With holidays upon us and some awesome conditions, it is time to get out there and enjoy the sea.
Top tip: snood length.
The hook snood length can be a hotly contested topic in most fishing shops. The general consensus is that in the calmer water when you need movement of your bait, lengthen the snood. The opposite is true when the sea is a bit rough or if the terrain is foul. These basic tips are true whether you are fishing for edibles or inedibles. Beyond the water conditions you will also need to consider where the fish feed in the water column but that is a tip for another day.
The fishing off Durban has been a bit slow with the colder water but the dorado are starting to show properly and there are plenty of other fish being landed.
The north coast has seen plenty of fish from the boats and skis. The tuna have been big…really big. Some have pulled the scales over the 40kg mark! These fish have mainly been caught on live bait with mackerel being the bait of choice. Heavier fluorocarbon hook snoods and decent circle hooks are the way to go for these buses.
The couta have been around in very large numbers. They have not been shy to take most baits. Chartreuse and pink flashers have worked best on the dead baits while the humble green glow bead has been the ticket for the livebait trace.
The Durban coast has seen a lot of action this past week. The sheltered launch areas have made launching in even the biggest sea possible.
The tuna and couta have been the main fish filling the hatches while the dorado have come in a close third. Trolling skirted lures has been deadly for the tuna, billfish and the bigger dorado. Colours have been a personal choice so choose what you think looks good. The couta have been around the shallower reefs off the bluff and have been particular to a frisky live mackerel. This being said, bait is scarce so do not waste too much of your fishing time looking for live bait.
The bottomfishing has been a bit quiet with only smaller reds making up the reported catches. Please consider releasing these smaller fish for the future of the reef.
The south coast has had snoek on the backline off most of the launch spots. It’s always a good idea to spend a couple minutes, once you are past the backline, throwing a small spoon to see if anyone is home. This can be a great way to start the day on the right foot.
The deep reefs have had some decent bottoms on them with livebait producing the bigger pulls. A 9/0 circle hook is a great way to rig these livies. Allowing even the rookiest of anglers a good hook set.
The couta have been slow down south but there have been some reported from the middle south coast. Deeper baits have been the most successful reported. Downrig your live or dead baits with differing weights and find the depth the fish are feeding at.
Rock and surf:
The summer fishing has been hot!
The sand sharks have been the one of the main targets along with the bigger flatfish like the honeycomb or back-breaking thorntail.
The north coast has been blowing hot and cold with the varied conditions we are having. The northeast wind has not been cooling the water down as much as usual so an extra day of proper NE wind has been needed to get the fish feeding. Mackerel and redeye have been the most productive baits for most of the inedibles. Try make a bait with a lot of smell and scent. If the peckers are an issue then wrap your bait with some chokka to make it last longer.
The gullies are fishing very well on the north coast with a host of species being landed. Prawns and chokka blob baits are the most successful.
The central coast has seen some good pompano and stumpies in the last few weeks. There are a number of baits that work for these fish but it is important to focus on good bait presentation as they can be picky feeders. Chokka and prawn is a personal favourite bait but crabs and sealice work very well as well. Try a 4/0 size hook and a longer hook snood to keep it natural.
The central coast has also had plenty of inedibles with some large rays and sharks being caught. The deeper points have been productive as they allow the angler to get the bait in to the deeper water. Mackerel has been the top producer.
The south coast has mainly been an edible fishing venue this past week. When the bigger seas come through, the south coast offers plenty of locations to duck away and find protection in the back bays and gullies.
There have been a host of edible fish coming out on both fleshy and prawn baits. Chokka, sardine and prawns are the three baits to have in your box.
There have been bream, kob and some decent stumpies down south so pack your medium tackle and go have a jol with the scratching fish.
There have not been very many inedibles on the south coast reported. Look at the beaches and points that allow access to the deeper water and launch a bait deep sea.
The freshwater fishing has been going very well in all facets. The bass, yellowfish, trout and carp are all on the catch list.
The bass have been keeping most anglers on their toes. Most venues have seen the fish changing their bait preferences from day to day. Some of the essential methods to make sure you have with you are; the humble weightless fluke, topwater frog, spinnerbait and a good jerkbait. These have been the most reported methods for KZN.
Albert falls continues to fish below par and with the high water levels, will continue to do so until the fish settle in to a few set locations. … the struggle at Alberts is apparently due to the lack of (visible) baitfish, so fish are not eating. Last weekend saw a PMB Bassmaster Triple Skins Bass Challenge taking place at Albert Falls – local angler Tyron McGarry reported that the morning sessions were better than the afternoon session, where the fishing seemed to close down. Morning fished well on top water, while the fish were on the bottom in the afternoon.
Midmar Dam is still fishing well, with good fish in the 2-3kg range
If you are going to a venue with a recent increase in the water level then you will need to prospect and cover water. This is best done using a spinnerbait. If the water is stained then make sure to use gold or fluorescent blades to add a bit of extra attraction.
The rest of the bigger dams in KZN have been fishing well with most methods seeing a decent fish or two. Focus on the back pockets on a hot day using a weedless frog if you want some explosive action
With the holiday season fast approaching, still no final word on the fate to the Albert Falls hippo … anglers are again cautioned to keep a (wary) eye out for this beastie, and stay well clear.
The carp fishing has been consistent of late with a lot of smaller fish making up the catch reports. Banana flavoured mielies have been the most successful bait in all of the KZN venues. Rigging these on small hooks and a rietvlei trace will see your best chance at success. On the bomb, adding some colour with a spray or dip will bring the carp in from a long range.
The specimen anglers have not reported much in terms of catch returns. Boilies have kept the smaller fish at bay while targeting the bigger fish.
The river fishing has been very good these past few weeks. Nymphs have done very well to get down to the fish in the faster waters. The Eddie’s and slower pieces of the rivers have fished well with DDDs and terrestrial patterns.
The stillwaters have seen the bigger fish lately with some decent fish being landed by both float-tube and bank anglers. Stripping bigger streamers up from the depths has resulted in some mighty takes.
With the recent rain, local angler and author, Andrew Fowler, reports that the uMngeni River is blown out after being as clean as a whistle, and even getting a bit on the low side. Which also mean that The Mooi River will be out of commission as well. Andrew also reports that water temperatures went as high as 24 degrees in the days preceding the rains, but are now coming in at under 20 degrees … which is much better for the trout!
Word from the Bushman’s River Trout Hatchery is that they too have had some good rains, and while The Bushman’s River has some up, it is apparently not unplayable, and running cool and clear.
The only confirmed news of a trout has been from Underberg way … a 59cm / 23 inch rainbow hen came to hand on a private stillwater, after quite a tussle on a 2wt rod, on a black and red pattern of the anglers own creation.
There is still a lot of rain in the forecasts, so it will be a case of looking for gaps in the weather, and news of clean water. We have said it before, and we will sat it again – watch the air pressure … good weather is not always the best to be fishing in, as an incoming storm will send the pressure plummeting and the fish to the bottom. The subsequent rise in pressure, even while the storm is apparent, will provide better fishing.
Those looking for something different will be happy to know that the yellowfish bite is wild at sterkfontein. Black beetles, black DDDs and small buzzers have been the main flies working of late.
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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