Second wind for the Sardines! Interesting times as Durban receives its second arrival of Sardines, this time in their millions.
Rock n Surf:
Kosi Bay has seen quite a few decent sized edibles over the last week, although the water has been very cold for this time of the year. There are a variety of summer species moving through slowly but surely, although there has been no shortage of the Shad and Grunter.
Cape Vidal had an excellent weeks fishing recently which included edibles and inedibles. Blackfin Sharks have been in the area and have taken live bait in most cases, with the larger throw baits being picked up occasionally. Shad have been plentiful and have made many a proud youngster. These Shad also make for a great slide bait for the Blackfin Sharks in this area. Remember that the Shad that an angler uses as live bait should be counted as a part of their quota for the day. So if an angler uses two Shad as bait, a further two Shad are permitted to be taken.
In Richards Bay on the North Banks, the odd large flatfish has been landed, mainly Diamonds and Honeycomb Rays. A fair number of extremely large flatfish were hooked but not landed. Smaller Grunter have been in the area too, feeding on smaller Chokka baits. South of Richards Bay has seen far less flatfish activity over the last week.
The areas between Richards Bay and Zinkwazi have been very productive and have produced excellent numbers of Grey Sharks and larger Shad. Both Shad and Grey Sharks have been feeding on Shad baits.
Tugela is still producing fair numbers if Kob and Garrick with a few good sized Grey Sharks appearing too.
Ballito has also had an excellent run of Grey Shark and Shad, with the odd Kob being landed too.
Salt Rock and surrounding areas has had a terribly slow run with Snoek and Shad recently despite all of the anglers spinning and throwing baits. The only fish being reported in these areas have been the smaller Bronze Bream and other edibles.
Durban has had a far better run of Shad in various spots. Blue Lagoon has been great most mornings and afternoons but has seen a far better result for larger Shad in the afternoon sessions. Blue Lagoon has also fished well in the afternoons for Shad on spoon. In the week to come, the tides will be a lot better in the mornings, so be sure to make your way down to get in on the action before Shad closed season commences. The Piers are also fishing relatively well and have not only produced Shad, but also Grunter, Geelbek and smaller Kob.
Addington and Moyos Pier surroundings were where the action was, seeing Sardines netted daily during the week. There was little action around the Sardines however there were good numbers of Shad and other edibles around. The Shad have been much better sizes and have not been fussy on baits. Many anglers have been successful on Sardine fillet as well as Mackerel fillet. Flatfish have failed to make a decent appearance in Durban over the last week weeks, largely due to the amount of bait around, making feeding on anglers bait an unappetising meal.
A decent Kob of 8kgs was landed on the Bluff during the weekend. This fish was taken on a McArthy paddle tail by an angler using the Daiwa Exceler 4000 reel, Exceler 11ft rod and Mustad Wish 28lb braid. The fish was safely released back to the water. Bronze Bream were also landed during the week by anglers using light spinning outfits. A light gauge hook is necessary for this style of fishing as penetration is important. A fine wire Demon Circle hook or other fine gauge style such as the Big Gun or Tarpon hooks is ideal.
Toti saw quite a few good sized Kob at night on live baits and also Shad cutlet baits. For those who have been visiting the deeper water points, Grey Sharks have been the main species landed during the evenings.
Scottborough Point is back to original form, producing good catches of Kob, Garrick, Shad, Grey Sharks and Blue Rays. These fish are on and off the bite, so be patient and the fish will present themselves. Diamonds Rays were also present and made good account of themselves on light tackle.
Port Shepstone was relatively quiet with only Shad and Bronze Bream reported. The deeper waters have produced the odd Hammerhead Shark.
Port St John’s was on fire with an excellent run of Raggies during the week and over the weekend. Most of these were landed on grinder outfits. Be sure to fish with a decent braided leader when targeting these Raggies as their behaviour around the rocks can be devastating to your leader. Port St John’s River has had a lot of Kob and Garrick coming out, not far behind has been Brazen Head with good sized Sharks, Garrick and Shad. There is still plenty of Sardine action up and down the coast.
Harbour – The Durban Harbour saw plenty of action during the past week. Anglers targeting Grunter will be pleased to know that there has been a good run of Grunter between 3-5kgs being caught in the deeper water close to the mouth and also on the banks close to the Channel. With summer on its way, this is an excellent start, assuring is a great Grunter season in the Harbour. From the Piers and banks, anglers have also had a good run of Grunter and other edibles including Kingfish on lure. Anglers on the Bat Centre Pier managed a few good sized Perch on Sardine fillet bait and Cracker. These Perch are dirty fighters and love to try cut anglers off on rocks, chains, jetties and just about anything else that would give them the upper hand. There is a fine line between using a leader that is strong enough and using a leader that is too strong and too thick. This boundary can be pushed with the use of Fluorocarbon leader material which is much more Abrasion resistant than a standard nylon leader material and also less visible. This comes into play when the angler requires a thin diameter of leader so to not scare the fish away, but still maintain the strength and abrasion resistance of a higher reading strain line. Siglon, Maxima and Triple Fish makes a fantastic range of leader lines to suit any angler from ultra light spinning through to extra heavy offshore use. Try it out and see the difference in catch rates!
Sodwana Bay is still producing the odd decent sized Kingy. A live Bonito is the best bait, or a big open face popper like the Wilddog or the Halco range. Big drop offs and big pinnacles are always a good place to target these fish. The Wahoo have also started to cone on the bite far up north and charter boats have managed to hook into some lovely specimens.
Zululand is still producing the odd Natal Snoek. These fish tend to hang around the backline and 200m past backline. It’s always a good idea to use lighter tackle when targeting these fish as it will increase your strike rate and it’s a lot more fun catching them seeing that they are rarely bigger than 12kgs. These fish very rarely get taxed by Sharks and in the Zululand area; Dolphins are more of an issue to anglers, commonly known to take Snoek while anglers are busy with the fight.
Tinley Manor to Durban has produced a few Yellowfin Tuna on the bait spots using live bait, and also a few Snoek around the Virginia and Blue Lagoon area. There have been plenty fish eaten by Sharks, so try not fight the Tuna for too long. There have also been good catches of Dagga Salmon along this stretch of coast, most of the fish being in about 50m of water. Live bait is always best when targeting these fish, but fresh Sardine, Mackerel or even a flapper Sand Soldier makes a great bait for these fish.
South – The Cutting to Baizley has produced good catches of Cape Yellowtail. These fish fight hard so always use heavy tackle when targeting them. 1m leader and 1.2mm trace should be sufficient.
Port Shepstone to Port Edward is still producing good catches of Geelbek. These fish are very popular to target as they are fine table fish and are also extremely hard fighters for their size.
Inanda Dam is on fire at the moment and has seen better fishing over the last week than in the last few months. There have been various reports of extremely large fish over 15kgs at various spots and all of them include the same secret. Huge baits. Anglers have been using large hook baits which are made up of two and even three 20mm Boilies. These big baits seem to be falling into the pattern of landing large fish recently, which means many anglers will be giving it a shot over the next few weeks. Smaller particle baits have also been producing fish, however not nearly as many fish or fish of the same quality. The fish seem to be taking a liking to Green Lipped Mussel or Caramel flavoured Boilies.
Inanda seems to be the only dam producing such large fish on these big baits, with other dams producing fish on small to medium sized baits.
Albert Falls has seen a good number of smaller Carp moving into the shallows, which is possibly due to the spawning of the Bass. These small Carp can be caught on naturally scented mielies or Tigernuts. High power scents seem to be working at the larger dams at the moment, as oily and colourful as possible. These flavours can also be used in PVA bags with fine particles on hook baits.
Shongweni Dam saw quite a few small to medium sized fish during the week but no fireworks with the larger fish unfortunately.
Nagle Dam saw plenty of anglers over the last week and weekend and plenty of Carp to go with it. The dam is not producing extremely large fish at the moment but has seen fish in excellent condition, fat and full of fight.
There has been a few mixed emotions when it comes to Bass fishing over the last week, as reports have fluctuated heavily from one angler to the next. Albert Falls went from hero to zero instantly for some anglers, whereas a few reports suggest fishing was at its best mid – week. A few good fish around 2,5kgs and 3kgs were reported as well as a few huge hauls of 30-50 fish in one day.
Inanda was more consistent and saw more happy anglers than unhappy anglers. There were good numbers of Bass and good weight too, caught mainly on creature baits fished slowly in the shallows. Many anglers will be preparing for the spawn and spending a lot of time on the water sight fishing. The most important item in your arsenal for fishing the spawn would have to be a quality pair of sun glasses. Mako Sunglasses are a bass fishermen’s friend and have been held responsible for many a record catch thanks to their ability to cut out not only high amounts of UV light but also any other bad light which causes negative contrasts. Mako glasses have filters which will help improve the contrast, helping the angler to make out shapes of structure or fish under the water, which is exactly what is required in the spawn.
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 installation. These decoders offer a total of 18 channels and is available from most big retailers including, Game, Checkers and Makro.
Wild TV Africa will cover:
Mountain Mondays Mountain Biking, Mountain Climbing and related
Target Tuesdays Archery, Shooting and related
Wet Wednesday Diving and water related sports
Turbo Thursday 4×4, Quads and related
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.