The fishing has been good on the days that fishing has been possible. Plan your trips around the weather as best you can and you will get some good results.
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 bit a few items to put on your list of must haves.
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 giants.
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 get your hands on some good mackerel and sardines just to be sure. The dorado are also here in force!
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 mainly, but the main attraction has been the monster tuna and dorado. The tuna have 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 a lot of bottom fish action over the last few weeks. The rockcods have been very greedy and always and they have jumped on most baits dropped down to the. The tuna have been the only reliable gamefish to target down south with the rest of the bunch being hit or miss. The tuna have been taken on everything from small live baits to large, skirted Konas.
Much further south the guys have done very well in the Transkei with giant red steenbras and poenskop. These brutes need proper tackle and skill to land.
Rock and Surf:
The rock and surf fishing has been a real mix this past week. The north coast is starting to show some summer action, but the conditions are not playing the game most days…
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 picky 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 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.
The freshwater facets have been a bit slow, but the fish have been bigger and worth the wait in the colder weather.
Bass – All the dams in KZN have been fishing fairly well with decent specimens being landed from most venues. Fishing slower and more methodical has been reported as the most successful way to target the bigger fish. Dropshots have worked very well in the deeper water especially when targeting structure in the deep. Small minnow imitations or straight-tail worms have been the best plastics to use.
Midmar is a great dam to work with your electronics as there are many hidden spots offshore that can hold giants.
Carp – The carp fishing has shifted away from targeting numbers and instead is now focussed on the big specimens. This means longer hours waiting for a bite, but that bite could be a new personal best. This time of year requires more thought and patience in all aspects from preparation to feeding your spot.
When specially targeting the bigger fish, try to make as little disturbance as possible as well as keeping a vigilant eye out for any action. The colder water sees the stronger flavours producing better results.
Trout – The Stillwater fishing has been phenomenal with most of the KZN and the Swartberg region. Float tubes, warm waders, sinking lines and streamers are all essential items for this time of year. The bigger Stillwaters are best fished around the old river channels. Fishing the edge of the drop offs is a sure way of targeting the big fish hunting grounds. Favourite flies include paparoachs, minnow imitations and woolly buggers in olives and blacks.
News in from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB. “With crazy hot days interspersed by thunderstorms and rain, it looks like Summer appears to be settling. If you wanting to get out and throw a line, you are going to have become an expert weather watcher to catch the dry spells, unless you like fishing in the rain waving a carbon conductor under a ceiling of electricity! On the hot days, watch out also for late afternoon thunderstorm activity – the hailstorm in The Midlands of this week would have been no fun to be fishing in, ask me how I know. The rainfall reports of the last week note some 20-25m on average for The Midlands, with some places receiving in excess of 60-70mm. For the most part, the stillwaters are full and rivers are running well. After the lower than expected water we experienced in Giant’s Castle last week, here’s hoping that some of this week’s precipitation made it into the valley.
Returns have been received from the Natal Fly Fishers Club river anglers from all three local trout streams : uMngeni, Mooi and Bushman’s. Both The Mooi and uMngeni produced fish of 7-11 inches / 18-28cm, the uMngeni additionally giving up a fish in the 19-21 inch / 48-53cm bracket. The Bushman’s return noted “the fish were really on the prod”, and a good number of fish in the 11-17 inch / 28-43cm range with most fish taken on nymph while fishing a dry-dropper rig. No mention of water temperatures, but no doubt still in the early double figures as a result of the rain and recent snow up top.
The NFFC stillwaters saw a good number of fish coming to the net over the last week. Water temperatures are still pretty much perfect between 14 and 18deg. There were a few fish at the smaller end of the tape, in the 11-15 inch / 28-38cm bracket … a few more in the 15-19 inch / 38-48cm and 19-21 inch / 48-53cm classes, and two fish reported in the 21-23 inch / 53-58cm cm class, just shy of the magical 24 inch / 60cm mark. Fish were reported to regurgitating “gilliminkies”, so a great pattern to throw out, and one my personal favourites, is a Zonker Minnow. Another report noted using dragonfly nymph – another firm favourite on the trout menu.
Of note is that the final two rounds of stillwater stockings were recently undertaken by the NFFC, completing the annual stocking programme for 2023. It is anticipated that these fish will be coming back plus size on the anglers returns in due course.
No reports (or pictures) from the bass anglers, so we trust that the fishing is still on at both Albert Falls and Midmar – only way to know for sure to get out there (and let us know). Word is that the carp and barbel are active at Alberts at present, with a 9kg carp being reported on fly recently. Hopper / Cricket patterns are being used to target both these species. For the bait anglers, chicken hearts and livers will serve you well for the barbel.
An update on the hippo in Albert Falls is that Msinsi Holdings (guardians of the water) have identified the owner of the hippo and that arrangements are being made to relocate. In the meantime, all guests visiting Albert Falls are requested to be vigilant and inform the Reserve Manager of any sightings of the hippo.
With the lower reaches of the rivers currently in spate, there have no reports in from the scaly anglers. Sterkfontein anglers had a good day last week after the cold and mizz from days before. Jeremy Rochester of Escape Fly Fishing reported that after a slow start, the waters warmed up and by midday, fish started moving and some excellent smallmouth yellows were taken sight fishing with hopper patterns”. 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 a number of 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.
Watch out for our very own Gilbert Foxcroft and Adriaan van der Merwe in the specimen sections, they join Petri and land some awesome carp.
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
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