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Offline stephenrplumb

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Catching Couta - Dbn Ski Boat Competition
« on: January 21, 2020, 07:50:21 AM »
HI Knowledgeable members. After entering the DBn Ski boat competition for the first time last year and catching nothing, nadda, nix I was hoping for some tips and tricks in terms of catching the elusive couta? We have caught two in Sodwana, trawling Rapala's relatively close in shore. Thats it!


I spoke to a fellow last year who was holding what I considered a pretty nice specimen, and he said he caught it just off Virginia in a 6-7m of water. So is this generally a fish that hangs about in shallow water? I have been searching on Youtube, and there are obviously heaps of them caught on paddle skis (i wonder how much hanging around waiting, was edited out of those videos?)


There are a couple of Wesley Peens catching off Aliwal and I think Umdloti?


At this stage I know they are pelagic and eat, but do you try fish for them on backline, over reefs, live bait/dead bait/trawling? Should we head straight to Umdloti or head south? Any pointers that allow my kids not to come in empty handed would be highly appreciated.


As an aside, when we first moved to Dbn many moons back, we lived in Palma Nova just at the end of Umhlanga near the Breakers. In those distant days, Dan Bailey used to run the charter fishing off Umhlanga, back when Kit Case was the head life guard. Dan lived in the same complex, and my brother befriended him and ended up becoming his deck hand/general peasant on weekends. It was obviously many moons back, but I recall one saturday when they came in. Dan hoofed his punters off at backline as he was not confident coming through to Grannies pool with the extra mass on board. They had caught 61 good size couta that day and the boat was battling to get on the plane with all the extra mass!


I would settle for one or two during the comp but one can only hope.

Offline maganything

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Re: Catching Couta - Dbn Ski Boat Competition
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2020, 11:25:21 AM »
The couta in Durbs are very elusive, but if you know how and where to catch them, you do get them.
I woulodnt waste my time pulling a rappie for couta these days. Having said that, you will get the occasional one.


Only fish live bait. Mackerel is best in Durban waters i have found.


Big couta do hang around the snoek as thats why you often get them shallow on the backline.


Look for good structure in 18-26m of water.
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Offline dugong

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« Last Edit: January 21, 2020, 09:08:08 PM by dugong »
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Offline stephenrplumb

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Re: Catching Couta - Dbn Ski Boat Competition
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2020, 09:55:45 AM »
Many thanks Gents. Will digest the above info, while my young'un produces couta traces in his bat cave (room).

Offline Bwana

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Re: Catching Couta - Dbn Ski Boat Competition
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2020, 11:04:21 AM »
Stephen, if you ask 10 guys their best tips on catching couta you will get 10 very different answers! However what Scott has said is a good starting point.

In my experience Durban is a different mistress when it comes to couta. My advice in summarised format would be the following:

Fish light - use 10-15kg line with light fluorcarbon leaders (no more than 40lb)

Stealth traces - a lot of guys overbuild their couta traces, rather go with #5 lead wire and #6 between the hooks. I prefer plain traces with a green bead or a pearl duster. Downscale on your hook sizes - lead hook #1 mustad hoodlum + #4 treble for stingers

Live bait is key - as Scott said mackerel are first prize but a couta loves a live shad as well. Occasionally they will snack on a big maasbanker as well

Vary your spread - Fish four sticks - have two baits on top, one in the propwash behind the boat and another about 50m back fished out of the T top, then one downrigged on a 6 oz in midwater and lastly a deep bait on a 10oz near the bottom (shad is a good option as the bottomfish won't try and eat it). You will generally find the fish will eat the top baits at first light and move to the deeper baits as the sun moves higher

Fish structure - work reefs and ledges from 14-25m, off Durban your best spots north will be Umdloti river mouth, Peace Cottage, Stud Rock, Seabelle etc and south will be cuttings, the fence and whaling station working the same depths

Patience - the couta numbers are not what they were in the old days plus with all the pressure from the fishing skis and boats in Durban they are very skittish. Look for clean green water around 23 degrees and work your areas all day and you will get the pulls!
Good luck and post some pics if you come right!
« Last Edit: January 22, 2020, 11:05:25 AM by Bwana »

Offline John F

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Re: Catching Couta - Dbn Ski Boat Competition
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2020, 01:39:47 PM »
If you can't find live bait, don't discard a well rigged sardine, wala-wala or any other dead bait. Couta are not picky ...
« Last Edit: January 22, 2020, 01:40:40 PM by John F »
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Offline HooknCook

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Re: Catching Couta - Dbn Ski Boat Competition
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2020, 09:34:10 PM »
The Durban/Northcoast Couta are unbelievably picky Marcus; honestly I have caught a lot of couta in Moz and now with this piece of coastline being home, I battled a lot with them. I finally feel that Im in the game again with them and hopefully this season proves fruitful! As Mark pointed out, you have to fish light, I fish 40lb Flouro and it has to be good quality Flouro, dont waste your time with normal leader. Scale down on your swivels, no6/8, wire also No4/5/6, keep they traces as light as possible, avoid using wires to each hook and build your hooks so the link of eachother to minimise the hardware. I would stick to Pearl White/Pink Duster, Pink Yamashita Squiddie and then a small Purple Duster for low light overcast conditions. Beads and traces without dusters for livies! Definitely agree on Live Mackerel and Shad, but there is one bait that makes a Couta stupid in my opinion and thats a live Frigate...also what im told is no.1 is a small live pickhandle! Anyway as Mark pointed out, fish Undloti,  off the Blue Roof upto the river, 20-27m of water, try Stud rock etc, then pay attention to the current and drift if you can to keep it quiet, thats one reason why the Kayaks are so successful with Couta in my opinion.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2020, 09:35:24 PM by HooknCook »

 

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