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. The weather has been a lot more fishing-friendly over the past week. The fishing has been good all round with most facets seeing good fish.
Top tip. The summer heat is starting to make air conditioning a necessity and the northeast wind is starting to blow more consistently. The north coast is where you want to be at this time of year. Make sure you have all your traces made up. Service your reels and make sure they are spooled with the best quality braid you can afford. Preparation goes a very long way when it comes to fishing and can be the difference between a good day fishing and a miserable day at the beach.
The sea has been a bit bumpy with the more prevalent northeast wind but there are more and more summer fish being landed every day…
North – The north coast is seeing quite a lot of summer fish in the catch reports. Dorado have been the main target for the early summer gamefish but most of the anglers have returned with tuna in the hatch. Trolling lipped lures has been the most productive method this past week. Lipped lures with a purple or pink colour are the most successful lures for both tuna and dorado.
Tinley manor has been a very productive spot this week with plenty of successful reports coming from there.
Central – The Durban coast has seen a bit of action this past week with both gamefish and bottom fish making it on to the catch reports. The bottom fish have been favouring a bigger live bait on the bottom. Something like a smaller slinger or tjor-tjor flapped or left whole is a deadly bait for the poenskop and coppers.
The gamefish have been feeding on the big bait balls that have been around. Trolling lures around these shoals is an effective way of covering a lot of water looking for feeding fish.
South – The south coast has seen some very good tuna fishing in the shallows and out deep. A live mackerel has been the most successful live bait to troll slowly. A 6/0 size circle hook like the Mustad Tuna circle is the best fit for most baitfish you are likely to use.
The bottom fishing down south has been very good. The shallower reefs have mainly produced rockcod of various species while the deeper reefs/pinnacles have been better for multiple species.
Rock and surf:
The ladies’ nationals and men’s development and B nationals are currently underway. Tight lines to all the competitors.
The heat and the northeast wind makes the inedible anglers weak at the knees… The big fish have been around and many have seen their backing knots already!
North – The areas around Richard’s Bay, Tugela and Ballito have been the most productive. There have been hammerheads off the deeper points during the day and the night has seen grey sharks at the same points. Fleshy fish baits with floatation in the bait are key at targeting these sharks. These same areas have also produced sandies and other flatfish so do not attempt to target these fish with lighter tackle as you need to be able to pull the fish to a suitable landing spot.
The rocky gullies have been very productive for the smaller rock species which are great fun for the light tackle.
Central – The central coast has seen a great week of bigger inedible fish with the basin producing some amazing action. The fishing has been very good with the northeast wind blowing consistently for a few days. Much like the north, a fleshy fish bait is going to be the best way to target multiple species at the same time. If you are not after sharks, then it is best to leave the wire off and fish straight nylon. If you are wanting to land anything that bites then you are best suited to using a FMJ wire trace made of 90-150lb Fishmate coated wire and a 9/0-12/0 circle hook.
South – The south coast has been fairly quiet on the summer fish front. The odd diamond ray has been landed with a handful of grey sharks being hooked off the points in the evenings but that is about it…
The ledges and rocky gullies have been very productive for the bronze bream and the brusher are still around in full force. The bream have favored a pink prawn bait with an orange float.
The freshwater scene has been very bass-focused over the past few weeks but the carp and trout are still there for those who persist.
Bass – Wow! What a season we are having with the bass. All of the KZN venues are producing some slabs! Albert Falls and Inanda have been on fire for the boat anglers while Hazlemere continues to impress with regular catches of fish over the 3kg mark (some over 4kgs). To suggest that the success is down to a single bait or method would be foolish. The repeated success by some anglers has got to do with reading the situation, using their electronics (watch YouTube tutorials) and fishing their chosen bait properly. What can be said is that the bank anglers have done particularly well with whacky-rigged worms. This method gives the worms a lot more action and seems to irritate the bass. The boat anglers have seen success with multiple methods but the guys using search baits have seen good fish while those targeting the fish on the beds have seen good results with creature baits.
Carp – The reports from the carp fishing (both specimen and conventional) have been outstanding! The size and health of the fish coming out of our KZN venues is something to be proud of. The summer weather is almost here and the carp are responding. The smaller fish have gotten tired of the winter cold and are feeding on anything sweet. Honey and fruity flavoured floaties have been the most successful of all the baits for the conventional anglers. The specimen anglers have done well at Albert Falls and Midmar further inland while Inanda remains the pick of the big fish waters close to Durban. The sweeter (fruitier) flavours have done well for the specimen anglers using boilies and popups. Those preferring particles have done well with tigernuts fished over various mixes of feed. Accuracy of the cast in relation to the feeding area has been the most important aspect.
Trout – The heat has made the trout fishing a bit dangerous for the fish. These cold weather species do not handle heat and warm water well so try to focus on other species while the high temperatures persist.
There have still been plenty of scalies to be caught and they put up a fantastic fight. Nymphing with tungsten nymphs through the flowing water will often see good results.
News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “After another spell of being in the cooker, the rains have returned and according to Viking Weather Gods, seem set to be around for the next week or so. While the weather may seem inclement by comparison, it’s all good news for the waters as we hope that this cooler spell with start the process of Autumn by cooling the waters and kick the fish into feeding gear …
The Committee of the Natal Fly Fishers Club met this week, and reiterated the current stillwater closure as water temps are still reportedly well into the 20deg plus range. The waters Sub-Committee is monitoring and fingers crossed that since the heat came early this year, trust that the cool will follow suit and they will be able to reopen waters sooner than mid-March like last year…
To keep lines wet, the NFFC anglers are tackling the rivers instead and from the recent returns, the rivers are starting to pick up. While waters are on the warm end of the scale in the lower beats, better conditions will be found in the upper reaches of the streams … an improving with the recent rain in the catchment areas. River temps reported recently are still in the 18-20deg range, so a touch on the warm side, but as a result of the rain, cooler that the stillwaters – and the fish are playing along … Fishing a dry-dropper rig seems to be the most effective at present, as fish might be too lazy to come to the top for the dry, rather taking the dropper drifting past its nose. A range of fish have found their way in the reports from 9-11 inches / 23-28cm through a cracker in the 13-15 inch / 38-43cm bracket.
On the bass front, the 1st event in the 2023 KZN Small Craft Bass League took place last weekend at Mearns Dam. Congrats to Rudi Herrmann, with a total length of 221cm for his 5 fish bag, the biggest pulling the tape to 53.5cm – with both 2nd and 3rd places coming in with 215cm and biggest fish at 49cm. Notes from the top 3 anglers show that a range of lures were working on the day including chatterbaits, shads, Senko’s and buzz baits, but common across all three were topwater frogs. Their next event is scheduled for 4 March to take place on Midmar.
A very hot and humid Albert Falls welcomed a good-sized field of 39 boats for the opening round of the 2023 Joey’s Towing Tournament Trail also on Saturday 4 February. Happy to report that Alberts seems to be back on track after 2 slow events, and there were some big bass landed in the 3-4kg range. With a winning bag coming in just shy of 11kg, Roy and Michael Cannon took the win, slipping past local duo Martin de Kock and Teun Schuss with 10.130 kg … Congrats all round.
This weekend Saturday 11 February sees the PMB Bassmasters Triple Skins event taking place on Albert Falls Dam. Three skins and 3 heaviest fish to be weighed per boat per skin with great cash prizes for the winners of each skin. Registration begins at 3pm on Friday at the Clubhouse, or sign in on the day. And don’t forget to enter the very popular 19th edition of the New Hanover Prep Bass Fishing Competition coming up next month, on 11 March.
Next week sees the 2nd meeting for 2023 of the Natal Fly Dressers Society – pop into the Kingfisher-PMB and chat to Jan if feathers, fluff and thread are of interest!
Sterkfontein’s famed yellows were reportedly not in the best of moods this past week, with mostly overcast and very strong windy conditions. Anglers reporting only a few fish here and there, taken on ant, beetle and hopper patterns.
The ardent scaly anglers are still getting out there, and reporting some fish under difficult conditions – as one angler commented : don’t be disheartened by the current conditions of high and dirty water … the fish are there and they have to eat!” Thanks Jan. Tight lines and screaming reels.
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.
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