The weather has not been playing the game but the fishing has still been on top form. From heavy rain to big seas and rain on the coast, the weather might not be great but the fish are biting!
Top tip: Sinker snoods.
Getting your sinker stuck is part of fishing in the rocks. The last thing you want is to lose your entire trace (and possibly your catch) if your sinker gets stuck. There are a few things you can do to combat this. The two main ways to prevent total loss is to either use a lighter sinker line and/or to shorten your sinker snood. Shortening your sinker snood (shorter than your hook snood) will prevent your sinker getting stuck while fighting the fish. Making your sinker snood out of a lighter nylon than your hook snood will allow you to part off your sinker and retrieve some of your tackle. Make sure that the sinker snood is strong enough to handle your cast but light enough to part off if need be.
The bigger seas and heavy winds have made fishing on the boats a little unpleasant but the bumpy trips have been worth it.
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. The dorado have also been making their presence known. The sizes have been a bit small but the big boys are mixed in with the hordes.
The central coast has seen a great flush of geelbek and daga in the last two weeks. The charters have been fully booked and the recreational anglers have been launching at every opportunity. 8-9ft rods, 80lb+ braid and a 9inch kp are the weapons of choice for this type of fishing.
There have been snoek around in the early mornings. Most of the fish have been taken while trolling fillets around south pier and Blue lagoon. There have been plenty of wolf herring and shad around so check your fillets regularly. The dorries are also in good numbers along the central coast. For those looking for the billfish, remember that a small dorrie is a deadly bait to troll live or as a skipbait.
The south coast catches have been focussed around the deeper marks along with Aliwal Shoal. There have been some big wahoo around that few have managed to land. The tuna have been great fun on the faster lipped lures and these have been working for the other species too. This time of year is fantastic on the boat if you get the weather right, so keep your eye on the weather apps and plan accordingly.
Rock and Surf:
The rock and surf anglers have been battling the crowds at some beaches but the fishing has been good on the edible and ined front.
The rain has made for some colour lines around the river mouths. These conditions are brilliant for catching snapper salmon and kob. Paddletails and chokka baits are the way to go for both of these species.
There have been some early summer fish around so be prepared for some drag screaming! Bloody baits produce enough scent to get the fish’s attention. There have been raggies, blackfin and plenty of flatfish to be caught.
The beaches in and around Durban have seen some decent fishing this past week. The basin area is still producing good numbers of inedibles. 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.
Much like the central coast, there have been garrick at all the major spots along the south coast. This is great news! Remember that these fish get hammered every year by guys keeping too many fish, so please release as much as possible.
Garrick are best targeted with a livebait fished close to the shore. Livebait type is not the most important part, but location is. Use a circle hook through the top lip of the baitfish or bridled through the eyes and you will quickly see more solid hookups. 6/0 Mustad tuna circle is the hook of choice.
This with the presence of the sardines means the south coast is about to get very busy!
The trout are feeding well, keeping the midlands anglers happy. The bass are fussy but are there to be caught. The carp are waiting for you to send a mielie bomb their way…
The bass fishing has been great in all the dams and smaller venues around KZN.
Midmar and nagle have been producing some fantastic bass fishing with those putting in the time on these venues bringing home full livewells. Spinnerbaits have been the best reported searching bait. In clean water, use the standard willow blades in silver with a white or chartreuse/white skirt. In the dirtier water, change the blades for Colorado blades in gold or orange with a chartreuse skirt. These little changes can make all the difference.
The guys fishing slower have done very well with frogs in the shallow back pockets. These are cast in to the thickest structure using heavy braid. Otherwise, pitching jigs through the heavy cover has seen some big bites this past week.
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.
The big stillwaters are still producing good numbers of big fish. The heat does take a toll on these bigger fish so please handle them with care and try to keep them cool and in the water if possible. Bigger streamers have done well in the deeper areas of the dams fished on a shorter leader and a sinking line. The shallows have fished well with damsel and dragon nymph imitations fished on long leaders and floating lines.
The rivers have slowed down a bit and allowed for fishing on most sections. Go light and go for a hike to enjoy what our lovely fishery has to offer.
News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB “Weather still up and down, but at least there are fish around…
Hazarding a guess here, but it seems like the Weatherman is getting a little too much stuck into the Xmas “Spirit” as the weather is still pretty topsy turvy – but on the upside, while weather isn’t exactly playing the game, at least there are fish out that that happy to play along. Even though the rains have tapered off significantly over the course of last week, the rivers are still full and “rushing” according to reports from the trout anglers. No word from the scaly anglers … a clear indication that the lower reaches are better suited to white water rafting and tubing, as opposed to fishing.
Only a handful of reports from the Natal Fly Fishers Club River anglers … and a 50:50 mix in the returns of “high water and blown out – did not fish” and returns having some fish to show. The fish that came to hand were at the lower end of the tape measure, in the 3-9 inch / 7.5-23 cm bracket. This is clearly indicative of flow rate, as the bigger fish will be bottom bound to escape the maelstrom rushing overhead and getting a fly down to them will require some heavy weighted ammo. For those persisting with the dry fly, present close to the edges in the slack water and eddies, which the fish are using to conserve energy.
The NFFC stillwater anglers fared no better, with the “fishy returns” vs “non fishy returns” again 50:50 percentage wise. Reports also made mention of “fishing in the wet” to “getting a lucky gap in the weather”. Having no flow issues to deal with, the stillwater returns showed a good spectrum of fish across the board. The smallest fish were in the 11-13 inch / 28-33cm bracket, with good numbers in the 15-19 inch / 38-48cm class. The stillwaters are obviously not affected by matters of high flow as they are in the river, so the bigger fish are just as available as the rest of the population. And some excellent fish in the 21-23 inch / 53-58 cm bracket being reported, along with a submarine that fell into the 23025 inch / 58-63cm class. Thanks to the rains and overcast weather, water temperatures are still hovering below the 20 degree mark.
Although there have been a couple of good fish seen in the socials of late, reports indicate that it’s still tough fishing generally at Albert Falls. Local angler Tyron McGarry reported a good day last weekend starting by getting snapped up, hooks getting pulled, and eventually landing himself a fish of 2.8kg, followed a good few fish in the600g – 1kg bracket. Sounds like a good day out by anyone’s standards!
While there has been no “proof” to be seen, word from the water is the Midmar is fishing very well at present, with good numbers of fish coming to hand in the 1.5-2kg range. Word always, never any pictorial proof until well after, is that there have been a couple monsters of late. Let’s see ’em guys, show and tell…
Although the socials are reporting the hippo has been “taken out” (we hope that means relocated), still no final word on the Albert Fall’s hippo. While no further “interactions” have been reported of late, anglers are again just cautioned to keep a (wary) eye out for this beastie, and stay well clear.
Sterkfontein guide David Weaver reports that spawning is in full swing, and as is case, the boys outnumber the gals – so there are plenty small male fish inbetween comparatively few larger females. Water temperature is up to 18degrees, with shoals of spawning fish in shallow water – as we do every year, we request that anglers not target the spawners, so they can simply get with their business of providing fish for your future fishing. The wind-driven scum lines are great indicators of fish, as this is also where food will accumulate. There are plenty Caddis about, so Elk Hair Caddis and DDD patterns are working well. Brown/tan Hoppers with red underwings are plentiful, along with termites and black ants after a bit of rain.
The Kingfisher would like to take this opportunity to wish all is Customers Merry Festivities, and Tight Lines over the holiday season. Drive safe, stay safe, and do pop into the Kingfisher-PMB or the best in tackle and advice.
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