Our huge annual clearance sale is here! Massive discounts on samples, soiled trade show stock, seconds, repairs and end of ranges! Only at our 53 Hunter Street branch. Sale runs from Thursday 7th 8-5pm, Friday the 8th 8-5pm, Saturday the 9th 8-1pm and Sunday the 10th 8-1pm of December 2023. Masses of rods, reels and terminal tackle.
We are in the home stretch, just a few more days to Christmas and just a few more past that to the end of 2023. Fishing has been magic with plenty of good sized catches in all facets.
Top tip: Festive spirits.
Every year there are a few unfortunate incidents involving too much festive spirit/s. Please keep the merry at home and don’t endanger yourself or fellow beachgoers. The sea is an unpredictable place that must be treated with respect. Have a fantastic break and get some fish on your hooks.
The fishing offshore has been very good up north with most days seeing the anglers come home happy.
The north coast, as mentioned, has been on fire. The gamefish have been peeling drag and testing the anglers knots. Livebait has continued to be scarce but there have been some mackerel around in pockets. Try to make the most of these pockets and stock up on some decent mackerel.
The tuna have made up the bulk of the catches but the couta have made up the numbers. The couta have been on the small side but they made up for their smaller side with a good helping of aggression and hunger. The tuna have been big and strong. Livebait has been the best choice for them. The livebait has also been the choice of all the other pelagics being caught. Dorado, sailfish and a host of other goodies have all been mentioned.
The snoek have been around the Umgeni mouth all the way to Umhlanga. Trolling this stretch in the morning with fillet baits in the early morning is deadly especially if you throw a spoon while you are going. Try to match the hatch as best you can and throw a small spoon.
The couta and tuna have also been present along the central coast with some very big fish being landed. The tuna have been smashing poppers on the surface and this is definitely the most exciting way to catch these fish. Try throwing darker colours as they have a better silhouette.
The charter boats have done well with the bottom fish and have rarely come back with unhappy crew.
The fishing down south has been good but the reports have been few and far between. The snoek have been thick off the Umkomaas mouth. This is a great place to spend a couple minutes before heading out to the deep. Throw a spoon and retrieve it rapidly just behind the backline.
The deeper waters out to the shoal have produced some proper tuna and these have kept the guys happy down south. There are still some quality wahoo on the shoal so get your bonnies and troll around for these speedsters.
Rock and surf:
The rock and surf fishing has been up and down over the last week. The fishing has been spectacular on the good days and quiet on others.
The north coast has still seen some good inedible fishing with a couple sandies and honeycombs testing knots and backs in the north. Blythedale and zinkwazi have been the two most productive spots along the north coast. These spots have seen edibles and inedibles in most conditions.
On the edible side, chokka and prawn have been the best baits mentioned while the bigger shad have preferred sardines. There have also been plenty of spadefish around which love a white bait. Fishing has been best around rocks and particularly in bays that form some protection from the seas.
The inedibles have favoured mackerel and redeye as a bait. There have been some good sandies landed as well as some big flatfish. The sea has been a bit warm but the northeast winds should help drop the temperature.
The Durban coast has seen consistent fishing with both edibles and inedibles being landed on most of the days.
The inedibles being caught have mainly been diamond rays and dusky grey sharks. The greys have required a bite trace and a smaller circle hook while the diamonds have needed a larger hook and bait.
The edibles have been much the same as the north coast with a lot of pompano being caught on the blue lagoon pier. Sealice and prawns have been the best baits. The shad have been a bit quiet but a drift bait has been very effective along most of the central coast.
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. The area around Umkomaas has been particularly effective for kob. 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 have 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 facets have been fishing well. Most of the dams in KZN have a few fish to offer so if the sea is too far or too big, head to your closest dam for some fun.
The stillwaters are seeing some good results (still). The deeper dams are working well on the warmer days as the trout seek a bit of comfort in the deeper, cooler water. The fronts have made fishing a bit up and down but the fish have been keen to eat.
Streamers and minnow patterns are still the most productive way to target the bigger fish but nymphs have been more consistent on the difficult days.
A couple of blistering days again in the last week, this time followed by a late afternoon thunderstorm that brought some welcome relief and dampen things down a bit. Rainfall reports show anything from a couple of mm all the way through to two instances of 35-40mm. So while the rain is most welcome, the downside is that it can bring the rivers up – a single return from a Natal Fly Fishers Club scaly angler reported that the NFFC beat on the Umkomaas River was fast and brown.
The Bushman’s and Mooi rivers have received attention from the NFFC river anglers this week – water temperatures were reported as 18 and 19 degrees respectively. The fish from the Mooi River return were penned in at 7-9 inches / 18-23cm, while the fish from the Bushmans River return came in at 13-15 inches / 33-38cm and 15-17 inches / 38-43cm. The Bushman’s return also noted “lovely conditions, fish holding in the deeper water with smaller fish visible in the shallows” … sounds like a great day out.
There have been some good numbers of fish reported from the NFFC stillwaters this past week. Fish mainly in the 11-13 inch / 28-33cm bracket, but also some better specimen’s in the 17-19 inch / 43-48 cm and 19-21 inch / 48-53cm classes. No mention of water temperatures, but presumably in the upper teens, hopefully having come down a bit with the recent rains. Anglers are again recommended to carry a thermometer, and to call it a day when temperatures get over the 20 degree mark.
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 livewells. 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 in to the thickest structure using heavy braid. Otherwise, pitching jigs through the heavy cover has seen some big bites this past week. With the waters warming, Albert Falls and Midmar Dams are reportedly fishing well with good fish in the 2-3kg range. The fly anglers did well at Alberts on the weekend, bagging 3 species, namely bass, barbel and carp. The private farm dams are also fishing well with Bluegill and bass coming to hand. We reported a couple weeks back on local PMB angler Mike Scheepers bagging his personal best bass of 5.1kg at Midmar, and eclipsed that this past weekend with a 5.4kg fish from a private water. Congrats Mike!
The Midlands Bassmasters held their Club Inhouse event at Albert Falls on the weekend … a great turnout with 26 anglers, including 6 juniors. Some great fish came out. Tim Probert took top honours with a 3 fish bag of 6.785kg and also biggest fish of 3.3kg. In the Juniors, Jacques Bradford took the win with a 3 fish bag pulling the scale to 5.805kg. Congrats to all the anglers
No more news on the Albert Falls hippo other than that there was another close call in this past week when the hippo surfaced (very) close to a boat. It was reported that luckily the anchor was up, and the anglers got the boat engine going in record time, and managed to get out of the way of the approaching hippo.
The last weekend saw The Complete Fly Fisherman (TCFF) magazine host their annual Yellowfish Experience at Sterkfontein Dam. Conditions were reportedly the best seen on this event, full sunny days with little to no wind, and some excellent fish coming to hand. When Sterkies behaves, it really is one of the top fly fishing venues in the country.
The carp fishing has been steady in the past few weeks. The specimen angling is starting to pick up with more fish being landed this past week. The fronts have helped to drop the water temps and make the carp a bit more aggressive. Particles have done very well this past week with some quality fish coming to the net.
The conventional anglers have done well with smaller fish. Plenty of fish have been caught with very few going over the 5kg mark. The best reported baits have been fruity mielie pips. Strawberry and banana has been the most productive of the flavours.
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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