The fishing is really starting to follow the weather with the summer heat getting the fish going.
Top tip: Hydration. We have had a fairly cold winter with most of the hydration taken with on trips being tea and coffee. Now that summer is rolling around the switch needs to be to electrolyte drinks and water. These can make the difference between needing to end an epic trip early or having “the best fishing day ever!”
Remember to pack more than you need just in case.
The sea has not been the friendliest over the last few weeks, making trip planning and particularly launch site choice vitally important.
North – The north coast has some very tricky launches so make sure you take your time to choose a line before you launch.
The usual spots have been busy and for good reason. Umdloti has seen a lot of good fish landed and some expensive tax paid to the sharks. Snoek have been around in the early mornings with spoons in the smaller sizes proving the most effective. As we move further into the warm months, get ready for some screaming reels!
Central – The central coast has seen more fishing traffic with the easier launch sites and close by fishing spots.
The snoek have not been as accommodating along the central coast as their northern brothers but the area around Blue Lagoon has still produced some bites. Here the humble sardine fillet has been king. Deeper out and on the reefs/wrecks the tuna have started to pick up with some decent fish being taken on both poppers and live bait. The guys dropping baits for bottom fish have also reported decent fishing this week when they have been able to launch.
South – The south coast has seen much the same as the central coast. Those wanting a more action-packed adventure will do well to head deep and troll some plastics. This method can account for a whole host of species and makes sure you are always on the move. Those who prefer a slower day can enjoy a slow drift with baits over a reef or a back-breaking fight with some bottom fish. It is up to you!
Rock and Surf:
The summer flatfish are here! The start of what will hopefully be an exciting summer season has begun.
North – The north coast is always the first area to produce summer fish and quite honestly, they never really disappear on the upper north coast. Bloodier baits and deep water is what you are looking for. Remember if the current is ripping then the fish will more than likely move off, save your bait and head home.
The edible fishing up north continues on a great high with kob leading the pack but followed closely by kingfish, garrick and snoek on the spinning hit list. Paddle tails, plugs, spoons and good old chokka have been the most successful baits/lures up north.
Central – The central coast has seen a good number of inedibles taken along the beachfront. The Ushaka beach section has been particularly good. Mackerel and redeye sardines have been the most prominent bait of choice. This is a great place to take anglers who are starting out as the conditions are very user-friendly.
Just south on the Bluff, the brusher fishing has been wild! Please consider releasing these fish as their population is in serious decline.
South – The south coast has also seen the good brusher fishing that has been had up north. Using natural baits is the way to go with the ever-popular muscleman crab producing the most pulls. These are very strong fish that are adapted to feed in shallow water so make sure your tackle is setup to handle them.
The gullies and reefs have also produced a myriad of other edible fish for the scratching anglers.
The deeper points have started to see some early summer inedibles so make a trip if you need to get some drag testing done.
The rain has muddied some dams and rivers, but they have been clearing rather quickly. Bass, carp, trout and scalies have all been taken this past week.
Bass – The bass fishing is only getting better. The fish have been holed up in the structure most of winter, but they are getting out and feeding more aggressively as we move into the warmer months.
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 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.
Carp – Conventional angling has been very productive in all of the KZN carp waters. Albert Falls has been the pick of the venues for the conventional anglers as the fish have been feeding very well in the shallower areas of the dam. Honey has been the most reported flavour with floaties out fishing mielies.
The specimen anglers have been doing very well at Inanda. Hinged rigs have made the most of any bite. Tigernuts and pop-ups have been the most successful baits reported. Adding some colour to the hook bait has also increased the success rate.
Trout – The trout fishing continues to produce some amazing catches each week. The Stillwaters are seeing the bigger fish with most of the dams seeing heavy feeding activity.
Woolly buggers and the likes have been the most successful flies reported. The darker colours have been the most popular. Try fishing a dark brown or black woolly bugger slowly along the bottom with an erratic hand twist retrieve. For most of the dams in the Midlands, an intermediate line will be more than sufficient to get the fly in to the strike zone. The deeper lakes require a type 3 or 4 sinking line. With all sinking lines, you do not need as much emphasis on tapered leaders and delicate presentations. A level leader is exactly what is needed. The faster the sink rate of the line, the shorter the leader needs to be.
The rivers are still fishing well so if flowing water is more your thing, then get out there.
Herewith this week’s report from Jan at the Kingfisher in PMB – “With three iffy weekends w.r.t. the weather on the trot, and that the Norwegians had it pretty spot on, I think we can put some stead in their forecast that is looking good for the next week. The big bank of cloud that has been obscuring the eastern half of the country looks set to start moving off shortly, and we can expect some balmy summer days with temps up to the mid-20’s over the next week or so. While we have had a tad more rain since the previous report (a max. of 9mm was reported from closer to The ‘Berg), we would have liked to see more rain on the horizon … we are however, thankful that the temperature forecast is not back in the upper 30’s…
Reports coming in from the river anglers, both from the Natal Fly Fishers Club and visiting anglers, are that the upper reaches are (very) low, but there are some fish to be had in some of the lower stretches that still have holding water. Locally, the NFFC beats on the uMngeni River in The Dargle have provided some action with fish being reported in 11-13 inch / 28-33cm all the way through to the 17-19 inch / 43-48cm mark. Water temp reported at 18-20deg.C – already borderline! The Bushman’s River at Giant’s Castle Reserve showed some of its brown trout over the weekend, and news from further afield is that the InjisuthI River provided some fun with a plethora of wild rainbow’s around the 10 inch / 25cm mark.
Again only 2 returns from the NFFC stillwater anglers for the past week past. Saturday’s hot and windy conditions made some work for the float tube anglers that ventured out … pretty sure they skipped “leg day” on Monday. But, who dares wins, and they were rewarded with a good range of fish starting in the 7-9 inch / 18-23cm bracket, all the way into the 21-23 inch / 53-58cm class. The other return reported fish in the 15-19 inches / 38-48cm range. While the weather almost certainly put a damper on anglers getting out (hot, blustery on Saturday followed by cool and overcast on Sunday), the barometer was in fact climbing and conducive for fishing.
As for “What are they eating?” (the most frequently asked question!), fish were reported to be regurgitating minnow’s and snails. A common inhabitant of our stillwaters is the Chubbyhead Barb (Enteromius (formerly Barbus) anoplus, commonly known as a “ghiliemientjie”), a very effective fly for which is an olive zonker baitfish pattern (see for example, ‘The Cactus Minnow’ by Jan Korrubel at https://www.fosaf.org.za/read-FOTM-432.php). Snails are seen as the nemesis by most stillwater anglers, but can be effectively imitated by a sunken DDD, darkened with a brown/black marker pen.
Maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with banging the drum regarding the lack of fish reports from the bass anglers, but I am happy to report that a 4.5kg bucket mouth made an appearance at Midmar! Absolute cracker of a fish Gareth Potgieter. Overall, Midmar is fishing well with good numbers of fish coming to hand around the 1.5kg mark. Carp and barbel are also making a showing
With the SA Bass Angling Assoc. (SABAA) KZN Juniors event taking place on Albert Falls this weekend, the dam has seen some practise activity from the Juniors, and even showed off some fish. This weekend also sees the PMB Bassmasters ‘Triple Skins Bass Challenge’ taking place at Albert Falls. We wish all the anglers Tight Lines and look forward to reporting on these events next week.
There have also been a few reports filtering in from private dams, where some excellent tilapia (Red-breast and Kurper) have been reported.
After last week’s report of a 25-27 inch / 63-68 cm fish from the NFFC beat on the Umkomaas, the scaly anglers have gone quiet. Sterkfontein, however showed what’s to come this past weekend, and Jeremy Rochester of Escape Fly Fishing reported a great weekends fishing. With the Sterkies Season just around the corner, this month’s meeting of the Natal Fly Dressers Society had Jan Korrubel tying up the ‘Balbyter Ant’, which in smaller sizes is a great pattern for the cruising yellows of Sterkfontein. Pop into the shop and chat to Jan if you are keen to get into this creative arm of fly fishing. “Thanks Jan.
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 number of 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. With 70 odd days to go before Christmas…yes we are almost at the end of 2023!
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.
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.
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
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