With the shad season now open and the holiday season upon us, most well-known venues will have maximum angling impact on them. The weather also seems to have eased up and angling will almost certainly start returning to normal. Small shad are feeding at most spots but it€™s the Umkomaas stretch that now attracts these small shad. The river mouth itself seems to be the place to fish for these fish.

At this time of the year and if the small shad are present in this area huge ignoblis kingfish tend to feed along the north bank area. Shad is certainly the preferred bait for these kingies and if you are lucky enough to have a live one out, chances are good that you will get challenged by one of these hard fighting fish. To date a few in the 20 kg region have already been landed. Don€™t forget to have the correct tackle for these fish, Daiwa have a range of reels that are ideal, the Saltiga and Saltist top the list but the Grandwave and Sealine will do the job very well.

Apart from the kingfish several other species can now be targeted in this particular area. Flatfish in the form of sand sharks and brown skates can be caught off most banks and the chances of hooking a big honeycombe ray are also good. Edibles here include small kob, grunter, pompano and the odd stumpie. Although the annual kob or daga season should now theoretically be over there have been reports of a few big kob being landed. Those anglers targeting big sharks have had some mixed fortunes lately as numerous zambezi sharks have already been hooked and lost in the middle south coast area.

Much the same can be said for the North Coast where angling has picked up nicely, particularly the upper north coast area where there are reports of some big sand sharks and some nice size grey sharks. Tugela has had a few grey sharks of the 10 plus kg range as well as bonefish on smaller baits.

Zululand area has seen some nice bonefish and some tiger sharks thanks to clean and warm water, Mapelane has also produced some good fish.

Ski Boat fishing has also stepped up a notch and a lot of anglers focus has now changed to game fish as dorado, couta and a variety of other game fish have already been accounted for. The main area at the moment is obviously the €œdeep reefs€ off Durban where there are a lot of dorado and the odd sailfish has been landed.

The Aliwal Shoal has over the past few weeks produced some quality fish. Big wahoo and kingfish are now regularly being caught and spear fishermen report sightings of big shoals of couta. Further down the coast the Protea reef has also yielded some quality fish. Big tunny and the odd couta are now being caught in this area.

Fishing Ski anglers can now expect some good angling as the dirty inshore water caused by recent rains has started clearing up. Scottburgh has over the past two weeks really lived up to its reputation and ski anglers venturing a little further out than usual are getting some nice couta. The North Coast has also produced some of the first couta of the season. Places like Umdloti and Westbrook can be a sure bet when the clean water moves in.

This amazing story by Trenton Lamble. €œMy mate, Mark and I were fishing the Southern Pinnacles off Aliwal on a double fishing ski. We were trolling the new Mullet colour Laser Pro 120. This lure performs really well at lower speeds and is perfect for fishing skis. The lure had already proved successful and we had boated an 8kg Yellow fin tuna early on and I had duffed a +- 10 kg Bull Dorado on it. We were about to head in when the rod once again buckled and reel started screaming in protest. The next second a +- 80 Kg Striped Marlin launched itself from the depths in protest with the Halco lure firmly embedded in the side of its bill. There was much excitement as Mark jumped for the rod and I took over camera duties with the GO PRO.

We were seriously outgunned with a 10 kg rod and Daiwa SL50SH but we hoped to boat the Marlin to remove the lure and release the fish. It was an epic 2 hour fight and Mark managed to get him onto the leader on several occasions. Eventually we were getting dangerously far out to sea and cut the fish free from the leader.

We had been dragged from South of Scottburgh to past the Umkomaas River and according to our GPS had clocked 36.7 km that morning.€
Well done Mark on that great fish, your Daiwa SL 50SHK certainly seemed to have held up to the challenge.

The trading hours of The Kingfisher over the festive season are as follows:

Mon €“ Fri.  8:00am €“ 5:00pm

Sat.           8:00am €“ 1:00pm

FESTIVE SEASON TRADING HOURS, SUNDAYS & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:   11th, 16th, & 18th of December as well as the 2nd January 2012, 8:00am €“ 1:00pm.

There are some great new fishing TV shows that are now being aired on     DSTV.

1) ASFN premiers on Mondays on Super Sport 6, channel 206,

     19:30 to 20:00.

         2) Free Spool Angling premiers on Thursdays on Super Sport 5,

               Channel 205, 19:00 to 19:30. 

         3) Hier Gaan Ons Alweer premiers on Fridays on KykNet, channel                            

               111, 18:00 to 18:30.

For the latest KZN fishing news presented by O.J., tune into East Coast Radio at 5.40am Monday – Friday. Any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area please send to mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za or fax 031- 368 4007.

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