April went past so fast it didn’t get a chance to fool anyone…

The fishing has been fintastic all around, with all facets enjoying the end of summer.

Top tip: Layering.

With the cold mornings, this is something you have probably heard your significant other talk about. The key to being ready for a long fishing day in winter is a good number of layers. This means you will be comfortable all day long. The warmer jackets and longs can be taken off if the sun gets too hot and can be put back on later when the evening draws near.

Offshore:

The recet couta classic saw a lot of decent couta caught, along with a mix of other gamefish. 

North:

The north coast has seen a lot of action in the last few weeks. The area from umhlanga north has been the most productive section of coast for the offshore anglers. The sheer variety of species and the number of bites one can get make the trip up north worth it.

Sodwana and Vidal are both fishing very well with very few anglers coming back disappointed. There have been quite a few billfish around, so if long fights and jumping giants are your things…better get all the tackle ready for work.

The more conventional tactics have been producing plenty of gamefish up north. Tuna have continued to be the main catches but the presence of dorado has made for some variety in the hatch. There have been couta in the colder water spots along the coast with Umdloti producing the best.

Central:

The Durban area has been fairly kind to the skiboat anglers. Tuna have been the main catch for the gamefish guys. These have mainly been caught on livebait, but a few anglers have landed some big specimens on poppers. Seeing a 20kg+ tuna engulf a surface lure is enough to get anyone’s heart racing. If you haven’t done it before, get yourself some poppers and head to your favourite hunting grounds. The couta classic did see a lot of good-sized couta brought to the boat as well.

The bottom fishermen have landing some decent fish with the prize catch at the moment being a big cracker.  Heavy tackle, strong hooks and proper knots are the order of the day.

South:

The shallower areas down south have produced a couple of couta and some nice snoek. The fillet baits have been the pick of the bunch for the snoek while a larger live bait has been a killer for the couta. 

The bottom fishing continues to produce really good quality catches with some bomber rockcod being brought up from the depths. The geelbek and daga are still keeping the commercial guys busy while the charters target the closer reefs. Please stick to your limits no matter how wild the fishing is…

Rock and surf:

Summer fishing is starting to give way to winter. This means scaling down to edible traces and focussing on bait presentation over size of bait.

North:

The north coast has seen the bulk of the inedible catches. The usual spots like Tugela and Mtunzini have been the places to go if you are looking for something to test your drag. Remember that these spots should be fished in a group as there have been incidents in the past. Bloody baits like mackerel and bonito have been the most successful.


There have been some good edibles around most of the north coast. Look for some protected bays and gullies for the best results.

Central:

The beaches in and around Durban have seen some decent fishing this past week. The basin area is still producing good numbers of inedibles. The cape stumpies (silvers) have been keeping the light tackle guys very happy with hours of fun to be had. This is a great species to target for the newcomers or younger anglers. They fight hard for their size and are not very fussy with baits. Make a christmas tree trace with a size 2 or so Mustad Ringer Chinu and you are in the game. The shad have been scarce in the Durban area for some reason… Your best bet is still the Pier at Blue Lagoon though. Keep an eye on the action in the early mornings and evenings. Lots of cars in the carpark is generally a giveaway of some action.

South:

The south coast is still producing very good numbers of bronze bream. The rocky ledges and gullies along the south coast have seen many species being landed but the stone bream and bronze bream have made up the bulk of the catches. Pink prawn and cracker are the two must have baits for these two species. Light tackle will not only get you more bites but it will also see you have a lot more fun. 

The shad are still in full force down south with plenty of happy anglers in the mornings. Drift sardine baits have been the most productive method to target these fish but a spoon is close behind. 

Freshwater:

The dams and rivers are fishing well. The bass are still the pick of the crop but the trout are making their presence felt and the carp are keeping their anglers happy.

Bass:

The bass fishing has been great in all the dams and smaller venues around KZN. 

Midmar and nagle have been producing some fantastic bass fishing with those putting in the time on these venues bringing home full livewells. Spinnerbaits have been the best reported searching bait. In clean water, use the standard willow blades in silver with a white or chartreuse/white skirt. In the dirtier water, change the blades for Colorado blades in gold or orange with a chartreuse skirt. These little changes can make all the difference. 

The guys fishing slower have done very well with frogs in the shallow back pockets. These are cast in to the thickest structure using heavy braid. Otherwise, pitching jigs through the heavy cover has seen some big bites this past week. 

Carp:

The specimen anglers have been quiet, this usually means there are some big fish biting…

The conventional anglers have reported good numbers from most of the dams. The fruity banana and strawberry flavours have produced results in most of the KZN waters. remember to fish accurately so as to make the most of your feeding area.

Trout:

We are leading up to spawning season in the stillwaters so get your orange flies ready for some heart in mouth stalking. If that is not your type of fishing then the rivers are still producing plenty of fish on dries and nymphs. The larger minnow-type streamers are also very effective when blind casting in the dams. Remember that the fish are going to congregate in set areas, so take a walk around the venue and use your eyes.

News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB “The weather is lifting its game, and the Best Time of Year for The Midlands is here crisp, cool mornings, followed by clear blue skies, warmer daytime temperatures, and no sign of rain on the horizon.  While most of the dams in the Mgeni system are still sitting at, or near, 100% capacity, with the tapping off of the rains in the last week, water levels are tapping off … Midmar Dam stopped overflow this week.  The system overall however, is still in a great position as we head into the dry spell.

The river anglers have been making the most of it, with a plethora of reports coming in far and wide.  I had occasion to head up into The ‘Berg last weekend, and crossing the Umkomaas … it looked like an English Chalk Stream! … good flow, and running clear.  Water temperature depending, there may even be a few (very) late season scaly to be had for the venturing yellowfish seeker.

On the trout side, the Natal Fly Fishers Club beats on the Mooi and Bushman’s Rivers have been showing off, and some excellent fish have been reported in the returns filling the spectrum from 9-15 inches / 23-38cm, and some larger fish on the 15-17 inch / 38-43cm bracket also being reported.  Water temperatures ranging from 13degC early on to 15/16degC in the afternoon, mean that fish are feeding across the board on sub-surface nymphs to start, and looking up at the dry fly as the day warms and the bugs get active.  Fish are reported in full spawning dress, and the cockfish have started to develop their kype … the leading edges of the anal find are a dashing white.

Trout streams from further afield are also report good fish.  Go and get ‘em … a month to go before official trout season close, but the fish don’t watch the calendar, and autumn is receding by the day.

A number of stillwater returns have also been received the NFFC anglers – with a good range of fish noted starting in the 11-13 inch / 28-33cm bracket, going up through to the 17-19 inch / 43-48cm class, and water temperatures sitting at 18/19degC, indicating that fish are feeding up.  There were of course a couple larger specimens in the 19-23 inch / 48-58cm class that showed themselves.  These are primarily rainbow trout, but of interest, was a report of a lovely stillwater brown trout in the 15-17 inch / 38-43cm bracket … these stillwater browns are few and far between and a special catch indeed.  Popular stillwater patterns are present are the failsafe woolly bugger (in either black or olive livery, with a hot orange bead <wink><wink>), and minky’s and zonker minnows, as well as dragons and damsels.

With very few reports coming from the bass fraternity, the anglers are no doubt keeping their cards close to their chest.  Alberts Falls produced another lunker for local angler Don Murugan, who says he is having “a banger of a season” … Well Done Don, and long may your streak continue.  Other reports indicate that the farm dams are fishing well.   The carp are also active on the surface in Albert Falls.  No reports from Midmar.

Tight Lines all”.

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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. 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.

Please send any info about fishing or fish caught in your area to mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za

Categories: Reports

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