The feeling of summer is in the air. Northeast winds, screaming drags and warm sunny days…what a time to go fishing!
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 dorado have finally arrived and in decent sizes as well. There are plenty of fish up north and the local fishing has started to pick up.
North – The north coast has been the place to go with most launches proving successful. The fishing skis and ski boats have all seen good results while targeting tuna and dorado. The couta has also made their presence in most catches.
The tuna and dorado have mainly been taken on trolled lures. The higher speed lures have produced most of the bites, but they also allow for more water coverage. The purples and pink colours have done well. Both skirted and lipped lures have produced fish. Slow drifting on likely marks with live baits have produced the bigger fish though. So, choose whether you want to target quantity or quality.
Central – Much like the north, the tuna has 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.
South – 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 into the backline and rapidly retrieving it back can see you with a few surprises in your hatch.
Rock and surf:
Early summer fish and plenty of edibles around. Now is the time to grab your tackle and head to your favourite spot.
North – The north coast has seen some early summer fish with flatties and sharks making up the bigger fish catches. The points have been the most productive of the spots with the bigger seas making the beaches a bit tricky to fish.
The river mouths have seen good catches of kob with some quality specimens being landed on both live bait and ground baits. Sardine and chokka have been the most successful of the general baits with live bait producing the bigger fish.
Central – The central coast has still been fishing very well with good edibles and inedibles being landed. The basin area has seen some of the best fishing along the coast this past week with a host of species being caught. The sand sharks have been the main draw card with plenty of smaller specimens being caught. These smaller specimens are great fun on the lighter tackle and put up a very good fight. redeye sardine and mackerel are the baits of choice.
South – The south coast has seen some of the early summer fish, but the main focus down south has been on the edibles.
The river mouths have been producing good kob numbers and some large specimens as well. The Sandspit has been firing on all cylinders, but the security has been an issue… The rest of the south coast has been fishing well in the rocky areas. Bronze bream have been the main target but there have been other sea bream caught in between.
The big rains have blown out the rivers a bit, but the fishing in the stillwaters/dams has made up for it. bass, carp and enough flyrod fodder to keep anyone happy.
Bass – The bass fishing is still keeping most of the freshwater lure anglers happy. The fish have been eager to eat a surface lure. If you are in heavier structure, consider throwing a hollow body frog. If you are in open water or the edge of a weed line, then a walking topwater will be the way to go. Braid has become the standard line for topwater lures. The lack of stretch translates to better action on the lure and a good casting distance.
Most of the dams have fished well with the smaller venues not being hit as hard by the inclement weather.
Carp – The carp fishing has been steady in the past few weeks. The specimen angling is starting to pick up with more fish being landed this past week. The fronts have helped to drop the water temps and make the carp a bit more aggressive. Particles have done very well this past week with some quality fish coming to the net.
The conventional anglers have done well with smaller fish. Plenty of fish have been caught with very few going over the 5kg mark. The best reported baits have been strong, fruity mielie pips. Almond and banana have been the most productive of the flavours.
Trout – As mentioned above, the rivers have been blown out by the recent rains so they will need a few days to calm down. Try to ask someone in the area to check the flow and visibility before you plan a trip.
The stillwaters are still fishing very well and have been producing some good-sized fish. Streamer patterns have been the call on most days but make sure to keep the dry fly rod ready for the morning and evening rise.
Other – The scaly fishing has slowed down with the rains turning the rivers in to fast flowing brown soup… As soon as the rains hold off for a few days, the rivers will calm down and clear up.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Over the last couple weeks, we have been hinting that summer seems to be trying to get under way … well, with the arrival of the rains over the last week, we can finally say that it’s here… Happy days for some – the trout streams that were low and warm must now have received some input … but maybe not for the scaly anglers as some reports indicate that the lower reaches are chocolate and currently blown out. Our “request” for a 20-30mm dump was granted – the rainfall reports across The Midlands averaging in that ballpark – but also has resulted in an AND SOME in places with falls of between 40-60mm .., there was also a report of a gauge overflowing which is 100m+!
Understandably, the wet kept most anglers off the waters, so we have only a few returns from the Natal Fly Fishers Club to gauge at what’s going on out in the wild (yours truly hasn’t been able to get out yet, but I hope to rectify that soon enough). I would also like to urge all anglers – trout more specifically – to get a thermometer and check water temperature as thus is a useful indicator as to where fish will, and perhaps more importantly, when it’s dangerous for the fish if you are practising C&R.
The valleys and troughs of the southern ‘Berg are variable in the amount of rainfall they receive, so while one valley might be white water rafting material, the next door valley might be fishable. This was clearly the case across the Midlands, as one report from the central area noted that the Umgeni River was “unfishable due to discolouration”, while another report further west from the Bushman’s River logged a good number fish in the 7-15” / 18-38cm range, two days after the main rains. Good news for my “home” river…
The couple of returns from the NFFC stillwaters indicate the fish are unperturbed by the rains (funny thing that… <wink>) and for those intrepid anglers that took the chance and made it out there – I am guessing that it was The “Mudlands” out there – it was game on. Some great fish were reported in the 13-19inch / 33-48cm ballpark. So gear up your 4×4 as the only way you going to find out if the fish are willing is to get out there and throw a line!
Making the local news is that Hilton-based angler and former Chair of the NFFC, Andrew Fowler, will be releasing his 2nd book over the coming weeks. “Delicate Presentations – A fly fisher’s Novel” will be launched in PMB on Thursday 17 November at Hilton Station, followed by a Durban launch at Xplorer Fly Fishing on Saturday 19 November.
This weekend sees the second clinic of the NFFC 50th year celebrations – aimed at the stillwater anglers, the clinic is hosting well-known angler and guide, Jeremy Rochester, wo will be imparting his expertise. Held at Nottingham Road, attendees will be to fish the nearby NFFC waters to put the teachings into practise.
There hasn’t been much news from the local bass waters – seems that only a lucky few are finding the fish, and rumour has it, some good ones too from both Albert Falls and Midmar. The anglers responsible are keeping it pretty quiet though, but you know how it goes … word usually gets out! In the meantime, “No pics, no proof” as they say … so guys, ‘fess up and let’s have a show and tell! Reaction bites are apparently what’s catching the fish – with strip-style baits and chatterbaits getting mentioned.
Internationally however, there has been plenty to show and tell – and no tall tales either! South Africa took silver at the World Black Bass Championships held on Lake Murray, South Carolina in the USA. Huge congrats to the team, and especially Vice Captain and local PMB-based angler Martin de Kock.
We haven’t reported on the water levels for a while, so with the start of the summer rains proper, here’s where we are at currently : happy to report that the Mgeni System is sitting at 94%, with individual dam levels : Spring Grove 90%, Mearns overflowing from the weekend rains at 105%, both Midmar and Albert Falls sitting just shy of 93%, and Wagondrift Dam just shy of 98%. Great place to be at going into summer, and with the full rains still to come, we will be seeing more dams overflowing very shortly”. 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, 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 ends 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.
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
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