The fishing has definitely been hotter than the weather. As the winter starts to make its presence felt, the fishing is starting to shift into a different pattern.

Top tip: Litter. It is something we become almost immune to because we see it everywhere. If we as a fishing community just make an effort to pick up the litter around where we fish, we set an example for everyone else. A small drop in a glass is the start to making it full. 

Offshore:

The tuna have been in short supply but the snoek and couta have more than made up for it.

North The north coast has seen some good snoek fishing along most of the usual spots. Tinley manor and Blythedale have been the true hotspots. Trolling fillets on the backline along with good quality, small lipped minnows is the way to go. Make sure you are trolling these smaller lures on lighter lines (less than 25lb) to make sure they swim properly. Heavy lines can cause them to kick out or not reach the proper depth. Also consider fishing them without wire to increase the number of bites. 

The bottom fishing up north has been a bit quieter than the rest of the coast but there have still been some good hauls of geelbek and daga. 

Central The couta fishing along the central coast has been wild!

Plenty of social media posts can be seen on a daily basis of couta filling hatches. Live bait has been the best of the bait options, but a quality dead bait will still get you a pull.

Around the river mouths and shallower reefs, the snoek have been hungry. Spoons, slow pitch jigs and fillet baits have all been reported this past week.

South The south coast has been throwing some amazing bottom fish down in the lower south. The Transkei has been calling and those that answered were well rewarded with some beastly fishing. 

The areas on the upper and middle south have been more focussed on geelbek and daga and the boats have done well with these. Bigger baits have produced the bigger fish down south and live baits have remained king!

Rock and surf:

Scratching has been very productive along the entire coast. There are still some big nasties around, but the bulk of the catches have been of the edible kind.

North The north coast has seen plenty of scratching action with some amazing fish being landed. Scratching around the ledges and reefs of the north coast has seen a mix of fish and a whole lot of hidings. Remember that the fish in these areas know the underwater structure and will cut you off before you can say “ON DAD!”

Fish heavier hook snoods and strong terminal tackle. Mixed baits combining chokka and sardine will produce the results.

Central The central coast has seen a patchy catch report. There have been some spots like Glen Ashley 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 dams and Stillwaters have all been producing fish even with the cooler weather moving in. Remember there are always fish to catch but you can’t catch them without going fishing.

Bass The bass fishing has been wild in most of the KZN venues. From the smaller private dams to Inanda, the bass have been eager and aggressive so get out there and get some bass. 

Weightless soft plastics have been the most successful target method for the smaller dams. With the shallower water and general weedy nature of these dams, the weightless plastics excel. Those looking for the bigger fish will do well to use a hollow body frog. 

Inanda and Albert Falls have been the pick of the bigger venues. Both dams have fished well for the shore and boat anglers, but the boat guys have done better. A mix of techniques have been reported but spinnerbaits and cranks have been the two most popular. 

Carp The carp fishing has remained constant over the last month. The fishing has been very focussed around the weather patterns. 

With the fronts coming through, the fishing has been better pre front. Fishing in the different venues has been a mix of results. Flavours and best baits are always a closely kept secret, but the cooler weather normally sees better results with stronger flavours. Garlic is a personal favourite in colder water and dams with muddy bottoms.

Trout Now is the time! Get your rods and head to the berg.

The Stillwaters are starting to see the beginning of the spawn with some big fish starting to cruise the shallows. Orange flies and good sunglasses are the kit to make sure you have. Always remember that if you can see the fish, it can probably see you… do your best to camouflage. If you tie your own flies, make sure to use the best hooks possible to avoid disappointment. Saving R1 on a hook in favour of something cheaper normally ends in tears and short, plosive words.

News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB “After the fireworks of the last while, it seems that the fish have either reached satiation level, or got tired to playing along, or there is something else at play … perhaps the season is finally headed for a switch over to the long-awaited winter … although there certainly isn’t any clear indication of that in the forecast!  This past weekend did see a dip in the weather, and expectations were not particularly high for the fishing, but there were fish to be had if you were at it … so let’s get into it.

In the river department – there has been no further word from the scaly anglers, so brown trout it is … the Natal Fly Fishers Club beats on The Mooi and Bushman’s Rivers showed off some it’s jewels before the weather closed down for the weekend.  No records broken, but some good numbers were had … biggest fish from The Mooi fell into the 9-11 inch / 23-28cm bracket, and biggest from The Bushman’s came in at 15 inches / 38cm – and all sizes down from there … certainly enough tugs to keep the anglers busy.  Morning water temperature is sitting at around 13 deg.C. and getting up to around 15 deg.C on the sunny days.  The bigger fish are reported to be coloured up in their best spawning nuptials, so while seen, more interested in furthering their genetics than eating.  The season is drawing to a close – a mere 2 weeks left – so definitely time to get out.

The stillwaters have also been a little quieter this last week than previously – and interestingly, a few blank sessions showed up in the returns.  Not entirely unusual for this time of year … as mentioned, perhaps there is something that the fish know that we don’t!  But you have to have a line in the water if you want to catch anything, and for those that made it out, there were the just rewards.  The bulk of the fish brought to hand taped in the 11-13 inch / 28-33cm bracket, along with a solid fish that fell into the 21-23 inch / 53-58cm class, that would have probably pulled the scale to around 5lb / 2.25kg.  Water temperatures are still around 16 deg.C, and most of the stillwaters are full and some still overflowing.

As mentioned last week, the winter stillwater events season kicked off last weekend with Leg1 of the TOPS Corporate Challenge taking place on the waters around Nottingham Road.  The weather watchers held their breath as the pressure went into freefall at the start of the event, but “low and slow” was the catch phrase for the weekend, with some excellent results … 442 fish caught and released, the best being an absolute monster of 66cm / 26 inches, estimated to tip the scales at around 9lbs / 4kg.  Word from the water is the green / olive is the current “go to” colour – in the form of woolly buggers, dragon and damselfly nymphs – some with a hotspot of colour.  Leg2 takes place at the end of the month, and then we are into Jun and the pace really picks up with the Kamberg Trout Festival and the Boston Fly Fishing Festival taking place over the first two weekends.  Exciting times!

In similar vein to the trout, it’s been a bit quiet on the Western Front from the bass anglers.  No word from either Albert Falls or Midmar Dams, but some of the Midlands private dams are providing fish.  The carp at Albert Falls can found on the surface on warm sunny days when there is a midge hatch going on.

Although not yet fully winter, herewith some tips for winter bass : water temperatures play a big role in finding fish – the fish will move out of shallow regions which get colder than deeper water.  Also, the cooler the water, the lower the metabolism of the fish, and the less they need to eat.  In conjunction with temperature, available light also plays a significant role – longer hours of darkness now mean that fish have less time to feed during daylight hours … so coming out of night, fish will look to feed as soon as it gets light.  Deeper water also gives the fish chance to take advantage of verticality – able to move up and down in the water column to take advantage of daily conditions”. Thanks Jan. 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.

Go to www.facebook.com/thekingfisherdaiwa and “Like” us on Facebook to catch reviews, videos, fishing reports, great promotions and lots more.

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://www.ecr.co.za/podcasts/ansa

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

Categories: Reports