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1 For 12 on Kingfish in the Umzimkulu

Greenspot Kingfish by Christopher

1 For 12 on Kingfish in the Umzimkulu

1 For 12 on Kingfish in the Umzimkulu: Well, I lost count at about 12 strikes! There may have been 15. And yes, we only got one! And a little baby at that. Christopher finally got a baby little greenspot kingfish out of the water on the big pink plug on his trusty carp rod.

Ashlin, Krish, Cuan and I all took a hiding to nowhere. These four guys’ lives have been ruined by this day. In fact, I was joking in this video in fact, that these guys would surely be back this weekend. BUT, they live in Benoni and Springs.

And guess what!?

They have booked for Saturday morning all over again! Now that is commitment. And, it is the level of commitment required to get your mug shot taken next to a bad-mooded baby GT. Or a greenspot. Or a blacktip. Or a perch. Or a rock salmon. Or a koblet…

It’s all on at the moment.

The full story appears on the Umzimkulu Adrenalin website right HERE. Where you can get in touch and make a booking.

Enjoy the picture show…


We also need to consider very seriously, that last year this time, and the year before, were flooding! And so to have the estuary in such fine shape – the reason the fish are here too – we need to take full advantage of the good times!



In this video we do learn that you cannot take a knife to a gunfight. Team Christopher are gonna load their best bass kit with 30lb braid when they get to Joburg. In preparation for Operation Revenge on the Kingfish of the Umzimkulu.

This is what we recommend here on The Sardine News…

Get in touch with Sean on +27793269671 or


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Websites – surf reports and conservation – never miss a single sardine – news from down deep – will get you out there – girls only – right on the river

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Rock Salmon: how far upriver do they swim?

Rock Salmon - how far upriver do they swim?

Rock Salmon: how far upriver do they swim?

Rock Salmon: how far upriver do they swim?: In this quick study, we get a few numbers wrong…but you get the picture at the end.

This day, we were doing some 3D work at the very top of the Umzimkulu Estuary. We were on the St. Helens Rock stretch, and were returning to base after a few hours of scanning.

In the video I said 10 kms. Then 13 kms. But when I measured accurately, the fish was caught at about 9.7 kms upriver. That said, a fish can still swim a long way further. Right up to the steep rapids at the corner to the cement factory. Another 5 km more.

Flowing river

The river was flowing. It had been in full flood just before this trip. And now it was backing off just enough for us to scan. But trailering the boat was a challenge in the current. On my third and last attempt, as I killed the motors, here goes local subsistence fisherman Sandile, vas with a big fish.

Who could it be now?

On handline, I thought it must be a big carp. Sandile gets them quite often right here where he fishes plenty. Takes them to town and sells them in the rank. But this was no carp. As it came out of the water the unmistakable sheen of a rock salmon reflected in the sun. This was a good fish too, maybe even 3kgs or so.

How far?

I measured 10 km if you followed the river channel. But it could be slightly less. Either way…

  • the river was flowing with floodwater
  • the water was brown and fresh as can be
  • the fish took a live bait in that current and in that murk


Umzimkulu Adrenalin is standing by to take you hunting for these formidable fish. Use the big old WhatsApp button floating about somewhere or contact Sean on +27793269671 or on

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The post Rock Salmon: how far upriver do they swim? appeared first on the Umzimkulu Adrenalin website.

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Sharks on my Sonar!


Sharks on my Sonar!

Sharks on my Sonar!: we head out to the Noosa River in Australia for this story…where we get to see how Humminbird have perfected their sonar picture underwater.

It is true genius. The machine doesn’t lie. The sharks on the screen are no doubt sharks! As a bunch of Zambezis aka Bull Sharks, are attracted by splashing in the water of this wild river.

And this is all recorded for us ALL to see…that sonar can undoubtedly detect a shark. Especially in calm waters like the Noosa River.

Enjoy the display…

Sharks on my Sonar!

Sharks on my Sonar!

Here is another great article referencing the same fact.

Sharks Board

I first approached the sharks board, back in the ‘2000s’, about replacing their defunct killing methods, with sonar detection. It’s the most straightforward solution under the sun. Sheldon Dudley of the sharks board vehemently opposed my suggestion back in the 2000’s. With him was Graham Charter. The other guys just did nothing. Said nothing. Many meetings went nowhere. It was not their idea, and so was not going to be deployed.

The main excuse offered by the team back then, was that sharks have no swim bladders, and so could not be detected with sonar?!

I never wanted anything except some involvement. However, as it turned out – it was not the right channel to go down, to try to effect change.

My Motivation

I had back then recently come across an entire pod of dead dolphins. On the back of a shark’s board bakkie. I was furious. And I still am. Those dolphins died (suffocated to death), in the shark nets of Umtentweni. Whilst there were zero beach users at Umtentweni. It was a Monday morning. None of us were even surfing. Nobody was using the ocean at Umtentweni that fateful day.

During the week there might be a few surfers. And on weekends the weekend warriors. Some families come down on weekends to enjoy the granny pool or the shore break.

Are these enough people, this risk so big, that a whole family of dolphins…must die a horrid death in gill nets?

Sonar alternatives

The Australians also kill bull sharks and the like, willy nilly, with shark nets. Archaic gill nets. That kill everything. They kill whales over there in the nets as successfully as our guys. They also use drum lines to actually catch the sharks, and then drag them away from their homes. Forced relocation. This does not work since bull sharks always hang around their own river mouths.

But the Ozzies have developed something clever called Clever Buoy. I am not sure why they don’t use off-the-shelf available sonar equipment. To mitigate development and deployment expenses. But they are definitely on the right track.

Municipalities and you pay for the shark nets

Yip, you are the ultimate payer of the death nets strewn along the coastline of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa. Along with your municipality.

The shark’s board costs hundreds of millions per year. With this money, they kill (annual average):

Sharks Board kill rate average per annum
Sharks Board kill rate average per annum. That is 320 odd sharks per year. Almost one per day.

Harmless Catches

And these they call…”HARMLESS CATCHES”?!?!

Note the lack of whales in this chart. I have interviews, photographs and video to prove otherwise…

Please see the following irrefutable proof that the shark nets have been killing baby whales…here in South Africa. And in Australia.

shark nets Archives – The Sardine News

So all these animals must die…and nobody is swimming anywhere. The water is chock full of ecoli and other nasties right now too. Nobody should be near the ocean. And nobody should be killing sharks in these wayward flood conditions. Brown water to the horizon.

These conditions prevail for months at a time. The nets should be OUT!

More alternatives

Yes, there are more ways to stay safe…

  1. Exclusion nets: deployed perfectly at Fish Hoek (Cape Town) recently, these are proven winners. And these were deployed successfully long before there was even a sharks board. At Umtentweni Beach, and most other popular tourist spots along KZN, still have remnants of the infrastructure used. Concrete pillars with poles set into them. And tennis court netting stretched across them. Stopping any access for sharks. All the while allowing nature to continue along around them unimpeded
  2. Shark shields: for a tiny fraction of the cost of running the entire sharks board, they could equip all ocean users with shark shield devices. They are proven to work and are really cheap nowadays. Get it from the lifeguards and return it after swimming. They could even be rented out.
  3. Tracking devices: many great whites have already been tagged with devices that track their activity in real-time. Right now you can go to the Ocearch Project, and see where the whites are congregating. Let’s just tag the tigers and Zambezis too? I notice some Tiger Sharks, and even whale sharks have been tagged and can now be tracked too on that website. Go check it out, incredible technology applied so well. Some data is old. But new pings are popping all the time.

I have given up on trying to convince the sharks board to stop their heinous acts. We need to get rid of them ourselves somehow. Working with municipalities directly or something.

Please get in touch with Sean on +27793269671 or to discuss any of this further. Especially if you work at a municipality and want to save the people’s money from being used to kill marine life. The backbone of our tourism industry here in KZN.

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Catching Kob

Surf fishing during the sardine run for big kob

Catching Kob

Catching Kob: Our fish – the kob – could be a more relevant national fish than the galjoen. We get kob right the way from Mozambique to Namibia.

And everybody loves to catch a kob!

Since kob can be found out deeper, where ski-boats have been targeting them in waters between 10 and 40 metres, and in the surf zone, and in our estuaries – we have divided this Catching Kob how-to into three seperate parts.

  • Deep-sea
  • Rock and surf.
  • And Estuary

But first, a quick kob gallery…

Kob Gallery


Kob feed at odd times. And sometimes they don’t feed at all, even when you can see them clearly to be there. I have seen kob underwater – huge kob, lined up in tight formation, wallowing behind the surf zone. Baits all around them. And they won’t touch anything!
And then other times, the kob could bite so hard, commercial boats of old would literally sink themselves loading too much fish. Luckily this heinous practise of hauling out fish for profit, is not really practised any more. And the stocks of kob have stabilised, albeit at a fraction of the numbers of before. Hopefully, the more stringent regulations governing the selling of kob might ease the population back to strength. Unfortunately, it’s up to the current political controls in charge of DAFF. Which does not paint a pretty picture at all.

Back to catching kob…launch anywhere up and down the South African coastline, and kob could be on your target list. They really are literally everywhere.

Live Bait

Some spots are blessed with a constant supply of liveys. Mackerel are by far the favourite. Although a little live shad is close behind. Really serious anglers are keeping live bait alive, in cages and tanks in the harbour. So that when they go fishing, no time is spent gambling on catching live bait. Not sure how legal this is, but it’s really effective. Especially for night fishing, since time is always limited.

IGFA allows two single hooks on a trace. Which is a tad risky when fishing with live bait, since a tangle might be in the offing. So, a nice metre length of soft leader, a good 9/0 hook, two swivels and a sinker – is all you need. Drop that rig rigged with a live mackerel onto a showing and hold on tight. Normally at a bit of depth, and the running trace on the sinker snoot, the fish hook themselves when fished with a live bait.

Frozen Bait

Fishing with frozen sardines or mackerel also works. But only when the fish are hungry. This is when advantage can be taken of the IGFA suggestion of two hooks per trace. But. Be aware you may end up with two big kob hanging onto your line!


Turns out that kob love a plastic bait. A paddletail. Colour not so important. But weight is. You will need a solid 2 or 3 ounces to get down there. Bounce it around on the bottom and hold on tight!

Rock n Surf

Circle hooks have really changed things for the better. The trace used is simple. A single 8/0 to 12/0 circle hook on a metre of soft leader.
You can throw out a grapnel sinker and slide your bait if the conditions allow. You need a bit of height above the water for that. Or just tie it all up and throw into the channel between the shorebreak and the middle break. Kob hunt in the absolute shallows in the surf zone. You do not have to cast very far at all.

Live Bait

A live mullet or shad puts you square in the game to catch your trophy kob. Although, if you could get any other live baits, like mackerel, pinkies or mozzies, you would be in the same game.

If your live bait is going to be battling a current, you will need to rig him from the nose or top of the head. Two hooks can help but a single – preferably a circle hook, with the bait nicely fastened on, is the outright winner for successful hookups. Keeping a big needle and a roll of wax thread is a very good habit for live bait fishing. The fish last so much longer when carefully tied to the circle hook. About a centimetre away from the bait. Much like marlin fishing.
If the water is calm and the sea is flat, with no current, then put the hook in at the tail area, so the bait can swim away from you.

Once again, sewing the hook on with wax thread is so much better all around for everything. And it is a good feeling to let your hard-working live bait go without injury, at the end of a slow session.

Frozen bait

Well you can fish a frozen bait much like a live bait. A whole sardine is the go-to bait and has caught shoals and shoals of kob.

Belly bait

A decent belly, freshly cut from a shad or mackerel, is a deadly kob bait. You might want to master the art of the pencil bait. Highy recommended.


Kob have been an enigma to many, for a very long time. What would they be thinking, taking a hard plastic clangy lure, in the middle of the night, cast out there from the beach? Sure, I understand the soft and silent paddle tail, relying on its tail vibrations to get the message out there – but those noisy lures – Eish, they work too!

Kob also take a spoon. A very slow spoon. Literally dragged along the bottom. The Sheppy Bomber spoon, an infamous design from down south, has been revered far and wide for catching kob. Similair S-Bend spoons with half bronze and half silver have been reliable over the years.


Catching kob in our estuaries here in South Africa is over-the-top fun. Challenging for sure. But catching koblets (kob of up to about 5kgs or so) on light tackle and lures is insanely entertaining.

Check this video of my Dad catching 3 at the same time!

Flicking and trolling lures

Tie up a little tiny paddletail, and off you go. The smaller the better. The lighter the better.

Live bait

These little koblets love a live mullet. Its got to be small though, like 3 or 4 inches maximum. To make them perform properly, I thread my live baits under the skin with a needle. And then tie my circle hook to the thread. And then when the day is over, you can let that little soldier go without having done him harm to his vital bits like his mouth and nostrils.

Fresh bait

You need to master the construction of a pencil bait, to get these fish to take a hook inside. Pencil baits are designed especially for shy feeders. Like these little kob. And the spotted grunter that are found with them.

Use a MYDO Silver Bullet fillet trace made up with nylon to make a really interesting pencil bait. You could use a MYDO Shad Trace made with wire too. Especially if those teethy shad come into the scene. A good compromise would be to use wire between the hooks, adding some rigidity to your pencil bait. And then a nylon leader.

The fish approach the juicy long pencil bait, and start to feed from the sides. They don’t get much and soon enough they get greedy and move down to the end of the bait. Which is easily sucked in giving you chance to set the tiny hook hidden in the end of the bait.

Kob lures by MYDO

These are recommendations from MYDO lures for catching kob off the boat, the beach, or in the estuary…

If you stay with us here at the Umzimkulu Marina in Port Shepstone, you will be right in the middle of all the kob action. We have many secret rock and surf fishing spots in really close proximity. And the estuary right our front for all day fun and fishing. Kids love it here!

Also check out Umzimkulu Adrenalin, for lots of things to do in the Port Sheptone area.

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Second Bluefin Tuna taken on a MYDO Baitswimmer

Southern Bluefin Tuna caught on MYDO Bluefin Bomber by Marc White off St. Frances South Africa

Second Bluefin Tuna taken on a MYDO Baitswimmer

Second Bluefin Tuna taken on a MYDO Baitswimmer: yip! It happened again. A slightly smaller fish, at 63kgs…but taken on 40lb braid! By none other than MYDO Mediterranean Agent David Kosta! Fishing ace out!

Bluefin One

Mark White of Port St. Frances got the first one. A bluefin tuna. The southern variety. Swim to New Zealand and back often!

This fish was caught some time ago…but we kept the MYDO part of this amazing double-whammy, a secret, until now. We wanted at least one more before we touted our lures as good for targeting Bluefin Tuna.

Double-whammy! Mark and his mate also caught a decent broadbill at about 100kgs too – on the same MYDO rig – on that same day.

The rig consisted of a big old MYDO Baitswimmer, with a nice long nylon leader, to a big old squid bait. In other words, the MYDO was deployed as a downrigger. Simple leads to organised and this rig does just that.

Bluefin Two

David Kosta strikes again! He fishes the MYDOs the regular way…over to David…this was very recently (yesterday), in the Mediterranean.

“I have a Solo skippers ticket. It means I can go by myself out to sea. That afternoon, I got some fresh bait in the form of couple of 500gr couta caught by one of the gill nets. I left the harbor at 3:30 knowing I have 2 hours before it’s completely dark. Once I rigged the couta on the 4.5 Mydo I was happy to see that it swam very well with 2 vmc 3/0 trebles. I was using 61 pound Malin wire as I was hoping for couta. 15 minutes later the port Rod had a big bite, taking about 100m of line. I tighten the drag to about 6kg and started working. There were a few 50m runs and I thought it was a big couta. After 20 minutes when I couldn’t even see the fish , I decided it was a shark… 5 minutes later I managed to see a silver flash so It went back to the “biggest couta I ever seen…” but secretly I started hoping It is something else that we’re reported jumping in that area 2 days earlier. I few minutes later, I saw it, got it close enough for my 100cm bamboo gaf and pulled it in. 40lb braid, 60lb fluorocarbon leader. 30 minutes.”

This the 63kg Bluefin Tuna (two left pics). From the northern population – these guys swim across the Atlantic to North America and back every year.

Which is what ICCAT (International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna) refused to acknowledge when performing their assigned duty of making up conservation recommendations to lawmakers. In another case of gross corporate greed, the exact people who were being appointed to look out for the tuna populations, were being manipulated (paid) by the corporates. And crooked scientists who were happily being paid to sell the corporate narrative. That these fish were not the same population.

David caught this fish on a regular MYDO Gamefish Trace.

You can learn about the entire range on offer by MYDO by using the main menu above. Or just click HERE.

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