The fishing has been good along the coast with most anglers reporting great edible results.
Top tip: Bigger is better…sometimes. When it comes to scratching for bronze bream, sometimes it pays to have a bigger bait. If you find that the fish are just pecking at the bait and not committing to the bite, changing to a bigger/bulkier bait will often result in a solid bite. This means putting on two prawns instead of just one. Try it and see the results.
The offshore fishing has been decent with most boats seeing a need for a gaff. Tuna, daga and everything in-between
North – There have been some good catches of snoek along the colour lines in the north. Fillet baits have continued to produce the goods with both standard Natal sardine and Japanese mackerel fillets working well.
The bottom fishing has also been particularly good up north with all of the reefs seeing a mix of species. A general trace would consist of two smaller hooks at the top with a bigger hook at the bottom. This trace allows you to target the smaller reds with the top hooks and rockcod and the likes at the bottom.
Central – The Durban area has seen some good tuna for the guys running out to the deeper areas. The tax has been a bit down from the grey suits so you can pull a little slower on the fish but I suggest faster rather than sorry. The tuna has been taken on poppers and live baits.
The snoek have been around the shallower reefs and backlines of the central coast. Sardine or redeye have been the fillets of choice.
South – The south coast has not reported much off the boats which generally means the fishing has been very good…
Much the same as the north and central will apply to the south coast with gamefish and bottoms available. The Aliwal area will produce some good fish with the ever-present wahoo being the main target. There are tuna around most areas with the same as the central coast applying.
Rock and surf:
The rock and surf anglers have been catching some very decent size kob and bronze bream. This has kept the edible anglers happy while the inedible hunters have started to land a few sandies…
North – The north has seen some good edible catches with the reef areas of Sodwana and Vidal producing some proper fish. These reef areas are best fished with circle hooks and bigger baits for the speckled snapper/rockcod species while the other fish will scoff down a chokka bait. Most of these are hard-fighting fish that require heavy tackle to land them. On the lighter side, you can have days of fun targeting the open sandy areas with dropshots and small spoons. There are a myriad of species to be caught and they all put up a great fight on light tackle.
Central – The Umgeni mouth has been producing some good catches, even with the dirty water. The river water has not been that pleasant so make sure to fish the area on a high tide. This area has seen some lovely grunter, kob and stumpies being landed in the last week. Chokka has been the bait of choice and the size of the bait is all you need to vary to target all three.
The beaches and piers along the beachfront have seen some fish but in general the fishing has been slow unfortunately.
South – The south coast has seen some good kob being caught. Chokka and live baits have been the best for these fish. Remember with your chokka baits that floatation and movement are very important as well as some noise from a rattle in the foam. A glow bead can also add vital attraction to your bait.
The rest of the south coast has seen good scratching for species like stumpies using prawn baits. Trafalgar has been fishing particularly well.
The dams and rivers are all producing fish with anglers blessed with a bunch of species available to them no matter where they live.
Bass – In general the bass fishing has been good. The summer fishing is getting closer…
Midmar and Albert Falls have been the pick of the venues with Midmar being the lead singer in the band. There have been some amazing fish caught from this dam in the past few weeks with both largemouth and smallmouth being landed. Midmar has been fishing well on the offshore structure. This means focussing on your graphs/finders and getting your baits down to them. Drop shotting with smaller minnow imitations is a great way to fish these deeper areas.
Carp – The carp fishing has been slow. There have been a lot of fronts moving through. These constant changes in pressure do not lend themselves to good fishing. The recent weather patterns have put the carp in a bit of a mood, so it has been tough to put good numbers into the net. The tilapia have been very active so there is always something to catch.
The stronger flavours have been the better scents to go with at the moment. The cooler water does not spread the flavour as much so you will want a stronger scent like garlic or almond.
Trout – The stillwaters are fishing very well. The size of the fish has 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 – “As the fine run of weather continues, so too does the run of fish who seem to be appreciating the slow onset to autumn/winter and are out to play and feed up.
Last week we reported that the trout stillwaters had suddenly seen an uptake in attention from the Natal Fly Fishers Club angler, as there had been reports of good fish coming to hand … this week we are back to a 50:50 stat, as the word is the rivers are producing! Let’s see what the moving waters have had to say…
Well known for providing some cracking fish, most of the river attention has been on The Bushman’s – and this week was no exception with a 17-19 inch / 43-48cm fish reported by Durban lawyer Ian Cox, who is best known for his handling of the “trout wars” on behalf of FOSAF (and saving our trout fishing rights in the process!) … great catch Ian, and a huge Thank You!
Most river anglers will know of the NFFC’s community initiative / arrangement with the amaHlubi Community in the “Tribal Lands” on the road out to Giant’s Castle Reserve, where The Bushman’s River has been split into beats with an equal arrangement between the Community and NFFC Club Members for fishing access. A lot of work and collaboration between the NFFC and the Community goes into maintaining the waters … this weekend saw the NFFC host a successful river clean up with school children of the Community, along with Committee and Club Members. Of course there was opportunity of throw a fly afterward, and local angler and Club Member Roxanne Stegen landing her PB river brown of 47cm / just shy of 19 inches – congrats Rox!!
The Mooi River is also home to some “proper” brown trout, and not to be outdone this past week, produced a beast of a brown that pulled the tape to 58cm / just shy of 23 inches for Durban angler Graeme Duane … hats off to you sir!
So to all you river anglers – with just over a month left of the river season, if these fish don’t get you out there, then I am sorry to say that there is no help for you! <chuckle>
Now that we have the moving water out of the way (pun intended), let’s cast an eye (yes, also intended) on the stillwaters because they are also showing off! There has been good numbers reported across the board from the NFFC waters over the past week. On the smaller end of the scale in the 9-11 inch / 23-28 cm bracket, through the middle-ranges of 12-15 inches / 30-38cm and 16-19 inches / 40-48cm … and then a good couple of fish in the 50-60cm / 19-23 inch bracket … and then word of a 63cm whale / just shy of 25 inches! As per previous reports, it’s the larger flies that are doing the business as the fish are feeding up for the approaching winter.
On the bass front, the socials are showing that there are still some good fish coming out at Alberts Falls Dam – there was a 5.4kg reported this week. As mentioned previously, the fish are in the shallows, sticking in the warmer water, and feeding on baitfish. Midmar is reported to be also still fishing well, while another report mentioned Mearns Dam – interestingly, these dams very seldom feature in the socials!
Other reports mention that the carp have been on form on Alberts – they are surface feeding on scum lines, and local guide Jeremy Rochester has been targeting them with the dry fly. Jeremy also reported some fine winter scaly on the Umngeni”. 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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