Light Tackle Reef Fishing and Shad in the Harbour

2010-08-08 17:28:58
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Saltwater Fishing Report

I met my guest from Australia just before 06h00 and we left Wilson's Wharf and made our way out of the Durban Harbour Mouth for a 5hr booking. I was expecting a very windy day and choppy seas, but early this morning it was nice even though there was a big swell running. By 07h00 the NE wind started pumping and the sea got really nasty and choppy. Water surface temperature was 20-21 deg. C

Again I have to say that the new boat handled superbly in this rough water, I have been out on many boats and even had a Yeld out on similar seas several times and I can tell you that nothing rides like these Z-Craft boats, really she just handles these seas with ease and still I am able to achieve good cruising speeds of 40km/hr without getting wet and NO banging, just a smooth ride even straight into the swell and wind. When we were drifting no waves splashed over and sprayed us and she does not rock she floats straight and even in a biggish very choppy sea she was still comfortable. Such a pleasure now and I am starting to get used to her and do not regret my decision, especially when I passed several other boats struggling whilst we just cruised past.

Back to the fishing….. I wanted to go for Snoek, but the surf was too big and I do not want take risks with guests on board, and so I trolled some small lures with my Ultra Light trolling rods and we got 2 Torpedo Scad and 3 Eastern Little Tuna and lost a few on the multiple hook ups as it was a single guest and I could not leave the helm because of the heavy chop.

We then stopped over a reef and started fishing with light tackle, I had to beef up the sinkers to get to the bottom as we were drifting quite fast, and we caught several fish the 1st being a Goat Fish, We got 2 Kingfish, some Englishman, some Soldier Bream, 2 Wrasse which gave a superb fight, some Slinger (even some double hook ups) and a lot of Lizard Fish and Sand Soldiers, we also caught some small Snapper. No huge fish, but great fun on light tackle. The variety of Species we have here always amazes me.

If I could get R1.00 for every Sand Soldier that is caught on my Charters I would be a rich man.

Note: When fishing the reefs for these smaller species on light tackle it is of utmost importance to reel them up slowly if you are going to release them, and especially because many are undersize or fish you do not keep because as you reel them up you enlarge their airbladders which will result in them floating and not going down and as a result killing them therefore defeating the object of conservation.

We got back just after 11h00 and I was about to wash my boat when a family with some young boys asked me to take them out for a 3 hr fishing trip in the harbour and so I shot off to the Café to get some bait quickly and then off we went. At first I struggled to find fish and all we caught was a few San Gurnards (Bartail Flatheads) and then we hot the jackpot and found a school of small Shad just as the 3 hrs was up, I stayed longer with the guys and for around an hour we got a shad for every bait, they were all around 27cm and just under size but the 3 boys had a great time catching Shad after Shad after Shad, which were great fun on Bass Tackle. Then the bite went off and we headed back.

Fish Species: Reef
Bait Used: Squid
Tackle Used: Penn 10lb Spinning Rigs
Method Used: Bottom Fishing
Water Depth: 10-40m
Water Temperature: 21deg.C
Wind Direction: NE
Wind Speed: Strong
Englisman on light tackle
Englisman on light tackle

Kingfish on light tackle
Kingfish on light tackle

Mike Laubscher

About The Author: Mike Laubscher

Company: Blue Water Charters - Durban

Area Reporting: Durban. KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Bio: Have been fishing since the age of 7 with more than 30 years experience. Fish in both Saltwater & Freshwater Disciplines. Fly Fishing Specialist, Artificial Lure Specialist, Light Tackle Specialist. Love Fishing, completely addicted to fishing.

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Fishing Guide Mike Laubscher