After two cold fronts pulling through, we have finally seen the drop in sea temperature which is sure to assist in the movement of not only the Garrick and Kob up the coast, but hopefully the Sardines as well. Although temperatures have been very low, anglers have had a great time over the last week with a variety of species from the surf and off the boats.
Rock and Surf:
Kosi Bay – Bonefish and Wave Garrick are still plentiful throughout the day, with the odd Grunter and Stumpnose being landed as well. Most fish are being caught on small Chokka blob baits. There have been a handful of Sharks around, but nothing spectacular.
Vidal – This area has seen a large amount of Shad in the bay, caught on baits and spoon early in the morning or later on just before sun set. Throughout the day anglers have been having loads of fun with Wave Garrick on small Drop shot lures. Anglers fishing the reef had some fun with Rock Cod, Cave Bass, Snapper and the odd Kob.
Richards Bay – Many anglers have been lucky enough to hook into Kob towards the end of last week and over the weekend. Although these fish have been of the smaller variety, are still proving fun on lighter tackle. The most effective bait thus far has been smaller Chokka baits, preferably mixed with a cutlet of Red Eye Sardine for flavour. Richards Bay has also been producing some lovely Spinner Sharks on Chokka baits and medium sized fish bait, these fish have been landed in the evenings.
Shaka’s High Rocks produced two Garrick of about 7kgs over the weekend at sunrise, both on live Shad baits. This is normally a very popular spot when the Garrick are running.
Salt Rock – Only news of one Snoek and two small Kingies from the Sheffield area. Most anglers have been kept busy with edibles such as Bronze Bream, Zebras, Rock Cod and Shad. Most of these with the exception of Shad have been landed on Chokka and Red Prawn baits whilst targeting Bronze Bream.
Ballito – Small edibles have been on the bite throughout the week, which has been pleasant for the anglers scratching with smaller blob baits. Big seas predicted for the end of the week will only improve the fishing, especially for species such as Bronze Bream, Rock Cod, Brusher and Kob. These fish do not like small seas and will often go into a feeding frenzy during the Westerly wind. Shad have been plentiful in the Ballito area as well, being caught on bait at first light.
Blue Lagoon – The curse of the Snoek angler but dream of the Pier anglers, Shad in their thousands. Throughout this time of year, Blue Lagoon becomes a Shad hot spot and sees hundreds of anglers from far and wide flocking to the river mouth to get their share of Shad. Most of these fish have been undersized but perseverance will get you four Shad of over 300mm.
Durban – Durban beachfront has had flat seas and little wind through the majority of the week, which meant many anglers were at water’s edge to try their luck. Most have caught Shad, but a few anglers have had some extremely nice edibles such as Stumpies and Grunter.
Bluff – This is where it’s all happening, Shad have been on the rampage, proving to be excellent fun to anglers of all ages early mornings and late in the afternoons. Bronze Bream have been coming out in twos and threes which is a more promising sign. Kob are being landed on a regular basis on live bait and also Chokka baits. Some have already been landed on McArthy Paddle tails. Kingies are still being landed on live baits, if one can obtain a few.
Toti – Toti has been relatively quiet this far into the year, but has recently picked up somewhat. More reports are coming through of Garrick being landed, and some very decent sized Shad too.
Scottborough – Scottborough Point has been very productive for anglers targeting edibles and non edibles. Shad have been plentiful which means a lot more Garrick baits will be out. Reports from divers and spearos indicate that there are many Garrick and also Kob off Scottborough. Kingies have been in the area, smashing bait fish, and a lure or two while they are around. Anglers are having some good hookups on Gold fish Jerk-Shad drop shot and Kingies and Grey Sharks have been caught at night on most baits.
Port Shepstone – Bronze Bream have been plentiful, on Red Prawn and Chokka baits. Sand Spit area has produced Kob and lots of Shad.
Port Edward – Terry Nel from Tacklenet in Port Edward reports that all thought there is still no sightings of sardines, the signs are all there. Fish are on the bite and the Porpoises have become very active close to the shore. Whales have been passing for a number of days now and are giving us a prime display as they breach. Shad are the order of the day and these fish are biting well at most of the popular shad spots right along the coast here, few of them now undersized and at some places the fun is on all day long. Game fish are with them and a few Garrick have been taken off points close to us, Splash Rock featuring with a Yellowfin Tuna around the 16kg mark taken on live Shad. Time to throw that spoon and plug, how great the feeling of landing a game fish on one of these.
Transkei – There have been reports of Sardines at Hole In The Wall which means lots of Sharks, lots of Shad, lots of Garrick and also game fish. This is the time to use fresh Sardine baits in any form.
Harbour – Reports have been slow over the last week, but as this time of year would have it, the reports are of large fish, Round Bush definitely being the spot of choice. As the chill moves in and temperatures reach as little as 5 degrees on some nights, it is difficult to keep motivated and stay on the water. We strongly recommend the use of thick jackets, winter beanies, gloves and Climate Sports Scarves. A Thermos Flask with some hot coffee or hot chocolate can be the world of difference that makes your trip that much better.
North Coast – There has been some excellent fishing office Zululand stretch, mainly with Snoek and Couta. Most boats have been landing a better size range of Snoek, between 4kgs and 6kgs. Most of these fish have been eating a bit deeper, in water depths of between 10 and 15m. Tuna and Couta have also been landed in decent numbers and great sizes. Most boats targeting bottom fish have been doing very well, with catches of Cat Face Rock Cod, Mussel Cracker and also big Slinger. Best baits have been fish baits such as Mackerel, Sand Soldiers, Mozzies and Sardine. Most catches have been reported in waters between 50 – 70m.
Local – Anglers have not given the Tuna a break as hundreds of these fish ranging between 10 and 35kgs have been landed this season so far, last week was no exception with possibly a 100% catch rate for the anglers fishing the bait marks. If no Tuna were caught then Bonito were on the run as well. Couta have been sparse but reports of one or two have still been coming in. Bottom fishing has been good, after last week’s flat sea many boats have given feedback of bottom fishing success with everything from Slinger to Rubber Lips.
South – Spots such as Griqua and Coopers have been producing good Daga and Geelbek on live baits. Further down south near Shelley Beach, the Yellowfin Tuna have been on the bite, eating live bait before looking at lures. A few anglers using Rattlers in the 150 size had good success with the smaller 4 – 6kg Tuna.
Carp – Deep into winter, cold mornings, mirror-like dams and bleeping alarms, with the cold fronts that hit us over the last two weeks, water temperatures in most of our dams has dropped considerably. This is a good thing for the anglers fishing for that PB specimen. Now is the time for those 18mm boilies. Shongweni has not seen many small fish being landed recently, but a few of over 10kgs have been reported. Inanda dam has been fishing very well with bigger fish in the deeper water. Most fish have been landed on FX Flavoured hook baits.
Bass – From one cold front to the next, Bass angling has been as unpredictable as can be. The cold water seems to have brought through some bigger bites in the deep, on big baits such as Zooms 7″ fluke, old’ monsters and the larger crank baits fished deep and slow. Reports from Inanda indicate that the fish are feeding, and good catches of 20-25 fish per day are being caught, but the fish are all over the place and anglers are needing to travel from spot to spot to locate these fish. Fish up to 3kgs have been landed in the Taxi Bay region.
Albert Falls seems to be right up there with regards to bigger fish over the last week. Two fish over 3kgs were reported from the dam wall area during the most recent front, caught on a Zoom swimming super fluke paddle tail in the houdini colour. When fishing deep into winter and in depths of more than 30ft, in is imperative that either braid or fluorocarbon lines are used. Winter fish will not bite aggressively so every bit of sensitivity is needed to detect the bite. The low stretch in the braid and fluorocarbon, matched with a chemically sharpened Mustad hook will assure you a much better hookup rate.
Trout – Trout anglers will be having a terrible time getting out of bed but a great time on the water after the bone chilling weather we have been having. Reports from around the Kamberg area and Underberg area suggest that the Trout have been more than willing to hop onto a fly in the deep. Flies of choice see to be Mrs. Simpsons, big Wooly buggers, Papa Roach’s and also Zonkers.
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