KZN has been a disaster zone for the past two weeks and the future is starting to look a bit brighter (and drier). As you can guess, not muich fishing has been done but the sea and dams have cleared up very quickly and we can look forward to some good fishing in the next couple of days.
Top tip: With all the structure in the water and on the bottom, it is imperative to take it slow if you are driving a boat or swimming in any of the dams or beaches in KZN at the moment. The harbour is also any area to take it slow when exiting.
With all the structure it is best to take it slow when driving your boat, especially if the water is discoloured. Try put someone on spotting duty on the front of the boat to keep an eye on obstructions.
With all the colour in the water this past week, fishing was put on hold for most people. The dirty water and debris should clear up soon so get ready for some action.
North – The north coast with all its rivers has been hit hard and consequently not much fishing has been done from uMhlanga north. That being said, there have been plenty of snoek around and fishing on the colour lines will produce the fish in the early mornings. Make sure to listen to the top tip above and keep an eye out for floating debris, particularly around the river mouths.
Central – The central zone has been much like the north with very little to be said in terms of fishing. The snoek and couta were feeding very well prior to the big rains. The guys that have managed to launch have caught some of the better couta in the deeper water. The extra colour is best fished with a chartreuse skirt in front of your baits. The sea will get better in the next few days so make sure that you are ready to tackle those bigger couta with upgraded wire and smooth drags.
South – The south coast has been chocolate for most of the past week. This has meant very long runs if you want to get into the cleaner water. The colour lines out deep have produced some tuna and even a late season dorado or three. Pulling lures in the deeper water has been the best way to actively target these gamefish but please take caution getting to the deep and take your time in the shallows to avoid the debris.
Rock and surf:
The rock and surf fishing has been much the same as the offshore with the structure and brown water making fishing almost impossible for most of the past week.
North – The north coast has been quiet in terms of reports. Most of the fishing before the heavy rains was focussed around the kob and spadefish around the Tugela mouth area. White prawn baits and chokka are the two baits to have in your box. The spadefish have a small mouth for their size while the kob have big mouths. The spades will be best targeted using a 1/0-3/0 circle hook while the kob are best targeted with a 6/0 circle hook and chokka bait.
Central – The central coast has seen some surprisingly good fishing around the uMgeni river mouth. There have been plenty of grunter and pompano landed in the last week, even in the dirty water. The mouth has been overhauled and will see some good fishing for edibles in the coming winter months. Sardine and chokka baits are the key to success in this spot. The rest of the beaches have been overcrowded with debris which is being cleaned up…
South – The influx of the dirtier water means the cave bass are sure to start feeding. This means chokka and glow beads. Try to use baits with a lot of movement to trigger the fish’s senses in the dirtier water. Also use a shorter trace and a circle hook in the 4/0 – 6/0 size range. There are plenty of spots to target these fish but any spot with some rocky ledges and a bit of colour in the water is a good place to start.
As most venues have been unfishable in the last week and people have had more pressing issues to worry about, there have not been any reports sent in. On the bright side, the dams and rivers are settling very quickly and the fishing should be picking up soon.
Bass – The water levels in the KZN dams are all very high with most venues having close to or over their maximum capacity. This means that the shallower regions of the dam will be full of flooded vegetation. This is a great place to target bass with bladed jigs and lipless crankbaits. The key is using the right rod that allows a bit of a slower flex. This is normally achieved by a mix of graphite and glassfibre in the blank. Ripping the lipless through the grass can often produce a reaction bite from a fish that was not in the mood to eat. This is the same for the lipless crank. You will be surprised how shallow a big bass will go…
The bigger KZN venues should be fishable very soon with the dirt settling very quickly. The massive flow of water will have cleaned out some of the more stagnant waters and will have opened new areas. This means areas to explore and fish so go out, be safe and catch some fish.
Carp – The carp fishing has been slow in KZN with not much being reported in the last week, for obvious reasons. Shongwei is out of bounds and is closed to the public. This venue will take a very long time to recover. Midmar and Inanda have been producing fish, but Albert Falls has been the pick of the bigger venues. There is a lot of debris in the water and plenty of hidden structure on the floor so make sure to take spare tackle as breakoffs are unavoidable.
The cooler water temps require a stronger scent. This goes hand in hand with the silt/mud that is full up in the KZN dams. Stronger scents will stay potent for longer and will work even if they are coated in mud. Garlic is a winner in most venues as is cinnamon.
Trout – The Stillwater season has started with an explosion. A quick glimpse of social media and you will see the pictures of float tubes and big rainbows. Make sure you pack your warm gear as it gets chilly very quickly up in the berg. Bigger flies and sinking lines are the order of the day. The early mornings can be fished in the shallower areas with floating lines and longer leaders. See what organisms are in the water and try to match what is there.
The rivers in the higher altitudes were not as hammered by the rains and floods and have remained fishable. These rivers have produced some beautiful fish with a good mix of both rainbows and browns. Some bigger fish have been taken so don’t go too light on the tippet.
Tight lines and screaming reels.
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