The weather has not been playing the game, but the fishing has still been on top form. From snow on the berg to big seas and rain on the coast, the weather might not be great, but the fish are biting!
Top tip: Sinker snoods. Getting your sinker stuck is part of fishing in the rocks. The last thing you want is to lose your entire trace (and possibly your catch) if your sinker gets stuck. There are a few things you can do to combat this. The two main ways to prevent total loss is to either use a lighter sinker line and/or to shorten your sinker snood. Shortening your sinker snood (shorter than your hook snood) will prevent your sinker getting stuck while fighting the fish. Making your sinker snood out of a lighter nylon than your hook snood will allow you to part off your sinker and retrieve some of your tackle. Make sure that the sinker snood is strong enough to handle your cast but light enough to part off if need be.
The bigger seas and heavy winds have made fishing on the boats a little unpleasant, but the bumpy trips have been worth it.
North – The north coast has seen some good snoek and couta for the smaller boats and skis. The deeper reefs and wrecks have seen some very good bottom fishing with big trawl soldiers and a host of other species being caught. Squid and sardines have been the baits of choice for the deeper fishing.
The tuna have been full up with some giants being hooked and breaking tackle. These are very powerful fish so allow them to fire themselves out before you try horse them to the boat.
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 have 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 catches have been focussed around the deeper marks along with Aliwal Shoal. There have been some big wahoo around that few have managed to land. The tuna have been great fun on the faster lipped lures and these have been working for the other species too. This time of year is fantastic on the boat if you get the weather right, so keep your eye on the weather apps and plan accordingly.
Rock and Surf:
The rock and surf anglers have been battling the cold and have seen plenty for their effort.
North – The rain has made for some colour lines around the river mouths. These conditions are brilliant for catching snapper salmon and kob. Paddle tails and chokka baits are the way to go for both of these species.
There have been some early summer fish around so be prepared for some drag screaming!
Central – The beaches in and around Durban have seen some decent fishing this past week. 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 – Much like the central coast, there have been garrick at all the major spots along the south coast. This is great news! Remember that these fish get hammered every year by guys keeping too many fish, so please release as much as possible.
Garrick are best targeted with a live bait fished close to the shore. Live bait type is not the most important part, but location is. Use a circle hook through the top lip of the baitfish or bridled through the eyes and you will quickly see more solid hookups. 6/0 Mustad tuna circle is the hook of choice.
The trout are feeding well, keeping the midlands anglers happy. The bass are fussy but are there to be caught. The carp are waiting for you to send a mielie bomb their way…
Bass – The colder weather has meant slower; more finesse approaches have done better than ripping a spinnerbait through an area. Dropshot fishing with a straight-tail worm has seen the most success from the reports coming in. Colour of the worms has not been of the utmost importance, but the more natural browns and greens have seen more productive fishing. Target the deeper areas adjacent to structure or shallow flats. The bass will move between the shallows and depths to find the warmer water.
The smaller jerk baits have also seen results, but they have to be able to be fished slowly and therefore need to be of the suspending type.
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 midlands have been cold! This has not put the trout off, on the other hand the fishing has been rather good. Most of the trips up to the many Stillwater’s in trout country have yielded success for even the newcomers to the art of fly fishing.
Some of the venues have still reported good catches on orange-coloured flies so make sure you do have something in orange to use if nothing is working. The stockies have been feeding fairly heavily on bulkier flies with a black woolly bugger continuing to come out tops. The flexibility of this pattern in terms of retrieves is phenomenal! The larger fish have been a bit more selective with more realistic baitfish patterns producing some good results.
News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Last weekend’s extended frontal system that rushed up the country put paid to many anglers getting out and wetting a line. Only a few reports to go on from the diehards making it out – having a few days off, I had planned a day on the river, so had to juggle the forecast to make the best of the situation. Having not been on a trout stream yet, this was meant to be my “season opener”, so headed up to Giants Castle and my favourite piece on the upper Bushman’s with a mate. Now with all the rains, I was expecting some good water, if even a tad high, and was mightily surprised to find that the river was much lower than expected. The inclement weather didn’t help matters – it was overcast and cold with air and water temperatures of 9deg, and even snowed twice over the course of the day! – so it was a slooooow day. Stubbornly fishing dry fly, we managed to raise a number of fish, sadly none of which I could get to stick and bring to hand, while George managed four browns just shy of the 10 inch / 25cm mark. Being his first time on The Bushman’s, I did give him 1st crack at the best lies, so that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it! Nonetheless, great to be out on the river again, next time will be better for sure…
Back to rainfall : with the figures received from The Midlands area, and while some are reporting the wettest October since 1991, it would appear that the bulk of the rainfall has been more east, with the ridge that separates Giants Castle excluding the rain getting over and into its catchment. The forecast has more on the way from the weekend, so <fingers crossed> that my favourite valley gets a fair share.
Only a single report from the central Mooi River from the Natal Fly Fishers Club river anglers – with a couple of sub-10 inch / 25cm browns to show for it.
Three returns from the NFFC stillwater anglers … all prior to the weekends weather antics. Water temperatures reported to be between 14 and 18deg. Just a few fish in the smaller 7-9 inch / 18-23cm range, with the bulk of the fish reported coming to hand sitting in the 13-15 inch / 33-38cm bracket. With a further two fish reported in the 19-21 inch / 48-53cm class, and another pulling the tape to between 23-25 inches / 58-63cm, these are the fish that keep one coming back.
Word on the bass front is that with water temperature now sitting at between 20-22deg, Albert Falls is “cooking” with lots of 2kg fish about – early morning and late afternoon calls for topwater and frogs for the surface bite, and Texas Rig for the rest of the day. Popular colours are the usual suspects of Green Pumpkin and Watermelon. Midmar is reported to be also fishing very well, with carp and barbel on the spawn.
No further news on the Albert Falls hippo, although I did see a disturbing news headline “Permit Issued to Kill Hippo”. While visitor safety is paramount, Albert Falls is listed a “Nature and Game Reserve”, so there has been a backlash and calls to at least dart and relocate the hippo. As we await further confirmed news, anglers are requested to be aware and not approach.
No fresh news from yellowfish anglers – both scaly and Sterkie” Thanks Jan.
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.
Series 22 of Hier Gaan Ons Alweer on kykNET with Petri de Wet premiers at 18:00 on Saturdays on kykNet, channel 144.
There are a few 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 22 runs for three months, (There are 13 episodes over the three months) ending on the 6th January 2024.
As most of you know, Petri and his guests cover various angling styles in and around Southern Africa, fresh and saltwater.
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.
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.
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