After what one could only describe as “fishing mayhem” over the last three weeks along our coast line, things have eventually started to cool down a bit, with anglers finding themselves putting in more hours to get results. For some, this was not the case, as they proceeded to dive head first into some great offshore angling, with many stories of “the big one that got away”.

Rock n’ Surf.
Kosi / Maphelane- After many weeks of what seemed to be endless flat fish smash ups and Shark runs, some respectable hauls of edibles such as
Stumpnose and Pompano were seen on our upper Natal coast in areas such as Mapelane, Cape Vidal and St Lucia. These fish can generally be found in large shoals close inshore at this time of year, Stumpnose throughout the year and Pompano in the warmer months from November onwards, both species feed readily on Sea lice, Crab and a well-presented Chokka bait.

For Stumpnose, a firm favourite amongst many anglers however, is a juicy Red eye head with belly section. This bait will pick up many species throughout the year too. There is still action with the inedibles, although it has slowed down since last week. Diamonds, Browns, Honeycomb Rays and Sand Sharks being the most common of the lot, taken on Red Eye baits, Chokka baits and fresh Mackerel.

Richards Bay- After possibly some of the most incredible fishing Richards
Bay had seen in ages, fishing seems to have slowed down a bit, judging by what was reported at last week€™s fishing comp. There are reports of good catches of inedibles up till the weekend, and on Sunday after the big West the fish came back on the bite. Not much on the edible front, with only a hand full of stories from the masses.

With North East winds predicted this week, the fishing should be back to the way it was. Flat fish tend to be caught mainly in the dirtier waters that the strong North East winds brings. During the Westerly winds the water flattens and the sea does not churn up much sand, which means there are less crustaceans for the fish to feed on. Generally after the second day of the North East wind blowing, that would be the ideal time to target these species.

Zinkwazi- Zinkwazi seems to be holding its own, in both edibles and non
edibles. It is nice to see more Pompano being landed, as the season hasn’t been that great in that respect. There are a lot of baitfish on backline at Zinkwazi which could only mean that there will be game fish in the area, one could suggest a spoon or plug to be thrown in attempt to hook into some of the game fish swimming along with the bait shoals.

Some good Sand Sharks were landed on slide Chokka baits, and some smaller specimens on throw baits. It is nice to see more and more anglers using  spinning outfits for this style of fishing. The majority of fish landed on this tackle comes as a surprise to many the first time that they see what the new spinning reels are capable of. One reel that has been more than impressive is the Daiwa Windcast Z 5500. This reel has landed countless Sharks in excess of 100kgs since its launch date in 2012.

The Windcast 5500 was designed to hold 600m of 50lb braid which means no money wasted at all on a 600m spool of 48lbs Gator Braid. 50lb Braid may seem like a high breaking strain, but it is a 1/4 the diameter of its equivalent in Nylon/monofilament which means a much better cast, greater sensitivity and better line capacity.

Umhloti/Umhlanga- Many Stumpnose reported off Umhlanga, some of which have tipped the scales at 5kgs and above. Big shoals have been spotted by Spear fishermen casually swimming behind the rocks.

The usual haul of Sand Sharks, mainly Lessers, Greys and some flat fish have been keeping the local anglers at Umhlanga busy. With a relatively decent supply of fresh bait over the last week, anglers have been able to present some very tasty bits to the fish and the results are no surprise.

Fresh bait and good presentation are key factors to catching good fish, consistently. Some nice Cave Bass and Rock Cod have been landed on Red Eye and Chokka baits off Umhloti rocks.

Blue Lagoon- After nearly a full week of dirty water and plenty of debris in the water near the Umgeni River mouth, things are looking good with the clean water pulling through just in time for this week€™s North Easterly winds. Fishing should be productive this weekend, with the water being a bit choppy and turning off colour.

Durban Central- The flat fish are here to stay, showing no signs of
slowing down even through the West came through on Saturday afternoon. Take the family down for some great fun on light tackle at Ushaka Beach front, all one needs is Chokka and Sardine or Red Eye.

A few Grunter are being landed in between the inedibles, one just needs to present a smaller bait in order to target the grunter and avoid too many flat fish.

South Coast- South coast is still fishing well, with reports of good catches of Flat fish and some exceptional Shark angling coming in. The Raggies seem to have come alive over the last week and most anglers who made an attempt were rewarded with a decent fish.

Raggies are a great species to target when starting off with Shark angling or for a youngster who would like to catch a big one. Raggies are relatively docile members of the Shark family and can be targeted on anything from a 14ft Poseidon Medium rod and Daiwa SL50 reel. Although it is not uncommon to land a Raggie over 100kgs, they can be subdued on medium tackle.

Ski Boat- Due to the Conditions of the Sea, there were few fishable days last week but Sunday made up for that! North Coast anglers made
professionals of themselves with the Marlin and Sail fish, with a handful
of fish stretching the scales at over 200kgs. Couta, Snoek and Dorado all
seem to have been landed in decent numbers with reports of Couta on the rise. After the bad seas on Saturday afternoon, Sunday was the day to fish and Maphelane was on fire along the colour lines with Tuna, Dorado and Wahoo coming out.

Durban- As with the North Coast, Durban experienced up and down fishing results with Sunday being the day to talk of. Marcel Greyling from The Kingfisher and Ron Mattic were fortunate enough to land Snoek, Tuna and Wahoo off Durban. One of these Tuna tipped the scales at close to 30kgs and was landed using  a Daiwa Saltist 4500 spinning reel, 55lb Saltiga boat braid and the new Daiwa Saltist 7’6 plugging rod. Well done Guys! 

There were many other fish landed around Westbrook such as Couta, Tuna and Dorado, with a few Wahoo being landed as well. Number One was relatively quiet, with many of the boats having headed towards the ships in attempt to make something of their day being successful. Bottom fishing has shown some improvement as many boats came back with hatches needing to be cleaned. Rock Cod off the Bluff, Soldiers deep off Umdloti and general Red fish off most wrecks.

Fresh Water- As we move into the fourth week of excellent angling, we have been hearing even more stories from many anglers in and around the Pietermartizburg area. The conditions on Friday afternoon and Sunday morning were ideal for Bass angling and the anglers who fished Albert Falls made best of this time. One boat at Albert Falls boated 48 fish in one session, six fish over the 3kgs mark, this is a good haul in anybodies books.

Inanda, Hazelmere and Midmar have been the underdogs of late, but reports of some decent fishing have started to come in. Flukes seem to be the flavour of the week and Zooms “California 420” seems to be the colour of choice.

Carp angling seems stable at the moment with most of the reports and feedback from the Pietermaritzburg area being only of good catches. Baits used are in the line of Maize, Tiger nuts and pop-ups. Sweet flavours such as FX and Juana will get a pull! Shongweni has been moving slowly up the ranks with more and more big fish being netted weekly and just last week a good customer of The Kingfisher landed a beauty of 16kgs on specimen tackle!

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 Kingfisher€™s trading hours are: Mon, Wed, Thu & Fri €“ 8:00am €“ 5:00pm Tue €“ 8:30am €“ 5:00pm. Sat €“ 8:00am €“ 1:00pm.

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