The strange weather has put a bit of a freeze on the fishing of late. There are still fish to be caught but the going has been tough this past week.
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 bigger seas and heavy winds have made fishing on the boat a little unpleasant, but the bumpy trips have been worth it. Tuna and some proper couta have all made it on to the deck.
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 fight themselves out before you try to horse them to the boat.
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.
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 in to the backline and rapidly retrieving it back can see you with a few surprises in your hatch.
Rock and Surf:
The seas have been a bit rough with scratching being the predominant method along most of the coast. That being said, there have been some ineds mixed in.
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.
The central coast has been producing a good mix of species for the intrepid angler. 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 whitewater along the sandbanks. Chokka and prawn baits are the choice for these fish.
The south coast remains a bit quiet. There have been fish around but you have had to scratch hard to find them. The reefs of Trafalgar have been the main drawcard down south. Some of the areas have required a long cast so make sure your tackle is up to the task. Once again prawn and chokka have been the best baits. Red prawn has taken the lead over pink prawn.
The freshwater fishing has seen the main focus move from explosive bass fishing to the tranquillity of the midlands and a fly rod.
The bass are still feeding well with plenty of big fish being taken from the kzn venues. The mornings are becoming rather nippy so make sure to pack your winter gear so that your hands aren’t too cold to tie the first lure on.
The colder conditions generally mean a slower, more methodical presentation. Try using plastics with a lot more built-in movement. The heat of the day will still allow you to fish faster methods so don’t put away all the “fun” methods away just yet.
The carp fishing has been consistent over the last week or two. The frontal conditions have made fishing slow on some days but persistence in your spot and making sure you keep the areas you are fishing well-stocked with bait has been the ticket to a full net of carp.
Most of the dams, both private and public, have seen decent fishing. A mix of flavours have been reported as the best but banana and garlic have been the most consistent.
The stillwaters have been fishing well even though the fishing has slowed down from previous weeks. Stripping streamers on sinking lines around drop-offs has been a great way to target the bigger fish. Make sure to use a decent leader and not to go too light as the fish hit the fly hard!
The fly anglers have also had a lot of fun with the scalies in the rivers. If you have not tried this yet, give it a go. Pop in to one of our stores to get the right tackle to get you started.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB So with the first frosts this past week up here in The Midlands, we can at last confirm that winter is officially here. With the snow on The ‘Berg, river temperatures have dropped significantly and are fast approaching single figures. With clear skies and single digit temperatures overnight, the still waters will be following suit.
The surprise rains in the letter half of last week dropped some 25mm on average across The Midlands, although there was a report of 55mm from the Fort Nottingham / Dargle area. As welcome as it is this late in the season, the rain appears to have had an adverse effect, as there are only a couple of returns (2 to be exact!) from the river anglers of the Natal Fly Fishers Club. The Umngeni River in the Dargle was reported as “flowing well and slightly green – not crystal clear”, but there were fish moving and a number of browns in the 11-13 inch / 28-33cm were hooked on both nymph and dry fly. Water temperature was reported as 13deg.C. The other report from the Mooi River interestingly noted a good size rainbow trout of 19-21 inches / 48-53cm … no doubt an escapee from a dam overflow … as The Mooi is a brown trout river.
The stillwaters of the NFFC are fishing exceptionally well. There returns indicate a pretty even split in numbers of the size of the reported starting in the 13-15 inch / 33-38cm bracket, through the 15-19 inch / 38-53 cm class, and then a couple at the upper end in the 21-23 inch / 53-58cm range. Some excellent fish there! Water temperatures also reported to be in the lower teens, and big flies still very much on the menu…
Last week we reported dates for the events kicking of the winter stillwater season and erroneously listed Leg1 of the TOP Corporate Challenge as taking place in June … when it is in fact taking place THIS weekend on the waters around the village of Nottingham Road.. We also neglected to mention the Hastings Exclusive also taking place THIS weekend, which fishes the waters of the upper Dargle Valley. We look forward to reporting on these events next week.
The Natal Yellowfish (Scaly) anglers are also still out and about, with a report from the lower Mooi River noting that with the rain and snow, the river had come up about a foot / 30cm, now with some colour, and water temperature had dropped from 19deg.C to a chilly 11deg.C.! Tough fishing conditions, but there were some fish to be had.
On the bass front, the socials are pretty quiet, but there is a report of a 3.5kg fish from Alberts Falls Dam from local guide Tiaan Odendaal, and another report of an epic day on the water where the average size of the fish was 2kg, and a 17.5kg bag for the top 5 fish – great fishing there Dan Bure and crew. The constant in the Universe is that Midmar continues to produce. As mentioned last week, popular lures at present are soft plastics (frogs and roads) and paddle tails.
Tight Lines all – and do pop into the Kingfisher-PMB for the BEST in tackle and advice.
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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