Good news for all Anglers the winter bait fish have arrived. Redeye, Bonnito and a few Mackerel have become somewhat more plentiful, as well as a few more spots producing Shad of a legal size. The weather conditions have also started to play along and we can expect good fishing and hopefully a bumper Sardine run shortly. Best times to fish are still early morning and for the late sleepers this means that first light is slightly lighter than the summer months. Evening sessions arent lasting as long due to the earlier sunset.
Rock and Surf
Kosi Bay Has had not much to report, there seems to be only smaller fish around, many of these fish targeted have been Wave Garrick and juvenile Kingfish species.
Tugela Reports are that the water has cleaned up nicely and fishing has improved slightly. Some Milk Sharks and a few Lesser Sand Sharks were caught on the banks during the late morning, early afternoon sessions.
St Lucia/Cape Vidal This area is inundated with Shad which is as usual a very good sign for this time of year. These fish can be targeted with Falcon S-bend spoons, McArthy Drop shots or the traditional Sardine bait. As these fish are smaller in size, a single Sardine fillet will suffice.
Maphelane Also seeing a fair amount of Shad, with a few over the legal size limit. For the light tackle Anglers, why not try fishing for juvenile Grunter as there are a fair amount of these around as well?
Richards Bay The pesky Spinner Sharks are very prominent and many Anglers targeting other species have either been bitten off or had a very short lived fight. The Mustad long shank hooks could be an alternative to getting bitten off when fishing areas that are either new to you or you are not sure what species could be lurking.
Ballito Due to the nature of the terrain, with lots of gullies and very shallow reefs this area is probably a good Bronze Bream hunting ground. These fish eat mainly seaweed which resembles slightly thicker grass and a Prawn or Chokka blob bait could see them turn from herbivore to carnivore in an instant. Not a fish you want to leave your Rod in the rod stand for.
La Mercy Still very popular with Anglers fishing for big inedibles. Last week did not see any real rod benders. Some nice fish such as bigger Grey Sharks and Honeycombe Rays were all that were reported.
Umhloti/Umhlanga Back in the spotlight both of these areas have produced some nice size Grey Sharks in the 20-30 kilo range, obviously these bigger fish, prefer bigger baits and whole Bonnito Slide baits or smaller Chokka baits have been working really well.
Virginia Has also started to come of age with a few nice size Shad in the early mornings, although not as plentiful as other areas. This is probably one of the easiest beaches to target fish as a novice angler; there are some nice banks and good footing on the beach. During the Sardine run this is a definite go to as often smaller pockets of Sardines are chased in close by the Game fish which helps the novice angler, who might not throw that far.
Durban Piers Pick of the week would be Suncoast Pier which has had artificial enthusiasts targeting juvenile Garrick on Drop shot and the Maria Duplex casting lure. For those targeting fish on traditional baits, Redeye cutlet baits have been deadly for Grunter as well as Prawn and Chokka for the odd Pompano that still seems to be around in the early morning.
Beachfront The beachfront is also experiencing a bit of slump with mainly small Shad and the odd Flatfish although most of these are juvenile fish made up of Brown Skates and a few Honeycombes. Just on dark, a few smaller Grey Sharks, although these seem to come and go as they please.
Bluff It is always good to hear of somebody who has heeded somebody elses advice. Some local anglers who obviously read the fishing report tried their hand at targeting Kingfish on smaller baits and had great fun over the weekend targeting these fish. Although no fantastic catches and a few bust ups occurred it made for a great weekend.
Toti/Winklespruit Both areas have seen a fair amount of Shad with very few making the size limit. These fish obviously being chased in by the Garrick especially on the low tides in the early mornings. On certain days live baits can be a problem so be sure to pack some Plugs and bigger S-bend spoons as well as Bullet spoons as these fished in the early light could still land you a fish before the slide bait chaps have got their baits out.
Umkomaas Still very productive, especially in terms of edible fish – the smaller Kob are still around. For the bait anglers whilst the artificial gurus have started moving in, using 6-inch Paddle tails on lighter spinning outfits.
Scottburgh With the number of anglers targeting Snoek increasing, this spot has become somewhat more popular in regards to spinning. The traditional bait anglers have been left out with not too many fish coming out, a few small Spinner Sharks and the odd flat fish.
Trafalgar Although a bit early in the season, there have been a few Bronze Bream in this area and some Hound Sharks. Evening into dark sessions have produced some Eel tailed Barble and some small Spinner Sharks.
Margate Still getting a fair number of Shad and a lucky angler while throwing a bigger S-bend spoon managed to land a 7 kilo Garrick, although this fish was foul hooked it still counts as a Garrick on an artificial lure.
Port Edward Terry Nel from Tacklenet reports that Shad are still biting regularly and reports are coming in of good sized Shad being caught in the river estuary here as well. Fishing the beach at Port Edward one evening last week a lady angler (Christine) standing between two pro anglers succeeded in landing a large Shad and then a Blue Skate of 7,9kg’s while we just stood and watched. Needless to say, a lot was said and this Monday she went out on a charter (Shot for Shot) and came back with 3 fish one a Tuna of 15kg. Well done.
Transkei Still getting some nice Kob in the Port St Johns and Skimmingtons areas as well as Mpolompo. For the non edible anglers its probably time to get your heavy gear serviced and ready for the Sardine run which is in the not so distant future, check the guides on your rods, get your reels serviced and replace line before it is too late.
Ski-boat and Paddle-Ski
Not only do the Rock and Surf Anglers welcome the more plentiful bait fish, but Skippers and Paddlers alike are also glad. Redeye fillets can be used as Strip baits for Snoek and small Bonnito can either be Paddle-powered or Horse-powered in order to target Croc Couta. Although both Snoek and Couta are not as plentiful, the winter species have definitely started to move in, so why not get the Ski or the Boat onto the water when next you have a chance?
North Far north has seen its fair amount of action with regards to shoal Snoek, most of these fish are in the 5 7 kilo range still. Mapelane and Richards Bay has seen more action than most of the other spots. Paddlers in the Zinkwazi and Ballito areas have also gotten a few Snoek, although not as plentiful in the past weeks.
Central The Central areas have seen a lot more bait fish and this would ordinarily mean more fish in the vicinity. There are still a few Yellow fin Tuna around and some Snoek. There have also been a lot of Black tip Kingfish, especially around the bait balls and the Tuna hiding underneath. The popular bait spots have drawn a number of Paddlers and Skippers and it is worthwhile spending a bit of time dropping a Buck tail jig or pinning live bait in and around the bait marks. The deeper wrecks are still holding a few early Geelbek and Daga Salmon.
South Aliwal Shoal area is still producing some fish, although the majority are Yellow fin Tuna with a very rare Snoek or Couta being boated. The Pennington area is still most prolific with lots of Yellow fin Tuna, although it seems there are a fair amount of audits being done by the Taxman. Bottom fishing has definitely improved with a lot more fish coming out. Reds, Slinger and a few bonus Rock Cod have had Skippers smiling on their way back to the beach.
Believe it or not, there are even Shad in the Bay. Some of the local Spinning enthusiasts have reported lures being engulfed with a good fight coming from under-sized Shad. Amongst these fish are still some nice Sea Pike and Kingfish species. Grunter seem to have slackened off, however there are a number of juvenile fish, the 3 and above kilo range are definitely under the radar and off the fish finders.
Fly-Fishing The Swartberg area is fishing very well, in particular, Lake St Bernard. Plenty of fish are coming out on Pancock Woolley Bugger and Jensens Dragon patterns. Its not long to go to when the rivers close at the end of May, take advantage of the good river conditions at the moment. Crystal Waters produced a fair amount of fish, but mainly stockies. Salt Water Fly-fishing has been quiet of late, but reports have been received of small Kingies and 3 spot Pompano in the Cape Vidal area.
Bass Majority of the Bass will be feeding on the 5 7 cm bait fish before moving on to deeper water for the winter months. Now is the time to use deeper running crank baits and flukes. If per chance you come across these shallower bait balls, you can expect lots of action. During the winter months the natural approach, flukes, worms etc. or the unnatural approach such as a spinner bait in 30 cm of water or a 10-inch Senko fished in the shallows could also produce a bite. Diarise the 31st August 1st September for the Annual Albert Falls Bass Tournaments.
Carp Will steadily start to decline in activity with the average size fish becoming harder to find. Dont despair as this gives you the perfect opportunity to target larger specimen fish in the cooler water temperatures. So if you dont mind camping out in the cooler weather, you could be rewarded with your personal best.
Tiger Fish With both weather and temperatures having their fair go at the Tiger Anglers, some good news is that there is still a fair amount of fish being caught. Hippo Bay is the most prominent spot where some lovely fish of about 3.5 kilos were caught. It is now time to go off the traditional Sardine bait and start to trawl deeper diving Rapala or Halco lures, not forgetting the very popular StrikePro range.
The common Trout comes with its own form of pedigree and are divided into 2 specific groups the True Trout and Chars. Sea running Trout and some that remain in fresh water often swim upstream to return to spawn at their birth place. A mature Trout can weight from 225g up to 45 kilos depending on its species and habitat. Trout belong to the same family as Salmon. Adults of the larger species of Trout often snack on smaller Birds and Mammals.
ASFN Season 2 premiers on Monday nights on Super Sport 6 at 19h30 be sure not to miss it, there will also be six rebroadcasts during the week.
For the latest KZN fishing news presented by O.J., tune into East Coast Radio at 5:40am Monday – Friday.
The Kingfishers trading hours are:
Mon, Wed, Thu & Fri 8:00am 5:00pm
Tue 8:30am 5:00pm.
Sat 8:00am 1:00pm.