Surprisingly good catches around the coast with the sea being on edge, as well as some positive reports from the freshwater anglers too.
Rock n Surf –
Zululand – anglers have hit the jackpot over the last week, having reported some lovely fish along the coast. The main areas in question have been Maphelane, Cape Vidal and also further down in the Richards bay area. With the seas being a bit rough in these areas, the majority of anglers have been targeting edibles and have been highly successful in doing so. A handful of good sized Stumpies in the 5kg region were taken on Chokka and Prawn baits, along with a few good sized Cave Bass and even a number of Speckled Snapper.
In most of these areas, the Shad have been relatively quiet and only reports from Cape Vidal were received. For those who managed to catch Shad, fresh Shad cutlet or Shad head was used to catch Diamond rays and some small Sand Sharks. The ever so present Wave Garrick made for excellent GT baits in the St Lucia and Sodwana areas. These have been slid out on heavy tackle or swum out if they are too big for the slide.
Most areas between Richards bay and Zinkwazi have fished well, for smaller Kingies, Flat fish, Stumpies and a fair amount of Grey Sharks. Grey Shark swim baits have been effective in the Umtunzini area, being responsible for some good catches of Zambezi Sharks and big Black Fins.
Umhlanga Rocks – saw plenty of action with smaller edible fish in the rocks and gullies, most of which have been Blacktail or smaller Stumpnose. During the evenings there have been a few Grey Sharks around, which have been feeding on any bait in the water. A few lucky anglers have found small Shoals of Shad and managed to capitalise on the opportunity.
Umhlanga Fishing off the beaches has been pleasant, with slightly large seas being the only thing getting in the way of a good time. Some fantastic catches of Stumpnose and Grunter have been reported, being landed mainly on lighter spinning setups.
For most of these fish that are strong fighters but have no rocks to cut the angler off on, anything as low as a 10ft Exceler will do. The Exceler range of rods can handle a fair amount of weight for a decent size scratching bait and sinker, and also has more than enough power to stop a stronger fish from returning to its hole, and more than enough action to detect a bite.
Blue Lagoon has been up and down, having fished well a few days of the week. The mouth is closed and with the rough seas, waves have been crashing over into the river. The water is a magnificent colour and looks to have plenty of potential. Shad have been the main haul in this area.
Durban beaches are still producing the goods, however it has been on a much lesser scale than the last few weeks. The amount of Flatfish has definitely decreased in the last week, but luckily the edibles are in full force and many anglers using Chokka and Red Prawn baits have had excellent results. The amount of Stumpies on the area is phenomenal, and the quality of these Stumpies is something to admire.
Toti has been wishy-washy but the fishable days did produce good numbers of Shad, Stumpies and Grunter on certain tides. Most fish were taken on either Sealice or Cracker baits.
Warner beach has had very tough conditions but most anglers have had at least some luck with either Brown Skates, Shad or a Small Grey Shark or two. Heavier rods are advised, due to the need of larger sinkers to stay put in the bigger seas.
Umkomaas river is still open and flowing strong, however the sea has become horribly rough near the mouth and has put most anglers off.
Scottborough Point is fishing well for the anglers brave enough to fish, and is producing a variety of species from small edibles to larger Sharks and Flat fish. With the sea on a steady increase, anglers are urged to be cautious on the rocks.
Port st John’s has been on top form and is one of the better performing areas on the south coast. Good catches of Bronze Bream and other rock species have been caught daily. Kob and Garrick are still present but have slowed down. Reports of Brusher have come in, with fish between 3-8kgs. After being taught a lesson or two by these Brusher, anglers have learnt from their mistakes and have started using decent line such as Giant Abrasion, Maxima leader material as well as decent hooks like the Mustad Big gun range.
Fishing has been better all the way down to Knysna due to the smaller seas on the lower south coast.
Hole in the wall has produced many Sharks on slide baits as well as some excellent edibles all on Prawn and Chokka baits. As always, remember that fresh bait will always get better fish than frozen bait, so be sure to search the waters that you are fishing in for fresh pickings.
Harbour – Reports of dirty water over the last week. Anglers having spent most of the week at water’s edge spinning for game fish have reported very few catches, unlike boat anglers fishing in the deeper water and off the banks, who managed to catch a decent amount of fish on bait and a few on lure too. Although not as many game fish have been landed during the week, the Kingfish which have been caught are decent size and have been feeding aggressively on jerk baits and Poppers such as the Strike Pro Thai stick and anything smaller.
The standard “pop-pop-pause” retrieve has caught a few nice Pickhandle Barracuda whilst a faster more aggressive action will get the Kingies feeding well. On the banks, anglers using bait have had fair success, landing Grunter and Stumpnose daily. Cracker seems to be the best bait, followed by Sardine fillets.
For those who wish to fish for the Brown Skates which have been frequenting the shallows, a large cracker fished on a Mustad Chinu size 1 /0 will do the job. Be sure to use fluorocarbon leader to ensure the fight is not cut short by the wearing of the leader. The Kingfisher range of Fluorocarbon is not only affordable, but extremely effective for the toughest of critters.
Ski Boat –
Fishing in these northern regions has not been as active as previous weeks owing to the swell generated by Cyclone Bansi, however some boats that have managed to launch reported some excellent fishing with Couta and Yellowfin Tunny being the main target specie. Forecast for the weekend looks very favorable with both wind and swell size diminishing to a manageable and safe size.
This area is where all the action has been taking place owing to safe launches from Durban harbor and Durban Ski boat club. There was for the better part of the week still a huge swell running which has kept most boats that are launching from bases north and south of Durban shore bound. Dorado in particular have been quite prolific in and around Durban with most boats reporting good catches and all fish being of reasonable size. Apart from the Dorado there are also now quite a few Couta being reported on a regular basis which certainly means that the annual Couta run has started. Most of the Couta are above the 15 kg range which is really a point of concern as far as future Couta runs are concerned. Anglers should now be getting good numbers of shoal Couta in the 5 kg to 10 kg range but to date the only shoal couta have been coming out are from the Vidal and Sodwana areas.
This area has been relatively quiet for the better part of the past week owing to boats being shore bound due to the Cyclonic swell which was busy battering the coast for the past few days. Forecast for the weekend looks reasonable as sea conditions should return to normal. Hotspots for the week end should without doubt be the Aliwal Shoal and Park Rynie areas which have produced numerous fish during the past month. Further south the Protea banks should also not disappoint anglers.
Carp – Another week of reports flying in. This week we have seen mixed emotions at Shongweni, regarding the amount of algae and possibly sewerage in the water. For most there is no issue, as fishing continues to go on as normal if not better than before, with some beautiful fat specimens being taken on Tiger nuts and on smaller boilies. The average size of fish has been smaller; this could be down to the water conditions causing the bigger fish to get lock jaw.
Midmar seems to be the most consistent of all the bigger dams, having shown off a variety of sizes throughout the week and over the weekend. Conventional anglers have done well over the last week, landing some very nice fish around the 7 and 8kg mark. These bigger fish were landed on Supercast Kaboom Mielies on Mustad Carp hooks. Most of the sweet flavours such as Almond or FX have produced the goods.
Nagle dam has been quiet over the last week and months, with little to no reports whatsoever from local anglers. A recent trip to Nagle however produced over 10 fish ranging between 5-12kgs all caught on specimen tackle close to the river section. Specimen tackle was used on this occasion, with boilies as bait and the trip took place over 3 days. This is a good example of how no water should be underestimated.
Albert falls did not see the same quality of fish from the day camping areas and slip ways, however anglers fishing from boats around the river inlet had great fun with larger Carp and even some huge Barbel all on large 18mm boilies. The secret to success when fishing for Carp off a boat is to be completely motionless once anchored. Two or even three anchors are spread out evenly in a triangle formation around the boat, which ensures very little or no movement is possible even in a wind. Long casts are not necessarily more productive as the Carp swim around the river section in search of fresh foraging material. Absolute maximum of 10ft rods are required for best performance. Due to the fact that the boat will be permanently anchored, be prepared for a big fish with a strong line such as Daiwa Sensor 15lb, which will allow the angler to put more pressure on a fish if fishing in areas which hold more structure.
Many Kick Boaters found themselves having loads of fun at Inanda dam on the weekend, using smaller Strike Pro crank baits such as the Cranky X50 which have been one of the most popular shallow running crankbaits for the last few months. These square bill shallow running crank baits are available in a variety of mind blowing colours that have outperformed many other competitors, and comes in at a fraction of the price. Smaller Spinnerbaits have also been a go-to bait for anglers struggling to boat a few fish, slow rolled around the grassy edges with a brief pause every two meters or so to allow the shirt to flare up and entice a bite.
Albert falls has fished well and has definitely taken a few steps forward since last week, with numerous catches of fish over 2kgs, some reaching close to 3kgs, and some lost fish due to inadequate tackle. Once again, a reminder to make sure there is a hook sharpener on the boat at all times. Even the best quality Hooks on the market such as Mustad Big Mouth or KVD Grip pin hooks will become blunt over time, due to the heavy cover it will be dragged through on every cast.
After each fish, and at intervals of about 20 casts, it is suggested that anglers take half a minute to check the sharpness of their hooks. This little trick will ensure the elimination of an anglers worst nightmare… The hook being thrown due to insufficient penetration. Another method of improving your hookup rate, is to practice your striking techniques to see which style suits you better. The most effective for most anglers is usually to drop the tip of the rod once the bite has been detected, point the tip at the fish and wind up the slack line, once the tension has been regained , lean into the strike and set the hook hard by striking straight up from 0 degrees to 90 degrees. This should ensure a hookup in the top lip most of the time.
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