The seas have been big and dirty. Once settled, the fishing has picked up with some decent fish being landed.

Top tip: Bigger is better…sometimes. When it comes to scratching for bronze bream, sometimes it pays to have a bigger bait. If you find that the fish are just pecking at the bait and not committing to the bite, changing to a bigger/bulkier bait will often result in a solid bite. This means putting on two prawns instead of just one. Try it and see the results.

Remember that bigger baits are not as aerodynamic, so if you need a long throw then go smaller and more streamlined. 

Offshore:

Although the sea has been a bit rough, the gaps in the conditions have yielded good results and some proper fun.

North The north coast has seen some very good tuna fishing around the Ballito to Salt Rock area. Live bait has been the most successful way of targeting these fish. Drifting slowly around the bait marks with a live bait rigged without a weight and one on a downrigger has seen the most consistent results. If you are looking for the most exciting results, then throwing a popper in to the dolphins (or any surface action) will see explosive results.

Central Much like the north, the tuna have been around the central coast. Guys continue having great success with the surface lures and the poppers have been the winner. Splash and profile have been the most important factors when choosing the poppers. Colour has come down to personal preference. 

Trolling lures off Durban has also been producing results with a mix of species being landed and a few dorado making it to the boat. 

South The south coast, especially Aliwal should get the first of the dorado so make a plan to run out to the deeper water for these colourful gamefish. The closer inshore waters have been brown from all the rain so deeper waters have been the place to go.

The south coast has been getting a lot of bottom fish attention for those looking to catch the coppers and poenskop. Please respect these fish and release all of them if possible.

Rock and surf:

NorthThe north coast has seen some decent kob action along most of the north coast. Chokka baits, live baits and paddle tails have all been effective. Remember to retrieve very slowly with the paddle tails and keep the lure close to the bottom. Use longer, slender baits for these fish as they will provide a bit more movement to entice the kob.

The main attraction has been the inedibles of which there have been plenty. Make sure your knots and back are strong.

Central Stumpies, shad and snoek have been on the menu for the past week. The fishing along the beachfront and off the piers has been good. Cracker shrimp and prawn have been the best baits with chokka falling slightly behind. Remember you can fish these baits directly on to your circle hook as they are soft and will not hinder the function of the circle. The grey sharks and smaller rays have been around with quantity outweighing quality. Still a lot of fun!

South With all the rain and damage down south, the fishing down there has taken a back seat. If you can find a clear area, you can find a fish or two. In reality the risk of fishing is outweighed by the benefit, so give the fishing a bit of a break or head further north/south.

Freshwater:

Hot weather, some rain and plenty of fish to be caught. The big bass have been out in their numbers.

Bass With the summer heat comes some hot times on or around the water. Remember to wear your hat and sunscreen…

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 The carp fishing has been good in most of the KZN dams. 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 a major attraction as both the stillwaters and dams have been producing fish. If you prefer throwing bigger flies and hooking bigger fish, then head to the larger stillwaters. If you prefer delicate presentations and stealth, then the rivers are for you. 

There are so many freshwater species in SA that do not get enough attention from the angling fraternities. The two main species at the moment are the Natal scaly and the tigerfish. Jozini has been fishing very well in the last few weeks and is still a fantastic venue to visit to catch tigers in SA. The scalies are found in most of our rivers with the Umzimkulu and Umkomaas holding the bigger fish. 

News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – “With last weekend’s rapid drop in air temperature, and the first light dusting of snow up top, Autumn is very much in the air.  And yet the (late summer) rains keep coming (20-30mm for the most part over the last week, but up to 80+mm has been reported) – along with the second (but proper) dropping of the white fluffy stuff on top of the ‘Berg and Lesotho. Nighttime and early morning temperatures are readily appearing in the single figures now, with most stillwaters already below the 20deg mark … water temperatures will continue to drop further, making the fish hungry for the pre-winter feed-up.  Happy also to report that with the cutoff low-pressure cell over the country, the rainfall has been much more widespread, with the dry E. Cape getting a proper wetting down.

The rains have had an adverse effect on the rivers however, which have come up substantially (running bank-2-bank in places) and picking up some colour.  This was noted firsthand on The Bushman’s River, as the Natal Fly Fishers Club held their annual litter clean up in conjunction with the amaHlubi Community.  The cleanup was well attended by Committee Members, some Club Members, and a good contingent of school children 0 a great chance to lead by example and education.  The NFFC also welcomed the signing of a further 5-year lease of prime fishing access by The King of the amaHlubi.  Bayete! Bayete!

Members attending the cleanup session were invited to fish at their leisure afterward – and even though the river was up, the fish were game. Not a dry fly game this time, tungsten-weighted nymphs were needed to get down to the fish.  Flow should slow now as the rains come to an end, and we should be looking a fine last six weeks of the river season.

Anglers fishing the Senior A Nationals were none too happy about the rains either, but fish they did. It was a very close Team tussle up front for the trophy, and Western Province coming out tops and getting their name back on the trophy.  It was a clean sweep for Brett van Rensberg of Central Gauteng, with all 5 session wins to take the Gold and top individual angler honours … with a close tussle for Silver (Daniel Factor – WP) and Bronze (Shaun Dickson – KZN).  Other titles went as follows : Fly tying – Daniel Factor (WP); Longest Cast – Shaun Dickson (KZN); Longest Fish – Amy Visser (GN); Most improved Angler – Lucinda van Niekerk (MPU); Most Fish – Brett van Rensberg (CG) and Friendship Award – Marc Vicente (CG).  Congratulations all round!

The rains also interfered with the scaly anglers that ventured out to the Umkomaas River … one report noting “Did not fish due to heavy rain”, while some other anglers managed to find a gap in the weather this past weekend, and reported getting scaly’s predominantly in the 7-9 inch / 18-23cm bracket, with a couple higher up the tape in the 9-11 inch / 23-28cm and 11-13 inch / 28-33cm classes.

With the rivers on the full side, the stillwaters are getting the bulk of attention from the NFFC anglers. Apart from a report mentioning the weather building during the day and late afternoon thunderstorms chasing them off the water, some excellent fish have been reported. The smallest fish were in the 11-13 inch / 28-33 cm class, with the bulk of the fish in the 13-17 inch / 33-43cm range.  There were also a number of fish reported in the 17-19 inch / 43-48cm and 19-21 inch / 48-53cm classes, and a couple in the 21-23 inch / 53-58cm bracket.  Water temperatures were reported as being around range. With water levels as they are, the dams are in fine fettle, and autumn fishing should take off.

Word from the bass waters is that the fishing has picked up at Albert Falls and Midmar.  Carp are also making a showing at Midmar. Had a late report from angler John Stedman that fished the Creighton Bass event two weeks ago and said, “Awesome fishing and probably the nicest bass dam I have ever fished.”

Autumn is a great time for fishing as bass begin their transition to their winter homes. Bass tend to focus more on forage than location. As the water temperature starts to drop, bass follow prey and as a result, areas that hold prey will hold bass. Key strategies for catching bass in Autumn as follows:

  • Slow down: cold water means slow fish – as the water cools, slow down your retrieve.
  • Focus on feeding zones: bass will target areas with abundant food as they prepare for winter.
  • Experiment with colours: water clarity changes as water temperatures changes, so try different lure colours … natural colours like baitfish, green, brown, and crawfish often work well.
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  • More on the lures – jerkbaits are recommended at this time of year.  Incredibly effective lures due to their realistic appearance and erratic movement, jerkbaits closely mimic injured baitfish, triggering a predatory response from bass. Their versatility also allows anglers to target fish at various depths, making them a popular “go-to” lure”. Thanks Jan.

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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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