Posts Tagged KwaZulu-Natal

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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Sodwana Bay Nature Reserve

sodwana bay lighthouse form bay side beach

Sodwana Bay Lighthouse seen from the beach

One hundred kilometers south of Mozambique lies the Sodwana Bay Nature Reserve. Forming part of an extensive conservation area incorporating the Lake St Lucia Wetlands, Kosi Bay and several private game reserves, this coastal reserve is second only in size to the famous Kruger National Park. In recent years proposals have been made to extend the reserve to join up with Mozambique, creating one vast nature conservation area in the Maputaland Corridor.

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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

photo of rocky bay beach

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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