The sixth month has come and gone and now it’s downhill to 2023…

The fishing has been pretty good across all facets with the sardines adding some flare to the reports.

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.

Offshore:

The offshore fishing has been very good this past week. The gamefish and bottom fishing have been great.

North – The north coast has seen some yellowtail and amberjack on the deeper marks. These are incredibly hard fighting fish that demand the strongest tackle. You have to give 100% from the bite to landing the fish otherwise you will get cut off. Live baits are the best bet for both species with a 9/0 circle proving to be the best hook. Bridle the live bait through the eye socket with a cable tie to keep the bait alive for as long as possible.

The closer reefs have seen some good couta. The fish have ranged from 8-20kg+ specimens. They have mostly been taken on live bait, but quality dead baits have also worked well.

Central – The central coast has seen a great flush of geelbek and daga in the last two weeks. The charters have been fully booked and the recreational anglers have been launching at every opportunity. 8-9ft rods, 80lb+ braid and a 9inch KP are the weapons of choice for this type of fishing.

There has been snoek around in the early mornings. Most of the fish have been taken while trolling fillets around south pier and Blue Lagoon. There have been plenty of wolf herring and shad around so check your fillets regularly.

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, rockcod and geelbek all mixed. The bigger the bait the more likely you are to attract the bigger fish.

Rock and surf:

The shore-based fishing has been a combination of spinning, scratching and a hint of big fish fishing.

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 Durban coast has seen some good morning sessions spinning and bait fishing for shad. The Blue Lagoon area has been fishing very well with most anglers able to fill their limit in a few casts. S-bend spoons and a slower retrieve are deadly for these smaller gamefish.

The central coast has also seen some good kob, stumpies and a handful of Garrick. Live bait, pink prawn and chokka have been the best baits.

South – The south coast has been the area to focus on if you are after the action around the sardines. Spinning with spoons is a great way to focus on the gamefish around the sards and can see you catch a host of species. Throwing a single sardine on a nylon snood is also a good idea at to target the gamefish (without teeth). Keep an eye on the social media forums and you will be able to find the silver shoals.

The south coast has also seen some very good bronze bream fishing along most of the lower south coast.

Freshwater:

The freshwater facets have been a bit slow, but the fish have been bigger and worth the wait in the colder weather.

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.

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 shifted away from targeting numbers and instead is now focussed on the big specimens. This means longer hours waiting for a bite, but that bite could be a new personal best. This time of year, requires more thought and patience in all aspects from preparation to feeding your spot.

When specially targeting the bigger fish, try to make as little disturbance as possible as well as keeping a vigilant eye out for any action. The colder water sees the stronger flavours producing better results.

Trout – The Stillwater fishing has been phenomenal with most of the KZN and the Swartberg region. Float tubes, warm waders, sinking lines and streamers are all essential items for this time of year. The bigger Stillwaters are best fished around the old river channels. Fishing the edge of the drop offs is a sure way of targeting the big fish hunting grounds. Favourite flies include paparoachs, minnow imitations and woolly buggers in olives and blacks.

News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “So after 2 weeks of iffy fishing to say the least, the weather improved (or rather stabilised) and the fishing took off again.  Some great fish have been reported from The Midlands, so let’s get stuck into it…

Winter is, of course, primarily trout Stillwater season, and member of the Natal Fly Fishers Club have been hard at “work” … if you can call it that!  Prior to the weather settling last weekend, conditions were pleasant enough, but the fish weren’t amenable … I suspect some underlying processes were at work to stymie even the best efforts…  This week’s returns, however, paint a much better picture, with the fish back on the prod again … the smallest fish(es) reported being in the 43-48cm / 17-19inch category, and the largest fish(s) just shy of 60cm / 23.5inches!

The Norwegians have the weather forecast looking stable to the weekend – good news for those anglers taking part in Leg3 of the TOPS Corporate Challenge taking place around Nottingham Road this weekend.  Having made the Finals in Leg1, I will head up for the opening proceedings and then prizegiving on the weekend … and most importantly, cast a beady on the fellow competitors making it through as we will be seeing them again in a month’s time.

The biggest fish so far in this year’s event pulled the tape to 62cm / 24.5inches in Leg1, with Leg2 producing a fish of 60cm / 23.5inches … there be monsters in them waters!  If the fish continue to be on the feed as they seem to be currently, let’s see if that tape can be stretched a bit more.

It seems that last week’s tips were well received, so herewith a few more for the angler with a (slight) technical bent… (primarily aimed at the Stillwater trout angler, but useful in other facets too)

  • Look for (spot and find) the fish … BEFORE randomly checking a line.  Trout in winter favour the shallow areas e.g. spillways and other areas with open rock / shale like inlets, and rocky dam walls, generally tend to have cruising fish. With winter’s clearer waters, much more fun to be casting at sighted fish!
  • Top water first … especially if fishing the early morning around sunrise.  Fish will still be close to surface (and in the shallows) from the night’s darkness.
  • Float Tube later … when the sun gets up, the fish might move off the banks that you are pounding, and now it’s time to go and get ‘em offshore
  • Use The Hang … also called Inducing a take.  At the end of your retrieve, stop for a short period, let the line settle and the fly subside, then lift the fly vertically … if a fish is following, the prey is now escaping and you may just get a take at the death.
  • Fish where the fish ARE … coming back full circle to point 1 above, where you see fish is where the fish are.  Obvious as it may sound, if you catch a fish in an area where there are reses, don’t abandon the area immediately … there will be more.

The bass social media continues to be rather quiet – lots of wishing for summer and warmer water, but no mention of catches.

After an early flurry, much the same from the Yellowfish anglers … no bragging reports to be seen on the socials”. Thanks so much Jan.

 

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Categories: Reports