The summer fishing has been brilliant with most inedible anglers making trips up north to take advantage of the diamond smashes. The recent rains have made for plenty of colour in the water.

Top tip. Handling rays, with summer upon us and lots of rays being landed in the near future, a few handling errors can easily be made while landing or releasing these beasties.

With rays/skates there are a few tips to follow: Much like the sharks you do not want to pull the rays far from the water. Ideally keep them in the wash zone. Keep your fingers far from the spiracles. Handle them by their mouth. Use a glove if you are scared. When pulling them, keep your body low to avoid stressing their spine. Never flip them on their back or lift them for photos. 

Offshore:

The dorado have been the main fish on the target list of the boat anglers. With the recent rains, there has been plenty of floating structure to target them along.

North The north coast has seen the bulk of the gamefish action. There have been some very good catches of couta, dorado, tuna and sailfish to name the top four. Live bait has been (and always will be) king. All of the species will rarely turn down a well-presented and lively baitfish trolled behind a boat or ski. When bait is scarce then lures will still produce good results.

Vidal has been the place to be with social media full of amazing catches from there.

Central The central section of the KZN coast has produced a lot of bottom fish and gamefish for the boating crowd. The tuna and dorado have been the main gamefish coming out and they have not been that picky when it comes to bait. Both species have been caught on trolled lures, poppers and live bait. Use whichever method you prefer and look for the action (birds or fish busting). The bottom fishing has seen a lot of geelbek, daga and rockcod being landed. The sharks have taken their tax and beating them has required some heavy pulling so make sure your knots are good.

South With the presence of so many rivers down south, inshore fishing has been near impossible with all the dirty water. Therefore, most of the reports of catches have come from deeper offshore. Trolling larger skirted lures and deep divers at speed has yielded some giants. Marlin, big tuna and monster dorado have all made it to the boat down south.

Rock and surf:

Dirty water, northeast wind and warm summer days…most inedible anglers are trembling with excitement at that sentence.

The diamonds are here, and the summer fishing has been wild!

North The north coast has seen some amazing fishing this past week. The diamonds have been the main attraction up north with multiple anglers landing a few in a single session. Simple traces and fresh bait are all that is needed. Heavy nylon traces assist with landing purposes, but with the presence of multiple shark species on the list, I would suggest an FMJ (have a look at the new 49 strand Fishmate nylon coated wire from the Kingfisher, it really is super soft) with a 10/0 circle hook.

Other than the diamonds landed, a few special fish have been hooked and landed while fishing for the flatties. Kingfish and barracuda have both been landed, and not small ones!

Central The central coast (as well as the south) has received a lot of freshwater influx from the rains. This dirty water pushes most fish offshore and as a result, not much fishing has taken place along either the central or south coast this past week.

South Much like the central coast, the rains have really hampered the fishing along the coast. The river mouths will produce fish once the torrents calm down. The stained water will produce some exciting fishing for the likes of kob, blacktip sharks and zambezis.

Freshwater:

The rains have churned up the rivers and halted a lot of action. In the dams the bass have continued to hammer the topwater frogs and the rain has not changed that bite much.

Bass The mighty topwater frog bite has been wild. If your heart does not stop briefly when a bucket-mouth opens up underneath your topwater frog as you work it through the weeds, then you might need to check in at the local morgue…

Fishing with these frogs requires a rod with plenty of backbone but it must have a fast tip action to allow you to work the frog properly. to this a fast bait caster so you can take up the line quickly. On to the line, braid is a must and 50lb is a minimum if you are going into the thicker weeds.

Inanda and Albert Falls have been producing in the back bays.

Carp The muddy water means a slightly slower bite from the carp, but as they mainly feed using their feel, the dirty water does not affect them too badly.

Conventional angling has been very productive in all of the KZN carp waters. Albert Falls has been the pick of the venues for the conventional anglers as the fish have been feeding very well in the shallower areas of the dam. Honey has been the most reported flavour with floaties out fishing mielies. 

The specimen anglers have been doing very well at Inanda. Hinged rigs have made the most of any bite. Tigernuts and pop-ups have been the most successful baits reported. Adding some colour to the hook bait has also increased the success rate. 

Trout The rivers have been blown out for a few days, but this will come right quite quickly. Try to contact people or shops in the area you intend fishing as they will have a finger on the pulse of the river. Faster waters mean thinner leaders and heavier flies.

Those that prefer Stillwaters have changed the target species to the Sterkies yellowfish. The dam has fished very well and will continue to do so for the next month or two. Hopper patterns, beetles and small flashback nymphs are all a must-have. Remember that these fish have brilliant eyesight and require delicate leaders/tippets so be careful on the hookset.

News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB. “Last week we reported on 2024 being an El Nino year, and that the heat was coming … well, the drippy stuff continues and while the Norwegians are forecasting a few days relief in the coming week, looks like there is more on the horizon … so instead of sunscreen, maybe we should be looking at water wings!

As a result, the rivers are pretty much out of commission, the Umgeni and Mooi Rivers in particular, even in the higher reaches as a result of some severe storms over the last couple of days.  The Bushman’s River is also high, but manageable in the upper sections … if you like chucking bombs that is.  The dry fly anglers are going to have to wait it out.  Rivers can be quite unpredictable at this time of year, so anglers are cautioned to wade wisely (or stay on the bank) should the need to throw a line on moving water is too great to bear…

While the rivers were safe from the affections of the Natal Fly Fishers Club anglers, The Bushman’s did provide some action this past weekend however, as the Gauteng North team held their third in the series of team trials this season.  Conditions notwithstanding, there are some good fish are to be seen on their team page in the Socials.

The Stillwater is a clear choice currently, that is if you can find a gap in the wild weather.  The days have been blistering hot to start, followed by wind and storm later – pack both the sun and rain gear if you plan on being out for the day.  Those that have made it out have been a tad spoiled though, with both good numbers and good fish.  The water temperature was reported at 19deg, the overcast conditions and rains keeping the effects of the early heat at bay.  The bulk of the fish in the returns were in the 9-13 inch / 23-33cm range, with good numbers also in the 13-17 inch / 33-43cm bracket.  A couple of the returns noted fish in the 17-19 inch / 43-48cm and 19-21 inch / 48-53cm classes – making it well worthwhile trying to find that gap in the weather and head on out.

The positive from the rains is of course that both Albert Falls and Midmar are overflowing.  We reported last week that Midmar was sitting at 98% FSL (full supply level) and that it would take another rain to top it … no sooner said and an approx. 10mm fall put Midmar over the wall that very night.  The subsequent rain turning the initial “wet wall” into a white-water cascade. 

From the bass anglers : word from the water is that the fishing is slowing down as a result of the rain … but the fish are wet already I hear you say.  Water temperatures were reported to be in the upper 20’s, and perhaps as a result of the bug rains, there has been a decrease in water temperature which would explain a shutting down in bass activity.  On the upside, with the full levels at present, there are fish to be found in the shallows (also the water is warmer where there is less structure and less water movement).  Suggestions are top water frog in the early mornings with the warm start to the day.  For more general use, bass love anything that moves, so crank and jerk baits will also attract attention.  Always a popular choice in the colour scheme is watermelon seed.  Congrats to local lady angler Emily Nortje who landed herself a new PB (weight not mentioned by estimated at 3.5-4kg) – cracking fish!  There is also mention of a recent 5kg bucket mouth from Midmar … but no pics, no proof as they! We need some “show and tell” so you can claim your bragging rights…!

Local guide Jeremy Rochester of Escape Fly Fishing reports on a fantastic couple of days out on Sterkfontein, sight fishing to the cruising yellows with his hopper pattern that he demonstrated for the Natal Fly Dressers Society meeting this month.  If yellowfish is in your target list, Sterkfontein should definitely be on your radar … watch the weather forecast – it is very DIFFERENT to what’s happening here in The Midlands – a couple of warm clear days, and the fish will be on the bite…”. 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.

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

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