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 diving around, the signs for our annual sardine 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 will have a good run this year.
At the moment, fishing here is quiet with a few houndsharks and blue skates on the bite. Shad are still small and reef fish are occupying the light tackle fishermen with no big news over them.
There was clean water all round for our KZN anglers over the last week which meant a change of tactics for most. Although the water was clean, the big swells running and strong currents made it tricky but all in all, a productive weeks angling.
Rock n Surf – A lovely King fish of 25kgs was landed on a live Wave Garrick at Kosi bay last week, and it is nice to hear that the fish was released to fight another day. Also news of Bonefish which cannot leave the smaller Prawn or Chokka baits alone. A Chokka tentacle with Prawn mix on a Mustad big gun size 2 works wonders for these smaller edibles. Very clean water at Kosi bay and surroundings.
Cape Vidal – has had lots of small reef fish such as Snapper, Cave Bass and Rock Cod which are falling victim to fish baits such as Red eye and Mackerel. An abundance of Eel-tail Barbel and Fish-tail Barbel also taking any bait that hits the water. The Eel-tail variation being the better of the two for the table, and although considered a nuisance, are tasty treats.
Richards bay – is still fishing well having seen many Shad, Spinner sharks and flat fish of various types. Most fish being landed on fleshy fish baits.
Ballito – Due to the large swell over the last week and weekend, Ballito didn’t see many anglers on its shores. Most fish being landed were small Shad that were targeted off the rocks. Late evenings and night time angling seemed to be the more productive times to fish.
Durban Piers – have had a surprise with species recently, with a massive range of fish ranging from Black tail to Grunter, Sharks and everything in between. Shad have moved through in numbers and more anglers seem to be landing these fish by the day. With the colder water, the Sand Soldiers have arrived eating many baits being cast into the deep. These small Reds make excellent live bait or even cutlet baits.
Bluff – anglers seem to be getting it right, with reports of decent fish being more and more regular by the day. Live bait anglers have been hooking into good sized Kingies up to 12kgs. Most anglers have been using Mustad Hoodlum 8/0 hooks for their sheer strength when fishing for these Kingies, as it’s more of a “hit and hold” approach.
The hooks’ slightly thicker shank also means less fish will be lost due to hook pulls as the thicker shank does not tear though as easily. Anglers have also been landing a fair amount of Bronze Bream on Prawn and Chokka baits. Time to visit the fresh water section at your local tackle shop and stock up on aniseed or banana flavoured dips for the winter. Bronze bream tend to prefer a flavoured bait.
Isipingo beach – is a relatively unpopular spot compared to some of the favourites along our shoreline, but anglers have impressed most with the size of Shad there over the last week. These are the first of many to come in the upcoming months. This weekend seems to be settling down somewhat so we will hopefully see more good fish being landed.
Warner beach and Toti – fished well for the select few who spent the hours on the water. Anglers landed Grunter, Pompano and Bronze Bream in numbers using Cracker, Chokka and Prawn baits.
Umkomaas through to Scottborough saw dozens of Juvenile Grunter, the Odd Pompano and Shad too. Closer to Scottborough, Grey Sharks and Blue Rays have been landed in the late afternoons.
Transkei Northern areas – saw Kob, in decent sizes too, Garrick and Pig Nose Grunter. McArthy Paddle tails fished slow down deep seem to be getting a better bite. Garrick have been landed on live baits but are now being successfully caught on dropshot as well. For Garrick on dropshot, one is able to downsize on the braid as these fish are not dirty fighters and will not try cut the angler off on the rocks. Gatorbraid 26lb is more than sufficient and will allow for a much better cast than the standard 33lb or 40lb used for Kob and Kingies.
Harbour – At the moment, there are thousands upon thousands of undersized Grunter in the bay, which although can be menacing, can provide hours of fun on ultralight tackle. Remember, these smaller fish tend to swallow the hooks, resulting in the inability to remove them as we normally would from the lips. When this happens, be sure to cut the line as close to the fish as possible. Do not try rip the hook out as this will kill the fish. If the line is cut, the hook will eventually rust out or the fish’s body will excrete the hook in its own time.
Another way around the smaller fish is using a bigger hook such as the Mustad Red Tarpon size 1/0 or 2/0, Red bait holder or even Big Gun which can accommodate a bigger, more versatile bait such as Red eye head, fillet or cutlet. This will not only catch a wider variety of winter fish, but also be more difficult for the smaller fish to swallow.
Ski Boat – Although reports of unsettled sea from our North coast, a fair amount of boats managed to launch, and return with fish too. Most fish being caught include Couta of the larger variety, caught in a depth of 30m or less. These have been landed on live bait with sparse dusters or even just green beads due to the clean water having moved in. In this clean water extra precaution is to be taken when tying leaders. An extra long fluorocarbon leader of 8m or more should be used, of plus minus 0,60mm. This will increase bites drastically. Other species include Sailfish, Tuna and Wahoo, also caught on live bait and Rattlers Deep divers.
Locally – the Tuna have been more plentiful than ever expected. One of Durban’s better seasons over the last few years and what is surprising is the amount of larger fish being landed on the Fishing Skis. Over the last week, more than a dozen tuna over 15kgs were reported being landed off Skis around the Umhlanga Barge or Containers. Although the sharks have been an issue, anglers are still getting their trips worth by passing the Barge. Once again, clean water calls for fluorocarbon.
Aliwal Shoal – is still the number one Wahoo supplier this time of year and more have been landed on the last week on live Bonito. There has been an abundance of bait offshore and the fish seem to be holding tight to the bait shoals. Follow the blue and warmer water.
Fresh water Bass
Inanda dam – has been fishing extremely well lately. Following Mr Thompsons 6,28kg winning fish at the 2014 Inanda Bass Classic, two Bass have been reported close on the 4kg mark, one caught on a crank bait near Durban bay and the other during the week from the shoreline on the North side of Dusi point.
Albert falls – has seen plenty of action with fish up to 1,8kgs in the shallows. Most reports of fish caught have been on soft plastics.
Hazelmere – is very low at the moment, exposing most structure. It is a good time to study the structure and take advantage of the marks when the water level rises. Although the water is low, fish are still being landed. 6 Bass ranging between 500g and 1,5kgs were landed by one angler in an afternoon session using nothing but Strike pro crank baits fished very slow off the slipway.
Carp – Most anglers will be planning their annual trip away to their favourite dam at this stage of the year. When planning a trip away for an extended period, make sure you take sufficient ground feed and hook baits. We have recently heard of a Group of anglers who fed a spot for 3 days and on the 4th day, landed two fish. After that the Barbel moved in and they could not get another Carp out.
Examining the dam later on that day, the anglers noticed Carp swimming in the shallows, and feeding on their doorstep. On inspection of their bait stocks, they realised that they had ran out of feed and could not create another swim. Small things like this can ruin a trip, so make sure you take extra, as it will never go to waste.
Inanda has fished well, seeing Carp over 10kgs on a more regular basis now, with some very nice fish up to 18kgs being taken on the weekend from a private spot near taxi bay.
Albert falls has had decent numbers of smaller fish up to 3kgs, mainly on conventional tackle.
Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to email@example.com 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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