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.

We are coming to the end of the fourth month of 2024 already and the cold mornings of winter are starting to make getting up early a chore. That being said, there have been plenty of summer fish caught this past week.

Top tip. Winter bait presentation. Wintertime is a great time to put away the heavier tackle and fish for the finer edibles that we are blessed with on the KZN coast. This means more finesse and a bit more focus on bait presentation. This means taking a little more time in making the bait and using more tricks in your arsenal to try and tempt the more discerning edibles to bite. things like using thinner cotton when tying up your baits can make a huge difference. Adding foam to your bait to add some movement and body can also really help. Most importantly, learn where your target likes to feed and what it likes to eat. This will greatly improve your chances of catching your dream fish.


The offshore fishing has been a good combo of bottom fish and gamefish, keeping everyone happy. 

North The north coast has been snoek central with plenty of fish in the early mornings. The fishing ski anglers have been making the most of it with Umdloti being a hub of activity. Trolling smaller lipped lures has been very effective, allowing anglers to cover a lot of water. Spinning with spoons on the backline has also been deadly just after launching. 

Central The Durban charters have been packed due to the run of kob and geelbek that have been around the last few weeks. Live baits have been the trick to catching the larger geelbek and there have been some proper specimens caught.  Closer inshore there have been a lot of smaller kob which can be great fun on lighter tackle. 

The Umgeni mouth has seen some good snoek in the mornings. Fillets have been the most effective way to catch these often-finicky fish. 

South The south coast has seen all of the sardine action with the gamefish around them as well. There have been a few good garrick caught on the backline around the Toti area. These have been taken while slowly trolling live bait. The south coast has also seen some very good bottom fishing with some giants being wrestled up from the bottom. Live baits have been the best of the bunch for targeting these bottom fish. Circle hooks have also taken the bottom fishing world by storm with their self-setting performance making fishing so much easier. 

Rock and surf:

The rock and surf fishing has been good across the board. The main focus has been edibles while scratching and getting the last of the summer inedibles.

North The north coast has seen a lot of good action with both edibles and inedibles. Unfortunately, this past weekend saw lots of weed in the water from the recent rains and big seas. This makes fishing very difficult. That being said, a good number of edibles were caught whilst scratching and some decent inedibles were landed by those looking for that bigger fish. 

Pink prawn has been the most successful bait for the scratching fish and has accounted for a number of species. The bigger inedibles have shown a preference for mackerel and redeye combination baits. 

Central The central coast has not seen much fishing as the polluted water has put most anglers off catching fish…

That being said, Blue Lagoon has seen some good catches of shad, pompano, kob and the odd garrick. Prawn and chokka have been the most successful for the smaller edibles while the bigger fish have favoured a live bait. The basin area has also seen plenty of fish in the northeast winds.

South The south coast has been a bit quiet lately with few reports being sent in.  The guys who enjoy scratching have done well along most of the south coast from Trafalgar all the way to Toti. Look for the gullies and ledges that offer some calmer water close to the churning white water. Fish these areas with prawn and chokka baits for a chance at most rockfish species. 

There have been some very good kob caught lately and this is definitely the time to actively target these amazing hunters. Sliding or throwing live baits is a great way to pursue them. Mullet, karanteen and shad are all fantastic baits to use. Look for the deeper water along the banks for the ideal kob ambush spot. 

Freshwater: The freshwater fishing has seen great fishing in all facets with slower but still exciting bass action, big carp and trout mania. 

Bass The bass fishing has slowed down a bit, but there are still fish to be caught and figuring out the pattern on any day gives you a great sense of accomplishment. 

A few different methods have been working well with jerkbaits and cranks producing good bites in most waters. Those that prefer a slower, more methodical approach can see great results with dropshots and other soft plastics. Darker colours and lures with curly tails are the best at this time of year.

Midmar and Albert Falls have been the most productive venues this last week.

Carp The specimen anglers have landed some good fish in the last few weeks. Boilies have done well and are probably the most successful bait to use at this time of year. Use the bigger 20mm versions if you want to prevent the smaller fish from getting your bait. Make sure that you mix chopped and whole boilies into your feeding mix to give the carp different textures and sizes of food to keep them interested. 

The conventional anglers have also seen good results in the last week with stronger scents seeing good results in most of the KZN dams. Much like the bass, Midmar and Albert Falls have been the most productive venues. 

Trout The start of the cold weather and the oncoming spawn will see some extremely exciting fishing. Targeting big trout by sight is a heart rate racing affair.

The dams, lakes and Stillwater’s are all producing some phenomenal catches with social media full of anglers holding up prized trout. Float tubes are a fantastic vessel and weapon for Stillwater fishing but fishing from the bank can be very productive as well. From the side, make sure to use the surrounding structure to hide from the fish (if you see them, they see you). Target the drop-offs and focus on keeping your fly in the strike zone for as long as possible. On the spawning beds, an egg fly in the zone is an almost guaranteed bite.

News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – “After last week’s citing that Autumn is “officially” here, it seems like the weather God’s still can’t quite make up their mind, and with the near-30deg temperature of earlier in the week, summer is keeping his toe firmly in the door.  Temperatures have ameliorated somewhat since then, so let’s hope that it continues to do so, as we are fast running out of Autumn time!  Perhaps more importantly, is that we are headed into winter with probably the best water supply in recent history – the Mgeni System is at FSL with pretty much all the dams in the system across the board showing 100+% capacity.  Long may it last … and there appears to be a spit and spot still to come this weekend.

As there hasn’t been any rain to report over the last week, and after the recent raging torrents, the rivers (most) will have started dropping and flow rates should be near perfect by about now.  With the masses of water running off the ‘Berg previously, water temperatures as low as 13-14deg were reported but guessing more like in the 16-18deg range currently.  Again, pretty much perfect … and with just over a month left in the trout river season, high time to get out there and wet that line on the moving water before the door closes…

Returns from the Natal Fly Fishers Club report on fish coming from the Mooi and Bushman’s Rivers, with the uMngeni apparently still on the full side and running in summer colours!  Fish brought to hand have been in the 7-11 inch / 18-28 cm range, taken on a mix of dries and nymphs.  A decent size (#12) hopper patter makes for a great searching pattern, and if it’s just getting bumps from the wee chaps, then switch down to a #14 or #16 parachute or Caddis style dry.  If that’s your thing, the hopper also makes for a great indicator to suspend a weighted nymph from … Zak, GRHE or PTN will do the trick.

We reported recently on the passing of Dr Tom Sutcliffe, without doubt The Doyen of South African fly fishing.  His Memorial Service was held in Cape Town last week, and we could think of no better tribute than an invite for an outing to his (former) favourite stillwater from when he was still in practise here.  It was a Red-Letter Day … we agreed that Tom must have been watching over us and told the fish to be on their best behaviour!  Certainly one of the best days I have experienced on a stillwater.  Water temperature measured 16-18deg over the course of the morning, and the fish were clearly feeding up, readily taking larger patterns like Woolly Buggers and minnow patterns.  Rainbow trout in the 40-50cm / 16–20-inch bracket, but outshone by local lady angler, Felicity Riley, who landed her first stillwater brown of 41cm / 16 inches – Well Done Flea!  A wee dram of the fine amber liquid was enjoyed dam side as we bade our farewell … So Long Tom, and Thanks for all The Fish.

The NFFC stillwaters also produced their fair share of fish over the past week – the rainbow’s were primarily in the 11-15 inch / 28-38cm class, with a single fish reported in the 17-19 inch / 43-48cm class.  No flies mentioned in the reports unfortunately, but almost certainly bugger, minnow and dragonfly patterns would have done their duty.  With the water cooling and clearing, the season ahead looks to be a cracker…

The bass are also reported to be on good behaviour in both Albert Falls and Midmar, with fish in the 1.5-2.5kg range being reported.  There was also a report of a 2.5kg fish from the Mooi River.  With the warmer weather, there have also been carp (a mix of Mirror and Common) and barbel on the surface at Albert Falls – local fly anglers Matthew and Simon Akerman reported “lots of fish up, but they were being a but fussy”, but reported a good day on the water getting fish on a floating hopper pattern.

While Sterkfontein is considered to The Mecca for the “Gold miners”, aka yellowfish anglers – the season for them is all about over.  Sterkies also holds a good head of bass (and barbel), and some good bass were reported this past week”. Thanks Jan.

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.

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Categories: Reports


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