2019 Sardine Report featured image by (c) FOX

12 July 2019 Sardine Report

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 umzimkulu@gmail.com to arrange a ride. Corporates and team builders welcome.

Stay up-to-date with The Sardine News as we search daily for news of the main shoals and the marine life with them, this 2019. You can join the weekly newsletter by entering your email on http://thesardine.co.za.

The 2019 sardine report series is brought to you by the Umzimkulu Marina, MYDO Fishing Lures and The Fishing Pro Shop (Pta).

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Shaun Tomson - new inductee into the South African Hall of Fame, ripping JBay the way we all know him

Shaun Tomson Surfs into SA Hall of Fame

Shaun Tomson Surfs into SA Hall of Fame

By Olivia Jones Communications. Ballito, KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal. Shaun Tomson rode the crest of his career wave earlier this week, when he was honoured with an induction into the elite South African Hall of Fame, the highest accolade that any South African sports person or performing artist can receive.

Listed among the top ten surfers of the century, the former Durbanite was the 1977 World Surfing Champion and six times winner of the Gunston 500 in Durban. Apart from surfing, Shaun Tomson is also a renowned author, businessman, environmentalist and motivational speaker.

The South African Hall of Fame celebrates great achievements by extraordinary South Africans excelling in their field, who inspire and empower the youth to holistically reach their full potential. An individual’s integrity, sportsmanship and character are also taken into account.

“The surfboard became a mere vehicle for an incredible human being, Shaun Tomson, to epitomise his passion and perseverance, and then he returned to create a message of hope,” said Johnny Burger, Chairman of the South African Hall of Fame.

“We firmly believe that character supersedes talent and that one human being, no matter how big or small can make an enormous impact. The biggest sporting legend that has ever walked South Africa, besides Gary Player, is Shaun Tomson. We honour you, we respect you and we thank you for leaving something bigger and longer-lasting behind, than just yourself, and that is a true legacy,” said Burger, before handing Tomson his accolade.

On accepting his newest award, Tomson, now California based, said “I am so humbled and so honoured to receive this award from my homeland. I know that I am going to do my homeland proud and spend more time here. What you will, you will become!”

Tomson’s powerful words of inspiration come from his book The Code: The Power of I Will, where he illustrates how people, especially the youth can change their lives in just twelve steps, each beginning with “I will…”.

Shaun Tomson has spent the past few weeks motivating local schools and organisations through the Positive Wave Tour as part of the 50th edition of the world’s longest running professional surfing event, the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong in KwaZulu-Natal

Such is his affinity with the local youth that it has earned him the affectionate nickname ‘Baba Tom’. Wiseman Cele, Manager of New Development for KwaDukuza Municipality said, “The youth that Shaun has interacted with in the last few days have been so greatly impacted by his friendliness, positive energy and accommodative manner, that they started referring to him as Baba Tom. He has become like a father-figure to them.”

“Alchemy is the transference of metals from one state to another  which occurs through heat or pressure. Shaun Tomson has to be celebrated not for his achievements, but for his ability to transfer his own pain and transcend every single negative thing that has happened to him to become the person that he is today, an alchemist,” said former South African Champion surfer Greg Swart.

Tomson recently spent an afternoon with Dr. Albertina Luthuli, daughter of anti-apartheid struggle icon, Nkosi Albert Luthuli, where the two philanthropists shared their sentiments on racism, sports, politics and their common love, South Africa.

Tomson’s visit to South Africa culminates with him spending 67-minutes at the Lethithemba Secondary School for the centenary celebrations of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on 18 July #LiveTheLegacy.

Former World Surfing Champion, Shaun Tomson, receives his South African Hall of Fame award from Eugene Lewis (CEO, SA Hall of Fame, pictured left) and Johnny Burger (Chairman, SA Hall of Fame). Tomson, who was crowned World champion in 1977, was decorated with the highest honour for a South African sports person at the Coco de Mer Luxury Boutique Hotel in Ballito on Wednesday evening, June 27, 2018. Picture: Pierre Tostee

Former World Surfing Champion, Shaun Tomson, receives his South African Hall of Fame award from Eugene Lewis (CEO, SA Hall of Fame, pictured left) and Johnny Burger (Chairman, SA Hall of Fame). Tomson, who was crowned World champion in 1977, was decorated with the highest honour for a South African sports person at the Coco de Mer Luxury Boutique Hotel in Ballito on Wednesday evening, June 27, 2018. Picture: Pierre Tostee

Stop Shark Finning at Shark Weekend Scottburgh 8 to 10 June 2019

Everyone is welcome to celebrate clean beaches and ocean conservation at Shark Weekend

Everyone is welcome to celebrate clean beaches and ocean conservation at Shark Weekend

Scottburgh 8 to 10 June 2018

The annual Paddle Out for Sharks (POFS) and World Ocean’s Day (WOD) events will culminate in the 2018 Shark Weekend – a full programme of talks, clean ups, surfing competitions and beach activities geared towards marine conservation running at Scottburgh from 8 to 10 June.

Shark Weekend has a number of interactive activities planned suited to the whole family. The full programme starts at Scottburgh Beach at 3pm on Friday, 8 June with a ‘Healthy Ocean’s Talk’ and beach clean-up. The conservation celebration continues on Saturday, 9 June from8am with a Paddle Out for Sharks ceremony at Scottburgh Beach and Backline. There will be a number of beachside activities including a treasure hunt, sand shark art, snorkelling lessons, as well as adaptive surfing demonstrations and surfing competitions.

Throughout the weekend, Scottburgh’s Premier Resort Cutty Sark will play host to a number of Shark Weekend activities including Aliwal Shoal’s Shark Photo Exhibition, the Mares Dive Gear Exhibition as well as Conservation Talks and Videos. In addition to the generous venue donation, Premier Resort Cutty Sark is running a weekend special room rate of R350 per person, per night.“The 7th Paddle Out for Sharks, in conjunction with Word Ocean’s Day on 8 June, gives us a chance to highlight the impact of human actions and how we can positively turn the tide for shark conservation and good health of our oceans,” said Shark Weekend organiser, marine biologist, shark researcher and member of Shark Angels, Jess Escobar.

“For me, the annual Paddle Out for Sharks celebration has become an opportunity for all different ocean-users to stand together and show their support for shark and ocean conservation. It is reaching more and more people every year, converting the misguided fear around sharks into a respect and willingness to protect them. I am so happy and excited to see such a great support for our sharks and ocean conservation in our area.”

Paddle Out for Sharks started in 2012 after several sharks were killed in nets along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline. The diving and marine conservation communities converged to protest against the nets in support of shark conservation. This tradition has continued every year with more voices calling for protection of sharks, an animal which forms a crucial part of the oceanic ecosystem.

Forming an integral part of the Shark Weekend programme will be an address by renowned ocean activist and founder of the NPC, Breathe, Sarah Ferguson, on Saturday, 9 June at 3pm.The former national swimmer took to ocean swimming six years ago and decided to do something more meaningful with her swimming.

“I decided to start a foundation centred on ocean conservation, so I established Breathe,” recalled Ferguson. “I then started training to become the first African woman to swim the Kaiwi channel in Hawaii which I successfully completed in July 2017.”

Her 30-minute talk, entitled ‘Swimming to Fight Plastic Pollution – Live Deeply & Tread Lightly’ outlines her passion of swimming and the global epidemic of plastic pollution.

“We cannot ignore this issue,” said Ferguson. “They recently found a plastic bag at the bottom of the Mariana Trench – the deepest part of the ocean. Education is critical to change behaviour and create awareness about this relevant and growing epidemic. Change starts with the individual and needs to come from the public as well as at government level. Together, we can all change the statistic that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.”

Special thanks are extended to all Shark Weekend sponsors, including Premier Resort Cutty Sark, Scuba Xcursion, Mares, Pollywog, Blue Wilderness and Made for More.

Post by Olivia Jones Communications

Surfers at the Ballito Pro in Durban

Legendary surfers set to attend the Golden Jubilee edition of The Ballito Pro

Legendary surfers set to attend the Golden Jubilee edition of The Ballito Pro

Surfers aim for Ballito: This year marks the 50th edition of the elite surfing contest, The Ballito Pro, presented by Billabong, and KwaDukuza is gearing up for a programme of non-stop entertainment to celebrate this milestone event. Themed #LiveTheLegacy, the world’s longest running professional surfing competition will commemorate this historic occasion with fun beachside activities, festive cooking contests, quality retail offerings and some special proceedings to honour the event’s roots.

“The 2018 edition of The Ballito Pro is definitely centred on celebration and we want to use this platform to really thank everyone who has contributed to ‘Living the Legacy’,” said Collette Bundy, event organiser. “In addition to being the 50th edition, 2018 marks a decade of hosting the event in KwaDukuza, a space that has allowed The Ballito Pro to grow alongside the region, offering holidaymakers and locals an incredible two weeks of coastal entertainment. We are, once again, looking forward to welcoming the globe to a really stunning piece of South Africa.”

Positive Wave Tour

World Surfing Champion and six-time winner of The Ballito Pro (formerly Durban 500, Gunston 500 and Mr Price Pro) Shaun Tomson is embarking on his #positivewavetour to promote surfing and an environmental ethos. Tomson will be talking to pupils at 10 KwaDukuza schools about his book, The Code, as well as participating in several activations throughout The Ballito Pro including daily signings, prizegivings, a ‘Retro Expression Session’ and screening of his film ‘Bustin Down the Door’.

On Wednesday, 27 June, Tomson will be the guest speaker at his fundraising event, A Night with Shaun Tomson, taking place at Coco De Mer. The proceeds from the tickets sold will go towards Development Surf with the entire #positivewavetour culminating on Wednesay, 18 Julywith a Madiba Day 67-minute charity initiative. In keeping with the milestone celebrations, 2018 will be the Centenary Celebrations of Madiba, making this a particularly poignant activation.

Charity Drives

This charitable movement will also flow into The Ballito Pro’s #savethewaves drive centred on environmental education and maritime conservation. This effective campaign aims to highlight the detrimental impact of plastic and microplastic on marine life through dedicated awareness programmes and competitions.

The Ballito Pro will also host the Ilembe Surf Riders Development Programme, a newly-established initiative aimed at developing new surf talent, particularly within the Dolphin Coast’s rural areas.

Retro Jubilee Food & Wine presented by Ballito Junction

The #LiveTheLegacy celebrations continue at on Monday, 25 and Tuesday, 26 June from 4pm to 11pm with the Ballito Pro Retro Jubilee Food & Wine presented by Ballito Junction Regional Mall. This two-night culinary extravaganza invites guests to walk through 50 years of surfing development in an old-school carnival-style event complete with food, fashion and fun.

Geraldine Jorgensen, CEO of Ballito Junction said: “We are delighted to be associated with the world’s longest running professional surfing event, particularly as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, and its tenth year in Ballito.”

Cooking Competitions

On Monday, 25 June, budding young chefs, aged 10 to 16 years, will get the chance to compete in two-person teams for the culinary crown. Each team must create a captivating team name and will be required to dress according to the particular decade selected for them while crafting an impressive feast. The evening will also feature a fun Celebrity Cook-off with a well-known Ballito local teaming up with one surfing legend to compete against another suitably feisty team.

On Tuesday, 26 June, adults will get the chance to prove their kitchen prowess in a timed cook-off. Contestants will be paired with local chefs and restaurateurs to cook a classic dish relevant to a specific decade.


Themed ‘Fashion Through the Eras’, this year’s fashion show will run on Monday, 25 and Tuesday, 26 June, giving local designers the platform to showcase their incredible garments which will be an interpretation of a chosen era. Winners of this fashionable contest can look forward to some awesome prizes.


The Ballito Pro will play host to the vibrant Miss Ballito contest with visitors given the chance to meet and greet the beachside beauties. Local musicians and leading dance companies will also ensure there is top-class entertainment throughout this retro event.

Food and Drink

The Retro Cocktail Lounge and Bar will take guests on a nostalgic journey of classic cocktails across the decades with a happy hour highlight. Expect some delightful mixes such as Manhattans, Martini’s, Rob Roy’s, Harvey Wallbangers, and many more.

Food options will be in abundance as local restaurants and pop-up stalls offer an expansive feast that touch on the decadence of each decade.

Daily Beachside Activities

KwaDukuza’s Willard Beach will play host to non-stop daily entertainment and fun activities for festival-goers. Local artists will set the mood on the artists’ stage with visitors invited to browse the various stalls retailing food, clothes and crafts.

From 29 June to 1 July, there will be some extreme sports’ action at the Monster Skate Jam with the renowned daredevil stuntmen, Bruce and Brent Le Riche, showcasing some unmissable biking skills.

The Coke-a-Cola Football Arena will play host to daily beach recreational activities and a variety of engaging children’s games. Spectators can also enjoy daily beach soccer games in a friendly contest between regional high schools.

Music and Parties

– Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts Powered by 5FM

The best in South African musical entertainment will take over Salt Rock Beach on Thursday, 28 and Friday, 29 June. Musical genres will include rock, hip hop, jazz, kwaito, electro, dance and more…all at no cost! Get ready for this high-profile line which includes:

Thursday, 28 June


Black Motion

5FM DJ’s

Ms Cosmo

DJ Loyd

Ryan the DJ

Friday, 29 June

Sketchy Bongo


Prime Circle

December Streets

5FM DJ’s

Msizi James

Nick Hamman

Rob Forbes

– After Dark Parties

Crush Nightclub will once again play host to some of the best DJ’s and surfers set to get festival-goers rocking into the night from Monday, 25 to Saturday, 30 June. The party list includes:

  • Pro pre-party: Royal Love and Friends
  • Living the Legacy: Featuring Tommy D
  • Swell Sundays: Battle of the DJs
  • Battle of the DJs Finals
  • Swimwear Show hosted by Big Night Out
  • Student Night: Featuring Chunda Munki
  • Durban Takeover: Featuring Veranda Panda
  • Ride the Tide: Featuring TiMO ODV
  • Swell Sundays: Ballito Pro Closing Party

Don’t miss out on any of this #LiveTheLegacy fun as The Ballito Pro, presented by Billabong, celebrates its milestone 50th edition at KwaDukuza.

For more information, visit:

Website: www.theballitopro.com

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/theballitopro/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheBallitoPro

Instagram: www.instagram.com/TheBallitoPro

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/theballitopro

Snapchat: Username – TheBallitoPro

The Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, Capitec, Casio G-Shoc, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL), Surfing South Africa (SSA), SMG Rocks, Coco De Mer and Fiamma.

Stay posted on The Sardine News

March/April ‘Cuda report plus spearfishing

March/April ‘Cuda report plus spearfishing

The ‘Cuda have made their annual pilgrimage to down south and some great catches are filtering through.

The first real action was by Happy Hooker who got two proper fish, nice and early on. Way down off Seaprk somewhere. Then the Niteshift got one in the same place the following weekend. Story and video here.

Matt Wainwright then got a live mackerel down the gullet of a nice fish. His fish came in at 15kgs.

But Dave Phillips off Durban has been having the most fun. On his ski. On his first submission he flashed us his first ‘Cuda of the season. A really nice fish seen below. Then a few fays later, Dave banged it out there for another ‘Cuda and three Natal Snoek! The Snoekies couldn’t resist Dave’s little Mydo SS Shad spoon.

Hopefully this weather will improve and we can expect some more ‘cuda action this April.

And then over to the spearos, who have also been seeing a few.

‘Couta in the news underwater too…report by Jason Heyne

The diving conditions have average this week with one or two day’s being excellent. Wahoo, ‘couta and snoek are the main fish on the menu this week and rumours have it that the garrick are off the kei.  Well done Wickus on getting fish of the week a new HUC club record Queen Fish at 10.47kg. As always dive safe and straight spears

Send your catch photos and stories to The Sardine News and contribute to the collection of goings on fishing, surfing and diving wise up and down our coast. Click here to submit online, or email umzimkulu@gmail.com anytime.

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