The weather has been the only thing to put anglers off. Even the foulest days have produced some good results along the KZN coast.
Adding floats to your trace can drastically increase your success rate. Not only do floats give the bait a more natural presentation but they also add attraction in the form of colour. Common colours that work for certain species are as follows: Orange is a fantastic colour for scratching fish and in particular bronze bream, glow in the dark works very well for kob, red and white floats work extremely well for shad.
The sea has been very welcoming along KZN. The fish have not been easy but there has been plenty to go around in all facets.
North – The north coast has been seeing a lot of snoek in the mornings. The fish have been on the deeper side with some proper size specimens being boasted. The fillets have out fished most lures with spoons performing when the bait balls show up. With regards to the spoons, make sure to use a spoon as small as possible while still having enough weight to cast.
The deeper reefs have seen some good couta and tuna on live baits. Down rigged baits have been the most successful.
Central – The central coast has seen much the same as the north. The tuna have been the he most consistent of the target species with most trips seeing a few hooked. Trolling lures at speed has been the most productive way to cover water but slowly drifting around the bait spots with a live bait out is the best way to target the bigger fish.
The central coast has also seen a lot of bottom fishing with kob and geelbek being the main species. Chokka and sardine have been the pick of the baits.
South – The south coast has seen some good gamefish on the deeper trolls with most of the better fish being taken on live baits. Remember not to put any skirts in front of your live bait as the material will most likely choke the bait and kill it.
Aliwal has reported some big gamefish with lipped lures trolled at high speeds being the most successful method.
Rock and surf:
The rock and surf fishing has been a real mix. The fishing has been amazing prefrontal but terrible the next day. Make sure to choose your days wisely.
North – The north coast has seen some amazing garrick fishing around the Tugela River. If you can get a live bait, you are almost guaranteed a fish. This area has also thrown some big kob on live bait so if you are looking for a bigger edible, it is definitely the place to go.
The reef areas along the lower north coast have seen some brilliant bream fishing. The bronze bream season has been an absolute cracker with some giant bream being landed.
Central – The central section of KZN has seen some good fishing in the evenings and early mornings with a lot of edible fish being landed.
Shad have been the main catch but there have been a lot of kob to add to the mix. Chokka and sardine have been the two most successful baits. Make sure to add a bit of floatation into your bait presentation to give your bait a more natural look and movement.
South – The south coast has been fishing very well with the lower south seeing some good scratching in the gullies and reefs. There have been a lot of blue skates along the Trafalgar stretch. Sardine belly baits combined with chokka are a great way to target the kob and blue skates on the same cast.
The bronze bream have been full up down south with pink prawns seeing the most successful results.
The freshwater fishing has been fantastic with plenty of fish being caught in all facets.
Bass – Ned rigs have fished particularly well over the past few weeks. With the unstable weather, the fish have been on the shy side and this finesse approach seldom fails to catch a good couple of fish. The ned rig is basically a smaller soft plastic bait rigged on a jighead. It is ideal that the soft plastic be buoyant so that it stands up straight off the bottom. This rig is fished either very slowly on the bottom with plenty of pauses for the ultimate finesse, or it is fished with short hops to attract fish from further away.
Carp – Conventional angling has been very productive in all of the KZN carp waters. Albert Falls has been the pick of the venues for the conventional anglers as the fish have been feeding very well in the shallower areas of the dam. Garlic has been the most reported flavour with floaties out-fishing mielies. The numbers have been a bit low but the sizes are making up for that.
The specimen anglers have been doing very well at Inanda. Hinged rigs have made the most of any bite. Tigernuts and pop-ups have been the most successful baits reported. Adding some colour to the hook bait has also increased the success rate.
Trout – The Stillwater fishing has been going very well with all of the venues in KZN producing photo-worthy fish. The bank and float-tube fishing has been productive and it has been venue dependent which works better.
Woolly buggers in browns and olives have been fishing well. Sinking lines in a type-4, short leader and a strip-stop retrieve have produced good results.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “With the recent rains, followed by the monster hailstorm in PMB earlier this week, it definitely seems like spring/summer is trying to get a foot in the door – the current weather is certainly more akin to summer than winter, but gotta be care what one says as there us (usually) a sting in the tail … the last 2 years has seen a good snowfall in the last week in August … the forecast for this weekend, and the long-range forecast for later next week has a bit of dubious weather in it, so let’s wait and see what happens before we place any bets!
As reported last week, the weather held last weekend for the Finals of the TOPS Corporate Challenge up in Nottingham Road – that is, at least there wasn’t any rain or snow as per the forecast some 10 days prior! The fishing on Friday was good (for most), but being August and half tail-end of winter and half the start of spring, the fish are somewhat iffy and the fishing wasn’t all roses for all. To make things more “fun”, there was a frontal system that came over in the course of Saturday morning, which put the fish down and in zip-lip mode, and the returns declined correspondingly … that being said, I am (very) happy to report that the team of which I was part pulled the proverbial (trout?) out of the hat and we won!
Before anyone asks what the “magic fly” was, as mentioned, the fish were iffy to say the very least and it was a case of “try anything” because you might get a bite. One thing I can say that is that contrary to the norm for this late in the season, colour (i.e. orange) was still working, as well as minnow patterns (they are not usually around now). As for the rest, a mix of the standard woolly buggers and nymphs.
With the weather seemingly playing ball, the anglers of the Natal Fly Fishers Club were also out in abundance taking advantage of the clear skies, making full use of the long-weekend from the Women’s Day public holiday earlier this week. The NFFC has a number of anglers of the fairer sex, and it was good to see them featuring in the returns! To be expected, there were a number of blank (no catch) returns from Sat/Sun while the frontal system made itself felt, but prior and post the system, there were some numbers of fish across the board up to 53cm / 21 inches reported.
As mentioned last week, the TOPS Finals is essentially the last event in the winter calendar, and the countdown has officially begun to 1 September which signals the start of the trout River Season. Time to polish your river sticks and get those fly boxes stocked … pop into KF-PMB and chat to Jan if the river is on your agenda this summer.
On the bass front : the fishing has been on the slow side, not helped by the frontal system on the weekend, but there were two of over 3kg, and another of around 2.5kg reported from Albert Falls this week. Prior to the front, the fishing was picking up … one report had a group of anglers getting 11 fish to the boat. No word from Midmar. Talk on the socials is still pretty much about the pre-spawn and tactics that have been suggested are shaky heads and swimbaits.
There was a good report on carp being taken on fly recently on Albert Falls … more and more anglers are gearing up for these tackle busters. Patterns include dries like foam hoppers, and wet flies like a weighted White Death and Gold-ribbed Hare’s Ear nymph which can also be suspended below the dry fly in the famous hopper-dropper system. Carp are generally quite shy however, so if you are targeting surface feeding fish, you need to be able to get a fairly decent cast out to lead the fish in the direction they are feeding – get too close, and they will simply turn 180 and head off in the other direction…
Have had some good reports from the Umkomaas system and the scaly (Natal Yellowfish) fishing is starting to get on the go. Water temp is still on the low side, but there have been excellent fish reported so far – predominantly on sub-surface patterns including nymphs, taddy’s and small jig buggers. One report however mentioned that the small stuff wasn’t working and fish were being taken on a large minnow pattern! As we say time and time again – the fish don’t read the (same) rule book and you might just have go right outside the box to tickle their interest. I cannot recall when I last caught a scaly, so I am looking forward reporting on the NFFC Scaly Clinic that is taking place in the 1st weekend in September”. Thanks Jan
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