FISHING REPORT 14TH OCTOBER 2015.
After an extremely windy August and September, Anglers expected to see far better weather with less windy weekends; however, Mother Nature seemed to take over control and dished out some terrible weather for anglers along the coast.
Rock and Surf:
Kosi Bay was fairly difficult to fish and saw a few unfishable days. For those who braved the weather and kept in mind that Kingfish are more active in turbulent waters, had excellent luck in the lakes and off the surf. For those willing to travel to the beaches, the fishing was productive and saw quite a few Kingfish of 5-7kgs. Many of these fish were landed on baits, however there were a few that managed to hook a few of these feisty specimen on lure too.
Dropshot has been the most productive and seems to be the preferred method of targeting these fish over the last few years, which has seen many a fish in the 30kg plus region in the few years that dropshot, has been around. There are many brands available on the market these days and almost all of them have been productive. The McArthy range of Dropshot covers the angler for anything from Wave Garrick on 2″ Paddle Tails up the 7″ Jerk Minnows which have been popular with the larger Kingfish, Tuna, Dorado, Amberjack and similar species particularly in remote locations such as Bassas Da India and Madagascar. For the use in our local waters, look no further than the 5″ range of Jerk Minnows. These are available in anything from the most natural colours imaginable to the brightest colours under the sun.
St Lucia has seen an endless supply of Shad, although it is closed season. These fish are being released back to spawn as the season is still closed. Anglers, who have acquired any live bait small enough to set out, have hooked into the odd Garrick in the mornings. The areas surrounding Richards Bay have been producing good numbers of Brown and Diamond Rays, both on similar baits. It is important to remember that no Shad may be used as bait in the banned/closed season, even if the Shad were caught during open season.
Sand Sharks have been more abundant in the last week as water temperature increases are seen. Sand Sharks are known for their brute strength and time consuming fights, which means that anglers are urged to spend extra time practicing their knots to ensure fewer tackle failures during extended fight times. The recommended knots for anglers using braided leaders and braid main lines are either the FG knot or PR Knot. Both knots are tested to close to 100% knot strength and are super slim for easy casting through any style of guide. The second but less effective joining knot is the back to back Uni Knot which has been used for many years and has failed very few times. Make your way down to your local tackle shop and ask for assistance with any knots that you are unfamiliar with.
South of Richards Bay has been a busy area with quite a few anglers finding themselves hooking into a number of smaller Kob between 2-4Kgs on smaller baits. Between the masses of small Kob have been the ever present Milk Sharks and Spinner Sharks, which have been giving anglers a hard time.
The rest of the areas between Richards Bay and Salt Rock have been relatively quiet apart from the odd Grey Shark and Sand Shark in most popular spots.
Salt Rock is where the action starts in the form of Bronze Bream fishing and Sand Shark catches. Anglers using the underestimated Vannemei Prawns on light spinning setups have had excellent fun for the last two weeks and there seems to be no sign of this fishing slowing down. Apart from the wind giving anglers a bit of a hard time, the fishing has been extremely productive and has seen more catches of Bronze Bream than the previous few years.
In the Ballito area, Shad are making a nuisance of themselves feeding on baits intended for other species. Brusher have been slower than the previous weeks but are still being caught from time to time on Ghost Crab off rocky ledges. Ballito has also seen a fair amount of Grey Sharks at night, feeding on Mackerel head or full Red Eye.
Durban has been extremely quiet since the Shad closed season, with numbers of anglers at Blue Lagoon and on the Piers dropping noticeably. The odd angler on the Piers has seen a decent Grunter or two during the evenings but aside from that, a disappointing week has passed.
Toti has had plenty of action over the last week, most of which has unfortunately been Shad. Brusher have continued on their feeding spree, causing a few crowds from place to place. Grey Sharks have been landed during most evenings.
Scottborugh has seen good numbers of Bronze Bream on Prawn baits on the incoming tides. Brown Rays and Grey Sharks have been feeding well and can be caught on Red Eye baits or Mackerel cutlet/head. Kob have been caught in the same areas, however are not as large as before and have preferred Chokka baits.
Port Shepstone has had a much better showing of Kob at night on Paddle tail or smaller live baits. There have also been various reports of good sized Grunter in the River on Cracker. Bronze Bream are also abundant in this area.
This report in from Port Edward, “Gale force winds and upset seas have put a dampening on fishing the deep water points in the Port Edward area, however the guys fishing the gully’s and reef areas are still catching nice Bronze Bream and other reef species. The rivers have come alive with nice catches of Daga Salomon, Perch, Kingies and some exceptional Rock Salmon of around the 5kg mark. Bass anglers are also enjoying some good fish with reports of some 2-3kg specimens been landed. I am sure that when conditions improve we will see some good fish visiting our deep water points. Till next week tight lines and happy angling Craig Pretorius Tacklenet Port Edward”.
Port St John’s was quiet over the last week, with most competitive anglers struggling to make good catches. The river had a few Garrick, Kob, Mullet and Grunter caught. The lower Port St John’s area had a far better showing of fish ranging from Kob, Garrick, to Bronze Bream and Brusher. Kob have been a particular favourite on Paddle tail once again.
The Zululand Coast is beginning to produce some serious figures of late for our Ski boaters, including a charter trip which produced over 20 Dorado. The Dorado seems to be the talk of the town recently due to the massive appearance which has been far more sudden than expected. Many boats in the St Lucia/ Cape Vidal area have spotted Dorado swimming close to their boats whilst trawling or drifting and have taken lures and live baits when presented with the opportunity. The smaller “Summer” Yellowfin Tuna have also made a rather sudden appearance and have been heavily targeted by charter boats due to their ease of capture. A Shallow Diving Kingfisher Rattler is simply trawled in and out of the colour lines until the shoal is found, upon which the anglers act with either trawling lures again or poppers. This is also an extremely effective way to locate the Dorado in these areas too. When there are a higher number of Dorado in the area, try mix up the spread a bit with the addition of any surface lure such as a smaller Kona, which will increase the chances of a Dorado strike. Along the coast towards Tinley Mannor, the Snoek have been far less active but have been larger than before.
It is only towards Umdloti and Umhlanga that the Tuna are becoming more active, as the Paddle Ski anglers have taken advantage of how close they are inshore. Snoek at Umdloti have also made a far better appearance in the last week or so, which could be the start of the summer Snoek fishing.
In the same areas, bottom fishing has been superb, producing Daga, Geelbek and Rock Cod better than most will recall. In the deeper waters off Durban, Dorado have already started to show up, and with Number One reading a warm 24,8 Degrees on Saturday, we could be expecting them to come closer in at any stage.
On the South Coast there have been more catches of Amber Jack and Yellowtail, which have been taken on standard bottom fishing rigs. Craig Olivier aboard the Happy Hooligan Boated a lovely Amberjack of 18Kgs last week on a live Mackerel. Copper Steenbras have still been caught in between the other species, and should be released for the closed season.
Protea Banks are beginning to fish very well with game fish at the moment as well as bottom species coming up to feed on baits.
For most anglers, the Grunter in the harbour have been feeding according to normal weather and tide patterns in their normal spots. For other anglers on certain days, finding a bite was an uphill struggle. The lesson we can learn from these reports is that the more time spent on the water, the better the angler’s chances of hitting the jackpot. With the pressure changes that we have experienced over the last week, it is no wonder that some anglers have struggled on certain days. For some, the bait is fresh, the tide is right, the weather is perfect, but with an irregular change in pressure, all of these factors can mean nothing, which is frustrating to say the least. A barometer can be used to determine pressure and changes in the atmosphere and can be used as the most deadly fishing tool available.
The Kingfish are slowly making a better account for themselves in the Harbour in the popular spots such as the Coaling Wharf and the Yacht Moll, which have attracted quite a bit of attention in form of Fly Fishermen and artificial lure anglers alike. Surface poppers and light dropshot lures have worked surprisingly well over the last week, the latter of which being the better bet in the heavy winds. With an increase of game fish starting to move into the harbour now that the water is beginning to heat up, it is time to stock up on a variety of smaller bite size lures for the summer. Maria has recently released a large range of casting lures in a smaller variety which have been tried and tested in the harbour with great success.
Tigerfish – Tiger fishing has really taken off as we see many anglers heading up to Jozini in search of one of the monsters that are consistently being caught over the last month. Fish of 4kgs and above have been a common sight at Jozini of late, which is extremely low at the moment and is struggling for water. Many of the reports suggest that Bronze/Copper Spinners and live bait has been hugely successful in the last few weeks and has also been responsible for the bulk of larger fish being taken. Live Tilapia have been the key to successfully catching larger fish on a regular basis, rigged with a trace capable of keeping a hold on the fish for long enough to get it to the boat. A double hook trace is all it takes, with 30/40LB Carbon Coated wire, a Mustad O’ Shaunessy Bait 4/0 single hook trailed by a Kevin Van Dam Recurve Treble hook which will ensure no fish is getting away in a hurry. A simple float or balloon is used for floatation on a 1m 20lb Triple Fish Fluorocarbon or Maxima Ultragreen leader, tied to a good quality braid such as the Mustad Wish 23Lb or 28Lb, or the Sunline Super PE25Lb will do the trick.
Trout – Conditions are so erratic in the Berg at this time of year anglers have to be aware of what’s going on around them at all times, you can have four seasons on one day and conditions change within minutes. But with the hot days and strong winds it’s the terrestrials such as Beetles and Grass Hoppers that are blown into the water that the Trout will readily feed on. Be aware of things happening around you, for instance a farmer burning a fire break will put hundreds of Grass Hoppers into the water if the wind is on the right direction. If you are ready and see the pattern in time, using a floating line and a Hopper pattern will have a feeding fish rise like you have never seen before in your life, these situations bring up big, big fish to the surface and the thing about these occasions is that it can happen anytime during the day. These occurrences can happen at our local dams, also be aware of the Flying Ant, they should be hatching any day soon, when that happens get down to your local dam and make sure you have some of Sci flies new Foam Hopper flies in your box, these are going to be irresistible to the fish.
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