KwaZulu-Natal is a mecca for fishing enthusiasts in South Africa. It’s the home of ‘The Sharks’, but the real chief of these waters is the King Mackerel or Cuda as they are more commonly referred to as. In the Kingdom of the Zulu, Autumn has just begun. You can tell by the early morning chill that grips the ocean until the mid-morning sun sets it free. The fish are jumping, and the dolphins have been spotted almost daily making the journey around the harbour. In the slow dance between the elements each morning, we are the ones who lucked out.
It’s around this time of the year that the action starts to heat up in the water and it’s safe to say that this year’s Durban Ski Boat Club Festival (28th & 19th April 2018) is going to be the biggest one yet. The festival kicks off at Vetchies beach, which has a panoramic view of Durban’s beautiful coastline that you can see stretching up past the Moses Mabhida Stadium all the way to Umhlanga Rocks. When it comes to the stakes this year, they don’t get much higher. It’s going to be all out war-on-water with the angler who lands the biggest Cuda walking away with a 510 Seacat boat worth R410,000..
From the end of February to mid-April, conditions are prime for hunting game fish in Durban, and the locals will have a definite advantage over those who are down just for a visit. Anglers have the waters from Amanzimtoti in the south to Tongaat in the north as their hunting grounds. Limestone Reef, The Barge, Blue Lagoon and Umhloti are all popular spots that game fish like Cuda, Wahoo and Marlin frequent. Durban has always been a great place to fish, from abandoned whaling stations to hull crunching reefs there are so many places to explore
Trolling and Drifting in 15 – 20m marks are effective with these setups. If drifting, a little action around the boat doesn’t hurt. A little chum behind the bait or catching small baitfish can help attract the Cuda to bite. Cuda will often be found where the bait is, just be sure to be patient and work your spots!