Rivers springing to life

Reel Time, with Wayne Rudman

THE swimming prawns are due in our estuaries around the Eastern Cape (they have been noted in the Swartkops) and possibly the presence of the diminishing red tide might have a knock-on effect here.

We wait with anticipation to see what the situation will deliver.

Such strange phenomena are of real interest and concern.

Global warming is a fact and these trends are the products of these influences.

Dune formation is another one of these occurrences. From time to time I visit Sardinia Bay and there is a perfect example of these dune shifts.

When out one morning checking the beaches for dead fish I was alarmed by the shift of the dune at Sardinia Bay's car park.

Man's intervention may be equally destructive to these natural advancements along the shores of our coast. The westerly wind that prevails is the cause of these dune formations and, simply put, we will have to accept it and grow with them.

The estuaries have started producing fish, especially those on the wild side, Gamtoos and Kromme. I am told that the Kromme is quite productive at the moment with small cob.

These small cob are most probably silver cob, which are essentially a deep sea species. I make this assumption based on the strange occurrences we have observed in the Kromme of late. I see this river as an extension of the sea due to its high saline content as a result of little fresh water entering the system due to the Impofu bulk storage dam up-river.

The silver cob is best identified by its smaller mouth whose corner ends in front of the eye, should a line be drawn down vertically from the eye to the lower jaw.

I have always been intrigued by the fact that the shore and estuarine angler is restricted to one cob per day, while the deep sea angler may possess five.

This is most probably because identifying the different species of cob, the dusky, squaretail and silver cob, which all look similar, is difficult for the average angler.

Regular contributor Chris Schoultz assures me that the Swartkops is producing and he has landed a number of grunter on Rapala.

Numerous cob have been caught and rather large garrick have also been seen casing the bait fish on the drop-off sections of the banks.

The "drop-off" is the area where the river suddenly gets deeper. These are prime hunting spots for predators.

As the banks drain, approaching the low tide, bait fish are forced into the channels and are collected by the opportunistic patrolling there.

This time of year high water temperatures do affect feeding trends so angling the cooler sections will deliver better results.