This year is flying past…The cooler weather is being broken by some warmer spells in Durban. Let’s hope summer comes soon so we can start hearing some drags scream!
Top tip. Target species. One of the toughest questions to answer in a fishing shop is around species. You can ask someone what they want to catch and the answer seems to always be “whatever is biting”….
Targeting certain species will teach you how to be a better angler and how to make the most of the limited time you get to fish. With this being said, you can always multi-target species. Scratching with pink prawns in the rocks for example will not just catch bronze bream. If you want to know more, pop in to one of our branches and chat to our friendly staff.
Some bigger seas but plenty of fish caught. The garrick and snoek continue to be the stars of the show.
North – The north coast has seen a lot of fish. From the guys travelling further north to Vidal and Sodwana all the way to Durban, there have been fish.
The snoek have been feeding very well in the early mornings along the backline along the entire north coast. Westbrook and Umdloti have produced good results while Jex estate has been the pick of the venues. The shark tax has been high so try to get your fish in as quickly as possible. Fillets have produced most of the bites but some fish being taken on lipped lures. The garrick have preferred a live bait slowly drifted along the backline, or a splashing plug on the surface.
Central – The Durban coast has seen more launches due to the ease of the Harbour and Vetch’s beach. These two sites make it possible for boats to launch in most sea conditions. There have been some smaller snoek and couta caught just behind Limestone reef. Most of these have been on trolled lures but a couple have fallen for a fillet bait. The shad have been a bit of a nuisance on the back line, but a fish is a fish…
Deeper, the tuna and couta have been the main targets. The tuna have been chased with poppers and live bait while the couta have only really taken live baits.
South – The south coast has seen much the same as last week with some decent fish in the deep on the trolling lures while the shallows have seen some big couta and a couple of snoek.
The couta have favoured a bigger bait, down rigged on a 4oz sinker. Try get your hands on some bigger mackerel, bonito or the king of the couta baits…the walla walla.
The snoek have favoured fillet baits and spoons down south. The Umkomaas area has seen some decent fish but no big numbers. Try spin on the backline just after you launch to get the day started properly.
Rock and surf:
Some giant snoek on spoon, garrick on plug and some surprise catches along the way.
North – The deep-water points have seen some good snoek fishing with small spoons during the hour of first light. Remember that these fish get up early so you need to get there before they do. It’s not fun in winter to get up in the dark but it is worth it.
The kob have been around and have been taken on both bait and paddle tails. Fish accurately with the paddle tails as the kob can be lazy and will not chase a lure down. Make sure your lure has a good thumping tail, colour is second.
Central – The central coast has seen a lot of good shad action. The lure anglers have been doing very well with spoons, bucktails and long lures. All of these have specific actions that make them effective so try out a few before you change lure. Remember to watch what is working for the anglers around you.
The guy’s fishing with live bait have taken a few kob and garrick around the river mouths. Remember to match your trace with the bait you are using. It is pointless putting a heavy trace on a small live bait as it will die very quickly.
South – The south coast has been the bream hotspot. Most of the lower south coast has seen amazing fishing for these often-finicky eaters. Luckily most anglers are sticking to their limits which is a good thing as some anglers have reported catches of 20 bream in a single morning. Remember to try a multitude of different traces before you move.
The kob and blue rays have also been feeding down the south coast with chokka and sardine being the bait of choice. There have been some brilliant fish caught while spinning. Snoek and garrick have been the main targets but some big kob and kingfish have jumped on the lures as well.
The dams and rivers have been kind this past week. Plenty of fish no matter what facet you prefer. Put on your warm clothes and get out there.
Bass – The water and air might be cold, but the bass action is hot, if you know where to look.
These colder months can be very exciting, but it is more up to the angler on most days as you have to convince the fish to bite. One of the most exciting methods during these cold months is fishing a jerk bait. This reaction bait relies on the bass’s natural instinct to attack. Action is more important than colour.
Those who prefer to fish a bit slower will do well with a jig in the thicker brush or a dropshot in the more open water.
Carp – Cold nights and stronger scents, that is the key to winter. Make sure that you are prepared for the weather as you want to enjoy your fishing.
The colder water does not disperse your bait’s scent as much as the warmer summer water. This means using baits with a more pungent smell will work faster, especially in the muddier bottom dams. Personal favourites include spicy and vicks. Albert Falls has done very well recently and is the place to go if you want to target some bigger fish.
Trout – The fly-fishing community is still in their element with cold weather and strong, hungry trout. On top of that, the Natal scalies are also starting to heat up in the rivers.
Herewith this week’s report from Jan at the Kingfisher in PMB – “Bigger patterns have worked on most days with the paparoach in olive being particularly deadly along with some realistic minnow patterns. This is not always the case as the higher-pressure days have meant scaling down to PTN or similar. Fish to the conditions as what worked last time is not guaranteed to work this time. The run of decent weather continues, and in the frame of mind to start saying that “Spring is Sprung” (again), but the last time we did that we had a triple-run of serious frontal systems, some seriously chilly weather and warnings of “disruptive snow” … so maybe we’ll hang fire for the next couple of weeks till 1 September is official…
On the subject of 1 September, the days are counting down for the opening of the river season, and even though I won’t be on my local brown trout haunt for the first time in over 15 years, I will still be on a river on the 1st … just a bit further north, and with toothy quarry in the spotlight! Report to follow in a couple weeks time…
In the meantime, I am not the only one that is counting down … report from The Bushman’s River augers well for the opening : the late rains and melt from the recent snows have kept the flow up. Water temperature took a dip with the snow, but current temperature is reported to be 10deg.C.
And to get the juices flowing, the Natal Fly Dressers Society hosted well known author and fly tyer, Peter Brigg (of ‘Call of The Stream’ fame) for the August meeting. Peter demonstrated a versatile hopper/caddis pattern with an innovative tail-loop to hang a dropper nymph from when using barbless hooks. Now dubbed the HCD hopper-caddis-dropper), looks like there will be a few floating down the river shortly.
August is usually considered to be a “tricky” month for trout, and with a few “el blanko” returns coming in from the Natal Fly Fishers Club anglers, it seems to be holding true to reputation. Especially when fish can be seen cruising the shallows, but can’t be tempted to take your offerings. On the flip side, there are of course those anglers that just somehow seem to find the fish no matter the theory, and there have been some good fish have been reported this past week. Fish ranged from 11-13 inches / 28-33cm all the way through the tape measure to 21-23 inches / 53-58cm. Water temperature is back on the way up now, reports showed around 10deg.C. The clear waters required smaller patterns, while waters with colour produced on larger flies.
Next weekend sees the Finals of the TOPS Corporate Challenge taking place on the waters around Nottingham Road … we have it 1st-hand that after winning the 3rd Leg, the “Stranger Dangers” ladies team are super keen to get back on the water and prep is well under way. We look forward to reporting in 2 weeks time.
With the weather settling nicely, there have been some good bass about in the post-frontal conditions of late. Midmar is reportedly on the go with the fish in full spawn mode, while Albert Falls has been a little tricky with fish in pre-spawn, staging and moving up … the “trick” being to find the right lure. Local anglers Tyron McGarry and Romario Joseph had the “trick” up their sleeves, both landing some good fish last weekend … Tyron reports that the fish are healthy, short but stocky.
And a reminder that the annual Albert Falls Classic will be held at the end of next month, 24-26 August – so guys get your entries in.
The carp have been active on the surface on flat, calm days at Albert Falls Dam, with some good Mirror Carp coming to hand.
The scaley (Natal Yellowfish) are getting into gear with anglers reporting from the Umkomaas and Tugela. Somewhat early, but good fish have also been reported from Cascades at the Umgeni inlet to Midmar. Current “go to” patterns include nymphs like Hare and Copper (the fish like them scruffy), and jig buggers in black and brown”. Thanks Jan.
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