Have you heard it yet? 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, whether they’re hot or not! 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 show is proudly sponsored by The Kingfisher to ensure you get into the right feeding zones with bending rods for the upcoming weekend!
The sardines are still here and the gamefish are playing along. The fishing has been great for all facets.
Top tip. Spinning in the sardine run can be fantastic fun and very rewarding. Targeting gamefish is great fun with lures and will largely eliminate the shark bycatch. There are many lures that work but throwing a spoon is the most popular. Larger spoons which match the profile of a sardine are the most effective. Target the edges of the shoals and allow your spoon to flutter on the fall before beginning your retrieve. Remember that there are many larger fish around this time of year so use the heavier tackle and keep yourself mobile.
The offshore fishing has been a good combo of bottom fish and gamefish, keeping everyone happy.
North – The north coast has been snoek central with plenty of fish in the early mornings. The fishing ski anglers have been making the most of it with Umdloti being a hub of activity. Trolling smaller lipped lures has been very effective, allowing anglers to cover a lot of water. Spinning with spoons on the backline has also been deadly just after launching.
Central – The Durban charters have been packed due to the run of kob and geelbek that have been around the last few weeks. Live baits have been the trick to catching the larger geelbek and there have been some proper specimens caught. Closer inshore there have been a lot of smaller kob which can be great fun on lighter tackle.
The Umgeni mouth has seen some good snoek in the mornings. Fillets have been the most effective way to catch these often-finicky fish.
South – The south coast has seen all of the sardine action with the gamefish around them as well. There have been a few good garrick caught on the backline around the Toti area. These have been taken while slowly trolling live bait. The south coast has also seen some very good bottom fishing with some giants being wrestled up from the bottom. Live baits have been the best of the bunch for targeting these bottom fish. Circle hooks have also taken the bottom fishing world by storm with their self-setting performance making fishing so much easier.
Rock and surf:
The rock and surf facets have been on fire! The bait anglers have had a lot of success, but the lure anglers have had an absolute blast.
North – The north coast has seen a lot of action for both bait and lure anglers. The bait anglers have caught a lot of different species while scratching around broken rock structure. Stumpies, kob and a hoard of reef fish have been the main targets. Chokka, sardine and pink prawn are the best baits for this type of fishing.
The anglers keen on spinning have seen fantastic results in the early morning throwing spoons. The main targets have been snoek but the kingies and garrick have jumped on to the lures with equal vigor.
Central – The Durban anglers have seen their share of some spinning action, but the shad have been the main catches. The Umgeni mouth has been the pick of the venues for those wanting to try their luck at getting a snoek.
The bait fishing has been patchy but there have been some good fish landed. The blue rays and grey sharks have been the inedibles keeping anglers happy. Stumpies, garrick, shad and kob have kept the edible anglers happy. Sardines have been the most successful bait all around.
South – The south coast has seen some very good action around the sardine shoals. There have been some exciting catches including big garrick, prodigal son and big kingfish. Throwing lures has been a great way of targeting these gamefish. See the top tip for some advice on throwing lures in the sardine run.
Using a full nylon trace and a whole sardine as bait has been the most successful way of targeting these gamefish.
The freshwater fishing has seen great fishing in all facets with slower but still exciting bass action, big carp and trout mania.
Bass – The bass fishing has slowed down a bit, but there are still fish to be caught and figuring out the pattern on any day gives you a great sense of accomplishment.
A few different methods have been working well with jerkbaits and cranks producing good bites in most waters. Those that prefer a slower, more methodical approach can see great results with dropshots and other soft plastics. Darker colours and lures with curly tails are the best at this time of year.
Midmar and Albert Falls have been the most productive venues this last week.
Carp – The specimen anglers have landed some good fish in the last few weeks. Boilies have done well and are probably the most successful bait to use at this time of year. Use the bigger 20mm versions if you want to prevent the smaller fish from getting your bait. Make sure that you mix chopped and whole boilies into your feeding mix to give the carp different textures and sizes of food to keep them interested.
The conventional anglers have also seen good results in the last week with stronger scents seeing good results in most of the KZN dams. Much like the bass, Midmar and Albert falls have been the most productive venues.
Trout – The Stillwater session is still on fire…probably a good thing considering the cold weather.
The dams, lakes and Stillwaters are all producing some phenomenal catches with social media full of anglers holding up prized trout. Float tubes are a fantastic vessel and weapon for Stillwater fishing but fishing from the bank can be very productive as well. From the side, make sure to use the surrounding structure to hide from the fish (if you see them, they see you). Target the drop-offs and focus on keeping your fly in the strike zone for as long as possible.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “While I am kinda sad to see the BIG SNOW that was forecast for this week simply disappear into the ether, I am sure that there are plenty others who are not! The weather has remained fine and pretty balmy for this time of year, and by some reports, it seems that the fish are playing along … for the most part that is.
Last weekend saw the 3rd Leg of the TOPS Corporate Challenge taking place up in Nottingham Road – as decent as the weather was for fishing, unfortunately many anglers toiled and only some 165 fish were recorded. As is usually the case in these events, there are some anglers that are just luckier (some would say skilled, <nudge><nudge><wink><wink>) than others, and huge Congrats must be extended to Team Zimmers who recorded 44 of those fish! Included in that tally was another submarine of 62cm / 24.5inches – congrats to well-known local bass angler Alistair Moores-Pitt. The TCC Finals takes place in the 1st week in August … time to get to the vice and restock the fly boxes!
I think it is fair to say that while the outside weather was decent, water temperatures had dipped further by a couple of degrees over the last 2 weeks after the 2nd Leg (now sitting at around 7-8 deg.C), and the fishing had taken a dive (pun intended) along with the temps. The consequence being that those anglers that fished as they normally do (i.e., large flies, rip and strip), struggled and went left, and those anglers that changed their game on the day (i.e., small flies fished static), came right! While it may seem to be like watching paint dry, it has been shown to very effective when fish are getting finicky. #Toptip
This week, the Natal Fly Fishers Club celebrated its 50th AGM – and as reported at the AGM : the inaugural meeting took place on 29 February 1972, with Mr. John R. Beams elected Chairman, and Vice none other than well-known fly-fishing author and artist, Dr Tom J. Sutcliffe … quite a formidable team! Of interest is that the very first stillwater stocked with trout, is still enjoyed by Club members today. It was also noted that the biggest fish recorded over the last year came in at 69cm / 27 inches and would most probably have pulled the scale to that magical double-figure of 10lbs / 4.5kg. So, due accolades and Congratulations to one of the oldest fly-fishing Clubs in the country … long may you run … or rather, swim…!
Due to a clash with the NFFC AGM, this week’s meeting of the Natal Fly Dressers Society (NFDS) was moved to next week Tuesday – anyone interested in fly tying (new or experienced), pop into the Kingfisher-PMB and chat to Jan for more info.
While on the topic of the NFFC, the fishing returns from Club Members continue to roll in with some great fish being reported. Good numbers of fish across the spectrum from 30cm / 12 inches to 58cm / 23 inches. Unfortunately, the returns don’t ask the question as to what fly produced the goods, but then again, I don’t think that there would be many responses as most anglers like to hold their Aces rather close!
Again, not much news on the bass angling front – fishing has very quiet at both Albert Falls and Midmar Dams, with only a few fish here and there. On the social media side, there is much discussion about new lures and tackle (including the new Daiwa Fuego CT100H baitcaster reel) while the wait is on for the winter spawn to get into (high) gear. Of note, is that the next Albert Falls Bass Tournament takes place 25-27 August, so plenty of time to polish the tackle and get entries in.
With the recent spell of balmy weather, we have seen some activity from the yellowfish (scaly) and carp anglers. I have seen some great footage of carp slurping off the surface, with reports of 5 and 6kg fish, and a good few break off’s in-between! Fish have been targeted using dry flies, including a variety of foam ant / beetle / hopper patterns. These guys will put a proper bend in your stick”! Thanks Jan.
Tight lines and screaming reels.
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