Just like that, we are into April! The fishing has been consistent with some brilliant edibles being caught and a few decent inedibles joining the reports.
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 gamefish. 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 gamefish.
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 south coast has seen some good fishing on Aliwal Shoal with tuna, wahoo and a mix of other gamefish 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 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 good kingfish caught off the deepwater 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 has started and is going very well already. 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 approaching, make sure you have your correct clothing to keep you comfortable.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “After last week’s shout that we were on track for Autumn – but then Hot and Cold and it seems that the weather hasn’t quite decided what it’s doing … but there are fish about, so that’s all that matters! With just the slightest of overflow, the wall of Midmar is all but dry now, and will probably be completely dry within the next week or so. But the anglers have been flogging the waters and there are fish about, so that’s all that really matters!
As winter is (apparently) approaching, the trout stillwaters of the Natal Fly Fishers Club are getting more attention. Water temperatures haven’t cooled as fast as expected, and are still hovering in the late teens, even 20deg. … and some waters still holding some colour. There has been a good spread of fish reported coming to hand – from the smaller end in the 7-9 inch / 18-23cm bracket, right they through to some great fish pulling the tape into the 19-21 inch / 48-53cm bracket. No flies mentioned in the reports of course, but with a careful prod here and there, the usual suspects come to light: wooly buggers in olive / brown / black livery, along with dragon and damselfly patterns, olive being preferred. A favourite pattern of mine is a minnow, so these should take shortly as the fish look to bulk up for the lean winter.
Of note is that the winter fly fishing events have announced dates – starting in June, the Kamberg Trout Festival, Boston Fly Fishing Festival and Corporate Challenge being the 3 main events in the calendar – places are filling fast, so best get your name on the list if you looking to partake!
With waters fining off, the trout streams have been attracting equal attention. The upper sections of the rivers are reportedly looking superb, with some of the lower sections still on the high side. Most have been tackling the waters with nymph, with a little dry fly action on the side, especially in the upper reaches. As waters drop and clear even further, dry fly will be THE name of the game very shortly. Most fish reported have been in the 10-12 inch / 25-30cm bracket, and as expected, with a few either side of the middle margin … the biggest fish being in the 13-15 inch / 33-38cm class.
While Autumn may be considered that time of the year when all one seems to be catching is at the lower end of the tape measure, there have been some excellent fish reported from Albert Falls Dam over the last week. Not called “The Land of Giants” for nothing, Alberts holds the reputation as being The BEST bass water in the country, with clips seen recently in the Socials showing some great fish. Lures shown have been predominantly of the soft type, minnow and fluke style and paddletail swimbaits As it’s a “big bass eat little bass” world out there, these lures are essentially imitating the baby bass from the past spawn – popular colours being silver and gold flash minnow aka “money” and “bronze back”, and of course “baby bass”. These fish are around 6 inches / 15cm, so don’t be shy about throwing larger size baits.
Judging by the numbers of anglers lining the banks when I took a ride around Midmar on the weekend, and chatting to a few, the fishing continues to be good!
And here’s a couple tips from the Pro’s:
- With small fishing hiding in cover, the most productive areas will be on the outer edges of these cover zones. Pay attention to small(er) fishing splashing on the surface while feeding, as this often works as a trigger for the big(ger) bass.
- Baby Bass have a dark tail, so for added realism, dip the tail of your bait in Black Pro Bass Magic Dip, or simply use a black permanent marker to colour in the tail.
As it’s getting towards the end of the season, not much coming out from the yellows of Sterkfontein of late. For the scaley (Natal Yellowfish) anglers – maybe you should be taking up a trout fishing on The Bushman’s River as there was a report of a fine scaley coming out quite high up!
Tight Lines all – and do pop into the Kingfisher-PMB for the BEST in tackle and advice.
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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