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SKZN Fishing Report 22 May 2022

SKZN Fishing Report 22 May 2022

SKZN Fishing Report 22 May 2022

SKZN Fishing Report 22 May 2022: the sea finally returned back to a normal state down here in Southern KwaZulu Natal. Only after weeks and weeks of that ugly poison soup brown water being hemmed in close to the shore – did the current return last week.

With vengeance.

The water shot back up to 23.8 Celsius (from 19) and was full-up with ‘couta lights (bio-luminescent plankton that signifies the presence of hunting couta). When this current kicks, it really kicks. At about 4 knots offshore, makes things tricky for navigation and fuel consumption. But this is the gamefish water. Purple ink.

Unfortunately, more mud is on its way so we can just hope that the current is strong enough. Mhloti is out of bounds BTW. More flood destruction as another little cut off low hit Durban last night. Out of the blue!

Croc couta at Hibberdene

But a croc’ ‘couta came out this past week! Featured image. By local kayak angler Shaun Simpson. Off Hibberdene. Really nice fish looks like 25kgs or so, maybe more?

Hibberdene does clean up faster than most places down here since there are not any major river mouths north of the place. And those pinnacles and backline rock formations are exactly the turf that the couta like to hunt in. Many, many outsized couta have come from these reefs.

Including these two monsters, taken along while back, in June, 2007. When the sardines had just arrived that season. From the rocks!!!

You can read all about that incredible day right here…

Back to the present…


There are NO sardines yet. Don’t believe anything you read in the mainstream media. And watch out for false sardine news on the social shark nets too. It’s unbelievable how stories grow and get completely out of control as the Dunning -Krueger effect kicks in.

As The Sardine News (marketing for Umzimkulu Adrenalin), we have sardine spies stationed up and down the entire coastline. Make sure to be a part of this community to never miss a single sardine this year and every year to come. Since 1987, we have been doing this. Back then we were a printed tabloid!

Anyway, sardines don’t do brown water so we are gonna have to wait until the current takes it all away.


The shad have most definitely arrived. But we have only been catching them out deep. Away from the poison soup. Some magnificent chases out there along the backline reefs too. Things are getting back to normal. And the shad will come in close with the effect of the current’s long overdue return.

Rock Salmon

Ian Logie cracked the first decent fish of the Umzimkulu Estuary winter season. The water clears up and these fish are available on artificial. Or live bait. As what felled this guy, down in the mouth area.

Fishing report 20 May 2022 featuring Ian Logie again!
Ian Logie strikes again! 4.5kgs.

There has been a big Zambezi Shark terrorising everybody at night time here. ALso spotted during daylight hours, this aggressive fish has been making huge splashing noises as he chases the plentiful perch, mullet and whatever other fish, that have come back him into the estuary recently.

The other estuaries that still function, like Mpenjati and Mtamvuna, are also going to be hot as the dry season sets in.

Get in touch if you would like some of this action!

Sean on +27793269671 or to arrange some fishing. Or check the menu above.

More fun apps/websites:

Umzimkulu Marina – self-catering in Port Shepstone

Spillers House – BnB and Backpackers right on the Umzimkulu River

The Sardine News – never miss a single sardine

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DAFF removes illegal drive-by fish market at Hibberdene quickly and effectively

DAFF Contact Details

DAFF removes illegal drive-by fish market at Hibberdene quickly and effectively

It never took a day. Following procedure, we called the Senior Marine Inspector for DAFF, Mr. Bongani Pitoyi, to alert DAFF of the illegal (and dangerous) highway fish market in Hibberdene. There were literally a hundred of these poachers. Scattered all around the N2 and R102 interchange. Bunches of crayfish. And none of the shad were looking legal sized at all.

We had made a late call to Bongani, we were on our way home after a long day of sardine patrol. And so the very next morning we set out, nice on early, back on our beat. They were gone! None left. We verified this the next day. And the next.

But if we had not called Bongani up, they would still have been there. And this is the thing. DAFF are really understaffed. Spread thinly over hundreds of kilometres of coastline zones. They cannot afford, or do not have the means, to be everywhere at once. Even Ezimvelo could’nt do that.

But we can. In our individual capacities, all armed with cellphone cameras – we can form the network required for DAFF to do it’s job effectively.

In Umkomaas, the good guys there that patrol the Umkomaas Estuary system and surrounding rivers, (Emil Pirzenthal and George Snodey are ring leaders), work with DAFF and the police to continually fight the war on nets going on there right now. Nets are somehow getting down the KZN coast and wreaking untold havoc on our already maimed estuaries. Without these guys being activists, thousands upon thousands more fish would have been killed. For the angler in you, the Oxe-Eye Tarpon, a coveted and rare catch for any sportfisher, were discovered in the nets. Some were rescued, many not. But get on down to the Umkomaas with your fly-rod, and keep an eye out for suspicious activity at the same time.

This is the point. We are everywhere, all the time.

Just as Apple iPhones all have built in barometers, and can feed weather data back to a server for processing in real time – we can feed back poacher data to DAFF. They can then direct resources to the particular problem, as they did in Hibberdene, and sort the problem out.

Complaining and whining about how many shad were destroyed this year, carried off the beach in buckets, is not going to help.

If you witness such a travesty, call the team at DAFF!

DAFF Contact Details

  •  The DAFF vessel operating in our area – The Ruth First, is usually off the Transkei. Their number is 079 773 6514 and Inspector Teyise is on board right now. These are the crew to report suspicious fishing vessel activity to
  • Our contact, Senior Marine Conservation Inspector Mr. Bongani Pitoyi is on 071 765 2533, and is extremely helpful and effective on all matters big and small
  • Another number you can call is Deputy Director Mr Moshani on 076 780 5049

Read about Trawler Watch here.

As a tailend, we would just like to highlight the fact that not one person has called in a suspicious trawler, since Robbie van Wijk nailed one off Mdumbi two whole months ago. Perhaps the presence of the Ruth First and the Sarah Baardman has actually kept the foreign plunderers away. And that is why we are getting sardines through this year, all the way to Durban? Thanks to Robbie! Our devout and deep undercover sardine spy way down in Mdumbi. And DAFF of course.

Could be.

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Handy Hardware Hibberdene for fishing tackle

Handy Hardware Hibberdene for fishing tackle

Handy Hardware in Hibberdene have long been supplying locals and visiting anglers with the right fishing tackle for the KZN South Coast.

Their deep sea wares are top notch, they even stock The Mydo range.

Rock and surf in the Hibberdene area is legendary with some massive fish landed from the point over the years. Read about the most amazing catch of all right here.

The Hibberdene estuary has made a remarkable comeback since the highway development that convinced us all the petite estuary was a goner. But no, the rehabilitation of the river system worked a treat and fishing with artificial lures therein might yield surprising results.

You won’t know if you don’t go!

Handy Hardware in Hibberdene
Handy Hardware in Hibberdene

Since most of the big deals in the country have not supported locally hand-made MYDOs, we sell them online mainly. And in a few shops that still have their souls.

So if you are after a Mydo or two, try out Handy Hardware in Hibberdene. Or check out the Tackle menu on The Sardine News above.

Check out the Mydo YouTube Channel right here.

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A brace of couta at Hibberdene by the Posthumous brothers

The Posthumous brothers with their ultimate brace of couta. Ask these brothers about ways to catch couta!

Flashback to 17 June 2007: A brace of couta at Hibberdene by the Posthumous brothers

A brace of couta at Hibberdene by the Posthumous brothers: The sardines had come at last.

Trucks, cars, bikes, planes…were buzzing up and down the lower south coast of KZN Natal like bees. Every man and his dog was on the chase. The scent of sardine hung in the air and it was making people a bit crazy.

The Posthumous brothers with their ultimate brace of couta. Ask these brothers about ways to catch couta!
The Posthumous brothers with their ultimate brace of couta. Ask these brothers about ways to catch couta!

But not the Posthumous brothers Louis and Dawdie.

They were completely focused on their umpteenth sardine run. But they weren’t after sardines. They had their big sticks ready to fly with perfectly maintained and serviced ancient Penn reels. These are two of the best anglers I have ever met. Total dedication. Perfect equipment. From bay to bay the two brothers hunted. Headland to headland. Lookout to lookout.

Eventually the trail led further up the coast to Hibberdene, and the Posthumous brothers were onto it. They parked their car in the old carpark, and scrambled. Guns loaded. Hibberdene is a great spot for an ambush and as the two brothers got to a place in the rocks they could cast from. A bait ball of sardines boiled on the backline.

These guys cast. Huge casts, and perfectly aimed every time. Time after time. They were fishing their own couta spoons. The same ones they use so successfully off the ski-boat. Moulded at home. Hand tied with wire. Double everything. Heavy duty. Huge hooks. For heavy duty fish.

Oh yes, and very shiny! Using secret methods to get the metal glass smooth and ultra-reflective.

The two brothers let fly at the same time. The twin white metal missiles went straight for the early morning sun and the sardines boiling the surface up. The pair of spoons landed on the glassy ocean and bounced, and dropped into the clear backline water.

They both hooked up. Simultaneously!

Two big and angry crocodile couta!

The fish screamed off together threatening to burn each other off.

For 40 minutes they each fought their quiet battles.

Both winning – they pulled their twin fish up the beach!

A brace of couta at Hibberdene by the Posthumous brothers.

(BTW, I sure I hope I got this story all exactly right, it was a long time ago!)

Check out our YouTube Channel right HERE.

The Sardine News

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The Hibberdene Fishing Getaway by Kiran Ramjiawan

The Hibberdene Fishing Getaway by Kiran Ramjiawan

The Hibberdene Fishing Getaway was written for us by Kiran as he and his devout crew of shore anglers do their best over the last weekend, down on the south coast of KZN, South Africa.

Thank you Kiran!

It’s been almost seven months since our last weekend getaway and the boys and I were feeling the pressures and stresses of our jobs. We needed some rest and recharging ASAP! This time around we wanted accommodation directly on the beach to capitalise on the Shad and Garrick frenzy that has been hitting the South Coast over the past few weeks. With heavy hearts, we felt like we were betraying our Umzimkulu First Love while searching the internet for beach units down south. After countless of disappointing “sorry, we’re fully booked” speeches we almost gave up when we came across a wonderful little six sleeper in Hibberdene. Smack bang in the middle of the July school holidays, we finally beat the Joburgers to a holiday home!

After running through the tackle shop for bait and last minute supplies, Mo and I took the cool drive from Durban to Hibberdene at 10am on Friday, 8th July, with the rest of the gang trailing us by two hours. After what seemed like a ten-hour drive, we finally reached the lovely, comfortable Sea LaVie holiday home, where we kicked off our shoes on the porch and took the 10 steps down to the beach sand eagerly scanning left and right for coves and gullies on the rocky shore-break of the low tide ocean. The crystal clean waters and sand banks didn’t deter us from cracking open our tackle bags (and beverages) to kit up while the four slow-pokes were making their way to us.

When the rest of the guys finally arrived we commissioned Vish and G to the braai while Lush, Mo and I threw the first baits in the water in search of live bait to no avail – fishing was going to be slow this weekend. We decided to head back over and chill on the porch with beer and braai till the sun lowers into the evening.

After the late lunch we were properly warmed up with braai meat, beer and whiskey, but we togged up with double pants and double jackets for extra precaution, and headed to the water’s edge with the fishing rods. Mo was the first to get hit by a nice 35cm blacktail which swallowed a 4/0 kendal round hook! That one was headed straight for the pan. Half an hour later Mo gets another big blacktail and now we had plenty for tomorrow’s fish braai. After a while of peckers nibbling on our baits it all but stopped and things were dead in the darkened night until my Shimano reel started screaming in the rod holder. With the whiskey taking effect, I was slow to react but I managed to get up in the nick of time and pulled hard to set the hook and fought what seemed like a decent sized Kob in the little cove I casted the Sugar Mackerel fillet into. Mo and Lush quickly reeled their lines out to give me the best chance to land the fish – thanks guys! A few minutes later, I was battling with the fish on the steep bank of the shore when Mo screamed BLUE RAY, BLUE RAY! He pulls at the line to get the ray out of the water, and after pulling the hook and a quick measurement we safety released the 8kg beauty to fight another day. We took special care not to hold it by its nostrils or turn him over. I was happy he swam strongly away.

Amped now with the ray, we baited up again, with me trying a Sugar Mac and Chokka combo on the Mustad 6/0, we casted into the cove and waited, keeping occupied and warm with the whiskey. The biting cold weather got to Lush after a while and headed off back to the home to cheer us on from the porch, leaving the super excited Mo and I with the whiskey. Forever goes by then suddenly Mo’s rod gets a solid knock, and the Blacktail-King reels out another blacktail! While he’s unhooking his catch, my reel starts screaming again! I’m quick to action this time to set the hook on a powerhouse. The heavy head shakes felt crazy and I saw my line heading towards the rocks! It was now time to lock the drag and test my knots and biceps! After fifteen minutes of serious punishment I almost had him, with a final few turns of the reel he would be on the sand, but he had other things on his mind with a last ditch effort to escape me, he swam like hell to the rock set right on the shorebreak and that was it! The 0.90mm Maxima leader sheers on the rock and loses the fight to the mighty 16-18 kilo Kingfish! With jelly for arms I called it quits and sat a little while to keep Blacktail King company while he tried for another bite in the now empty waters of Hibberdene. The 2am hot shower and comfortable bed had me a great sleep.

At 6am the next morning my sleep breaks to Lush’s snoring and I get out of bed to catch the sunrise. I thought of trying for some Shad live bait but my now painful arms made it impossible – respect to the mighty Kingfish! After few photos of the sunrise I headed back to bed, after taking Grandpa pain killers, for an hours of rest.

After the rest and less painful arms, Mo and I headed out far-right to a rock point we spotted for some gully fishing. We managed a Karanteen and Stone Brim which we slid out for Garrick, but there were no takers. The almost gale-force winds that started forced us to retreat to the house for breakfast. The South-Wester troubled us the entire day so we chilled out a while, hoping the wind brings some colour to the water, but that wasn’t the case.

That evening turned out beautiful and still though, and we all relaxed under the stars on the sea sand, with Whiskey’s in one hand and roasted marshmellows in the other. There was a side-wash but that didn’t stop Lush trying his luck, and eventually got rewarded with a decent sized blacktail. After the evening fish braai and Sam’s awesome mushroom sauce, we headed to sleep.

On Sunday morning, I woke up early again to catch the sunrise. Mo and I went leftwards with our spinning kits rigged with Mydo lures and spoons, casing into every cove we could find. Slow, medium, fast, jerky – no technique worked. There were just no predatory fish to take the lures. We passed a section of beach with many fishermen called Shad Gully, but there too, only one or two palm-sized blacktails were caught. We decided to call it quits and went back for G’s breakfast while watching a hump back whale in the water. I really wanted to try out the Mydo lures again, remembering the awesome fight the turtle gave after smashing the realistic looking Mydo luck shot and plastic, but there’s always a next time.

Soon after, we had to pack up and leave the lovely little holiday home on the beach to head back to reality, energised and refreshed. Hibberdene fishing is beautiful and gets a thumbs up from me.

Kiran Ramjiawan