After a surprisingly good week of angling and a week of gigantic seas, another cracker of a week was the last thing anglers expected to have last week. As luck would have it, we had one of the best weeks of inedible catches reported to date. With swell dropping this week, anglers will enjoy the conditions a lot more.
Rock n Surf:
Kosi Bay – This area has had some fine fishing over the last week, and managed to avoid the massive swells which hit most of our coastline during the course of last week. Edibles came out thick and fast and made fishing a very pleasurable task for anglers of all ages. Soft plastics got plenty of action, with reports of Kingies and Wave Garrick on McArthy 4″ Finesse Minnows in particular. The clean water colours such as Gold Fish and Chrystella took the back seat as the North East winds put some colour in the water. Colours such as chartreuse pearl, copper/ chartreuse etc. performed much better.
For anglers who wished to fight something for a bit longer, Raggies were on the menu and we’re feeding relatively shallow. Anglers casting baits and anglers sliding bigger baits both managed to land good numbers. These are great Sharks for youngsters to start off with as they are mild fighters in comparison to many of the others such as Black Fin Sharks or Zambezi Sharks. Many of these Raggies have been spotted off Nine Mile reef, and should come in to the shallows to feed in the evenings. St Lucia has seen a fair amount of Sand Sharks, Blackfin Sharks and an endless supply of Milkies. Pompano have been landed as well, however few and far between.
Richards Bay – The harbour has had some excellent catches of Grunter as well as some nice size Kingfish on small top water lures. Off the beaches, the bulk of the catches were made up of Diamond Rays and Brown Skates which there was no shortage of. From Richards Bay down to the Salt Rock area, most anglers found themselves spending their time fighting Brown Skates and Sand Sharks, with the odd Grunter on smaller baits on the high tides.
Ballito – Some incredible Sand Sharks have been landed. As most anglers know, these are exceptional fighters and any model of over 50kgs is enough to set your back on fire! Any anglers fishing off Ballito / Rice Fields area had a blast with Diamonds, Browns, Grey Sharks and also a variety of edibles such as Grunter and Stumpnose.
Durban – Blue Lagoon, Durban Piers and Durban beachfront in the Ushaka area experienced mayhem throughout the North East winds, with anglers catching crazy amounts of flatfish in the evenings. Big Diamond Rays, up to about 70kgs were landed, some smaller Honeycomb Rays, a Thorn Tail Ray of 100kgs+, some large Sand Sharks and uncountable Brown Skates. Anglers also managed a few decent edibles in the chaos.
Bluff – Anglers struggled for form as rough seas made angling particularly difficult and many anglers found themselves going home empty handed. With Westerly winds predicted for the week, anglers will be getting their live bait outfits ready for some Kingfish action off the Bluff.
Toti – Has had lovely off coloured water which has kept the Brown Skates in the area. The swimming pool area has been the most productive spot over the last week and weekend. Very few Shad have been caught in the area, so Mackerel or Red Eye has been the bait of choice.
Winkelspruit/ Umkomass – This area has been a bit off lately and only reports of a few Grey Sharks have come through. Umkomaas river mouth on the other hand has been on fire and has produced many fish over the last week. Brown Skates, Shad, Grey Sharks, Grunter, Stumpies and also some good sizes Kingfish.
Scottborough – Scottborough Point has had lots of Greys, Brown Skates and a few Sand Sharks, which have gobbled up most Red eye baits. Bailey High Rock had Diamonds, Browns and Honeycombs in good numbers.
Transkei – Port St John’s saw a few Hammerhead Sharks and larger Grey Sharks, which both took large Chokka slide baits. Further south at Brazen Head, anglers had a field day with the Hammerhead Sharks and Shad. Shad being the bait of choice for most Sharks landed. Further south, reports of Kob and edibles such as Galjoen, Blacktail (Dassies) and Brusher.
Harbour – With the water having cleaned up somewhat since last week, anglers have found themselves catching a lot more fish on both bait and lure. The swell towards the harbour mouth had increased in size heavily during the big seas, which made it difficult for anglers spinning for Kingies and Pickhandle barracuda in the same areas. Grunter have been coming out consistently throughout the day and evening on Cracker off the bank and also slightly deeper on the drop-offs. Double hook traces fished in the deep with Cracker on the one hook and Sardine on the other hook is a good option if the fish are feeding slowly. This trace will not only help with your catch rate, but will increase your species count too, as many fish may prefer Sardine to Cracker.
Thanks to the big seas, many anglers opted to stay in bed and enjoy the sunrise from home. There were only two or three days maximum on which anglers would have been able to launch in most areas, which resulted in very few reports from our entire coast. The boats up north coast managed to boat a few Dorado and Wahoo, and some decent Natal Snoek for the anglers who stayed shallow.
The stretch between Tinley Mannor and the Lagoon produced some large Snoek on small spoons and on fillet traces. Red Eye fillets have been king, with pink or live glow dusters in the dirty water. In this dirty water, anglers are urged to trawl slower than usual, allowing the bait to be located easily.
Umhlanga produced some nice Tuna, with Chris Hill picking up some lovely fish on his Ski. Well done on the launch, Chris. Many anglers were not up to the challenge. Durban had a few reports of Tuna in the shallows and Dorado out deeper near the ships.
South Coast anglers had better luck and saw a good amount of Yellowtail being caught on live baits on bottom rigs. The usual catches of Tuna were seen at the Shoal and off the banks. Some good bottom fishing was reported off the South Coast over the weekend, proving that there are some excellent Cracker and Steenbras around.
Carp – Last week proved a tad tricky for some anglers, due to high wind speeds inland. Fishing was productive but most anglers had been deterred by the conditions, which made angling uncomfortable for most of the day.
Anglers at Shongweni and Nagle Dam mouse trapped their way into some lovely specimen of around 10-14kgs. Mouse trapping is a method used mainly in clear waters where anglers have spotted Carp patrolling the shallows not too far off the banks, but has recently become an extremely effective method of targeting Carp at night as well as in bad conditions.
Feeding spits or “swims” are created only a few meters off the banks generally in an area which is knows to hold fish, or an area which would be assumed to hold fish. The reason for this is mainly due to the fact that the fish are spooked less because the wind or rain breaks the surface, rendering visibility to almost zero, therefore allowing the anglers to fish close to base without being detected. The second advantage of having the lines close by is having the sensitivity that would normally be lost in strong winds. Lines tent to be dragged through the water when the wave size increases, setting off alarms unnecessarily, this is also avoided by having the lines closer in. This technique will more often than not get the angler surprisingly good results and will have them going back for more. Quality 10ft rods would be ideal for this approach due to the lack of need for large line capacity or casting ability. The Daiwa Emcast range will work wonders.
Bass – Bass anglers were luckier than Carp anglers over the last week and were able to travel to the protection of bays around the dams, in search of some flat water. By positioning the boat/kick boat on the flat water of the bay and casting ones bait into the rough water on the opposite side of the point, the bait can be easily detected as it moves into the calmer water. There will more than likely be an exaggerated colour line off the point, in which the Bass will position themselves preparing for an ambush. Anything coming over the point into the Bass’s territory will be severely dealt with.
Light penetration will be lower due to the rippled surface, so the ultimate bait in this situation would be spinner baits or stick style baits such as Senkos or Flukes dragged slowly across the point on a drop shot rig. If there is a fair amount of hard structure such as a rock pile, timber or similar, then crank baits will do the trick. If the points of the bay have not produced many fish, as Inanda showed on the weekend, then head into the bay and make use of either Horny Toads or any Hollow bodied frog, working quickly down the shoreline to cover as much water as possible. In a dam such as Albert Falls where the amount of bays available is far less than that of Inanda for example, then the best option is to hug shorelines as close as possible casting ahead of the boat to any structure with Spinner baits, or to head to a drop off and use a 1oz Carolina rig with braided line. This will ensure a decent bite detection and constant contact with your bait.
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