FISHING REPORT 22ND APRIL 2015
Anglers had a bit of a rest last week as far as offshore and Land based angling went, and apart from the few good edibles to have been caught by rock and surf anglers and the odd game fish by Ski boaters, the general scene left much to be desired. Luckily for some, this break gave ample time to stock up and prepare for the fishing to come. Durban Ski boat Club Festival will take place this weekend, as well as the Inanda Bass Classic on the 2nd and 3rd of May.
Rock n Surf –
As far as Sodwana Bay up north, and as far as the lower Transkei stretches, anglers have been met with wall-high shore break, massive running swells and strong surge currents. It has been a difficult call for most anglers, North and South when it came time to think up a game plan, and considering the conditions, the vast majority of anglers settled for nothing more than light tackle off ledges and in the gullies, targeting smaller edibles on Prawn baits.
This seemed to be the more productive approach and many anglers fishing in the Kosi bay area did relatively well with species such as Wave Garrick, Stumpies, Stone Bream and small Pompano. Further south at St Lucia, very few anglers took to the water, and even fewer fish were seen. The odd Bonefish and Stumpnose were seen around the shallows north of the launch site during the week, and for most of the weekend.
Richards bay fished much the same and produced the odd Grey Shark over the weekend as well as the various edibles. The Harbour was on form in the strong Westerly winds and saw dozens of good edibles coming out, for boaters as well as from the side. Grunter in the 2kg range were common, as well as Stumpnose and Perch. All of the above were landed on Cracker.
The area from upper Salt Rock to lower Ballito was amongst the more popular of spots and saw many anglers as well as many fish. The best approach in a rough sea and howling South West is sometimes to downscale completely and to scratch in the gullies, instead of fishing in the rough seas where the sanded up waters can have a negative impact on the fishing. Fish do not like sand in their gills and nor do they enjoy low visibility conditions which render them easy targets to predators.
In the gullies, the list of predators is substantially lower and visibility is much higher due to the lack of sand. A small Prawn bait in the gullies will produce a variety of species from Blacktail to Stumpnose, Rock cod and even Shad at times.
Ballito and Salt Rock produced a good number of fish including a very nice Blacktail of 2,4kgs in the Sheffield area, which was landed on a Daiwa Laguna 4000, Laguna 11′ rod, 33lb Gatorbraid and a Mustad Chinu 1/0.
Umhlanga was much the same and saw anglers scratching for smaller fish at the Lighthouse. A variety of edibles were taken here, as well as a few Grey Sharks and the odd Lesser Sand Shark.
Blue Lagoon saw some huge seas and was unfishable for the majority of the week. When the sea did start to settle, the fish did come back onto the bite in the cleaner water and anglers saw a few Shad, Stumpies and even a Pompano or two.
Durban beaches have been another spot for anglers to congregate in these strong South West winds, as the Bluff and interior of Durban acts as a shield and helps calm the seas in the basin. The fishing does however suffer a bit in the South West and edibles are the bulk of the catch. Grey Sharks can also be caught and this was the case during the week when anglers found themselves catching a fair amount of Grunter, Stumpnose, Pompano and a handful of Grey Sharks.
The Bluff fished very well and had anglers stocking up on bait daily. Prawn and chokka mix baits produced many an edible and anglers willing to put up with the conditions were rewarded greatly. In the beginning of the week a few anglers had good success with the Black tip Kingies on live bait, but the prolonged Westerly combined with the dwindling live bait availability meant that this would soon cone to an end. By Thursday the Kingies had moved on.
Toti had another small Shad run but anglers soon left and set off to find calmer waters to fish.
Umkomaas was a washing machine and saw few fish apart from a few Brown skates and Snapper Salmon.
Scotties has had some lovely clean water moving though thanks to the Westerly, but unfortunately suffered from rough seas. Grey Sharks, Pompano, Grunter and smaller edibles were the only fish around for the majority of the week.
For the rest of the coast down to the Transkei, most beaches were batted, cold, miserable and had big seas. Well done to the anglers who did fish and catch. Clean water made good Garrick hunting grounds and far south the anglers managed a good number of these larger specimen between 10-18kgs on live Shad. Plugs did well in calmer seas in more protected areas. A fair amount of Brusher were also landed on Crab baits or Crayfish baits in the gullies. A Crab rigged on a Mustad Big gun 6/0 will do great for these bigger Brusher.
Harbour – Durban Harbour saw good numbers of anglers over the last week, which meant plenty of reports. Anglers fishing off boats managed good fishing all round, for game fish such as Kingfish and also species such as Grunter and other edibles. Fishing in the protected areas hiding from the wind helped boaters fish in a more relaxed atmosphere, not having to compete with a fast drift or the wind limiting casts. During the South West, the Kingfish in the bay turn on and fishing with live bait or artificial can be very productive, provided the angler is targeting these species in the correct spot. The coaling wharf is directly protected from most of the wind and can be amongst the best spots for casting out a small live bait for these Black tip Kingies and Big eye Kingies.
Whilst fishing with live bait, most anglers would rig up a second rod with a Cracker as bait on hope of hooking into a Grunter. The Cracker outfit is not fished far from the boat, but instead dropped close to the boat and is left to drift along the bottom a few meters from the boat. This is to eliminate a tangle when a larger fish is hooked on the live bait.
Sodwana Bay down to Maphelane has been the only stretch that has seen some fairly decent results with the Couta over the last week. Even though the fish have been scarce and the seas big, anglers who have put in the time have got good results. The best results have come off live bait such as Maasbunker.
When the water is very clean as a result of a Westerly wind as it has been over the last week, many anglers prefer the use of a small Glow bead in the place of a duster. This more often than not improves the strike rate.
Richards bay down to Westbrook had numerous catches of Yellowfin Tuna with the odd Wahoo and Couta too. The cleaner water has moved in nicely and has allowed anglers to target fish shallower in. If a pocket of warmer water is found, then try remain in the area to try pick up any fish that may be hanging around.
Westbrook also saw the odd Snoek around, which came out on trawled lures such as Halco 120s and Strike Pro Magic Minnows. Durban has had very good bottom fishing of late, with quality fish such as Catface Rock Cod and good sized Red fish. There is still the odd Yellowtail around which are taking live baits fished slightly deeper.
With the Ski boat Club Festival this weekend, anglers will be happy to know that there are a few Couta around at number one as well. Fish are sitting deeper at the moment and down rigging is a must. Fish off the Bluff have also been taking live baits in much shallower water. Once again, a green luminous bead in place of the normal duster works well in these shallow like, clean waters.
Good catches of Mussel Cracker have also been reported from the Bluff area, which have taken most baits put down in around 30m of water.
Lower down the coast there have been reports of large Yellowfin Tuna and some decent Yellowtail on bait marks and around colour lines as well. Bottom fishing has improved deeper in and anglers have begun to land some excellent Coppers along with a variety of other larger species.
Bass- Bass fishing around Kzn has been unbeatable over the last week and weekend. Albert Falls had produced even more good fish including an absolute monster of a bass weighing in at 7,3kgs, a new unofficial record! This beast was landed on a Bluegill coloured Rapala. This has been one of the many fish of note over the last two weeks that have left anglers flocking to Alberts in search of a new PB. The secret to landing these larger fish is to use a lure which can be presented in an area which is relatively unfished, and getting that bait to entice a bite. Crankbaits are king when it comes to this, as the action does all the work for the angler, the anglers only job is to present the bait in the correct spot.
Albert Falls is known for its big fish and although less popular than Inanda and Midmar, has produced more fish over 5kgs than any other dam in Natal consistently over the last 5 years.
Inanda has also had its fair share of “hogs ” and is well in the running for a new Record but suffers from overfishing and needs to be fished in such a way that the angler is fishing unfamiliar grounds that have had few anglers. In the Inanda Bass Classic which is taking place on the 2nd and 3rd of May, the dam is hugely pressurised and sees many boats in the more popular spots. To avoid catching few fish, or even worse, blanking, anglers are urged to fish unfamiliar territory in order to increase the odds of hooking into not only more fish, but bigger fish too.
Remember that a big fish will also fall victim to a small bait, so in pressurised conditions it is often the smallest baits which pull the biggest fish. We have seen this before with anglers winning competitions with 6lb line and dropshot. Strike Pro Cranky X 50 baits have been the top dogs in recent months in these heavy pressure situations.
A very interesting lure that I saw the other day was a weedless jig with a brush hog added to bulk it up, apparently producing very good results, a nice large bulky bait that any bass that is fattening up for Winter find hard to resist.
On the Carp side in most of our waters, Barbel are still on the bite and have not showed signs of slowing down. These fish are predominantly summer fish and usually begin to taper off going into winter. Some anglers fished over the last week and picked up some mainly Barbel. Only once the water temperature has dropped substantially will anglers start to see a decline in Barbel activity. Reports from Inanda are improving as the water temperature reaches an ideal level; and the fish start feeding hard. Shongweni is still relatively quiet, with some Barbel activity over powering the Carp activity. One report from a local angler indicated a drop in Barbel activity and some lovely Carp being landed on the opposite side of the dam near the reed beds. Inanda has seen good days of fishing on and off and seems to be picking up slightly. Once again, anglers fishing north of the camp sites have done well on specimen tackle.
Trout fishing is at its prime at the moment so now is the time to venture to Kamberg to the Southern berg to spend a weekend on the water, different to bass, the trout are now fattening up for the spawn, so use big flies, large papa roaches, frog patterns, Mrs. Simpson and Hamil’s killer are flies that will definitely get you some fish.
Please remember we are open on both Public Holidays the 27th of April as well as the 1st of May from 08h00 until 13h00.
ASFN, 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 email@example.com 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.