Fishing has been good on all fronts with the weather being the only limiting factor. The summer fish are starting to make an appearance so get ready for sweat, heat and drag screaming.
Top tip: Much like a good surf and turf, a combination bait can actually be more effective than either one of the baits by themselves. Examples of good mixes are as follows: chokka and prawn for edibles, chokka and sardine (redeye or Natal) for everything. If you are wanting to go after bigger inedibles then a mix of meaty baits like sardine and mackerel or bonito will be the best. Remember that there are no rules in fishing so experiment and have fun.
The offshore fishing has kept the hatches filled with good snoek and tuna fishing along most of the coast.
North – The north coast has been fishing very well from Umdloti all the way to sodwana. The closer inshore reefs have seen some amazing couta caught, mostly on live bait. Down rigging your live bait has been key to getting the bigger bites. Try and fish one bait close to the bottom and another slightly higher in the water column. The general rule is to start fishing closer to the surface and move deeper as the day goes on. The dorado should start to make an appearance soon so get the pink skirts ready for some jumping action.
Central – The Durban coast has also seen plenty fish. There have been snoek off Umhlanga and blue lagoon. The early mornings are the times to target these fish.
The charters have been doing extremely well out of Durban. The tuna and dorado have been the main catches with very few boats returning without a full hatch. The dorado and tuna have been a mix of sizes so be prepared for that giant to jump on to your lure or bait.
Those who prefer bigger fish will be happy to know that the billfish are around and some proper units have been hooked. Pop in to one of your local fishing shops and ask what’s working for these beasts
South – Much like the north and central coasts, the dorado should start arriving in big numbers soon. Look at trolling lipped and skirted lures around structure and keep an eye out for any floating debris.
The south coast has seen a lot more bottom fishing action than the rest of the coast. There have been some massive rockcod and daga caught. Most of the bigger fish have been caught dropping live bait to the depths. This method has also accounted for some big yellowtail and amberjack. If you hook one of these, hold on.
Rock and surf:
Please remember that the shad season is closed. This means you are not allowed to catch and/or keep shad.
The fishing along the KZN coast has improved with a lot of edibles being landed and a mix of the summer inedibles coming through.
North – The north coast has been the place to be. Any of the deeper points will be a good bet. The lighter tackle has produced a lot of grey sharks. Those looking for bigger fish have done well with mackerel and redeye baits on fmj traces. Look for an area where you can get into the deeper water. This can be off a rocky point or if you can clear the sandbank on the beach.
Central – The central coast has seen a drop in number of anglers with the fear of contaminated water keeping most at bay. The anglers that have been fishing the beachfront have managed some decent fish. The grey sharks, spinners and blue skates have been the main species being caught. Softer, fleshy baits are the way to go. Use a short bite trace of 90lb steel and you will be set.
South – The south coast has seen some good garrick and kob fishing on live bait. These fish have not been too keen on the artificial lures but have been happy to eat a frisky live bait.
The scratching on the south coast has been the main attraction with any of the rockier areas being the place to try. Pink prawn and chokka are the baits of choice.
The summer season is in full swing for the freshwater fish with plenty of action in all the facets.
Bass – The bass fishing has been wild in most of the KZN venues. From the smaller private dams to Inanda, the bass have been eager and aggressive so get out there and get some bass.
Weightless soft plastics have been the most successful target method for the smaller dams. With the shallower water and general weedy nature of these dams, the weightless plastics excel. Those looking for the bigger fish will do well to use a hollow body frog.
Inanda and Albert Falls have been the pick of the bigger venues. Both dams have fished well for the shore and boat anglers, but the boat guys have done better. A mix of techniques have been reported but spinnerbaits and cranks have been the two most popular.
Carp – The carp fishing has been very slow this past week. The smaller fish have been wild in most dams but there have been no reports of bigger fish received.
The small carp are still on the sweeter scents. A floaty or mielie in a bright colour with a sweet scent will do very well in most of the venues. The conventional anglers have caught the most fish from Inanda and Alberts this past week.
Those looking for the bigger specimens will be better suited to Inanda. Remember this dam is accuracy dependent so work on landing your baits in the same area cast after cast. Banana is always popular so make sure you have some in your collection.
Trout – The trout fishing in the berg has been a happy escape from the heat close to the coast. The cooler temperatures have made for some decent fishing in both the rivers and the stillwaters.
The rivers and streams have been full of smaller fish which makes for a busy day amongst some beautiful scenery. Dry flies have been the pick for most anglers as the surface take from the smaller fish is always enthusiastic. Flies like the ever-popular DDD or the elk hair caddis are great in most situations.
For the stillwaters, the bigger streamers like the paparoach or zonker are a good bet to get the fish to come out of the shadows. Fish the deeper water with a sinking line and don’t be afraid to speed up your retrieve every now and then.
Other – There have been a lot of reports of good barbel and tilapia fishing in most of the KZN dams. These fish can be a lot of fun on light tackle and can keep you busy for an entire day.
Other than these, the scalies have been the main “other” target species. These can be taken on fly or by using small lipped lures and spinners.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “After last weeks confused weather, summer seems to settling in nicely – hot, steamy days and then hints of a late afternoon thunderstorm … but just “advertising” at present with a spit and spot here and there … while there was a forecast of some proper rain (30mm+) for the weekend, that has backed off to less than half … but fingers crossed that it’s on its way as water levels will be dropping quickly now.
With current summer temperatures, the upper reaches of the rivers are warming rapidly – reports are indicating temps between 16 and 20degC. Already – 20 starting to get into the margins of uncomfortability for the troots! The Natl Fly Fishers Club beats on the Bushman’s River continue to provide some excellent fish up to 15inches / just shy to 40cm. With the bigger water on these beats, nymphing tactics are generally used to flies down in the deeper sections, with the dry fly being reserved for the shallow ruffle waters … a personal favourite of mine. As far as nymphs go, the GUN remains a firm favourite in either black or “golden” livery, along with the usual selection of other natural coloured nymphs (e.g., GRHE / PTN / Zak). With the dry fly, a Klinkhamer-style parachute emerger is a personal favourite, along with Elk-hair Caddis and other parachute straight-shank dries.
Such nymphs are equally successful for yellowfish – both the Natal Scaly and Vaal Smallmouth – and was the topic of last night’s fly-tying demonstrations at the monthly meeting of the Natal Fly Dressers Society. Local angler, Dr Justen Dralle, demonstrated his take on a generis nymph pattern along with a GUN-style patter, both tied on a jig hook with locally sourced material (for the most part). The main ingredient of the flies was Egyptian Goose, used for the tail and body of the flies, sourced from Uplands Conservation, a NGO aimed at promoting local sustainable use of feather and fur gathered from the hunting fraternity. I look forward to putting the flies I tied last night to the test shortly…
The scaly anglers continue to bring out some good fish – with both the Umkomaas and Tugela Rivers still fishing well. More locally, had a great report from angler George Harris that recently for his a PB scaly of 50cm / just shy of 20inches on the Umngeni. Great fish that George reports put up a good account of itself.
The stillwater trout are also on the feed, with good fish with report from the NFFC waters. With the warmer temps, fish are holding somewhat deeper – but that’s where the big ‘uns lie! – the downside being that they can stitch you into the weeds at the bottom, resulting in a bit of tussle to get them up, risking a potential but off. As mentioned last week, better then to “tippet up” in an attempt to control the game, as opposed to the fish controlling you. Also better to get the fish in quicker for that all-important “hero shot” before a successful release. Current popular flies are woolly buggers, minnows and dragon / damselfly patterns.
It’s comp season, and SAFFA (South African Fly Fishing Association) moves on from the recent Youth Nationals to the Senior B Nationals to be held in Underberg shortly. Wishing all the anglers / Provincial Teams Tight Lines and look forward to seeing the results.
Summer is definitely the time for the bass fishing – both Alberts and Midmar continue to produce the goods for both the bank and boat anglers.
More news from the competition front is that the SABAA (S.A. Bass Anglers Association) Junior’s event was held at Albert Falls this past weekend. Some excellent fish came out, with the winning bag of 5 fish coming in at 10.22kg. There was also a 4,98kg reported. Well Done to all the young anglers”. Thanks Jan.
Tight lines and screaming reels.
Series 21 (can you believe it; this is Petri’s 21 series) of Hier Gaan Ons Alweer on kykNET with Petri de Wet kicked off on the 1st October 2022. The premieres are on Saturday evenings at 18:30 on kykNet, channel 144 and there are a number of repeats during the week. The repeats are on Sundays at 16:30, Mondays at 12:30, Tuesdays at 17:00 and Fridays at 22:00. Series 21 runs for three months, ending on the 24th December 2022.
As most of you know, Petri and his guests cover various angling styles (fresh and salt water) in and around Southern Africa.
Watch out for our very own Gilbert Foxcroft and Adriaan van der Merwe in the specimen sections, they join Petri and land some awesome carp.
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. This report is proudly sponsored by The Kingfisher.
The Kingfisher has opened their new store on the upper north coast. Situated in the Tiffany’s Shopping Centre in Salt Rock, this store is ideally positioned for our north coast anglers. For all your angling needs, (freshwater or saltwater) pop in and see them or give them a shout on 032 307 0041.
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 and Sundays
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