With last weeks cold front now a thing of the past, the water temperatures have really fluctuated. We are in a sort of transition stage not quite full winter and definitely not summer. Hopefully as the colder weather comes in we can expect a lot more of the winter species along our coastline.
Kosi Bay Clean water with an average of 24 25 degree temperature, has kept the fish in deeper cooler water. Not many reports of fish have come through, the main species being Bonefish and the 3 spot Pompano. There have also been a few small Shad for the early morning Spinning enthusiast. If you havent tried the Kingfisher Bullet Spoons which are reasonably priced, then give it a go on alternate days when you would normally go to gym.
Mapelane/Cape Vidal This area is known for large shoals of Shad, and these fish are targeted by spinning tackle as well as traditional Shad traces with the cork and steel wire. To date there have been a few smashes early mornings and this is a wonderful sign of things to come. The best target areas would be in the white water in and around ledges and gully areas.
Mtunzini/Amatikulu This area is still producing some nice Shad. The bigger Shad are still fond of Mackeral slide-baits fished in the deeper water with a bit of flotation cottoned onto the side, to keep the bait off the floor. Towards the late evening Spinner Sharks have also joined the smorgasbord and have a liking to Mackeral as well. The Snapper Salmon have also started to come out, best fished for with a Mustad Hoodlum 1.0 hook on a shorter hook snoot. Their preferred poison is a Chokka and Prawn Combo or Octopus leg well beaten with a Chokka mallet.
Umhloti / Umhlanga The Jex Estate area has become popular as many Anglers fishing this area have got into shoal size Kingfish in the +/- 2kg range. These fish are quite happy to take on Bullet Spoons, Drop shots and white baits such as Chokka with a bit of Redeye or Sardine for smell. With most fish species the early morning sessions seem to be the most productive. For an unlucky few not fishing with wire, the odd Grey Shark has had guys holding pole with no hook.
Durban Beach Front This area seems to have quietened down a bit after the extensive pumping of sand which has created a lovely beach and allowed Anglers to fish deeper water and bring the family along. Although this activity may have scared the fish off a bit an unlucky Angler lost a nice Kingfish when it got tangled with his neighbours line. There seem to be a large number of smaller fish like the typical Red Fish and some small Shad, majority of which are undersize. Now is probably the best time to use the smaller hooks and lighter tackle and target the Black tail and in the evenings on a quiet sea the Maasbunker which have also been coming inside the reef at Vetchies.
Toti Is staying true to form with a number of Shad being caught by novice and experienced anglers. For the spinning enthusiasts from the beach or the rocks the S-bend Spoon is still the most popular for targeting live bait Shad. Bear in mind the legal size limit is 30cm from tip of nose to end of tail. These live baits are happily devoured by Garrick although most of the Garrick are just making size and like the Shad their minimum length is 70cms. During the pre-dawn period Chisel-nose plugs as well as Glow in the Dark Bullet Spoons can also be used to target these fish, for those not wanting to go to work smelling of bait.
Winkelspruit This area is probably the hotspot on the coast. There are a number of Garrick being caught in the mornings. Predominant live baits such as Shad, Karanteen and Black tail (mainly because they are in the area) are being put to good use.
Umkomaas The north bank near the river mouth is still producing some nice Grunter and a few small Kob. The local Anglers have had a lot of success with Cracker Shrimp or Sand Prawn, especially fished on smaller hooks and just clipping it through the tail. For the lucky few to catch a Kob, they are mainly on the small side with an odd legal size Kob coming out.
Pennington It would seem that the further south you go down the coast the more Shad you encounter. There have been large numbers of Shad in this area, although on the small side, there are a few bad boys which are making size. Besides the Shad, some Bonefish have had the lighter tackle Anglers scratching their heads as these fish can really rev you on light tackle. In the late afternoon/evening periods Mackeral heads and Redeye/Chokka combinations have proved successful for catching Spinner Sharks and small Grey Sharks.
Margate As was said early this area is also full of Shad although mainly small Shad, Anglers using baits seem to have hooked the Bigger Shad. Light tackle spinning with 7 and 8 ft. Rods can really be a fantastic morning workout as even though they may be small these fish still give up a good fight.
Trafalgar This somewhat secluded beach is often popular during the winter months for Bronze Bream. I am happy to report that a few Bronze Bream have made their appearance in keeping with this trend. These fine table fish favour Prawn and/or Chokka blob baits and are fantastic fighters on light tackle.
Port Edward Terry Nel from Tacklenet reports that although weather and sea conditions have been pretty good, the fishing has not been so with only a few shad on the bite and still mostly undersized. Kob have featured further down off the beaches near the Umtamvuna River mouth and news of bronze bream off the rocks around Port Edward has come in. The bream have also been good sized fish. Rock salmon are still on the bite in the estuaries and night fishermen are reaping the spoils. Cray fishing off the rocks here is big and a large number of these are being taken.
Transkei With smaller pockets of Sardines moving through this area, a number of Anglers who took the trip down have been justly rewarded – being completely stripped of line, in some cases twice a day, has left Anglers feeling the deep burn as well as their wallets a little thinner after replacing line and braid. Many USO (Unidentified Swimming Objects) have had Anglers scratching their head and marvelling at the power of nature. Big Slide and Swim baits have been producing the bite for the larger inedibles. While for the edible Anglers on light to medium tackle, the Kob are still happily feeding on Paddle-tails, as well as Garrick on Plug and Spoon, and the bigger Shad falling to the traditional Sardine fillet baits. This area is a definitely a hive of activity.
With pilot pockets of Sardines coming through the Port St Johns area, and the bigger shoals sitting at Waterfall Bluff it looks like we could be in for a bumper Sardine run. Reports received from East London are a number of pockets moving through at great speed. Initially a shoal 20kms long was spotted in this area, but due to predation and change of currents, this large shoal is dispersing rapidly. Time to prepare your tackle and avoid the rush.
Richards Bay/Mapelane Due to a lack of the usual suspects such as Mackeral, Bonito and Redeye, the lowly Maasbunker has proved to be top bait in this past week. This has forced many Skippers to rely on artificial such as Halcos and Rapala Max Raps predominately Sardine and Bonito imitations proving the more popular. The feather lures have also been working well. Towards the deeper water the Yellow fin Tuna are being boated and a few Couta also being served for supper.
Blythdale/Umhloti This region has produced some lovely sized Couta. Its been tough going as there are a few Sharks around and the Anglers have been hard pressed to boat these fish. The traditional Snoek strip baits are still catching fish especially near the backline area. For the guys fishing light drop shots such as buck tail jigs there are a few Kingfish ready to sample your offerings.
Durban The Durban area is definitely the Sharks stomping ground both on and off the field. Yellow fin Tuna are there for the taking however, the Taxman is doing double duty and lots of fish have been lost near the boat. Many live baits have had reels screaming only to have Rods bending with the wrong species. For the nocturnal Anglers there are a few Daga and Geelbek fished on the bottom using the traditional KP Reel and heavy duty line or braid, with a strong bottom fishing Rod.
Toti Seems to be the bait basket at the moment. There are lots of Redeye, Mackeral and Maasbunker as well as small Shad. These live baits have been producing a few fish and the Taxman seems to be auditing other areas, as a lot of these fish are landed without harassment.
Umkomaas Unlike the Rock and Surf Anglers there seems to be a lot less fish for the Ski-boat guys. A few Snoek have been boated recently and even less Couta. Small shoals of Kingfish can still make a launch worthwhile, especially on lighter tackle.
Shelly beach Taking its cue from Toti has abundant stocks of bait fish such as Mackeral and Redeye. These have been put to good use targeting Yellow fin Tuna on Medium to Heavy tackle. Its a case of the early bird catches the worm and the first light sessions seem to be the best.
Zinkwazi/Tinley Manor The tempo has slackened off, but for the persistent Paddler the odd croc Couta is there for the taking. These bigger fish prefer fresh Bonito and the fresher the better. These crocs are also willing to take on a Walla Walla if rigged correctly.
Salt Rock/Umhloti Some lovely specimen Couta in the 12 16 kilo range have been caught here, mainly on live baits hooked through the nostrils with a steady paddling action. The Seabell area has produced some lovely Snoek in the 6-8 kg region, once again on traditional strip bait traces.
Durban Par for the course the Paddle-ski Anglers in this area have also been plagued by sharks. Many small live baits have been taxed by Sharks or rampant runt Shad. The strip bait rig seems to bring on more Shad than the targeted Snoek. So Durban Paddlers seem to be having a rough time of it.
Toti/Winkelspruit As there are a number of Garrick in this area, Paddlers pulling live Maasbunker in the backline area have been able to successfully target the Garrick. As the fish are mainly just making size, ensure to measure correctly as these are the future breeding stock. Where the Garrick are the Shad are and like in other areas, they can be a pest.
Umkomaas For unknown reasons this location seems to blow hot and cold. There are a few big croc Couta for the die-hard Paddlers. The backline area is producing some nice size Snoek. King of the sea being live baits on a slow paddle troll.
Durban Bay seems to have quietened down. The Cracker Shrimp baits are still working well for smaller Grunter. The Walla Walla have made an appearance on a few days and these toothy critters will bite through nylon like a hot knife through butter, this could explain why a few locals have had to replenish hooks. For the drop shot enthusiast 3 inch McCarthy lures mainly fished on a slow retrieve along the bottom have produced some lovely Sand Gurnetts or Bartail Flatheads. Excellent fun for the whole family – especially on the revamped areas where fishing is allowed.
Trout With better conditions the fish are definitely feeding more actively. For the morning sessions the Redeye Damsels seem to be getting top take up. And for your later afternoon innings the surface Midges, Emergers and DDDs could mean a trout pate or smoked trout for the table.
Bass Johan Swanepoel while fishing at Inanda at approximately 6am, using a Zoom Green Pumpkin lure hooked a lovely Bass. When this fish was retrieved the exact same lure attached to a line in the fishes mouth had him scratching his head, upon retrieving the lure, it was found to be attached to a Rod and Reel which had recently been lost as it was still in good condition. If this is yours contact the Kingfisher on 031-368 3903 who will put you in touch with Johan as he is happy to return the outfit.
On the Bass front Inanda dam is working well with typical top water baits being the most productive as these baits are more effective in shallow water these are your key target areas, especially in and around structure. Shongweni Dam seems to have slacked off the pace a bit with not many fish being caught and hopefully Anglers luck will change. The Midmar and Albert Falls Dams are producing fish in numbers. Predominately early morning sessions using the same top water lures. As the day progresses weightless Flukes and C-tail lures seem to be bugging the Bass. Eventually The Kingfisher has been able to get a supply of C-tails from Zoom, so if youre a C-tail fan, pop-in and view the range.
Carp Majority of the Dams such as Inanda, Shongweni, Midmar and Hazelmere have not produced many fish probably due to fluctuating temperatures both in the water as well as atmospheric. The fish are somewhat scarcer. Perhaps a prolonged session with plenty of feeding and well-presented baits could mean the difference as the cooler weather sets in, the fishs appetites should be increased and better bites can be expected.
Tiger Fishing With more temperate conditions being forecast and the wind speeds dropping down, the conditions seem to be really great for Tiger Fishing. The Jozini Dam has a good volume and the fish are feeding mid to top water. The Tigga Wakka Copper Spoon in the early morning is still being used to great effect. The live baits and weighted strip baits if fished in the medium column of water have definitely had some Rods bending, with some lovely catch and release photos. As usual for this time of year the brush/structural areas seem to be the best hidey-holes for the fish.
A little known fact about the Great White Shark (also known as the Blue Pointer) is that they do not have black eyes but blue eyes. While the whites of their eyes are indeed dark and murky like the water in which they abide, which covers up their baby blues. Great Whites have excellent vision in dark or light conditions. While their other senses may be better for catching prey, they have very sensitive eyes and a curious mind. They are one of the few fish species who will stick their heads out of the water for observational purposes. Spyhopping as it is called is usually performed by Whales, however Great Whites are also known for this habit which makes them easy to observe from a boat rather than from a diving cage.
Remember – You may look into the water to see him, but he is just as likely to look back out of the water at you.
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 email@example.com or fax 031- 368 4007.
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