KZN South Coast Kingfish on live bait

KZN South Coast Kingfish on a live mullet

KZN South Coast Kingfish on a live mullet

KZN South Coast Kingfish on live bait

Brandon Parsons headed down the KZN South Coast this weekend, taking a break from the usual monster shark fishing he partakes in, when fishing the Cape, as he usually does. There are sharks here, especially Zambezi’s (Bull Sharks), and the Umzimkulu River is full of them, never mind The Sandspit and the mouth area, but we were after gamefish on lure or live-bait…this time round.

When the Umzimkulu River opens and closes intermittently as it does at this time of the year, it has a marked effect on the fishing in the immediate surrounds. When it first closes, the river seems to undergo a change in character – an occasion marked by an increase in fish activity. Mullet jumping like crazy. Then they go quiet a few days, as the game fish trapped inside make a mockery of their huge advantages and smash the poor mullet and other baitfish and juveniles like there is no tomorrow. We had a bait ball of mullet out front of the lodge, in full view of all our guests, hang around for three days! They have nowhere to run and hide and the gamefish become quite complacent about things – showing themselves and even getting caught sometimes!

But it ain’t easy, and many a big thinking punter has left scratching his head.

However, if it works out that you get a good crew, who are committed, and know the ropes and work as hard as required, we average one really nice fish, every four man hours, in the Umzimkulu. That’s not quite National Garrick Day, but really, a garrick or kob or kingfish in the estuary is just so much more fun! And there is more to offer fishing these inter tidal waters. Lets not forget the Oxe-Eye Tarpon, the Kob, the Grunter, the Kingfish, the Rays, the Perch, huge Vundus and Palings (paaaaarlings), prehistoric monster crabs, prawns of all shapes and armourments, baitfish…and some surprises! We even hooked a turtle on a lure back a few weekends!

So this is one of those moments that every four man hours of serious fishing this estuary, is proven to produce:

Game fishing in the protection of the estuary and the Umzimkulu Conservancy’s sheer cliff of natural forest on the north bank up from the golf course, sure beats standing on the beach in a howling onshore. This was the wind situation on this day, but as you can see, Brandon and I enjoyed pristine conditions, catching Kingfish, three kilometres up the river!

Thats not all we have at The Umzimkulu Marina, the deep-sea fishing is also fantastico, with Protea Reef being a short 20 minute ride out. Unfortunately, the river launch really though, is difficult at best. So, to get around this, we have put together an arrangement that allows us to utilise one of the Shelley Beach fleet of boats, when necessary.

Check back soon for details of these customizable fishing holiday packages to the KZN South Coast of South Africa, put together by The Sardine.

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