Archive for category Fishing

Pomatomus Saltatrix | The Shad or Elf

The Shad (species: Pomatomus saltatrix – Lineaus), also known in South Africa as Elf, in Australia as Tailor and the USA as Bluefish, is a member of the order Perciformes and family Pomatomidae, and is a popular angling and food fish especially in KwaZulu Natal where people of Indian origin find it extremely desirable…

Read the Article at: Shad or Elf | Pomatomus Saltatrix

This Article has been moved – see reason here:  https://mosselbaai.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/changing-times/

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Shad Run Madness

photo of shad fishermen

Shad fishing South Coast style… (Image from thesardine.co.za)

The Seasons are Changing So Must the Fishing

Mid May and winter is around the corner. We have already seen the change in fish being caught in the area. The species common in summer have become fewer in number while winter fish hasn’t really started yet.

Fewer elf have been seen lately. These tasty bait fish are most prevalent in Mossel Bay during summer, but come the winter months and the drop in sea temperature sees these fish begin their annual migration up the East Coast to the spawning grounds off KZN, and to face the gauntlet of Natal’s ‘shad-run’.

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Footprints in the Sodwana Sand

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The Beach Below Mseni - Sodwana, South Africa

We left our footprints in the sand and nothing else. Who would leave trash on this pristine beach? Anyone doing so should be expelled from the reserve without refund. During the night it rained, and heading down to the beach on the Mseni side we found sand showing no sign of human presence. If not for the wooden stairway leading to the beach one could easily believe the we were the only people ever to have set foot on this beach…

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Arrived at Sodwana

photo of sodwana bay

Sodwana Bay - Seen from Lighthouse path

We got here at last. After leaving the Kingfisher in Durban, we got on to the northbound highway, determined to get to our ultimate destination with no further delays.

A Good Road North

The N2 national road from Durban to Hluhluwe is a pleasure to drive on. Although it carries a fair amount of traffic, the surface is in better condition than many of the other main arterial routes in South Africa, is double-carriage for a good part of the way, and the toll sections are reasonably priced.

On another occasion I may have been tempted to stop off at Tugela Mouth or Mazeppa Bay, but we suddenly realised nearly a week had gone by. For a change we arrived at the campground, run by Conservation Services (the old Natal Parks Board) while it was still light, and the office was open so we could book in. Late arrivals can still check in, paying a deposit to the rangers at the gate, but then must call in to the office first thing the next day to sign the register.

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Rocky Bay, Bait and Heading On

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The Beach at Rocky Bay - KZN

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.

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Wild Coast to KZN

photo of port st johns umzimvubu river

Port St Johns on the Umzimvubu River

Leaving Mazeppa we took N2 National Road as far as Umtata, then veered back towards the coast and Port St Johns. This scanic route winds it’s way through the rural part of the Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal, along some really poor roads. It’s worth it though, this is maginificent landscape – anyone with a suitable vehicle and the time really should travel this region.

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Deep Water Mazeppa

photo of deep water at Mazeppa Bay

Access to deep water for shore anglers at Mazeppa

Deep water is only  a short cast from the rocks when fishing Mazeppa Bay in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Whether an angler is looking for large sharks and rays, or a deep water edible species, Mazeppa Bay can be very productive at times.

Fishing Mazeppa – Day 2

Day two at Mazeppa began with a nice early start – the wind had changed direction to North East during the afternoon of day one, becoming so severe by late afternoon we decided to break from fishing and do some sightseeing instead. By 2.30 AM no-one had much interest in sleeping any longer. During the night the wind had dropped off completely, so off we headed to the ledges, determined to get baits in the water as soon as possible.

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Victoria Bay

victoria bay

Victoria Bay, South Africa

One of the worst kept secrets on the Garden Route, Victoria Bay grew in recent years from a small quiet holiday resort to a small hamlet with a handful of semi-permanent residents. Originally there was only a camping ground, and later a small shop that opened during holidays and weekends. Victoria Bay in those days was a haven for surfers, and occasionally fishermen.

Vic Bay – First Stop

Victoria Bay is ony a short distance from Mossel Bay, so it may seem strange to make this the first stop on our journey North. However, it’s been some time since last I dropped a line in the water here, and after a late departure Jen and I decided to overnight here, do a bit of night and early morning fishing before continuing our expedition.

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Do You Want a New Saltwater Angling Magazine

Please vote – multiple choice answers are permitted – choose whether you would like to be able to buy the magazine from a store, or to subscribe (Or both if you would like both options) and tell me where you live (AND FISH)

Here it is, one of my options for a new career.

Please help me to establish the potential for a new career related to my favourite occupation, FISHING by taking this survey.

Voting on this survey is totally anonymous. No personal details are collected. I will not be able to send you e-mail because your personal information is not required.

This survey is purely to provide me with an indication of the desirability of a new magazine to replace ESA Magazine (Read my post What happened to ESA Magazine).

FISHING is LIVING

Ray the Fisherman

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Extreme Sport Angling Magazine

What Happened to Extreme Sport Angling Saltwater Magazine

Extreme Sport Angling Saltwater Magazine (ESA), for several years the premier saltwater English language angling magazine in SouthAfrica suddenly dropped off the bookshelves and disappeared. What happened to it?

Extreme Sport Angling Saltwater MagazineESA Saltwater Magazine occupied a fond place in numerous anglers hearts for several years. Along with a weekly television production, a weekly angling competition held all over the country, each week in a different place, good value prizes, fishing trips for subscribers… This was a very popular publication, so what happened to make it disappear virtually overnight.

It seems the publication traded hands from one publisher to another several times before it’s demise, finally ending up in the hands of one of South Africa’s leading media houses, Avusa Publishing.

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