Fishing has been a bit off along the central coast with most anglers travelling north or south for the best fishing.
Top tip. There are laws that we have to follow but there are no rules that say a fish will only eat a single type of bait. Experiment, and try to figure out what you prefer. Fishing is both frustrating and relaxing, but you will get out what you put in. Listen to the common ideas and then adapt them to suit your style of fishing.
The offshore fishing has been fantastic this past week. There have been plenty of fish caught and a lot of methods that have been productive.
North – The north coast has seen some very good tuna fishing around the Ballito to Salt Rock area. Live bait has been the most successful way of targeting these fish. Drifting slowly around the bait marks with a live bait rigged without a weight and one on a downrigger has seen the most consistent results. If you are looking for the most exciting results, then throwing a popper in to the dolphins (or any surface action) will see explosive results.
Central – The central coast has not seen as much action as people are still weary of the contaminated water situation off Durban.
Those that have been fishing have been focussing on the deeper water and have seen good results in the bottom fishing and gamefish scene. Dorado should start making more of an appearance soon so get your tackle ready.
South – The south coast, especially Aliwal should get the first of the dorado so make a plan to run out to the deeper water for these colourful gamefish.
The south coast has been getting a lot of bottom fish attention for those looking to catch the coppers and poenskop. Please respect these fish and release all of them if possible.
Rock and surf:
Edibles and inedibles aplenty. There are finally some decent inedibles for those looking for a fight as well as plenty of fish of the edible variety.
North – The north coast has seen the most of the inedible action with the areas around Richard’s Bay seeing the most activity. There have been some big diamonds and a good number of sharks hooked along the far north. All these fish can be targeted using an FMJ trace and a 9/0-10/0 circle hook. Big fleshy baits with a lot of smell is the way to go.
Central – The central coast has not seen as much fishing for the same reason as the offshore fishing.
That being said, some have gone against the laws and/or advice and have caught fish in the dirtier spots. Blue Lagoon in particular has fished very well with good numbers of grunter and shad being caught. The artificial anglers have had good success on paddle tails for the smaller kob in the mouth region. The garrick have been around but it has been a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
South – The south coast has seen very good edible fishing. The garrick anglers have done very well along the Toti section with a few fish being caught. Some anglers have managed to catch these fish on artificials, but the live baits have been more successful.
The rest of the fishing on the south coast has been around scratching. Anglers have managed good numbers of bronze bream and a few other species. Pink prawn and chokka is all you need.
The freshwater fishing facets have had something for everyone. The bass have been the main focus with plenty of good fish reported.
Bass – The bass fishing is picking up as more waters switch to the spawn. The fish in Alberts have almost all started spawning but the other dams are a bit behind. The best basing has been at Alberts over the last week with most reports saying the fish have fought harder than usual.
The patterns have changed each day so make sure to try a few patterns and don’t be afraid to fish the same area with two or three different lures. Midmar has also seen some decent fishing as well as Hazlemere.
Carp – The carp fishing has been good in most of the KZN dams. There have been good numbers of fish reported from most of the local anglers and floaties in banana flavour have been the resounding favourite.
The specimen anglers have not reported much this past week so one can assume either the fishing is very good or very bad.
Trout – The trout fishing is still a major attraction as both the stillwaters and dams have been producing fish. If you prefer throwing bigger flies and hooking bigger fish, then head to the larger stillwaters. If you prefer delicate presentations and stealth, then the rivers are for you.
Other – There are so many freshwater species in SA that do not get enough attention from the angling fraternities. The two main species at the moment are the Natal scaly and the tigerfish. Jozini has been fishing very well in the last few weeks and is still a fantastic venue to visit to catch tigers in SA. The scalies are found in most of our rivers with the Umzimkulu and Umkomaas holding the bigger fish.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “The weather gods seem to a bit confused currently – snow the week before last, followed by cooking temps this past week, which judging by the lack of reports, has kept the anglers indoors I suspect. While we wait for the spring / summer rains, the warm / hot daytime temperatures are not helpful for the low water conditions … for the trout especially … better suited to the yellowfish (scaly) and bass. Unfortunately, the forecast for the week ahead doesn’t look promising in this regard either … just a spit and spot on some days over the next week.
With the upper reaches of the trout streams low and warming up, anglers are putting their efforts into the lower beats where there is a bit more flow. Good fish are being reported from the Natal Fly Fisher’s Club beats on the Bushman’s River along with a cautionary “very warm” note on the water temperature. With the size of fish that can be expected from these beats ranging up to 19inches / 48cm, it’s best to tackle up with a slightly heavier tippet in order to get the fish in and released as quickly as possible.
Same applies to the trout stillwaters – with the current interest in going as light as possible, the down side is fighting a fish in the warmer surface waters for longer, resulting in an excess build up of lactic acid and the possible demise of the fish … even if you think you have released it successfully.
Top Tip for fishing stillwaters as we head further into summer, is to fish deep and slow. The fish will tend to head for the bottom in search of cooler water … pay attention to the structure of the land surrounding the dam, and you will get an idea as to where the deeper water is … most promising is the channel of the old river bed (look for the old inlet vs the old outlet (usually the middle to the dam wall) and plot a possible path). This may be somewhat restrictive for those fishing from the bank, and probably better suited to the float tube anglers.
If bank angling, the best time will be early morning when fish may be found midge’ing in the shallows after the cooler night time temperatures … they will move off into the deep as the edge waters warm … so the choice if to either call it a day (say by 10am) or hop into the tube…
News from the SA Protea Team that recently competed in the 41st FIPS-MOUCHE World Fly Fishing Championship in Spain, is that the team placed a very creditable 11 place (out of 22 teams). Of note is that Durban angler Shaun Dickson took a 1st place overall individuals win in the 5th and final session with 16 fish – no mean feat and Hearty Congrats!
More news from SAFFA (South African Fly Fishing Association) is that there is much happening on the competition front right now, as they are backed up with National events … Youth have been in practise up on the Vaal river for the past week – some great fish have come out in the form of smallmouth yellowfish, muddies and carp giving the guys a proper line stretch – and competition is currently taking place. B NATIONALS is just over two weeks away in the Underberg area of KZN. Vices will be getting worked overtime in prep, and wading boots at the ready for miles of tramping the river banks.
The scaly anglers will be pleased with the current of significant rain, and the Umkomaas and Tugela will stay clean and fishable for a while yet. Again, some excellent fish of up to 19inches / 48cm have been reported from the NFFC beat on the Umkomaas River.
The warmer weather appears to have been conducive towards the bass anglers, and some great fish have been reported. Most notably a 5.38kg PB caught by local PMB-based angler Christo van Tonder – well done that man, that’s a cracker of a fish!
Both Albert Falls and Midmar dams are fishing very well. Word from the water is that Jerk bait season is here as the bass that have come out of spawn are now hungry and wanting to feed up. A very exciting way to fish, as jerk bait fishing is not slow, and hungry fish will chase down a fast moving bait. Top Tips : use a medium powered rod 6 to 6’6ft, go light line 8 to 10lb, and use a natural to clear bait on bright sunny days and a darker bait on cloudy days.
The ”bream anglers”, that is tilapia and carp, are not complaining either with both currently in spawn mode with some good fish being reported.
While Largemouth Bass are the most sought after (pure from a size perspective methinks), Smallmouth Bass have a great reputation as a harder fighting cousin. Anglers that were targeting scaley recently came across “a fairly urban stretch of river infested with these guys. Nothing big, but great fun on the ultralights with these smallmouth fighting much harder than the largemouth bass”.
So guys, take advantage of the weather before the REAL summer rains make an appearance – throw that line and (maybe) get to brag about a PB! Stop by the Kingfisher-PMB for the best in tackle and advice”! Thanks Jan.
Tight lines and screaming reels.
The Kingfisher has opened their new store on the upper north coast. Situated in the Tiffany’s Shopping Centre 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.
Series 21 (can you believe it; this is Petri’s 21 series) of Hier Gaan Ons Alweer on kykNET with Petri de Wet kicked off on the 1st October 2022. The premieres are on Saturday evenings at 18:30 on kykNet, channel 144 and there are a number of repeats during the week. The repeats are on Sundays at 16:30, Mondays at 12:30, Tuesdays at 17:00 and Fridays at 22:00. Series 21 runs for three months, ending on the 24th December 2022.
As most of you know, Petri and his guests cover various angling styles (fresh and salt water) in and around Southern Africa.
Watch out for our very own Gilbert Foxcroft and Adriaan van der Merwe in the specimen sections, they join Petri and land some awesome carp.
The KZN Angler News audio fishing report is South Africa’s first fishing podcast series that focuses on the latest fishing reports of the East Coast, it delivers true and accurate content from the provinces most prominent anglers on a weekly basis on various facets of angling. This report is free and available on all major Podcast platforms including Apple Pods, Google Pods, Spotify and Deezer as well as SA’s most popular Facebook Pages. This report is proudly sponsored by The Kingfisher.
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