Ski-Boat July 2022

Page 8


The Daga Dance Where and how to catch dusky kob

By Craig Stubbs


HEN it comes to these beautiful silver-sided slabs, aka daga, we have two distinct fisheries on the east coast of South Africa for the large growing, and strikingly beautiful dusky kob. The first is the inshore (rock and surf) and estuarine fishery, and the second, and the one we are going to focus on here, is the deep sea offshore/ski-boat fishery. The daga salmon is a migrator y species that makes its way into our local waters at the onset of winter and stays here until late in spring, peaking in abundance rather inconsistently during that period. Like most fish species that we target from our ski-boats, there are periods when they feed strongly and with vigour, and there are days/nights when, for no apparent reason, either the fish simple aren’t there or they refuse to feed. You will notice that I said “day/night”, and if you are familiar with the offshore daga fishery, you will know that the majority of daga are caught in the hours of darkness off our coast.This 6 • SKI-BOAT July/August 2022

doesn’t mean that they cannot be caught during the day, but the night is when the daga really wake up and feed aggressively. This means you have one of two options — you can either upgrade your vessel and skipper’s ticket to one that gives you a night rating, or make friends with a fellow angler/skipper who has the required vessel and operator’s certificate. Fortunately a lot of skippers who are night rated are often looking for reliable crew, so if you want to try your hand at catching a daga at night, put the word out at your local club. If you do get an invite, I have two pieces of advice — dress warmly and offer to share costs as fishing and running a boat is fast becoming a very expensive exercise. If you are confined to only fishing in the day for them, fear not, as they can be caught relatively consistently during daylight hours, it just requires a little more perseverance and patience. WHERE AND WHEN Let’s take a look at where we find daga, and this applies to both day time and

ABOVE: Kob are extremely structureorientated fish and love natural and manmade structure. night time fishing. They are extremely structure-orientated fish, and love caves, rocky overhangs, wrecks and manmade structure such as deep water pipe work etc, in water of between 20and 38 fathoms deep (40- to 70m). They use these caves and big structures to hide out, often in large schools, seldom moving away from this structure unless it’s to actively feed. It’s therefore logical that if you want to tempt a daga into feeding, you need to present your bait accurately into that area and keep it there for as long as possible. This definitely favours the angler who has the knowledge and skill to deploy and fish on anchor. I’ve previously written on familiarising one’s self with anchoring and the deployment thereof, so if you are still unsure, please refer back to that article in the January 2022 issue of SKI-BOAT and give it a go. A friendly warning: make sure you are well familiar and rehearsed with the

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