21 July Sardine Report 2019

21 July Sardine Report 2019

It’s been another cracking sardine season for the sardine run operators down in the Transkei and Natal. These guys have encountered bait balls daily and have been getting some spectacular video material, which we will get to see soon enough.

To make sure we are on top of things, we headed south on sardine patrol, and have the following to report.

July Sardine Report 2019

Port St Johns

Arriving in Port St Johns, we could already feel the buzz. The Umzimvubu was looking delightfully clean and there were boats everywhere. Anglers anchored in the channels, we saw one guy boat a 12kg class Garrick and a little Kob. Sardine safari boats moored at the line of jetties, all prepared for the mornings adventures.

We visited Offshore Africa down on the river, who run sardine run trips for two months through the season. Rob Nettleton and Debbie Smith (The Shark Lady), the operators, live in Port St. Johns and are consummate professionals in what they do. They chuck you right in with the sardines and sharks!

Chatting to Richie O’Connell who leads one of the boats, “You don’t even need a baitball to find and swim with sharks. They’re everywhere!”.

Rob showed me some of this year’s footage, the cameras are dressed up with much better and wider lenses making it possible to really capture all that is going on down there. Stay posted for this material when it comes out, it is truly work of underwater art.

Through the three days we spent scouring the views around Port St. Johns, we saw lots birds running south still. Some just sitting on the water too full to fly. And the odd dive bomber as sporadic shoals moved through under the surface. But the sardine spotters travelled north and south and every day out they have jumped in with sardines. Rob was on day 33!


Great views and nice swells greeted us here. But again, we never saw any real hot action from the shore. Lots of birds. Oil slicks from previous sorties. Crystal clear water. Very fishy looking.

21 July Sardine Report 2019
21 July Sardine Report 2019

Coffee Bay

We stayed at the pretty Coffee Shack where they installed us in the King’s House. A delightful cottage overlooking the entire bay flanked by the Sugarloaf and the Mbomvu point. Four delicious shad for breakfast.

The action was absolutely wild!

Shoals of sardines were being driven to the surface. Mainly it was dolphins but we also saw sharks breaching and some outsized yellowfin tuna. The gannets were raining down like bombs. And this was just the first shoal. They just kept coming through sporadically throughout the entire day. The huge waves, well ok 2 to 3m, were kind of keeping the action on the backline and only one occasion did they come right into the white water where they were obliterated.


When we came over the hill, the vista was unexpected. Waves were reeling down the point, the sand was connecting across the entire bay! There were a bunch of guys on it but the waves were plentiful and everyone was mellow.

There were birds diving and some dolphins were hunting but the water never smelled fishy and the surf continued even better the next day. When a fabulous Berg wind kicked mid-morning and painted the prettiest surfing picture I have seen for a while. Then the huge west that is currently blowing a gale at about 40 knots hit hard and so we moved on to the other side of the river to Freedom O’ Clock to catch up a bit.

And we got to throw a little video together quick…

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Get in touch via umzimkulu@gmail.com if you would like to join us for The Sardine Run next year.

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Tofo Oceanfest 2018 at Fatima’s Nest!

Tofo Oceanfest 2018 at Fatima’s Nest!

Tofo Oceanfest 2018: It’s ON again at Fatima’s Nest in Tofo, Inhambane, Southern Mozambique this 2018!

Tofo Oceanfest 2018

Tofo Oceanfest 2018

Tofo is most definitely the most happening New Year’s celebration!

Right on the beach, with years and years of celebrations behind this Tofo Oceanfest 2018, once again – Fatima’s is going to absolutely rock you into the New Year.

Daily activities and a music programme will keep you entertained all day long.

Volleyball, surf lessons, yoga and beach football will make sure!

With the beach right out front, Fatima’s hosts the Tofo Oceanfest 2018 each year, which culminates in the biggest New Year’s event. That goes to the sunrise every time! Guest DJs and local outfits blend together to create the right mood for the right time, every time!

See you there!

About Tofo…

Tofo is the nicest little surf/fishing/diving village, right on the beach at Praia do Tofo.

The surfing in the bay is ideal for beginners. The point around the corner for when you’ve learned a bit!

Fishing is fantastic, this time of the year. Get in touch on umzimkulu@gmail.com for more information.

And the diving…well it’s acclaimed to be amongst the best spots worldwide. For Manta Rays, Whale Sharks and Turtles.

The Inhambane Bay is huge and waiting for you to explore it’s magical and calm waters. You can hook up a dhow cruise right from the bar at Fatima’s. Seahorses and the rare dugong are first prizes on these trips. Backed up by Flamingoes, dolphins and all sorts, in and around the islands and channels. Fantastic snorkeling, beach combing (for the famous Panzy Shell/Sand Dollar) and visiting the remote but cool restaurants and resorts over at Linga Linga make up a really full day trip.

All these activities can be arranged right at the reception at Fatimas.

Or contact Sean on umzimkulu@gmail.com…or WhatsApp +27 79 326 9671 anytime!

You can also browse through the menu item Trips and Travel above or follow this link: http://thesardine.co.za/product-category/fishing-experiences/

And easily keep up with the news and our seasonal offerings by staying on top of The Sardine News’ various channels…YouTubeInstagramFacebookTwitter.

Tofo Oceanfest 2018 at Fatima's Nest in Tofo, Inhambane

Tofo Oceanfest 2018 at Fatima’s Nest in Tofo, Inhambane

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

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

Jordy Smith winning his Round 1 heat scoring a Perfect 10 JBay Winterfest. Smith will trying again at this years JBay Winterfest 2018

JBay Winterfest 2018 – All The Facts

JBay Winterfest 2018 Quick Facts

Matt Wilkinson © WSL/Cestari

JBay – The JBay Winterfest 2018 promises to be an action-packed two weeks of sports and cultural events, with an amazing line-up of competitions and happenings. The town of JBay will light up for this festival, with foreign competitors and media flocking into town for the festival, along with local competitors, media, spectators and fans, as all the various tournaments unfold.

Corona Open JBay Men and Women

Now entering its sixth year, the JBay Winterfest is anchored by the Corona Open JBay Men’s and Women’s Championship Tour (CT) surfing event at Supertubes, presented by the World Surf League. World champions, former event champions and everyone else on the CT will be present, including John John Florence, Kelly Slater, Jordy Smith, Filipe Toledo and tour rookie Mikey February. On the Women’s side we can expect Steph Gilmore, Carissa Moore, Lakey Peterson and Tatiana Weston-Web amongst others. The waiting period for the events are from 2-16 July.

Carissa Moore © WSL/Cestari

Other events include:

The Oakley X-Over.

This celebrity cross-over event comprises golf, mountain biking and surfing, and confirmed entries include Jean De Villiers, Butch James, Tonderai Chavhanga, Garreth McClellan, Ruan De Smidt and John Smit, to name a few. It will take place on 5-6 July.

Tom Whitaker © Kolesky/Nikon/Lexar

The Funduro.

Slake Adventures will be hosting their fifth JBay Winterfest Funduro this year. The main loop consists of 15 km single track and is measured as easy-medium in difficulty. The terrain will consist of both flat and technical riding. The new unridden terrain will be super fun with some surprises on the way. The event will take place on Saturday 7 July.

Funduro action © Kody McGregor

The JBay Windfarm MTB Classic.

Established as one of the top events on the Eastern Cape off-road calendar, the JBay Wind Farm MTB Classic promises to once again be a highlight of the JBay Winterfest.

Over the past five years, organisers of the JBay Wind Farm MTB Classic have worked each year to innovate and improve both the routes and rider experience. The event will take place 14 July

Photo © Jazz Kuschke

Endurade JBay X Trail Run

The Endurade JBayX is unique in concept, entailing 3 individual 20Km trail runs, all starting 12-hours apart, showcasing the best of the Jeffreys Bay area. The total distance covered will be just over 60km.

A 10km trail run and 5km fun beach run / walk will be presented on Sunday 15 July, starting at 9:00am and 10:00am respectively. Both these events will be suitable for families, friends, supporters and first time trail runners. This takes place from 13-15 July.

Coldwater Classic

Now in its 6th year, the Coldwater Classic forms part of the JBay Winterfest being held from 2nd – 17th July 2018 in Jeffreys Bay.

Swimmers can experience the thrill and challenge of swimming a triple mile in sub 15 degree water where swimmers wear one Speedo type costume, goggles and a standard silicone swim cap (English Channel swimming rules apply). This takes place on 8 July.

Skins Fishing Competition

The 6th Winterfest Skins Fishing Competition will be taking place during this year’s JBay Winterfest. This event has seen massive growth over the past five years and is now one of the biggest and most unique shore angling competitions in South Africa!

It is literately divided into six mini comps or ‘skins’ each lasting one hour. The person who catches the highest-scoring fish for that hour will win the R3000 cash ‘skin’ and any other prizes allocated to that skin. If it happens that no fish are recorded for any skin, the cash (and other prizes) will carry over to the next skin (this will then be worth R6000) etc. This takes place on 14 July.

More information on the JBay Winterfest can be found at www.jbaywinterfest.com

Co-sponsors include Oakley and the Kouga Municipality.

The event hash tag is #jbaywinterfest

The JBay Winterfest social media channels:

Website: www.jbaywinterfest.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jbaywinterfest????

Instagram: @jbaywinterfest

Follow The Sardine News for more updates.