Anglers that are willing to travel should look no further than going up to the Maphelane or Cape Vidal areas. A nice mix of edible and inedible fish are there for the angler. Big sharks, Zambezi and Raggies are being frequently being landed as well as some big Skates and Sand sharks.
Edibles in the form of Kob, Grunter, Pompano and some fair size Kingfish have also been landed at these two venues over the past couple of weeks. One of the best things about fishing is its ability to beunpredictable. Over the last week, after not seeing many big Shad at all, they have suddenly come on the bite again and not only have there been good numbers, but extremely good sized fish too. This, along with the good fishing North and South, has meant a lot of pleased anglers, from Rock and Surf, to Deep Sea.
Due to the big seas at the beginning of last week and towards the end of last week, very few anglers attempted to do what they do best. Most anglers who braved the points hooked into a few Shark species such as Black fin Sharks and Spinner Sharks. With decent weather and sea conditions predicted for this weekend, sliding bigger baits for those bigger Black fin Sharks, Zambezi’s and Spinners will be much easier.Due to the presence of Shad, bait should not be an issue, as there aren’t many fish that would turn down a juicy Shad cutlet or Shad head. For a bigger bait, try a Shad flapper baitwith the fillets cottoned onto the head, this is also a great bait for a variety of bigger Flat fish species such as Sand Sharks, Honeycomb Rays and Diamond Rays.
Rock and Surf:
North Coast –It has been a very long time since one could say that the Spinner Sharks have been “out of control”, but after what the Richards Bay localsexperienced over the last week, “out of control” seems only to be an understatement. Every Chokka bait to hit the water was scoffed by these Spinner Sharks. Inbetween the Spinner Sharks, the odd Brown Ray, Sand Shark and Diamond Ray was also landed, but obviously due to the abundance of in edibles, the edible species that have been present over the last month or so have been elusive with only a handful being landed.
What happens in most of these areas that usually hold a good concentration of edible fish is when a bigger shoal of sharks move in, they will clean an area out, they will herd fish into gullies, troughs, behind sand banks etc. and they will not stop feeding until there are no more fish to feed on. Sharks are known to feed until the point of regurgitation, and then feed further.
Middle North Coast –Spinner Sharks have also moved down to Ballito and Salt Rock areas, and are being caught on Chokka baits, Red eye baits and Shad cutlets. There have been some Shad off most of the beaches and points, but mostly undersized but still good fun for the kids on light tackle with spoons. Salt Rock has been producing some nice Kingies, which probably came on the bite due to the rise in water temperature.
Most of these fish were landed on Prawn and Chokka baits that were thrown for fish like Bronze Bream and Blacktail. These Kingies can also be caught on spoons and dropshot, when they are really on the bite, nothing can beat this style of angling! The McArthy 3 and 4″ Jerk Shad and even Paddle tails will work very well for these Kingies. In the La Mercy/ Virginia area, the warmer water has kept the Brown Rays in the area and they are taking Chokka/Red eye baits and Red Eye cutlets readily.
La Mercy – Produced a good few juvinile Sand Sharks and Browns prior to the winds and rain. More and more anglers have been seeing excellent results using bait boats, particularly with Black Fin Sharks which generally feed slightly deeper and take big baits such as Bonito and whole Mackerel. These fish are extremely aerobatic once hooked and nothing less than 1mm leader should be used, Kingfisher offers a great range from 0.5 up to 1.0mm that has extremely good abrasion resistance, low stretch and low visibility, for a fraction of the price of Fluorocarbon.
Blue Lagoon –Is a bit quiet at the moment, which is probably due to the conditions worsening. Not to worry, as conditions have already seen improvement and by the end of the week fishing should be back to normal again. The Shad have been present towards the end of the week and are being caught mainly on lures and spoons.
Durban – The Durban piers are still providing our anglers with some Pompano and Grunter, on Sea lice and Prawn baits. These fish can be fussy so try downsize on thehook to improve your chances of hook-up. Many 3 Spot Pompano andSouthernPompano have been landed on Sealice from our more protected beach fronts.Most fish have been landed on small hooks but a 2/0 Mustad Big Gun is suggested due to the fact that bigger fish have been seen and if a bigger Stumpnose finds its way to a smaller, weaker hook then most of the time the hook will be opened or crushed. This hook also works very well with Sealice to make a well presented bait.
Toti / Scottborough –Grey Sharks have been landed at Toti, mainly in the evenings and on live baits. There are plenty of bait fish in the bay which will draw the game species in towards the end of the week. The Snapper Salmon have made their way down the coast again to Scottborough, providing may an angler with some good fun and tasty dinner. During the Westerly wind, the Grey Sharks and Browns seemed to have been caught more than during the East winds.From Scottsborough through to port St johns, Bronze Bream, Black tails, WildePerd (Zebra fish) and Shad have been on the bite, with the odd Hammer Head Shark.
North Coast – Boat angling started off relatively slowly last week, with only a few fish being landed at Maphelane, Vidal and off Durban. Stuart Worthington managed his first Marlin of over 150kgs off Maphelane on Ski boat Smackaroo, well done Stuart! It didn’t take much to get the Ski boaters on the water and towards the end of the week and over the weekend,many fish were landed, mainly at Cape Vidal and St Lucia.
Good catches ofWahoo were seen at St Lucia , mostly caught on strip baits and live baits.Just a tip for these Wahoo, when using lures and live bait in an area which is known to produce Wahoo or has been producing Wahoo recently, all lures and live baits should be fished with steel trace. Wahoo have some of the sharpest teeth in the ocean and will not hesitate to bite straight through even 1mm Flourocarbon. Fordiving lures such as Rattlers, a minimum of No. 6 wire should be used, and on Kona’s and surface lures, no less than 150lb carbon coated wire. Don’t take a chance, because a Wahoo of even 15kgs will give you a fight that you would not want to miss out on!
Durban- Due to the “up and down” seas over the last week, anglers have had to be fussy about launch days. The weekend was touch and go, but fishable and those who could not resist a launch and made the attempt to get out of bed at 3am, were very pleased with what was offered to them.
Boats saw Wahoo up to 30kgs, Tuna were caught by the Shoal and Dorado surprisingly enough were still plentiful. The Snoek were in full force at first light off Glen Ashley and Virginia, and were caught mainly on Small Rattlers and Strike Pro Magic Minnows. A few boats also had fun with spoons at a few of the rips off Hyper. Bottom fish off Toti, Warner Beach area were gail force, with most of the fish being Reds and Rock Cod.
South Coast –Anglers found themselves puzzling for Amberjack and Yellowtail, which did show up eventually and made many a charter angler happy.
Shongweni has played a big role in our local Carp angling over the last 10 years as this sport has become increasingly popular, mainly due to the fact that it is one of our most established masses of water. Shongweni has been around for decades and is home to some of the biggest Carp landed in Natal. This is what we need to keep telling ourselves in time of desperation, such as we are going through at the moment.
Shongweni, due to its mountainous surroundings, is effected heavily by the rains, heat, and temperature fluctuation. As with most of our dams in Natal, Shongweni goes through all of the threats and changes that the other dams such as Midmar, Albert Falls and Inanda do, but on a much more severe scale.Shongweni can go from crystal clear to chocolate brown in a matter of 5 hours due to rains. It can go from 25 degrees to 20 degrees in a matter of days, and this is where the current problem of algae and organic growth comes in.
The rising temperatures increase the growth rate of organic growth and this growth chokes all life forms around it,it starves the water of oxygen, and limits visibility severely. Only the odd carp will be landed but here are a few methods to be used that will increase your chances of a fish.
– Increase the size of your baits. This will make it more visible and more appealing to the Carp.
– Add more flavouring such as Korda “Goo”. This will help the Carp locate your bait in the low visibility.
– Use more ground feed, although this may attract Barbel, it will also attract more Carp.
– Fish in areas that seem to be less clouded with algae, the more visibility, the better the chance of a hook-up.
– Look for action or feeding Carp on the surface and make a swin (feedingspot) in that area, these fish are obviously in that area for a reason and will be more active, feed better and be less weary.
Bass – Anglers visiting Albert Falls have been successful with Flukes and top water lures such as Zara Spooks and Strike Pro Thai Sticks. Kyalami Bay is still the “Go-to” for slow angling, with very few anglers coming home empty handed. Midmar has been fishing better than before, seeing a good few Bass from the banks, as well as the boat. At this time of the year when visibility is low, it is easier for bank anglers to sneak up on fish in the shallows, particularly from the shore line.
Inanda fished well over the weekend, prior to the rains, but during the week saw some slow fishing obviously due to the fluctuating pressure.Inanda saw good Carp angling and plenty of Barbel, for the guys who lean more towards the relaxed styles of angling.
Hazelmere is another Dam being noticed for its up and coming bass fishing.This dam had its good days and bad days , the latter of which was not seen this weekend. Good catches from the banks and boat were seen, and a lunker of 4,5kgs was landed by a youngster near the inlet, on a Strike Pro crank Bait. Well done!