ON THE PROWL — Fishing the waters off Shelly Beach
By Adrian De La Hunt
NOW that summer is here it means good fishing on Protea Banks and surrounding areas. Summer at Shelly Beach is characterised by the lovely hot weather, warm, purple water and awesome summer gamefish. Species such as dorado, wahoo, king mackerel, green jobfish, billfish and of course those big yellowfin tuna are all in abundance and good fun to catch.
When you arrive at Shelly Beach for the first time have a look at the launch and talk to some of the local guys and old dogs. Take a walk to the tower and have a chat to the launch site officers — Bryan and Khan — who are always keen to give some advice about the weather expected for the day or the conditions of the surf. Shelly Beach is considered a moderate launch, but with surrounding rocks and the unpredictability of the ocean, you never know what could go wrong.
After you have launched you’ll need to get some good bait in the tank for those hungry dorado and tuna. Running north towards the Umzimkulu River mouth to get bait such as mackerel, mozzies and the odd shad is definitely first prize.
At Shelly there are no marked bait marks, so turn on your sounder and just sound around the area from about 14m-22m from north of the bridge to the Umtentweni shark nets. You have a good chance of coming across a decent showing and, as the saying goes, “There is no better bait than a live bait.”
Once you arrive on Protea Bank put out some trawling lures such as Halcos and Konas and work them between the pinnacles. Remember to keep that sounder on as you need to know which areas the fish are working and holding to. Once you have found the showings, mark MOB on your GPS and keep on working that area.
When the bite slows down on the plastics, get those sardines defrosted! Now comes the fun side of fishing on Protea. Stop at the top of the pinnacles and position your boat so it will drift over the pinnacles.
Read the full story in the January/February 2018 issue of SKI-BOAT.