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Just like that, we are into August! The fishing has been consistent with some brilliant edibles being caught and a few decent inedibles joining the reports.
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 offshore fishing has been brilliant on the whole with most of the KZN coast producing fantastic fish.
North – The north coast has seen a good mix of both bottom fish as well as good game fish. The snoek have been around in the early mornings around most of the river mouths. Trolling a fillet bait just as the sun is coming up is a great way of targeting these beautiful game fish.
The bottom fish have started on the deeper pinnacles and reefs. Mostly geelbek and daga have been coming out. Live baits have been the most effective for these bigger fish while the smaller reds have favoured squid baits.
Central – The central coast has seen a lot of tuna on trolled lures and some very big units taken on drifted live baits around the popular wrecks/bait spots. A single 6/0 circle hook through the nose of the live bait and some decent fluorocarbon leader will see you attached to these powerhouse fish.
The snoek have been around in the early mornings but have been feeding in deeper water than normal so don’t get stuck on the backline with your fillets.
South – The inshore fishing along the south coast has been fantastic with snoek and garrick keeping the rods bent.
The Aliwal Shoal has seen some good fishing with tuna, wahoo and a mix of other game fish making an appearance on the catch reports. Trolling lipped lures in purple colours have done very well as well as higher-speed skirted lures. Tuna have also been around at most of the depths with live bait, poppers and trolled lures working for them. Purple mackerel colour has been a fantastic colour and has been reported as successful from more than a few anglers.
Rock and surf:
The sardines are still here and the fishing has been great along most of the coast. The north and south coast have out fished the central coast with multiple edible species on the catch lists.
North – The north coast has been fishing very well around the river mouths and off the deeper points. There has been plenty of scratching action along most of the north coast with some very good bronze bream and kob being caught. The kob have favoured chokka and live baits. The bream have favoured pink prawn.
There have been some garrick off the deep-water points with most being taken with plugs in the early mornings.
Central – The central coast has also seen some good fish being caught on lures. There are fish for all levels and interests. The shad have been full up around the piers and are always keen to eat a drifted sardine or spoon. The snoek have been scarce as well as the garrick but they are there, you just need to target them. The kingfish have also been there but mainly as a bycatch.
On the bait side of things, the main catches have been pompano, grunter, shad and kob. Pink prawn and chokka are the two baits you need to have in your box.
South – The south coast has seen some very good fishing in the Margate to Port Edward area. The reefs of Trafalgar have been the place to be if you are looking for bigger bream and various other edibles. Pink and red prawn have been the baits of choice for these fish.
The south coast has also seen some very big blue rays. Soft sardine baits are the ones to use for these fish. 6/0 to 8/0 circle hooks are the order of the day for these bigger blues.
The freshwater fishing has been getting better with the bass starting to overtake the trout in freshwater excitement.
Bass – The bass are starting to warm up as we reach the end of winter. The fishing has sped up a bit and most of the venues in KZN have started to fire.
Hazlemere has been the pick of the shore venues with most anglers fishing from the side seeing good numbers of fish as well as some decent sizes as well. Moving baits and particularly small minnow imitations have done very well. Darker colours with a bit of a gold or copper flash have done well.
Albert Falls and Midmar have been the better boat venues with anglers reporting some very big fish. A host of techniques and methods have been working so try your favourites and work the day out from there.
Carp – The carp have been consistent over the last month with mostly smaller fish making their way to the reports but the bigger catches being kept private.
Albert Falls has been producing fish for both specimen and conventional anglers. Garlic has been the most reported flavour with floaties out-fishing mielies.
Specimen anglers have been best suited using boilies in the 16mm size range and up. Remember to use whole and chopped boilies in your feed mix to make sure you give the fish plenty to eat.
Trout – The Stillwater season is going very well. Most of the venues in KZN have been seeing some fantastic fish. Those in the float tubes are out-fishing those from the banks. The float tube allows you to get to places that the bank anglers cannot access. The streamers are fishing well on sinking lines. The generic “bugger” style flies have been the most successful as they are easy to cast, easy to fish and they catch fish almost anywhere.
With the cooler weather and cold water, make sure you have your correct clothing to keep you comfortable.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “PMB / Hilton and all the way up the N3 to Van Reenen’s Pass saw a proper summer thunderstorm last weekend – full on thunder and lightning show to boot! – that dropped some 25mm down here and all along up the N3 as far as Van Reenen’s Pass, but nothing in towards the mountains which only received a couple mm over the weekend.
Overall however, the Mgeni System is still sitting (very) at over 98% capacity with Spring Grove Dam still at 100% FSL, and Mearns, Midmar and Albert Falls Dams all sitting at over 90% FSL. Wagondrift Dam on The Bushman’s River is also just below 100%. Great place to be at this late in winter.
While we cannot complain about receiving rain this late in winter (or is early in spring?) , I am kinda thankful that The Midlands escaped pretty much unscathed as this weekend see’s The Finals of the TOPS Corporate Challenge taking place on the waters around Nottingham Road. Festivities start tomorrow evening with the dam draw, and fishing takes place Friday and Saturday – Tight Lines to all the anglers taking part (me especially!) and I look forward to reporting on the event next week!
Further on the trout front, the anglers of the Natal Fly Fishers Club have taken advantage of the decent weather of late, and some great fish continue to be reported from the NFFC waters. Almost all fish over the 12 inch / 30cm mark (just a couple of dinks here and there), with most fish in the 15-19 inch / 38-48cm bracket, and the largest fish reported this week pulling the tape into the 19-21 inch / 48-53cm bracket. Whispers from the water has it that mainly small flies are on the menu at present : nymphs and bloodworms getting the predominant mention. I guess we will just have to stock up and see what happens this weekend
Of note, is that the NFFC will be hosting a Stillwater Clinic at the end of the month – bookings are open, so pop into the KF-PMB and chat to Jan if you need contact details to book your place.
The countdown has officially begun to the start of the trout River Season which opens on 1 September. I know of a number of anglers that are dusting off their river tackle and stocking fly boxes … that will also be me after this weekends last foray into the stillwater events calendar. If you are wanting to get onto the river this season, come pop into the KK-PMB and chat to Jan and see what’s required.
From the bass boys : early August is still considered to be late winter, and the fish should be transitioning into pre-spawn mode, if they haven’t already. While the fishing has been slow, I am sure many anglers will be keeping a beady eye on the water as the ever-popular Albert Falls Classic takes place later this month 25-27 August, with prizes being awarded for heaviest fish, as well as heaviest bag
As we head into season, and in the interests of catch and release, it’s worth mentioning the handling of your fish as there are many pictures of bass being gripped by the jaw sitting at uncomfortable angles. Hold your fish with 2 hands if possible, or if holding from the jaw, let the fish hang vertically, as opposed to horizontally, which is injurious to the fish.
With the warmer weather, reports coming in from Albert Falls noted carp on the surface that were willing to take flies … proper rod benders those chaps, and still on my to get list.
The Scaly (Natal Yellowfish) anglers are also getting antsy and there have been some more recent reports of fish. As mentioned last week, further north seems to be where it’s at, while we wait for the local waters to warm up some more. While a Scaly on dry fly is on everyone’s list, the most popular method is wet flies using weighted nymphs and jig buggers
With Women’s Day on the calendar next week Tuesday, next weekend is pretty much a long weekend guys, so treat your fishing lady to a weekend on the water, or if she doesn’t fish, show her how! So Tight Lines to all our Lady Anglers out there”. Thanks Jan.
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