Fishing has been fantastic if you choose your facet wisely. The sea has been a bit tricky at some launch sites, but the morning splash has been worth it.
Top tip: Often we fish far too heavy for our intended target species. There are exceptions where you want to go heavier and this is often the case when fish health trumps enjoying the fight. Sometimes scaling down a line class or two can not only increase your chance of catching a fish, but it can also greatly improve your enjoyment.
So, whether you are fishing for bass, trout or sharks, consider fishing a bit lighter to get the bite.
The offshore fishing has been good all around with a lot of gamefish being caught. The dorado will be here soon…
North – The north coast has already seen a few dorado and the excitement of their arrival is palpable. These are good fish to target as they are fast growing pelagics that fight hard and taste great. Live bait, lures and everything in between will work.
The usual spots along the north coast have been producing good numbers of both snoek and couta. The sharks have been a bit of a problem but beefing up the gear allows you to pull that little bit harder and get your fish in. Live bait has been king and the deeper baits have done very well for the couta. Remember to use good quality hooks and terminal tackle as you don’t want to lose that croc couta because you wanted to save R5.00 on a packet of swivels.
Central – The central coast has seen a great flush of geelbek and daga in the last two weeks. The charters have been fully booked and the recreational anglers have been launching at every opportunity. 8-9ft rods, 80lb+ braid and a 9inch KP are the weapons of choice for this type of fishing.
There has been snoek around in the early mornings. Most of the fish have been taken while trolling fillets around south pier and Blue Lagoon.
South – The south coast has had snoek around the Umkomaas to Toti area. Throwing spoons around the backline area and at any action in the shallows is a fantastic way to catch these fish. Remember to keep an eye out for waves on the backline just in case.
The shoal has had some good fishing on days. Tuna have been the main fish caught. Trolling higher speed lipped lures has been very successful. Keep a popper rod ready as a single fish on the popper is worth five on bait or lure.
The deep reefs have seen good results with some very impressive bottoms being caught. With the sharks around, try to reduce the number of hooks on your trace. This not only reduces the cost of a lost trace but also gives you a better chance of bringing the fish to the boat.
Rock and surf:
The rock and surf fishing has not seen the most exciting fishing this past week but there have been fish around for those looking for edibles or inedibles.
North – The north coast has seen some good flatfish and edibles brought to the side. Those looking for a big edible will do well targeting the bigger kingfish around. There have been some big blacktip kingies around the rockier areas of the north coast. These have been hooked on both live bait and lures, but few have been landed. The big GT’s have been pushed out with the dirtier water. These fish hang around the river mouths around this time of year and can be very aggressive.
The bigger inedibles have been around most of the north coast with a couple days of northeast wind bringing them on the bite. The bites have not been wild, but the season is still early.
Central – The Durban coast has seen some good fishing in the basin area. The bigger seas have forced a few anglers into this relatively calm area and some good fish have been caught. There have been a lot of sandies landed this past week in the basin area. Mackerel and redeye have been the two most successful baits to use. Please remember that the shad season is closed so you are not allowed to catch/keep them.
South – The south coast has been consistently producing good scratching fish for the past few weeks. Most of the lower south coast (Scotties -> south) has been fishing well. There have been a few species to target with kob and bronze bream being the main fish landed. Pink prawns and chokka are the essentials for the bait box along with fine elastic cotton to keep the baits natural.
Those looking for bigger fish will be best suited to fishing the river mouth areas with live bait.
The freshwater fishing has been exciting! The bass are exploding on surface baits, the scalies are still around in good numbers, the carp are feeding and the trout are active in the stillwaters and streams.
Bass – All the dams in KZN have been fishing fairly well with decent specimens being landed from most venues. Fishing slower and more methodical has been reported as the most successful way to target the bigger fish. Dropshots have worked very well in the deeper water especially when targeting structure in the deep. Small minnow imitations or straight-tail worms have been the best plastics to use. The smaller farm type dams have fished well with topwater frogs but most of the fish have been landed on weightless soft plastics.
Midmar is a great dam to work with your electronics as there are many hidden spots offshore that can hold giants.
Carp – The carp have moved into a summer feeding pattern with most of the bites coming during the night and the early morning. The heat of the day is best used to prepare the area you are fishing and to walk around trying to spot fish. Fish closer to the weed beds to make the most of the oxygen the plants give off. Fruity flavours and accurate casting is the name of the game.
Trout – The trout are still feeding well in the stillwaters and streams, but the middle of the day is getting a bit hot for them. On the warmer days please handle the fish with care and get them back to the cool water as quickly as you can. Terrestrial dry flies have been working well on the hotter, windy days while little nymphs have produced the goods when the fish don’t want to feed.
Other – The scalies are still around in good numbers and in some places, good sizes. Remember that access to most of the fishable waters is private or club access. Consider joining one of the fly fishing clubs to make the most of your fishing. The Sterkfontein season is also about to start so all in all it is a great time to throw a fly.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “As reported last week, it seems that the summer cycle is trying very hard to get under way : hot days with promises of a late afternoon thunderstorm, but as the saying goes : all promises, but no action … and we have only had some (very) light rain so far. What we need is a good old proper 20-30mm dump, and couple of those will sort out the riverine and stillwater system where water temps are escalating. But to carry on riding the cliché bus : gotta be careful what we wish for, lest we end up like the northern parts that are currently swimming under a deluge of rain and hail! So keep those fingers crossed for some normality in the weather to come, although forecasters are predicting a “triple-dip” from Madame La Nina, at least for the 1st quarter of 2023, so there may still be a wet summer ahead…
With the waters on the warm side, returns from the trout anglers of the Natal Fly Fishers Club (NFFC) have somewhat scarce. From those that have been out, rainbows that have come to hand have pulled the tape between 12inches / 30cm and 23inches / 58cm. On the other hand, it seems that the fish have avoided some other anglers, as there have been a couple of blank sessions recorded. This no doubt due to the fact that fish are burrowing down in the deepest parts of the waters to find the cooler stuff … and if your fly isn’t kicking up dust from the floor, it might not be getting any attention. So popular lines for summer trout stillwater fishing are intermediate and full sink lines, even some of your DI super-fast sink lines for proper deep-water dredging. Summer bugs will be out, so line up with the usual suspects of woolly buggers, dragons and damsels, and minnow patterns.
Of interest is that very few anglers’ fish a tandem (or multiple) fly rig. The three factors in choosing patterns for a multiple fly rig are : shape, size and colour. So, at the very least, a trailer fly of a smaller pattern (e.g., nymph) behind a larger pattern (e.g. woolly bugger), widens the food choice for the fish and upscales your chances of getting a nibble.
This and many other facets and tactics of stillwater fishing will be covered in the upcoming Stillwater Clinic offered by the NFFC at the end of this month. After the highly successful Scaly Clinic that was held at the beginning of September, look out for future clinics offered by the NFFC.
With moving water potentially offering fish better “living” (and fishing) conditions, it’s not surprising that the river reports outnumber those from the stillwater by a factor of 2:1. With the upper beats getting low while we wait for the rains, anglers have been concentrating lower downstream and some excellent browns have come to hand, up to 19inches / 48cm. Reports are noting good numbers too, and willing to take the dry fly.
The SAFFA (South African Fly Fishing Association) Senior B Nationals is currently underway in Underberg – trials consist of both river and stillwaters sectors – group draws are complete, so here’s wishing the KZN anglers Tight Lines, and we look forward to reporting on the results next week.
With their hard-fighting ways, the scaly (Natal Yellowfish) remains a firm favourite with many river anglers. A great report from the NFFC beat on the Lions River reported fish up to 21inches / 53cm. Further afield, reports from the Tugela indicate the yellows are wild, along with the mudfish (aka muddy / moggel) also readily taking fly. Pound for pound, these two fish are the strongest fighting freshwater species here in KZN.
With a recent bag on Albert Falls Dam pulling the scale to some 14kg, word from Alistair Moores-Pitt is that the fishing is ON! The fish are in full spawn and are to be found on the rocks in fairly shallow (up to 10ft) water … and “not fussy”, eating pretty much anything and everything you throw at them. There are some big ‘uns around, with a 4.43kg recently reported from Albert Falls Dam, and whispers of a 5kg+ at Midmar”. 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.
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
Please send any info about fishing or fish caught in your area to firstname.lastname@example.org