With the current outflow issues in the Durban area, most anglers have moved far and wide to get a bite. There has been good fishing along the coast and the freshwater scene is getting into the summer swing.
Top tip: A lost art in the modern fisherman’s arsenal. The art of sharpening your own hooks. With the addition of chemically sharpened hooks and modern materials, it has not been necessary. However, getting that Kendal round to a sharp point with a file or hone is something which gives one great satisfaction. It is always important to have a sharp hook in all facets from carp to marlin. A blunt hook will not set as deep or strongly into the fish’s jaw and can result in lost catches.
The offshore fishing has remained unchanged since last week with some good gamefish being landed as well as a good haul of bottom fish.
North – The north coast has seen good fishing around the Ballito area with good sized tuna being taken on lures and live bait. Circle hooks around the 6/0-8/0 size are the best for these fish and the size of the hook depends on the size of the bait used. The lipped lures in purples and pinks have been working well on the north coast for the boat and ski guys.
The bottom fishing has been going well for most of the guys with a mix of rockcod and bigger bottoms being caught.
Central – Much like the previous week, guys have been avoiding the Durban area or at least fishing much farther offshore than normal. These deeper areas have seen some bigger tuna and a mix of other gamefish. Trolling higher-speed lipped lures and skirted Kona-style lures has been the best way to cover water and target multiple species. Darker colours with a bit of contrast have been the most productive.
South – The south coast has seen a mix of bottom fish and gamefish. There have been some good Garrick caught by the guys pulling live baits on the backline. The sardine pockets have been around but not all have had gamefish with them. Keep moving between the shoals until you find some action.
The bottom fishing has seen reds, rock cod and geelbek all mixed. The bigger the bait the more likely you are to attract the bigger fish.
Rock and surf:
The rock and surf fishing is starting to pick up with more summer species making their way on to the reports.
North – The north coast points have been the most effective spots along the coast to target the snoek on spoon. Small but heavy spoons that can be retrieved very fast without losing stability are essential. You also need tackle that can throw said spoon a long way and retrieve it rapidly. This means long rods and fast reels.
The north coast has seen some decent scratching along the ledges and in the gullies. Pink prawn has been the best bait all around.
Central – The central coast is still closed to fishing at the time of writing this report. Please respect the laws and don’t take a chance with your health.
South – Trafalgar is still producing fish. The area around there holds a bigger sea so it can be fished in even the biggest sea. The petrol price has kept most anglers closer to home. The reefs and gullies are the place to go. Grab your prawns and the light stick and walk along the beach. Remember to keep the sinker line light and to fish and move.
The freshwater fishing is also starting to show more of a summer pattern with the bass getting more aggressive and the trout starting to get a bit sluggish.
Bass – All the dams in KZN have been fishing fairly well with decent specimens being landed from most venues. Fishing slower and more methodical has been reported as the most successful way to target the bigger fish. Dropshots have worked very well in the deeper water especially when targeting structure in the deep. Small minnow imitations or straight-tail worms have been the best plastics to use. The fishing is starting to pick up so keep an eye on your favourite venue as the spawn is just around the corner.
Midmar is a great dam to work with your electronics as there are many hidden spots offshore that can hold giants.
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 Stillwaters are seeing some good results (still). The deeper dams are working well on the warmer days as the trout seek a bit of comfort in the deeper, cooler water. The fronts have made fishing a bit up and down, but the fish have been keen to eat.
Streamers and minnow patterns are still the most productive way to target the bigger fish, but nymphs have been more consistent on the difficult days.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “There was a threat of a massive frontal system moving up country from the deep south, and while the Cape was battening down the hatches and experienced some kore snow, it seems that summer is finally settling in proper to KZN and the northern high-pressure system kept the low at bay. The high coming down from the north brings with it the tropical rains, and the forecast going forward for the week ahead shows some proper drippy stuff headed this way … more specifics on that just now…
As mentioned last week, the BIG news for the trout anglers is that the Trout River Season opened on 1 September, and as one does, yours truly was on the Bushman’s River to make sure that I open my river account as early as possible. While many river anglers forgo the ceremony of Opening Day, it is a rite that serves primarily to inspect river condition after the dry winter period, and of course to throw a line … with just one fish required to declare the season officially Open … and in the 13 years, have only experienced a blank once! With the past wetter season (even winter) that we have had in the past, I was in even more hope that this was going to be a piece of cake and was rather taken aback at how low the river was when I arrived. There must have been a push through from the previous rains, as the river was crystal with no signs of bottom detritus. And cold at 8deg.C.
Happy to report however, that the fish were about, and I ended with 15 or 16 fish to hand for the day, all on dry fly (just 1 fly needed), smallest probably around 6inches / 15cm and biggest between 10-11inches / 25-28cm. A great day out and probably the best Opening Day fishing I have had.
With the river level as it is, a couple more inches of water, and a couple degrees warmer!, will have the fish feeding flat out. This is going to be the summer to get stuck into the rivers.
With the opening of the rivers, there have been fewer anglers out on the stillwaters. Returns from the Natal Fly Fishers Club show most fish in the 30-40cm / 12-16 inch bracket, with a few more in the 40-50cm / 16-20 inch bracket, and the largest fish coming in at 53cm / 21 inches
Overall, murmurings from the anglers is that it was a slow winter, with difficult fishing conditions and somewhat more than a scattering of disappointment. In summary, I suspect that there was in fact, too much water (if there is such a thing in S.A.), and the fish weren’t where they usually are. The Natal Fly Fishers Club (NFFC) returns for August reveal an average of 3 fish per day, which I think is pretty good considering the Club holds close to 40 waters. The average time spent on the water per fishing day was 6.6 hrs, which supports the theory that you have to have a line in the water in order to catch fish!
Last weekend saw the final event in the Joeys Tournament Trail season taking place on Albert Falls Dam. Fishing was reportedly difficult as the fish just turned off for whatever reason. There were some big bags though, top pulling the scale to 12.5kg, and the biggest fish coming in at 4.5kg.
Official results for the Joey’s TT season have local anglers Mark Schmidt and Mark Todd (aka “Mark Squared) from Rochester tackle taking the win – Congrats guys. The next step is the Finals and National Super Finals taking place at Woodstock and Spionkop Dams respectively in October and November
Word from the water is that with the spawn coming on, some big fish out and about, to please handle your fish with care; especially the big females. Don’t hold them by the mouth and hanging vertically down … support their weight. Get them into the boat quickly, get your shot and release immediately. These fish hold the future of your fishing.
Last weekend also saw the NFFC Scaly Fishing Clinic taking place on the Umkomaas River at Nyala Pans. I was unable to attend, but by all reports and pictures, the event was highly successful … new skills were learnt and a good number of fish were caught as a result. This was the 1st in a series of clinics that are being held to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the NFFC – be sure to keep an eye on the NFFC for the upcoming events”. Thank so much for the report Jan.
Tight lines and screaming reels.
The Kingfisher has opened their new store on the upper north coast. Situated in the Tiffany’s Shopping Center 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.
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