After a few weeks of spinning mayhem down the coast for most anglers, the rush has settled somewhat and left anglers working slightly harder for a bite. Paddle Ski anglers and Ski boat anglers struggled to land much to write home about, but still have good expectations for the weeks to come.
Rock n Surf:
North – Has produced much the same as it has been over the last two weeks, with the excitement this week coming from a large number of Grunter in the area. Most of the Grunter reported did not make it past the 3kg mark but many came in around the 1-2kg range. These were caught on Prawn baits and small Chokka baits fished on either running traces or light fixed sinker trace. Most of the other common spots around Kosi Bay have struggled to produce the goods and apart from the odd Sand Shark and Kingie, things have been rather bleak.
Slightly more productive is Cape Vidal and its surrounding areas. The Shad, although of the smaller variety, have been on the bite almost every morning, which has helped in keeping anglers busy in the times of little action. Toby spoons are doing the job in this area during the day and early mornings, with Japanese Mackerel or Sardine producing fish in the dark. Apart from Shad, other species noted in last week’s catch include Stumpies up to 4kgs as well as a few Wave Garrick. Anglers have also had fun off the reef with small Kingies and other game fish on spoon and Drop shot.
Most areas from Maphelane down to Tugela river mouth have been dead, with hardly any action to speak of besides the odd Shad, Pompano and Sand Shark. Tugela River mouth has seen a fair amount of action over the last week and is amongst the only spots to have continued to produce good fish through these relatively quiet times.
The Tugela mouth has become the leading Garrick spot racking up the catches one by one. Shad and Kob are still coming in hot but have slowed down somewhat. The numbers have dropped but the quality of fish has definitely improved.
Salt Rock and Ballito have seen a few Snoek on artificial, but sadly not nearly as many as we have seen over the previous two weeks. Anglers fishing for edibles had a good time with Pompano and Stumpies off the ledges as well as on the banks, with the odd Grey Shark. The smaller rock species such as Stone Bream and Rock Cod have also been around and if enough time is spent on the rocks, the odd decent Rock Cod has been landed. With the sea being up this week, anglers can expect good scratching conditions and will see more of the rock species.
Local – Durban has been quiet lately, producing only a few Shad and small Pompano on the good days. The water is has been extremely clean and has made fishing difficult to say the least, but with perseverance and good bait presentation, a few anglers have been able to bag a few fish. There have been a few good sized Stumpnose which have been reported by not only anglers off the Piers, but also by local spear fishermen who have been diving in the Durban area.
South – The Bluff saw good catches of Kingies on lures around the Cave Rock area and a few Kob scattered around the Bluff on bait at night. Toti has been one of the more productive areas and has kept on producing Garrick regularly.
7″ White or Pearl Jerk Minnows have been working incredibly well for the Garrick mainly due to the fact that these lures imitate Shad, which the Garrick have been feeding on excessively. Needle nose Plugs and S bend Spoons have also worked well for these Garrick, although most have been successful with the jerk Minnows.
Scottborough has also had its fair share of Garrick, from the rocks as well as south off the open beaches. Other fish such as Stone Bream and the odd Bronze Bream have been caught in these areas as well.
Port Shepstone was on fire over the weekend with many stories of Garrick and Kob. This area is extremely popular at this time of the year and it is good to see that there are fish to keep anglers busy. A wide variety of fish was seen over the last week in this area which spreads all the way down to Port St John’s.
The Sardines are still in the Waterfall Bluff area but have been much deeper and have been holding the Sharks close to them. The action closer in has still been significant and many anglers have had a good time with edibles as well as non edibles. Down to the southern side of Port St John’s the action has not stopped. Kob have been caught 24/7 on paddle tail as well as a variety of smaller edibles in the gullies on bait.
Harbour – With all the excitement of the Garrick in the bay, the turnout of boats has been incredible. Over the last week, the center banks produced more than 50 Garrick, of which at least 10 weighed in at 10kgs or more. These fish were taken on live bait such as Maasbunker and Sand Soldiers. One angler was lucky enough to land a decent Garrick on a 5″ Drop shot Minnow.
It seems now that the action has tapered off slightly, but with the colder weather expected this week we may have a second chance at a Garrick smash. For those who took a look onto Grunter fishing, the results were pleasing. A few good Grunter were reported to have come out in the deeper water around the T Jetty early in the mornings.
The tides play a big role in the movement of the fish and with the tide moving into a 7am low tide this Sunday; fishing will be good over the duration of the weekend. If the fishing becomes quiet, anglers can make use of light tackle and attempt to fool a Mullet or two into feeding. These fish are great fun on light tackle and are in abundance during the winter months off the banks. These fish will feed on bread or Sardine blocks, or even a mixture of the two. The larger fish tend to feed more readily on Sardine fillet and prove excellent fun on light tackle.
Take the youngsters down for a trip that will get them hooked on fishing, as Mullet fishing did with so many of today’s top anglers.
North – Sodwana Bay all the way down to Maphelane has been fishing well recently and is right up there on the list of places to go. The bulk of catches has consisted of decent sized Snoek and Couta.
The majority of reports suggest that the Couta are feeding well shallower and 20m seems to be the zone to target. Live Bonito has been number one in the bait department and has been held responsible for most of the larger fish. These are down rigged with a 5oz sinker and fished a few feet off the bottom in around 20m.
This technique has also been extremely effective for the Mussel Cracker in the Maphelane area and if rigged with a smaller bait such as Mackerel, will perform for a variety of species in these shallow areas.
The area from Richards’s Bay down to Zinkwazi has been fishing surprisingly well and have continued to produce good catches of Couta. Many of the fish reported from these areas have been over 20kgs. Again, live bait has been most effective here, as well as Walla Walla.
Bottom fishing in these areas has produced good numbers of Cracker and Daga, which have been targeted on the same marks using either live bait or Sardine as bait. These fish are not to be taken lightly and need to be targeted with heavier tackle. Hook sizes can be in the range of 8/0- 10/0, preferably Mustad Kendal Rounds.
Tinley Manor has seen a few Cape Yellowtail from the Ski boaters, which have come out on bottom traces as well as boats fished for game fish and even a few on artificials. Most of the action has been at 80m on bottom traces, where a live bait has been used for Geelbek. Many anglers have only managed to get these fish to the boat when manhandling them, as these fish need to be pulled off the reef or wreck and not given an inch of line. This is why heavy tackle is needed and 130lb braid is recommended.
Local – The Durban area has had very slow fishing, particularly for the Paddle Ski anglers who have struggled to catch fish within their paddling range, and apart from the odd Snoek and Prodigal Son, not much was reported over the last week. Ski boats have seen far more fish but still not much compared to the North Coast. Some very nice fish have been landed in the deep, as well as two very good size Amberjack.
South – Deep off Warner Beach there have been good catches of Mussel Cracker and other good bottom fish such as Slinger, Dageraad, Geelbek and Daga. Greenpoint has returned to its former glory and has been one of the most productive Snoek Spots along the coast over the last week. Anglers did particularly well on Red Eye fillet baits and even Mackerel fillet baits. Hiberdene has been on with a few Couta, which have taken mainly Bonito and Shad.
Trout – As we prepare for yet another cold spell over Natal, reports of good fishing have come through regularly with the entire Nottingham Road area fishing extremely well. Get out the waders, jackets and tackle and head up to get in on the action.
Reports suggest that the more productive flies have been Hamill’s Killers, Red Setters and Mrs. Simpsons. Some very nice fish have also been caught in the Underberg area with most anglers having luck with the sinking or intermediate lines, darker olive patterns with a flash of red or orange. Many of the fish being landed are brightly coloured Cock fish and, although not the strongest of fighters at this time of the year, are still fun coming up from the deep.
Bass – A very slow week for the Bassers, with the cold weather pushing through and a drop in temperature made for slow and in some places, uncomfortable fishing. Unfortunately when the conditions get tough, many anglers stay off the water and wait for conditions to improve.
What we need to remember is that the fish still need to stay alive, meaning that if we can locate the fish and put something that it wants to eat in front of it, it must eat. It is often a much slower style of fishing and the angler often needs to make repeated casts into the same areas, but the rewards can be pleasing. Anglers fished Inanda at all their favourite spots over the weekend and most failed miserably.
Once they moved off into deeper water and began fishing with jigs & Senkos etc., they started catching better and more fish. Albert Falls saw some good fish in the sticks and surprisingly at the PMB Bass masters shoreline. After searching the entire day, a team decided to stop off at the bank to try out some new lures before heading home and managed to boat 3 quick fish over 2kgs. This was done by fishing top water lures close to the banks on the steeper drop offs.
This style of fishing is slow, but effective on cliffs and steeper ledges.
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