The weather has been windy to say the least. Luckily the NE has been blowing, making the fish turn on the bite most days.

Top tip: Everyone always asks: “What colour lure was that caught on?” 

Colour is often the last thing on the list of importance when it comes to lures. Retrieve speed, retrieve depth, size of lure and then colour. If your lure is not in the right place, going the right speed and a similar size to the fish being targeted by the predators, it can be a perfect replica but it is not going to get a bite. Try to focus more on the retrieve speed and the depth you are fishing and you will definitely get more bites.

Offshore:

The offshore fishing has been going great guns along the KZN coast. The live bait has been tricky to come by, but the gamefish are hungry.

North The north coast has seen most of the “popular spots” busy with launches. There is a reason for this. The snoek are still around in good numbers. Some of the spots have fished better in the deeper spots than normal, so don’t be afraid to paddle or drive a bit further out with your fillet baits/lures. Always fun when a couta or tuna jumps on that snoek tackle…

The rest of the north coast has seen dorado, billfish, tuna and plenty couta around. Make sure you get out there and catch some summer fish.

Central The boats launching from Durban have seen some mixed results. The main targets have been tuna and couta. Most of the couta have been on the smaller side but some crocodiles have made it on to the decks. For these shoal couta, a sardine is a deadly bait. As long as they are good quality and have some shine, the darts will chow them. The bigger couta are a lot more discerning and require a fresh bait and excellent bait presentation. 

South The south coast and particularly the lower south have been the main target areas for those after the bottom giants. 10–11-inch KP reels, strong rods and 100lb+ braid are the weapons taken to these battles, often it is not enough…

If you have a weak point in your tackle, these fish will find it. Make sure you and your tackle are ready for a fight. Poenskop, copper steenbras, yellowtail and amberjack to name a few. They all like a live bait on the bottom and they will all make you rethink your life choices.

Rock and surf:

The weather and conditions have lined up a few times in recent weeks. When they have, the fishing has been wild!

North The north coast has been the place to go when the summer conditions line up. The usual areas where deepwater can be found, or shallow banks allow you to get to the deeper water have been the hot spots. Fleshy baits and FMJ traces have been the key. A 10/0 circle hook on a 120lb wire trace rigged with a bonito or mackerel head and you are in the pound seats for the summer fight.

There have also been some big shad and snapper salmon around these areas as well. Shorter throws in the inshore gullies will often produce these fish.

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. There have also been plenty of grey sharks and diamonds around for the guys throwing bigger baits.

South The upper south coast has seen plenty of shad action around the main spots. Scotties point, Inyoni rocks and Winkelspruit are the three top producers at the moment and should be your first areas to check if you are planning a trip this weekend. Quality sardines are your best bet for bait.

The south coast has also produced some decent inedibles on most of the deeper points. The fresher the bait, the quicker the bite.

Freshwater:

The fishing has been good in most of the freshwater facets. There has been something for everyone so get out there and catch some fish!

Bass Midmar has been the king of the castle for the last week. There have been some amazing fish caught, both in number and size. Fishing the deeper areas in Midmar can be very rewarding with a good fish finder being essential to a successful day. The structure in these deep areas are what you need to fish. Look for trenches, ridges, bumps and rock piles. Fish these areas with crankbaits, California rigs, heavy jigs or for a more finesse approach, the dropshot rig. Albert Falls has been the runner up for decent fishing with some good fish being landed. There has not been a set pattern so try to figure it out on the day by systematically working through your lure selection.

Carp The carp fishing has been good in most of the KZN dams. The fishing has been fairly consistent over the past few weeks with the weather patterns being the main factor determining a trips’ success. Try to plan your trips to coincide with the days leading up to a front for the best results. 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 trout fishing is still going well with most anglers going for the stream and river option as opposed to the Stillwaters. The streams and rivers have been flowing well and the fishing is only getting better. A dry and dropper rig is the way to go when scouting a new section of water.

The Stillwaters are fishing well with some surprisingly big fish still being caught. The higher altitude you can go, the better. The Stillwater peak is approaching… I can’t wait!

News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – “As reported earlier this year, El Nino was forecast to make its appearance in the first quarter of this year … well, by all reports, I am afraid to say that it’s already well and truly here.  The country is already in the depths of a drought … the E. Cape rivers (where I am headed next week for the annual Wild Trout Association Festival) are virtually bone dry, and locally, with no rainfall of any consequence in the past 3 weeks, farmers are complaining that the headwaters are drying up fast and crops are “burning” in the current heat (the ensiling season has begun with farmers already having commenced silage maize harvesting).  Water levels are dropping, and as reported last week – the Midmar overspill has come to an end and the wall is dry.

With 10 weeks left of the trout river season, it seems that the race is now on for anglers to make the most of the “normal” flows before the rivers get too dry!  The uMngeni River still has a good flow, but the Mooi River is a lot drier, and the Bushman’s River is still great, but dropping by the day as the heat and dry spell continues.  The Bushman’s gave up some solid fish this week, with fish in the 9-11 inch / 23-28cm through to the 13-15 inch / 33-38cm classes being the most prevalent.  Fish were reported to “very active” in the morning, taking both dry and sub-surface patterns.  A single fish in the 23-25 inch / 58-63cm bracket was reported, having taken a small #18 mayfly nymph pattern.  With the lower water levels, river temperature is still a tad up … 18 degrees in the morning and 20 degrees and over by midday.

The scaly anglers are also making the most of the current clear water conditions on the Umkomaas River – reports indicating some good numbers of fish in the 9-11 inch / 23-28cm and 11-13 inch / 28-33cm classes, along with some fish pulling the tape to 45-48 cm / 18-19 inch range, taken on a variety of natural nymph patterns.

With current still water temperatures still over the 20-degree mark, good numbers of fish are still being reported, but the bigger fish are making themselves scarce.  Reports indicate fish primarily in the 9-11 inch / 23-28cm and 11-13 inch / 28-33cm classes, with just a couple in the 19-21 inch / 48-53cm bracket taken on a black woolly bugger.  Night time temperatures are definitely starting to cool, but the heated daylight hours are still long enough that it is not necessarily translating into cooler water just yet.

Not a peep from the bass anglers … Albert Falls and Midmar Dams are dead quiet it seems. Last reports mentioned that there were plenty small baitfish about, and that the fish were “keyed in”, so lure size played a role – the smaller or 2 lures of the same colour and type would get the bite.   Reports from the 20th New Hanover Prep Bass Fishing Competition held last weekend, had much the same to say – small fish in the 30-40cm range were the order of the day, with only 3 big fish coming out.  The NHPBFC is a length-based event – longest fish taped out at 60cm, only tipping the scale to 2.5kg, while in 3rd place was a fish of 54cm and 3.5kg.

We would like to wish all our readers Ramadan Mubarak.” 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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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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