With weather and sea conditions being on the anglers side, there was absolutely NO excuse for anybody not to go fishing over the last week. High volumes of boat anglers and surf anglers alike were seen at their favorite spot with many a fish to brag about. The rock and surf fundis have come out tops with some excellent catches and personal best catches being smashed.
Rock ‘n Surf:
Kosi / Mapelane – With the water being very clean and calm up in these areas, Sharks were relatively scarce in comparison to the previous weeks angling, but this did not deter fishermen from (some very successful) spinning and scratching. Many edibles such as Stumpnose, Snapper and Grunter fell victim to almost any bait presented to them, with the sea lice and small Chokka baits coming out on top.
Shad are still on the bite which is not only good news to the hook and cook fisherman, but also to the big game and shark anglers who favor this as bait over many other fish baits. Although Shark and flat fish angling slowed down, the fish that did come out were excellent catches, some specimen Raggies were over 150kgs.
Richards Bay – This area has kept the fishing stories coming strong, not only are the rock n surf spots producing a lot of fish, but the harbor itself is proving to be a hot spot of note! With countless Grunter and many other species such as Rock Salmon, Perch and Flat fish being abundant too, it seems the place to be.
Richards Bay is a great spot to take the youngsters for fishing lessons or just to have a successful day on the water, whether its from the boat or shore. This spot really comes alive at times and many different species such as Kingfish, Springer, Garrick, Ox Eye Tarpon, Kob, Grunter, Perch, Rock Salmon, Snapper Salmon, Flat fish and many more can be caught. Why not go down and experience what our older generation grew up loving!
Salt Rock / Ballito / Westbrook – From Salt Rock to Westbrook over the last week has been the rock n surf spinning enthusiasts dream. Snoek by the dozen and Kingfish in abundance. Shad on the run and the odd Kob here and there. It would have been difficult to go down to waters edge and not return with at least one fish to show off. Snoek generally prefer the green water as opposed to the clean water and this last week s conditions proved to be perfect for them. These fish are generally not as big as the fish landed on the boats, but still provide excellent fun on spinning tackle. 106 Spinning rods with a size 4000 reel loaded with no more than 30lb Gator braid is needed to cast the smallest spoon possible.
These small, bullet shaped spoons are retrieved at lightning speed through the breakers. Although Snoek (Queen Mackerel) have the same razor sharp teeth as its bigger cousin, the Couta (King Mackerel), no steel bite trace is required. Rather than steel trace, Fluorocarbon leader material is used in 1-1,5m lengths, tied directly to a no.8 or 10 Power swivel which is attached to the split ring already supplied with most spoons. Spoons recommended are the Kingfisher Pro Jet spoon, Sprat spoons and Iron Candy Couta casting spoons. Apart from the spinning, the Grey Sharks, Sandys, Browns and Diamonds have been loose as described by the party responsible for the catches.
Beachwood / Glen Ashley / Virginia – A lot of Sharks in the area, with a lovely Zambezi Shark of 150kgs Landed by Mike Volcheck, which fell victim to a Spinner Shark swim bait. Well Done Mike!
Blue Lagoon / Durban Beaches – Durban beaches have produced many smaller fish, keeping the local anglers happy, and the odd big Shad coming out from the Blue Lagoon and the Piers. A lot of reports of the fishermen on the Piers and beachfront being smashed up by fish that they have not been able to identify. These fish are most probably big flat fish such as Honeycombs Rays or big Ribbon tail Rays that pick up small baits intended for small flat fish or even Stumpies and other ground fish alike. Light tackle intended for Grunter on out beachfronts has been stretched to its maximum on these big Rays, with very few landed. These fish can be targeted off the piers on heavy tackle and a lot of fun is to be had.
Recommended tackle is a 14ft Poseidon Medium with a Daiwa SL50 loaded with a minimum of 0,40mm Giant abrasion. For the bigger fish, a Poseidon HMG Heavy, Saltist 50 or Saltiga 50 loaded with 600m of Gatorbraid 48lb and topped off with Giant abrasion 0,50mm.
Umkomaas – This area has fished extremely well with the majority of the catches being Grunter, Shad and Kingfish, a real edible anglers dream. Baits being used include Sea lice, Red eye head/ cutlets, Chokka and Prawn, generally thrown on a medium spinning outfit or multiplier outfit such as a Daiwa SL20/30 on a 126 Poseidon light, no more than 25lb Giant abrasion nylon is required.
Scottborough– has been producing some excellent catches of Sand Sharks, some up to 70kgs. Grey Sharks up to 20kgs have also been landed on throw baits such as Chokka/Red eye mix etc.
Port Saint Johns – Hammerhead Sharks and big Grey Sharks are predominantly what the locals have been catching, on slide baits and throw baits. Nice to see that there are a few big Shad coming out and no shortage of Bronze Bream. These big Shad often take a small live bait intended for other game fish, and if no steel is used the fish are often lost. A good technique for this style of fishing is a live Karanteen or Blacktail on a top bung.
Good catches of Wahoo, Couta, Snoek, Dorado, Marlin and Tuna have been reported off our waters over the last week, and not only have there been a lot of fish, but the sizes have definitely been something to write home about!
North Coast – Hatches have been filled to the brim with a mixed bag of game fish and bottom fish recently on our North Coast, whilst the fishermen targeting Marlin and Sailies have been rewarded with many smaller Blacks and Stripies between 50kgs and 120kgs. Most of these fish caught in our waters are released, but every now and again a fish kills itself as a result of fatigue during the fight. Most anglers will make an attempt to resuscitate the fish if signs of weakening are present (bronze colouration in the skin, slow breathing, no movement and bleeding) but on the odd occasion the fish will not be able to be revived. In the event of this sad reality, one is urged to rather keep the fish for the pot. Small Marlin and Sailfish may not be as great cooked as we usually prepare line fish, but is exceptional if smoked.
Dorado, Couta, Tuna and Snoek have been present in large numbers from Mapelane down to Richards Bay. In terms of lures, generally we target each species of fish on a different lure. To increase the amount of species caught in a trip, one could fish with lures that entice more than one species of fish. The most versatile lure is a Kona and is generally taken by Dorado, Tuna, Wahoo, Sail fish and Marlin. H2O lures has a great range of trawling feathers, Konas and smokers. Give them a try and see the species count increase.
Durban – Well done to Hilton Kidger from Durban Ski Boat Club and his crew over the weekend that Landed 3 lovely Yellow Fin Tuna with the smallest weighing in at 24kgs caught off Durban! Poobal Govender ventured to the ships and landed a lovely Wahoo on a Rattler 150 being pulled at 15kmh. This is Poobals 3rd Wahoo in 2 Launches! Well Done!
Dorado have been targeted heavily over the last week and many have been boated some over 15kgs. If the weather holds up then this weekend should be good to target these beautiful fish near the ships and bait marks on live bait, and remember, these fish are great fun on a light spinning rod, so when you have your first fish at the boat, cast a lure and the partner of the hooked fish will often be hooked too.
Many Snoek have been landed all the way from Westbrook to Blue Lagoon with the bigger fish coming out north of Glen Ashley. These Snoek have fallen victim mainly to fillet baits and small Strike Pro Magic Minnows.
One of the local dams that have been working very well is Hazelmere; it is really worth a visit to experience its extremely good fishing at a short drive away. Bass fishing at Hazelmere has been explosive with not only large numbers being landed, but some lunkers too. Mainly small Goya Spinner baits and Strike Pro Crank Baits. Make sure your hooks on your crank baits are always sharp as they need to penetrate quickly once the fish swallows the lure. Rust is a big problem and leads to blundering of hook and split rings.
A useful tip that will help with this it to spray generous amounts of Spray and Cook into your crank bait box, if one can obtain garlic Spray and Cook then even better. These sprays will not damage lures and boxes; it is just used to combat rust. It can also be sprayed onto soft plastics to enhance smell and entice more bites.
Albert Falls has not only been producing many bass on soft plastics, it has also seen a Carp explosion over the last week. Carp ranging from 2kgs to 15kgs have been taken on specimen and conventional methods, with the only real make or break being the flavors being used. Many anglers choose to use Sweet flavors/dips in warm water for more active fish but the truth is, if one is targeting big fish, which are not active feeders, then one should be using dips that the smaller, active fish will be less attracted to, such as Devils Fork, Garlic, TCP etc. Sit it out and see the results.
Inanda, Shongweni and Midmar have also seen big fish landed and due to the fact that the shorelines are less crowded, fishing has become more pleasant. It is a great time to book a family holiday at the dam for a few days. The water is warm enough to swim from early morning into the dark, all of the fish species are active, there is little rain and animal life in and around the dams is mind blowing, it really is a nice holiday destination.
Any info about fish caught or competitions in your area please email to email@example.com or fax 031- 368 4007.
There are a couple of great TV fishing shows on at the moment, here are a few that are certainly worth watching.
1) ASFN Season 3 premiers on Monday nights at 19:30 on Super Sport 8, channel 208. Be sure not to miss it, this new season will have more time spent on each angling facets every week and there are six rebroadcasts during the week.
2) Freespool, presented by Mark de la Hay premiers Thursday nights at 19:00 on channel 208, Mark is a very talented angler and covers most facets of angling in and around southern Africa.
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.