The fishing is starting to pick up. The excitement of the sardines possibly arriving soon has everyone giddy while the local fishing has definitely improved.

Top tip – The trap stick is a rod that is put out (generally with a live bait) while you are fishing on the bottom, either with lures or bottom fishing with bait. This is an often forgotten rod which can result in some amazing catches. The action of bringing fish up from the bottom often gets the attention of gamefish in the area which then scoff down the helpless live bait. Remember to set your drag right and put the rod in a rod holder that will be down current if you are on anchor or up current if you are drifting.

Offshore:

The fishing off Durban has been pretty good these past weeks. The bottom fishing has begun to pick up and the couta are keeping the gamefish addicts happy.

North – The north coast has seen a lot of wolf herring (silkies) and walla walla being caught while fishing for snoek. These species are normally a pest but have become a very welcome catch due to the bait shortage. They are not the greatest live bait, so your best bet is to allow them to die and then rig them.

There has been snoek around most of the usual areas so make sure you have some good quality sardine to use for fillet baits. If you prefer not using bait, then smaller lipped lures and spoons are for you. Troll the lures and/or fillets on the backline in the early mornings for the best results.

Central – The Durban coast has cleaned up fairly quickly with the fishing itself picking up. There have been some very late season dorado around in the deep so make sure to check any floating debris you find in the deeper water. The deep has also seen some very good tuna caught on both live bait and trolled lures. Skirted lures have done very well with purple/black proving to be the best producer according to reports. Remember to vary your spread out the back of the boat with lures running just outside the whitewash as well as some “Hong Kong”.

The shallower areas have seen some decent couta being landed. Live bait has been king and luckily there have been some mackerel available on the bait spots. Take the extra ten minutes to get some live bait as this could save your day.

South – The south coast has not had much reported in the past week. The garrick should start arriving in the next few weeks so keep an eye out for them.

There has been snoek around the river mouths with the current lines proving to be the best place to troll along. Much like the areas further north, a fillet bait or a smaller lipped lure will be your best choice to target these often-fussy fish.

The bottom fishing down south has been good with both bigger bottoms (geelbek and daga) as well as smaller (reds and rockcod) being caught with fairly regular repetition.

Rock and surf:

The kob have been one of the most prolific species around the last few weeks. As the coastal waters clean up more and more, we should start seeing some of the more traditional winter species. Here sardine, sardine, sardine…

North – The snoek has started to make a more regular appearance. This has had the spinning addicts in a spin. Early mornings are the best time to target these fish. Small, heavy spoons and a good cast are very important for targeting the Natal snoek. Any of the deep-water point on the north coast will be good places to fish. Keep your eyes open and look for the action of feeding snoek.

The kob and stumpies have been around on the north coast with most beaches seeing good numbers being caught. Chokka is the king of baits if you want to target both species.

Central – The Durban coastline has seen some decent kob fishing on the northern beaches down to Blue Lagoon. Live bait, chokka and sardine have been the most successful baits for these smaller specimens. The shad have also been around with some very big specimens being landed. Blue Lagoon has also had some decent stumpies and spotted grunter landed in the last week.

The beachfront has not had much reported with only some grey sharks being caught by the guys going for the inedibles while on the edibles side the shad have been the only fish caught in decent numbers.

South – The south coast has seen the bigger kob. The areas around the river mouths have been the most productive with chokka being the bait of choice. Remember to make sure that your bait has plenty of movement. This can be done by building your bait around some floatation as well as adding tentacles to your bait for extra movement. If you want to go the extra mile then add a rattle in to the bait. All of these additions will trigger the kob’s lateral line senses. The south coast has also seen the first garrick of the season so get ready for some action on the lures and live bait.

Freshwater:

The freshwater scene is a mix at the moment. The coastal dams are starting to recover from the devastation while the inland dams are really producing some amazing fishing.

Bass – Midmar has been the king of the castle for the last week. There have been some amazing fish caught, both in number and size. Fishing the deeper areas in Midmar can be very rewarding with a good fish finder being essential to a successful day. The structure in these deep areas are what you need to fish. Look for trenches, ridges, bumps and rockpiles. Fish these areas with crankbaits, California rigs, heavy jigs or for a more finesse approach, the dropshot rig.

Albert Falls has been the runner up for decent fishing with some good fish being landed. There has not been a set pattern so try to figure it out on the day by systematically working through your lure selection.

Unfortunately, the coastal dams are still not really fishable. Hazlemere is beginning to come right and there have been some fish caught in the last week. Inanada is still a field of Hyacinth.

Carp – The carp fishing has also been limited to the smaller farm/private dams close to Durban or the dams further inland. Midmar has been producing some very good fish for specimen and conventional anglers. This is much the same at Albert Falls with good sized fish being landed.

Much like the last week, the stronger scents have been more productive than the sweet ones. Garlic is a firm winter favourite as is “Gumtree”. Winter is a patience game so remember to let your baits soak and don’t be too hasty to recast.

Trout – The Stillwater fishing is getting better and better as the winter rolls in. Make sure you have adequate warm gear to stop you from leaving the fishing for the warmth of inside. A good pair of waders with thermals underneath can make a cold day in to a cosy one.

Much like the bass fishing, fishing underwater structure is a very good way of targeting fish in the Stillwaters. Look for the old riverbed and fish along it with a sinking line, short leader and a streamer. Spawning season is almost upon us so get your egg patterns ready.

News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Apart from a rain glitch that crept through the Autumn curtain on Sunday, we are very happy to see that the recent improved state of the weather is sticking around … some pretty balmy days at present, and anglers are out in force making full use of it.

The cool nights are helping with the water temperatures, and as mentioned last week, the fish are feeding up and there have been some proper slabs reported from the both the bass and trout anglers.

Reports seen in the last week from both Albert Falls and Midmar Dams had some bucketmouths listed – Clifton Saville fishing his son Tristan on Alberts saw Tristan break his PB twice last weekend with a 3.95kg followed by a 4.65kg, the pair ending up with a bag of 18.5kg for 5 fish!  Well Done guys! With the cooler water, Midmar is slowing down now, but if you find the spot, you can get lucky as local angler Kurt Henry found out last weekend with a tank that looked to be around the 4kg mark.  As is usually the case, the lucky anglers playing their cards close to their chest and there was no mention made of the successful lures used…

Reports are rolling in from the Natal Fly Fishers Club (NFFC) on both stillwater and river – with some excellent fish being reported from both.  The lower sections of the rivers are still quite high, and some heavy stuff is required to get flies down to fish, and but the results show for them themselves … that is if you can hang onto the fish in the current … there have been a few fishy takes of monsters lost so far!  And a reminder that we have only 2 and bit weeks left of the river season which closes on 31 May, so now is the time to get out … which I will be doing this weekend and look forward to reporting next week.

The stillwaters are showing that it’s going to be a great winter season – the size and quality of the fish reported so far are nothing short of epic, with plenty fish in the 40-50cm / 15-19inch bracket, good numbers of 50-60cm / 19-23inches, and cream of the crop : another 2 fish of 60+cm / 23+inches!  As reported last week, larger items are on the current feeding list so that means woolly buggers, dragonfly patterns, and minnow patterns in particular.  June is going is going to a mad start with 3 events running over the 1st 3 weekends which I am fishing, and looking forward to reporting!

Last night’s monthly meeting to the Natal Fly Dressers Society had Jan Korrubel demonstrating a “Janssen’s Dragon” – a very popular dragonfly nymph pattern from a good 20years go, but not seen commercially available for many a year.  Anyone interested in attending the meetings, pop into The Kingfisher PMB and chat to Jan – KF-PMB also has the widest range of fly tying materials available in The Midlands”. Thanks so much Jan.

Tight lines and screaming reels.

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Categories: Fishing Reports