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.

The fishing has been good on all fronts. The weather has been a bit iffy but the breaks in the wind/rain have been producing the goods.

Top tip: Litter. It is something we become almost immune to because we see it everywhere. If we as a fishing community just make an effort to pick up the litter around where we fish we set an example for everyone else. A small drop in a glass is the start to making it full. 

Offshore:

Offshore the fishing has been a mix of bottom fishing when the gamefish go quiet and chaos when the drags start screaming.

North The north coast has been fishing very well from Umdloti all the way to Sodwana. The closer inshore reefs have seen some amazing couta caught, mostly on live bait. Down rigging your live bait has been key to getting the bigger bites. Try and fish one bait close to the bottom and another slightly higher in the water column. The general rule is to start fishing closer to the surface and move deeper as the day goes on. The bottom fishing has been a bit slow on the north coast but some smaller reds and daga have been caught.

Central The Durban section of KZN has produced some good gamefish and bottom fish catches over the past few weeks. The charter boats are keeping their clients happy with plenty of tuna and the odd billfish to get the heart pumping and the drag screaming. Darker coloured skirted lures have been the most successful for these faster gamefish. Remember that the wahoo also love a skirted lure at speed so use some wire or a chain gang.

The bottom fishing has been patchy but good. The slinger and soldiers have been the bulk of the catches in terms of numbers with a few rockcod rounding off the catches. Squid and sardine have been the most reported baits used successfully. 

South The south coast has seen some good fishing on Aliwal Shoal with tuna, wahoo and a mix of other gamefish making an appearance on the catch reports. Trolling lipped lures in purple colours have done very well as well as higher-speed skirted lures. Tuna have also been around at most of the depths with live bait, poppers and trolled lures working for them.

Rock and surf:

The inedibles are giving a good account of themselves. The kingfish have been around in good numbers with most being taken on lures.

North The upper reaches of KZN have been a bit quiet for the summer but the days that have produced fish have seen good hauls of raggies with a splash of diamonds in between. The raggies have mainly come out at Tugela with bigger head baits getting the best results. 

The rest of the north coast has been hit or miss with some spots producing amazing action and others that are seemingly perfect, not seeing fish. Your best bet is to line up the conditions as best as possible and go check out the spot you want to fish on a low tide to see the banks. Wait for three or so days of northeast wind to blow and ideally a small sea. Look for a spot where you can fish into the deeper water either over the sandbank or between two banks. 

Central The central coast has been producing a good mix of species for the intrepid angler. The shad have been feeding well along most of the piers and beaches. Drift baits have been doing very well when the sea is small enough.
The stumpies and smaller kob have also been feeding on the rolling banks. Look for the whitewater along the sandbanks. Chokka and prawn baits are the choice for these fish.

South The south coast remains a bit quiet. There have been fish around but you have had to scratch hard to find them. The reefs of Trafalgar have been the main drawcard down south. Some of the areas have required a long cast so make sure your tackle is up to the task. Once again prawn and chokka have been the best baits. Red prawn has taken the lead over pink prawn.

Freshwater:

The bass are biting, and some giants have been landed. The carp and trout are playing second fiddle but are still keeping their anglers happy.

Bass The bass fishing has been wild in most of the KZN venues. From the smaller private dams to Inanda, the bass have been eager and aggressive so get out there and get some bass. 

Weightless soft plastics have been the most successful target method for the smaller dams. With the shallower water and general weedy nature of these dams, the weightless plastics excel. Those looking for the bigger fish will do well to use a hollow body frog. 

Inanda and Albert Falls have been the pick of the bigger venues. Both dams have fished well for the shore and boat anglers but the boat guys have done better. A mix of techniques have been reported but spinnerbaits and cranks have been the two most popular. 

Thanks to Tess Kirpal for sending in this report on the 22/03. “Just wanted to share some recent catches at Sterkfontein dam. We’ve had extremely hot weather this month, but we wait for the day there’s a dip in temperature and that’s when we seem to catch the bigger bass.

My son catches quite a few on fly, from the banks, when they don’t seem too interested in lures or spinners. Yesterday morning was a good morning for the copper spinner, with some small but very strong bass. 

3 days ago, a first cast next to the slip way, with a Zoom trick worm, earned me my personal best of 1,53kg bass…. However, it was a rather skinny bass, as we have been finding lately and for a bass this length, could have easily cleared 3kg, if it had enough food, also a 1.23 kg bass caught by my son, on fly, also a thin bass. All were safely released.

Thank you for your regular news on the fishing scene, it’s very useful advice and we appreciate it.” Thanks Tess and well done to you Guys on excellent fishing.

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 stillwaters have been fishing well even though the fishing has slowed down from previous weeks. Stripping streamers on sinking lines around drop-offs has been a great way to target the bigger fish. Make sure to use a decent leader and not to go too light as the fish hit the fly hard!

The fly anglers have also had a lot of fun with the scalies in the rivers. If you have not tried this yet, give it a go. Pop in to one of our stores to get the right tackle to get you started.

News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Having just returned from the village of Rhodes in the Northeastern Cape, the effects of El Nino reported on recently are very much apparent. We last reported that according to some prior news and images, the rivers appeared to be virtually bone dry, so hopes of some bumper river fishing at the Wild Trout Association Festival were decidedly low.  While this was in fact the case, it’s simply amazing that there were still plenty of fish to be had … albeit the “youngsters and teenagers”.  The shallows were alive with 1–2-inch juvenile fish and combined with the fact the biggest fish of the Festival came from (very) low down in the system, indicates that the adults have already spawned and dropped down in the system as a result of the rapidly falling water levels.  A case of move, or be trapped, as the water linking the remaining pools dwindles and dries up.  The same happens here on our local rivers / streams.

There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon however, as the environmental news seems to be indicating that while classified as “strong”, this El Nino is milder than the 2015 episode … and might be short-term, and the southern Hemisphere will return to a “neutral” state by mid-year, with La Nina developing over June-August.  That does still mean that rainfall is going to be (very) scarce till then.

The Midlands is in the lucky position that the Mgeni System is still sitting at just over 98% FSL on average, and dam levels as follows : Mearns / 102%, Spring Grove / 100%, Midmar / 96%, and Albert Falls / 100%.  And the weather forecast has some good rainfall predicted for the weekend – perhaps not exactly the best news for the Easter Long Weekend, but we’ll take it.

Our rivers are also currently in a much better position than those witnessed in the N.E.C. … so with just over 8 weeks left in the river trout season, time to get out and throw that line! As reported previously, The Bushmans River is looking the best of the local moving waters, and as a result has seen most of the efforts of the Natal Fly Fishers Club anglers. Much the same as the rivers of the N.E.C, water temperatures are 17/18deg to start in the morning, and rising to around 22deg in the afternoon.  The bulk of the fish reported coming in at 8-12 inch / 20-30cm class.  There are some bigger fish around in the 15-17 inch / 38-43cm and 17-19 inch / 43-48cm classes.  Although reported to be “getting a bit low already”, The Mooi River also provided some action, with fish in the 11-13 inch / 23-29cm bracket being reported.  As mentioned, … river time is NOW.

Even though we have some 2 months of river season to go, there are some anglers that have already polished their gear and tackled the stillwaters in preparation of the winter season … and as they say, the early bird gets the worm … and some cracking fish have been reported of late.  Good numbers of fish in the 13-15 inch / 33-38cm and 15-17 inch / 38-43cm classes, and some heavyweights showing up for the local lady anglers netting fish in the 19-21 inch / 48-53cm class (Roxanne Stegen) and 23-25 inch / 58-63 cm class (Sindi Beach).  These ladies are hosting the Women in Waders Ladies Stillwater event 11-14 July on the waters around Nottingham Road – luckily, they won’t be fishing!

With the dry conditions so far, there are still some scaley anglers getting out and about, although if the forecast is correct, that might just come to an abrupt end as the rivers get some input.

The bass action is reportedly starting to take off in both Albert Falls and Midmar Dams. Plenty of small fish, with a few fish reported in the 2kg plus range.  The carp action is reportedly HOT at Midmar

Of interest is that round 3 of the 2024 Joey’s Towing Tournament Trail visits Midmar Dam early in April – the first time such an event is being held on Midmar. Saturday 6 April also see the Creighton Fishing Competition on 6 waters around the Creighton Sports Club.  We look forward to reporting on these events in due course.

We would like to wish all our readers a happy and fun Easter long weekend … hope the Bunny with the sweet tooth delivers”! 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.

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://ansapodcast.buzzsprout.com

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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