FISHING REPORT 14TH JANUARY.
With big seas on the way due to tropical cyclones currently being experienced off Mozambique and Madagascar, anglers should be getting as much fishing done as possible before conditions deteriorate. Luckily the fish are feeding well and there has been no sign of slowing down yet so stock up and hit the water.
Rock n Surf:
St Lucia – On the upper North coast, anglers have had a bit of a tough time finding decent waters to fish, but with perseverance and determination, there have still been good reports from areas such as Maphelane and St Lucia. The sea has been up, and with the large seas anglers have been forced to target either smaller species such as Shad, Stumpnose and Bonefish in the bays, or go big and target larger species on heavy tackle casting over the banks and hoping for the bait to hold.
Larger baits such as Yellowtail head and Bonito head have been getting more fish, mostly large Black fin Sharks and a few Zambezi Sharks. Sand Sharks have made up the majority of the flatfish catches and have been caught on Chokka slide baits or large Chokka throw baits. Second to the Sand Sharks have been the Diamond Rays, which have taken Shad cutlet baits and Shad head.
Richards Bay – Has been slightly better and has had better fishing than the Northern Zululand areas. It has also been very productive for anglers fishing in the Harbour. Good catches of Grunter have been reported as well as good Perch and Snapper Salmon. The surf side has also fished well enough to keep anglers busy most days of last week and should continue to produce good fish until the big swell rolls through. Some very nice Diamonds of 60kgs and above were seen off Richards Bay during the week, most of which were landed on spinning tackle. Be sure to stock up on harbour fishing tackle to make most of the flat water whilst the sea is up.
Dean Reddy had an excellent time during the week, landing a magnificent Sand Shark of 89kgs! This beast of a fish was landed on his new Daiwa Saltiga Dogfight 7000 loaded with 50lb Gatorbraid on a Daiwa Saltiga 5500 HMG Spinning rod. Well done Dean, excellent fish!
Zinkwazi – Had a good flatfish run over the weekend, with some good Sand Sharks, Brown Skates and smaller Honeycomb Rays coming out, mostly on Chokka and Mackerel baits. Shad cutlets have worked well for the bigger fish, fished on Mustad Big Gun double hook traces.
Ballito was relatively quiet and experienced some dirty water earlier on in the week; however some anglers who spent time on the water managed some nice Stumpies and Cave Bass in the gullies. It is nice to see a good number of Juvenile Rock Cod being landed on smaller baits, but it is very important to release as many of these as possible to ensure a good future for the Rock Cod species. These are extremely slow growing fish and deserve all the respect possible when being handled.
Umhlanga – Saw quite a few Shad being caught by the locals in the mornings on bait, a few of which were used as bait. These baits were jumped onto and most anglers managed to land a few Grey Sharks of around 5-8kgs. Good fun on spinning tackle and for the youngsters.
Blue Lagoon – Had plenty of action late afternoon and for the spinning enthusiasts early in the mornings before work. Some nice juvenile Kingies on McArthy paddle tails as well as Kingfisher Bucktail jigs fished with a vigorous action. It is nice to see that all of these game fish are being released to fight another day. The local anglers of the Durban beaches have reported few fish over the last week but the good news is that with the sea predicted to be big over the next two weeks, the Beachfront close to Ushaka and Addington will be hot-spots as they are relatively protected and fishing conditions are more favourable. Be sure to grab your spinning outfits and head down, as there should be some good fishing to be expected.
Scottbrough – Heading South, Scottborough Point had anglers on edge with various Kingies caught on spoon and drop shot, on lighter spinning tackle and heavier tackle too. The larger fish are still around and actively feeding, as some light tackle anglers found out the hard way, be sure to gear up correctly to save on lost tackle!
Transkei – Port St John’s has seen good catches of a variety of edibles such as small Kob, plenty of Shad and also excellent numbers of Big Blacktail, Wildeperd and Eel-tail Barbel. Do not write off the Eel tail Barbel as a good meal, as once skinned, filleted and baked/fried, the Barbel will be your next target species for the years to come.
Hole In The Wall has had a lot of reports of big Black Fin Sharks and Raggies. The edibles have been wild too, being caught daily in large numbers. Crayfish and Chokka baits have produced the goods on most days. Anglers have been using Mustad Demon circles in sizes 2-4/0 for these edibles and have had huge success. Bronze Bream are hooked perfectly each time.
Zululand – Fishing in these Northern stretches of KZN are still as good as it can get. Sodwana, Cape Vidal and Mapelane have been steadily producing some fine Game fish for the past couple of weeks but it is Cape Vidal that has been the been the most consistent performing spot. Here shoal Couta have made a welcome appearance and Boats, Ski’s and Jet Ski anglers have had some excellent results. Apart from the Couta there are still Dorado, Wahoo, Tunny and Snoek to be had as far as Game fish goes, billfish are also active here and at Sodwana with boats reporting numerous strikes.
Durban – For the Ski Boat anglers, Dorado fever has certainly hit the Durban and surrounding areas. Warmer clean water seems to have settled in here and with it not only Dorado but Couta and Yellowfin Tunny as well. Anglers fishing near the ships on outer anchorage have had endless fun with the Dorado.
The lure of choice here is without doubt been the 150 D Rattler series which has accounted for the majority of fish. These lures have proven that they can be trolled at low speeds and be successful, as with the Fishing Ski’s and at extreme high speeds as with Ski boats and Jet Skis.
Strike Pro and Halco plugs have also been amongst the action with many fish falling prey to this relatively new and growing form of fishing. The Westbrook and Tinley areas are also now starting to yield some Couta as well as Yellowfin Tunny. Bigger Snoek have also been reported in these areas but are still erratic with their feeding habits.
South Coast – Fishing on the Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks has been very consistent for the past few weeks as far as Tunny is concerned. These fish have given anglers and tackle a fair run for their money. Sharks remain the number one cause for the loss of fish but anglers are starting to use heavier tackle to combat this ongoing problem. Anglers are finding that plugging seems to get them the better percentage of fish as the ‘Grinder’, braid and stronger fishing rods land fish much quicker and this system also has a proven track record that there is a better mortality rate for those anglers wishing to partake in tag and release.
Anglers wanting more information on tackle and reels with this regard can come to The Kingfisher and Tackle Center in Durban and The Fishing Tackle Shop in Warner Beach for some expert advice. Apart from the Tunny, there are also the first reports of steady Couta catches on the South Coast which is an encouraging sign for a good season.
Harbour – The Harbour will become a hotspot for anglers over the next week or two as the sea increases to over 2,5m, but lucky enough, there are more than enough fish to go around. Grunter seem to have come back on the bite and there have been more positive reports daily. Catches of Brown Skates have not declined so far but Grunter seems to be finding baits before most flat fish. A decent variety of other edibles have moved in as well, making fishing extremely exciting for the children.
Anglers fishing in the moorings have hooked good Rock Salmon but have unfortunately lost most of them to chains ropes and insufficient tackle. Extra strong Mustad hooks need to be used; a high abrasive braid such as Sunline Super PE or Triple Fish Gatorbraid is always a good thing against the chains and of course, gets your knots right by visiting your local tackle store for advice and a tutorial.
Kingfish have been caught on small live Blacktail off Batt Centre Pier on the high tides fishing on top bung, as well as a few Rock Cod and Pick handle Barracuda. The water has been slightly off colour but hopefully with the westerly winds predicted, that will change.
Carp – Another week of excellent fishing has gone by with most waters producing some seriously good fish. We have also heard some excellent news with regards to the water level of some dams, which seems to be rising steadily. Inanda Dam has risen a decent amount, which has been good for some anglers and frustrating for others. With the level of the water rising, most fish including Bass, Tilapia, Barbel and Carp will move into the shallows and feed on any forage they can find along the previously exposed shoreline. This can include a variety of items such as Insects, Worms, Seeds, animal droppings and even grass and shrubs. This could benefit anglers who know how to adapt to new conditions, but for anglers who struggle to change strategy things may be a bit tough.
Inanda definitely fished well over the last week but Midmar and Albert Falls struggled to perform as well. The anglers with the most local knowledge of the contours and drop offs capitalised on the new water level and managed to land some beautiful fish in the evenings. From Dusi Point and above, the high density of algae build up has made fishing relatively difficult for some, and the only option has been to fish further down towards the camp sites and lower.
In the cleaner water anglers have been more successful using Mustad Carp hooks which are coloured to camouflage against the bottom for a better presented bait. It is also advisable to purchase a spool of low Vis braid as hook links/hair rigs. Sunline Super PE has excellent knot strength and abrasion resistance, with the perfect camo colouring to match.
Bass – It seems that Bass fishing has gone the same way that Carp angling has gone over the last week, with Inanda coming out on top again. With more water to fish, and newly covered foliage, frogging has been the number one go-to presentation. For anglers looking at fishing open water around the algae beds and trees, Strike Pro Thai Sticks have been extremely effective. For the fish feeding more aggressively in the afternoon, Horny Toads have been a good option. In the algae, it is 100% necessary to downsize on your nylon or braid to ensure penetration. Most lures do not punch through this algae and the ones that do, do not sink because of the drag on the line through the algae. Light penetration is also lower in these conditions, so colour selection makes a huge difference. Whites, blacks, junebug or electric blue are always winners.
At Albert Falls things have been slightly different, having had slower fishing and smaller fish. Most boats have managed some decent fish although fishing is tough and the big fish take a lot of perseverance. The river mouth has again produced more fish than most areas.
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