Bronze bream, kob and big seas have been the news for the last few weeks.
The clean-up of the Durban area is starting to gain traction and the future looks good.
Top tip: It is something we become almost immune to because we see it everywhere. If we as a fishing community just make an effort to pick up the litter around where we fish we set an example for everyone else. A small drop in a glass is the start to making it full.
The bigger seas and heavy winds have made fishing on the boast a little unpleasant, but the bumpy trips have been worth it. Tuna, a few early dorries and some proper couta have all made it on to the deck.
North – The north coast has seen some good snoek and couta for the smaller boats and skis. The deeper reefs and wrecks have seen some very good bottom fishing with big trawl soldiers and a host of other species being caught. Squid and sardines have been the baits of choice for the deeper fishing.
The tuna have been full up with some giants being hooked and breaking tackle. These are very powerful fish so allow them to fire themselves out before you try horse them to the boat.
Central – Much like the north, the tuna have been around the central coast. Guys continue having great success with the surface lures and the poppers have been the winner. Splash and profile have been the most important factors when choosing the poppers. Colour has come down to personal preference.
Trolling lures off Durban has also been producing results with a mix of species being landed and a few dorado making it to the boat.
South – The south coast has not reported much in the line of catches. The backline areas along the south coast have seen some good garrick and snoek being caught. Using live baits and a slow troll is certain to catch the attention of the garrick. This paired with throwing a lure like a spoon into the backline and rapidly retrieving it back can see you with a few surprises in your hatch.
Rock and surf:
The shore has been interesting…
With most of the beaches open to fishing again, reports are slowly coming in of fish being caught locally. The main action has been north and south.
North – The north coast has seen some very good fishing for both anglers targeting inedibles as well as those looking for an edible to take home.
The sea has been a little rough, so you have to make the most of the pleasant conditions. Scratching has also been the main fishing style up north with the rocky gullies producing a lot of fish with bronze bream being the main catch. Zebra and blacktail have been the bycatch.
Central – The central coast has seen some fishing again, after a few weeks of banned areas. The shad have been feeding well along most of the piers and beaches. Drift baits have been doing very well when the sea is small enough.
The stumpies and smaller kob have also been feeding on the rolling banks. Look for the white-water along the sandbanks. Chokka and prawn baits are the choice for these fish.
South – The south coast has been the bream hotspot. Most of the lower south coast has seen amazing fishing for these often-finicky eaters. Luckily most anglers are sticking to their limits which is a good thing as some anglers have reported catches of 20 bream in a single morning. Remember to try a multitude of different traces before you move.
The kob and blue skates have also been feeding down the south coast with chokka and sardine being the bait of choice.
The bass and carp fishing are picking up with the heat of summer putting the fish in a mood. Faster bites and warmer weather, what more can you ask for?
Bass – The bass fishing has been picking up fast. Most of the dams in and around Durban have seen big fish. It seems the spawn is starting early with fish already displaying spawning behaviour and marks.
Remember to return any spawning fish quickly to resume the continuation of these amazing species. If you are fishing in an area that might have spawning fish in, be persistent and try to annoy the fish enough that it attacks your lure.
Lures with a lot of movement and rattles are a good choice to get the bass in a foul mood.
Carp – The carp fishing is going the same way as the bass, with the fish displaying more of a summer pattern in their feeding.
The fruity flavours are coming in to their own with the stronger scents still producing fish in the muddier dams. Try to mix these flavours during this interim period of cold to warm. Garlic and banana are a fantastic mix. Try to use both mielies and floaties and see which works better for your venue.
Trout – The Stillwaters are finally slowing down a bit. The fishing is still fantastic and definitely worth the drive. The colour preferences of the fish is shifting more towards the summer palette with olives outfishing the darker black flies.
There is much focus shifting away from the chilly berg and more towards the dusty hills and valleys. The scalies are starting to feed and the fishing has already been great. Get in store and get rigged right for these hard-fighting river beasts.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Weather is a chaotic system with a sensitive dependence on a number of variables, so unfortunately cannot be classed as an exact science – in short, here’s my excuse for the non-appearance of the drippy stuff that was supposed to bring some saving grace to the present low water conditions in the upper reaches of our rivers. Pretty sure the anglers are happy about not having to fish in the rain, and by all reports, there are plenty fish about…
2 weeks into the trout river season, and not a bad word heard yet – as I experienced on Opening day, it seems that everybody is having a cracker season opener … long may it continue. Water temperatures are on the up and into double figures, and with water levels on the low side, certainly on the upper reaches that is, no need to dredge with nymphs – dry fly action is what it’s all about at present. The dry-dropper system has been working on the lower beats where there are some deeper pools and reports indicate that the fish are 50:50 on the dry and dropper. Most fish reported have been in the 8-12inch / 20-30cm bracket, along with a food sprinkling in the 12-16inch / 30-40cm range and already a couple that have pulled the tape past the 16inch / 40cm mark.
The only complaint I have heard so far is that for one of the more popular beats, you can’t get a weekend booking for almost the rest of the year! So, if you want to get on that particular water, you might have to resort to pulling a weekday sickie … as a matter of fact, I think I am coming down with something as I type this… ha ha ha.
As mentioned last week, rivers are where it’s at right now, and only a handful of reports have come in from the Natal Fly Fishers Club (trout) stillwaters. Water temps are in the high teens now, and fish are feeding up, with good numbers of fish coming to the net on an outing. Most fish have been in the 20-40cm / 8-15inch bracket, with a few solid fish reported in the 43-48cm / 17-19inch bracket. Flies of choice currently are dragon and damselfly nymphs, and of course the ubiquitous woolly bugger in black (aka Speedcop) and olive livery.
I see smiling faces again from the bass fraternity – after what seemed like an eternity of slow fishing, it seems that the bass are back with a vengeance. Reports indicate that some excellent fish are about in both Midmar and Albert Falls Dams – fish in the 4-5kg and 5kg+ are getting a good number of mentions, with a number of these being new PB’s … happy anglers for sure! Nothing to complain about except that the big females have dropped eggs and lost some weight as a result…
The scaly (Natal Yellowfish) rivers are also on fire – great reports have been had from anglers on the Umkomaas, Umngeni and Tugela Rivers. While nymphing is generally the preferred method for scaly’s, reports have been incoming to fish being taken a dry fly – something not on my personal catch record as yet, which requires fixing this season!
With the excellent weather of late, the carp have been on the surface on Albert Falls Dam – great fun to target on fly tackle”! 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. This report is proudly sponsored by The Kingfisher.
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