Bronze bream, kob and big seas have been the news for the last few weeks. The bigger seas have made for interesting fishing this past week, but some amazing catches have still been had.
Top tip: Litter. 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 offshore fishing is going well along the KZN coast. The further north you go, the hotter the action gets.
North – Vidal, Sodwana and the rest of the upper north coast have been the places to be if you are looking for gamefish action.
There have been good mixes of summer gamefish caught with the list of species longer than a Stealth 575 ski. The dorado have been around and there are a number of bigger specimens on the catch reports recently. Pink and purple have been the most successful colours for lures and dusters.
Central – Durban has also seen some good couta but the tuna have been the main species in terms of weight. The sharks have been a problem so make sure to beef up your tackle so you can pull as hard as possible.
Much like the north, trolling lipped lures has been a great way to put numbers in the boat. The tuna have jumped on most of the faster trolling lures (lipped or skirted). The purples and pinks have been the top performers.
The snoek have been around in small numbers around the uMgeni river mouth in the early mornings. Trolling fillets and smaller lipped lures from the mouth to the lighthouse is a great area to target these fish.
South – The south coast has seen much the same as last week with some decent fish in the deep on the trolling lures while the shallows have seen some big couta and a couple of snoek.
The couta have favoured a bigger bait down rigged on a 4oz sinker. Try get your hands on some bigger mackerel, bonito or the king of the couta baits…the walla walla.
The snoek have favoured fillet baits and spoons down south. The Umkomaas area has seen some decent fish but no big numbers. Try spin on the backline just after you launch to get the day started properly.
Rock and surf:
There are still plenty of inedibles around if you are looking for some back-breaking fights. For those who prefer the finer art of edible fishing, there are lots of fish to be caught.
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 remained consistent over the past few weeks. The beachfront has seen plenty of smaller inedibles with a few giant surprises in-between. Mackerel and redeye sardines have been the baits of choice for most of these fish. There have also been some better edibles around with snapper salmon, kob and shad making up the bulk of the catches. Chokka and sardine are the baits of choice.
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 freshwater scene has been filled with good catches of all species. The colder months are on the way so make the most of the summer warmth while it is still around.
Bass – The bass fishing has been amazing in all of the KZN venues. The faster moving baits have been putting the numbers in the boat. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits and walking surface baits allow you to cover a lot more water. These faster techniques have allowed anglers to quickly up their numbers before switching to soft plastics to target the bigger fish.
Midmar has been doing very well for both the boat and bank anglers. The upper reaches of the dam closer to the river mouth have produced the bigger fish. Chartreuse and white spinnerbaits have done some serious damage. Albert Falls and Inanda have both been very consistent with good catches coming from both. The only issue is the ecological disaster of the water hyacinth at Inanda. The giant mats of weed are a real menace to anyone trying to fish there.
Carp – Carp fishing has been steady in the past few weeks. The specimen angling is starting to pick up with more fish being landed this past week. The fronts have helped to drop the water temps and make the carp a bit more aggressive. Particles have done very well this past week with some quality fish coming to the net.
The conventional anglers have done well with smaller fish. Plenty of fish have been caught with very few going over the 5kg mark. The best reported baits have been strong, fruity mielie pips. Almond and banana have been the most productive of the flavours.
Trout – The stillwaters are fishing very well. The size of the fish have not been the same giants as in previous weeks but the fishing has been good.
Minnow imitation streamers have been the most successful flies mentioned across the different venues. Those fishing the smaller venues have seen better results with smaller patterns. The fronts coming through have slowed fishing down a bit and might need you to scale down to worm patterns and hand-twist retrieves.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “A week of fine and stable autumn weather, one might even say that Summer still has a big toe in the door what with the near 30deg days recently – but the upside is that the fish also seem to be enjoying the weather and are out to play…
The stillwaters are getting a considerable amount of attention, which is probably totally unrelated to the size and quality of the fish that are being reported (NOTE : tongue firmly in cheek!). The stillwater returns coming in from the Natal Fly Fishers Club anglers (outnumbering the river returns for the 1st time this season), are showing good numbers of rainbow trout in the 15-20inch / 40-50cm bracket, and of course a couple larger specimens in the 21-22 inch / 53-58cm class. With the fish feeding up now for the approaching winter, larger patterns have been on the menu … in particular wooly buggers, dragonfly and minnow patterns. No reports of any “bank cruisers” as yet, but as the waters cool still further, these fish trying to play the nuptial game will become apparent, and will put the sight fishing from the bank at another level.
While taking a little bit less heat now that the stillwaters are putting on a show, the NFFC beats have also not been shy with their output of brown trout for the anglers that have ventured their way. A good couple of fish reported in the 7-10 inch / 17-25cm bracket, with the best of the returns reporting a fish of between 13-15 inches / 33-38cm from The Mooi River. As reported last week, the rivers have cleared up beautifully, with the upper reaches now crystal clear, and the dry fly fishing is taking off. Larger fish are usually a little more shy to come up for a dry in clear water on bright days, so will require nymphing to get the fly down to the fish in the deeper sections.
While on the topic of rivers – with the waters fining off and clearing, the scaly (Natal Yellowfish) anglers are also getting out there and the 1st report is in from the NFFC beat on the Umkomaas. While the fishing is slower than in summer, the hunt is on for bigger winter fish. A bit further afield to the north, Craig Carter has been reporting some good winter fish already from the Dundee area.
With just a little over 5 weeks left in the river calendar, now is the prime time to get out on your favourite piece of running water. And another reminder that the winter fly fishing events start in a little over 6 weeks’ time – so best get your name on the list if you want to get stuck into some winter stillwater hog trout.
While there are still some good fish coming out from Alberts Falls Dam, word from the water is that Alberts is starting to “close down” … but there are still plenty of fish around the 1-15kg mark that are willing to play at Midmar, with anglers are reporting that fish are not picky at all and are taking just about anything you throw at them.
Worth noting is that as the colder weather comes closer, the bass are no longer where they used to be, or in smaller numbers. Bass behaviour during this time is driven by the need to build up reserves for the winter, and the move to spots where will sit for the winter. Fish tend to move to hard structure in deeper water that will be less exposed to fluctuating water temperatures, or they will move to areas where the grass is thick to insulate them”. Thanks Jan.
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. Tight lines and screaming reels.
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, Sundays and public holidays.
The Kingfisher has opened their new store in the Tiffany’s Shopping Centre in Salt Rock. For all your angling needs, (freshwater or saltwater) pop in and see them or give them a shout on 032 307 0041.
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