The fishing has been fantastic on the freshwater front and the offshore fishing off KZN has been HOT! If you fish rock and surf, don’t fret, there are plenty of fish for you too.
Top tip. When it comes to diameters and breaking strains of braids, what is on the box and what is the actual parameters is not always the same… This is a hotly debated topic that is often misunderstood. Not all 50lb braid is the same. Thicker braids will have better abrasion resistance but will not throw as far. Thinner braids will throw further but are also prone to wind knots and spooling issues. The ideal situation is to have a spare spool with you and to have both a thicker braid (50lb for example) on the one spool and then thinner (30lb) on the other. The 30lb is more than capable of pulling a big fish so there is no need to baby it.
The offshore fishing has been amazing! Some gigantic couta have been landed and some beasts are still out there.
North – The north coast and the far north have been heavily fished over the past couple of weeks. Sodwana and Cape Vidal have been full up and for good reason. The couta have been the main attraction to the spots up north but there have been some frantic billfish bites as well.
Live bait has been the most successful method for the couta although some have claimed the shiny walla-walla to be the best of the best. Either way you slice it, the down rigged baits have been the most productive.
Central – Durban has seen a lot of bigger tuna this past week. These have been caught on all types of methods. Trolling a skirted lure between your spots is the fastest way to catch them although. Lipped lures trolled at the correct speed for the lure is extremely productive. Fishing a live bait on a slow drift or under a balloon is another fantastic method for these fish. The best method however, has to be throwing surface lures. The explosion of a big tuna on a popper will get your hands shaking. Look at an 20000/8000 size Daiwa reel, 50lb Daiwa J-Braid or higher and either an Saltist 8ft6 dedicated popping rod or a multipurpose 7ft.
South – The south coast has also had its share of tuna and dorado but a couple of very decent couta are also starting to make an appearance. These bigger couta are often a lot shallower than one thinks but often eat baits right on the backline. The season is still early so get your tackle ready for these brutes. Live shad and walla walla are the two top baits to target these fish. The rest of the south coast has seen some amazing bottom fish including cracker and copper steenbras. Please respect the bag limits and release as many as possible.
Rock and surf:
The shore fishing has been very good. There have been enough edibles to keep the guys happy while the inedibles have been there to test the knots.
North – The fishing up north has been a real mix of results. There have been edibles around which have been the most consistent fish to target.
The pompano and kob have been the two main targets. The river mouths have been the best spots for both of these. Smaller chokka and prawn baits on a longer hook snood will be the best bet for the pompano. The kob are not as fussy but some floatation and movement into the bait to get their attention. The two main spots have been the Tongaat River mouth and the Tugela River mouth.
There have been some inedibles around, but the edibles have definitely been the flavour of the week.
Central – The Durban coast has seen some good fishing with most of the action coming from the basin area. The basin is roughly from the beach in front of Addington Hospital all the way to the North Pier. This calm area can be fished in almost any sea and holds a lot of fish. The greys have been around this area with some bigger specimens being landed. The rest of the catches have been flatfish of various species. A Mustad 9/0 circle hooks will be the best general-purpose hook for the job.
South – The south has seen some of its own inedible action around the Umkomaas ledges, Illovo beach and the Toti beach. Mush the same applies from the north and central zones in terms of baits. Look for the deeper water and you should get a pull.
The edibles have been a bit scarce but the bronze bream have been feeding around the rocks and gullies. Search for them with pink prawn. The shad have been around but only in the early mornings.
The freshwater fishing has been amazing over the past month. The bass are particularly feisty and the anticipation for the Stillwater season is peaking.
Bass – Hazlemere has been fishing well with most anglers landing decent fish. Weightless soft plastics have been the most successful method with the more natural colours like watermelon seed producing the goods.
The KZN dams have been fishing very well on the whole. Crankbaits have been producing some amazing catches. Make sure the bait dives just deeper than the depth being fished so it ticks along the bottom. Choose natural colours but do not be afraid to mix in some bright attractors. Hazlemere, Nagle and Albert Falls are all producing good catches at the moment.
Carp – Inanda has to be on your venue list if you are after carp. This dam keeps producing some big, beautiful carp. Whether you prefer throwing a miele bomb or a spomb, Inanda is where you need to fish. The conventional anglers continue to produce good results using the more fruity and sweet flavours with banana and honey coming out tops. Look for the areas of slightly deeper water close to the shallow banks. The specimen anglers have been having very good success when mixing hemp into their feed. This small particle keeps the carp feeding for a long time. Tigernuts will then be the best hook bait.
Trout – The trout fishing has been a mixed bag of late. The streams and rivers have either been too low or too slow. Nonetheless, there are still fish to be caught. Dries are a lovely way to cover water but nymphs have produced the better fish. The Stillwaters on the other hand have been holding the bigger fish and the fishing has been much more consistent. Larger streamers fished in the deep channels has been the most successful method of targeting these bigger fish.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Soooo … I think the simplest way to get the weather to change, is to report about it … because GUARANTEED, it will be the exact opposite when you have put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard as is the case here)!
We last reported that morning temps were on a downward spiral, and was hoping that this was now the eventual start of autumnal cooling … BUT, summer once again decided it wasn’t having any of it, and temps have shot right back up. Earlier this week also saw a return of the rain that we reported was tapping off … so who knows? … let’s see what the weather Gods get up to next after this report see’s the light of day…
For the bass guys – The SA Bass Angling Association (SABAA) Junior Nationals takes place at Albert Falls Dam this week. Great to see the next gen anglers getting stuck in. Practise day was Tuesday, with comp days being Wed-Thurs. Rumours are that there are a few big boys, fish that is, moving about – hoping that this proves to be that case after the recent tough fishing Alberts has been seeing of late. Tight Lines to all the competitors – look forward to seeing the results and reporting next week.
Alberts will be free for the weekend anglers – trust the fish will still be up for a bite after the comp! Chatterbaits seem to be really popular at present.
Word from Mearns Dam this week saw an Estcourt angler report a good largemouth of 3-3.5kg coming to hand.
With the reopening of the stillwaters, the Natal Fly Fisher Club (NFFC) anglers are getting back onto the water, and some good rainbows have been reported to be coming to hand up to 20 inches / 53cm. Most are in the 10-12” / 25-30cm range, and already giving a good account of themselves … as soon as the waters cool a touch more, these guys will be proving a good bend in anyone’s stick. One report indicated that Crystal Buggers in olive and brown were catching the mid-range fish (i.e. magpies), and brown Filoplume Dragonfly was accounting for the larger fish.
Rivers are still up, but some excellent reports of the brownies from the NFFC river beats as well. Even though flows are high, the water is cleaner than what otherwise would be expected, as all the loose stuff has washed away already. When the flows do drop, we can expect crystal clean water of the highest order. Haven’t had a chance to investigate myself as yet, but hopefully soon – looking to get stuck into some serious dry fly action in this latter part of the season.
Good news for the Sterkfontein anglers is the Parks Board chalets appear to open again – anglers there over the last 2 weeks have reported that they have been full, as expected for this time of the year as everyone trying to get their last Sterkies yellowfish fix. Anyone travelling from the south (eastern) side reports noted that the Oliviershoek Pass between Bergville and Sterkfontein Dam was closed due to subsidence en route … reopened as of 28th of March as reported by Sterkies guide Mark Yelland”. Thanks Jan.
Tight lines and screaming reels.
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