2015 Sardine run makes for spectacular fishing
As the sardines go into hiding they leave behind shoals of eager predator fish and carparks full of eager fisherfolk chasing them. Shad still dominate the scene at most places but in some spots, like Port Alfred, they are annoyingly absent. They also have been breaking the norm by becoming nocturnal this year. Even where there are no lights to attract them, like at Mdumbi in the Transkei, the shad come on the bite as soon as the sun disappears, or appears?!
In Port Shepstone and surrounds a few nice garrick have been caught and more speared as the spearos enjoy a bumper run of bigger fish, this year. Aside from Mike Stubbs really good fish from last week, it’s been small salmon, as we wait for the moon to come round. The real garrick run has not started at all, we await with ‘baited’ breath.
Grunter have been all over the place but a barrage of flatties (skates) have been causing trouble in most estuaries, with the perfect baits, meant for grunter. In Port Alfred, where thesardine.co.za team currently is, there is one particular local flatties that goes a few square metres, and has been wreaking havoc up and down the marina. The big news here is the Pignose Grunter / White Steenbras, or Steenies as they are very affectionately known here, have infiltrated the canals. The biggest reported so far was 14 kgs! Garrick are also cruising the canals for mullet and last night could be seen herding them out of Kiddies pool and into the awaiting ambush. Port Alfred is a spectacular fishing destination wih something for everyone. Shark fishing is a big attraction!? And so are the waves?
The north coast of KZN has also had sporadic sardine action and with it, the gamefish. Snoek and couta are taking a hammering and the odd couta has even been gracing the gallery. Check out Jason Heyne’s recent report here.
Well, it’s the calm before the storm on the southern east coast of Africa today. Temperatures are way down, as the next cold front, the one that brings the sardines, comes into focus.