We made it past April fools without too much drama. The sea is looking better than it has in a long time and the freshwater scene is firing! Time to fish!

Top tip: Prevention is better than cure! Maintenance…it’s a word most of us associate with labour intensive work after a long day of fishing. No, it is not the most fun thing to do with your fishing rod and reel, but it is important if you want to be able to continue using them for any length of time. Something as simple as rinsing your tackle with freshwater after a day at the beach can add years to the life of the gear. Remember to rinse your tackle off as soon as you get home to avoid corrosion and laziness. For reels you need to focus on cleaning the line roller, the handle and the line itself. For rods you should focus on the guides and the joins. Look after your tackle and it will look after you…

Offshore:

There have been fish along most of the KZN coast. Snoek, tuna, couta and a host of other gamefish.

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 tire themselves out before you try to horse them to the boat. 

Central The central zone has had a few couta, but the main fish coming out on the Durban coast has been tuna (like the past few weeks). The bait is starting to pick up, so we can look forward to some fresh bait hitting the shop soon. The tuna have been hitting most lures, but if you are looking for the bigger fish, live bait is the way to go. Any of the regular live baits will work. Try get your hands on a mozzie, mackerel, shad or redeye sardine for the best chance at success. Tuna do not have cutting teeth, so you do not need wire. They do however have the ability to wear through thinner line over a lone fight so use a quality fluorocarbon like Maxima or Siglon tied to your circle hook.

South The south coast has had much of the same as the central and northern zones. The tuna and couta have been there for the guys wanting to target them but those wanting to try a bit more technical fishing have been chasing the snoek. These fish have been available for the guys around the river mouths. The snoek have been there on the south coast (and the north) for the past few weeks. The best methods for these fish are undoubtedly fillet baits. You can troll these baits on the backline in conjunction with lipped lures (Strike Pro Magic Minnow) or throwing an Anchovy spoon into the backline surf zone.

Rock and surf:

There have been plenty of summer fish around with some edibles in the mix as well. The drags are making plenty of noise along the coast.

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 central coast has seen a patchy catch report. There have been some spots like Glenashley and Blue Lagoon that have seen consistent results over the past week. Then, the rest of the central coast has been very quiet with not much to mention.

Shad, kob and stumpies have been the main catches on the edible side but a few garrick have been landed. Live bait has seen the bigger fish but chokka has been the key for those fishing for the kob.

There have been grey sharks around for those wanting to catch something that will take a bit of drag but unfortunately those are the only inedibles around on the central coast.

South The scratchers have been doing very well down south with some quality fish being landed. There have been stumpies, bream and pompano on offer with some bomber shad mixed in. Speak to the anglers in the area where you are fishing and find out what has been working in the day’s prior. 

The deeper points down south are still holding some of the better inedibles and anglers have managed a few bus eagle rays and some honeycombs. The eagle rays prefer an octopus bait while the honeycombs will love a redeye sardine concoction. It is early for these inedibles but it is always worth trying for them.

Freshwater:

The freshwater scene has been filled with good catches of all species. The colder months are on the way so make the most of the summer warmth while it is still around.

Bass The bass fishing has been amazing in all of the KZN venues. 

The faster moving baits have been putting the numbers in the boat. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits and walking surface baits allow you to cover a lot more water. These faster techniques have allowed anglers to quickly up their numbers before switching to soft plastics to target the bigger fish. 

Midmar Dam has been doing very well for both the boat and bank anglers. The upper reaches of the dam closer to the river mouth have produced the bigger fish. Chartreuse and white spinnerbaits have done some serious damage. Albert Falls and Inanda have both been very consistent with good catches coming from both. The only issue is the ecological disaster of the water hyacinth at Inanda. The giant mats of weed are a real menace to anyone trying to fish there. 

Carp The carp fishing has been steady in the past few weeks. The specimen angling is starting to pick up with more fish being landed this past week. The fronts have helped to drop the water temps and make the carp a bit more aggressive. Particles have done very well this past week with some quality fish coming to the net. 

The conventional anglers have done well with smaller fish. Plenty of fish have been caught with very few going over the 5kg mark. The best reported baits have been strong, fruity mielie pips. Almond and banana have been the most productive of the flavours. 

Trout The Stillwaters are fishing very well. The size of the fish have not been the same as in previous weeks but the fishing has been good.

Minnow imitation streamers have been the most successful flies mentioned across the different venues. Those fishing the smaller venues have seen better results with smaller patterns. Fishing a PTN on a long leader and floating line as slowly as possible can often bring excitement to a quiet day. The fronts coming through have slowed fishing down a bit and might need you to scale down to worm patterns and hand-twist retrieves.

News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – “With other parts of the country in the throes of drought, or in the process of being blown away by gale force winds, KZN (and The Midlands especially) has been the lucky recipient of more moderate weather, and even more rain, which will assist with easing the onset of the dry winter.  While temperatures also dipped into the single figure range, the snow forecast for Lesotho unfortunately did not materialise.  But early days yet, so fingers crossed that we will see some of the fluffy white stuff later on.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr Tom Sutcliffe, 17 July 1943 to 08 April 2024, after a period of illness.  Well known in The Midland trout circles, Tom was a G.P. in Pietermaritzburg and a partner in (South) Africa’s first dedicated fly fishing tackle shop, The Fly Fisherman, which opened its doors in Harwin’s Arcade, Timber Street, in 1981 … subsequently moving to Deane Street (after which a successful line of rods was named).  After a series of newspaper articles (which continue here), Tom’s first book, “My Way with a Trout”, was published in 1984.  The rest, as they say, is history … a founder member of both the Natal Fly Fishers Club (with two stints as Chairman) and the Natal Fly Dresser’s Society (President to this day), Tom was an icon in the fly fishing community.  We will forever be grateful for what he has done for our pursuit … his contributions, including six books, two flies (the well-known Zak Nymph and DDD dry fly), and prolific artworks, cannot be overestimated and his legacy remains with us.  We mourn his passing and offer our sincerest condolences to his family and many friends, both locally and across the world.  R.I.P Tom … So Long, and Thanks For All The fish.

With only two river returns received from the NFFC anglers over the last week, it appears that the misty mizzle conditions, and concomitant dip in temperatures, kept the rivers free from trudging anglers.  The Mooi River yielded a dinky brown trout in the 5-7 inch / 13-18cm bracket, while The Lions River failed to deliver any of it’s scaly’s that have been prevalent prior to the onset of the weather.  Having had only a single outing on my favourite stretch of The Bushman’s River this entire season, I earnestly need to “pull finger” and get out there while favourable conditions exist … and before the trout river season closes in seven weeks’ time (end of May).

A reminder for any looking to get some river time, is that the South African Fly Fishing Association (SAFFA) are holding the Senior A Nationals in the Kamberg Valley this weekend, 10-14 April.

The stillwater fisherfolk appear to be a more hardy lot (tongue firmly in cheek), and a number of returns were received from the NFFC anglers.  In among the reports of “cold, mist and rain”, there were a number of fish reported, primarily in the 11-13 inch / 28-33cm and 13-15 inch / 33-38cm classes.  Although one report mentioned “no giants”, there were also a couple of fish reported in the 17-19 inch / 43-48cm bracket … nice solid fish that will put a decent bend in your stick.  No flies mentioned in the reports of course, but buggers, dragons and damsels, and minnow patterns should be your first port of call as water temperatures fall and fish start feeding up.  As mentioned previously, a smaller trailer fly – a tempting “sweetie”, like a GRHE or PTN will do no harm.

Water temperatures were reported to be sitting around 18-19deg.C, dropping slowly and will continue to drop further as the current nighttime temps creep further into the single figures. 

Before we even dive into the bass fishing reports – if you haven’t heard of the 5.8kg monster that came out in round 3 of the 2024 Joey’s Towing Tournament Trail held last weekend on Midmar Dam … just where have you been?  A HUGE shout out and Congrats to angler Cale Lombard for showing us exactly what lurks in the depths of Midmar!  And as for that inevitable question : the fish was taken on a 5-inch Senko (colour not provided). 

Apart from this Midmar Monster, we haven’t been able to establish any further results for the Joey’s and Creighton events from this last weekend.

On the lure front, trending at the moment – wonder why that is? – is the trusty Senko.  This lure has stood the test of time and catches from the smallest to the biggest bass … and everything in-between.

Entries are open for the very popular Albert Falls Classic taking place later this year (date T.B.C.) – check the bass fishing socials and get that entry in while you can.

Good news from Alberts Falls is that the spraying of the Hyacinth/water lettuce is taking place. Msinsi Holdings, the Water Resources Management organisation, is busy tackling this major issue between two dams – Inanda and Albert Falls.  At Inanda Dam, aerial spraying from a helicopter is used to eradicate the invasive water weed.  At Albert Falls, a sudden surge of hyacinth had the Alien Invasive Plant team acting to control the spread and eradicate the weed by boat-based spaying … and anglers are reporting positive results”. 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.

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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As always, remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date with all our new video releases and to brush up on your species   knowledge, tactics and tips/tricks. https://www.youtube.com/c/TheKingfisherFishing

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. https://ansapodcast.buzzsprout.com

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

Categories: Reports

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