Good intentions lost out to fishing. Plans to be in Durban by shop opening time got way-laid by the desire to wet a line in the morning. Overnight stop at Rocky Bay, south of Durban found us camped within 50 footsteps of the shore, so the call of the fish was just too powerful to ignore.
Rocky Bay has not Produced Much Fish
That’s what the local early morning anglers had to say. For several years this spot has been un-productive. Theories abound why this previous hot-spot has been so quiet in recent years. Some say the sandbank running along the coast is keeping the fish away from the shore, others say the sandbank will keep the feeding shoals in-shore. Offshore fisherman are catching, so there are fish in the area.
The sandbank theory makes sense to me – It can clearly be seen extending a long way along this part of the coastline, and is very shallow. Waves build up on the bank and break, before continuing to the beach.
For once, no fish were caught this morning, by us or local die-hard anglers. However we had a pleasant morning, chatting with other fishermen, discussing the conditions and of course exchanging fishing stories, before hitching the trialer and hitting the road.
Bait, Tackle and Supplies
First stop after Rocky Bay was in Winkelspruit – another well-known fishing hotspot about 45km south of Durban, to visit the recommended tackle shop. The angler who gave me the information was spot-on with directions to find the store. A small tackle shop just off the beachfront carries a small range of essential tackle, and as promised, top quality bait including IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) sardines, squid and other bait. Imagine my surprise when the owner informed us this bait came from Port Elizabeth and other parts of the Eastern Cape.
The shop also had a fresh consignment of locally caught redeye sardines (high on my list of must-have bait) and mackerel. So a hefty wad of cash got handed over, and the next 45 minutes was taken up packing our supplies into cold boxes with packets of ice.
Kingfisher and More Bait
Into Durban and the Kingfisher Tackle Shop. After finding the small out-of-the-way shop in Winkelspruit so easily, I was not expecting to have trouble finding Durban’s best known tackle store, but that is just what happened. One way streets, road works and a slightly out-of date map didn’t help. Eventually we got there, then to find a place to park – with rods on the roof, a trailer full of kit, and Durban’s notorious ‘theft from motor vehicles’ to consider.
However, a ‘car-guard’ pointed out a spot right outside the Kingfisher – where we could park and promised the vehicle (and our gear) would be safe.
Entering the emporium is a sight for any keen angler – every possible item of fishing tackle seems to be on display. But we were not here to browse. Heading over to the bait freezers, we found one nearly full of yellowtail in the 1.5 to 3kg size range – just what was needed. Catching a shop-assistants eye – I asked if I could fetch our cooler boxes, as I wanted to see how much I could load, and permission was given. Shop staff even came and helped carry our remaining empty boxes inside.
Explaining that we needed to leave space on top for ice, the boxes were quickly filled with yellowtail, as well as langostines and a few crayfish…. Then over to the tackle racks for end tackle – Fluorocarbon trace line, trace wire, power swivels, circle hooks, and best of all, they shop had stock of slide clips with welded-rings and power swivels attached. (I grabbed every one they had on the rack as the welded-ring kind are hard to find).
Iced Down and Back on the Road
The Kingfisher also had ice – so this was one stop shopping. With our cool boxes filled with bait and ice, we headed back to the N2 highway, and left the chaotic traffic of Durban behind. Finally we felt the expedition was truly under way.
Ray the Fisherman