Just like that, we are in to the sixth month of the year. There have already been some amazing catches this year and we have the sardine run to look forward to, hopefully in the next few weeks…
The sardines should be arriving on our shores soon. The excitement is palpable and the fishermen are starting to vibrate!
Make sure you are ready for the sardine run and get the tackle you know you are going to need before it is too late. We know suppliers are struggling with stock so get the goods you normally run out of before the shelves are empty. Things like braided leader and thicker braid for the shore shark hunters, spoons for the spinning guys and trolling lures for the boat guys. Get ready, it should be a good one!
The offshore fishing has been good albeit a little bumpy out at sea. The bottomfishing has been solid along most of kzn and there are still good gamefish to be caught.
Snoek and couta with a sprinkle of tuna.
The offshore fishing along the north coast has been pretty decent in the last few weeks. The dirty water has made choice of venue a bit tricky but once you find a spot with some cleaner water, you are in for a good time. The snoek have been feeding well on the backline along most of the north coast. Try throwing a smaller spoon or trolling a fillet bait at first light. A rapid retrieve is essential when targeting these fish. Salt rock has been the pick of the launches so get there early if you want a good parking.
The shallows have been a bit dirty so fishing closer in has been tricky and not the most productive. The deeper waters have been the place to go if you are after the tuna and couta that have been around. Livebaits have been the best for both species so try your best to get your hands on some in the early morning.
Trolling lures and throwing poppers has been productive for the tuna but it is hard work and costs a bit (considering the petrol increase). Darker lures and poppers have been the most effective.
Aliwal shoal has been a good bet for the guys down south. This reef is a major attraction to any predatory fish along the coast. Trolling deeper diving lures that can handle a faster troll is your best bet.
The snoek have been around the backlines along most of the south coast with the exception of the dirtier areas.
Bottomfishing down south has been great. Some real back-breakers have been hooked with some making it to the surface.
Rock and surf:
The rock and surf fishing has been slow this past week with big seas and brown water ruining the fun. There are still good numbers of kob around and the fishing should start to pick up soon.
Snoek, kingies and the last of the summer bruisers.
Spinning along the north coast has accounted for some very good fish recently. Throwing spoons at first light and in to the morning off deeper points and bays like Christmas bay will produce kingies, snoek and some surprises. Distance is very important so make sure your tackle is balanced and your technique is good.
The far north has seen the last of the summer flatfish/sharks. The beaches along the Zululand coast have seen some big raggies as well as a few honeycombs and sandies. Big fleshy baits and a throw in to the deeper water is required.
Stumpies, shad and snoek have been on the menu for the past week. The fishing along the beachfront and off the piers has been good. Cracker shrimp and prawn have been the best baits with chokka falling slightly behind. Remember you can fish these baits directly on to your circle hook as they are soft and will not hinder the function of the circle.
The shad have been active in the early mornings with some good specimens being taken on livebait intended for the soon to arrive garrick.
Keep an eye down the south coast for the first arrival of the silver shoal. The sardines should start arriving in the next few weeks so get your leave forms filled out and keep a firm eye on the beaches down south.
On the current fishing, there have been a few garrick already rumoured down south. These fish have been taken on livebait, which has been hard to get. Try your best to get your hands on a live shad and you are set to catch the gentleman of the sea.
The freshwater fishing has been getting a lot of attention with the big seas at the moment. The bass fishing has been good as well as the trout, but patience is your best weapon in the colder months.
Slow down. This is the best tip for those fishing the colder winter months. The bass are still there and they still need to eat, they are just not interested in racing after lures for the chance of a meal. The fish in winter need to be tempted a bit more and need to be convinced that spending that energy will be worth it. Fishing the deeper water will generally produce some good fish as well as the shallows in the early morning.
Midmar continues to be the pick of the kzn venues if you are after a big fish. Alberts is fishing well but it has been difficult fishing. Last weekend saw a Major League Fishing (MLF) event being held on Albert Falls Dam – fishing has been very tough on Alberts of late, and unfortunately this weekend was no exception. Local angler Kirk van Reeuwyk and team managed to bag 2nd place overall, report from Kirk was that getting a 5 fish bag using finesse tactics was key.
The carp fishing switches from conventional to specimen focus at this point in the year. This is mainly due to the size of the average fish going up during the winter. The smaller fish that can be a nuisance in summer slow down in winter and the bigger fish get a chance to get to the bait.
As previously mentioned, the stronger scented baits work better as the water cools down. Make sure you have the essentials in your box like garlic, vicks and spicy. Also, ask the local guys in the area you are fishing. Fishermen are genrally very talkative and we love to share.
Albert falls and Midmar are your two best dams at the moment with both producing some decent specimens in the past few weeks.
The time is now, If you haven’t made a trip up to the berg yet, now is the time. The fishing has been very good in most of the bigger stillwaters. The winter chill will help get the fish fired up and ready to spawn. Remember that if you are looking for the spawning fish, approach the shallow areas as stealthily as you can. The shallow rocky flats are the places to go. Big fish will be in very shallow water and will be very skittish. Caution and subtlety are your best friends here. Egg patterns, blob flies, smaller nymphs and san juan worms all work exceptionally well in these circumstances. These fish can be a lot of fun but make sure to get them back safely.
The recent snow event ushered winter in with a bang – temperatures have been falling through the proverbial floor, and single figure night time figures are the norm now, with day time temps easing up to the mid- and upper teens. While there has been some reports of frost from higher up towards The ‘Berg, last night was the 1st proper frost event in The Midlands – and I had to scrape the frozen windscreen down before going anywhere…
The clear spell of weather looks set to continue for the week ahead, and all bodes well for The Kamberg Trout Festival being held this weekend – much better weather than last years event when we arrived in rain and sleet conditions and fished in some pretty dismal windy and chilly conditions. Yours truly will be fishing, and after burning the midnight vice for the last while making tasty morsels to throw at the trout, I look forward to reporting next week…
Once the weather had settled, anglers from the Natal Fly Fisher’s Club (NFFC) have been out in droves, and by all reports, the fish are hungry and willing. The stillwaters have been on fire, and with water temps still in the lower teens (not that cold yet), the fish are clearly taking advantage and still very much on the prod.
Last weekend saw The Hastings Exclusive event being held on the waters of the upper Dargle – some solid fish came to the net, with a 57cm / 22 inch fish amongst them.
With this week seeing the closure of the river season, a number of anglers made their final forays to the river to get their last fix for the next 3 months before the season reopens on 1 September. The rivers can be a hit-and-miss affair this late in the season, as fish may already have completed their nuptials and dropped down the system, but there have still been some good fish reported.
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