With schools being in full swing from next week and the morning traffic being chaos, it pays to get out early and fish. This means you beat traffic and get to see the sun come up. Not a bad way to start the day…


The offshore scene has been buzzing with reports of couta that are finally making an appearance. The rough seas have however limited the number of days the guys have been able to launch.

North – The northern section of KwaZulu-Natal has been producing some very fine catches for the ski boaters and paddle-ski guys alike. The bottom fishermen have been quiet in terms of reports which either means the fishing is very good or very bad. The reports that have come in have not been spectacular with only various reds accounting for the day’s catches. Reports have come in of catches of billfish (mainly sailfish), couta, lots of tuna and dorado.

The game-fishermen have been enjoying most of the luck with the species mentioned above. Trolled lures have proven the better of the fish and the purple and black Rattler has outshone the rest of the lures while for the Kona-style lures, the red and black versions have done very well for the sailfish.

Central – There have been a few videos of some “interesting” launches doing the rounds. Please make sure you make yourself familiar with the area and the method of launching for the site you are choosing. Also, speak to the locals and watch how they launch and what lines they take out. These simple things can mean the difference between a great day or an embarrassing or life-threatening one.

Reports of fish have been slow with last week’s rough conditions and big seas. Bait has been difficult to come by but has often meant the difference between catching and watching

The dorado have been fancying a small live mozzie while the tuna have enjoyed the bigger mozzie with the large eye (butter mozzie). A large number of marlin have also been reported off the Durban coast and many tales have come in of the one that got away. The tuna is still feeding ferociously and catching these fish has been a matter of either putting the time in trolling or finding the dolphins.

South – With the lack of a harbour/sheltered launch, this means that not many guys have been able to launch. Bait has also been difficult to get but the old sea dogs are still getting their fair share of mackerel and mozzies, with red eyes eluding all

Billfish and dorado have rewarded the guys travelling to the deeper waters. The edges of currents and water temperature have been the most successful.

Rock and Surf:

Chaos! This has been the message from most of the fishermen that have been fishing in the northern KZN.


North – The north coast has been a hive of fishing activity. The diamonds and sharks have been keeping the guys busy over the past week with hectic action occurring on most of the days after some north east wind. Mackerel (if you can get) has been the bait of choice with bonito coming a close second but bait has not been too much of an issue as the fish have been very greedy. The two main traces have been the stock standard nylon (1mm Maxima or Kingfisher leader) to a single 8/0 Maruto off set circle hook (348). This is perfect if you are only after the diamonds. If you are wanting to target the other species then an FMJ made of 120lb wire or thicker with a Tuna Circle or Ringed Soi is perfect. Please remember to practice extreme caution when fishing these areas as help is far away. When first approaching the area, look for areas with some rips and water movement. Remember to move if you are not getting a bite, the fish will be concentrated in a single area so you need to move until you find them.

The shore anglers in the middle north coast have had a good run of kingfish. A live karanteen is a deadly bait for these fish. While a live bait is the first choice when targeting kingfish, the next best thing is a well-presented squid bait. A squid (baby squid) that is neatly presented on a hook with enough floatation is a great bait for the smaller kingies and will not be resisted by a stumpnose either. Fish this on the edge of a sandbank or the working water in the deeper sections of the beach for the best results. Alternately, one can target the kingfish with most lures. Make sure to keep the retrieves fairly brisk as a slow lure will be ignored by these speedsters. A shiny silver spoon is probably your best choice to target these fish.


Central – The central zone has been a bit quite in comparison to the chaos which is happening up the coast. The inedibles have been around, mainly in the Durban basin area. The best results have come off a mackerel head combined with a cutlet of bonito or frigate. This is a tasty bait that will work anywhere for the inedibles.


The beaches are still producing fair numbers of edible fish for the guys fishing in to the darker hours. These catches have consisted mainly of stumpies, blacktail and the odd pompano and grunter. The fresher the bait, the quicker the bite has been. There have also been a fair number of shad for the guys targeting them but most have been undersized.


South – There has been a bit of inedible action of the south coast but it has been a bit sporadic. With the presence of some more north east wind, the fishing should improve for all the summer bruisers.


News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Week 2 of ’23 and with it some better weather and reports that the fishing is getting back online (pun intended!).  There have been some great fish caught over the past week on all fronts, and with hardly a drop of rain to be seen on the weather forecast looking forward, it setting up for a great week ahead … time to get those lines in the water!

Let’s go back-2-front for a change and start with the yellows of Sterkfontein : with The Midlands still a little wet under collar from the recent deluge(s), the current hot spell is just what the Dr ordered for Sterkies (yes, I know … pun intended again!).  Reports coming down tell of some cracking Smallmouth Yellowfish on the dry fly – that’s what it’s all about up there!  For those that know … you know! … but for the first-timers, it’s best go with an old-hand or get a guide – if you need some info, pop into Kingfisher-PMB and come and chat to Jan who will be able to assist with advice and flies.

With Sterkies on the brain, the 1st meeting for ’23 of the Natal Fly Dressers Society featured the infamous Good Dr’s Beetle, presented by local angler Scott Brown.  Scott is a great technical tyer, and we were treated to his method of painting the foam strips (he uses 3 colours of purple to get the correct shade that he is after!) and a new waterproof product for the final coat.  While the beetle is a relatively easy tie, Scott’s recipe for the underbody (involving UV dubbing, CdC and hackle) takes it to another level.  With the current warm weather spell, there were a couple of tiers at the meeting already making plans to head north to float their beetles very shortly!  Pop into the Kingfisher-PMB and come and chat to Jan for more info on the NFDS.

Sticking with the yellows, a couple of die-hard Scaly (Natal Yellowfish) anglers made good use of the last of the holidays … even with the rivers still on the high side, some proper fish came to hand.  An interesting comment made was that with the fast flowing water, there has been a dearth of tadpoles in the shallows (current just too strong for them), and where previously the top-rated fly was a black jig bugger, a copper beadhead nymph has been the “go to” fly for the faster water.  Conditions will only improve now as and when the rains tap off.

After the last 2 weeks of reporting dirty warm water from the trout anglers, last week’s cold spell (a bracing 5degC was measured in The Dargle Valley) has helped the waters cool down somewhat (surface temps now around 17degC from the previous 20+) and there have been a few reports of good fish from the Natal Fly Fishers Club anglers that have taken advantage of the cooler weather.  For waters that have a stream inflow (and many more will have now after the rains), the advantage is that the water flowing in from on high is nice and cool … trout will seek this cooler water so the inlet is a good place to be fishing.  Fish reported in the last week have been in the 15-17 inch / 38-43cm and 19-21 inch / 48-53cm range.  And then a cracker of 66cm / 26 inches was reported by local angler Dylan Burczak!  That is just over 2 feet of trout … Congrats Dylan!
Only a single report from the river anglers – and that from one of the upper Bushman’s River NFFC beats – which happily reported “water a bit high, but fishable … lots of fish … a special piece of water…”.  With no rain of consequence in the 10 day forecast ahead, rivers will drop nicely and the upper sections becoming well fishable.  Time to get out there.

From the bass anglers : Albert Falls has gone a bit quiet, but Midmar is still producing.  With the water at an all-time high in Albert Falls Dam, anglers are reporting that the tilapia are right up in the shallows, and the bass are behind them … so find the baitfish, and you will find the bass – but the high water is making is difficult.  In Midmar, catches have been good – but on the smaller end of the scale, all around 1kg or less.  Lure of choice has been a soft plastic in June Bug colour.  With the bass on the lighter side, some of the anglers have taken to a fly rod, and are reporting good success with a black Zonker pattern, either fished close to, or just below, the surface.

The “Heaviest Bag” competition alluded to last week is on the go till end of next month, so as mentioned, many anglers are keeping a tight lid on their catches, and reports of fish are few and far between.

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”. Thanks Jan.

Tight lines and screaming reels.

The KZN Angler News audio fishing report is South Africa’s first fishing podcast series that focuses on the latest fishing reports of the East Coast, it delivers true and accurate content from the provinces most prominent anglers on a weekly basis on various facets of angling. This report is free and available on all major Podcast platforms including Apple Pods, Google Pods, Spotify and Deezer as well as SA’s most popular Facebook Pages.


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Categories: Reports