12 July 2019 Sardine Report
Sardines and surfers have been seen everywhere up and down the Natal South Coast, over the past two weeks. Outsized sea conditions have brought on the KZN winter proper! Your July 2019 Sardine Report…
A special thanks to Ant Fox for the featured image of this post – a school of dolphins enjoying the surf conditions way down south.
Many shoals (over 10 for sure) of genuine sardines have been netted. The price per crate sitting at R1300 or so. Equates to about R43 per kilo. Cheap at the price! But these are merely the so-called pilot shoals. Small pockets of sardines that break ahead of the main shoal, arriving a little earlier in the season and getting everyone warmed up.
The main shoal is reportedly still in the Transkei, making it’s way up the coast slowly. The warm water is troublesome for sardine hunters at the moment, however.
We are going to need a few days of Nor’Easter wind to chill the water back to where it was when the pilot shoals first pulled in. It’s way over 20 degrees right now, where ideal temperature for sardines to come in shallow is about 18 degrees.
At the moment a new low pressure system is kicking in. Warm Berg Winds this morning indicate the arrival of a stiff Sou’Wester later today. It’s gonna blast, and then swing around to offshore mornings with easterly afternoons. A great formula for bringing the water temperature down slowly.
Many anglers who have taken up shark fishing from the beach and rocks, are having an absolute blast right now. Big reels. Big baits. Big fish.
Well unfortunately, DAFF and friends are not coping with the volume as sack loads of shad are leaving the beach. It is unashamed murder as some guys load 50 and more, take that load home, and return for more. This is happening at all the usual spots but Margate Pier and Splash Rock have been particularly busy lately.
Overall the shad have been on the small side.
It seems to just get worse as piles and piles of rubbish are left at all your favourite beaches. The shift in fisherman behaviour is going to be a massive requirement as it seems to be hardwired into some people that you can, in this day and age of polluted oceans, throw your trash into nature.
But, what a bad name we all get from this indolent behaviour. Please take your trash off the beach and rocks with you. You know who you are!
The surf has been cooking the entire time with carparks packed by locals who have been waiting all year for the favourable offshore winds and strong swells. And warm winter water.
Whilst surfing we have encountered some huge GTs, that circled us a while and then basically obliterated a shoal of shad right next to us. Shad were flying everywhere as the huge fish pummelled them in a team effort. Better bring your elephant gun if you want to tackle these fish. Skib-oater Greg Defilippi has released two GTs over 20kgs just recently. Cannot tell you where this was unfortunately, you will have to do some searching yourself!
It is humpback highway right now on the Natal South Coast and down into the Transkei. As these beautiful mammals make their way up to the calm and warm waters of the African East coast. Where the big mommas suckle their young and avoid eager males chasing them all over the place. Great spectator fun. You can get right up close and personal with the humpbacks, there are limitations, but we can get you in amongst them safely and legally anytime. The whales have arrived in the Bazaruto waters too, and continue quite very far north. They stick around until November and even into December on occasion. The Sardine team will be busy with whales and research in October this 2019, for a few weeks.
And a word from our sponsors…
After a big day out on the ocean, there is nothing much like winding down on a sunset river cruise on the Umzimkulu River in Port Shepstone. This cool little clip was shot by Sardine correspodent Neil Campbell with his new drone…
VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/hsDubs5Zo8A
Email Sean on email@example.com to arrange a ride. Corporates and team builders welcome.
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