Spinning enthusiasts will be happy to hear that there has been a phenomenal run of game fish along the coast, ranging all the way from Kosi Bay through to the lower Transkei coast. These fish have also been caught on bait; however anglers spinning seem to have been in the action more often than not.
Rock and Surf:
North – Kosi Bay has had some good catches of edibles throughout the week, and apart from slightly rougher conditions on the weekend stopping a few anglers from fishing, the fish still fed well. Kingfish, Garfish, Wave Garrick, Stumpies and a few Rock Salmon were caught on bait as well as artificials with the Garfish being plentiful off the sand banks. The other fish such as the Kingfish have been caught on dropshot and spoons. Many anglers have opted for the 10ft rod and reel combos in this area as the fish have been a more manageable size. A 10ft rod will often load up easier, thus flicking a smaller spoon or lure better than an 11ft option. The same size reel that is used on the 11ft rod can be used on the 10ft rod, but would perform better with a lighter braid fitted to the spare spool. For a 10ft outfit being used for species such as Snoek and Shad, a lighter braid as low as 10lb can be used. A casting leader of around 30lbs can be used to avoid fraying or braid cuts. This diameter will allow for the angler to cast much greater distances. For those who like to play it safe, anything between 20lb and 30lb will do well. A good all-rounder will be between 20lbs and 25lbs. For heavier species such as Kob, Garrick and Kingies which are usually targeted around rocks, 30lbs and above will do the trick. An 11ft rod will do a better job than a 10ft when it comes to casting a larger lure with heavier braid.
On the bait side at Kosi Bay, small white baits have worked well for smaller edibles such as Kingfish, Pompano etc.
Down towards Cape Vidal and St Lucia, the spinning continues to produce good catches. This time, with excellent catches of Snoek and Shad. Larger Shad have been caught and although not as plentiful, are still making a good account of themselves. The Snoek are seemingly endless and have been rather large compared to the previous weeks, at 4 -7kgs. The main reason why the anglers have made such good catches is that the Snoek have been much closer to shore and have been well within casting distance. Once again, a faster retrieve has been preferred.
Maphelane has seen good Shad fishing on the bay and in certain spots towards Crayfish Point. Between the Shad, anglers have been able to pick off the odd Snoek too, as well as Grey Sharks for those who have been fishing with bait. On the edible fish front, not much more than the odd Stumpie and Cave Bass has been landed.
Richards Bay had a fair weeks’ worth of fishing, seeing the Harbour fishing as good as the surf has been. The Harbour had a decent run of Garrick and other edibles such as Grunter. The surf side also saw good fish ranging from Grey Sharks, Garrick, Kob, Shad and Grunter.
Amatikulu saw a load of Shad being caught on bait throughout the week, with spoons producing a fraction of the bites. Japanese Mackerel and Natal Sardines have seen many of the larger fish.
Tugela is still fishing well, dishing out Kob and a few Garrick on live bait. Shad seem to have moved in and are feeding well. Spinner Sharks are also more likely to pick up the Shad traces or other baits cast into the wrong spots. Ballito has been one of the Snoek angler’s favourite spots over the last week, producing some good fish early in the mornings.
Local – Umdloti saw some good non edibles and Shad in the mornings, including a few Snoek on spoon.
Umhlanga has been the most popular spot for spinners along the entire coast, as the Snoek move closer in and the Shad become more abundant. Many of the popular spots in the Umhlanga area produced the goods during the week, including some excellent catches of edibles on bait. Definitely a spot to keep an eye on for the coming weeks.
An angler at La Mercy mouth fought a fish for over an hour before the line parted. A whole Mackerel slide was used and the fish remains unidentified. This serves as a reminder that lines need to be changed as often as possible, leader knots to be retied each trip and rod guides to be checked for cracks each trip. This can be the difference between catching the fish of a lifetime and losing it after a long winded fight.
The new pier at Virginia seems to be working extremely well for the Shad anglers as well as those targeting Stumpies or other edibles.
Blue Lagoon seems to have slowed down substantially, with anglers struggling to catch a few Shad over the weekend and public holiday. There is a strong south north current which has made fishing extremely difficult. Drift bait is definitely the way to go if these conditions persist. The only fish of notice was a Garrick which was landed on a Kingfisher 2V spoon on Saturday.
The Bluff saw some action during the week with Shad being caught cast for cast on Falcon Spoons as well as Drop shot, the latter of which becomes expensive after a few bites. The D Minnow or Maria Blues Code would be a great substitution.
South – Toti has been racking up the Snoek and Garrick catches lately, with anglers seeing action on a daily basis. Plugs are definitely the way to go in this area, but be prepared to come home with jelly arms, as this style of spinning involves a lot of heavy winding. The hard work will pay off, as there are a few large Shad, Snoek and Kingfish which have also been chasing lures.
Umkomaas has seen a few half Kob as well as Kob on lures, which is expected for this time of the season. Smaller Sharks such as spinners and Greys have been caught during the evenings in the Umkomaas area too. South of Umkomaas and Scottborough point has been good to anglers targeting inedibles, as could be seen with the Blue Skates which were landed during the week. Grey Sharks were also caught throughout the week on and off throughout the day.
The Sandspit area was the most productive spot along the coast last week, with a small pocket of Anchovy’s trapped in the bay and every fish and its family feeding off them. Grunter, Kob, Garrick, Shad, Queenfish, Bonnies, a few Tarpon and more were caught all day long in the shoal of Anchovy’s on jig and drop traces.
Port Edward had many anglers trying to get in on the spinning action and saw a respectable Kob of 22kgs caught on an Exceler 10’6″ Salt Water rod with the new Exceler 4000HA reel. This fish was landed on a Halco Laser Pro with weighted trebles. From this point and down, anglers managed good numbers of Garrick and Kob on artificials as well as live Shad. Plugs have been effective but so far, nothing has been able to beat the paddle tails.
On the 1St August, The Kingfisher started their “Biggest Shad Competition”. This year it will be run over a two month period, August and September, with three prizes each month. The heaviest Shad for each month will receive a Daiwa SL 50SHK Reel, valued at R1625.00, the second heaviest Shad will receive a 13’6” Kingfisher Coastline Medium, three piece, 4-6oz Graphite Rod, valued at R1145.00, and third heaviest Shad will receive a Daiwa AG 6000 Reel valued at R598.00. Please note that all Shad (fresh) must be weighed at either, The Kingfisher, 53 Hunter Street or Tackle Centre, Old Fort Road or The Fishing Tackle Shop, Warner Beach during trading hours. Please remember there is a bag limit of four and the minimum size is 30cm and that the season closes 30th September, re-opens 1st December 2015.
Harbour – With the action off the surf, very few anglers have been fishing the Harbour over the last week. The Grunter are the only species to talk of with most of the anglers choosing to try get a fish for the pot. A few good fish have been landed, the largest reported being 3,6kgs. There was also a good showing of bait close to the mouth, which was on the surface as well as on the bottom being picked up by sonar. There were larger game fish around, smashing this bait; however the lack of adequate tackle available on the boats meant that nobody was able to fish with a live bait out. In situations like this, it would be ideal to cast a small surface lure to bring the fish up and hopefully hook into something decent.
North – The Ski boat side of fishing in KZN has definitely picked up over the last week with much more excitement all over the coast.
Cape Vidal is producing good catches of Yellowfin Tuna and although not as big as expected for this stage of the year, they are more abundant and have been caught on almost any lure or bait in the water.
Maphelane is still producing good catches of the tasty Natal Snoek, mainly on spoons this time around. Strip baits are also working well but have been producing smaller fish. The standard Sprat spoon is still king, with a slightly heavier Maria spoon coming in at a close second, with its ability to cast much further. The Mackerel and the white Maria Spoons have been producing top class results. On the strip bait side of things, green or live glow dusters have been doing the trick.
From Zinkwazi down to Westbrook has also been hugely productive with Snoek, seeing most of the fish on smaller spoons. The fish seem to be much closer to shore recently which means anglers should be using the lightest braid possible to get the right distance. Many anglers would go right down to 10lb and use a 15lb leader, Maxima Untragreen or Siglon 16lb Fluorocarbon.
Local – Umhlanga has been an angler’s paradise. Geelbek and Daga have lined many a hatch, be it Paddle Ski or boat. Most Geelbek catches have been at a variety of depths, as shallow as backline and as deep as 150m, whereas the Daga seem to be holding around the 50m mark. Durban has seen good catches of Snoek, Bonito, Shad and General bottoms, with the bulk being made up of Geelbek and Daga. There are also much better numbers of Copper Steenbras which are being caught from Durban and south, which have also been accompanied by a fair number of Cape Yellowtail.
South – The boats launching from the smaller beach area and south have seen good numbers of smaller Yellowfin Tuna on Rattlers and feathers, along with the odd Wahoo. Further down, anglers are having a good time off river mouths with the Garrick, using live baits trawled slowly along backline.
Fly-fishing – A very unproductive weekend for some in the Natal Midlands, as the weather failed to play its part. The lucky anglers who did manage to land a few fish were making use of Sinking and Intermediate lines, mainly with Fluorocarbon leaders. The most popular colours seemed to be the Oranges, Whites and light Olives. Anglers fishing at the Trout Bagger managed to hook into a few fish by letting the line sink to the bottom, where they would strip aggressively in short 10cm sections and pause. In other waters, a dropper fly system was once again the day saver, producing good fish with either Egg pattern or DDD floating fly on the top, and a smaller work style fly on the bottom. On a whole, most of the dams had most of their action on White Boobies, Fritz Buggers, Orange Wooly Buggers and large Papa Roach patterns.
Bass – The weekend’s weather was a huge factor contributing to the fact that Bass fishing was not the number one priority on many an anglers list. Strong winds and icy cold conditions meant that many of the anglers stayed off the waters and instead, spent time in their local tackle shops hiding from house work. Shongweni saw a few anglers on smaller boats and Kick boats, who did surprisingly well. A few fish over 1kg were seen close to the dam wall, as well as a respectable fish of around 2kgs being caught on a Spinnerbait close to the river section.
Inanda had anglers running for cover as the wind pulled through the valley, and had fair fishing in the coves. Pitching fairly bulky baits into thick cover worked wonders for the Bass between 500g and 1,5kgs all day long on certain days, with anglers using Dropshot fairly successfully on the days where the fish failed to feed aggressively. Smaller baits have been the key to successful Dropshot fishing, with baits such as finesse worms and tiny flukes sometimes landing the largest fish. When the going gets really tough, try tying a jig to the bottom of the Dropshot trace instead of a Dropshot sinker, this has been productive when all else fails.
There is a new TV channel that has just been launched called Wild TV. This is a dedicated 24 hour Outdoor Channel/Network on Open View. Open View is the opposition channel to DSTV and this is what we have all been waiting for as there will be no monthly subscription whatsoever, just a once off purchase for the HD decoder and the fitting. These decoders offers a total of 18 channels and is available from most big retailers including, Game, Checkers and Makro. Wild TV Africa will cover:
Mountain Mondays – Covering Mountain Biking, Mountain Climbing etc.
Target Tuesdays – Archery, Shooting etc.
Wet Wednesday – Diving, water related sports etc.
Turbo Thursday – 4×4, Quads etc.
Fishing Fridays – Fishing
Saturdays – Fishing and Hunting in the mornings
Sundays – Fishing and Hunting in the mornings
These shows will be aired from 18.00 to 20.30; the balance of the 24hours will be repeats of the previous shows.
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 email@example.com.