Cold…that pretty much sums up the last week.
In terms of fishing though it has been rather hot! Kob, garrick and even some inedibles!
Top tip: Sliding on braid.
This is a question we get asked a lot in the shop. Yes, it is possible to slide on braid…BUT you have to keep the line tight and use much smaller shakes than you would with nylon. Also a longer barrelled slide clip also helps. All of these methods are used to prevent the clip from getting tangled in the braid. With the lack of stretch in the braid, if you give it slack, the clip will hang up and you will get burnt off.
With all of that in mind, it is a better idea to keep sliding of baits to nylon and braid for throwing baits.
There has been plenty of fish around, just a bit of a cheeky shorebreak to get through and you are set…
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 horse them to the boat.
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.
The south coast has seen a lot of bottomfish action over the last few weeks. The rockcods have been very greedy and always and they have jumped on most baits dropped down to the. The tuna have been the only reliable gamefish to target down south with the rest of the bunch being hit or miss. The tuna have been taken on everything from small livebaits to large skirted konas.
The shore angling has been an edible-focussed week. There have been fish-a-plenty if you try hard enough.
The north coast has seen a couple of garrick for the guys fishing livebait. Targeting the areas of slightly deeper water close to a river mouth are your best bet for these fantastic gamefish. The tackle does not need to be too heavy as a garrick is one of the cleanest fighters you will ever hook. The north coast has also seen some very good shad coming out. This bodes well for the upcoming shad competition and we look forward to seeing your giant shad getting weighed in!
On the inedible front, there have been a couple of diamonds around but the main fish caught have been blackfins and grey sharks. Mackerel has been the bait of choice for all of these. Targeting both of the sharks mentioned sometimes necesitate a decent cast so make sure you have the correct braid and sinker weight for your rod to maximise the distance of your bait.
The beaches in and around Durban have seen some decent fishing this past week. The cape stumpies (silvers) have been keeping the light tackle guys very happy with hours of fun to be had. This is a great species to target for the newcomers or younger anglers. They fight hard for their size and are not very fussy with baits. Make a christmas tree trace with a size 2 or so Mustad Ringer Chinu and you are in the game. The shad have been scarce in the Durban area for some reason… Your best bet is still the Pier at Blue Lagoon though. Keep an eye on the action in the early mornings and evenings. Lots of cars in the carpark is generally a giveaway of some action.
The upper south coast has seen plenty of shad action around the main spots. Scotties point, Inyoni rocks and Winkelspruit are the three top producers at the moment and should be your first areas to check if you are planning a trip this weekend. The garrick have been coming out but the bites have been few and far between. To try and be as “lucky” as possible, look at scaling down your leader and hook snoot to be as invisible as possible. Also check your livebait frequently to make sure you have a feisty offering in the water when the garrick comes past.
The freshwater fishing has been good despite the cold. There have been fish to be caught for all facets.
The bass fishing has been going very well these past few weeks. The fish have been feeding strongly in most of the KZN venues. Most of the popular methods have had their moment in the spotlight this past week with reports of everything from finesse to power fishing producing the goods. The key has been to find what is working on the day and then figuring out the pattern. This is the big difference between catching a couple and slaying the fish.
If you are wanting to cover water, using a crankbait or bladed jig is a great way to locate the fish. Both of these methods require some special tackle to be properly fished. Softer rods allow for proper action and keep loaded on the fish during the fight.
The carp fishing has been fire in the KZN waters. The frontal patterns have set in and fishing has been best before the fronts. Once the pressure gets too high, after the front sets in, the fish tend to lock their jaws and head for deeper waters.
Inanda has been the pick of the specimen venues with some proper fish being brought to the net. Most of the successful baits have been kept a secret, but boilies have been a firm favourite. The fruity additives have been producing good results for the past few weeks.
The conventional anglers have also seen good results with the sweeter/fruitier flavours. Midmar and Albert falls have been fishing well for the conventional anglers.
The midlands have been cold! This has not put the trout off, on the other hand the fishing has been rather good. Most of the trips up to the many stillwaters in trout country have yielded success for even the newcomers to the art of fly fishing.
Some of the venues have still reported good catches on orange-coloured flies so make sure you do have something in orange to use if nothing is working. The stockies have been feeding fairly heavily on bulkier flies with a black woolly bugger continuing to come out tops. The flexibility of this pattern in terms of retrieves is phenomenal! The larger fish have been a bit more selective with more realistic baitfish patterns producing some good results.
The below from Jan Korrubel in PMB
Naysayers – pt.2! Looks like we are in for a bit of a chilly ride as a results of a another BIG system moving upcountry at present. The Norwegian weather gods show that we might even have a double system as there is a slight recovery for a day on the weekend, followed by another dip come the start of the new week. Barometric pressure has already fallen through the floor over the last 48hrs, so I suspect that the fishing might not be so “fishy” as one would hope in the coming days…
On the upside, since the previous cold snap, the weather has been a great, and the fishing turned on. There have been some great fish coming to hand across the board – no doubt they already knew that the next proverbial was about to hit the fan and took advantage of conditions … after all, they generally know better than we do, don’t they?
The trout stillwaters of the Natal Fly Fishers Club has provided some action this week! Apart from a couple of fish reported in the returns of last week that were in the 30-40cm / 12-16 inch range, most the fish reported were 50-60cm / 20-23 inch bracket, and a good few over the 60cm / 23 inch mark! That’s some great fishing. Interestingly, water temperatures have continued to drop, and while most of the waters are now in single figures temps (there was even a report of 5deg), larger flies like dragonfly and minnow patterns are still working – fished in tandem with a smaller pattern like a bloodworm or midge/chironomid and you have a deadly combo! It must also be said that this season has been a pearler, one of the better winters with a good number of excellent fish being reported. Fingers crossed that it continues for the remainder of the season as we work our way towards summer.
As mentioned last week, while the snow up top might make for some fridge-like conditions for a couple days, the melt is simply great for the rivers … keeping levels up and the waters flowing, even a good flush. With only just over 6 weeks to go, things are looking good for a great start to the season.
Scalies (Natal Yellowfish) are also about, with some fish being reported from the Umngeni River. Winter fish tend to be the better fish, and while usually targeted with smaller size nymph and caddis patterns, bigger fish need to eat more so don’t be shy to upscale your fly / lure. Dragon and damselfly patterns work well for the fly guys, and for the conventional anglers, a 4cm hard plastic has been doing the business.
Getting some great experience in the international arena, is the South African Youth Fly Fishing Team that is currently partaking in the 20th FIPS Mouche World Youth Fly fishing Championships in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 16-23 July. After a couple days practice sessions, the lads started fishing this week – wishing them Tight Lines and we look forward to reporting the results.
The KZN Juniors held a Trial on a Kamberg water this last weekend, and although conditions were reported to be tough over the two days, all the lads managed to beat the dreaded blank, which is always great – Congrats to all the junior anglers who kept going until the very last minute! Next Trial is scheduled for August … time for some Yellows.
The bass have also been playing the game this last week, with good fishing being reported from Albert Falls and Midmar Dams. Word from the water is the pre-spawn has begun, and the big fish are on the move. Surface water temperatures are reported still up in the mid-teens, with fish in the 3-5kg range being reported. Trolling the socials (yes, pun intended), young Tristan Saville was spotted sporting an Albert Falls bucketmouth that appears to be 4kg plus – Well Done and Congrats young man!
The SABAA (South African Bass Anglers Association) KZN Junior League anglers enjoyed a family fun day on a picture-perfect Albert Falls Dam this last weekend. Local stalwarts of the sport shared some tips and tactics regarding preparation for events as well as different fishing techniques.
The annual Albert Falls Classic will be held at the end of next month, 24-26 August.
The carp are active in Midmar for the bank anglers, and at Albert Falls Dam, carp are still being seen sipping off the surface on the flat, calm days. Great fun to be had on fly or light tackle.
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.
For all your angling needs, (freshwater or saltwater) pop in and see The Kingfisher’s new store at the Tiffany’s Shopping Centre in Salt Rock or give them a shout on 032 307 0041.
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