The fishing has been great! The offshore scene has been stealing the thunder, but the rock and surf guys are still catching some proper fish.
Top tip: Predatory fish tend to hunt along areas of change. This can be a current seam, the edge of a reef or a colour line. These are lines where dirty (generally river) water meets the cleaner sea water. This is normally a great spot to fish for these predators as the change in water colour forms a wall that the baitfish swim along for safety. If at all possible, you want to fish your lure or bait as close to the margin as possible. If you are trolling lures, try to move in and out of the colour line (without tangling your lines.
What a time to go fishing! The couta are on the loose and there are some monster tuna as well.
Well done to Jean Deysel on winning the Umhlanga Ski Boat comp with a beast of a tuna and also to the other fantastic fish landed…it was a close competition.
North – The north has seen some good couta action with everyone getting in on the bite. Bait has been very hard to come by but luckily the fish have been very hungry so don’t stress too much. The areas off Salt Rock and Westbrook have been very productive over the last few weeks. Trolling lipped lures in the early mornings has accounted for many fish but the couta have favoured a deeper rigged bait. Try down rigging a mackerel or sardine with a 4-6oz sinker for the best results. Once you get more than one bite on the same downrigger then you can change more rods to that depth and this maximise your catches.
Central – Durban has also seen some good couta but the tuna have been the main species in terms of weight. The sharks have been a problem so make sure to beef up your tackle so you can pull as hard as possible.
Much like the north, trolling lipped lures has been a great way to put numbers in the boat. The tuna has jumped on most of the faster trolling lures (lipped or skirted). The purples and pinks have been the top performers.
The snoek has been around in small numbers around the uMgeni river mouth in the early mornings. Trolling fillets and smaller lipped lures from the mouth to the lighthouse is a great area to target these fish.
South – The south coast has seen much the same as last week with some decent fish in the deep on the trolling lures while the shallows have seen some big couta and a couple of snoek.
The couta have favoured a bigger bait down rigged on a 4oz sinker. Try get your hands on some bigger mackerel, bonito or the king of the couta baits…the walla walla.
The snoek have favoured fillet baits and spoons down south. The Umkomaas area has seen some decent fish but no big numbers. Try spin on the backline just after you launch to get the day started properly.
Rock and surf:
The rock and surf fishing has been dominated by edibles. There have been fish all along the coast so make a plan and go wet a line.
North – The north coast has seen some very good edible fish coming out. Our own Dean Reddy has been flashing these on social media making us very jealous (Well done Dean).
The pompano and stumpies have been the main targets along the north coast. Try chokka and prawn baits if you are fishing in the open surf or a mussel if you are close to the rocks. There are some big flatfish that will happily eat these baits as well so don’t be surprised if something giant picks up your delicate edible bait.
The snoek have started arriving in better numbers so make sure you have your spinning gear ready to go and get to the beach as early as possible.
Central – The snoek are also available to those on the Durban beachfront. Try to get your spoon in to the deepest water possible and make sure you are there as early as you can be.
The beachfront has seen some good numbers of the shoal size pompano. These fish are fantastic fun on light tackle. They love most crustacean based baits so make sure to have a section of offerings for them. You do not need to throw far, in fact a far cast often leaves you in completely the wrong area.
There have been some inedibles around, but the pickings have been slim and the winter chill is definitely in the air.
South – The scratchers have been doing very well down south with some quality fish being landed. There have been stumpies, bream and pompano on offer with some bomber shad mixed in. Speak to the anglers in the area you are fishing and find out what has been working in the days prior.
The deeper points down south are still holding some of the better inedibles and anglers have managed a few bus eagle rays and some honeycombs. The eagle rays prefer an octopus bait while the honeycombs will love a redeye sardine concoction.
The bass and trout are keeping the catch reports rolling while the carp anglers are keeping a bit quiet.
Bass – The bass fishing has been amazing in all of the KZN venues.
The faster moving baits have been putting the numbers in the boat. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits and walking surface baits allow you to cover a lot more water. These faster techniques have allowed anglers to quickly up their numbers before switching to soft plastics to target the bigger fish.
Midmar has been doing very well for both the boat and bank anglers. The upper reaches of the dam closer to the river mouth have produced the bigger fish. Chartreuse and white spinnerbaits have done some serious damage. Albert Falls and Inanda have both been very consistent with good catches coming from both. The only issue is the ecological disaster of the water hyacinth at Inanda. The giant mats of weed are a real menace to anyone trying to fish there.
Carp – The carp fishing has been slow. The recent weather patterns have put the carp in a bit of a mood, so it has been tough to put good numbers into the net. The tilapia have been very active so there is always something to catch.
The stronger flavours have been the better scents to go with at the moment. The cooler water does not spread the flavour as much so you will want a stronger scent like garlic or almond.
Trout – The Stillwater season has started for some of the anglers. There have been some proper fish caught over the past week with many anglers making the trip to the berg with their float tubes. Make sure you have a decent sinking line. Shorter leader and baitfish streamers operate in the cooler water.
With the first of the snows already predicted the inlets into the dams are a great place to focus some effort for your days fishing.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “And just as we thought that summer was back, once again we can report on an impending weather change as the first snows are predicted for the high ‘Berg this weekend! As a matter of fact, the skies are darkening as I write … and the Norwegian Weather Gods at YR are predicting a good couple of buckets coming this way over the next week … so as they say : brace yourself!
As reported last week, the SA Bass Angling Association (SABAA) Junior National took place on Albert Falls Dam last week Thursday and Friday. The report indicates that the fishing “difficult”, but there were still some good fish (and bags) landed. The biggest 5-fish single day bag weighed in at 8.7kg, while the biggest 10-fish bag over the 2-day event came in at 13.7kg, giving southern division angler Slade Hawman the win an title of Junior National Champion. Christopher du Bruyn was the highest KZN angler, placing 4th overall, with lady angler Mienke le Roux placing 10th overall. A total of 181 fish were weighed in, averaging out at 0.9kg, and the single biggest fish tipping the scales at 2.6kg. Congratulations to all the anglers taking part and especially those 13 anglers receiving Protea Nomination
Worthy of mention is that local PMB angler, 11yr old Tristan Saville, received his KZN Colours at the event – what an achievement – Congratulations
This Saturday sees a Triple Skins Bass Challenge hosted by PMB Bassmasters, taking place on Alberts Falls. Registration is from Friday (and on the day) at the PMB Bassmasters Clubhouse.
Overall, it seems that the bass waters are fishing well … Albert Falls reportedly coming back online (pun intended!), with plenty baitfish around. Good fish have been reported from both Midmar and Alberts of late, and it seems that spinnerbaits are once again the “go to” lure.
The recent warm spell has kept the trout stillwater temperatures in the upper teens, which would usually keep fish down in the depths looking for cooler water … but no doubt they also know of the impending change in weather towards the inclement and the slide towards winter, and they have been feeding up prodigiously. Reports from the Natal Fly Fishers Club (NFFC) are coming in at a rate of knots, with good catches being reported all round. Local angler Craig Ebersohn once again found himself in the pound seats reporting fish in the 21-23” / 53-58cm range – excellent fishing Craig! Tony Sharples from Howick also reported bring brown trout to hand – a great catch in stillwater! Word is that the ubiquitous beadhead Woolly Bugger (colour of choice) is the fly to blame. A tandem rig fished with a trailing fly of contrasting shape, size and colour is a good bet when fish are active.
The rivers are also on the slowdown, with catches of brown trout being reported from the NFFC beats on The Mooi and Bushmans Rivers. Regular catches are fish in the 10-12” / 25-30cm range, with some bigger fish reported in the 13-14” / 33-35cm range. Barring the rain forecast of the week ahead, the rivers should continue to fine off and clear, and we can expect some excellent fishing.
No news from the Natal Yellowfish / Scaly anglers of late, although there should still be some fish around. Reports from Sterkfontein Dam is that fishing was tough over the last week – as reported previously, the fishing at Sterkies is pretty much done for the season”. Thanks Jan.
Tight lines and screaming reels
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