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.

Just like the famous soundtrack of Beverly Hills cop, the heat is most definitely on! With temperatures holding over 30 degrees it is a great time if you sell ice cream, sunscreen or water. The fishing is pretty great as well.

Top tip: Fish handling.  One of the most important parts of fishing for the future is making sure your fish goes back as healthy as possible. It is pointless releasing a fish that is going to die because you handled it incorrectly. There are a couple things to remember when practicing safe handling of fish. Keep the fish wet and in the water if possible. Stay away from their gills (skates and fish) as these are very sensitive and easily damaged. Keep their body weight supported. This means having your hands under the heavy section or keeping the fish on flat ground and not on its back. Keep these basic principles and you will ensure fish for the future generations. 

Offshore:

The offshore fishing has been phenomenal! The only issue or hurdle has been the big surf, making launching a clenching affair…

North – The north coast has seen a lot of couta. The areas around Vidal have been full up of shoal couta and these greedy speedsters will very rarely say no to a bait. With the mackerel shortage at the moment, you might need to rely on the old faithful sardine. Don’t stress, they work extremely well. 

The lower north coast has had a good mix of gamefish with tuna, couta and snoek making up the bulk of the catches. The sharks have been an issue. Pull your strip baits in the morning for the snoek and then move deeper for the couta/tuna. 

Central – The central stretch of KZN has been a lot easier to launch at while still seeing good fishing well. 

The bigger swells have made the backline snoek fishing a bit difficult and have necessitated the use of someone watching the swells at all times. The trolling of skirted lures and high-speed lipped lures has been particularly effective lately for both the bigger tuna as well as the dorado/billfish. Darker colours have worked very well. 

The reefs off the Bluff have produced some better sized couta but the pickings have been slim. Getting decent live bait has been essential if you want the bite amongst the crowd. 

South – The south coast has seen a good mix of the species from the north. The snoek have fed well on the colours lines present off most of the south coast rivers. Trolling both fillet baits as well as smaller lipped lures will produce the goods. 

The south coast is the place to go if you want to target that bigger couta but the season is a bit early. Nonetheless, putting bigger baits closer to the bottom in the shallows is a great way to target these bigger fish. If you prefer a faster style of fishing, then head deep to the shoal and troll some plastics.

Rock and surf:

The bigger seas have made fishing a bit tricky, but the fish have been biting if you can keep your bait in the feeding zone. The competition anglers have landed some big numbers this past weekend.

North – The north coast has seen the bulk of the inedibles. The usual summer spots have been throwing fish on most days but there has not been a true smash just yet. The banks have had a lot of Zambezi’s around with most swim baits being converted. If you are going to attend this form of angling, then please use the appropriate tackle. The fish you are going to hook are very big and very strong. 

The lower north coast as well as the ledges and gullies in the far north have seen a lot of stumpies and pompano. Chokka and prawn have been the two most productive baits along this stretch of coast. Using a 4/0 circle hook and longer hook snood allows for a natural presentation as well as a solid hookup. 

Central – The Durban coast has seen plenty of shad and smaller edibles for those wanting some light tackle fun. Sardine is the top bait for this type of fishing and can provide hours of fun for young and old. 

There have been some decent grey sharks and diamond rays for those wanting a fight. Softer meaty baits thrown in to the deep are your best bet at hooking these fish. A simple trace of 1mm nylon on to a 120lb bite section of Fishmate nylon coated wire which is tied to a 9/0 circle hook is a good all-around trace for summer. Add a mackerel head with some cutlets strapped around it and you are targeting most of the summer inedibles along the KZN coast. 

South – The south coast has been fairly quiet although the big seas have made for a lot of scratching opportunities. The south coast is blessed with a lot of gullies, bays and protected spots that can even be fished in a big sea. Look for these areas and you will be surprised how shallow a big fish can go. 

These areas are best fished with a double circle hook trace. Look at using a 2/0 as the top hook and a 4/0 on the bottom snood. If you want a single bait for everything then chokka it is. 

There have been a lot of kob around, so they are there if you want to target them. Please release the smaller specimens. 

Freshwater:

The freshwater has seen some great fishing in the last few weeks. All facets have been producing fish.

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 fishing has been good in the stillwaters with some bomber rainbows being landed. The hotter weather has not been ideal, but the fish have still been feeding well in the early mornings and late afternoons. Try fishing damsels and dragons in the morning seasons and switch over to bigger baitfish type streamers in the late afternoons, finishing with some dries in the evening. 

The rivers continue to produce the goods even in the mix of rains. Focus on the slower flowing water and use heavier nymphs in the faster water. 

Scalies have been the main target for those who prefer the delicate art that is fly fishing. Finding the fish is all about stealth and keeping a watchful eye on the water. Successful flies are mainly of the nymph variety that are heavy enough to stay in the strike zone.

News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Finally, it seems that the REAL summer is in full swing … blue skies and blistering hot to start, and cooler / overcast conditions with a good likelihood of a thunderstorm.  Somewhat late in the season, but this has been the pattern now for the last while, and looks like it’s settled in.  Positives are the drier spells to get some clear weather fishing in, and the thunderstorm pitches up, it is usually short and sharp, and quite localised … and there has been reports of some large hail about … so just make sure you are not under it when it happens!

For the most part then, the rivers have ben clearing up – I say for the most part, but that is unless there has been a (localised) storm which will give the river a knock, as the water table is good and high and anything falling is immediately off and running afterward.

The Natal Fly Fishers Club river beats saw some action this past weekend. Anglers on The Mooi River reported some good numbers of fish in the mornings … that is before a storm blew in … and as a result, the river picked up both in level and some colour … but as we know, the fish have been here for over 125 years and they aren’t going anywhere in a hurry.  A good range of fish came to hand, from 7 inches / 18cm up to 15 inches / 38cm … and of course there has to be a tail of a 50cm / 20 incher that got away at the net! A combination of dry and dry-dropper was successful before the storm pulled in, with a switch to a heavier Euro-Nymphing tungsten bead rig after the storm for the higher water level.

While on the rivers, the scaly anglers have been out looking for their favourite “freshwater bonefish” with approaches to the Umkomaas and Lions Rivers. While the main Umkomaas is still a tad high and dirty, the tributaries are reported to be fishing well – with predominantly smaller fishing coming out at present.  Also, just a couple of smaller fish reported from the Lions River in the 5-7 inch / 13-18cm bracket.  The lower Umngeni River is also still high and with colour, but reports are that there are some big scaly about.  Another two weeks of little to no rain and to coin a phrase : it will be a different kettle of fish!

On the NFFC stillwater front, a couple of returns were tabled but only 1 reported a couple of fish in the 9-11 inch / 23-28cm range.  Anglers commented on the afternoon storms and being “chased off the water” … probably the wiser course of action as can be confirmed from previous experience!

We are happy to report that the bass fishing appears to be out of the doldrums!  The first event of 2024 in the Joey’s Tournament Trail held on Albert Falls Dam this past weekend yielded some good fish.  The biggest fish of the event came in at 4.144kg, a new PB for local PMB angler Andrew Hall of team Central Hall’s (a big step from his previous PB of 3kg) … this fish helped bring their total bag to over 9kg and taking the win – Congrats!  Fortunately, the fishing was over, and the post-event festivities also narrowly missing the afternoon storm.  Word from the water is that Midmar is properly on fire at present, with good numbers of fish coming to hand over the 3kg mark.

But if it’s GOLD that you after, Sterkfontein is the place to be.  Jeremy Rochester of Escape Fly fishing reports that as things have started heating up, the fish are “sipping terrestrials in perfect conditions”.  With good numbers of Smallmouth Yellows on board, it’s the first report of the sought-after Largemouth Yellowfish that gets the blood pumping … with local PMB angler Dr Simon Akerman doing the honours … well done sir! 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.

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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Categories: Reports

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