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Thread: Uvongo/St. Michaels lagoons

  1. #1
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    Default Uvongo/St. Michaels lagoons

    I will be spending 3 days in Uvongo in Oct Any hints/advice on fishing these lagoons would be really appreciated
    It's not in the catching, it's in the learning something new.
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  2. #2
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    Herman

    I grew up in Port Shepstone ( Just North of those two Estuaries ) and can fill you in a little.

    Unfortunately neither the Uvongo or St.Mikes are worth fishing...... BUT, have no fear, there is PLENTY of great fishing water near by!

    I would suggest getting a copy of the last Complete Flyfisherman, as it has a article on fishing on the KZN South Coast featuring my next door neighbour and fellow South Coast Fly Anglers Club Member, now chairman, Dean Winn.
    ( My old man started SCFA about 10 years back )
    as well as some info on the places that should field decent fishing.

    Izotcha River is a great bet as well as Mpentjati. Izotcha is pretty close to you.

    Let me know if you need some further info, and I'll see about getting Dean's number for you, he'd be the one to give you the best info.

    Regards
    Andre
    *** TO RIDE, SHOOT STRAIGHT AND SPEAK THE TRUTH ***

    Some people are like Slinkies.... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. - Hunter S. Thompson

  3. #3
    Gogga Banned User

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herman Jooste View Post
    I will be spending 3 days in Uvongo in Oct Any hints/advice on fishing these lagoons would be really appreciated
    Fishing Lagoons, esturies etc................

    The most difficult aspect of saltwater fishing is knowing where to begin. It can be down right daunting, and add to that the apparent inconsistency of a salt water environment - you could stumble upon an area where you literally catch a fish every cast, then suddenly the water goes completely dead; you return the next day, same place, same tide, same temperature, same time of day, to find the area full of bait yet absolutely no fish. What gives? The simple answer is, "Hey life sucks," the real answer is far more complex.
    Due to tidal action the entire environment is in a state of constant flux; waters that are ideal feeding grounds may be dry land in a few hours time, so these fish are constantly moving.



    (High Tide: Offers the leerfish more room to move but also protects the baitfish – note the pool to the left - it may be full of baitfish.)


    When millions of gallons of water start moving you can bet that it affects the fishing. Tides come in four actual stages: High, when the water has reached its highest point; Low, when the sea has reached its lowest point; Flood, when the water is running from low to high, and Ebb, when the water is running from high to low. A cautionary note: tidal action does not move in a constant direction, it's more like a set of stairs; so, on a flood or incoming tide the water rises for a while, then slackens, then ebbs and then continues to rise until finally it reaches its highest point, then slackens again before starting the reverse or outgoing process. Also, tides are effected by pressure and wind, so one high tide can be significantly higher than another; the new and full moons create what are called "spring" tides that are much higher and lower than average tides.



    (Low Tide: Some of the best spots to fish at high tide are now dry land – note: that pool is empty, all the baitfish in it would have had to escape through that narrow channel on the Ebb tide.)

    What this means to a fly fisherman is: just because the water has stopped rising doesn't mean it's at its highest point. Far too many fly fishermen get caught by wading to a bar or point, stay too long, and then realize they can't get back. Drowning stories are all too common - don't be one of them. More important than preventing your demise, this knowledge can aid your fishing.

    Whenever possible scout new areas at low tide; you will be able to see holes, bars, rocks and other pieces of structure better. Watch the water as it floods over these points. Pick your spots like a battlefield tactician, zero in on those places where a large strong fish like the Leerfish would have an advantage over weaker, confused baitfish. The old axiom proves true: find moving water, find bait, and you will find fish. The Etruscans knew it, the Carthaginians knew it and now you know it. The best area to truly learn these principles - how to work a tide and how to find these mobile tactical baitfish funnels is an estuary – and it's not a bad place to catch a bunch of fish, either.


    (Not to be used for Navigation)

    Legend: The Masterpiece above shows the basic layout of an estuary (the same principles apply to a salt marsh, bay, or saltwater pond.) The yellow areas are sand along the beach and a bar; the flow from the mouth generally creates this feature; storms and tidal force erode it. The red areas are points where the best fishing would be found on an Ebb tide. The sickly green areas are where the best fishing would be during a flood tide.

    The concentration of life in these areas is simply amazing. There are baitfish, insects, shrimp, and crabs; plenty of forage for leerfish. Tidal force controls it all. As the water rises the fish will take up ambush positions by any point, island, or undercut bank. Water will literally flood in, turning the river's current into one large eddy as the denser colder ocean water fills the marsh. Target the current seams and eddies with a large Deceiver on an intermediate line. These should be reach casts. I generally like to fish a fly 2 or even 3 inches larger than the average baitfish - my reasoning is that a perfect imitation would have a one-in-one-billion chance of being singled out, where a Baby Huey baitfish would be instantly noticed. The water will be fairly shallow at this time so an intermediate line is the best choice. I also use circle hooks since you can drift the fly with a mend to keep it drag-free (see it's not just for nymph fishing.) The fish will rush out, take the fly and rush back to their positions, all you have to do to set the hook is hold the line taut, which will bring the eye of the hook to the corner of the fish's mouth for a very high hook-up percentage.

    Once the water deepens and the flood slows, the fish can be anywhere and finding them can be difficult. During these times I like to use a fast-sinking line and a large snake fly. The onrush of ocean water colliding with the slow current of the river system can create a murky cloud, which will settle to the bottom. I believe that the leeries use their lateral lines in these situations to feel their prey through the water, the large bulky head of a snake fly probably sounding a lot like a leeries dinner bell. I cast to the deepest pockets while working upstream; the fish are not usually aggressive since they are taking up ambush positions for the turn of the tide; still, it's a rare fish that will pass up the opportunity for a large, easy meal.

    At this point in the tide, the baitfish are not helpless - they concentrate themselves into the small chanels or spread out through the flooded grass to feed. They are relatively safe from the leerfish. I use this time to prospect for big fish. Salt marshes aren't the best place to target big leerfish but they do make appearances when the water temperatures are high enough. During the rush of an incoming or outgoing tide, large leerfish are hard to take simply because your fly will be picked up by smaller, more aggressive fish. I cast a large Deciever and gently drag it along the bottom. The fishing will be slow but every time I get a hit on a 8" imitation - "It’s the Big One!!!" Even though more often than not, it’s a 12" fish with a troubling eating disorder.

    If you would rather use this time to target more fish than bigger, go with a Clouser. The jig action of the Clouser imitates the action of a wounded or stunned baitfish. Water clarity is usually pretty good at this time, so cast to the stream mouths where the leeries have taken up position. The fly should be as close an imitation as you have and you will need to use some savvy to get hits. Takes will be fairly lazy - fish don't hammer wounded prey; leerfish are competing more for ambush spots than food, and I wouldn't use a circle hook since the fish generally don't turn after taking the fly but feed much like trout rising to dry flies.

    Once the water starts to truly ebb, the grass drains, the streams become filled with baitfish and slowly they retreat into the main river. Again, for this I recommend the intermediate line and a Deceiver, you will be presenting your fly into what could be a solid ball of bait several feet in diameter. I like to go bigger than the average baitfish and cast to the side of the action. Casting into the bait ball is the best way to disperse it and ruin the action - it’s also a good way to get your ass kicked if there are other folks around. Disclaimer: more trips are ruined by smack-tards boating over bait or casting heavy plugs directly at it.

    The smallest fish in the area will be the ones attacking the bait, driving it to the surface; the larger fish will patrol beneath the action. The challenge is to get the fly past the smaller more aggressive fish. Bad news - you will fail in this more than you succeed. Good News - you will be too excited catching and fighting fish to care. As the tide ebbs the current will become stronger; work your way downstream to stay in areas which are still deep enough for fish and where the chanels still hold baitfish. As the current increases the game becomes more structure based, the fish are still aggressive but they are taking shelter by bars, humps and undercut banks. The bait ball has been dispersed by the fast currents and you may have to downsize your fly to match the bait - I'd only take the time to do this if I knew fish were refusing, since time is of the essence now, and a better investment of it is to move down-river. It’s almost like a time machine the farther down-river you get the earlier into the tide. Continue to target the current seems - don't worry, the fish are still very competitive and often you'll be fighting one and see about 3 following closely behind. Your last successful casts will be into the wash behind or to the sides of the outer bar, and these casts may have to be quite long depending on the structure of the river mouth. In time the event will end and when it does it's over - it’s a fairly rare estuary that will hold leerfish through the low tide.

    This, of course, only scratches the surface of the fishing situations that cover 3/4th of the Earth’s surface. saltwater angling is a different game than stream or still-water fishing, but it is still fishing. After several days of thinking too much and catching too little, I find that if I just come back to the basics of fly-fishing I start catching again.
    Hopefully this has armed you with the basic knowledge you need to get started, knowledge that you may realize you already had.

    Good Fishing!

  4. #4
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    Whoa... Gogga, what an awsome responce, I think I might have to set up a little trip myself... and armed with this info, I am sure I will nail it...

    Keep up the great work...
    Mike McKeown

    You're either fishing or waiting...

  5. #5
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    Hey Gogga, Now that's what I call giving advice I'm definately going to put the information to good use in 2 weeks time. Can't wait
    It's not in the catching, it's in the learning something new.
    view albums at. http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/album.php?u=659

  6. #6
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    Geez Gogga- great article- enjoyed it alot!

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