The fish are starting to bite along the KZN coast with both the offshore and rock and surf fishing beginning to pick up.
Top tip: Kob are the flavour at the moment with a lot of fish being landed. Please remember to stick to the regulations…
Kob love both chokka and sardine baits. The bigger specimens love a live bait as well. Make sure your bait has plenty of movement by adding floatation and long tentacles. For an added bonus you can push a glass rattle into the foam to give you the edge.
The debris has dissipated so the trips out have been less stressful. The fishing has also picked up with plenty fish being caught.
North – The north coast has cleaned up quite quickly with some good fishing to be had along most of the coast.
There have been some good catches of snoek along the colour lines in the north. Fillet baits have continued to produce the goods with both standard Natal sardine and Japanese mackerel fillets working well. The couta have been a bit scarce lately on the north with the first spike of the season going a bit quiet. Nonetheless, it is still worth putting in the time along the deeper reefs. Down rig your baits and look for structure lines to troll along.
Central – The Durban area has seen some good tuna for the guys running out to the very deep areas, away from the dirt. The shallower regions are still fishing very slow with plenty of pollution in the water putting most fish off.
The sea has started to clear up and the fishing will pick up in the near future. Look at trolling for the snoek around the new expanse that is the blue lagoon mouth. This area should hold a lot more baitfish now which will in turn attract the predators. Definitely worth a couple minutes on your way past.
South – The south coast has also suffered from the dirty water. The reports have been few and far between with very little news coming in of fish.
The shallower regions should start producing some crocodiles (the couta kind, not the actual crocodiles). This time of year normally seas some big couta being boated. Increase the size of your baits and make sure to rig them up properly. These big fish did not get their size by eating a skew sardine spinning behind a feather duster skirt with two giant anchor treble hooks in it. Use some subtlety and patience when making up the baits and make sure your tackle is up to the task. You do not want to lose a dream fish because you could not be bothered to retie your leader…
Rock and surf:
The edible fishing has been fantastic with some good kob and stumpies being landed. The beaches are cleaning up, so the fishing is picking up.
North – The north has seen some good edible catches with the reef areas of Sodwana and Vidal producing some spectacular specimens. These areas are best fished with circle hooks and bigger baits for the speckled snapper and rockcod species. These are hard-fighting fish that require heavy tackle to land them. On the lighter side, you can have days of fun targeting the open sandy areas with dropshots and small spoons. There are a myriad of species to be caught and they all put up a great fight on light tackle.
Central – The Umgeni mouth has been producing some good catches, even with the dirty water. This area has seen some lovely grunter, kob and stumpies being landed in the last week. Chokka has been the bait of choice and the size of the bait is all you need to vary to target all three.
The beaches and piers along the beachfront have seen some fish but in general the fishing has been slow unfortunately.
South – The south coast has seen a spike in kob catches around the Toti to Umkomaas area. Chokka and live baits have been the best for these fish. Remember with your chokka baits that floatation and movement are very important as well as some noise from a rattle in the foam.
The rest of the south coast has seen good scratching for species like stumpies using prawn baits. These have been a lot of fish to be caught with them all between 1-5kgs. On the inedible side, there are still some grumpy honeycombs hanging around so persevere if you are after a late season flatfish.
The freshwater fishing is a mix of emotions at the moment. The trout fishing has been amazing, but the bass and carp fishing has taken a hit from the floods…let us hope the waters clean up soon.
Bass – Midmar and Albert Falls have been the pick of the venues with Midmar being the lead singer in the band. There have been some amazing fish caught caught from this dam in the past few weeks with both largemouth and smallmouth being landed. Midmar has been fishing well on the offshore structure. This means focussing on your graphs/finders and getting your baits down to them.
The dams closer to the coast are essentially unfishable and will take time to recover from the floods. The ecological disaster of the water hyacinth at Inanda dam has been highlighter on social media but something major needs to be done ASAP.
Carp – The carp fishing has taken a knock with the floods. The bigger dams have been a bit slow and the smaller dams have bounced back a lot quicker from the devastation.
With the dirtier water and cooler temperatures, stronger scents will allow the carp to find your bait even buried in the silt. Gumtree/Vicks and garlic are the two best flavours to keep the fish interested. Adding some of this flavour to your mielie bomb will also help to keep the fish in your feeding area. Colour will not be as important in the dirty water, but it can help a bit.
There has been some very big tilapia caught in the last week so if you are waiting for a carp bite, throw an earthworm on a float rig and see what happens.
Trout – The fishing just keeps getting better. As the winter chill makes itself more known, the Stillwater season starts producing some proper sized fish. The rivers are still seeing good fish as we head towards the close, but the bulk of the fish have been in the lakes and dams.
Spawning season is approaching so the fish will be looking for areas to drop their eggs. This means you need to be very stealthy in the shallows and look for rockier shallow bays. These areas can be fished with egg patterns, small nymphs and blob flies. Remember that patience and stealth are the two keys here. Your heart will be beating in your ears as you see your personal best looking at your fly, but you need to keep still and wait for the fish to engulf it.
Tight lines and screaming reels.
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