The fishing has been more determined by the conditions than the willingness of the fish to eat. Plan your trips accordingly and get ready for some fun.
Top tip. Getting your sinker stuck is part of fishing in the rocks. The last thing you want is to lose your entire trace (and possibly your catch) if your sinker gets stuck. There are a few things you can do to combat this. The two main ways to prevent total loss is to either use a lighter sinker line and/or to shorten your sinker snood. Shortening your sinker snood (shorter than your hook snood) will prevent your sinker getting stuck while fighting the fish. Making your sinker snood out of a lighter nylon than your hook snood will allow you to part off your sinker and retrieve some of your tackle. Make sure that the sinker snood is strong enough to handle your cast but light enough to part off if need be.
The offshore fishing has been brilliant on the whole with most of the KZN coast producing fantastic fish.
North – The north coast has seen a good mix of both bottom fish as well as good gamefish. The snoek have been around in the early mornings around most of the river mouths. Trolling a fillet bait just as the sun is coming up is a great way of targeting these beautiful gamefish.
The bottom fish have started on the deeper pinnacles and reefs. Mostly geelbek and daga have been coming out. Live baits have been the most effective for these bigger fish while the smaller reds have favoured squid baits.
Central – The central coast has seen a lot of tuna on trolled lures and some very big units taken on drifted live baits around the popular wrecks/bait spots. A single 6/0 circle hook through the nose of the live bait and some decent fluorocarbon leader will see you attached to these powerhouse fish.
The snoek have been around in the early mornings but have been feeding in deeper water than normal so don’t get stuck on the backline with your fillets.
South – The inshore fishing along the south coast has been fantastic with snoek and garrick keeping the rods bent. The south coast has seen some good fishing on Aliwal Shoal with tuna, wahoo and a mix of other gamefish making an appearance on the catch reports. Trolling lipped lures in purple colours have done very well as well as higher-speed skirted lures. Tuna have also been around at most of the depths with live bait, poppers and trolled lures working for them. Purple mackerel colour has been a fantastic colour and has been reported as successful from more than a few anglers.
Rock and surf:
The rock and surf fishing has kept itself on a high for the past week. There have been edibles and inedibles to catch along most of the coast.
North – The north coast has been fishing very well around the river mouths and off the deeper points. There has been plenty of scratching action along most of the north coast with some very good bronze bream and kob being caught. The kob have favoured chokka and live baits. The bream have favoured pink prawn.
Central – The central coast has also seen some good fish being caught on lures. There are fish for all levels and interests. The shad have been full up around the piers and are always keen to eat a drifted sardine or spoon. The snoek have been scarce as well as the garrick but they are there, you just need to target them. The kingfish have also been there but mainly as a bycatch.
On the bait side of things, the main catches have been pompano, grunter, shad and kob. Pink prawn and chokka are the two baits you need to have in your box.
South – The south coast has seen some very good fishing in the Margate to Port Edward area. The reefs of Trafalgar have been the place to be if you are looking for bigger bream and various other edibles. Pink and red prawn have been the baits of choice for these fish.
The south coast has also seen some very big blue rays. Soft sardine baits are the ones to use for these fish. 6/0 to 8/0 circle hooks are the order of the day for these bigger blues.
The freshwater fishing has been good on all fronts with carp, bass and trout to be caught.
Bass – Hazlemere has been the pick of the shore venues with most anglers fishing from the side seeing good numbers of fish as well as some decent sizes as well. Moving baits and particularly small minnow imitations have done very well. Darker colours with a bit of a gold or copper flash have done well.
Albert Falls and Midmar have been the better boat venues with anglers reporting some very big fish. A host of techniques and methods have been working so try your favourites and work the day out from there.
Carp – The carp have been consistent over the last month with mostly smaller fish making their way to the reports but the bigger catches being kept private.
Albert Falls has been producing fish for both specimen and conventional anglers. Garlic has been the most reported flavour with floaties out-fishing mielies.
Specimen anglers have been best suited using boilies in the 16mm size range and up. Remember to use whole and chopped boilies in your feed mix to make sure you give the fish plenty to eat.
Trout – The fishing has been decent on most of the trout waters with the hot temperatures starting to become a thing of the past. The Stillwater season is going very well. Most of the venues in KZN have been seeing some fantastic fish. Those in the float tubes are out-fishing those from the banks. The float tube allows you to get to places that the bank anglers cannot access. The streamers are fishing well on sinking lines. The generic “bugger” style flies have been the most successful as they are easy to cast, easy to fish and they catch fish almost anywhere.
With the cooler weather and cold water, make sure you have your correct clothing to keep you comfortable.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Apart from a single report of a localized storm that dropped some 30mm of the wet stuff up towards the Giant’s Castle area, it seems that the rains are finally abating and autumn is starting to make an appearance. With that, the trout anglers have been out in abundance, and with conditions settling, the fish have also been out to play and we have some great catches to report on.
The Mooi River has been the playground of preference for the Natal Fly Fishers Club river anglers – and with the Brown Trout that are making themselves available, it’s not hard to see why. One of the returns listed some 11 fish between 2 anglers – most in the 11-13 inch / 28-33 cm range, with a few smaller and larger at either end of the scale. Another of the returns listed in excess of 30 fish recorded between 3 anglers … with fish ranging in size from a lower end of 7-9 inches / 18-23 cm, to the upper end of 17-19 inches / 43-48 cm. Now that’s a couple great days fishing in anyone’s books. No mention of water levels, but probably still a tad on the high side, as fishing was conducted with weighted nymphs … black being the top performing colour.
After the summer heat closure, the NFFC stillwaters are attracting a lot of attention. Good numbers of fish are being reported in the 30-40cm / 12-18 inch bracket, with a few larger specimens coming to hand, notably 21-23 inches / 53-58cm and one in the 23-25 inch / 58-63cm bracket. Top fly (by word of mouth) is the ubiquitous Black Wooly Bugger, followed by olive, along with dragon and damselfly patterns.
With waters cooling, it appears that after the recent flurry of good fish reported in the socials, that the bass fishing is starting to slow down. Word from the waters however that there are still some good (3kg+) fishing coming out however, just fewer. As we head deeper into Autumn, try different depths – fish from the deep to the shallows until you find where the fish are holding. In post-frontal conditions, speed up your retrieve, fishing fast moving baits such as spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jerk baits. The fish are still there, and they have to eat … but not as often.
This weekend sees a SA Bass and Major League Fishing “Cast-for-Cash” event taking place at Albert Falls on 25 March.
The Scaly (Natal Yellowfish) anglers are still on the trout waters as we wait for the lower sections of the rivers to fine off and clear. Sterkfontein Dam has also been quiet recently”. 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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