Fishing the past week has been somewhat slow for most of the Rock and Surf fisherman as very few fish have been coming out however your Ski Boat fisherman and Kayakers have had their hands full with all the Couta that have been around.
Rock and Surf:
Kosi Bay down to Ballito, there was a big ground swell making fishing difficult, because of this very few fish came out, but those that did were mostly small edibles.
Richards Bay was quiet with only a few small Kob and Spinner sharks coming out.
Ballito produced a few Grey Sharks on the deep water point in the protected bay there were a few reports of Stumpies being landed.
Durban once again had a small sprinkling of Grunter, Pompano and Stumpies, but nice to see some Shad are starting to make their appearance.
Toti is quiet with a big sand bank running from Acid Pipe to Karridene making fishing very difficult only a few Shad were landed.
Winkelspruit, the news that most anglers have been eagerly awaiting, there have been unconfirmed reports of Garrick being landed, the average size of these early fish is between 3-6kg. It seems that the Garrick have entered our shores earlier than expected so hopefully this will be a bumper season for us. Please note the size limit for these Gentleman of the sea is 70cm and the limit per angler per day is 2. Recent studies have shown that these once popular angling fish are declining rapidly so only take what is needed to ensure the survival for generations to come.
There has been some nice Blackfin Sharks hooked in and around the Scottburgh area and a few Bone fish have been coming out at most of the deep water points.
Port Shepstone South there has been some Hound Sharks, small Hammer Heads and occasional shoal size Kob.
At Port St Johns there has been a lot of big Raggies, Hammer Head and Hound Sharks around, the locals have also reported numerous catches of Garrick and Kob on this stretch of coastline and it seems to be an excellent start to the season for these gentle giants.
The Durban Ski Boat Club hosted the annual Couta Classic over the long weekend and this year the competition was dedicated in memory of John Rowan who passed away recently. There were 279 boats and 787 anglers who enjoyed two days of great weather and good fishing. The winning fish was a 25.4kg Couta caught by Ryan Jenkins.
The top 3 anglers
Ryan Jenkins 25.4kg
Trevor Dittberner 24.08kg
Dwayne Boshoff 24.08kg
Top Lady Angler
Tessa Mcainnes 16.88kg
Top Junior – Male
Seth Van Den Berg 23.00kg
Top Junior – Female
Rachel Leadsham 4.00kg
The Sodwana and Maphelane area has been quite successful with reports of Couta, very big Tuna and large amounts of Snoek all coming out on strip baits, live baits and occasionally on hard plastics. The guys getting the bigger Tuna are predominantly using poppers for them. The Snoek coming out on artificial baits have been picking up the Kingfisher Bonnie spoon and very small Rattlers and Strike Pro Magic Minnows. There have also been a few Dorado cruising around that the guys have been hooking into trawling small konas and throwing surface lures.
The Bottom fishing along Zinkwazi proceeds to be good with a wide variety of fish being caught daily.
Umdloti has been very productive with large amounts of Snoek coming out on Clark spoons, Halco Twisties, standard bullet spoons and strip baits. It’s not necessary to use wire in front of these spoons as you won’t get bitten off too often due to the spoon hook the Snoek in the front of the mouth or in the corner of the mouth. You will also get a lot more bites without wire than you will with wire. Lots of average size Tuna have been coming out in the vicinity too on live bait hooked with a Mustad 6/0 Tuna Circle. Our local waters are still proving to one of the better areas to fish as you don’t have to travel far to get some decent fish. Some very big Tuna in excess of 30kg have also been coming out near the Barge on live baits and big Halco poppers.
The guys targeting Snoek are trawling small Rapalas and Strike Pro Magic Minnows. They are also casting/trawling small spoons such as the Halco Twisty and Clark spoons. Guys trawling for the bigger game fish have been a bit more successful than last week with some Sailfish and the odd Marlin coming out on big Kona’s. Moving South the fishing has been picking up quite nicely the past week, a few Sailfish have been landed in the area on live Bonnies.
Aliwal Shoal has produced quite a few fish as Wahoo are taking guy’s lures and live baits as well the odd Couta picking up on big spoons and live baits. Lots of Tuna have also started coming out in the area on hard plastics and live bait.
Guys have started vertical jigging in the Shelly Beach area for the Amberjack and Tuna. There has also been reports of a few small to average size Tuna coming out, mostly on plastics and live baits.
So it’s safe to say that fishing has been very productive in comparison to the past couple of weeks. The weather is much better now than it was, which is resulting in a lot more people fishing on the beaches which results in polluted beaches so watch out for hooks lying around and broken glass. It goes without saying that you must please clean up after yourselves for the sake of our marine life as well as the animals and birds that roam around on the beaches.
Water temperatures are definitely on the decline, and the Bass / Carp / Yellowfish guys have been very quiet. Midmar and Spring Grove Dams are hovering just below 80 and 90% respectively, so we are in a much better position than this time last year. The dropping water temperatures is good for Trout though, the Mooi River is sitting at 12 deg.C and the fish are getting their spawning thing on. Catches have slowed somewhat while the fish are other pre-occupied, but the fish that are still coming out are very decent. With the colder water, the Insect activity has also slowed (although there appear to be plenty Crickets about on the river edges), and fish are not “looking up” so much, with sub-surface nymphs yielding better results. Flies such as the Zak / PTN / GRHE / Copper John in various weights and colours are your go-to patterns at the moment.
Just a quick word to the anglers that are fishing the rivers, especially in the higher reaches – gravel areas are the preferred areas for “redds” (spawning areas) so where possible, avoid fishing over them and pulling fish off, and wading through them, possibly disturbing eggs that have already been laid. The still waters are coming on nicely, and with the dams being full, it looks to setting up for a great winter still water season. Flies of choice at the moment are still the ubiquitous Black “Speed Cop” Woolly Bugger, fished with a smaller, lighter trailer fly (e.g. Damsel or Nymph pattern), offering the fish 2 different food sources to choose from. Minnow and Chironomid Larvae (aka Bloodworm) patterns area also high on the list at present. It is still very surprising how many anglers don’t make use of the multi-fly rig, so if you have any uncertainties about it, or looking for more info on the topic, please stop by the shop and ask! Thanks Jan from The Fish Eagle in PMB for this report.
Trout dams in the Southern Berg and Swartberg are all fishing really well, the dam levels have all risen and there is an abundance of food in the form of Nymphs and Minnows. Fly patterns that are producing regular fish are the Red Eyed Damsels, Lake Dragons and Pin Tail Minnows. Early mornings and late afternoon are ideal for top water action using high float foam hoppers and other large dry flies cast out and left to float will sooner or later be taken off the top. This style of fishing in the shallow bays and weed beds is very exciting and productive.
Other news is that the Carp fishing at Shongweni has started picking up, the fishing is still a bit quiet but fish are coming out and Tiger Nuts are the bait and feed of choice. Flavours being used are Sweet Corn and Fruity flavours.
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