Please remember to leave the areas that you fish in a better condition than when you got there. Take a few moments to pick up some litter and take it to the nearest bin.

The conditions have been all over the place, but so have the fish. If you are out at sea or next to the dam, there are fish to catch so get out there!

Top tip. When it comes to any fishing trip be it out on a boat or to a distant area, safety should be the first thing to consider. If you are going to be far from medical help, make sure you have a first aid kit with you. A good set of side cutters to cut hooks that found their way in to an extremity.

A fully charged cell phone to be able to call for help if need be.
Remember there will always be another day to go fish.

Offshore:

The offshore scene has been very productive. There have been some brute bottom fish and plenty of gamefish action.

North – The north coast has seen a lot of gamefish action in the form of dorado and couta. There have been some good sailfish and small marlin caught in the past week. These majestic fish are extremely hard fighters and require some effort to put back properly. Spend the extra few minutes reviving the fish next to your ski and they can swim off to be caught by another fortunate angler.

The further north you can go the better your chances of getting good numbers. Live bait has been king but those able to troll at faster speeds have seen very good results with the high-speed lipped lures. Purples and pinks have been the top colours.

Central – Fantastic bottom fishing has been had off Durban. The bulk of the catches have been geelbek and daga. These have mainly been caught at night, but late afternoon has seen some good fishing on the deeper reefs. The rest of the bottoms have been a mix of reds (soldiers, slinger etc) and rockcod. The bigger fish have preferred eating a live bait with mackerel outperforming the rest of the bait. The shallows have mainly seen snoek action.

The deeper drop offs and temperature shifts have been the most likely spot to encounter the early season dorado and sailfish so head out to the deep blue if you are after these hard fighting pelagics.

South – The area from the Bluff south has seen much the same action as Durban with plenty of dorado and tuna for the gamefish anglers while the guys looking on the bottom have also managed good hauls.

The dorado and tuna have been mostly caught on trolled lures, lipped or skirted. The darker colours have been reported to be working well down south. Colour like black/red or black/purple have been reported to out fish the flashier colour combinations.

The bottom fishing has been consistent down south with plenty of good fish coming up from the deep. If you are new to the game, please make yourself familiar with the species which you are and are not allowed to catch.

Rock and surf:

The summer heat has made fishing up north uncomfortable but this is where most of the better fish have come from.

North – The north coast has seen some good summer action already. There have been some proper fish caught already. The blackfins have been around most of the river mouths of the north coast. Mackerel and live baits have been the most productive.

The flatfish have been on the radar with honeycombs, brown rays and sandies all making up the catches. Mackerel has been the most successful bait.

Central – The beachfront section of Durban has seen some decent fishing. It is one of the few areas that can be fished in the rough seas. Sardine and redeye sardine have been the most successful baits for the smaller flatfish with brown skates and blue rays making up the bulk of the catches.

The edibles have been a little scarce other than the shad. The stumpies have been around and a bunch of cracker shrimp or a cracker and pink prawn combo bait has been the best chance at catching them.

South – The coast south of the Bluff has been very productive for the shore anglers. The bronze bream have been feeding very well around the rockier areas. A nice juicy prawn bait on a 20lb hook snoot will generally get their attention. Make sure you fish as close to the rocks as possible as the bream like to stick to the bricks. This method of fishing is also multi-targeted as you can catch multiple species while looking for bream.

The occasional brusher has also made an appearance, so if you are wanting to target these beasts, now is the time to take your crab to the beach. These are very strong fish so be sure of your knots and hooks before attempting to target them.

Freshwater:

The freshwater facets have been much the same as last week with the bass fishing being at its peak as we move in to the heart of summer.

Bass – The bass fishing has been on a high with some amazing fish being caught in the last few weeks. The methods reported have varied from place to place but the faster moving search baits have been producing some good bites recently.

With crankbait fishing, remember that the cranks need to touch the bottom, so make sure their maximum depth is deeper than the depth you are fishing.

Midmar and Nagle have been producing some fantastic bass fishing with those putting in the time on these venues bringing home full live wells. Spinnerbaits have been the best reported searching bait. In clean water, use the standard willow blades in silver with a white or chartreuse/white skirt. In the dirtier water, change the blades for Colorado blades in gold or orange with a chartreuse skirt. These little changes can make all the difference.

Carp – The carp fishing has been good for both specimen and conventional anglers. The conventional anglers have been hitting the numbers hard. The keepnets have been bulging. On that note, please make sure to empty your keepnets frequently and place them in water that is deep enough as well as cool.

Inanda Dam has produced some real quality specimens over the last while. The weed has been a problem but can be overcome with a bit of work in terms of raking. Once again accuracy in terms of your baiting and casting/dropping remains the most important factor when fishing Inanda.

Trout – The trout fishing has started to slow down in the dams, but this does not mean it is not worth the drive. There are still a lot of decent fish being landed. Streamers and faster moving flies have done well as searching patterns while the hotter days have required a slower approach. Midges and buzzers have come in to their own on these hot days.

The streams are fishing well in the cleaner water so look for these sections and enjoy the hours of fun these streams hold.

News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “It seems, and I am holding my breath here, that the weather is settling just a tad for the time being … rainfall has been minimal, and we didn’t have to buy the water wings that I indicated last week might be necessary.  Good news also that the rivers and dam overflow (I see Midmar daily) are slowing down … but probably the best news is that the weather is on a cooling streak, and the Natal Fly Fishers Club (NFFC) has just reopened its stillwaters.  Happy news for the trout anglers out there…

So still a little early for the NFFC stillwater reports, but I am sure that will change very shortly, and we will see a flood of returns coming in very shortly.

From the river anglers, reports are that the water has still been a bit on the high side, but subsided enough to get out there. A report indicated “Water flowing fast but fairly clear”, and a good couple of brown trout reported in the 7-13 inch / 18-33cm bracket.  No mention of flies unfortunately, but pretty sure that these would have been primarily on nymphs, or even a dry-dropper rig.  As mentioned previously, a large dry fly (my favourite is a foam hopper) is more visible to fish in fast water, and can also be used to drop a weighted nymph from, giving the best of both worlds.

February’s Major League Fishing “Cast For Cash” event was held at Midmar Dam last weekend.  Somewhat inclement weather had the field of anglers having to wait to get going while the mist cleared.  Unfortunately, as seems to be the case at events, the fishing was slow and off for Midmar. While there were good numbers of fish caught, most of them were the typical “Midmar dinks”.  As usual, a few anglers managed to find some decent fish with Juan Bornman from Richards Bay taking the big fish prize and first place with a great 4kg plus bass.  Congrats to the Top 10 finishes, and all the anglers who managed to find some good fish.

Other than event / comp days, word from the water indicate that fishing is “good” on both Albert Falls and Midmar.

The local yellowfish (scaly) anglers are still on slim pickings, with much of the lower river sections still blown out and chocolate.  As one angler notes however, they are still there and have to eat, but a single fish for half a day fishing ain’t that much fun … only for the die hards.

Sterkfontein has also been on a go slow – guide David Weaver recently reported that as a great fishery, it’s not a great “catchery” at present.  Fish are to be had, but it’s hard work.  Conditions should improve as the weather settles, and guide Mark Yelland rates March-April as the best months”. Thanks Jan.

Tight lines and screaming reels.

 

For the best in tackle and advice, pop into any of the seven Kingfisher stores, they are open 8am-5pm Mon-Fri, 8am-1pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

The Kingfisher has opened their new store in the Tiffany’s Shopping Centre in Salt Rock. For all your angling needs, (freshwater or saltwater) pop in and see them or give them a shout on 032 307 0041.

 

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Categories: Reports