Definitely not what was to be expected from a sardine perspective! Things seem to have been thrown out of balance somewhat as the fish have not made any appearances on the Natal coast yet. This has led to some interesting happenings. Most notable of these is the prolonged presence of some crocodile Couta on the boat and the odd one off the shore and an abundance and prolonged presence of big Blackfin, big Greys and the odd Diaimond from almost every beach and point on our coast.
The shark tusslers have been having a wonderful time with these things eating everything from Kite fish to Stone Bream, Bronze Bream and of course the normal Bonnie and Snoek head type baits. The smaller sized Yellowtail that came in on this last imported consignment are also a lot more conducive to being thrown rather than slid and it certainly helps when the winter peckers are going mad.
Some really good Kob have been coming out with stories of big tails sticking out of car windows and quite a few fish being caught in the day time by Garrick anglers. There have been no major bursts of Garrick other than a few small ones at places like Winkle and Barracuda in the north. These next few weeks should produce significant numbers of Garrick in a few places.
For the Tuna chasers, it has been a really good season again with one or two fish reportedly being caught from the rocks and every school of Dolphin that comes within casting range of an angler with a plug are being peppered by the Tuna hopefuls. It’s amazing how this phenomenon has caught on and it is even more amazing at how many Tuna are being taken out of the Dolphin schools. To catch these fish from the side has to be the ultimate experience for shore-based spinning. Off the jet-ski’s and fishing ski’s, they have also made for some really exciting fishing.
A couple of weeks ago there were Snoek everywhere on almost the entire coast and they were being caught by shore-based and offshore anglers and then it seemed to subside and go quiet for some time. There seems to have been a re-appearance and recently both shore-based and offshore anglers got stuck into a few.
Another amazing report which falls under the unusual list was from some anglers who were up at Legogo, north of Chidenguele in Mozambique, who caught a lot of Shad off the beach. This year they really seemed to have gone a long way north and were quite thick at places like St Lucia and Vidal long before they started on the north and south coasts. There is no doubt with the abundance of Karra and small Shad on the South Coast that one is going to see quite a few fish there once the sardines have either not arrived or left us once they have. It is amazing how some years this sort of thing happens and interesting to note how it throws other things a little out of sequence.
We had the privilege recently of doing some very different lure fishing as in fly-fishing for Trout in Matatiele. It is incredible how the enthusiasm can be rekindled with a taste of excellent fishing and big fish. We are completely sold of out egg-patterns but hopefully will be getting some in soon. As we speak, the last of the big Mrs Simpson specials have also flown out the door.
We are going to be testing some new products and exploring some amazing destinations between Vilancoulos and Pemba over the next two weeks. Perhaps not the best time of the year but the opportunity has presented itself and Craig from Yacht Sara is going to be taking us to some really remote spots.
The micro-wave guides that we have been testing for some months now have proven to be a big hit on the lighter spinning rods, but globally Assassin is the only brand that has fitted them to shore-based spinning rods at this point. The new Assassin Amia’s with micro-wave guides should be here in the next two weeks and we will be reporting back on our experiences with the UV lure technology that we have also been playing with for some time.