FISHING REPORT 18TH FEBRUARY 2015.
To add to the good weather, the fish have come on the bite again too, and with South Easterly winds predicted for this week, anglers will be taking a look into the planning of fishing trips this week to try get the tail end of the excellent summer fishing that we have had. There are still plenty of fish being landed, so be sure to get in on the action.
Rock n Surf:
Kosi Bay – Has experienced a bit of an “off week”, resulting in anglers targeting other species in the lakes instead. Most anglers have had fun with Grunter on baits, as well as a few good Stumpies and other edibles. Art lure anglers have been successful on light spinning tackle fishing for Rock Salmon with small Jerk baits such as the Strike Pro Arc Minnows or smaller stick baits like the new Maria Blues Code Slim baits which have proved to be extremely effective for game species in estuaries and river mouth areas.
Cape Vidal – Still had lots of small edibles off the ledges and rocky areas, including some seriously big Speckled Snapper on small baits. Some good Black fin Sharks have been caught on Bonefish swim baits and slide baits, with the odd throw bait being picked up too.
Richards Bay – This area had a few productive flatfish sessions with Sand Sharks, Brown Rays and Diamonds being the most popular species. Most fish have been landed on Mackerel slide or throw baits for anglers using grinder setups. South of Richards Bay saw some Sandies, with plenty of Spinner Sharks and Milkies in between.
Ballito / Shakas Rock – Saw plenty of Grey Sharks even in the big seas and most points have been productive with plenty of edibles being landed on Cracker and Chokka baits.
Durban – Virginia is still producing good edibles such as Grunter and Pompano on Sea lice early in the mornings. Some bigger Sharks have been moving in and keeping bait boat anglers busy. Blue Lagoon is having a good run of Shad, although not as big as before, still makes for good fun on spoons. Shad in this area has also been the preferred bait and has been accountable for most catches of Sharks or flatfish. Durban beachfront has seen some good Pompano and Grunter, especially off the Sunkist Pier. These fish are being caught on Red Eye and Sea lice. The basin has been a bit quiet of late, but has been productive on certain days. The usual suspects including some Brown Rays and smaller Snapper Salmon.
Bluff – Bluff has had the odd Shad, a few Kingfish and some good Grey Sharks; most fish have been landed in the evenings.
Winkelspruit – This area has been quiet lately and hardly any reports have been received, apart from a few Shad in the evenings.
Umkomaas – Visitors saw a few Brown Rays in the dirty waters, with Umdoni Point performing more or less the same.
Scottborough – Scottborough Point was a better location, seeing good numbers of Grey Sharks, Browns and smaller Sand Sharks being caught mainly at night.
Port Shepstone – Has been fishing better, particularly for Kob on Chokka baits. Bronze Bream have been caught daily on Pink Prawn and Chokka baits and Smooth Hound Sharks have been caught on Mullet, in Margate as well as Port Shepstone.
Port Edward – The points in Port Edward have offered some good fishing with Hammer Head Sharks and a large Black fin Shark was also fought and lost at the gaff. On the weekend an angler was also picked up by a Great White Shark (confirmed on sighting the Shark) that tore up his heavy slide trace.
At certain spots, Shad are plentiful and with the shortage of Sardines on the market, fishermen are forced to use other baits or spoon. Bream are also eating well at some spots although reports are of them being smaller fish.
Transkei – Port St John’s has been good to anglers over the last week, having given anglers as many Kob, Hammers, Raggies and Garrick as the heart desires. Mazeppa is still cooking, with lots of Shad, Garrick and Raggies. Preferred bait has been Yellowtail, catching most of the Sharks which have been reported.
Harbour – The Harbour was a dream come true for many art-lure anglers last week, as the reports came flying in, suggesting an explosion of Game fish around the Batt Centre area and the Wilsons Wharf area. The number of Pick handle Barracuda on drop shot and spoon has increased substantially over the last week and many an angler enjoyed the fight of these aggressive predators.
The smaller Black Tip Kingies and Big Eye Kingies have also been feeding aggressively off the Piers in the mornings and afternoons, taking smaller lures such as 2, 5 and 3″ Mc Arthy paddle tails fished with erratic action close to structure. White or pearl has been extremely productive and has accounted for most of the week’s catches. For the angler willing to chance a lure or two being sacrificed to the rocks, there have been plenty of Malabar Rock Cod feeding readily on small Strike Pro Arc Minnows or any other diving bait. These fish are known to retreat back to their holes after taking the lure, so anglers are urged to use heavier leader in order to increase the chances of landing a decent sized fish. It is also strongly advised that the angler makes a change of hooks to their lures in order to improve hookup, decrease the amount of hook pulls and also to improve the ease of hook removal. The recommended hooks for all lures would be the Range of Mustad In-line Single hooks which are some of the strongest and sharpest in-line hooks available world-wide. They are available in all sizes to suit any lure and are extremely affordable by any standard.
With the Durban Ski Boat festival approaching, anglers have been concerned about the lack of Couta along the KZN coast, which have only been seen in dribs and drabs. Last week and weekend, anglers all the way up from Sodwana to the lower stretches of Durban managed to get good numbers of Couta on the boat in a more consistent manner. This has come as a huge confidence boost as many anglers had started to doubt their skills!
North – In the Sodwana, Maphelane, Cape Vidal and St Lucia areas, many Couta have been caught on most baits such as Sardine, Mackerel, Shad or even Sand Mackerel. The odd shoal size Couta has been taken on Kingfisher Rattlers in the shallows at sunrise. In the deep, anglers have been successful with larger Tuna around the 60kg mark, and a fair amount of Marlin on Konas. Some very nice Snoek have been taken in the shallows on small Strike Pro Magic Minnows and other fast moving baits such as Clark Spoons. Snoek of 6-7kgs have not been uncommon and have been present on most days throughout last week and over the weekend.
Central – Closer to Durban, Snoek have not been as abundant as in the last week weeks, but angler’s reports suggest that the few that have been landed make excellent size. One lucky angler boated a lovely Snoek of 8,5kgs. The Umhlanga Barge is still the spot to be for Paddle Skis and boats alike, targeting Tuna on live baits. The Tuna have been large and a fish of 30kgs has not been uncommon.
Dorado have slowed down substantially over the last week but have still been boated by anglers traveling into the deep. A few decent Couta have been caught on the Bluff side on live baits such as Maas Bunker and Shad.
Bottom fishing has been extremely good over the last week, with anglers catching excellent Rock Cod, general Red fish and also some good fish in the shallows on light tackle. Smaller hooks are preferred in these depths as well as lighter hook snooting’s, due to the light penetration being much better between 5-20m. Mustad Tarpon 2/0 hooks are light gauge and have more than enough strength behind them, without compromising the visibility. Small Chokka baits will get the majority of the bites, with the larger fish such as Rock Cod being taken on a whole Sardine on the bottom hook (6/0-8/0).
Species which have been caught in these depths recently include Stumpies, Bronze Bream, Black tail, Grunter, Lantern fish and also Rock Cod. Fish in this depth of water also do not suffer from barotrauma, which allows for much safer releasing of smaller fish.
South – Fishing on the South Coast has been as productive if not better, with Tuna, Wahoo and Dorado in the deep off Shelley Beach and Rocky Bay. There have been excellent showings of bait in the water, which should be caught, frozen and kept for bait to avoid running low in tough times.
Bass – Some more good news for our fresh water anglers, the rising water levels at a few of our dams is very encouraging, including Hazelmere which is now sitting at 47,92% full. This has come as a relief to many an angler and conservationist who may have been concerned about the wellbeing of the variety of species of fish in the dam, who had been suffering from low oxygen levels, silted up water and most importantly the lack of forage.
Albert Falls has remained steady at 73% full, Inanda dam at 93, 21% and Midmar at 75, 25%. With all the levels rising, the shallows have been difficult to ignore and most flats have been pommelled by anglers frogging away throughout the days, which has made fishing relatively tough and a first come first serve sort of affair. Anglers following through punching into the thick grass have managed to pick up some of the larger fish on jigs, tubes and other creature baits. It is recommended to make use of heavier braided lines with a good abrasion resistance in these conditions. Nothing less than 40lb should be used, straight to the lure as you will be fishing for a reaction strike, not allowing the fish to notice large hooks or thicker lines. Sunline Super PE 50lb makes the perfect all-rounder line for these close quarter situations, as well as open water fishing and even frogging. Braid is also excellent for weightless Flukes or Senko, as it floats on the surface, slowing the sink down, making bite detection easier and also improves the action when twitching.
Carp – Shongweni Dam has shown steady improvements with its water conditions, and also a good increase of catches which started to show over the weekend. Conventional anglers have done well using smaller baits, which have managed to keep the Barbel off the swim in most cases. Sweet flavours such as Fx and Almond have proved to be more effective for the conventional anglers, whereas specimen anglers have been successful on certain swims with 12mm boilies in flavours such as Banana or Peach. Most anglers have struggled to land fish on larger baits for some reason, but have been successful on anything up to 12mm. Remember to carry a variety of hook sizes with you in order to tie rigs to suit your baits. If your hook is too small for your bait, it will sink the bait into the mud and will be less effective.
Albert Falls had a good run of smaller Carp at Bon Accord over the weekend, as well as Ntuli camp sites during the week. One group of anglers using conventional tackle, dipped their Sweet corn/Mielies in Maize flavour Korda Goo and noticed a huge increase in not only the number of fish but also the size of the fish they had been landing.
The new season of ASFN is back on TV, season 4 premiers on Monday nights on Super Sport 8 (channel 208) at 19h30 be sure not to miss it, there will also be six rebroadcasts during the week.
The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday, Wednesday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Tuesday 8:30 to 17:00 and Saturday 8:00 to 13:00, closed on Sundays.
Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.