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This Croc Couta by Marco van Wyk opens the season for our favourite summer gamefish – the couta! This a real nice and early fish and bodes well for another bumper couta season. The smaller fish usually swim by this early, the bigger couta show up in April or so. And hang around right into August, before disppearing for a few months again.
The diving conditions this week have been below average with cold water and fish being sporadic. Some good fish did come out though. Saturday the east blows from early morning and the swell runs at two meters plus. Sunday we have more East with the swell dropping off later in the day. So it looks like it’s a family weekend. Well done to Bryce Buis on getting fish of the week a 37kg GT and Marco Van Wyk getting club merit fish a decent Croc couta! As always dive safe and straight spears.
Len Mathews is on on the scene at the 40th OET Bill and Gamefish Tournament, and reports 26 billfish released on the first day!
The Mpumalanga Deep Sea Angling Association is hosting the 40th Mercury OET Bill & Gamefish Tournament – at Sodwana Bay from 6 to 10 November 2017.
Once again this prestigious tournament is proudly sponsored by Mercury Outboards. This tournament has grown from strength to strength since its inception in the late seventies. The field is always limited with slots coveted by any billfish enthusiast.
Stay tuned for more updates as they come in.
Thank you Len!
Cameron Johnstone the admin of Salt Fishing South Africa group on Facebook has compiled an excellent report on the great KZN nurdle disaster, which occurred recently.
MSC Shipping are squarely in the spotlight as they allowed this ecological tragedy to unfold unchecked. The nurdles, which are little plastic beads heading for industry, spilled out into the Durban harbour entrance, as the MSC ship ran aground in inclement weather. The ship was saved but when it drove into the harbour, it crashed into another ship, and the containers carrying the nurdles ruptured as they tumbled off the MSC ship and into the water. Literally nothing was done by MSC or port authorities or anyone, to curb the spill.
This has happened before elsewhere in the world, costing millions in clean-up operations. Here in Durban, the powers that be, and the perpetrators, simply do nothing. For days after the incident, the nurdles were allowed to spill out unchecked. As many as three containers full hit the water. Allegedly only one was recovered, and no-one is forthcoming with information at all.
Cameron’s report is detailed and accurate. In a spate of admirable investigative journalism, Cameron and friends uncovered the series of still photos, illustrating the incident in full colour. He deserves any support or assistance he can get. Right now the nurdles have spread up and down the KZN coast, into the Transkei, and even further way down deep into Cape waters.
Cameron and his efforts have resulted a cleanup operation to remove as many nurdles as possible, from the environment right now. This is where you can help. At this relatively early stage, we can hopefully make a difference in the overall percentage of nurdles spilled out into the ocean. They do float so – head on down to your local beach and start collecting! Keep them. Follow Cameron’s group for further instructions.
The harm that nurdles can do, aside from the obvious as in fish eating them, can be found in detail, in Cameron’s report at the link below:
Report by The Sardine News
I’ve often wondered why I have this obsession for catching Garrick on fly, maybe it’s those heart stopping chases and the fight as they they try to smash your fly on the surface which play a major role in driving up my adrenaline levels.
Throughout the year I spent My time chasing Kingfish,Snoek and other Game fish, but come May when the first Garrick start arriving with the Shad- and hopefully the annual Sardine Run – we all get excited.
Garrick are found right around our South African coastline, in summer they prefer the cooler Cape water’s ,but in winter the arrive on our doorstep in KwaZulu-Natal ,and stay here until they spawn in spring before undertaking the long haul back to the Eastern Cape in summer.
They prefer sea temperature’s between 17’C and 23’C and they are able to tolerate water’s with low salinity levels like Estuaries where they spawn.
Why do we rig with trebles? Popular demand. The treble hooks available nowadays are incredibly strong and sharp, compared to the old 2X’s that we used to get. And the fish are more scarce, making a hook up meaning so much more than it used to.
Mydo anglers were never even introduced to IGFA, back when it all rolled into South Africa, in the 80’s. The main competitions never used IGFA rules either. It took a long time before IGFA rules were applied to money comps. Trebles were the standard issue for catching couta, and still are, with most anglers.
But the rules have changed slowly and now many competitions on the circuit are IGFA now. This is great, as trebles are not really suited to releasing fish at all. Singles inflict far less damage. Captain Duarte Rato fishes single hooks wherever he can. But he still uses trebles for couta traces!
Captain Len Mathews has been part of the Mydo team for a long time now. He catches great fish. And he only fishes IGFA. Two Kendall Rounds, rigged nice and light. This is the reason Len reckons, that he doesn’t lose fish. Len admits to a slightly more complicated hook up, but that when done right, snags his fish as many times as trebles would. But his use of singles means much more solid hookups.
Meaning he can pull much harder.
Which is great for the sailfish and marlin, who scrounge Lens’ well-presented couta baits often. And for pulling fish away from the taxman.
According to Len – there are a bunch of good reasons to stay single!
Thank you Len!
Learn more about the Mydo Baitswimmer range of lures right here…
Jason Heyne checks in with his weekly spearing report – this week featuring some eagerly awaited for daga salmon. They are also here for sardines, and the big ones are often caught from the shore, right in the shallows! Just please be considerate with this fragile population. The big ones are our breeding stock, and we need them alive! Take your one for the season by all means – they are a very difficult fish to catch or shoot. But leave the rest for next year! TX Jason
“The diving conditions this week have been above average. Daga salmon have made an appearance in the shallows down south, big garrick up north and decent wahoo out deep. Saturday and Sunday a light offshore wind blows in the morning switching to a light on shore in the afternoon. Swell starts at 1.5m on Saturday dropping down to 1m on Sunday. Both days are looking top for a dive. Well done John on getting fish of the week a 24.5kg daga salmon on a shore dive. Good luck to all competing in the second day of natal champs tomorrow. Viz was reported north and south today. As always dive safe and straight spears.” – Jason
For more fishing and sardine news, click here…
To get right in with the sardine action, follow this link…
For great fishing family accommodation on the KZN South Coast (Port Shepstone)…
And to catch those shad…
Jason Heyne reports the timeous arrival of the Cape Yellowtail, as they take their place in the lineup for free sardines…
The diving conditions this week have a good average. Cape Yellow tail have made an appearance along with daga salmon. Snoek and garrick are around in shoals. Saturday a moderate south West blows from early morning with the swell running at 1.4m. Sunday morning a light north wind blows switching to a moderate north east later in the day. I would say both mornings early are good for a dive. Well done David Aldworth on getting the fish of the week a 19kg wahoo! Good luck to all competing in the Natal champs tomorrow. As always dive safe and straight spears
” Jason Heyne reporting that king mackeral are still around and dominating everyones lives…” Xona
The diving conditions this week have been epic. Garrick have arrived, snoek are around in numbers and shoal cuda are thick. Saturday the wind blows offshore in the morning switching to a light to moderate north east in the afternoon with the swell picking up from 1m in the morning to 1.5m in the afternoon. Sunday morning the wind blows offshore switching to a moderate south West in the afternoon and the swell runs at 1.3m throughout the day. Viz was reported north and south coast today. So Saturday and Sunday morning look great for a dive. Well done to Duran Richardson for getting fish of the week a cuda of 19kg on a shore dive! As always dive safe and straight spears.
Our Spearo Report KZN South Africa as compiled by Jason Heyne…
The diving conditions this week have been average to above average. There are cobia, cuda and snoek around in numbers. Saturday and Sunday a light to moderate northeast blows picking up speed in the late afternoon with a swell of 1.5m running both days. So both Saturday and Sunday are looking good for a dive as long as you get on it early. There was viz reported Durban bluff areas and South coast. Well done Garret Staats on getting the fish of the week…a 24kg cobia!! As always dive safe and straight spears.
Mark it in your diaries, it’s coming right up…the Umhlanga Spearfishing Club 7th Annual Crayfish Compo 25 March 2017.
The fun compo is always great for a few good laughs and fun times seeing old friends at the weigh-in and prize-giving.
With a crayfish braai to beat the band too!
Sardine correspondent Jason Heyne will be there to report…live from the event…
Over to you Jason 😉
And so we have last weeks KZN dive report today…Jason is always on time but somehow sometimes the article slips back a few days. It’s still relevant, but should have been included in Friday’s The Sardine News. Thank you Jason Heyne, once again.
The diving conditions this week have been below average. The sea is still clouded with muddy river water but certain areas are cleaning up one day and clouding the next so a bit of effort plus luck is required to find diveable water. Saturday morning a light offshore blows switching to a light southwest later in the day with negligible swell. Sunday a light offshore blows in the morning switching to a moderate southwest later in the day with the swell picking up from 1m to 1.5m late afternoon. Viz was reported both south and north today. Saturday looks best for a dive. Snoek and cuda have been caught this week both north and south. As always dive safe and straight spears.
A huge Blue Marlin was reported last week, but enthusiasm levels about it, were not that high.
Then we found out the truth.
The fish was killed, and left out there to be eaten by sharks. KZN North Coast…
It would have weighed 1245 pounds or so, according to its measurements, but I will let Captain Duarte Rato tell the story rather…
“But, the fish that has really made headlines this past week was an estimated Grander Blue released by Bully de Ricqueberg aboard the 21ft Eye-Tie with Roberto Fierro at the wheel. There as only been two Grander Blue Marlin caught in South Africa (and no Black), both of which were weighted. Due to some very odd laws this fish that arrived at the boat dead, could not be boated and had to be discarded. A real shame has it measured an impressive 148´´(376 cm) by 82´´ (208 cm) with a 24´´(61 cm) tail. This measurements put the fish at 1,245 lbs. If correct it would have beaten the SA record by a long haul.
Speaking to some mates of mine in SA to understand why they could not boat the dead fish it seems that being part of the Isimangaliso one can only take out a billfish if fishing the area outside a tournament (as long as follow some national regulations). However, if fishing a tournament, as it was the case, all billfish have to be released without exception, failing of which could lead to heavy fines and banning of individuals and organizers”
So there it is…
A very, very sad Blue Marlin tail (tale).
Add to that an electric storm, a chocolate brown peeling left hander, a community from the 70’s, add a dollop of The Kei and a helping of Mozambique – and that was Tugela Mouth.
The mid summer rains and a huge catchment area made sure the Tugela was pumping out as it should be, spewing a plume of brown water out for miles. The east wind had been sand blasting for two days, the swell was decidedly from the north east and a chocolada left peeled for miles. Unsurfable.
Fins broke the surface continually as we checked in to the best view on the entire North Coast. Called Sensayuma, it qualifies for our coveted “backpacker palace” award. The place was so well kept and run you couldn’t find a bad smell anywhere. It’s huge. Open plan. Dorms are spotless with sea views to wake to. There are two swimming pools?! Jacuzzi. Bar. Rockstar living!
Details to follow…
But if marine wild life is your thing, Tugela Mouth goes to the top of the list. We may have spotted a hundred turtles and the same in sharks. Some turtles even climbed out of the water and were catching the last of the heatwave, when the storm came through.
Visit this place!
Leave surfboard behind.
And here we have JP Bartholomew entertaining us again with tales of fly fishing Umdloti, just north of where JP lives…
A final break in the weather and I wanted to get some flyfishing in and especially to see how my right arm was doing after battling with Tennis Elbow which I had been battling with for the last couple of month’s.I hit the Umdloti stretch with my 8/9wt Explorer fitted with a Explorer Orion 9wt Reel with intermediate line using a 22lb fluorocarbon leader.The water was flat with a slight South westerly wind blowing and as always fishing on a pushing in tide.The water was a nice green/blue in colour which was perfect not clean and not dirty the stretch was mine with the odd Holidaymaker Anglers trying there luck. A lot of scattered reef along the shorebreak and open gullies made it that more interesting to fly fish. Don’t you just ever get that feeling that today is just going to be an exciting morning for you not expecting anything big but just hopping for a epic morning’s session and you just wanna get going? Well this time I had a awesome morning’s fly fishing.
KZN Spearfishing Report by Jason Heyne.
This informative and entertaining spearfishing report is really high on the WOW factor. Each week Jason and co-spearos compile a montage of really amazing spearfishing action photos. Thank you Jason!
“The diving conditions this week have been average with strong current and low viz in most areas. The conditions did improve dramatically today (Friday) with a moderate southwest blowing all day. Saturday morning a light northeast blows picking up speed during the day with the swell running at 1.2m. Sunday the northeast gets on it early morning picking up steadily during the day with the swell starting small and increasing in size through the day. So it looks like Saturday morning is the best bet for a dive. The snoek are on the north coast and rumour has it that one or two king mackerel have come out already. Brusher and grunter are thick in the shallows. As always dive safe and straight spears”
Increasing human encroachment into natural areas and the accompanying environmental impact is threatening the lives of our ever-diminishing wildlife population. Director of the Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), Paul Hoyte, will be talking about ‘The Challenges Facing Our Wildlife’ as part of Crocworld Conservation Centre’s monthly lecture series, taking place at 9am on Saturday, 8 October.
Having joined the CROW team as Marketing and Communications’ Officer in 2013, Hoyte immediately took to his role of raising the public image and profile of the organisation and its work in local wildlife rehabilitation.
His dedication to the Yellowwood Park-based centre was evident and – with the 36-year-old organisation’s strong belief in succession from within – Hoyte was appointed as Director of CROW in July this year, taking over from valuable predecessor, Claire Hodgkinson.
“As Director, my role involves fundraising, marketing, strategic partnership development and, of course, heading up the organisation’s dedicated team of staff and volunteers,” explained Hoyte. “I have experience in operations’ management from my previous work experience and am currently completing a degree in Communication Science through Unisa.”
CROW was established as one of South Africa’s first wildlife rehabilitation centres dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of all indigenous wildlife found in KwaZulu-Natal. It is run by a small, yet experienced team of staff and volunteers who assist more than 3 000 orphaned, injured and displaced animals every year. From mongoose, genets and monkeys to birds, reptiles and antelope, CROW gives these distressed animals a second chance at a free, safe and sustainable life. As with all registered, non-profit organisations, CROW relies solely on the support and goodwill of the public locally and internationally to ensure the doors remain open.
“In my years at CROW I have learned so much about the impact we as a society have on our wildlife every single day, from a simple piece of litter to not recycling or conserving water,” explained Hoyte. “Collectively, people have more influence over their surrounds than they realise, from micro to macro. Through this talk, I want people to see the dangers we create while providing them with practical ways to slightly adjust their daily habits so that they can reside in harmony with all living creatures. It’s our way of life that create the challenges faced by wildlife each day and the main reason thousands of animals get admitted to CROW each year.”
The hour-long talk is sure to provide the audience with some astounding insights into our natural world and what we can do to make a difference. Guests are encouraged to arrive for registration and welcoming at 8.30am, with the talk set to begin at 9 am, after which there will be time for questions before complimentary tea and coffee are served. Tickets will include entry into the park and cost R75 per adult and R35 for pensioners and scholars.
Guests are also invited to stay after the talk to discover the rest of the park. Birders will relish the opportunity to explore the park’s aviaries, which house endemics like the Blue Crane as well as local favourites like the Knysna Turaco. The park is also home to an impressive collection of snakes, crocodiles and alligators, while more than 200 wild bird species have been spotted on its grounds. Refreshments will be available for purchase at sea-view restaurant Le Rendez-Vous, while those with an interest in gardening should pay a visit to onsite Izinyoni Indigenous Nursery.
To ensure availability, tickets for the talk must be reserved in advance. To book your place, contact Nolean Allun, Crocworld Conservation Centre on 039 976 1103 or 083 654 9651 or email crocworld. Account Details: Crocworld (Crookes Brothers Limited) Banking Details: FNB, Branch: Scottburgh, Branch Code: 220227, Account Number: 53640119111. Please fax the proof of payment to 039 978 3279.
For more information about Crocworld Conservation Centre, visit www.crocworld.co.za, @CrocworldCC on Twitter, or Crocworld Conservation Centre on Facebook. To find out more about Izinyoni Indigenous Nursery, which is located on the grounds of the centre and open to the public from Monday to Saturday between 8am and 1pm, visit www.izinyoni-nursery.co.za.
Jay Steenkamp patrolling down south to Port Edward and beyond reports that the surfing has been fantastico and they have all been getting shacked. Roosta in Umzumbe reports the same clean powerful swells gracing their underground. But no mention of sardines. Scattered baitballs of other types of smallies up and down, but no sardines.
He also reports that the hard rains that have been falling, have flushed out all the smaller rivers and that the ocean is now a mess. The featured image was shot by Jay at St. Michaels a few minutes ago.
Check out Jason Heyne’s comprehensive weekly spearfishing reports to really learn what is going on under the water off our coastline. He reports in every Friday and we usually have it on thesardine.co.za by Saturday morning, depending on the Friday night :-).
Debbie Smith reports in from out on the edge off Port St. Johns, that their sardine run is still running and that they were encountering baitballs and predators on almost every launch. But the weather has brought the team at Offshore Africa a well deserved chance to regroup and recover from their high adrenalin activities.
More about Offshore Africa, and Diving With Sharks.
And below is Debbie Smith’s Instagram feed portraying the lekker life they are all living right now in and around Port St. Johns as the sardine shoals get them and their guests right into the thick of it.
Keep checking back on thesardine.co.za and sign up to our mailing list to get a free compilation of the weeks news, right in your mail box. The form is up top of the right on thesardine.co.za website.
The Full story…
From Facebook…thanks to GoFish.
Click here to get over to their Facebook page
Here is Ettienne Thiebauts incredible story of his quite remarkable catch at Cape Vidal on Friday, 17 June 2016…..
“So on my way back from Vidal this afternoon the WhatsApp messages start pouring in and facebook breaks my data bundle. Here’s my side of the story (a bit long winded, but it is a fisherman’s tale after all?)
Check out all the wahoo featuring in this weeks spearfishing report by the ever reliable Jason Heyne… – Shonalanga
The sea conditions at the start of the week were great then a big north east pushed through on Wednesday which churned the sea up. Thursday and Friday the south west blew cleaning up the south coast. Saturday the swell drops to 1.5m with a light north blowing switching to a moderate north east later in the day. Sunday looks tops with light variable wind all day and a 1.4m swell running. There are big king mackerel patrolling the south coast with garrick and daga salmon starting to make an appearance. Big Natal snoek are back on the north coast. Sunday looks to be the best day for a dive. As always dive safe and straight spears.