The weather has been getting better over the past week and fishing has started picking up, especially for edible anglers anyway, with the calming of the sea, more and more anglers have started fishing again with hopes to land an early Garrick or bus of a Shad!
Rock n Surf:
Kosi Bay to Vidal, there have been a few Stumpies, Pompano and also quite a few Speckled Salmon and Lemon fish around, all of which have been picking up Chokka baits and Sealice. When fishing for most of these species guys like fishing quite heavy for them as they have immense strength and pull you into the bricks the majority of the time.
Vidal to Richards Bay has had a rather flat sea and nice fishing conditions. There have been quite a few small Brown Rays coming out, and funny enough they have been picking up Sealice baits! There have also been quite a few Black Fin Sharks in the 60kg to 80kg region, picking up the slide baits, baits being slid are generally a live bait. The Vidal area has been quite productive for the guys fishing artificials, 3 inch jerk minnows in the Chrystella colours have been doing the trick for the 3 Spot Pompano.
From Richards Bay South to Tugela there have been quite a few Snapper Salmon and small Kob coming out on Chokka baits on the low tide. There have also been quite a few very small Milkies coming out that some of the guys have been sliding for the Blackfin.
From Tugela to Ballito there been some very big Salmon coming out up to 18kg on live bait. Closer to Ballito there have been a few Stumpies and Pompano coming out on Sealice and Chokka as well as Grey Sharks on almost all baits in the evenings. The guys fishing for the Pompano have been unlucky enough to have picked up the odd Eagle Ray which has smoked them, putting a lot of strain on their tackle.
Moving to our local water, there have been lots of undersize Shad coming out, there have also been some big Pompano coming out on whole Mussels off the Piers. There have also been a few winter Diamond Rays coming out near Blue Lagoon in the 30kg region. The guys sliding out Shad have also had a bit of success with the odd early Garrick picking up their bait.
The Toti area has been rather quiet with not too much happening apart from the odd Stumpies being caught off the rocks. The Winkle area on the other hand has been quite productive with Garrick being caught providing you can get your hands on the illusive Shad. If in that stretch of water you can get your hands on a Shad you can be almost sure you will get a Garrick.
Scottborough has been very quiet with only a Snoek coming out of the rock on bullet spoons and small Greys off the point in the evenings with baits.
Shelly Beach to Margate has also had its fair share of action with various species of fish coming out on live baits such as Garrick, Kob, Kingies and Prodigal’s, the baits of choice being Shad, Karenteen and Black tail.
Port Edward to Port St Johns, not a whole lot has been happening, as the Shad are a bit scarce, the guys who have been lucky enough to get their hands on a live bait have however been able to turn the live bait into a Garrick.
Port St Johns South has been whole different story with loads of Garrick, Kob and Shad coming out. The water temperature has been very nice to fish in and the sea conditions have also been very calm to fish. With all the above conditions we are hoping the Sardines find them as desirable as we do!
Sodwana Bay has been quite productive over the past week with numerous reports of decent fish being caught throughout the week. The guys on the Paddle Skis have been catching quite a few smaller Yellowfin Tuna and big Snoek. The odd Dorado has been coming out on Kona’s and small poppers.
Maphelane has also been fishing really well as per usual with reports of not many but big Snoek being caught on strip baits and small live baits. There has also been a handful of Dorado in the vicinity that the guys have been picking up on live baits, small plugs and small poppers.
Moving down to St Lucia, fishing hasn’t been too bad with quite a few Snoek and small Couta being caught. The Snoek have been taking small bullet spoons as well as Toby spoons right on the backline. The Couta however have been a bit deeper picking up mostly down rigged Mackerel and small Bonnies. There have also been a few reports of Kob coming out in the evenings on whole Chokka and small live baits.
Cape Vidal has had quite a few Couta picking up the guys’ lures, specifically the bigger deep divers. There have however been a few Wahoo around biting the guys off quite high up their trace.
Richards Bay to Tugela has been very productive with some decent catches of Tuna, Couta, Snoek and even reports of a few bigger game fish giving the guys some hassles. The smaller Tuna have been coming out along the majority of our coastline. Apart from the Snoek being caught on strip baits the rest of the fish been taken on live Bonnies, Mackerel and Mozzies most down rigged some not.
Umdloti has been quiet with only a few Snoek and small Couta being caught, there have however been a few Tuna in the deeper water taking live bait.
Our local water has proven to be quite productive with a few nice fish coming out off shore, trawling and fishing bottoms. The guys trawling in the shallower water have had their hands full with Shad and small Grey Sharks whilst targeting Snoek. There have also been quite a few Stumpies and Pompano being caught on Chokka baits just off Lime Stone and near the mouth of the harbour. The guys trawling in the deeper water have also had bit of success with a few Tuna and Couta coming out on Kingfisher Rattlers around the bait marks. There have also been a few Dagga coming out around the wrecks in the Durban area.
Moving South to the Umkomaas area, the area proceeds to be quite productive with a few reports of Wahoo still coming out as well as Couta and Tuna. Lures being used to get these fish range from Halco Lazer Pros to Clone stick baits. Regardless of species, most of these lures are being rigged up with a decent length of American Fishing Wire as you never know which the toothy creatures may give your lure a go!
Shelly Beach to Port Edward has also been a bit of a hot spot with very good reports of big Tuna being landed in the deeper water on big live baits as well a few hook ups of Sailfish! The Couta are not in abundance any more but there have some big ones coming out none the less.
Fishing in the harbour the past week has been rather slow with not many fish being caught. There are still a few Kob and Grunter being caught but not nearly as many as the past week weeks. The guys spinning for the Kob have had the most success in terms of consistency as the Kob seem to be picking up paddle tails throughout the day and evening. The Kob being caught have not been huge but a decent size none the less weighing in at an average of 3kg. The Grunter that have been coming out have been quite big which is unusual as the small Grunter have almost disappeared in the deeper water. There is still the constant irritation of very small Rays picking up the guys baits on the banks and deeper water making it rather unpleasant having to handle a waving tail every few casts.
Midmar Dam has been rather productive with the smaller Bass the past week with reports of large amounts of Bass being caught off the bank as well as off the boat. The guys fishing off the banks have been rather successful using the dropshot method with a Chartreuse worm. Small crank baits seem to be getting quite a few pulls too by the slightly bigger Bass. The guys fishing off the boats have been throwing jigs towards the banks and bouncing them back towards the boat and that seems to be the winning formula!
Inanda Dam has been fishing quite well the past week with reports of decent fishing being landed from the banks as well from the boats. The guys fishing off the banks have been catching an average size Bass of 1kg with some Bass as big as 2.8kg have been caught! Most of the guys targeting the small Bass have also been drop-shoting small Chartreuse worms and Baby Bass colour worms. The guys fishing off the boats have been getting some bigger Bass in the deeper water on big Senko’s in the colours California 420 and Black.
Inanda Dam has been rather productive as the guys fishing for Carp off the boats have been getting a few fish in the 3kg region with reports of Carp as big as 9kg near the inlet. Most of these Carp are being caught on a conventional style of Carp fishing and most of the fish are being caught on small hi visibility baits. SA powder has been one of the game changers in most of dams for the guys fishing conventional as it contains fluorescence and custard powder in it which you dip your mealie bomb and baits. When fishing for Carp off of a boat its essential to be very quiet as you don’t fish too far from the boat and Carp are very skittish when feeding.
Shongweni Dam has been rather quiet the past week with not too many reports of big fish being caught. There have however been quite a few Carp in the 8kg region coming out on Tigernuts and giant Maize. Ground feed being a combination of Tigernuts, giant Maize, Hemp Seed, Chick Peas and whole Kernal Mealies. Bites were about 2 hours to 5 hours apart after the feed was dropped. Rigs generally used are Combo rigs and Standard braided rigs. Fishing along the margins proved to be most effective over fishing in open water.
Tiger fishing at Jozini Dam has not been too productive with only a handful of fish coming out the past week. The fish that have come out have been on Sardine fillets, Tilapia fillets as well as live Tilapia. The guys fishing live bait of the Tiger fish have been fishing with a very sharp treble hook through the nose of the Tilapia or through the back. Fishing conditions like this the guys like to fish open bail arm, in other words, with zero resistance. When Tiger fish are feeding very cautiously, it’s essential to make sure that there is no resistance when the Tiger grabs the baits as even the slightest bit of resistance will cause him to leave the bait behind as he searches for some less energy consuming to eat.
We are now well into winter and the Trout fishing patterns have definitely changed. The Minnows and Frogs have moved out of the shallows and have moved into the deeper water as all other Aquatic life has slowed down. The fishing only gets moving in the mornings after the sun is out and melts the thick morning ice. In the early mornings like this, you should start fishing on the surface and should get some bites. It is a good idea to add some colour into your fly patterns such as your Pancora, Wooly Buggers, Red Setter, Mrs. Simpson and Hamills with a Yellow and Orange Marabou tail.
Some info from the Corporate Challenge fished over this last week-end, thanks to Craig from The Complete Angler in Kloof for the info. Well done to team Afri-Guide for coming first and Brad Stevens for getting the most fish. Team Sasfin came in second and the biggest fish was caught by Greg Freese from team Sasfin. Greg caught a lovely cock fish of 58cm on Loch Bess. Minnow, streamer and egg patterns seemed to the popular choice.
News from Dale Tribe about the Matatiele Mountain Lake Competition 2017. With the threat of cold weather and rain one just knew that it was the week-end for the annual Matatiele Mountain Lake Fly-fishing Competition. Friday the 26th of May saw the first anglers arriving quite early, one wonders if it was to get the best camping spots or to simply take in the fresh air and sit and wonder what the next few days where going to hold and where were they going to catch the winning fish.
18:30 Registration started, luckily the Main tents where already erected as a bitterly cold wind had picked up .The evening was spent reminiscing and catching up with old friends whilst standing around the braais. Everyone had their own ideas on what flies to use, what tactics to employ and where and how to catch these fish. I sometimes wonder how meaningful and truthful some of these tips really are. Everyone has their own ideas and tactics and are not easily parted with. After all we all want our names on the trophy at the end of the week-end. After much banter and enthusiasm the anglers slowly disappeared to their tents to prepare for the start at 06:00 Saturday morning.
Saturday greeted us with a thick bank of mist lying over the lake, the siren sounded and the game was on. The organizers where still busy when an out of breath Bianca Luther, one of our lady entrants from Sheppie, came running up to weigh her first fish. It weighed a credible 1,62kgs. Eventually the mist lifted and we could then see the 46 anglers on the lake all trying to land that one fish. Fishing was proving to be a bit slow, with not many fish being weighed in. By lunch the leading fish was 1,80kgs by Dean Angrove. Then a fish of 2,1kgs to Werner Grobler and then back to 2.2kgs from Dean .By the end of the day a Rainbow Trout of 2,30kgs caught by Lyle Miller was leading.
The Sheep were on the spit, the fires were going when an icy cold wind sent most anglers to the tent to warm up with a bit of OBS. Dinner was served a delicious spit braai done by Clint and Des. The rest of the evening was spent chilling, literally, around the fires discussing the should haves, would haves maybes, the fish that were caught and released and the ones that got away. Slowly the anglers started to drift off to bed and get ready in anticipation of what Sunday would hold.
Wow!! Sunday beckoned with a sunrise that only the lake has to offer with all her grace, and the temperature a chilly minus 3 degrees .Tents frozen to look like igloos and anything left outside frozen stiff. Those that stayed in town were already up at the lake and those in tents and cottages were already on the water. With the sun rising in the back ground it promised to be a good days fishing. Day 2 had begun. With the overnight lead of a fish of 2,30kgs, I’m sure Lyle thought he had it all wrapped up. Few fish were weighed in on Sunday but eventually a Brown Trout of 2,34kgs was weighed in by Clyde Kemp, which proved to be the winning fish. By 12 noon most anglers were off the water and already busy with the tedious job of packing up. The siren sounded and the Compo was over, all that was left was prize giving.
The results were:
John Holl Rainbow 1,52kgs
Sulene Holl Rainbow 1,92kgs
Bianca Luther Rainbow 1,62kgs
Clyde Kemp Brown 2,34kgs
Lyle Miller Rainbow 2,30kgs
Dean Angrove Rainbow 2,30kgs
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