Top tip: Layering.
With the harsh weather we have been experiencing over the last few weeks, this is something you have probably heard your significant other talk about. The key to being ready for a long fishing day in winter is a good number of layers. This means you will be comfortable all day long. The warmer jackets and longs can be taken off if the sun gets too hot and can be put back on later when the evening draws near.
Tuna, snoek, bottomfish and garrick have been on the menu. So there is something for everyone, you just need to get out there.
The north coast has seen some good snoek and couta for the smaller boats and skis. The deeper reefs and wrecks have seen some very good bottomfishing with big trawl soldiers and a host of other species being caught. Squid and sardines have been the baits of choice for the deeper fishing.
The tuna have been full up with some giants being hooked and breaking tackle. These are very powerful fish so allow them to fire themselves out before you try to horse them to the boat.
The Durban coast has produced some good catches of snoek at Blue Lagoon, tuna at most of the bait spots, dorado at the shops and a host of bottomfish at secret locations.
The tuna have favoured a livebait over all the other methods. Drifting over the bait marks with a livebait slowly kicking along is a great way to target these speedsters. A circle hook is a great way of rigging a livebait and allows the bait to stay alive longer if you bridle it. While drifting, you can either catch more bait or you can throw lures like poppers, jigs or stick baits.
The shallower areas down south have produced a couple of couta and some nice snoek. The fillet baits have been the pick of the bunch for the snoek while a larger live bait has been a killer for the couta.
The bottomfishing continues to produce really good quality catches with some bomber rockcod being brought up from the depths. The geelbek and daga are still keeping the commercial guys busy while the charters target the closer reefs. Please stick to your limits no matter how wild the fishing is…
Rock and Surf:
The rock and surf fishing is seeing more inedibles on the catch reports week by week. Summer is almost here and you can feel the excitement!
The north coast has seen the bulk of the inedible catches. The usual spots like Tugela and Mtunzini have been the places to go if you are looking for something to test your drag. Remember that these spots should be fished in a group as there have been incidents in the past. Bloody baits like mackerel and bonito have been the most successful.
There have been some good edibles around most of the north coast. Look for some protected bays and gullies for the best results.
The central coast has seen a bit of edible action. There have been a few garrick taken at Blue Lagoon on livebait. These are highly-pressured fish so please consider releasing your catch. The beaches along the central coast have also seen some good stumpies and kob being caught with a few inedibles mixed in. Chokka, prawn and sardines have been the best choices.
The south coast has seen a lot of edible fishing. The rocky areas and protected bays down south have allowed anglers to fish in most of the weather we have had this past week. Scratching is a true art and is something that cannot be learnt totally from a book/video. If you haven’t mastered it yet, get to the beach with the lighter tackle and give it a go.
The dams and rivers have treated the anglers well in most facets. Bass continue to be on the top of the target list.
The Natal Scaly is finally getting on to angler’s must-catch list. The Umkomaas River has also come up after the first rains. The approaching weather system put paid to the fishing late on the weekend, but the preceding gap provided some good fish before lockjaw set in. Reports note that the bigger fish have started moving into the rapids, and with the rains subsequent to last weekend, the rivers should be looking much better. Reports also note that carp and barbel are active on the Umko – having previously caught a 1.2m “Whiskered Mermaid”, I can safely say that that box is ticked, and they are safe from me … carp is still on the list though.
The good news is that the fishing at Albert Falls is starting to pick up, while Midmar continues to produce. Water temperatures are on the up, from mid-teens to over the 20deg.C. mark, and is cited as being the reason for the upswing in the fishing at Alberts. The SA Bass Angling Association (SABAA) KZN Juniors event held on there this past weekend made the most of a gap in the weather, and produced some good fish. Out of a field of 20, Jacques Bradford took the win with a bags of 9kg and 7kg, followed by Xander McCarthy and Sean Kleu – well done chaps! Good to see a solid field of youngsters out, with good support from dads and other local anglers.
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 topwaters 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!
The carp fishing has been steady in the past few weeks. The specimen angling is starting to pick up with more fish being landed this past week. The fronts have helped to drop the water temps and make the carp a bit more aggressive. Particles have done very well this past week with some quality fish coming to the net.
The conventional anglers have done well with smaller fish. Plenty of fish have been caught with very few going over the 5kg mark. The best reported baits have been strong, fruity mielie pips. Almond and banana have been the most productive of the flavours.
The weather has been interesting up in the hills this past week. A few days have been completely blown out by the wind and other days the line has frozen in the guides with the cold. All this, and there have still been some fantastic fish caught. Bigger streamer patterns like leeches have worked well in most venues. A touch of orange like a collar or bead will do you well. Remember to vary the retrieve and depth to find what the fish want. Most importantly, stay warm! They say predictions become clear with hindsight … but the problem with hindsight is overestimating one’s ability to predict an outcome which cannot possibly be predicted! One thing we do know is that the weather is a fickle animal, and just when you think you have a finger on it, it goes in the opposite direction. And that is exactly what happened to the “balmy summer days” forecast of last week. The upside, and there’s always an upside they say, is that The Midlands received a good sprinkling over a couple days last week … reports indicate that anything between 30-60mm was received, the higher falls closer to The ‘Berg. This most certainly gave the system a charge, and no doubt the rivers are singing. With a distinct winter chill from snow on The Berg this week (yes, you read that right), we shall refrain from making any forecasts for the week ahead … but to note that I am looking forward to making a first (very late) foray to a trout stream soon…
With the inclement weather, only a single return was received from the Natal Fly Fishers Club river anglers – and the return was a rather sorry mention of a “bad timing” venture to the uMngeni River in The Dargle Valley shortly after the first of the rains (some 15-20mm). The river had come up as a result, but not enough (then) for a flush, and was dirty. A few futile blind casts – as one must! – but the angler remained empty handed. With a further 30-40mm received since the outing was made, fingers crossed that the rivers have come up sufficiently for a flush and will be running sparkly clear very soon.
With also only a single report from the stillwater anglers, no doubt the weather kept them indoors polishing their tackle. Happy to report though that some fish did avail themselves to those intrepid anglers … two fish for two anglers in the 9-11 inch / 23-28cm bracket. As they say – a fish is a fish! – and any day spent on the water is a good day.
While on the topic of stillwater trout : news from further afield is that a 78cm / 30 inch (!!), 15.5lb / 7kg (again !!) fish made its appearance at the annual Swartberg Stocktheft Prevention Association festival this last weekend. Beyond a trout, this is indeed a WHALE of a fish for Durban angler Richard Gorlei, fishing for team Xplorer Fly Fishing. Words has it that very shortly thereafter, fellow team member Shaun Dickson roped in a 71cm / 28 inch fish. Congrats gents – no doubt celebrations went long into the night.
Tight lines everyone! And do stop in at the Kingfisher-PMB for the best in tackle and advice!
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
Go to www.facebook.com/thekingfisherdaiwa and “Like” us on Facebook to catch reviews, videos, fishing reports, great promotions and lots more.
Please send any info about fishing or fish caught in your area to firstname.lastname@example.org