Some pleasing results both competitively and socially over the weekend, for anglers fishing in the Durban Ski Boat Festival and off the beaches. With the Inanda Bass Classic coming up, the hype has started and anglers have been preparing frantically to get their tackle stocked up in time.

Rock n Surf:

North – An average week of fishing from the KZN North Coast as few anglers managed to put fish on the table or put their camera to use. Most reports included smaller game fish caught on spinning tackle, with a small portion of the catches being taken on bait.  Some excellent sized Wave Garrick have been taken on smaller Maria Spoons and 4″ Drop shot fished on light jig heads. A significantly lower number of Stump nose and Speckled Snapper were landed, however an equally as fun species has made the replacement. Although not as good eating as the aforementioned species, Bonefish have managed to provide hours if not days of fun to anglers on light tackle who enjoy a decent fight when nothing else is on the bite.

Cape Vidal saw some good edibles the whole week despite the seas being slightly up. Lantern Fish, small Kob, Rock Cod and also some decent Stump nose have been caught regularly. Red Eye cutlet and Chokka baits have produced good numbers and Mackerel head being the bait of choice for the Rock Cod.

Richards Bay had good catches of a variety of Rock Cod and a variety of other smaller edibles. Larger baits such as Mackerel head or large Sardine baits have definitely seen the bulk of larger fish such as Rock Cod. These baits need to be presented on the correct hook and leader in order to ensure a good hookup as well as a natural movement on the bait.  The hook needs to sit proud and well exposed to make better hookups and easier hook set on lighter tackle. The lightest leader possible for the application should be used, to allow for free movement, as well as being less visible to a weary fish.

Central –  At Ballito a good presence of Pompano, Grey Sharks and Brown Skates were seen over the weekend as well as some nice Snoek off the rocks which have been absent for some time. There have been far better sightings of Snoek in the general Ballito / Salt Rock area which seem to have been targeted excessively over the last week on 10/11ft spinning outfits. The preferred setup for anglers targeting Snoek only would be a far lighter setup as opposed to one for the use for Kingfish etc. Daiwa’s Lexa 10 and 11ft 2oz rods are ideal for the light Spoons required for these fish and will cast anything as low as 14g fairly well. Many anglers will fish with as little as 10lb braid in order to attain maximum distance; however the average still remains at between 15-20lb Braid. The thinner braids such as Mustad Wish and Gator Braid will help with casting distance as well.

Umhlanga Lighthouse produced the odd small Grey Shark, Shad and other juvenile Shark species such as Hammerhead Sharks.  Red Eye and Chokka baits worked well for smaller edibles, and Mackerel for the larger Sharks.

Blue Lagoon saw a few Shad and Kingies in the mornings and some Pompano during the daylight hours. Sea lice being the preferred baits, followed by Red Eye head or small Chokka baits. A few anglers also managed a few Snoek on spoon to the right of the pier, with some anglers managing two and three at a time. Again, these fish are being landed on small spoons which still have a decent weight to them such as the Maria or Kingfisher Pro Jet Spoons.

Durban beachfront has also seen some very nice catches of Pompano over the last week, as well as its fair share of Grunter. Both of these species have been taken on smaller Chokka baits or Sea lice if the angler can find a few.  Cracker has also been effective if used fresh.  Cracker should be kept in well oxygenated sea water in a bucket free to swim around. The Piers have fished well consistently and have produced a wide variety of species. The bulk of these have been Grunter, Pompano, Shad, Sole and also a few red fish such as Santer.

South – Further down towards the Bluff, we have had good feedback from spear fishermen regarding Couta as well as Snoek and Kingfish.  A few anglers have fished with live baits around the Cave Rock area and managed to get into some decent Rock Cod and Kingfish.

Toti and Warner beach have both seen Kingfish early in the mornings on bait and Drop shot, as well as the odd big Shad which have been caught just before sunrise on most days.

Umkomaas had its regulars bending with some nice Grunter, Pompano and Stumpnose.  Snapper Salmon have been plentiful on most days too. Anglers casting further have also managed to land some decent Brown Skates, which was made possible with the use of braid for added distance on the casts.

Scottborough has been off the bite for the majority of the weekend and anglers only managed a few smaller Skates, however the week has fished well and a decent amount of fish were landed, including a few nice Brown Skates between 12-16kgs. A few Grey Sharks were also landed earlier on in the week.

Umdoni point had good action with anglers spinning for Snoek, Bonito and Couta.  One Couta was landed, a few Snoek and one or two Bonito which were handed on as bait.

Margate had good Shad and Bronze Bream fishing for most of the week. The Shad were small but plentiful.

Port St John’s has also had a bit of a slow week, with Kob making up the bulk of the catches reported.

Hole In The Wall and Mazeppa seem to be the spots to be, with plenty of Shark action.  Big baits such as Yellowtail or Bonito have produced some excellent catches over the last week. More anglers have made use of the Mustad Demon Circles and had much better hookup rates.

Harbour – With the public slipway being utilised heavily by the anglers in the Durban Ski Boat Festival over the weekend, reports have been far less promising than in the previous weeks.  During the week however, many anglers were successful and have had a great time with Grunter all over the Harbour. Charter boats had plenty if happy clients who not only caught Grunter, but many other species including some excellent Rock Cod and Stump nose too. Anglers also started to see much more Wala Wala at night and managed to catch a few for the Ski Boat Festival. These can be caught at night by shining a lamp into the water, and fishing in the vicinity of the light with a Sardine strip bait. These fish have soft mouths and should be retrieved gently. Treble hooks work well, especially with the addition of a glow stick which is mounted just above the hook. This is a fun style of fishing for the kids and the Wala Wala make excellent bait for Couta too.

Ski boat:

The main concentration over the weekend has been on the Durban Ski Boat Festival, which was a huge success as always. The results are as follows-
1st place overall – Greg Stoter with a Couta of 26,4kgs.
2nd place overall – George Murgatroyd with a fish of 25,35kgs.
3rd place overall – Mike Wilson of The Kingfisher with a Couta of 24,9kgs.
4th place overall – Matthew Bouwer with a Couta of 24,5kgs.
5th place overall – Tony Ferreira with a Couta of 24,35kgs.
There were also junior prizes and by catch prizes for anglers who caught a species other than Couta.  These prizes are as follows.
Junior Couta 1st place – Owen Barclay with a Couta of 14,15kg.
2nd place- Frans Badenhorst with a Couta of 10kgs

Bycatch  prizes
Dinesh Rikisahedew with a Wahoo of 32,35kgs taking overall 1st.
James Santowski with a Prodigal Son of 29,95kgs.
Michael Santowski with a Tuna of 25,5kgs.
Ron Mattig with a Snoek of 7,7kgs.
All in all, 22 Couta were caught.

Fresh water:

Bass – With the Inanda Bass Classic in our sights, anglers have been doing as much research as possible to find out how the dam has been fishing and what conditions are like. This is usually done prior to a competition in order to be aware of what techniques the angler will need to follow. At the moment, Inanda dam is extremely clean with visibility reaching as far as 10m is some areas. The fishing over the last two weeks has been somewhat slower than before and anglers have struggled to catch decent fish. During the course of last week, anglers managed to put some decent fish of about 2kgs on the boat, however these fish were few and far between.

Anglers who have fished slightly deeper have managed to get more bites than in the shallows,  however the bigger fish seem to have been taken at first light on top water and spinner baits in the shallows. In these clean water conditions, it is recommended that each angler has at least one rod and reel rigged up with a 6-8lb low visibility line such as Daiwa Sensor, which will allow a more finesse presentation and could entice a bite from a more weary fish.  Very natural colours such as Arkansas Shiner and Bluegill fished slowly on a Drop shot rig or weightless will more often than not increase the bite in clean water. Another presentation which is very effective but often ignored is the burning approach, which involves using impact colours and lures fished at a high speed to get a reaction strike. This is often used plan extremely harsh conditions where the angler cannot pay for a bite. The lure is simply pulled past the fishes face so fast that it will bite out of reaction.

For the anglers who are looking to stick to basics, senkos and flukes will work well fished a bit deeper and slower. Make sure a scent such as garlic, caffeine or aniseed is used, as the fish need added incentive in these conditions. Another point to note will be the fact that the water is generally cleaner towards the dam wall, which means that anglers searching for dirty water will need to travel towards the river section. So to sum it up, the following points will assist anglers in catching Bass in clean water.
Downsize on the line class, long casts so to not spook the fish, Natural colour lures, Fish deeper water, add a scent to your lure
fish further up the dam in dirty water.

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 remember we are open on both the 1st of May (Public Holidays) from 08h00 until 13h00.

Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to 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.



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