Just like that we are almost done with Jan-you-worry. The rains have made for difficult fishing, but the fish have been around.

Top tip: Rushing. How many times have you seen someone (or yourself) lose a fish right at the end of the fight?

We are all guilty of it, rushing. Remember you don’t get to fish everyday let alone catch every time you go fishing. Make the most of the fish you catch and enjoy the fight. Use the waves to help pull the fish up the beach/rocks. Loosen your drag to allow the line to peel off should the fish dart a final run. Enjoy and have fun.

Offshore:

The offshore scene has been very productive. There have been some brute bottom fish and plenty of gamefish action.

North – The north coast has seen a lot of gamefish action in the form of dorado and couta. There have been some good sailfish and small marlin caught in the past week. These majestic fish are extremely hard fighters and require some effort to put back properly. Spend the extra few minutes reviving the fish next to your ski and they can swim off to be caught by another fortunate angler.

The further north you can go the better your chances of getting good numbers. Live bait has been king but those able to troll at faster speeds have seen very good results with the high-speed lipped lures. Purples and pinks have been the top colours.

Central – Fantastic bottom fishing has been had off Durban. The bulk of the catches have been geelbek and daga. These have mainly been caught at night, but late afternoon has seen some good fishing on the deeper reefs. The rest of the bottoms have been a mix of reds (soldiers, slinger etc) and rockcod. The bigger fish have preferred eating a live bait with mackerel outperforming the rest of the bait. The deeper drop offs and temperature shifts have been the most likely spot to encounter the early season dorado and sailfish so head out to the deep blue if you are after these hard fighting pelagics.

South – The area from the Bluff south has seen much the same action as Durban with plenty of dorado and tuna for the gamefish anglers while the guys looking on the bottom have also managed good hauls. 

The dorado and tuna have been mostly caught on trolled lures, lipped or skirted. The darker colours have been reported to be working well down south. Colour like black/red or black/purple have been reported to out fish the flashier colour combinations. 

The bottom fishing has been consistent down south with plenty of good fish coming up from the deep. If you are new to the game, please make yourself familiar with the species which you are and are not allowed to catch. 

Rock and surf:

The shore angling has been great despite the dirty water. The key has been finding spots that have cleared up a bit quicker.

North – The areas around Richards Bay, Tugela and Ballito have been the most productive.  There have been hammerheads off the deeper points during the day and the night has seen grey sharks at the same points. Fleshy fish baits with floatation in the bait are key at targeting these sharks. These same areas have also produced sandies and other flatfish so do not attempt to target these fish with lighter tackle as you need to be able to pull the fish to a suitable landing spot.

Central – The beachfront section of Durban has seen some decent fishing. It is one of the few areas that can be fished in the rough seas we have been experiencing of late. Sardine and redeye sardine have been the most successful baits for the smaller flatfish with brown skates and blue rays making up the bulk of the catches.


The edibles have been a little scarce other than the shad. The stumpies have been around and a bunch of cracker shrimp or a cracker and pink prawn combo bait has been the best chance at catching them.

South – The coast south of the Bluff has been very productive for the shore anglers. The bronze bream has been feeding very well around the rockier areas. A nice juicy prawn bait on a 20lb hook snoot will generally get their attention. Make sure you fish as close to the rocks as possible as the bream like to stick to the bricks. This method of fishing is also multi-targeted as you can catch multiple species while looking for bream. The occasional brusher has also made an appearance, so if you are wanting to target these beasts, now is the time to take your crab to the beach. These are very strong fish so be sure of your knots and hooks before attempting to target them. 

Freshwater:

The dams and rivers are fishing well. Remember to exercise caution when it comes to the faster flowing rivers.

Bass – The bass fishing has been on a high with some amazing fish being caught in the last few weeks. The methods reported have varied from place to place but the faster moving search baits have been producing some good bites recently. 

With crankbait fishing, remember that the cranks need to touch the bottom, so make sure their maximum depth is deeper than the depth you are fishing.

Midmar and Nagle have been producing some fantastic bass fishing with those putting in the time on these venues bringing home full live wells. 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.

Carp – The reports from the carp fishing (both specimen and conventional) have been outstanding! The size and health of the fish coming out of our KZN venues is something to be proud of. The summer weather is almost here, and the carp are responding. The smaller fish have gotten tired of the winter cold and are feeding on anything sweet. Honey and fruity flavoured floaties have been the most successful of all the baits for the conventional anglers. The specimen anglers have done well at Albert Falls and Midmar further inland while Inanda remains the pick of the big fish waters close to Durban. The sweeter (fruitier) flavours have done well for the specimen anglers using boilies and popups. Those preferring particles have done well with tigernuts fished over various mixes of feed. Accuracy of the cast in relation to the feeding area has been the most important aspect.

Trout – The heat has made the trout fishing a bit dangerous for the fish. These cold weather species do not handle heat and warm water well so try to focus on other species while the high temperatures persist.

There have still been plenty of scalies to be caught and they put up a fantastic fight. Nymphing with tungsten nymphs through the flowing water will often see good results.

News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB. “A couple of dry days were most welcome after the storms and heavy rainfall experienced in The Midlands recently.  However, someone turned the sprinkler back on, but thankfully it’s been a light drizzle … mostly single figure falls reported, with a couple in the ‘teens … so far!  The Mgeni System is reported at being 100% full, and both Albert Falls and Midmar Dams coming over the top, which bodes well for the rest of the season.  As mentioned previously, South Africa is considered to be a “water short” country, so we need to take it when it comes.

With no returns received from the Natal Fly Fishers Club river anglers, as well as a deathly ‘radio silence’ from fellow river anglers, it must be assumed that the rivers are still upside down, especially those in the central Midlands (The Umgeni and Mooi Rivers) that were subject to the hurricane-like storms that came through last week.  Further afield, and (perhaps) out of the storm path, combined with the slowing down in the rainfall figures over the last week, the upper reaches of The Bushman’s River might, just might, be a bit more accessible.  24 hours of no rain will see the flow in The Bushman’s fall considerably, but any rainfall up valley will see it rise again just as fast.  Heavy nymphs will be required … it’s almost certainly not dry fly water yet!  But rest assured, the time will come soon enough, and conditions will be sublime when it does…

With only a single return logged, even the fish in the stillwaters have been safe from the NFFC anglers over the past week.  There were some good fish in that return however : 13-15 inches / 33-38cm and 15-17 inches / 38-43 cm brackets.  Olive seems to be the colour of choice at present – minnow patterns, along with dragon and damselfly imitations.   Water temperature was reported at 19 degrees, which is getting a tad warm for trout … anything over the 20-degree mark is considered to be detrimental to trout, and all trout anglers (river and stillwater) are urged to carry a thermometer as we enter the dog days of summer.  As the (overcast) summer weather starts to wane, the clear days will warm surface waters, and the top foot or two is what is most detrimental to fish that have been fought up off the bottom into this warm, oxygen-depleted layer.  This last stage of the fight is where fish will quickly build up lactic acid, resulting in a floater even if practising Catch-&-Release.

The bass fishing appears to hit a flat spot – this past weekend saw the KZN Interclub Cup event, hosted by Midlands Bassmasters, taking place on Albert Falls.  Five clubs : Midlands, Inanda, Ladysmith, PMB and Predator took up the challenge with some 46 boats on the water representing their Clubs.  While there were a few good fish coming out, fishing was really tough and the anglers toiled for fish for the most part.  At the end of the day, it was Inanda that lifted the floating trophy for the first time, with Midlands in 2nd place, and Ladysmith in 3rd place. Well done to all the anglers that participated.
The fishing at Midmar also slowed down somewhat, although there is word that a 10lb / 5kg came to hand recently – the fish apparently being the ONLY fish for the angler that day … but what a fish!  Perseverance pays as they say.

The NFFC also has some beats aimed at the scaly anglers – and a single report was received this week.  No records here(!) as the fish were reported to be in the 3-5 inch / 7.5-12.5 cm bracket … but a fish is fish!  Kudos to those anglers that went out there and made it happen.”  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, they are open 8am-5pm Mon-Fri, 8am-1pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

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://ansapodcast.buzzsprout.com

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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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