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 weather has not been playing the game, but the fishing has still been on top form. From the bass to the billfish, there is something for everyone to catch.

Top tip – Billfish and dorado. These are two of the most prized offshore targets along the KZN coast. Dorado are easier to target most of the time, but the billfish can be targeted doing much the same.

Trolling skirted lures along the deeper drop offs and the colour lines is a great way to target both. Look at using medium to large, skirted lures with a good smoke trail and or good movement. Colour is often a personal choice when it comes to lures but a combination of colours in your spread will quickly reveal the flavour of the day.

Live baits are very happily accepted by both as well. A circle hook, bridled to a live bait and trolled slowly in a likely area on a good quality fluorocarbon line will put you in with a good chance of both species (and tuna).

Offshore:

The bigger seas and heavy winds have made fishing on the boats a little unpleasant, but the bumpy trips have been worth it.

North The north coast has seen some good snoek and couta for the smaller boats and skis. The deeper reefs and wrecks have seen some very good bottom fishing with big trawl soldiers and a host of other species being caught. Squid and sardines have been the baits of choice for the deeper fishing.

The tuna has been full up with some giants being hooked and breaking tackle. These are very powerful fish so allow them to fire themselves out before you try horse them to the boat.

Central The central coast has seen a great flush of geelbek and daga in the last two weeks. The charters have been fully booked and the recreational anglers have been launching at every opportunity. 8-9ft rods, 80lb+ braid and a 9inch KP are the weapons of choice for this type of fishing.

There has been snoek around in the early mornings. Most of the fish have been taken while trolling fillets around south pier and Blue lagoon. There have been plenty of wolf herring and shad around so check your fillets regularly.

South The south coast catches have been focussed around the deeper marks along with Aliwal Shoal. There has been some big wahoo around that few have managed to land. The tuna has been great fun on the faster lipped lures and these have been working for the other species too. This time of year is fantastic on the boat if you get the weather right, so keep your eye on the weather apps and plan accordingly.

Rock and Surf:

The shore-based fishing has been a combination of spinning, scratching and a hint of big fish fishing. All that and the sardines are here in numbers!

North The north coast points have been the most effective spots along the coast to target the snoek on spoon. Small but heavy spoons that can be retrieved very fast without losing stability are essential. You also need tackle that can throw said spoon a long way and retrieve it rapidly. This means long rods and fast reels.

The north coast has seen some decent scratching along the ledges and in the gullies. Pink prawn has been the best bait all around.

Central The beaches in and around Durban have seen some decent fishing this past week. The cape stumpies (silvers) have been keeping the light tackle guys very happy with hours of fun to be had. This is a great species to target for the newcomers or younger anglers. They fight hard for their size and are not very fussy with baits. Make a Christmas tree trace with a size 2 or so Mustad Ringer Chinu and you are in the game. The shad have been scarce in the Durban area for some reason… Your best bet is still the Pier at Blue Lagoon though. Keep an eye on the action in the early mornings and evenings. Lots of cars in the carpark is generally a giveaway of some action.

South Much like the central coast, there have been garrick at all the major spots along the south coast. This is great news! Remember that these fish get hammered every year by guys keeping too many fish, so please release as make as possible.

Garrick are best targeted with a live bait fished close to the shore. Live bait type is not the most important part, but location is. Use a circle hook through the top lip of the baitfish or bridled through the eyes and you will quickly see more solid hookups. 6/0 Mustad tuna circle is the hook of choice.

This with the presence of the sardines means the south coast is about to get very busy!

Freshwater:

The trout are feeding well, keeping the midlands anglers happy. The bass are fussy but are there to be caught. The carp are waiting for you to send a mielie bomb their way…

Bass The colder weather has meant slower; more finesse approaches have done better than ripping a spinnerbait through an area. Dropshot fishing with a straight-tail worm has seen the most success from the reports coming in. Colour of the worms has not been of the utmost importance but the more natural browns and greens have seen more productive fishing. Target the deeper areas adjacent to structure or shallow flats. The bass will move between the shallows and depths to find the warmer water.

The smaller jerkbaits have also seen results but they have to be able to be fished slowly and therefore need to be of the suspending type.

Carp The carp reports have been a bit sparse. This is based on many venues being closed to overnight fishing. The venues that have allowed this have seen some decent fishing, even on the coldest days. The stronger scents have been producing the bites on both conventional and specimen fronts. The conventional anglers have reported good fishing while using the garlic, tcp and gumtree. These have been the top three flavours/scents reported from most of the venues. The winter water is generally a lot cleaner than in summer. This means a fluorescein dye will greatly increase the attractiveness of your bait. Green and red are the two most popular. Adding some of the powder in to your mielie bomb will put up a smoke cloud leading the fish straight to your bait.

The specimen anglers have seen good results from the fishy flavours and by adding oils into their feeding mix. This has led to some barbel catches but it is part of the territory.

Trout The midlands have been cold! This has not put the trout off; on the other hand the fishing has been rather good. Most of the trips up to the many stillwaters in trout country have yielded success for even the newcomers to the art of fly fishing.

Some of the venues have still reported good catches on orange-coloured flies so make sure you do have something in orange to use if nothing is working. The stockies have been feeding fairly heavily on bulkier flies with a black woolly bugger continuing to come out tops. The flexibility of this pattern in terms of retrieves is phenomenal! The larger fish have been a bit more selective with more realistic baitfish patterns producing some good results.

 

Herewith this week’s report from Jan at the Kingfisher in PMB – “As the saying goes : as one door closes, another one opens … with the “iffy” month of August just about behind us on the trout front, the warming waters have put the Scaly (Natal Yellowfish) on fire!  Great reports are coming in from far and wide, so time to get out there and take advantage while these rod-benders are being friendly…

The 1st of September and the Opening of the Trout Streams is upon us (just about now), and it’s been a deliberate ploy of mine for the past 15+yrs to pull a sickie (and then miraculously recover on the day – tongue firmly in cheek here) and head out for a river inspection after not seeing flowing water for the 3 months river closure.  As mentioned last week, a recent trip to Giant’s Castle revealed the Bushman’s River to be low and clear, and reports from around indicate much the same elsewhere.  Amazing how fast water levels drop after a short period of no input.  Tight Lines all making it out the weekend – send your reports and let’s see those fish.  While I won’t be able to report on the trout this year, I will be on a “stream” a little further north this year and hope to have something else to report on my return…

I suspect that August and the turning of the season has gotten the better of the Natal Fly Fishing Club anglers, with again a few hardy souls venturing out.  The Club has been busy with its late-winter stocking programme, with a number of waters having been stocked over the last while.  It would appear that the “stockies” have taken “like a fish to water”, are hungry and feeding well as one of the reports indicated a number of fish caught in the 5-7 inch / 13-18cm range!  At the other end of the spectrum, there was a report of fish in the 17-19 inch / 43-48cm and 19-21 inch / 48-53cm brackets.

Last weekend saw the annual Albert Falls Bass Classic taking place – fishing was scheduled for Friday and Saturday, but due to high winds on Friday and fears for the angler’s safety, the event was held over for a day and fishing took place on Saturday and Sunday.  Herewith a summary of the full results, which are available on the Albert Falls Bass Classic socials page … top 3 bags all over 25kg, the winning bag pulling the scales to 28.445kg … more than 50 fish coming in at over the 2kg mark, with the single biggest fish topping the scales at 4.254kg (of interest, the next 15 fish were all between the 3 and 4kg mark).  The Ladies and Juniors also put up a good showing : top Ladies fish came in at 3.235kg and the biggest in the Juniors came in at 2.860kg.  Congrats to all the anglers!

The scaly anglers are all smiles recently – with river conditions on the up, the fish have been loose!  Depending on what part of the river you were on, early morning meant a rather chilly start with the lower Umkomaas Valley reporting sub-zero temperatures!  A cold start means that fish stay in bed till a bit later, so the best advice is grab that extra cup of coffee before heading out … those anglers that started later reported success from the get-go.  Reports tell of water temperature in the lower Umko to be up into the late teens, so all good for the bugs to get active and the fish on the bite.  Preferred method of targeting these swimming V8’s is with a nymph rig – no mention of dry fly action just yet, although I expect word in a couple weeks as conditions improve some more”. Thanks Jan and tight lines on your trip north.

There are only a few spots left for the Natal Fly Fishers Club Scaly Clinic taking place on the weekend of 8-10 September.  Pop onto the NFFC socials to get details, or pop into the shop and chat to Jan.

Please send any info about fishing or fish caught in your area to mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za

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