Kayak Fishing Durban, South Africa E-mail
Written by Brett Challenor   
Saturday, 17 November 2012 00:04

The question is often asked wherever we are in the world. What do you most often catch where you live?

Boys and CoutaI am lucky enough to live in Durban, Kwa zulu Natal, South Africa. I am an extremely passionate kayak fisherman and have travelled to many destinations to target trophy fish from my kayak. My business, Stealth Performance Products gives me these great opportunities, and a constant involvement in the design and development of some of the world’s leading fishing kayaks.

A few of the many advantages of our fishing kayaks  are their great performance when it comes to speed and ease of paddling. The glide and effortless feel in comparison to your average kayak is untouchable. To top this off the cleverly designed internal hatches and layout make storing rods, reels and all the bits and pieces an absolute pleasure. Safely hidden away and out of harm's way surf launching, and just the general uncluttered feel of these kayaks is a pleasure.

When it comes to targeting species of fish and general fishing, using the pedals and rudder system makes fighting fish a simpler task. While fighting a fish you have the ability to use the rudder system and steer the kayak keeping the fish directly in front of you at all times. Almost as if you are winding or reeling yourself onto the fish- giving you the edge in being able to follow or manipulate the fish as it changes direction or moves around

In Durban we are blessed with a vast amount of gamefish species to pursue. Of course, we also have slower winter months where the guys will target some bottom fish species as well. Let us take a look at our two main targeted species of fish off the Kwa zulu Natal coastline. Firstly, we have the all year round Natal Snoek or Queen mackerel as it is also known, and secondly we have the King mackerel or “Couta “ as we know it.

The Natal Snoek is a gamefish that we are lucky enough to target all year round, although it is more prominent in the warmer months of the year. The Snoek queen average size is around 4 kilograms, however they do vary from the small 1kg fish to the biggest ones of around 10kgs. These fish generally are caught in the backline area or surf zone and they swim in large schools. The only problem is that I often call them the women of the fish species. They are really hard to please, or should we say to get them to eat. When in the feeding mood, they no doubt will eat anything(much like a woman). Or, we can see large schools swimming below us and try all sorts of lures or tricks and they just ignore us and swim past (much like a woman). Unlock the code to what they are eating and it can be a real fun fishing session with this fast attacking feeder. Another great plus is that they are great to eat. The guys will often cook them on the barbecue or prepare a great fish dinner for the family to enjoy.

The Couta as we Durbanites call it is a great gamefish to catch. The speed of the take or bite and the ratchet screaming is what most fisherman like to hear. It is quite common for these fish to take the bait and scream off peeling 150 or 200m of line quickly. The Couta swim in large shoals and are predominantly fished for in the 20 – 30m depth range. They will happily eat a lure, dead bait and of course a live bait, so if durban couta they are around and hungry they are far easier fish to target than the fussy Snoek. An average size shoal fish is usually in the region of about 6- 8kgs, with the slightly bigger shoal fish around 20kgs, and the bigger trophy fish over 20kgs.

If you really lucky, the very few and far between fish are over the 30kg size. Larger couta can be a little bit big to prepare and cook for your family only, so these are great to invite over some friends and enjoy a meal together. I mean, who would turn down some fresh fish when prepared in the correct way? Over the years fishing from my kayak I have been lucky enough to catch some impressive trophy couta and queen mackerel, and there is never a dull moment targeting these species off our Durban coastline.

 

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