These silvery bullets migrate along the KZN coastline in the warmer months and move northwards to spawn as winter approaches, although it is not uncommon to get a couple offseason. Targeting these finicky eaters from the side can be challenging but ever so rewarding when you manage to hook and land one.
They’re a fast-growing species that can reach maturity (over 70cm) within 2 years and eventually grow to lengths of up to 1m or roughly 10kg in weight. Known for their surface schooling action their diet consists of shoaling species such as Sardines, Red eye, Mackerel and Anchovies and you can often see them corralling baitfish on the surface when fishing from a boat.
Shore based angling for Snoek requires an athletic approach, making long casts and covering a lot of water to find active fish in amongst the surf. Incidentally many anglers also use it as a great way to keep fit and stay in shape, while landing a fish in between. Keeping things simple is the key, you’ll need a rod and reel setup that can launch baits a long way to areas fish regularly feed, a tackle bag, some lures, sun protective gear and you’re ready to fish. Also, because they bite best at first light, you get to enjoy a sun rise in case they’re off the bite.
AREAS TO FISH
They often feed near the surface just behind the breakers / backline although you can target them around deep rocky points, piers, along the shore (north of Durban) and areas close to river mouths. You do find them on the South Coast, but catches tend to come from offshore anglers.
Fishing at distance is a must when targeting these fish, you will likely be blind casting so maintain a fast retrieve with a few erratic twitches incorporated (depending on the style of lures used) is one of the best ways to target them.
WHEN TO FISH
Early morning and evenings are the most productive although they can still be caught during high light hours, you will need to adjust your lure and colour selection.
PLACES AROUND KZN TO FISH
- South Pier
- North Pier
- North bank of Blue Lagoon
- Tongaat Mouth
- Tinely Manor
- Salt Rock
Rods (10ft-12ft spinning rods)
- Loomis Archipelago
- Okuma Pro Series
- Okuma Matrix
- Okuma Nomad
Reels (40-55 sizes)
- Okuma Epixor
- Okuma ITX
- Okuma Azores
- Okuma Cedros
Braid (8 strand, 15> 20lb, coated)
- Boss Braid Slick
Leader (Fluorocarbon, 30lb)
- Elbe Fluorocarbon, one can use steel to prevent bite offs but your catch rate decreases.
- FishInc Winglet tops the charts
- Second to that is the Flanker
- Halco Twisty and NEW Slidog 85
- Blu Flash, Flick and Jiggy spoons
Green, pink and glow colours deliver the best results in the morning and evenings while silver works best during the day work.
Always spray off and wipe your tackle after every use, general servicing/maintenance will increase the longevity of your reels as well.
Storage of your rods during transit/storage should be in a case to prevent them getting knocked on any hard surface.