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SARDINES on the KZN South Coast

Sardines on the KZN South Coast 7 June 2024

SARDINES on the KZN South Coast

SARDINES on the KZN South Coast: these sardines have me on the edge of my seat!

Yesterday rumours were circulating already. And today many sporadic sightings have been reported. From lower KZN South Coast waters.

Advice is only to wait and see rather. Sardine Fever is mean stuff and you can easily find yourself chasing sardines from carpark to carpark in vain.

The sightings today have all been from far off. They actually could even be other baitfish like mackerel or red-eye sardines. So many guys out there are after clicks that you really need to question the validity of each post. However, with so many reported sightings on social, let’s just go with it!

First Shoal

These are then the sardines that Kevin in Qora spotted for us ten long days ago. It was a substantial shoal that was sighted. Big enough to get through the hordes of predators lying in ambush along the way. Who were already quite satiated with those early pilot shoals. That went through even before this first main shoal.

How far this first main shoal gets is gonna be interesting. But with the absolutely ideal water and weather conditions ahead of us, more big shoals are sure to follow along smartly.

The KZN South Coast would be the perfect place to be if you want to see sardines this year. The rivers have been swept clean by the recent floods induced by that foul cut-off low storm system recently. Good for something!

Hotspots

Sardines love Port Edward. And it is so easy. Beyond Port Edward the main road turns inland and the beaches are a long drive each time. Port Edward has grand-stand seats to the sardine run. With a well laid out promenade with ample parking and viewing sites. The sardines often beach at Port Edward. And most years this is where the first nets will be going in.

But that ain’t no guarantee! Sardines do make up their own minds and sometimes the first shoals will skip Port Edward and bounce over to beautiful Glenmore Beach. Trafalgar. All the way up to Margate, there are so many lush spots to gain a vantage from.

Margate has had it’s pipes cleaned a number of times lately and hopefully with this recent flush, the ANC or the MK or whoever, can do a proper job of the stormwater systems this time. Sardines do not like dirty water. But at the moment Margate is clean and it would be safe to visit there. For sardines, and for people.

Forecast

North of this Lower South Coast stretch is going to be a tough call. Perhaps a few of those early little pilot shoals survived out deep. And they might pop in to the coast and catch us all by surprise.

You can get a real feel of the sardine run and how it unfolds each year at the following links to the relevant Sardine Sightings Maps.

2024

2023

2022

Please consider heading on over to our YouTube Channel where we break The Sardine News first.

Sardines are Surfers

The hectic ocean swell from the southeast has backed right off. And looks to be turning to a south swell. And as we all know – Sardines are Surfers. And they will be capitalising on any pulse they can. Sardines on the KZN South Coast 7 June 2024.

Sardines are Surfers! By Kevin Tuohy

The Sardine News on YouTube.

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Sharks on my Sonar!

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.

https://recfishwest.org.au/news/spotting-sharks-on-your-sounder-to-help-reduce-bite-offs/

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 umzimkulu@gmail.com 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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Sardines Reported 14 May 2021 from Morgans Bay

Sardines Reported 14 May 2021 from Morgans Bay

Welcome back to the most up-to-date sardine run 2021 reporting YouTube Channel and website – The Sardine News.

Morgans Bay

A very positive triple-up report from the Morgans Bay area, just north of East London. The trio verify each other with near-exact descriptions of the action and combining of elements. And location. Kilometres of sardines, with thousands of birds, and the usual plethora of marine wildlife in chase. Humpback whales were also reported along with hundreds of dolphins and gamefish.

Perfect timing

Actually, this is perfect timing, for these first shoals to make their appearance. It bodes well for a good season and we need not even get too excited about these first shoals. Except that, they often have the gamefish with them. Winter gamefish hang around for the sardine run, patrolling up and down the coastline in search of the huge free meal. So they are often at the first few smaller and stretched out shoals. And they seem to out-pace the sharks. Who more lazily stick to the massive shoals that are still coming.

Aloes

Baby buds forming up for the sardine run 2021 season.

The aloes on the KZN coastline and further south, are the most reliable indicator, as far as we can tell from the years. And they have hardly started budding. Although they are getting some colour. And when the “red hot pokers bloom”, that’s when the sardines will arrive en-masse.

So, make sure you do not miss out on any sardine action and whereabouts, by subscribing to this channel.

Although we do feature surfing and diving along with fishing, we realise that this time of the year is all about the sardines.

And so we commit to being extra diligent as we gather and report on the sardine run this 2021.

Master Watermen

The Morgans Bay reports actually came from the Master Watermen spearfishing website which you follow too. To take advantage of the spearos underwater perspectives.

A big thank you to Jason Heyne for the reports!

More at https://thesardine.co.za and https://masterwatermen.co.za

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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!

Mpande

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.

Mdumbi

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…

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

Catch us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/thesardine.co.za/

Post by https://thesardine.co.za

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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: https://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