts.

Note: Due to technical problems encountered over the last month, a few thesardine.co.za posts have been replaced by this more comprehensive roundup…

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On a barge ride full of tourists from Mantis ‘n Moon Backpackers in Umzumbe, we stuck two lures out and in the darkening evening the imitation rapala screamed and in the distance we could just make out a violently jumping very fast and acrobatic fish. Garrick was the first guess, until the unmistakable flurry of a tarpon tail walking came clear. Oxe-eye Tarpon. The real deal (Megolops cyprinoides)! We had caught a small one years before, on a jig fly…and heard of a few being caught down under the bridge on flies…but had no idea they got this big in the Umzimkulu at all. And at about 4kg’s, it would have become the new Oxe-eye Tarpon world champion – the current record stands at 2.99kg’s! Anyway, after a magnificent fight we released it healthily after a few photographs and a good bye kiss. After checking things out a bit further, and finding that although the biggest one weighed officially was 3kg’s, some 18kg specimens have been reported. But this is the crunch line. In Zimbabwe! This raised all sorts of eyebrows, as all of a sudden it dawned upon us, that these tarpon live in the river! They do not go into the sea, they go upriver, and down. They love the brown water, they love fresh water, and they spawn in saltwater! They are very, very hard to catch and to exploit, without nets. They are tough as nails, and aggressively eat anything! They might even survive the holocaust! They can even survive stagnant water by gulping air into their lung-like bladders?! Talk about a superfish. And in Australia it is rated as a higher prize fighter than marlin and barramundi (Australian National Sportfish Association) !!! Right here in the Umzimkulu River. As luck would have it…a camera rolled and the following fun video was produced…

Then it was the Big Eye Kingfish (Caranx sexfasciatus) that made a few guest appearances. They are suckers for small white plastics and plugs and during the fish-off between the Mydo Luckshot against the World’s best lures, couldn’t resist the small white imitation rapalas…once again, the camera rolled and we have another video on the Umzimkulu Marina Youtube playlist…

But the fish of the week for me was my first Rock Salmon (Lutjanus argentimaculatus) on the new MYDO Luck Shot…an articulated dropshot head based on the MYDO Baitswimmer patented designs. Look out for them in a tackle shop near you…

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Early morning Rock Salmon on MYDO Luck Shot and Gummy worm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here it is…the tiniest MYDO Luck Shot as designed for bass but readily catches saltwater gamefish in the ocean and in estuaries.

The MYDO Luck Shot proto type used to catch the Rock Salmon pictured...slow retrieve Catalina style...

The MYDO Luck Shot proto type used to catch the Rock Salmon pictured…slow retrieve Catalina style…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join us on the Umzimkulu River in Port Shepstone this fishing season or festive season – fishing trips, parties, luncheons – all arranged call +27 79 326 9671 or umzimkulu@gmail.com

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