|Date of Report: Sunday, 9th April 2017|
|Name: Scotty Kyle
Sadly this will be a brief and unfortunate report.
The bottom line is that fishing, and particularly fly fishing, has mostly been poor to pathetic in recent weeks. This applies to the lakes as well as the mouth and, while some factors are obvious, they do not explain the, at times, almost complete dearth of fish.
This has generally not been a good year and, even in the lakes, catches have been generally poor. The bait fishers have complained for many weeks about poor catches and species like spotted grunter that were abundant are now scarce. Many boats fish all day and catch nothing and sadly sight fishing does not really work for boat bait fishing.
In the lakes there are still some fish which do aggregate under the terns or may be seen in the shallows but they are fewer than usual and “blind” fishing for them is rarely productive. There just seem to be few big fish in the lakes according to all fishers. One factor must be overfishing by legal combined with illegal methods. Of the fish we tagged in the lakes this year we have already had handed in over 30 of the tags, nearly all from non recreational anglers. We know that fishing effort is high and that netting is a problem but the problems persist despite all we are doing to deal with them. On problem with the tagging of fish is that we have only managed to tag less than half the number we usually do due to very low catch rates.
In the ocean the situation is a little more complicated. At times people report seeing many many spotted pompano around and yet they are only being caught in very small numbers. We just do not understand what they are not being caught, if they are around, as they must sometimes feed and cannot have changed their habits completely within about a year.
At Kosi Mouth the fishing has mostly been particularly poor but we have received reports of people netting in the surf north of Kosi Mouth. Seine netting in these small bays will be really bad news and efforts are being made to deal with this. Almost every year there have been shoals of smallish kingfishes around the mouth, greenspot, bigeye and even bluefin, but this year there have been very few.
Occasionally massive giant kingfishes have been seen in the surf and at Kosi Mouth, and a few have been caught, but numbers are generally low. Greenspot kingfishes have been very scarce although there have been more blacktip kingfishes this year.
All in all you can still have a good day’s fishing at Kosi Bay but, all too often, you really have to put in the hours and effort just to catch any fish.
Easter is almost upon us and this is usually a good time of year for fishing, before temperatures really begin to drop. We really hope that this will be a good Easter and that the fish that we often see in the waves and offshore, finally decide to feed where we want them to.