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The sardines have done a vanishing act. They are still here but the dirty water is keeping them hidden. The fishing has remained on a high and with the holidays upon us, now is the time to wet a line.
Top tip: With the fishing spots getting an influx of fishermen and women from all over, there are bound to be times when lines get crossed or cast over. Remember a few simple rules and we will all have a fantastic holiday relaxing and catching fish. Be respectful to the locals in the area and remember that the spots are first come first serve. There is plenty of area to fish and plenty of fish in the sea, you do not have to fish in the crowd. We are fishing folk are generally a very chatty bunch, so talk to the guys where you are wanting to fish and get to know the spot better.
The offshore fishing has been slow, but the big seas have meant less people on the water and therefore less reports. There are fish and bait around so get out there and get some fish.
North – The north coast has seen a lot of fish. From the guys travelling further north to Vidal and Sodwana all the way to Durban, there have been fish.
The snoek have been feeding very well in the early mornings along the backline along the entire north coast. Westbrook and Umdloti have produced good results while Jex Estate has been the pick of the venues. The shark tax has been high so try get your fish in as quick as possible. Fillets have produced most of the bites will some fish being taken on lipped lures. The shoal couta are full up on the north coast. Dead baits have been the ticket to success with the humble sardine putting many fish in the hatch.
Central – The Durban coast has seen more launches due to the ease of the harbour and Vetch’s beach. These two sites make it possible for boats to launch in most sea conditions. There have been some smaller snoek and couta caught just behind Limestone reef. Most of these have been on trolled lures but a couple have fallen for a fillet bait. The shad have been a bit of a nuisance on the back line, but a fish is a fish…
Deeper, the tuna and couta have been the main targets. The tuna have been chased with poppers and live bait while the couta have only really taken live baits.
South – The south coast has still got some sardine shoals around and there has been some action with these shoals but the fish seem to be tired of the taste of sardines.
Aliwal has seen some epic action and the bottom fishing down south has put a few chiropractors back in business. These deeper waters require a KP setup with good quality braid and a strong rod. The currents can be nasty so speak to your skipper and get a game plan in action before just dropping.
Rock and surf:
The rock and surf fishing has been good across the board. The main focus has been edibles while scratching and fishing around the sardines for the big sharks.
North – The north coast has seen a lot of good action with both edibles and inedibles. Unfortunately, this past weekend saw lots of weed in the water from the recent rains and big seas. This makes fishing very difficult. That being said, a good number of edibles were caught whilst scratching and some decent inedibles were landed by those looking for that bigger fish.
Pink prawn has been the most successful bait for the scratching fish and has accounted for a number of species. The bigger inedibles have shown a preference for mackerel and redeye combination baits.
Central – The central coast has not seen much fishing as the polluted water has put most anglers off catching fish.
That being said, Blue Lagoon has seen some good catches of shad, pompano, kob and the odd garrick. Prawn and chokka have been the most successful for the smaller edibles while the bigger fish have favoured a live bait.
South – The south coast has been a bit quiet lately with few reports being sent in.
The guys who enjoy scratching have done well along most of the south coast from Trafalgar all the way to Toti. Look for the gullies and ledges that offer some calmer water close to the churning white water. Fish these areas with prawn and chokka baits for a chance at most rockfish species.
There have been some very good kob caught lately and this is definitely the time to actively target these amazing hunters. Sliding or throwing live baits is a great way to pursue them. Mullet, karanteen and shad are all fantastic baits to use. Look for the deeper water along the banks for the ideal kob ambush spot.
The freshwater fishing has been very kind to all facets with carp, bass and trout all being caught in good numbers this past week.
Bass – The bass fishing has been going very well these past few weeks. The fish have been feeding strongly in most of the KZN venues. Most of the popular methods have had their moment in the spotlight this past week with reports of everything from finesse to power fishing producing the goods. The key has been to find what is working on the day and then figuring out the pattern. This is the big difference between catching a couple and slaying the fish.
If you are wanting to cover water, using a crankbait or bladed jig is a great way to locate the fish. Both of these methods require some special tackle to be properly fished. Softer rods allow for proper action and keep loaded on the fish during the fight.
Carp – The carp fishing has been cold but productive. Much like the bass, the fish have been sensitive to the frontal conditions.
Make sure to keep your areas topped up with bait to keep the fish interested in your area. This is the kind of activity you can do to keep yourself busy between the bites.
Inanda has been the pick of the specimen venues with some proper fish being brought to the net. Most of the successful baits have been kept a secret, but boilies have been a firm favourite. The fruity additives have been producing good results for the past few weeks.
The conventional anglers have also seen good results with the sweeter/fruitier flavours. Midmar and Albert Falls have been fishing well for the conventional anglers.
Trout – The midlands have been very kind this year with the trout season carrying on in full strength. The spawn has come and gone but the fish are still there to be caught.
The Stillwaters are producing some giants with social media full on new personal best specimens being flaunted by happy anglers.
The buzzers fished washing line style have done well in most of the Stillwaters and have accounted for some big fish when the bites get finnicky. The other method producing good fish is the use of bigger streamers with plenty of marabou or zonker material for added movement.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “The recent spell of (apparently) decent weather belies that fact that the fishing has been rather difficult to say the least! Let’s hope that it settles and the fishing improves …
Herewith this week’s report:
Apologies ardent readers for last week’s missed report … with the Kingfisher Annual Birthday Sale kicking off, time was in short supply and I simply ran out of day … hope y’all managed to get to your closest KF store and get stuck in!
To borrow a quote overheard at last weekend’s 2nd Leg of the TOPS Corporate Challenge : “A lot of Trout clearly didn’t get the message from Uncle Cyril this last weekend as they kept their distance from the very social advances of the fly fishers…”. The same applied to the fishing at the Boston Fly Fishing Festival held the previous weekend … essentially, we bled!
While the weather appeared to be decent on the outside, I am happy to lay the blame at the feet of a low pressure system that came in the day before the Boston Festival … at least, that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it! I suspect something similar was afoot at Leg2 of the TCC : weather looked decent enough, and even though the pressure started low, it was forecast to rise slowly over the weekend … but looking at other sources (like YR.no), the wind was all over the place which is usually indicative of pressure changes. The days started with a west in the morning and ended with an easterly in the afternoon … and we all know the saying “West is Best / East is Least”.
There are of course a multitude of (other) reasons why the fish can be stubbornly uncooperative, and the recent sudden onset of winter should get a mention – water temperatures have plummeted in the last 2 weeks, with many of the stillwaters now into single-figures, which will put trout into full spawn mode, ignoring the gourmet of feathers and fur being thrown at them. Along with the chill factor, the waters are settling and clearing, which usually lends itself to a case of “less is more” … static methods definitely yielded results. That being said, there were those that were successful with the “rip and strip” using the standard go to “Winter Bugger” variations with a hot orange bead … but for those looking for a definitive recipe are out of luck…
That being said, and as is the case will all fishing events, there are the lucky (some will say skilled) anglers that get stuck into some proper fish and this was true for both the Boston and TCC events. The Boston produced a great 58cm / 22.8 inch fish, and couple in the late 50cm’s, with the biggest fish at the TCC stretching the tape to 60cm / 23.6 inches. Congratulations to the winning anglers, and especially the top 5 teams at the TCC – see you at The Finals 1st week in August!
Anglers of the Natal Fly Fishers Club have unfortunately also not been immune to the weather effects, but like the events, your mileage may vary! … and some cracking fish have been reported.
The bass fishing at Alberts Falls is reportedly slowing down, no doubt due to the cooler water temperatures … but on the other side of the road, Midmar continues to be fishing well.
While cold water usually also dictates that one should step down in size with your offerings, another factor to consider is water clarity : this will assist with determining the colour of your offering. I have heard some interesting methods of anglers choose their lure / fly along with the leader / tippet strength, but the bottom line is how the different colours look in the different types of water. Always have a selection of lighter colours for clear water and clear skies, along with a selection of darker colours for dirtier water and darker skies.
The carp came on at Albert Falls recently, and I have seen some great footage of some hogs slurping off the surface. Not uncommon are fish in the 6-10kg range, taken on floating patterns (e.g. beetles and ant-types). These guys will put a proper bend in any stick you care to shake at them!
The winter scaly (Natal Yellowfish) is just starting to kick off, and some great fish are coming out. Of interest is that the Natal Fly Fishers Club will be hosting a scaly clinic in the 1st week in September – this had garnered a lot of interest from local anglers, and while this event is currently fully booked, plans are afoot to hold a 2nd event – come and chat to Jan at Kingfisher-PMB for more info.
We cannot say it enough : they only way to get a fish on the end of your line is to get there – come and stop by the Kingfisher – for the best in tackle and advice”! Thanks Jan.
Tight lines and screaming reels.
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