Sardine, Sardine, Sardine! The sardine run is in full swing and the chaos around the action is amazing. This is a great event and experience to see. Get to the beach and go fish or just watch the organised excitement.
Top tip. Etiquette. This time of year sees chaos on the beaches with everyone trying to get to the action of the sardine run. Please do your best to take other peoples’ needs into consideration. For example, if someone is fishing on the beaches or rocks, do not setup directly next to them. Give them some space and don’t cast over their lines. Above all, make sure you stick to the rules and regulations. We are representing the angling community on the beach, so we want to make a good impression.
The offshore fishing has not been fireworks but there have been fish to catch along the entire coast. Get out there and get your fishing rod bending!
North – The north coast has seen some yellowtail and amberjack on the deeper marks. These are incredibly hard fighting fish that demand the strongest tackle. You have to give 100% from the bite to landing the fish otherwise you will get cutoff. Live baits are the best bet for both species with a 9/0 circle proving to be the best hook. Bridle the live bait through the eye socket with a cable tie to keep the bait alive for as long as possible.
The closer reefs have seen some good couta. The fish have ranged from 8-20kg+ specimens. They have mostly been taken on live bait, but quality dead baits have also worked well.
Central – 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.
South – The south coast has seen a mix of bottom fish and gamefish. There have been some good garrick caught by the guys pulling live baits on the backline. The sardine pockets have been around but not all have had gamefish with them. Keep moving between the shoals until you find some action.
The bottom fishing has seen reds, rockcod and geelbek all mixed. The bigger the bait the more likely you are to attract the bigger fish.
Rock and surf:
The shore-based fishing has been a combination of spinning, scratching and a hint of big fish fishing. All that and the sardines are here in numbers!
North – The north coast points have been the most effective spots along the coast to target the snoek on spoon. Small but heavy spoons that can be retrieved very fast without losing stability are essential. You also need tackle that can throw said spoon a long way and retrieve it rapidly. This means long rods and fast reels.
The north coast has seen some decent scratching along the ledges and in the gullies. Pink prawn has been the best bait all around.
Central – The Durban coast has seen some good morning sessions spinning and bait fishing for shad. The Blue Lagoon area has been fishing very well with most anglers able to fill their limit in a few casts. S-bend spoons and a slower retrieve are deadly for these smaller gamefish.
The central coast has also seen some good kob, stumpies and a handful of garrick. Live bait, pink prawn and chokka have been the best baits.
South – The south coast has been the area to focus on if you are after the action around the sardines. Spinning with spoons is a great way to focus on the gamefish around the sards and can see you catch a host of species. Throwing a single sardine on a nylon snood is also a good idea to target the gamefish (without teeth). Keep an eye on the social media forums and you will be able to find the silver shoals.
The south coast has also seen some very good bronze bream fishing along most of the lower south coast if you are wanting to stay away from the big toothies.
The freshwater facets have been a bit slow, but the fish have been bigger and worth the wait in the colder weather.
Bass – All the dams in KZN have been fishing fairly well with decent specimens being landed from most venues. Fishing slower and more methodical has been reported as the most successful way to target the bigger fish. Dropshots have worked very well in the deeper water especially when targeting structure in the deep. Small minnow imitations or straight-tail worms have been the best plastics to use.
Midmar is a great dam to work with your electronics as there are many hidden spots offshore that can hold giants.
Carp – The carp fishing has shifted away from targeting numbers and instead is now focussed on the big specimens. This means longer hours waiting for a bite, but that bite could be a new personal best. This time of year requires more thought and patience in all aspects from preparation to feeding your spot.
When especially targeting the bigger fish, try to make as little disturbance as possible as well as keeping a vigilant eye out for any action. The colder water sees the stronger flavours producing better results.
Trout – The Stillwater fishing has been phenomenal with most of the KZN and the Swartberg region. Float tubes, warm waders, sinking lines and streamers are all essential items for this time of year. The bigger stillwaters are best fished around the old river channels. Fishing the edge of the drop-offs is a sure way of targeting the big fish hunting grounds. Favourite flies include paparoachs, minnow imitations and woolly buggers in olives and blacks.
Herewith this week’s report from Jan at the Kingfisher in PMB – “With the passing of the Winter Solstice (shortest day / longest night) this week, technically we are on the way to summer, but word has it that winter only really starts NOW. It still hasn’t really been THAT cold as yet, but looking at the landscape which is brown and dull in most places, we are indeed in the throes of winter…
As mentioned last week, I was partaking in some stillwater trout action at 5the Boston Fly Fishing Festival this past weekend. While the fishing was slow, and at times felt more like working (hard), we (Team Wooly Buggers) managed to squeeze a few more fish overall out of the waters than most of our competitors and happy to report that we ended up on the podium with a very creditable 3rd place! The biggest fish reported was 61cm / 24 inches. There were good numbers of fish in the 50+ and 40+ cm / 19+ and 15+ inch bracket. Some smaller of course … two of my fish came in at 31 and 29cm / ~12 inches, but as they say : a fish is a fish … especially if it prevents a blank session! Big Thanks to the Community of Boston that pulled out all the stops to make the event what it is … a must do on the winter stillwater calendar! Already looking forward to next year…
Water temperatures continue to drop – three of the waters we fished were sitting at 12deg.C and one a chilly 10deg.C. Weed colour was variable, still some patches of green about, but mostly having turned in the last week so. Some waters were crystal, while others still had a bit of colour, which made fly choice interesting. The prevailing logic tells that with clear water, ones goes small, natural and slow, while in dirty water, you go big, dark and fast. The small and natural – a delicate-looking sparse Balanced Leech hanging off the bottom off a 3-fly dropper rig on a Figure-of-8 retrieve – worked for me in the clear dams, and large buggers (in purple and pink!) stripped fast in the shallows worked for my teammates. Speaking to other anglers, each had their own favourite pattern, and once again, there was no “one fly to rule them all”. A constant however, is a white fly in low light conditions : just before the sun breaks the horizon and at last light. Thanks to Travis in my team who spotted fish moving in the shallows late in the afternoon, we managed to pluck three fish on white patterns in the last half-hour of the session.
On the events front, this weekend sees Leg 2 of the TOPS Corporate Challenge taking place on the waters around Nottingham Road. Leg 1 saw a 64cm / 25-inch fish take the win – we look forward to hearing what denizens of the deep come to hand this time around.
A reminder that if you missed last week’s showing of the 17th annual Fly-Fishing Film Tour (F3T) in Durban – 19 July sees the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) land in Durban with another great selection of films – save the date as word from F3T is that there will a special showing from local outfit African Waters.
Not much to seen on the Socials <nudge nudge wink wink>, but word from the waters is that both Albert Falls and Midmar are fishing very well at the moment, with some big fish coming to hand. Winter is generally considered to be a slow time for bass, and as a result, there is much discussion about fishing tactics. Angler News SA recently held a poll for anglers to vote for their “Top 5 Best Winter Bass Baits”, and here are the results so far : top two choices were a suspended jerk bait, closely followed by dropshot. As for the rest, it was even stevens for the following techniques (in no particular order) : lipless crank, football jigs, spinner baits and Ned Rig.
For those anglers looking for a river fix, there are reports of some good winter scaly (yellowfish) about.” 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, (the new store is at the Tiffany’s Shopping Centre in Salt Rock, 032 307 0041) they are open 8am-5pm Mon-Fri, 8am-1pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, for all your fresh and saltwater needs.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Go to www.facebook.com/thekingfisherdaiwa and “Like” us on Facebook to catch reviews, videos, fishing reports, great promotions and lots more.