First sardine report for 2019

First sardine report for 2019.

Officially, the sardine run has begun. 10 Nets were taken over the weekend – at Amanzimtoti. And another down a bit further at Glenmore.

The Sardine News
The Sardine News

Yesterday the long-awaited South Westerly came busting through, after an incredible surfing morning, up and down the south coast of KZN. Whales were jumping out the back. Shoals of baitfish spread out all over. The sun was shining beautifully. Avid sardine hunters everywhere.

The expected cold front arrived timeously. One of the conditions normally required.

And the main shoal of sardines is on the way! And it’s quite big relative to years gone before.

It’s reported to be moving through the Transkei right now with Offshore Africa, our eyes in the waters off of Port St. Johns down the wild coast, having a field day with the first smaller shoals.

You can learn more about their high-level adrenalin inducing sardine run experiences right here…


It’s all about sharks right now with many anglers having recently taken up the sport. Big baits, big tackle and big struggles. They all get released but mostly not with tags in them. Hopefully this will change soon. We have a shark tagging program running in conjunction with Africa Underwater and the Oceanographic Research Institute guys. So anybody who would like to get involved, please get in touch with me on The information gleaned from tagging is vital for our understanding of the marine animals we are to look after now.

Gamefish action has been characteristically slow. The garrick are the main players with some beautiful 10kg class kob competing for attention. Catch them on paddletails.

Two spearos swam out whilst we were surfing on Sunday. They spent 4 hours out there until one guy came back with a bent spear and broken gun. A yellowtail had destroyed his equipment. BUT! He had a 25kg king mackerel on his stringer. He jumped in his car and went south with the current direction to look for his mate?! Hardcore! These guys deserve the trophy fish they shoot. It requires so much commitment, physical, and mental effort to attain the levels required to get fish like that.


Prices this year are higher than last year, but the netters have been very friendly to the public and the beaches are lots of fun right now. You can expect to pay about R40 per kilogram.

Casualties so far are mounting with the out-sized swell marching through right now. Two netters have flipped their boats, with a hospital visit for some crew members. The action is only going to hot up so please be careful everybody.

So this first sardine report for 2019 will be followed by more confirmed news about the location and attitude of the elusive main shoals.

As of now, this wind might warm the water too much, and we will have to go through another cycle of conditions to line up the right stars again. Quite a few stars have to line up for the sardines to land up on the beach each time.

These are a list of conditions that will make things for favourable for sardines to come right in and within reach…

Conditions for sardines to come in close:

  • Colder water

    18 degrees or so would be great. Brought about by east winds. Like the ones we had last week. However, today was in the low 20s.

  • Cold front

    Often this encourages the sardines shallower. Big winds like what we had today.

  • High tides

    Generally they come in closer at high tide, getting trapped as the tide goes out. Spring tides amplify the effect, like they are right now

That is all we have for you for now, but stay close and we will inform you as we go. We will be out early in the morning each day and will report any action right here

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This report was sponsored by the Fishing Pro Shop in Pretoria, MYDO Lures in Port Shepstone and The Umzimkulu Marina, also in Port Shepstone.

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