Reel Time

Easter manna from heaven for anglers

Fish have been caught in the estuaries and along the shores, now is the time to head out to sea

By all reports angling has been “manna from heaven” this past Easter weekend. Visitors should also not have been disappointed with the conditions.

Fish have been caught in the estuaries and along the shores, and the deep sea has also produced very well, with species being caught that are not day-to-day species either.

If ever there was a time to “invest” in an outing to sea it is now, as the fish are definitely around. There are a number of boats available that operate at both the ports of Port Elizabeth and St Francis.

A black cube head (cubiceps baxteri), a fish only known to occur in the waters around New South Wales, has washed up at Beachview and some strange catches have been made of late, including a tropical yellowtail.

The warm water is very close (not the current) at the moment and a boat’s fuel range is radically reduced as the distances are naturally less.

The shark fishing that takes place in the bay of St Francis is now in the spotlight as a result of the “chumming” that takes place with this type of angling.

Naturally the fish are very much inshore, hence the conflict of interest.

Similarly the “dumping” of sardines that has been witnessed recently also makes one wonder if shark attacks will become more prevalent now.

The surfer who was attacked this week does not seem to have been bitten by a big shark.

Reel Time loved the look of joy on angler Bridget Rogers' face when she caught this huge yellowtail on a fishing trip off the coast of New Zealand
Reel Time loved the look of joy on angler Bridget Rogers' face when she caught this huge yellowtail on a fishing trip off the coast of New Zealand

A good friend of mine, Tim Christy, and partner Bridget Rogers, have just returned from an exotic location where they fished the Three Kings and Princess group of islands 50 nautical miles north west of New Zealand.

This was a five-day out-at-sea experience and any angler’s fantasy. The quality and quantity of fish encountered was unimaginable.

Sadly, I don’t have space here to cover their experience in detail but today’s photo of Bridget with her yellowtail of about 38kg (not the biggest they’d caught either) tells of the joyful experience.

The two caught numerous large fish.

These islands are accessed only by long-range vessels and are well protected; clearly the sizes of the fish speak for themselves.

Next week I will include a photo of the huge harpuka and wreck bass they caught.

In the Swartkops

On to a different subject – rumour has it that there are swimming prawn in the Swartkops at present but I have yet to see this for myself.

Plenty of grunter have been caught this weekend past, with some good kob being landed on live bait too. The fish are biting and the time is now.

Weekend weather conditions

This weekend we experience a light westerly wind in the morning, increasing in strength by late afternoon to around 40km/h throughout the night but moderating towards midday on Sunday, where it turns east at around noon.

We experience an early morning high tide at 7.23am with neap tidal conditions prevailing. 

On Sunday we have the moon at its third quarter with sea temperatures at 22°C in the bay.

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