An interesting week has passed filled with ups and downs, a good variety of species and some cold weather to compete with. With the sea flattening out nicely towards the end of the week, many boats launched and plenty of families headed down the coast in search of the Sardines which have still been plentiful in a few areas.
Rock n Surf:
Very little angling news has come from the northern parts of KZN over the last two weeks or so, which does not come as a surprise with the amount of activity being experienced down on the south coast with the Sardines.
Kosi Bay reports consisted of news from the lakes, which included catches of good sized Grunter, some decent Rock Salmon and a few smaller species on Prawn baits. Long lining seems to be the most effective method of catching these fish at the moment. Anglers are dropping baits anything up to 400m or more, which means that anglers need to make use of smaller reels with a decent line capacity. Bait runner reels such as the Daiwa Black Widow or Emcast BR filled with 10lb nylon is ideal.
Cape Vidal has been more productive and has seen good catches of Rock Cod, Cave Bass and Pompano. Wave Garrick have made a decent appearance over the last week which have been joined with Stump nose and smaller Grunter. On the spinning side, Cape Vidal and St Lucia has been a Snoek hot spot and has produced good numbers of decent sized Snoek on most days. These fish have been landed on spoons as well as plugs.
Richards Bay has been quiet apart from a few good reports from the south side, which include some decent Sharks and a lot of Kob and Snapper Salmon.
Tugela is still being good to anglers, however the popular spots have been relatively crowded and casting can become tricky at times. Anglers moving away into the quieter spots have still managed to land good fish.
Ballito area has produced decent Snoek on spoon and a few Kingfish between the action. Most of these fish have been landed off deep water points such as Dave’s Rock. In the same areas, anglers fishing at night have landed good Grey Sharks and Hammerhead Sharks. A few Stump nose of decent size have also been on the bite. Most areas between Ballito and Blue Lagoon have been relatively quiet apart from Tongaat river mouth which has yet again produced decent catches of Garrick, Shad and Kob.
Local – Virginia had plenty of anglers spinning, however the action seems to have died off and apart from the odd Garfish, Wave Garrick and smaller Kingfish, not many fish were caught. The water was extremely clean and with the amount of baitfish around, the Game fish seemed to have moved into slightly deeper water. Backline from Durban up to Ballito has been jam packed with pockets of baitfish and action amongst them. In these conditions it is important to make an attempt to get into an area which allows you to cast directly into deeper water. A deep water point or a channel alongside a sand bank will be ideal. Use different depths throughout your session to find out where the fish are feeding and to target different species too.
Blue Lagoon had very little action throughout the week, leaving most anglers fishless. On a few of the mornings there were small Shad caught on bait, handful of Wave Garrick and a Stone bream or two. Again, the water is extremely clean in this area, so anglers using smaller, well-presented baits are catching the majority of the fish.
Durban beachfront has begun to produce a few Blue Skates here and there, particularly after two days of the North East winds or more. Anglers on boats in the Basin at Vetch’s Pier have spotted these Blue Skates swimming around in slightly deeper water close to North Pier. This is a good sign and can mean that we will be in for a great season of Blue Skate in the basin this year. Shad have been coming out in fairly decent numbers off the Piers, however many of these have been undersized and effectively released. Smaller Stumpies and Pompano have still frequented our Durban waters and have made up the bulk of the catches from this area.
South – The excitement starts at Toti, where anglers have been landing Garrick and Shad regularly, as well as a few Snoek for the spinning enthusiasts and a few smaller Sharks for anglers targeting Inedibles.
Scottborough point has seen plenty of Grey Sharks at night, which have been targeted mainly on smaller live baits, but have also been smashing Mackerel baits. Mackerel head and Mackerel cutlet have been doing the trick. A few Garrick have also been landed in the mornings by anglers using live bait as well as a few on plug. The more popular species in this area however has been Snoek, which have been caught throughout the week on spoon.
Port Shepstone has seen good numbers of Kob on McCarthy paddle tails. Most of these catches have been taken at night but early morning and late afternoon have also been effective times to have a bait in the water. During the day, many anglers have been targeting Garrick and have been successful in doing so. Live bait has worked best however when there are many in the area, plugging can be as successful if not better.
Port St John’s northern side has seen vast numbers of Sardines as well as Game fish and Sharks amongst them. These fish have been relatively far out and a strong North East wind is what is required to bring them closer in to shore. The Southern areas have been on fire, with many reports of Kob, Garrick, Shad and Sharks. Most of these have been caught off deep water points but the Shad have also come relatively shallow, Kob as well as Garrick have been taken on paddle tail.
Durban Harbour has had a good week of fishing, with a variety of species from Stump nose to Garrick. Garrick have come out regularly off the banks, however attaining bait has been difficult to say the least. Most anglers have spent over an hour at the mouth in attempt to catch a few Shad, Sand Soldiers or Maasbunker and have still only managed to put a handful of bait in the well. It is recommended that anglers make an attempt to launch the day before to catch bait and keep the bait alive in a live bait well with a quality bait aerator pump. This will save time in the mornings and more time will be spent with baits out than trying to catch the bait. For those who are looking into doing some Grunter fishing this week, the tides and weather conditions are perfect. There have been good catches over the duration of last week and there was no slowing down over the weekend. The deeper water still seems to be producing better fish and throughout the week the Coaling Wharf and deeper channels have produced some quality fish over 5kgs. In the shallow water however, there have been lovely catches of Stump nose and Perch. The Mangrove areas have been fishing very well and have been consistent.
North – Many anglers have had a good session or two on the boats on the north coast, with Maphelane and surrounding areas doing particularly well. Many of the catches on the north coast around Sodwana have comprised of Couta and Snoek, which were caught consistently throughout the week.
South towards Maphelane is where the action really started, as boats fishing on the 50m mark hooked into some huge Couta on Bonito and Mackerel. A lot of these fish were taxed, but the majority were landed and made for a good day on the water. The Snoek on the shallower spots seemed to be endless on certain days, with anglers catching fish on almost anything they put behind the boat. The larger fish did however come out on fresh Red Eye fillets, trawled in slightly deeper water. Bottom fishing in these areas has also been great, with large Cracker and Daga being boated. Throughout the mid-section of the Natal coast, things were slightly quiet and apart from good bottom fishing and the odd Crocodile Couta, nothing much was reported.
Local – Durban had a few fish being landed, and has had good sightings of Tuna with the Dolphins some of which were extremely large and managed to make short work of heavy tackle. With the water being as clean as it us, fishing has been tough and will need a good North East wind to add a bit of colour to the shallows. The deeper water is looking good but lacking fish.
South – Down south, good catches of Yellowtail still dominate the reports, with more game fish species such as Couta, Snoek and Kingfish being landed by the week. The Sards have brought the fish closer in and many boats have had a great time with the bait balls. Bottom fishing has been good as well, with a few boats seeing good catches of Copper Steenbras and Cracker. The general bottom have also been good, with excellent hauls of Trawl Soldiers and also Geelbek.
Bass – Both Albert Falls and Inanda have had good catches to report during the week, and even better reports over the weekend. Inanda produced good fish on jigs in 20ft of water for a few anglers who had the patience to stick it out. The deeper water has definitely been the more targeted area recently, in attempt to get to the larger fish holding tight to structure in the deep. Senko style baits are amongst the most popular baits for winter fishing in the deep, as the bulk and lack of action whilst dead sticking can prove devastating in even the toughest of conditions. Albert Falls is known for its lunkers in winter which are usually caught by anglers using Senkos and jigs around the ridge and other drop offs, however, with the water level being at around 63%, a lot of the structure and island tips are now either exposed or in extremely shallow water. This makes fishing easier as the structure is easier to read and baits can be pin pointed into deeper water closer to structure. A lot of anglers have been using this technique and bagging quality fish over the last week, which has accounted for most of the good catches reported.
Trout- The Kamberg area is still producing some amazing fish at the moment and on a variety of patterns. Some anglers are having great success the usual winter patterns such as the Pancora Wooly Buggers, Red Setters etc. Other who have stayed faithful to the bigger flies such as Papa Roach or Mrs. Simpson flies have also had good success. In the Kamberg area, many anglers have concentrated on pin point casting to get their flies on the fish. Most of the waters are extremely clean and anglers are able to visibly locate the fish in the shallows. Most of these fish are large and have preferred a smaller profiled fly. A decent fish of 9lbs was recently taken on Red Setter in the shallows, which goes to show that a large fish will still pursue a smaller fly.
Calling all Fly Fishermen / Fly Tyers, the Durban Fly Tyers Society will be holding a clinic on Saturday the 4th July from 9 – 12 noon, at The Kingfisher, 53 Hunter Street, Durban. A variety of fresh and salt water patterns will be tied and any questions will be welcomed and advice openly offered.
The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday, Wednesday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Tuesday 8:30 to 17:00, Saturday 8:00 to 13:00 and 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.