The weather over the past week has giving most of our anglers chance to go wet a line and been somewhat productive as there have been a couple of reports of decent fish coming out on and off shore. The main highlight of the week has been the copious amounts of big Couta being caught up North and down South.
Starting up North around Sodwana Bay fishing has been rather productive with reports of decent Couta, Wahoo and Tuna being caught off the Paddle Ski’s as well as off the Boats. The majority of the bigger fish being caught have been picking up dead and live Bonnies. When fishing with a bigger bait such as this, one would have to up size on hooks due to the size of the baits and maybe consider using a darker hook.
St Lucia and Cape Vidal have also been rather productive with large amounts of big Couta and Tuna coming out as well as a few Sailfish! When targeting these bigger fish, heavier tackle is required as you trawl bigger lures and bigger baits and need a reel that has a strong enough drag to trawl the bigger lures. A lot of anglers who use a heavier main line will also have at least 300m of braid as backing as they do not have much spool capacity using a heavier line and targeting a fish as fast and aggressive as these especially a Sailfish, having braid is a good option.
Moving to Richards Bay, fishing has been about the same here as everywhere else with good reports of Couta and Tuna coming out of the Paddle Ski’s and Boats. There have also been reports of Sailfish in the area picking up baits intended for the Couta and Tuna. Spoon whipping continues as the shoal size Couta still can’t leave the spoons alone.
Moving a bit further South from Tugela mouth to Zinkwazi, apart from the Couta coming out there have been some very nice size Dagga coming out in the evenings as well as early mornings and late afternoons. The majority of these Dagga have been caught on live bait and big Chokka baits fishing on the bottom. When fishing for Dagga, don’t be shy to use an abnormally large hook as many anglers use hooks up to 12/0 in size due to the huge mouths that Dagga have.
The whole Umdloti area has been one of the most productive areas on our coastline with plenty of huge Couta being caught almost every day for the past week. 90% of the Couta have been caught on bait of which Bonnies and Wala Wala were the preferred bait. Larger and heavier traces are being used now that our anglers know what they’re up against in terms of the size of the fish. Our local water has also been rather productive with quite a few Couta, Tuna as well as some Snoek on the backline coming out. Majority of the Snoek are being caught on fillets and small bullet spoons as usual. The majority of the Couta coming out our local water are shoalies making them rather easy to catch as they pick up almost anything you put in the water. Whipping spoons for them seems to be working very well at the moment; there have also been reports of Garrick in the vicinity too.
Guys fishing light bottoms just off the backline are getting some decent edibles the past while with some nice size Stumpies and Blacktail being caught on Chokka and Prawn baits.
Moving further South to Umkomaas the fishing hasn’t been as productive in terms of quantity like the rest of coastline up North but there have been decent catches none the less. Reports of big Dagga just off Umkomaas has persuaded our anglers to put in some extra hours on the water into the evening.
Closer to Aliwal Shoal there have been a few Couta and Wahoo showing their faces, picking up the guys’ Rattlers and Bonnies!
Shelly Beach to Port Edward has been rather quiet the past while with not too many fish coming but the few that have come out have definitely been worth speaking about! Some very big Couta have come out of Shelly Beach over the past week mostly on bait. Towards Port Edward, not much has been happening apart from the few Dagga and small Garrick that have been coming out.
Rock and Surf:
From Kosi Bay to Sodwana, fishing hasn’t been too bad as a decent amount of edibles have been coming out now that more and more guys are targeting them with the lack of in edible fish coming out. A few nice Bonefish, Stumpies, Snapper Salmon and Kob have been coming out around the ledges. The guys spinning in the area have also been catching a few fish on drop shot and bullets spoons. Fishing this area with live bait proceeds to be winning decision as this whole area has very big Kingfish.
From Cape Vidal to Richards Bay the fishing has been rather productive with a few Kob and Three Spot Pompano coming out. Garrick have also been coming out on live bait as well as plugs early mornings and late afternoons when the water is at its calmest. The Kob being caught are being targeted with live Karenteen and Mullet in the evenings also leading to a few Kingies being picked up.
Moving to Ballito there hasn’t much happening with only a few Grey Sharks and Shad being landed. The guys catching the Shad have been sliding them for Kob and Garrick but haven’t had the best of success as the Grey Sharks have been harassing them. On the spinning side of things, there have been a few Snoek coming out of the rocks.
Over to Umdloti, Some decent size Grey Sharks have been coming out on big baits being casted as well as being dropped by drones and bait boats. There have also been a few Honeycomb Rays around which the guys sliding Bonnies and Mackerel have been picking up but rarely landed due to their sheer power and size.
Our local water around Durban has been rather quiet the past week with not a lot happening on the surf. However the Shad have made their arrival leading to most of the guys putting their big rods down and dusting off their scratching outfits. There are still a few flat fish coming out here and there on our Beach Front but nearly as much as the past couple of weeks. Guys have also been getting some small Kob at night with Chokka baits intended for Blacktail and Stumpies.
Umgababa to Umkomaas proceeds to have a lot of activity the past week as loads of small Spinner and Grey Sharks are still coming out on all baits mostly intended for edible fish. Some bigger Zambezi Sharks have been harassing the guys trying to land their Kob at the Umkomaas mouth but unfortunately they have only been landing Kob and Grunter bitten in half. One or two of the locals have attempted to land the Sharks in the area but have been unsuccessful every time as they don’t have the correct equipment to handle these big Zambezies.
From Shelly Beach to Port Edward, fishing has been rather slow with not many fish being caught. There has however been the odd Stumpie and Karenteen being landed. The guys spinning off the rocks have also been getting a few small Kingies on bullet spoons.
Port St Johns has produced a few nice Kob and Garrick the past week with not too many Sharks being around to harass our anglers targeting them. Guys have spinning for the Kob and Garrick off the rock as well as in the mouth with big Rapalas and drop shot with moderate success.
Fishing in the harbour has been quiet the past week as the Grunter have slowed down drastically, Kingies have just about disappeared and there are hardly any Torpedo Scads coming out… the only fish still showing their face are the Kob, but also not in abundance. There have been a few small Rays coming out the past week on Chokka and Cracker intended for the Grunter and Kob. Spinning for Kob is becoming a big thing nowadays as most anglers who haven’t caught a Kob on artificial yet, would really like to! When spinning for Kob in a harbour or an estuary, one would use paddle tails or bucktails jigs predominantly and occasionally a big Rapala. When spinning for Kob be sure fish deep for them and don’t be shy to use a big paddle tail or big bucktail jig as the Kob rather large mouth can indulge most bigger lures available. Paddle tails are mostly used in our local water and when fishing for Kob with paddle tails in our harbour one needs to fish deep water as Kob will be found in deeper holes and deeper water in general in our harbour.
Thanks Jan Korrubel from The Fish Eagle in PMB for this report.
While we are still getting the odd Bass /Yellowfish /Carp angler coming through, it appears that things have certainly slowed on that front as we are now firmly on the slippery slope down to winter. The weather just can’t seem to make its mind up however – a proper cold snap and we all think winter is here, followed by yet another warm, balmy spell as we are experiencing now. This one looks like it will end with a bang at the tail end of this week through – the forecast on snowreport.co.za looks very interesting with snows forecast for the southern ‘Berg and Lesotho region, which should give us a proper cold weekend.
It has also been quieter on the Trout streams – with the plunge in water temperatures at the end of last month, there were good numbers of big fish coming to hand as the fish are feeding in preparation for the upstream move to spawn. We still have 3 weeks of the river season and depending on what the fish have already done, there is fishing to be had till the last day. Upstream dry fly is my preference, but if the water is (very) cold, this may slow the insect activity and sub-surface nymphing may yield better results. For the dry, a Rubber-leg Stimulator is a great searching pattern – if there are plenty rises to the fly, but no takers, then step down in size to an Elk-hair caddis or a parachute mayfly. Zak, GRHE and a PTN in all its variations are good choices on the nymph front, weighted either with brass bead if fishing dry-dropper, or tungsten if fishing nymphs only.
The Stillwater’s are gearing up nicely for the winter season, with some reports already coming in of fish up to 4kg/8lb. Flies of choice have been on the larger size, big woolly buggers and minnow patterns predominantly, as the fish feed up for the winter. Water temperatures are currently in the low end of the teens, and as it drops further, brighter colours like orange /red/yellow will start to come on.
Other news is that the Carp at Inanda Dam have been showing here and there on the specimen and conventional side of Carp fishing. The guys fishing specimen have been getting some very decent Carp the past week using particles as well as boilies. Productive flavours and attractants include Banana, Strawberry, Fish oil as well as plain baits. Most of the Carp are being picked up on long distance marks such as drop offs, submerged trees, gravel patches etc. As for the conventional side of Carp fishing the guys have been getting more quantity than quality as usual but decent fish none the less. Feed being used is the plain SVB mielie bomb from Supercast. Preferred baits for these fish vary from sweet white dough, soft floaties, brown bread, mielies and chick peas. Flavours that guys are dipping their baits into are mostly strong flavours such as Perdeby, Gumtree and Garlic from Supercast. Traces being used mostly are the fixed Rietvlei and Baby Shoes trace. After baiting up always make sure the tip of the hook is proud as that secures a hook up when you get a bite. A lot of the time the fish feed on your ground bait and not your actual bait, so what we usually do is fish with a rather small top hook and use half a plain mealie as bait and put hook with baits on of course inside the mealie bomb, and will get you a bite 9/10 times.
Bass fishing this time of year is always tough as the climate and pressure aren’t very consistent which makes Bass fishing rather challenging. There have been a few guys targeting the bigger Bass with live Tilapia as bait near the structured areas with very heavy equipment and very proud wide gape hooks allowing them the strike as soon as the Bass smashes the live bait.
There have been good reports from Jozini with some decent size Tigerfish coming out mostly on bait. There have also been reports of decent Tilapia being caught on Worms as well as small spinners. When targeting Tilapia with Worms, one would have a small hook at the end of your line with a cork/float above it to keep your bait off the ground when fishing along the reeds. The distance of the cork/float from the hook varies depending on the depth that you are fishing. When fishing for Tilapia with a spinner, one would target structure to cast towards as Tilapia are always hiding in all sorts of structure from Tigerfish and Barbel looking for a meal! When fishing with a spinner your retrieve isn’t anything special, no specific action that is needed, a gradual winding of the reel is all you would need to do to entice one of these beautiful fish.
Now moving towards to the winter months, when fishing for Trout, there is a tenancy to start adding colour to you flies as the more colourful flies seems to getting most of the bites. Don’t be scared to use an egg pattern in the calmer water and when the fishing is slow either. The brighter coloured Woolly Buggers have been doing very well the past while too.
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