As we move into the festive season, and the reopening of the Shad season, many anglers across the country are getting their tackle ready for holiday, and some good fishing!

Rock n Surf:

The talk of the town has been the catches of GT’s in the Kosi Bay area, which have ranged between 3kgs and 40kgs. Most of these monsters have been landed on live Wave Garrick slid on heavy tackle. Anglers with heavy grinder outfits have also managed to cast a smaller live bait into the strike zone. Many anglers believe a grinder outfit will not be able to handle a decent sized fish, which is false. A 6500 Daiwa Saltist reel will hold close to 900m of 50lb braid, and with a back-breaking strong drag, will have no issue landing any fish that a multiplier would be able to.

Cape Vidal As usual for this part of the year, the Shad are shoaling in large numbers in the bays, small edibles are feeding readily off the banks and the Kingfish are plentiful in most areas, being caught mainly on artificials. Kingfisher Buck Tail Jigs, McArthy Paddle tails/ drop shot and small spoons are the best to use for a variety of Kingfish species. There have also been good reports of Sand Sharks being caught off Cape Vidal and Maphelane on Chokka baits. A rise in the numbers of Honeycomb Rays in the area has also set off a fair amount of anglers to start throwing larger baits, which is what has been working well.

Richards Bay Has had plenty of Sand Sharks and Honeycombs, both in the 30kgs range. These are strong fish and heavy tackle is totally necessary due to the fact that at any stage fish in excess of 100kgs can bite, strip 500m of line and send an angler home in a matter of minutes. When using a grinder setup, nothing less than a reel such as the Daiwa Saltist 6500 filled with 600m of 48lb Triple fish Gatorbraid backing and 250-300m of Gatorbraid 48lb top-shot should be used. A rod capable of turning a 100kg+ fish should be considered, the Saltiga HMG Spinning 6-8oz or heavier will suffice. Another important factor is quality terminal tackle. Strong hooks as found in the Mustad range, power swivels, a decent fluorocarbon such as Siglon or Triple Fish and of course, well-practiced knots.  Richards Bay Harbour has started to heat up somewhat, boasting a strong appearance of Ox-eye Tarpon,  Kingfish, Springer and a few edibles too.

Zinkwazi The waters between Zinkwazi and Salt Rock produced a variety of species in the gullies and off the banks, with some excellent reports of Stumpnose present at most favourite Stumpnose spots. Good reports of Grey Sharks have also been received from the Ballito area, as well as some good Rock Cod being landed on the larger baits in the rocky areas. Tinley Manor saw some Yellowtail action during the week, a couple of which weighed in at 14kg.

Umhlanga – The Umhlanga area seems to have settled somewhat, having had reports from few anglers, most of which have been inedible species such as Grey Sharks and Brown Skates. Virginia has seen plenty of Shad recently, most of which have held good weight and have taken spoons and ground baits used for Flat fish or Stumpnose.  Beachwood locals have managed to land a few Pompano and the odd Stumpnose on Sea Lice.

Durban As anglers eagerly wait the reopening of Shad season, they are keeping themselves busy off Blue Lagoon catching a variety of smaller edibles and Sand Sharks. The Garrick have been slow but present nonetheless, being caught on live Blacktail or Maasbunker.  Further South along the beaches and piers, anglers have had fun with Grunter, Bonefish, Stumpies and Grey Sharks.  Most of these fish have been caught on the exact same bait, which has been Chokka and Red eye baits, baited on an extremely sharp Mustad Big Gun size 4 /0.

Bluff – The Bluff has had a ton of Shad, good numbers of Kingfish and excellent catches of Blacktail and Wildeperd. Strangely enough, the Brusher have been elusive and only a handful have been landed. Good weather has been forecasted, so keep your lines in the water and it’s only a matter of time before the Brusher come through. Toti and Warner Beach has seen a lot of Grey Sharks and Shad early in the morning, both of which have been caught on Chokka and Red eye baits or Mackerel cutlets.

Umkomaas – Has seen very few edibles recently, but to make up for it, large numbers of Brown Skates and other inedibles have been landed throughout the week. Green point and Scottborough had good action and produced plenty of Bonefish, Sand Sharks and Flatfish. Umdoni Point has had a few lonely Garrick patrolling on the high tide, on the inside of the banks. These have been caught on plugs as well as live Pinkie.

Port Shepstone Has had a massive turn out of Garrick as well as Kob, both of which are taking live baits and McArthy Paddle tails. The most effective rig thus far has been a back to back Mustad Big gun 2/0 or Mustad Tarpon 3/0, bound together with cotton fished on Siglon 0,70mm fluorocarbon on a standard 3-way trace with 700mm hook snooting’s.

Trafalgar – This area is on fire this week and has produced a number of large Brusher as well as Bronze Bream on Prawn baits.

Port Edward – With so few people fishing down in the Port Edward area over the past few weeks, there has not been much to report, weather conditions have seen to that. However, since last week, news of catches have come in and December is looking to be a good start of the fishing season there. Reports of Shad  being caught from many spots sound promising. The Shad are also large and hopefully will still be around when the season opens again on the 1st December. Garrick are also there and a number are falling victim to the spear fishermen and the waters there has been busy with a large number of Garrick being shot.  Please remember that the bag limit for Garrick is two fish per angler per day. A total of eleven Garrick were shot by spear fishermen over the last few days.

Transkei – Lapatana in the Transkei has had good reports of big Black Fin Sharks, which have taken large slide baits. Nothing less than 0,58mm Giant Abrasion nylon should be used in these areas. Mazeppa has also been fishing well, with reports of Raggies and Black Fin Sharks coming through regularly.

Harbour – Durban harbour has been rather erratic with its catches of late, with only a few Kingfish being landed over the last week. The Grunter have been on the bite and some fairly large specimen have been boated, however the fishing is on and off,  so be careful of moving from spot to spot in a hurry. Towards the mouth, anglers have caught a number of Shad on a variety of baits, which have provided good fun on Grunter tackle.

Ski Boat:

North – Another good week for the ski- boaters around the Zululand area, as the Sailfish, Dorado, Tuna, Wahoo and even some huge Couta were out of control. Clint Nortje managed to boat a beaut of a Couta weighing in at 35,2kgs, which was caught off Cape Vidal over the weekend. Well done Clint!  Many other fish have been landed and the weather forecast will be allowing for much more fishing in the days to come, so we can be expecting much more action! Rattlers have pulled it off once again, landing the majority of Sailfish and Dorado in the Cape Vidal area, as well as Sodwana and Maphelane. Snoek have been feeding well around Maphelane off backline on Strike Pro Magic Minnows and small Halco Sorcerers.

Durban – The Durban Ski Boat Club hosted the Jet Ski Bonanza over the weekend, and with a turnout of 85 Skis and 95 anglers, it was a huge success. Jorg Kramer came in tops with 4 species and won himself a brand new Yamaha Jet Ski. Well done Jorg!

South – The South Coast has been fishing well around the clock, with excellent catches of Yellowtail and Cracker, caught on dead baits as well as live baits. Jigs have been working well for the Yellowtail early in the mornings and die off throughout the morning.

Fresh water:
Carp – Shongweni has had plenty of flying Ant showers which has caused the Carp to be very active on the surface, because of this many anglers have caught smaller Carp using conventional rigs but have struggled with larger fish.  The Carp still seem to be feeding deep at Inanda, probably due to the excellent water clarity. Tiger Nuts in FX have still been the bait of choice and has worked well all week long.  Midmar has been fishing well recently, producing a number of Carp up to around 5kgs, however, huge Barbel seem to be interfering with the baits more often than not. Best for these situations is to fish shallow margins with very little ground bait.

Bass – As we move into the beginning of the festive season, our dams become busier and more crowded with holiday makers and anglers. Most of these anglers will flock to the popular spot and the fish will get lock jaw for the majority of the day. The best way to target fish in these conditions will be to fish off shore drop-offs with downsized plastics or shallow running crank baits, do not be afraid to venture off in search of new spots, chances are if it’s the first time you have come across an underwater brush pile in the middle of the dam, it’s relatively unfished and will produce fish when the conditions are tough. Inanda dam is fishing better now than in the previous weeks and has produced some quality fish too. A number of fish over 2kgs have been landed towards Car Body and surprisingly close to the wall in Durban Bay. The secret has been downsizing the diameter of the line to around 8lb and using fine wire hooks to improve the action of the baits. 8lb Daiwa Sensor is tough as nails and will produce fish when heavy lines won’t. Mustads Ultra lock hooks are finer than most hooks on the market and have better penetration than most as well, but does not compromise on strength. It is essential to use fine wire hooks when using light line in order to set the hook.

Fly fishing – The Rivers in the Midlands area are starting to have much better volumes of water with the currents and rains and this has made it easier for anglers to find Trout holding to the beginning or end of pools, concentrating on food. Anglers have been concentrating on their presentation, making accurate casts and allowing their flies to drift into the strike zone and in doing so, have landed many fish. Floating lines are to be used in the shallows, with tungsten heads on the flies to get them to the right depth. The standard patterns such as your GRHE, PTN’s and flashback nymphs will get good bites.  Here is feedback from Shannon Gilson about the Swartberg Fly-fishing Festival that was held on the 6 – 10the November. The winning fish weighing a massive 5.24kg was caught by an ecstatic John Booth (for the second year in a row), at Camballen dam on Friday morning.  This is the biggest fish ever caught in the festival.  The following seven fish on the leader board were all caught either in Banchory Top or Banchory Bottom dam.  Second place was a fish weighing 4.58kg caught by Toenkie Shuttleworth, followed by his son, Matthew Shuttleworth with his fish of 4.34kg.

The Kingfisher is having their massive annual sale. The items on sale include samples, seconds, demo items, end of range as well as a number of great specials. Don’t miss out on this one. This sale ends Sunday the 30th November at 1:00pm.

The trading hours of The Kingfisher over the festive season are as follows:

Mon – Fri.          8:00am – 5:00pm

Sat.                   8:00am – 1:00pm

FESTIVE SEASON TRADING HOURS, SUNDAYS & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS: 30th November, 7th, 14th, 15th 21st, & 28th of December as well as the 4th January 2015, 8:00am – 1:00pm.

Petri De Wet’s latest series of Hier Gaan Ons Alweer fishing show is on kykNET, channel 144. The primer is at 17.30 on Mondays, with re-runs during the week. The new series has been filmed in HD so should be great.

Also, check out ASFN on Monday evening, this 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 send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to 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.

Have a look at the new Kingfisher web site: (it’s a lot more interactive) and become a member. Membership is totally free and there are great prizes to be won every month.