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Another Perfect Storm hits Maputo

Another Perfect Storm hits Maputo March 24

Another Perfect Storm hits Maputo

Another Perfect Storm hits Maputo: 23 and 24 March saw another perfect storm hit Maputo. This is after Mother Nature recently unleashed her fury on Mozambique – starting with Cyclone Filipo. Hitting into Inhassoro up north, then Vilankulos, and the islands. And then creating the perfect storm conditions for what happened down in Maputo next. I have been present through one of these amazing storms. You can read that story on The Sardine News here.

Following in the wake of Cyclone Filipo’s record speed run across Mozambique, Filipo left a huge low pressure hovering over southern Mozambique and Mpumalanga in South Africa. This moisture-rich air simply unloaded its entire payload. Over an 84-hour solid rain period.

Downtown - storm hits Maputo
Downtown – storm hits Maputo


Maputo lives on a drainage system built in the Portuguese era. That was a very long time ago. And with the population explosion in Maputo since the 70s, the infrastructure cannot cope.

This is the result…


Over to Duarte to explain…

Basically it’s a massive low-pressure system that has moved in after Filipo and affecting the whole of southern Mozambique mostly with massive rains and mostly in the Maputo area where it rained very intensely for like 84 hours straight and seeing the drainage system is what everyone knows to be it´s just gone crazy and lots of damage, schools are closed, etc etc and hopefully this will not chain up into a cholera outbreak…
Up in Bazaruto we have had a on and off rain but not intense but windy and jus miserable weather at the moment – I have clients here for a week now and only managed to fish a few hours during two days in very messy sea, water still very murky due to debris from Filipo and recent thundershowers and obviously not a great bite with such a low-pressure system.
This low-pressure system which is called Invest 95S was said, a few days ago that, could potentially turn into a cyclone but it has not but still lurking around although conditions have improved last few days but forecast of rain, overcast weather and wind up until the 6th of April.
A further cyclone as developed over the last few days in the Indian Ocean although still very far from Africa´s East coast, this category 1 cyclone as been named Neville and we are watching it with hawk eyes!
It’s a major @#$%^& up…. This poor country does not need all this shit bro!

Captain Duarte Rato

The News

FishBazaruto has been a Sardine News contributor for over a decade now. Recently we started to see how much people appreciate bad news. Over good news. It’s incredible! Like 20 x more views on a bad news story, than a good news story?!

So well we have to adapt and you can start looking forward to more news items as we go into 2024. Contributions welcome to or


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Thrilling start to KZN South Coast billfish bite

Philips first sailfish was on a Penn Jigmaster 500L

Thrilling start to KZN South Coast billfish bite

A thrilling start to KZN South Coast billfish bite: there are many billfish hunting along the colour line on the KZN South Coast right now!

KZN South Coast billfish bite. Fish released.

Arriving dead on time, same as the dorado, the billfish are here! Sightings, encounters and hookups aplenty.

See the movie – of Phillip’s first sailfish – at the bottom end of this post.

The colour line/halocline has also seen some very early season couta coming out aswell! It’s looking good for the summer gamefish and billfish season down here on the south coast.


The spearos, as usual, were the first to report the incoming billfish. A shoal of striped marlin on the shoal. They got one or two – this was even about a month back. Check out for up-to-date intel on what’s going on in the ocean around here.

The Colour Line

The seam/colour line is the halocline representing where the Mozambique blue water meets the runoff rainwater of the KZN wet season. We have a few functioning estuaries left. The Umkomaas pumps out a beautiful plume. As does the Umzimkulu – the last free-flowing river of significance in the whole of Africa. Likened in ecological importance to the Okavango delta, this river still experiences the full effect of the flood pulse. There are attempts underway to impede this vitally important and functional flood pulse by building a weir 9kms upriver. This would impede both the flood pulse and the tidal pulse.

Ain’t gonna happen – if you would like to learn more, please visit

So right now, the flood pulse pulsed, and we have a beautiful halocline line to work. This is an amazing piece of structure that gives rise to a load of fish action.

Everybody comes to this party.


Concentrations of mackerel, shad, mozzies and even red-eye sardines hang in the shallows to feed. And to hide from the monsters. Who patrol up and down the line, looking to ambush anything that moves. So it’s simply a matter of getting a live bait or two, and slow-trolling them along the line.

Big baits for billfish

Dorado can’t really that easily gulp down a big shad. Or bonito. Or mackerel. Anything else just gets swallowed whole. So to get a billfish out of this melee, chuck out really big live bait.

And don’t mess around with the trace either. Use heavy leader (300 to 400lb) and a big old circle hook. And make the trace looooong (4m at least – so you can grab that leader and take control at the boat). The big mommas are also here. We saw at least one over 600 on the day this accompanying sailfish video was shot.

It goes without saying that you really need line capacity (1000 metres), a strong drag (12 to 15kgs) and good knots (bimini or any double line to clip swivel works fine – make a long double line too – 5 metres if you can)!

Phillip’s 1st Sailfish on video


That was a fun fish to catch! In the howling South Westerly as we waited for the tide. The saily just swam right by us and gulped down the live maasbanker. Literally in front of our eyes. The solid hookup caused the fish to throw its stomach. This is a defence mechanism that these and other billfish resort to when something gets stuck in their throats. Successful release but I never got the tag in this time. And all recorded on video. The video is structured in a way that you can use it to learn how to handle your first sailfish when it happens.

In the meantime, come fishing with us here at Umzimkulu Adrenalin, in Port Shepstone. Where the sailfish featured was caught.

In the following gallery, is guest star Phillip’s first dorado too. All he needs now is a couta and he the South Coast Slam done and dusted.

Click to check it out…

But ok, The Sardine News is powered by TLC for your business. Where you can have a website built for yourself or for your business! All frills included.

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Ocean Safari with Chelsea Dog and the B2 Humpback Whales

On Ocean Safari with Umzimkulu Adrenalin and Chelsea Dog

Ocean Safari with Chelsea Dog and the B2 Humpback Whales

Ocean Safari with Chelsea Dog and the B2 Humpback Whales: Dr. Oz Goffman (Head dolphin project of Haifa University -IMMRAC – The Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies/School of Marine Sciences) spends his life stalking and saving cetaceans of all kinds and in all places. But specifically these guys. The B2 population. And the C1 guys. These are the ever-entertaining humpback whale communities that visit us, and Mozambique, this time each year. (see graphic by Dr. Oz and colleagues below…secret intel for undercover whale spotters like the Umimkulu Adrenalin operation).

Ocean Safari intel: The Indian Ocean gets bombarded every winter here, by a healthy population of humpback whales. These marine mammals may seem plentiful at times but are still not back to the numbers they should be. Image courtesy of Dr. Oz Goffman and colleagues.
Ocean Safari intel: The Indian Ocean gets bombarded every winter here, by a healthy population of humpback whales. These marine mammals may seem plentiful at times but are still not back to the numbers they should be. Image courtesy of Dr. Oz Goffman (Head dolphin project of Haifa University -IMMRAC – The Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies/School of Marine Sciences) and colleagues.
Dr. Oz Goffman

When I worked with Dr. Oz in the deep blue waters out off Bazaruto Island in Mozambique for a few years, we were covertly recording mother to calf humpback whale conversations. We spent literally months and months stalking these guys. So when I say Dr. Oz knows these guys by name, I do not mean literally (see the album slide in the video).

He knows them by name.

The B2 Bombers

Down here on the lower south coast of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, we are perfectly poised to encounter the B2 bombers, travelling south to Cape Town, at this time of the year. This is their highway to Slaapstad, on their way to stopping off a while at Hermanus for a traditional jol.

And so it was really cool that we got another Ocean Safari booking this week. And this time we were far more camera-ready. Although we missed the ever-eventful launch (and this time was no different, it was wild!), the rest of the camera work went down a treat and the featured video almost made it out there yesterday!

Yep! Dr. Oz knows these guys by name. He has dedicated his life to looking after these enthralling ocean-going mammals, and other cetaceans of all kinds, all over the world.
Yep! Dr. Oz knows these guys by name. He has dedicated his life to looking after these enthralling ocean-going mammals, and other cetaceans of all kinds, all over the world.

On this trip, we actually only saw this one whale. But man did he perform. Launching right out clear into the air at times. We managed to get a few clips but our guests got the gold.

Umzimkulu Adrenalin

The Umzimkulu Adrenalin operation has fired up on the south bank of the Umzimkulu River. At the picturesque and bustling Spiller’s Wharf riverside shopping and business complex in Port Shepstone. This place is really quaint and historical with lots to absorb and learn about the history of the Umzimkulu River all over the place. It’s a very interesting building. There is even a 100-year-old boat parked in the driveway!

‘To all our previous clients, who have sent us their whale videos last week, we are busy compiling all the bits and pieces and will have yours out soon I promise!’


Ocean safaris, deep-sea fishing, river cruises, thrill rides, day fishing are all on offer at Umzimkulu Adrenalin. Come and see us, we are right at the back of the centre (Mr. Spiller’s old house).


Call Sean on +27 79 326 9671 or email

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Champagne Breakfast at St. Helen’s Rock, KZN, Port Shepstone

St Helen's Rock 2021 Expedition

Champagne Breakfast at St. Helen’s Rock, KZN, Port Shepstone

Champagne Breakfast at St. Helen’s Rock, KZN, Port Shepstone: Sian and her friends visiting the south coast down from Jhb had pre-booked a ride with us quite some time before. But we had a surprise in store. For Sian and her enthusiastic crew.

St. Helen’s Rock expedition video

They were going on an ancient tradition this time round – a river ride from Port Shepstone harbour – up to St. Helen’s Rock. 14 Kilometres of winding river and deep nature. Starting early and not without the usual confusion and chaos of a big crew, we were soon racing with the tide and current. In order to get under the low-level bridge but up the first rapid, or Berm ONE as it is affectionately known, we had to time it just right. Berm TWO was easier but took a while as we skirted sandbank and reef to get in and around the corner. But then it’s plain sailing and we cruise past the pump station and onto the bend that hosts St. Helen’s majestic piece of Africa.

The champagne was soon flowing and the breakfast was spluttering on the skottel. There is a helluva lot of exploring to do up at St. Helen’s Rock. Just about where the Umzimkulwana and the Umzimkulu come snaking out of the Oribi Gorge. We are actually able to go even further up into the Oribi Gorge. But that is going to be for the next boundary-pushing adventure. We did bring a kayak and next time we will bring even more, to enable even more exploring of this historic site.


There was certainly trade and business going on here back when this was the commercial junction from Durban to all of southern Natal and beyond. This exact spot! There are ruins everywhere. And rumours of a complete village settlement on the north bank still need to be verified. There is the wreck of a beautiful European looking boat half-buried into the mountain bank. There are railway tracks and even sidings strewn about by the floods, at the confluence of the two mighty rivers – the Umzimkulu (comes from the Berg) and the Umzimkulwana (comes from Lake Eland).

This wreck we encountered whilst surveying the upper reaches of the Umzimkulu Estuary
This wreck we encountered whilst surveying the upper reaches of the Umzimkulu Estuary

And just wait ’til you hear what St. Helen did to get that beautiful big old rock named after her.

Forthcoming attraction!

Let’s gooooooo!

So please get in touch anytime on or call me up on +27793269671 although WhatsApp really works best. If you like this type of adventure. Rates are roughly R100 per person per hour. And we can cater and bring loaded coolers.

BTW we run on solar power and electric engines. SILENT! And you are welcome to bring a fly-rod.

There is a lot more to see and do on The Sardine News website at and the MasterWatermen at

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Shad attack behaviour in Port Shepstone – the movie

Shad attack behaviour recorded off Port Shepstone

Shad attack behaviour in Port Shepstone – the movie

Shad attack behaviour – the movie was shot on a shallow spot on the backline off Port Shepstone, KZN, South Africa. Near the end of the shad open season this crazy 2020. When they start to congregate to spawn.

The shad, unlike garrick or kob, are given a protected season. This was introduced decades ago when the shad were running out fast. At the end of this month, it is over for shad fishers until 1 December. Somehow this doesn’t make sense since it is the Garrick and kob that the help now. DAFF? Where are you guys on this?

Shad have many names including bluefish and tailor. And its Latin name comes straight out of Asterix and Obelix – Pomatomus Saltatrix!

Anyway, we found a large shoal moving around near the backline at Port Shepstone, and managed to get the GoFish cameras into the water with them. What an amazing amount of fun!

Firstly to have the shad in such a playful mood as they chased our lures from the bottom to the top. We got them on the surface too – like little billfish they mercilessly attacked our lures, often finding themselves cartwheeling through the air and tail-walking. Yes, out here in the blue and flat surface, shad take on a wild new character when cranking a spoon wildly across the top for them to chase.

And secondly, the video material we got out of this session, and some of what features in this video – literally blew our minds!

The GoFish cameras we recently added to our arsenal have completed the mission they were acquired for perfectly…

We can finally see underwater!

The only other people who get this perspective are the spearos and bubble-blowers. But now we can drop a camera down, and observe the goings on on and around the reef, without even getting wet!

Working with the GoFish Cameras

It is not in real-time. Wi-fi don’t work underwater. But we have a cute little computer on the boat that powers off a cell charger and its a quick card switch for us to be seeing what just happened downstairs on the reef below us. There is a wi-fi function on the cameras, however. As long as they are floating in their little life rings, and their bums are sticking up out if the water, you can then live stream in real-time the action going on. This is a very limited function but can be applied to certain limited scenarios.

Now if you buy your GoFish Cams from this here website, you will get unlimited email and telephonic support from me and us here at The Sardine News. We have been using these cameras extensively and have made all the mistakes possible. And we are still making them! Learning every day for sure!

So use the link above or below, depending on your device, to get in on this eye-opening way of working things out on your favourite reef or with your favourite fish!

If you would like to join us down here in Port Shepstone for the season, please get in touch. We are based at the Umzimkulu Marina, right in the banks of the Umzimkulu River – and we are fishing flat out!

We have deep-sea options from backline to billfish on offer. We have the famous Sandspit and The Block to fish from the side from. And then the marvelously fun estuary fishing where we encounter so many different species making every strike that much more interesting.

Please get in touch with Sean on or +27793269671 to work it out. Bookings have come back to normal luckily so think ahead in time.

We are Facebook right HERE and run a full-on YouTube Channel right HERE!