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Sardine Run 2020: the search is on!

Sardine Run 2020

Sardine Run 2020: the search is on!

Well, the same as this time last year, there are sardines everywhere!

And checking back through The Sardine News archives collected from over the years, we are following the same familiar pattern – and the next few weeks historically are the ones that really count.

So, stay posted here and also on The Sardine News.


In the meantime, many nets have gone in. Albeit in the rudimentary wild surf conditions also following in the annual pattern. It’s been a bit quiet as of the weekend.


Well oh well, these guys live for this time of the year. The fish are slow and lazy as their food is so plentiful and they are full half the time. The plentiful baitfish other than sardines have been making sure of this.

And so, Jason Heyne has been in on the action, and this is what I keep getting from him.

Rock n Surf

It’s tough this time of the year since there is so much food for all the fish out there. As said, it ain’t all about sardines. There are red-eyes, mackerel and shad to keep ’em all busy too.

The shad have been popping up all over very randomly.

It’s very disturbing to hear of poachers raping the poor kobbies up on the north coast. But also good hear the many concerned voices all trying to do something at least.

Hopefully they can also help us with the tardy behaviour by fishermen on every beach I visit. Fishing rubbish everywhere, all over the place.

Time to clean this act up by now?!

Deep Sea

Well as can be seen from the spearo’s gallery, ALL the suspects are here right now, even billfish. Sailfish are known to frequent this coastline in May through July, coinciding with the easy sardine prey too.

Those big couta are here. This photo keeps doing the rounds, it’s authenticity propagated by the mask only. And some rumours that it was 52kgs and caught up in Tanzania.

Staying on couta. Some very nice three-year-old fish have been caught in shoals, and also shot by the spearos. Who also reported, as did some commercials up north, that the shoal couta came through thick and strong for a few days. This hasn’t happened here in years and we are really hoping the shoalies come south to visit down here on Protea Reef and surrounds like they used to.

On a very interesting note, Captain Duarte Rato, our Sardine dude from up north, was fishing with his kid off Bartholomew Diaz, when, at 7 years old, he caught and released his first marlin!

It was a tough little guy of about 8 kgs or so, putting it at like almost a year old. It put up a great fight, some of which actually made it to video, and can be seen the following link. Which is all about these baby black marlin and their current proliferation.

A very cool read…


Well ok, I was fortunate enough, in 2017, to be flown by Captain John Marshall, from the Margate Airport, to Port St. Johns, on sardine patrol. I had an old camera along for the ride, and this is how the lush KZN South Coast and the Transkei Wild Coast look from the air.

We saw only one shoal on this flight, and nearly hit a car on the movie-scene-like PSJ runway. Vertical cliff face!

Back to the present, the Sardine Run 2020, and the Umzimkulu Marina. Which is is right in the middle of it all, but only an hour from Durban. We have all the facilities and we are perfectly positioned for your Sardine Run 2020.

The Umzimkulu Marina

Is open for business trips only!

But who knows really with this lot in charge?! We have just had our first guests, who are here on serious business – sardines! Ha ha, they do have work to do though, and so are legit. So can you be! Make up any excuse to come to the coast, and you are in business!

However the rules play out, we are sterile and conform to all the rules. We fish at least one metre apart which is actually a pleasure when the kids are about and the fish are biting!

Our boats are good-to-go. Deep-Sea for salmon and tuna and things. And in the river for rockies, perch, grunter and all sorts.

We can also maximise your Sardine Run 2020 experience with an Ocean Safari which gets you right in amongst the chaos.

Get in touch with Sean on +27793269671 WhatsApp or email to chat about fishing and accommodation options.

We run a YouTube channel right here…, we are Facebook at

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