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 – “Finally … we are on track for Autumn! The days are all of a sudden cooler, and sunrise is pretty late these days. Rainfall is also tapping off, and rivers are slowing down, as witnessed by the overflow of Midmar that I pass daily. Water temperatures will start dropping appreciably now, so time for the trout anglers to start polishing their gear in anticipation … if they haven’t already!
While the rivers have dropped and cleaned up considerably since the last big rains, they may still be considered a tad high for the delicate touch of the dry fly angler. That being said, hoppers are everywhere at the moment and there’s not much a large hopper pattern can’t drift through … and when skated at the tail of a pool, will elicit a rise or 6! A little further south (in the N.E. Cape), great fun was had at the recent Dirt Road Wild Trout Association Festival in Rhodes, where the rainbows were smashing a foam hopper. If the fish aren’t coming to the top, hedge your bets with the “hopper-dropper” formula … popular dropper flies to suspend below the hopper are your bead-head nymphs, e.g. PTN, GRHE, Zak and GUN.
Both The Bushman’s and Mooi have yielded some excellent fish in the last week. The Mooi River was again the playground of the Natal Fly Fisher Club (NFFC) anglers, good numbers of fish reported in the 8-14 inch / 20-35cm bracket, and a couple just shy of 16 inches / 40cm. Such great fun on light 1-3wt stream tackle. The KZN Fly Fishing Association (KZNFFA) held a trial for their Junior anglers on The Bushman’s, and a mix of brown and rainbow trout came to the net. Congratulations to all the Juniors who fished the trial. and Tight Lines to two KZNFFA youngsters, Griffin Price and Pete Louwrens, as they travel with the South African Junior development team to Spain.
As far as the stillwaters go: a large body of (non-moving) water will take longer to cool, so water temperatures in the 18-20 deg.C range are still being reported … but with the cooler weather coming, the magical figure of 16 deg.C will be here shortly. Waters will also clear as they cool, the crystal clear sometime single-figure degree water offers great sight fishing opportunities. Some excellent fish have been reported in the returns from the NFFC anglers over the last week, good numbers up to the 16 inch / 40cm mark, with some bigger fish also starting to make their appearance in the 16-23 inch / 40-60cm bracket, as well as a bus of over 23 inches / 60cm. Roll on winter I say!
On the bass front, there are some good fish around. Last week we mentioned a SA Bass and Major League Fishing (MLF) “Cast-for-Cash” event that took place on Albert Falls Dam this past weekend … the top 3 Teams boated some excellent bags, with Mitchell Pentolfe and Ben Conolly taking the win with 13.320 kgs … second place went to Kirk van Reeuwyk and Tiaan Odendaal with 11.090 kgs … and third place going to Shane Estran and Allan Cameron with 10.640 kgs. Excellent fishing and congrats all round
While Alberts seems to be back on fire, reports from Midmar is that the fishing a on “iffy” side, with the fish being spread out over a wide area – so the main objective is find the fish before you can get into the fish!
As mentioned, it’s hopper time! at present, and back at Alberts, reports are coming fly anglers that are targeting carp on the surface with small hooper patterns. Further north, reports are that the smallmouth yellows of Sterkfontein Dam are also onto the hoppers”. 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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