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.

Just like that we are in the last month of 2023. The fishing is picking up and I think we all can’t wait for the break at the end of the year.

Let the festive season begin…

Top tip: Essentials. With all the different facets of angling, there are a few essentials that you always need.

A good set of pliers goes a long way and can be used in most facets of angling from fly fishing to big game trolling. Quality sun protective clothing allows you to keep fishing even in the heat of summer. A decent headlight makes all the difference if you fish in any form of low light. With our need for technology and our sport involving water, a waterproof pouch is essential. These are a few items to put on your list of must haves.

Offshore:

The couta and tuna have been keeping the offshore anglers very busy. The north has been the place to go but the local waters have held some proper yellowtail.

North The north coast has been the place to be if you are looking for couta. Vidal has come alive with fish and although most of the fish have been on the smaller side, the big fish are there.

The shallower areas have held most of the smaller fish, so if the giants are what you are after and you don’t mind waiting it out, head to the deeper water. Bait of choice has been an open category up north with most dead baits and live baits getting bites. Try to get your hands on some good mackerel and sardines just to be sure.

Closer to Durban the anglers have done well in hooking fish, but the sharks have been a major problem.

Central The Durban waters have also seen good couta around the Bluff, but the main attraction has been the monster tuna and dorado. The tuna has been of giant proportions with quite a few going over the 40kg mark!

Live bait and poppers have been the two main methods reported for these big fish. Mackerel have been scarce but have also been the most successful live bait around. For the poppers, the darker colours have been hit the hardest. Make sure that you upgrade your leaders for these bigger fish and use your tackle properly to pull these fish.

The dorado have been around the colour lines and floating structure. Luckily, they have not been too fussy and most trolled lures have worked for them.

South The south coast has seen some good tuna as well from Toti down to the shoal. Live bait slow trolled around the bait marks has been the number one method for these fish. A 6/0 circle hook bridled or rigged lightly through the back is the best way to get a solid hookup with these fish. This also works for the dorado that have been around.

The shoal has seen good numbers of wahoo around and these speedsters love a fast trolled lipped lure or a skirted lure. Work out the feeding area and then troll through this spot from different angles to find the money zone.

Rock and surf:

The summer fishing has been hot!

The sand sharks have been the one of the main targets along with the bigger flatfish like the honeycomb or backbreaking thorntail.

North The north coast has been blowing hot and cold with the varied conditions we are having. The northeast wind has not been cooling the water down as much as usual, so an extra day of proper NE wind has been needed to get the fish feeding. Mackerel and redeye have been the most productive baits for most of the inedibles. Try make a bait with a lot of smell and scent. If the peckers are an issue, then wrap your bait with some chokka to make it last longer.

The gullies are fishing very well on the north coast with a host of species being landed. Prawns and chokka blob baits are the most successful.

Central The central coast has seen some good pompano and stumpies in the last few weeks. There are a number of baits that work for these fish, but it is important to focus on good bait presentation as they can be fussy feeders. Chokka and prawn is a personal favourite bait, but crabs and sea lice work very well as well. Try a 4/0 size hook and a longer hook snood to keep it natural.

The central coast has also had plenty of inedibles with some large rays and sharks being caught. The deeper points have been productive as they allow the angler to get the bait in to the deeper water. Mackerel has been the top producer.

South The south coast has mainly been an edible fishing venue this past week. When the bigger seas come through, the south coast offers plenty of locations to duck away and find protection in the back bays and gullies.

There have been a host of edible fish coming out on both fleshy and prawn baits. Chokka, sardine and prawns are the three baits to have in your box.

There has been bream, kob and some decent stumpies down south so pack your medium tackle and go have a jol with the scratching fish.

There have not been very many inedibles on the south coast reported. Look at the beaches and points that allow access to the deeper water and launch a bait deep sea.

Freshwater:

The summer season is here, and all the facets are producing good fish.

Bass The summer bass fishing continues in KZN with some very big fish being caught in the last few weeks. A variety of methods have been working but something with either a decent profile or vibration has been the most effective. This is due to the dirty water and the bass needing to sense the bait’s presence. A large profile and or a vibration allows the fish to find the bait in even the dirtiest of water conditions.

Inanda and Midmar have both produced very good results in the last while. Albert Falls is not far behind.

Creature baits with plenty of ribs or extensions have been particularly deadly when being pitched in to cover along the bank. Those who prefer a moving bait will do well using either a lipless crankbait or a spinnerbait with a big blade.

Carp The carp fishing has been pretty good in most of the big dams in KZN, while the farm dams and private venues have been phenomenal. The decreased pressure and boat traffic in these smaller venue lends to much more relaxed fish and often better fishing.

Albert Falls has been the most productive venue in KZN for both specimen and conventional anglers. The smaller carp are both a blessing and a curse. The smaller carp often clear an area of bait very quickly. This means you need to keep topping the bait up but, it also gives the bigger carp a sense of security seeing the smaller fish feed.

Particles have done well for the specimen anglers while the banana mielie has been deadly for the conventional anglers.

Trout The trout have been busy feasting on the summer insects and are in very good nick. The rivers are flowing well so make sure you have both very buoyant dry flies as well as heavy nymphs. These will allow you to present a fly in even the roughest conditions.

Get your river fishing in before the rivers close in May.

The Stillwaters have slowed down a bit, but the fish are still there to be caught. Fish the deeper areas in the heat of the day and focus on the shallows in the mornings using a floating line and long leader.

News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB. “If last week’s heat was anything to go by, it sure fired up the annual Kingfisher Black Friday sale – Thank You to all our Customers for the support.  It looks like y’all are putting your new tackle to good use already, as the fishing has been just as hot!

The summer cycle is really settling in now, and along with the blistering hot, sweltering days, there have been some late afternoon storms in the order of a couple mm to into double figures at a time.  Unfortunately not enough to give the rivers a push and with the heat, the low water conditions are making things uncomfortable for the fish.

A single Natal Fly Fishers Club return from the Bushman’s River, while reporting some good fish in the 11-15 inch / 28-38cm bracket, noted a river temperature up in the late teens to start, and over 20 degrees by late afternoon.

With just a handful of returns coming in, no doubt the extreme heat has also kept the stillwater anglers off the water.  The bulk of the fish reported were in the 11-15 inch / 28-38cm class, and a few more in the 15-17 inch / 38-43 cm and 17-19 inch / 43-48 cm brackets.  On the flies, one of the returns noted using a favourite minnow pattern.

Water temperatures were commented on in both sets of returns … anglers are recommended to carry a thermometer and use the early morning to fish waters that have cooled overnight, and to call it a day when temperatures get near the 20-degree mark.

The bass are reportedly still on the prod at Albert Falls and Midmar.  Reports are contrasting, with one noting “toughest fishing ever”, and another “excellent fishing, bass gone wild”.  We are leaning towards the latter however, as there is plenty of pictorial proof (for a change!) in the socials of good fish about taken by both the boat and bank anglers.  Baynesfield Dam is also producing, with an excellent 1.4kg tilapia reported recently, taken on a lipless crank.

Still no final word on the fate of the hippo at Albert Falls.  Local anglers Zeyn Habib and Arshud Maiter reported a near run-in with the beastie popping up in the near vicinity where they were fishing, resulting in a few mock charges and them wisely beating a hasty retreat.  Anglers are again warned to be vigilant and not to approach the animal.

One positive of the heatwave is that Sterkfontein Dam was on fire this last week and weekend.  With the early week warming up, anglers descended on the water from both north and south, and an excellent few days’ fishing resulted.  Beetle and Hopper patterns were the primary flies of choice, with anglers reporting good numbers of solid fish, and instances of cast-for-cast”.  Guide Jeremy Rochester of Escape Fly Fishing reports that with the warmer water temperatures, the spawn has started, and noted catching smaller male fish now mixed in with the larger female specimens.

Just across the border is another yellowfish paradise: The Bokong River that feeds into Katze Dam.  Local outfitters, African Waters, report that the yellowfish season has kicked off strongly in the last week, with good numbers of fish starting the migration upstream.” 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 several 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.

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: Reports

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