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.
We are almost at the end of 2023… we made it!
The fishing has been electric over the last week with all facets having awesome action.
Top tip: Bucktail jigs are one of the most versatile lures that you can own. They come in a variety of sizes from 1/16th on an ounce all the way up to 6oz (and more). Bucktails are essentially a lead head (hook with a sinker moulded to it) with some bucktail tied to the shank. They come in a variety of colours and all of them produce fish. For the surf and offshore, chartreuse/white, all white and pink/white are the three best colours. The key to success is allowing the bucktail to bounce up and down on the retrieve. Cast the lure out, allow it to sink and then work it back with a jigging action. The pace of the retrieve can be varied until you get a bite.
The offshore fishing has been a bit bumpy with the winds we have had recently. This being said, the fishing has been very good!
North – The north coast has seen couta, snoek, dorado, kingfish, sailies and tuna to name the main culprits. Live bait has been the key to most of the gamefish captures. This can make for a difficult day if you can’t catch the livies. If this is the case, then rather spend your time with good quality dead bait in the water. Spend the time to make sure you are presenting the bait as naturally as possible.
The upper north coast to Sodwana has been the zone to fish with few launches being fruitless.
Central – The central coast has also been very productive. The river mouths have done very well for the snoek anglers. These fish can be frustrating but as long as you fish light and make sure your lures/baits are swimming straight you should fool a few. Going slightly deeper to the wrecks and reefs has seen anglers get some couta. Purple flashers as well as chartreuse have been the most reported colours.
The deeper drop-offs have produced some good-sized tuna lately for those trolling skirted lures and high-speed lipped lures. If you see any floating structure in the water, take a few minutes to fish around it. This debris can often hold dorado.
South – The south coast has seen snoek around the Umkomaas River mouth. The colour lines and rips are the places to focus. Try trolling a fillet bait as well as a smaller lipped lure around these areas.
The couta have been quiet on the south coast with most anglers rather making the trip out to the shoal to focus on the tuna, wahoo and dorado. These have mainly been taken on lures with bright skirted lures and purple lipped lures doing most of the damage.
Rock and surf:
The summer fish are here, and the fishing has been good when the weather allows. There have been edibles and drag-peeling inedibles.
North – The north coast has seen a lot of fish even though the fish have been patchy. Try to fish and move to find the fish. Bloody and fleshy baits are the way to go. The banks have produced diamonds recently, but you need to find them.
Most of the north coast has seen good fishing off the points with sandies and honeycombs being the main bigger fish being caught. There have also been plenty of grey sharks on the lighter tackle. There has been an influx in reports of pompano being caught recently so get your sea lice and smaller prawn/chokka baits out.
Central – The Durban beachfront has been very busy with swimmers and beach goers. This has made fishing very difficult at the best of times. The quieter beaches have seen some very good fishing for both edibles and inedibles. Wherever you can get a bait over the back bank, you are in the best water for the bigger fish. The edibles have favoured the working water around the sandbanks. Get your bait in the whitewater and keep your trace shorted to avoid tangles. The baits for the edibles are varied but chokka and prawns make up some of the best baits.
The inedibles are best targeted using an FMJ trace with a 9/0-10/0 circle hook and fleshy bait.
South – The south coast has still been a very good spot to go spinning for a late season garrick or a feisty kingfish. Look at using a bucktail with a long jigging stroke to get the best results. Alternatively, you can use stick baits or surface plugs.
There have been some good smooth hounds caught in the far south and these are fantastic fish to catch as they fight extremely hard. Chokka and mullet are their favourite baits.
The freshwater fishing has been hot! The bass continue to rule the catch reports but there are a fair number of carp and trout being landed as well.
Bass – The bass fishing has been epic! The top water blowups on the frogs have made many a knee weak. Seeing a 2kg+ bass erupt out of the water with the single-minded need to kill your frog is something that stays in your mind.
Inanda and Albert Falls are the two most successful spots for the boat anglers. The benefit of being able to cover a lot of water means these bigger systems are better fished with a boat.
Senko style baits have been deadly over the past week (and since their original launch). These “do nothing” baits have a subtle wiggle on the way down and present a large food item to the bass. They are a must have in your box. Those that prefer a more visual bite will do well with walking style topwater for the more open areas and frogs for the vegetation. Both of these lure types allow you to fish the selected areas effectively and are both extremely exciting to fish as the blowups are phenomenal!
Carp – The carp fishing has been limited to conventional catches as no specimen catches have been reported recently.
The conventional anglers have done very well adding a bit of fluoroscein into their bombs. This can be in the form of a powder mixed in to the mielie bomb or as a spray/gel added on before casting. These additives are extremely effective in both clean and dirty water and can be flavoured or unflavoured.
The sweet and fruity baits have done very well with mielies being reported as the best bait most frequently. There have been a lot of smaller fish, but these are great fun as they can keep you busy for an entire session.
Trout – The trout fishing has continued on a high and even the heat of summer can’t dampen the fishing. With the hot days we are currently experiencing, try to fish early in the day and then again in the afternoon. The middle of the day is best left out as the excessive heat can lead to fish death.
With all the rain we have had recently, the inlets into the dams will be flowing well. These are great places to fish in most dams. Start your day of fishing around the inlet and then work your way around the dam. If the day is very warm, then focus on the deeper areas of the dam where the fish will seek the comfort of the depths.
In the rivers, with the increased flow, you will need heavier flies to get down to the strike zone. Try using flies with tungsten beads.
News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB. “With last week’s weather forecast coming in to play, happy to report that it seems that a good number of anglers took action before the system come in, and some good … nay, excellent! … fish have been reported. Looks like the summer fishing is finally finding it’s groove. With the weather appearing to remain fairly settled for the week ahead, now is the time to get out and wet a line. Don’t forget that “show and tell” is all part of the process … we love to hear your fishy tales and see the results of your endeavours, so do pop around an come and brag! The only firm rule is “No Pics, No proof!”
With the rivers having picked up some good flow with the rains, the Natal Fly Fishers Club anglers have been making hay on all three of the local trout streams this week again. The Mooi River can be a tad fickle, as a big storm higher up in the catchment with turn it to chocolate quickly, but if caught at the right time, is a very productive system. The NFFC beats, having only recently been reopened with the rains having brought levels up, has drawn the most attention, and yielded some great fish this past week. Good numbers in the 9-13 inch / 23-33 cm range, with a few better specimens in the 15-17 inch / 38-43m and 17-19 inch / 43-48cm classes. The uMngeni also produced a good range of fish spread across the tape measure from the 9-11 inch / 23-28cm bracket all the way through to the 17-19 inch / 43-48cm bracket. As reported last week, the Bushman’s River seems to have escaped the bigger rainfalls, so flows are lower than the Mooi and uMngeni, and reports indicate that some rain is required … hopefully the recent rains have fallen that side of the ridge. Nonetheless, the fish are (always) there, the returns indication fish up to the 13-15 inch / 33-38cm class were brought to the net.
The NFFC stillwaters also saw some action this week. With the number of rather muddy vehicles on the roads these days, The Midlands roads are reportedly a bit of a mud bath, but well worth the car wash afterwards if the fish returns are anything to go by! Fish reported were predominantly in the 11-13 inch / 28-33cm and 13-15 inch / 33-38cm classes, with the larger specimens in the 19-21 inch / 48-53cm and a couple of fish reported over the 21inch / 50cm mark, one being in the 23-25inch / 58-63cm bracket. The fish certainly seem to be back on the prod.
Perhaps the bass anglers read last week’s “Call to Arms” because there have been reports – and a couple of pics! – of some proper bucket mouths coming to hand. It certainly was a BIG fish weekend, with Midmar producing some fish in the 3-4kg range, and local angler Mike Scheepers getting his PB of 5.1kg. Again, the fish are there, but most excellent to get the confirmation (every now and again). Word has it that Albert Falls is also been back on form.
The private dams are also on fire – regular visitor to the Midlands waters, Fritz de Koker from Durban, fishing with local anglers Jason and Tyron McGarry, reported great fun with some dinner-plate sized bluegill and feisty bass on the fly. Michael from Kingfisher-PMB also reports success with various species (bass, tilapia and scaly) on the fly … and it looks like he is succumbing to the bend of “The Long Rod”.
This month’s meeting of the Natal Fly Dressers Society saw a welcome return to The Hot Seat of well known “out of the box” flytier, Simon Graham, who demonstrated his “Micro Muddler” that has proved to be most attractive to the Stillwater trout. Anyone wanting more info on the fly-tying meetings of the NFDS, pop into the Kingfisher-PMB and chat to Jan.
No word from the scaly anglers of late, but word has it that the yellows of Sterkfontein are making an appearance, and anglers are gearing up. For the season. Well known Sterkfontain guide, David Weaver, reports that while the water is still on the cool side at 15-16 degrees, there are pockets of warm 19degree water with fish in them … although they are being picky and might not be inclined to take the fly. David reports that the Yellows were actively feeding on carp eggs, so suggests that Orange Hotspot PTN’s and other egg-type flies are the current go-to patterns. Furthermore, there are large swarms of Mayflies in the afternoons and the Caddis are active throughout the day, so anglers have been stocking up on small parachute-style patterns and Elk-hair Caddis. Previous reports have mentioned success of hoppers patterns and David confirms that the current crop of Hoppers are brown in sizes 8-12. A favourite staple of the Sterkies angler is the Beetle … and David reports that the Copper “Christmas Beetles” are around in small numbers but has yet to see any Ant hatches or Termite swarms”. 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 several 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.
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.
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
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
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