KZN Fishing Report Jan 2021 – the water is cleaning up!
KZN Fishing Report Jan 2021: It’s been a helluva end to any form of drought in this country after this rainy season!
And the plumes of stormwater runoff and erosion laden water have been extending for many miles up and down the KZN Natal coastline. And straight to sea. Luckily, this is a natural event that has been occurring since whenever and is vital to the balancing out od the oceans acidity levels. The runoff water carrying all that good stuff, is alkaline enough to do this vital job, every wet season each year.
The Sardine crew are the Umzimkulu Marina at the moment. And this is hard work, trying to catch gamefish, in such opaque water. Mostly by far, it is not pollution, but a pigment in the water, that comes from the mountains in the main catchment area. Its the same pigment that gives the Orange River its name. The two rivers start in the same area up top of the mountains somewhere. One goes south, one goes west. Same colour!
The water is also flowing strong and sometimes it is difficult making headway, after strong rains! And it takes a good week or so, to slow down.
However, this onslaught of freshwater doesn’t affect the bait much. Prawns and mullet can still be netted easily enough. And we did catch this very nice perch. On a live prawn. In the Umzimkulu. It was healthily released by Marco and his two kids, aboard Sick Day. In the brown, up at the big hole. Check the dense brown flowing water behind Marco jnr.
Eels and barbels, and of course huge mangrove crabs, love this water. Some eels are a metre long!
As do turtles! They swim right up into the estuaries to rid themselves of fresh water intolerant parasites. We have been seeing a bunch since we have gone stealth mode with electrics. And a no-wake zone has been re-established to stop the all-too-often collisions with marine animals using the estuary.
The following three rock salmon were hard won in extreme conditions. Way down south, in secret locations! These guys fish all night when they go. Putting in many, many hours. Being beaten by many, many, large, large fish. Until finally it all comes together like these three trophy fish. ALL released to fight another day. These fish have just about reached sexual maturity. After some more time in the estuary, they will get restless, and head on out to sea. To the deep blue up north. To meet up and spawn with the rest of them.
Rock n Surf
All about the brown water again. But, wherever its blue, the spearos have been getting out there and klapping it. So we know that the fish are there, and also just have to follow the blue water, like the spearos do – all their lives.
Difficult to work in these conditions. But the fish ARE there and we just have to work harder, and use smellier or more lively baits!
Other than a few giant kob being caught in secret that I know about, and a few garrick, it has been tough.
I saw a photo of an African Pompano caught off the piers at Durban.
Shad very sporadic and inconsistent.
Dorado. Couta. Tuna. Yellowtail. And marlin!
Along the edge of the brown plume, a distinct line forms, and this attracts a lot of attention. There are boats having a fine time up and down this coastline, when weather permits. Every few days only! The winds have been busting all out all season. Along with the rain. Lightning. And thunder!
An amazing catch…
These two couta were actually taken on the 27th of November, in 2020! Making them the first two fish of the 2021 season by far! I wonder if anyone will ever catch another one (or two) before this date next year. I think we should offer a prize each year! And then I’ll try my best to win it myself ha ha. But with such good anglers on the water these days, it could be anyone’s next year (or this year still!).
Well when you can dive down to 50m holding your breath, then you deserve every fish you shoot. This is Master Don Solomon and his mate Stephen Fraiser with some well-earned fish. These were all very recent when diving very deep to escape the brown has been an only option. Do NOT try this at home! Thank you to The Bear from The Master Matermen and Top Man, for the images.
So ok, we have just gotten through the worst of the brown water blues, and are flying through January as fast as possible, so we can then get through February, and into the good times. Sometimes it cleans up before, and then floods again, over and over. But by March it is plain sailing.
Get in touch with Sean on firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance planning for your next fishing holiday. Come and join us here for a relaxing time. The whole family loves it at the Umzimkulu Marina, where are based for schmockdown.
By Sean Lange
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And that’s all folks for the KZN Fishing Report Jan 2021!