The past week has seen plenty of interesting weather and bigger seas. Luckily the fish don’t mind getting wet, in fact they prefer it!
Top tip: Electrolytes and water. With the heat of summer almost upon us and the fish starting to feed well up north, the last thing you want is to cut your fishing short due to cramp and fatigue. Having plenty of water is essential in the summer when you are catching fish in the sun. It is also vital to have a good electrolyte drink to replenish all the salts and minerals you are sweating out. Make sure you are looking after yourself and you won’t start cramping on hour two of your battle with Poseidon.
The offshore fishing has been very good on the entire coast. The sea and heavy launch has been the most limiting factor but weather plays along…it has been magical.
North – The north coast has been seeing a lot of snoek in the mornings. The fish have been on the deeper side with some proper size specimens being boasted. The fillets have out fished most lures with spoons performing when the bait balls show up. With regards to the spoons, make sure to use a spoon as small as possible while still having enough weight to cast. The Kingfisher Anchovy spoons (5g-50g) is a great option.
The deeper reefs have seen some good couta and tuna on live baits. Down rigged baits have been the most successful with a combo of one lighter and one heavier sinker helping keep the baits at different levels in the water column.
Central – The central coast has seen much the same as the north. The tuna have been the most consistent of the target species with most trips seeing a few hooked. Trolling lures at speed has been the most productive way to cover water but slowly drifting around the bait spots with a live bait out is the best way to target the bigger fish.
The central coast has also seen a lot of bottom fishing with kob and geelbek being the main species. Chokka and sardine have been the pick of the baits.
South – The south coast has had snoek around the Umkomaas to Toti area. Throwing spoons around the backline area and at any action in the shallows is a fantastic way to catch these fish. Remember to keep an eye out for waves on the backline just in case.
The shoal has had some good fishing on days. Tuna have been the main fish caught. Trolling higher speed lipped lures has been very successful. Keep a popper rod ready as a single fish on the popper is worth five on bait or lure.
The deep reefs have seen good results with some very impressive bottoms being caught. With the sharks around, try to reduce the number of hooks on your trace. This not only reduces the cost of a lost trace but also gives you a better chance of bringing the fish to the boat.
Rock and Surf:
The sea has not been giving up its bounty as easily as last week. The bigger seas have made fishing a bit more difficult but worth it!
North – The north coast has seen some good flatfish and edibles brought to the side. Those looking for a big edible will do well targeting the bigger kingfish around. There have been some big blacktip kingies around the rockier areas of the north coast. These have been hooked on both live bait and lures, but few have been landed. The big GT’s have been pushed out with the dirtier water. These fish hang around the river mouths around this time of year and can be very aggressive.
The bigger inedibles have been around most of the north coast with a couple days of northeast wind bringing them on the bite.
Central – The Durban coast has seen some good fishing in the basin area. The bigger seas have forced a few anglers into this relatively calm area and some good fish have been caught. There have been a lot of sandies landed this past week in the basin area. Mackerel and redeye have been the two most successful baits to use.
South – The south coast has seen some kingfish caught by the guys spinning. The stretch from iLlovo through to Umkomaas has been the most productive. Throwing smaller spoons and jigs has worked for the smaller species while plugs and stick baits is the way to go for the GT’s.
The deeper points have produced good inedibles for the guys able to get a bait in to the deeper water. Much like the north coast, mackerel and redeye are the two baits that you have to have. Making a combo with these two baits is a personal favourite and has accounted for many species along most of the coast.
The freshwater fishing has been great. With the big seas, a lot of sea anglers have found the excitement and fast-paced action of bass fishing or the relaxation of carp and trout fishing.
Bass – 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 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.
The guys fishing slower have done very well with frogs in the shallow back pockets. These are cast into the thickest structure using heavy braid. Otherwise, pitching jigs through the heavy cover has seen some big bites this past week.
Carp – The carp fishing has been consistent for the past few weeks. The smaller fish have kept most of the anglers busy in the dams. Albert Falls has been fishing well for the carp guys with the new water levels opening up more fishing area. The flooded grass is a honey hole for the carp to feed in so placing your bait near these areas is always a good idea.
The specimen anglers have been fishing a lot of private waters with good success. Those fishing the public waters have reported success from both Nagle and Inanda. Boilies have been the bait of choice for the bigger fish with a bed of mixed particles proving to be a great attraction.
Trout – The big Stillwater’s 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.
Herewith this week’s report from Jan at the Kingfisher in PMB – “With a rather chilly dip in temperature, and reports of (more) snow around, the Weatherman is back to playing silly buggers. Last weekend’s stormy conditions also put paid to many anglers hopes of getting out here in The Midlands … I can however confirm that the storm activity was localised to the central KZN regions, as there was no effects further north in the Pongola region where I was targeting tigerfish on the Pongola River. And what fun that was … walking alongside what looked like a trout stream, but with tigerfish!
Be careful what you wish for as they say, as we have been wishing, the rains have come. One report from The Midlands noted some 200mm since the beginning of the month … dams are filling and the rivers are running. And the weather crystal ball isn’t looking that good for the coming weekend, with a forecast of rain and temperatures plummeting into (low) single figures! But as mentioned previously, the weather you see is not the be all and end all – it’s the “weather” one doesn’t see, i.e. atmospheric pressure, that plays a more important part, so keep an eye on the barometer if you are wanting / needing to get out…
Prior to the storm of last weekend, there were good reports from the Natal Fly Fishers Club river anglers from both The Mooi and Bushman’s systems. The Mooi produced equally good numbers of fish in the 11-13 inch / 28-33cm and 15-17 inch / 38-43cm brackets. With the frontal system starting to make its presence felt, The Bushman’s produced smaller fish in the 9-11 inch / 23-28 cm range, with a sprinkling of larger fish in the 13-15 inch / 33-38 cm bracket. A couple of days later, after the storm had passed over, a return from The Bushman’s noted that the river was fast having come up about by 2 feet or so …. again predominantly smaller fish in the 7-11 inch / 18-28 cm bracket, with some fish 11-15 inch / 28-38 cm bracket, and while The Bushman’s is supposedly a brown trout river, a single Rainbow hen fish of between 19-21 inch / 48-53 cm class came to hand. No doubt an escapee from the above stream hatchery, anglers are requested to remove rainbows from the system.
The returns from the NFFC stillwaters were all from prior to the big weather – some good numbers of fish came to hand, mainly in the 9-11 inch / 23-28cm and 13-15 inch / 33-38 cm classes … predominantly rainbows, but of great interest, good numbers of brown trout from one of the waters. Very pleasing to see, as the stillwater browns are sought after quarry (myself only ever having landed one), but tend to be highly elusive.
The bass fishing is picking nicely. In Albert Falls Dam, the fish are in spawn, with new fish moving up all the time. and readily taking soft plastics, jerk minnow and weightless stick baits in shallow water. Midmar continues to produce steadily.
For the Alberts anglers : of note is that a hippo has made its way down the river from a nearby Reserve in the Karkloof area. Not to be trifled with – as I can confirm having had our boat bounced by a hippo while on the Zambezi recently! – anglers are urged to steer clear.
The private waters are also producing well – local angler Tyron McGarry having a field day with a fly rod targeting bluegill, smaller bass and Vlei Kurper.
No fresh news from the scaly anglers, as I am sure the rivers have come up and are no doubt of colours. Summertime is Sterkies time however, and while still early, Jeremy Rochester of Escape Fly Fishing reported some excellent dry action with hopper patterns recently … looks to be setting up for a great season on this magnificent piece of water”. 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.
Series 22 of Hier Gaan Ons Alweer on kykNET with Petri de Wet premiers at 18:00 on Saturdays on kykNet, channel 144.
There are a number of repeats during the week. The repeats are on Sundays at 16:30, Mondays at 12:30, Tuesdays at 17:00 and Fridays at 22:00.
Series 22 runs for three months, (There are 13 episodes over the three months) ending on the 6th January 2024.
As most of you know, Petri and his guests cover various angling styles in and around Southern Africa, fresh and saltwater.
Watch out for our very own Gilbert Foxcroft and Adriaan van der Merwe in the specimen sections, they join Petri and land some awesome carp.
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
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