Year after year, half of our fishing community awaits one particular species. A species that has been as popular as any other due to its ability to be caught by dozens and not only on bait, but spoon, drop shot and other artificial lures. Yes, it’s none other than our Shad or Elf as our South Coasters call them. It is at this point in the year that we start to see good numbers coming through, as we already have. Time to stock up on needle point hooks and steel trace as we seem to be in for a cracker of a season!
Rock n Surf:
Kosi Bay has had kept anglers busy with the Kingies in the 5-10kg range, mostly GT’s and Black tips. These fish are being landed on throw baits such as Chokka and also Red Eye baits. Some anglers seem to be hooking into a few of these Kingies on drop shot and spoons. Honeycombs are still on the bite and taking bigger fleshy baits and fish heads.
Cape Vidal is still producing good catches of edibles and it is nice to see the Shad moving in decent numbers already. Most fish being caught on drift bait and standard Saltwater Sport Shad traces with Sardine as bait. Other species at Vidal include Stumpies, Pompano and Wave Garrick. Some good catches of Lantern fish and Rock Cod have also been reported.
Richards Bay has been consistent with catches of smaller Spinner Sharks and also Brown Skates on Red eye baits.
Ballito is still staying in the game with a handful of Grey Sharks and Brown Skates also caught on Red Eye. Shad have been landed in decent numbers on bait and Toby spoons. For better results, tie your 0,5mm leader directly to your spoon which results in better action and a less visible presentation. Kingfisher fluorocarbon leader will provide better abrasion resistance and a virtually invisible connection between your main line and spoon.
Durban has been fishing well of late, with reports of Pompano, Grunter and a decent amount of Stumpies. Most fish being caught on Red Eye Sardine and a few fish being landed at night. Good news in the form of Small Kob at Umgeni River mouth, being caught on baits. These fish will become more frequently caught as the water temperature drops and our spinning enthusiasts will have loads of fun targeting these fish on McArthy drop shot and Rattlers.
The Bluff has been producing good catches of Kingies and the start of Bronze Bream has caught the attention of anglers.
Toti locals had plenty of fun with Shad, although on the small side, still a lot of fun on light tackle. Also good numbers of Brown Skates in the 2-3kg range. Most fish have been caught on Sand banks in the afternoons.
Scottborough was the Grey Shark hotspot during the evenings last week, with the odd Blue Ray and Shad being caught.
Port Shepstone saw Shad at all the deep water points and Kob at the river mouth. Bronze Bream at all the usual spots.
Port Edward, the offshore winds have started blowing in the evenings and early mornings and the aloes are in bud and ready to bloom. With plenty of bait fish in the water and bait birds around, the signs for our annual Sardine run are here. Now is the time to hear of the first Sardine activity along the South East Cape shores and as the water temperature drops, hopefully we have a good run this year. At the moment, fishing in the Port Edward area is quiet with a few Hound Sharks and Blue Rays are on the bite.
Transkei, the northern spots saw good catches of Hammer Head Sharks ranging between 15-25kgs, as well as Big Grey and Black Fin Sharks. Port St John’s anglers got in on the action with McArthy Paddle tails and Rattlers with weighted hooks, mainly at the river mouth section and a few nice size Grunter in the river itself.
Durban harbor has been a fantastic location to fish recently, as so many different species have come on the bite. The usual suspects such as Grunter, Perch and Stumpnose have all been in full force. Many anglers have been using the double hook trace with excellent results. The trace is simple, two size 6 Mustad Chinu hooks are used on a double Christmas tree trace, with a light teardrop sinker, hook shootings are 40cm. This trace can be used with two of the same baits, or even two different baits, such as Cracker on the top hook and Red Eye on the bottom hook. Remember if Red Eye fillet is being used, then the bottom hook should be changed to a number 2 Mustad red Bait Holder.
Ski Boat- North – Sodwana has produced excellent catches of Sail fish, most of these fish have been caught on lures such as jet heads, feathers etc. Boats fishing in the 100m mark seem to be most successful.
Maphelane is still providing anglers with lots of fun with Snoek, Couta and a Wahoo here and there.
Zinkwazi has been a Couta hot spot over the last week with decent reports of fish up to 32kgs.
Westbrook, Seabell and Umdloti all produced excellent catches of Couta, very few of which weighed less than 15kgs, with Paddle Skis doing most of the damage in these areas.
Most local anglers have got in on the Tuna action on the Barge, using live bait. The technique is simple for this style of angling. The live bait is rigged with a single 5/0 to 8/0 Mustad Hoodlum, size 4 VMC treble or even a Mustad size 6/0 circle hook. The bait is then fed down to the desired depth and only the ratchet with a light drag is set. Once the bait is taken, the Tuna should be allowed to run off the mark to eliminate any chances of a tangle with other angler’s lines. This style of angling can be done on all bait marks and wrecks. Along with the Tuna, catches of big Bonito, Couta and Queenfish can be expected.
Durban has really been on top of its game when it comes to bottom fish. Excellent catches of Rock Cod and general Reds have been seen on charters and private boats. Good catches of Geelbek and Daga have been seen from wrecks on the Bluff and even on the Barge. Live Maasbunker and Mackerel have been the bait of choice. If he bait isn’t live, try use the “flapper” bait presentation. The bait is filleted from tail up on both sides but the fillets are left attached to the head of the bait, the spine is then removed, leaving the head with two flapping fillets. The hook is fed through the mouth as normal.
Fresh water- Carp angling has been rather productive over the last week, with dams in the Midlands producing good catches. Albert Falls and Midmar both seeing decent fish.
Reports of some excellent Carp at Inanda dam too. Shongweni has been quiet of late, but this gives is time to try out other dams such as Hazelmere and Inanda, which have been productive.
Inanda Dam hosts many small club fishing competitions weekly, and most of these competitions involve Bass fishing. Reports from these organizers indicate many good catches of Bass in the Taxi Bay area, with top water action in the mornings using Strike Pro Thai Sticks and Zara Spooks, and crank baits throughout the day. Cactus Point produced some lovely fish throughout the duration of last week.
This is an email from one of our readers that is worth sharing with you. “Have just read the fishing report and pleased to see sections on Trout and Bass. I am a pensioner but still enjoy fishing but do not own a boat so bank fishing it is! Have been to Hazelmere twice but no luck from the bank – water very shallow. My question is – can one fish from the bank at Inanda and is getting there safe! Look forward to hearing from you. Regards PS: am also a trout fisherman and need to get out there and do some more – have heard of Castleburn but am uncertain as to locality –HELP!!”
This is our reply “Thank you for your email. It is rather unfortunate that bank angling for Bass in Natal is extremely limited. Most “fishable” areas are the same areas allocated to water skiers, Carp anglers and day visitors. Any areas outside of these borders are either game parks, private property or as with Inanda Dam, dangerous to fish alone. Hazelmere is by far the dam with the most “fishable” shoreline. It is relatively shallow but all a bass needs in order to hunt is 12 inches of water. Bass have often been known to feed in water as shallow as 6 inches.
Hazelmere has a very nice river section to fish in just to the left of the entrance near the building. One can walk up and down the river with no worries of being confronted by locals etc. On the other side near the slip ways, there is a vast area which ranges in structure from rocky outcrops, overhanging trees, grassy areas and just plain mud. For better results, one needs to adopt a finesse approach to his casting and movement next to the waters. Also, no bright clothing and noisy tackle boxes with sinkers that crash from side to side as you walk.
With regards to your tackle, take a look at going lighter on your nylon (8-10lb). This has two main advantages over the average bank angler. Firstly you will be able to cast much further, allowing you to cast at Bass which have not yet seen you or noticed you in the area.
Secondly, with the thinner, less visible nylon, your Lures will have much better movement which will attract more bites, and secondly will be less visible to the Bass, eliminating any suspicion and doubt about consuming your lure.
Spend time fishing one lure. Specialize in one technique, and perfect that before you move on to the next style/lure. Try starting off with Zooms Super Fluke in the colour “Watermelon Red flake”, or “California 420”. This is THE most versatile lure on the market and can be fished all year round, in any dam, any cloud cover and any depth.
When fishing shallows from the banks, my favorite technique is either a weightless rigged Fluke or a light split shot rig. Both presentations have loads of action which most bass will not be able to resist. As a general rule of thumb, fish your Flukes very slow, bouncing off the bottom. If you think that you are fishing your Fluke too slow, and then slow it down further! Inanda is a productive dam but mainly from a boat. There are not enough banks to fish, my honest advice would be to fish Hazelmere for a while and try learning the areas and structure. You will become successful after a good few outings to the Dam. Castleburn is about 30kms past Underberg and a very productive area to fish, well worth the effort.”
Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 031- 368 4007, and for the latest KZN fishing news presented by O.J., tune into East Coast Radio at 5.40am Monday – Friday.
ASFN is a great fishing show that is aired weekly on DSTV, it premiers on Mondays, Super Sport 8, channel 208, 19:30 to 20:00. Please check out your TV guide, sometimes Super Sport will change the channel that it is supposed to be aired.
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