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Shoal of Sardines off Mazeppa

Which Way to Mazeppa Bay

Shoal of Sardines off Mazeppa

3km Shoal of Sardines off Mazeppa: Kevin in Qora Mouth, deep south Transkei, Wild Coast, is perfectly situated to give us the heads up we need this 2024 Sardine Run.

In this video, Kevin explains the interactions that go on between whales and sardines each year.

And then we get to chat about all the different whales we will be seeing at the Greatest Show on Earth this year and every year into the future.

Enjoy the report from just north of Mazeppa Bay, way down in the Transkei

Humpbacks

Contradictory to common belief, these guys eat a lot of sardines. They team up, surround the shoals, and force them together. Then take turns in taking mouthfuls, gorging themselves.

There are three distinct populations. 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).

These guys even know the whales by name…

Brydes Whale

And be careful of these sardine gluttons. They have been known to take the odd diver by mistake. Luckily neoprene seems to turn them off and they regurgitate the snorkelers each time.

I am pretty sure that this is the guy that got Jonah.

Southern Right

These guys are also stated to be zoo-plankton feeders almost exclusively. But they love the sardine run too! Not nearly as common as the Humpback populations.

Minke

These little guys only get about 10m long or so. But they also love sardines! You’d be lucky to spot one or two of these rare cetaceans in amongst the more common Humpbacks.

Affiliated YouTube Channels

https://youtube.com/@Brucifire – entertaining surf reporting

https://youtube.com/@thesardinenews – neva miss out

https://youtube.com/@mydotackletalk – highly technical sport fishing

https://youtube.com/@surflaunchingsouthernafrica – getting out there safely

https://youtube.com/@waterwoes – complain here

Affiliated websites

https://umzimkulu.co.za – self-catering right on the Umzimkulu River
https://umzimkuluadrenalin.co.za – sardine run coming up
https://thesardine.co.za – never miss a single sardine
https://masterwatermen.co.za – news from deep down
https://brucifire.co.za – surf and conditions reporting
https://fishbazaruto.com – your dreams are out there
https://mydofishinglures.co.za – technical sport fishing

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1000s of Cape Gannets dive-bombing in Qora, Deep Transkei

15 May 2024 Sardine Report 1000s of Cape Gannets in Qora

1000s of Cape Gannets dive-bombing in Qora, Deep Transkei

1000s of Cape Gannets dive-bombing in Qora, Deep Transkei: the iconic and beautifully choreographed gannet population descends on the sardine run first. Every time. These are our main indicators. That along with the cetaceans, sharks, fish and other marine mega-fauna, make up all the predators that are chasing after the sardines each year.

When all these guys come together, you are guaranteed a front-row seat at The Greatest Shoal on Earth.

CLICK HERE for the Sardine Run 2024 Sightings Map Page.

Enjoy the report and thank you Kevin in Qora, deep Transkei…

More about Gannets

Cape gannets (Morus capensis) possess several remarkable features that set them apart:

  1. Colonial Nesting: These seabirds breed in large colonies, often on remote islands or rocky cliffs. Their communal nesting behaviour is a spectacle to behold.
  2. Distinct Appearance: Cape gannets have striking plumage, with snowy white bodies, black wingtips, and a golden-yellow crown. Their eyes are surrounded by a distinctive blue ring.
  3. Precise Diving Skills: When hunting for sardines, they perform spectacular plunges from great heights, folding their wings and torpedoing into the water. Their streamlined bodies and keen eyesight aid in precise targeting.
  4. Monogamous Pairs: Cape gannets form monogamous pairs during the breeding season. They engage in elaborate courtship displays, reinforcing their bond through synchronized head movements and calls.
  5. Diet: Their diet consists of small fish, especially sardines and anchovies. They rely on the annual sardine run off the South African coast for abundant food.
  6. Conservation Concerns: Unfortunately, Cape gannets face threats such as overfishing, pollution, and habitat disturbance. Conservation efforts are crucial to protect these magnificent birds.

In summary, Cape gannets combine elegance, precision, and ecological significance, making them a celebrated and vital part of South Africa’s marine ecosystem.

Cape gannets are attentive parents, and their chick-rearing process involves several key steps:

  1. Nesting Sites: Cape gannets breed in large colonies on rocky cliffs or remote islands. They choose nesting sites carefully to avoid predators and ensure proximity to food-rich waters.
  2. Courtship and Pair Bonding: During the breeding season, male and female gannets engage in courtship displays. They perform synchronized head movements and calls to strengthen their pair bond.
  3. Egg Laying: After courtship, the female lays a single egg. Both parents take turns incubating the egg, which typically lasts around 44 days.
  4. Incubation Shifts: The parents alternate incubation duties. While one incubates, the other forages for food. Their precise shifts ensure constant warmth for the developing chick.
  5. Hatching and Chick Care: Once the egg hatches, the chick emerges. It is initially covered in soft down feathers. The parents feed the chick regurgitated fish, providing essential nutrients.
  6. Growth and Development: Over the next few weeks, the chick grows rapidly. It develops waterproof feathers and gains strength. The parents continue to feed it until it becomes independent.
  7. Fledging: Around 90 days after hatching, the chick is ready to fledge. It takes its first flight, leaving the nest. The parents continue to provide food during this transition.
  8. Post-Fledging Period: After fledging, young gannets spend several years at sea, honing their fishing skills. Eventually, they return to the colony to breed, continuing the cycle.

In summary, Cape gannets exhibit dedicated parenting, ensuring the survival and success of their chicks in the challenging marine environment. ?? : https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/c/cape-gannet/ https://www.sardinerunpe.co.za/

Affiliated YouTube Channels

https://youtube.com/@waterwoes – complain here

https://youtube.com/@thesardinenews – neva miss out

https://youtube.com/@mydotackletalk – highly technical sport fishing

https://youtube.com/@Brucifire – entertaining surf reporting

https://youtube.com/@surflaunchingsouthernafrica – getting out there safely

Affiliated websites

https://umzimkulu.co.za – self-catering right on the Umzimkulu River
https://umzimkuluadrenalin.co.za – sardine run coming up
https://thesardine.co.za – never miss a single sardine
https://masterwatermen.co.za – news from deep down
https://brucifire.co.za – surf and conditions reporting
https://fishbazaruto.com – your dreams are out there

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First Sards of 2024!

First Sardines Report of the Season Team MYDO 2024

First Sardines of 2024!!

First Sardines of 2024! Yes, we are all about the sardines here at The Sardine News. And when there are no sardines, we fill in the gaps with salty news from all along our magnificent seaboard.

Enjoy the video…and a lot more to follow…

Today we start in Mozambique where the good weather has just kicked in. The fishing is great. The water is warm and clear. And there have been non-stop waves since we arrived a week ago. It’s been challenging getting this report out here in Moz but it came together ok I think.

Kevin in Qora reports that his ocean is alive and well. And is hosting the migrating humpback whales already! They are on their merry way north and we might start seeing them all along the coastline soon.

The Bear of Master Watermen reports good fishing and good conditions in and around the greater Durban area. Lots of couta up north and some big ones at that.

Then we head to Morgans Bay where we have had a solid sighting of sardines being hammered to pieces. By dolphins, birds and gamefish. Very exciting and exactly what we have been waiting for!

A quick surf report by Brucifire in Jeffreys Bay leads us to Team MYDOs first couta of the season. Way down here off Port Shepstone on the KZN South Coast. It was taken on a MYDO swimming a walla-walla.

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Thank YOU!

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Bucktails vs The Law

The Umzimkulu Special bucktail by Dirty Prawn

Bucktails vs The Law

Bucktails vs The Law: “Sean, Sean, please man, we need your assistance. We’ve been arrested for jigging with bucktails! Fishing down here in PSJ!”, came the call.

DAFF

And so I sprang into action. Called up my dear DAFF contact Bongani, and asked him about it all. Bongani pulled out of the Mtata traffic he was in at that moment, and we discussed the situation. Over the following piece of legislation.

The law!

While there is literally zero chance of misinterpreting the intent of section (c) – its application to real-life normal fishing methods and styles is alarmingly loose.

Back to the victims

And so I called up the two dudes with the R2500 fines in their back pockets. And asked them how hard they were jigging. The response was kind of really vague as he started comparing his “medium” jigging style, to the guys on the boats out at sea. Who jig like crazy, he claimed.

Blame mentality for justification

But ok, I’ve been picking up on a new environmentally destructive mentality all over recently. It goes like this…

“But the trawlers take everything…”. Or, “Have you seen those netters in the Cape…”. Or. “The deep-sea ous catch it all anyway…”. “The spearos shoot them”. And so on…

All kinds of blame is used to justify catching 10 shad, or 5 brushers. And with The Parks Board, nee Ezimvelo, gone and stripped of its guts and morals by corruption under Zuma. And DAFF totally untrained and unready to take on the sophisticated networks of poachers that exist now – it’s a literal free-for-all as the ocean gets looted every day. And people just look on and say nothing. And do nothing. And worse still, use one of the claims above, to become an ocean looter too.

Back to Jigging with Bucktails

Yes well if you gonna jerk up hard with apparent or seeming intent at jigging something in the body, you gonna get busted. This is the price it seems we have to pay, to have the law enforceable. I am sorry for the seemingly innocent dudes who got busted. But maybe in the future, legislation allowing certain lures to be jigged hard across estuary channels teeming with breeding fish will be passed.

But for now, it’s definitely possibly maybe illegal.

I was an illegal jigger

True confession. I was an illegal jigger! Yip. For absolute real. This is the story…

Brucifire and I were staying at Jungle Monkey. This was a long time ago. 2015 to be exact. I was in PSJ with Bruce making a movie about surfing 2nd beach. Which we did, made our point, and got out. But man did we get in trouble for that.

But ok, I woke up at that beautiful backpackers, joined Bruce for a coffee in the lookout. And watched the sun climb through the clouds. The tide was gonna turn soon and it was an idyllic morning.

Something weird was abuzz too. Something in the air, the atmosphere. It was all electric.

“Bruce, I’m just gonna go catch a fish quick, ok?”. Bruce grumbled something encouraging through his coffee-stained morning beard. And I trundled down to the beach. As I pulled up, there was quite a scene going on. I jumped out and looked out over the water towards Agate, and there I saw them.

“Zambies!”, I exclaimed.

“Nay Bru, kob!”, he corrected me in the local PSJ tongue.

I nearly had a heart attack. I’ve never seen it since. Those huge fish were lolling and rolling over each other, as they spawned. In front of my innocently bleeding eyes. I went into that mental state of flow, but it never worked at all. I first put on the wrong spoon. Then clambered back up and changed to a 2 Oz MYDO LuckShot Jighead and a 7 inch plastic jerktail. Pink?! Crashed back down the bank and started at a spot where I was kind of on my own. I saw a guy in the distance lose an honest 20kg garrick right at the bricks. Split ring broke right at the gaff! Fish were everywhere this crazy memorable day. Adrenalin pulsing.

And then it was me. A solid thump. Something really big. And I was vas. For the very first time in all the years, I have tried to get a big fish from the shore, finally, I was in the game. And an hour and a half later, the gaff went in. And the hook fell out.

I had hooked the fish under the chin. Not in the mouth.

I had illegally jigged the fish.

But it was totally by accident I tell ya!

Luckily, the 20lb light tackle had served its purpose and the hook stayed in without its barb helping once, for the entire 90 minutes. That fish was my first, and most certainly will be my last big kob.

You only need to catch one of these magnificent fish - in your whole life!
The TWO wise men -according to Brucifire! Visiting priests from Ethiopia to PSJ were mightily impressed. And took a photo op! You only need to catch ONE of these magnificent fish – in your whole life!

But ok, this all I had to process, before being able to resolve in my head, the fact…that jigging up hard and with seeming or apparent intent, is illegal.

No matter what lure you have tied on.

Epilogue

The two victims that initiated this story, took legal advice. Which was to contact the public prosecutor before the court date, and try to explain the situation.

However, the fines were totally invalid.

They had a court place that doesn’t even exist. There was no public prosecutor to contact. No information on the fines. The actual fining was invalid too. On video taken during the incident, many requests were made for the identities of the arresting officers. One of whom gave a first name, the other flatly denied. It was a $%^$% show and would never have held up in court. Even if there was one.

All the while, the real jiggers, were hiding in the bush laughing their heads off.

And the minute the DAFF dudes left, they were back at it.

Advice

Watch this video for some alternate ways of working estuary lures. Bucktails included. Pay special attention to the extremely gentle nature of any rod tip actions during fishing with these lures.

Gently. Is the key. To an estuary.

These days that’s by law!

The Sardine News and the Master Watermen are powered by TLC for your Business. E-commerce pros.

Just in case you’re not aware of who Brucifire is…

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Final Solution for Port St Johns Garrick and Kob Slaughter

Final Solution for Port St Johns Garrick and Kob Slaughter

Final solution for Port St Johns garrick and kob slaughter: Well first off, apologies for going so quiet. I was on a secret mission in the Transkei somewhere. Job just finished. For obvious reasons none of the fish I caught on this trip can feature in this video. But. Watch this space!

Second apology is to the individuals who work at DAFF. Please understand that as a collective you guys are ineffective and things have to change. And we as anglers, are here to help. 100%.

Port St Johns Garrick slaughter: Slipway illegal jiggers Port St Johns August 2020
Slipway illegal jiggers Port St Johns August 2020. When DAFF finally came they arrested the wrong people. AGAIN! This is one of their favourite past times. Many stories behind this one.

I am back in the studio now. And will be publishing content on a far more regular basis again. This rant touches on many sensitive subjects and I am open to conversation so please feel free to comment with your thoughts. Positive or negative. It all counts towards a greater understanding for us all. Abuse…ummm…you will just lose your own credibility anyways. So. No!

When you are done watching, please consider a Like and Subscribe on my YouTube channel – so that I stay inspired to keep up the fight. Thank you to all viewers and subscribers thus far. We are mainly short of environmental lawyers and the like. But any constructive contribution is most welcome.

Let’s do this!

Like and Subscribe to the channel to ensure more content like this will flow.

We got lots of rogue government organisations to roast. Starting with DAFF!

And who can guess who is next?

Ya!

#thesardinenews #mydo #mydofishing #mydofishinglures #port st johns #transkei #south africa #garrick #kob #conservation

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