The weather has been kind and so has the sea. There have been fish all around with most facets reporting good catches this past week.

Top tip: Spoons come in many shapes, sizes and amazing colours. They can be very beautiful to look at and extremely confusing to buy.

To break it down as simply as possible; spoons can be broken down in to straight and bent spoons. Straight spoons are for faster retrieves and a more reaction-style bite. Bent spoons are for slower retrieves and an injured baitfish look. Species that prefer a slower spoon are the likes of kob, shad and garrick. Straight/fast spoons are for the likes of couta, snoek and yellowtail. Of course, there are no rules so don’t be surprised when a couta eats a slow retrieved s-bend. When it comes to retrieves, fiddle with the amount of time you let the spoon sink and then the speed you retrieve it. This will vary the depth and allow you to target multiple depths. 

Offshore:

The offshore fishing has been phenomenal! The only issue or hurdle has been the big surf, making launching a clenching affair.

North – The north coast has seen a lot of couta. The areas around Vidal have been full up of shoal couta and these greedy speedsters will very rarely say no to a bait. With the mackerel shortage at the moment, (best to check your local tackle store, they might just have some fresh stock) you might need to rely on the old faithful sardine. Don’t stress, they work extremely well. 

The lower north coast has had a good mix of gamefish with tuna, couta and snoek making up the bulk of the catches. The sharks have been an issue. Pull your strip baits in the morning for the snoek and then move deeper for the couta/tuna. 

Central – The central stretch of KZN has been a lot easier to launch at while still seeing good fishing well. 

The bigger swells have made the backline snoek fishing a bit difficult and have necessitated the use of someone watching the swells at all times. The trolling of skirted lures and high-speed lipped lures has been particularly effective lately for both the bigger tuna as well as the dorado/billfish. Darker colours have worked very well. 

The reefs off the Bluff have produced some better sized couta but the pickings have been slim. Getting decent live bait has been essential if you want the bite amongst the crowd. 

South – The south coast has seen a good mix of the species from the north. The snoek have fed well on the colours lines present off most of the south coast rivers. Trolling both fillet baits as well as smaller lipped lures will produce the goods. 

The south coast is the place to go if you want to target that bigger couta, but the season is a bit early. Nonetheless, putting bigger baits closer to the bottom in the shallows is a great way to target these bigger fish. If you prefer a faster style of fishing, then head deep to the shoal and troll some plastics.

Harbour:

The Durban harbour has been fishing very well over the last couple of weeks. The grunter have been playing ball and some amazing catches have been made. Fishing as light as possible is the answer to better results. Not only will you get more bites, but you will also enjoy the fight a lot more.

The lure anglers have managed some good catches of kingies and flathead. Smaller jerkbaits and paddletails have been the most productive lures.

Rock and surf:

The rock and surf fishing has seen a mix of edibles mainly. The inedibles caught have been with the smaller pockets of sardines or up north.

North – 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.

Central – The central coast has seen a bit of edible action. There have been a few garrick taken at Blue Lagoon on live bait. 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. Chokka, prawn and sardines have been the best choices. The shad have been around in the early mornings.

South – The south coast has been a bream fishing hotspot for the last few weeks. These fish move a lot so put the time in and walk along the desired area and look for signs of these fish. Pink prawn has been the most successful bait for these fish. If you haven’t tried it yet, give circle hooks a go for the bream. They do not come out once hooked and you will not get stuck as much as you do with J-hooks.

Freshwater:

The rains and cold have made some dams muddy and unfishable but the general situation on the freshwater front has been one of good fishing but cold weather.

Bass – This cold snap has slowed the bass down and fishing for them needs to be slowed down as well. Look at techniques that allow you to get to the deeper water where the bass are holding. Also, baits that will make the bass eat.

Shaking a dropshot worm in a bass’ face will eventually make him eat it. Slowly dragging a jig along the floor will also get some attention.

Carp – The carp fishing has been quiet with no reports coming in. Winter is a time of big fish for all the facets, but the specimen anglers generally do well.

The cold can be debilitating so make sure you prepare yourself properly before your trip. Use stronger scents in your mixes and focus on keeping your feeding spot well stocked.

Trout – 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!

News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB “With last week’s report indicating that the fish were a tad off their game, the fishing this last week has picked right back up and it seems that The Winter Games are back on track!  When things should be a lot more chilly than what they are currently, the excellent run of stable weather makes for great outdoor time at this time of year.  Told in a conversation recently, is that the average air temperature for April-May is some 8deg.C higher than previous … that’s pretty much a whole season’s difference … no wonder we are asking ‘Where is Winter?’ when other parts of the southern Hemisphere are already pretty much in it … a friend fishing in southern Argentina / Patagonia recently was snowed in for some 3 extra days (necessitating flight changes to get back home), and the New Zealand anglers are wrapped in puffers and buff’s, talking “cold / frigid” fishing days.

But with only a single return from the Natal Fly Fishers Club river anglers, it would seem that the river action is slowing down … or, more likely I suspect, the anglers are dusting off their stillwater gear and getting ready for the winter stillwater events.  For those that are venturing out, the moving waters are still happily providing fish.  The Bushman’s River was the scene of the action this last week, with a number of fish coming to hand in the 13-15 inch / 33-38cm bracket from the NFFC beats.  Other sections of the river also gave up fish in the current crystal-clear conditions, best suited to a dry fly currently.  Word from further north is that InjisuthI showed off its sparkly collection of wild rainbow jewels, happily rising to the dry fly.  Less than 2 weeks before trout river season close … get out there!

On the other hand, with a double-figure number of returns, the NFFC stillwaters saw most of the action this week.  The bulk of the fish came in at the 13-15 inch / 33-38cm mark, with a few on the lower end of the scale, and of course a cracker on the high end that taped in the 19-21 inch / 48-53cm class. Word from the water is that olive patterns are still doing the bulk of the work (e.g. dragon and damselfly nymph patterns), along with the bog standard black woolly bugger (with or without a Hot Head).  Water temperatures are still 16-18 deg.C range, so that means that fish are not yet in spawn mode and hugging the banks seeking the shale shallows, but can be found pretty much all over.  Great setup currently is an intermediate line, fished with either weighted or unweighted patterns, giving the best possible combination to target fish in both shallow and deeper water.

With the first of the stillwater events – viz. Leg 1 of the TOPS Corporate Challenge – under the belt, the events will be coming hot and fast.  Leg 2 of the TCC takes place at the end of the month, followed by the Kamberg Trout Festival and the Boston Fly Fishing Festival taking place over second third weeks in June.

It’s supposedly winter, but the bass are also still biting.  Not too much word coming from Albert Falls and Midmar Dams, but once again, the private Midlands waters are giving up their fish.  Last week saw the SA Bass Angling Association (SABAA) Inter-Provincial Championships taking place on Albert Falls.  There were 36 teams competing, comprising some 72 anglers, and 631 fish were caught.  The team win going to KZN Coastal 1 (Neels Beneke and Wessie Wessels) with 15 fish – Top angler going to Neels Beneke with 10 fish – the biggest fish coming at 4.52kg from the rod of Cameron Stonely (Gauteng 4) … Congrats to all!  The other 9 fish in the Top 10 weighed in at between 3.4 – 3.8kg.

Last week we have some tips for winter bass – if there is one take home tip : slow down”. Thanks so much 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.

Go to www.facebook.com/thekingfisherdaiwa and “Like” us on Facebook to catch reviews, videos, fishing reports, great promotions and lots more.

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://www.ecr.co.za/podcasts/ansa/

Please send any info about fishing or fish caught in your area to mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za

Categories: KZN Fishing Reports

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