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ASFN explains the proper technique

This is a short article on the finding and catching of Daga Salmon (Argyrosomus Hololepidotus). Daga Salmon are also found along our entire coastline from the West to the East. However, here in KwaZulu-Natal, they can also be found during the summer months (January to May).

The season starts heating up in conjunction with the annual sardine run and the cooler waters. Once the sardines have disappeared, Daga Salmon settle down to aggregate and breed along the coastline. Daga are creatures of habit, and will return to the same spots year after year.
They seem to have a distinct liking for man-made structures like ship wrecks, sunken barges and pipelines. You’ll also find them in various reefs. Fortunately for us in the Durban area we have an abundance of the correct structures so our season is generally good.
In the Western and Eastern Cape, Daga are successfully targeted by rock, surf and estuary anglers. However, in KwaZulu-Natal due to the recent nature of our open-to-the-sea river systems only two areas along the shore line show any consistency – the Sand Spit at Port Shepstone and the Tugela River mouth. The casting and retrieval of swimming type lures and live-baits being the favourite method of capture.
Off the boat, the Daga Salmon are not a deep water species and their favourite depth appear to be 27 fathoms (48.6 m) with the pinnacles along the reef rising to 21 to 24 fathoms. When hunting for these fish, one should familiarise oneself with the entire structure and its surrounds.
Daga Salmon are predatory fish, so they’ll wait off the structure until such time as to feed, at which time they will move upon the reef to use the various structure to ambush their food. It’s advisable to stop and drift initially as this procedure should allow you to gauge the current and its direction with the next step being to anchor bearing in mind that the fish will generally be up current of the reef or wreck.
As Daga Salmon do not enjoy too much noise (motors, fish finders, etc) it is advisable to anchor as quickly as possible. When fishing upon a reef, it’s recommended to use a good grappling anchor coupled with a long length of chain with a heavier chain section being used at the anchor end. When anchoring upon a wreck, a good sand anchor should be used with the same amount of chain.
Once having found the fish and you are comfortably anchored now comes the difficult part: As Daga Salmon predominantly inhabits the same structure as the big skates that lie on the outskirts of the structure, so over the years the best trace to snare these fish is a hook snootie shorter than the sinker snootie…


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