FISHING REPORT 21ST OCTOBER 2015.
After a week of winds on and off, it is a surprise that so many fish have been reported along the coast. Ski boaters have got the bulk of the catches recently, meaning that the fish are definitely on the bite and have been easy to target when the sea decides to let anglers have a day on the water. Rock and Surf fishing has also seen its tough days, however things have been relatively productive on the calm days.
Rock n Surf:
North – Kosi Bay has had a bit of a tough week of fishing in the lakes as well as off the surf. After a good run of fish in the previous two weeks, things seem to have settled and have gone back to normal. There has still been a decent record of Kingfish being taken on lure from the lakes; however that is where it stops. With a water visibility of around 15m in the lakes and out at sea, the only option is to downsize on the bait or lures, which will get the attention of the fish when a larger bait with heavier terminal tackle will not.
Fishing at night off the surf seems to be the best bet for edibles as well as non edibles. This allows the angler to target fish which are less weary and will take up the offering of a larger bait far quicker than during the day.
Cape Vidal has seen far more fish than Kosi Bay, however this has been on and off and no consistent pattern has been found. As Murphy’s Law would have it, the Shad are running wild and are being caught on a daily basis and in large numbers. Luckily the Parks Board are present and have been keeping anglers in check. Smaller species such as Wave Garrick have been caught on small baits and on spinning tackle in the shallows at Cape Vidal during the week, which has kept most anglers happy.
Richards Bay starts to heat up somewhat with the greener more off coloured water setting in, causing angers to see much more activity at various spots. With the off coloured water and North East winds have come the Brown and Honeycomb Rays. These summer species have been in full force and have been rather consistent over the last week, provided the wind remains blowing from the NE. For the anglers targeting edibles, there has been no shortage of Pompano and Wave Garrick, and although not the best eating fish, have provided endless hours of good sport for anglers on light tackle.
South of Richards Bay has been on fire with Diamond, Brown Rays and Sand Sharks. All of these fish have been targeted using Mackerel or Red Eye baits and occasionally Mullet. Many of the larger fish have been caught on large baits sliding over the sand banks. A new addition to the Mustad range of Circle Hooks, the Tuna Circle, has proven itself well being used for all of the aforementioned species and is now the most popular circle hook on the South African market. The medium gauge Ultra Sharp Mustad circle which has been responsible for the capture of hundreds of edibles and non edibles over the last few months has recently been put to the test with a few larger non edibles such as Honeycomb Rays and Sand Sharks and has come second to none.
Blythedale has had a great week and produced a number of fish during the slightly calmer seas. The main target species in this area have been Grey Sharks and Sand Sharks. Again, these fish have been taken on mostly Mackerel slide baits.
Salt Rock saw a good number of fish for those spinning, mainly with the use of Dropshot or bullet spoons. With the use of the Kingfisher Anchovy spoons, anglers have been targeting a wide variety of species from Kingfish to Snoek and have done surprisingly well considering the sea conditions. Dropshot has done particularly well for the Kingfish off the rocks, fishing with a slow jerky retrieve. The use of a weedless rig is recommended in order to eliminate the loss of tackle. Mustad have released a range of weedless football jig attachments which clip onto your favourite hook rigged with a soft plastic and allows for an inline presentation of weighted soft plastics. The Fastach weights are fast becoming a firm favourite of those fishing around heavy rocks or structure. Ballito has seen its fair share of Grey Sharks and Sand Sharks on fleshy baits during the late afternoons and evenings.
Blue Lagoon has seen some Garrick action which has been identified as the return shoals of fish returning to colder waters for the summer. Live Mullet did the trick for the lucky anglers who did manage to hook into a few of these fish.
Durban has been fairly quiet apart from the Shad which have been harassing anglers despite the use of smaller less bloody baits in attempt to catch other edibles, but decent fishing is predicted this week with the North Easterly winds.
Toti had a good run of summer edibles such as Bonefish and Stumpies, which all made good size. The Bonefish all weighed in at around 6-8kgs which have been great fun on the lighter tackle. Heavy winds have made the lower South Coast a nightmare to fish and hardy any reports have been received from areas South of Umkomaas. The rivers have been fishing far better than the surf side, producing a good number of Grunter averaging around 50cm.
In the Port Edward area, with the winds still not letting up a good number of fish are been caught. Anglers fishing the reef areas are landing nice Bronze Bream, Stone Bream and Blacktail. Bass anglers are also enjoying good results with the Bass feeding in full swing. Anglers fishing the estuaries are catching nice Rock Salmon, Perch, See Pike and a variety of the Kingfish species, once again tight lines and productive angling. Thanks Craig Pretorius from Tacklenet Port Edward for this report.
Many of the reports over the last week have come from anglers fishing in the shallower waters close to the Batt Centre or off the Yacht Moll Piers, with some really good sized fish ranging from 1kg up to 4kgs. Sunday produced a fish of over 4Kgs on a Mustad size 6 Carp hook and Daiwa Sensor 8Lb Line and Daiwa Lexa 7ft Rod. The deeper water has struggled to produce anything more than a few Sand Soldiers and smaller Grunter, with the exception of a few excellent Kingfish on artificials. Ashraf Matier managed an excellent Big Eye Kingfish of 3kgs on a surface popper. These fish rarely exceed 3kgs in the Harbour and a catch of over 2kgs is exceptional, a 3Kg model is hard to beat, well done Ashraf. Some fairly good sized Rock Cod were taken off charter boats close to the mouth on Cracker and Sardine belly baits cast close to the wharf or rocks. Spinning seems to have picked up nicely and anglers using poppers on the calm days have hooked into a few lovely Kingfish and Pick Handle along the wharfs.
The Ocean has come alive on the KZN Coast over the last month or so, leaving many anglers excited about what this summer has in store for the Ski boaters. Last week was the best week of fishing that we have seen this summer so far, with a wide variety of game fish such as Dorado, Tuna, Couta, Wahoo and Snoek being caught. For those fishing for Billfish, there are also quite a few Sailfish around and in the slightly deeper water there are a few Marlin too. At this stage of the year, the most productive method of catching these fish is definitely with the use of Rattlers or Halcos, pulled fast along the colour lines or around any bait fish. The Ice Cream Colour in the Kingfisher Rattler is once again producing the goods.
Richards Bay has seen good numbers of game fish as well as bottom fish. The Couta have also made a big impression so far, particularly with the Paddle Ski anglers fishing earlier in the mornings or before work. Dorado have come on the bite in a big way and fish over 15kgs have not been uncommon. The largest recorded fish so far has been a beauty of a Bull of 21kgs. Surprisingly, there are still a few Daga Salmon in the Richards Bay area, taking live baits on the bottom.
Further down, in the Zinkwazi area, the Couta have started to come out on the shallower reefs. Bottom fishing is still however the main activity in this area, as the fish continues to feed extremely well.
A decent showing of less common fish have been taken between Zinkwazi and Umhlanga, the likes of Dageraad, Captain Fine, Rock Cod and Scotsman. These are being caught no differently to any other fish and have been caught by unsuspecting anglers on standard bottom traces.
Umdloti had the bulk of the excitement to brag about, with the Paddle Skis and boats alike catching a fair number of Tuna between 4-8kgs. The most commonly used lures are the Rattler 150s and the Halco Sorcerer 90s. These are trawled along the drop off or around any action in the water as fast as the angler can paddle, or around 12-15km per hour for the boats. These fish will be present at Umdloti from this point through to March on and off, but December is the most common time to target these fish. A warning of the Sharks must be issued, as anglers are always in for a high number of taxed fish. Heavier tackle and a more aggressive style of fishing is required.
Durban has been relatively quiet over the last week with few boats launching to fish the local waters. Number One should be starting to fire up with the smaller Tuna in the next few weeks, so on the way to your bottom fishing spot, it will be worth pulling a lure or two through the Pinnacle to try get a few fish.
The South Coast has struggled with fishing over the last week and very few reports have been received. Besides the action with the Tuna at Shelley Beach, very few fish have been seen. Bottom fishing continues to produce the goods for most anglers on the lower south coast, with game fishing slowing down to a standstill.
At Shongweni Dam over the last week, fishing has not been excellent but still good enough to put a smile on many anglers’ faces. The preferred bait of anglers doing relatively well has been a double critically balanced Tiger Nut setup in most flavours including Almond, Honey and Garlic, for added colour, a Korda Artificial Maize Pip can be used to finish off a capped Tiger Nut. This is often effective in low light conditions or at night time. The preferred swim baits have been a particle mix of Corn, Hemp and Tiger Nuts, often of the smaller variety. Small amounts of feed have worked well to keep the Barbel away. The shallower margins have been the more productive areas for most anglers, particularly at night time where the larger fish have begun to move into the shallows to feed.
Inanda Dam is fast becoming the most popular dam to fish a week session specimen style. After numerous catches of large fish along the margins, a much defined style of margin fishing has evolved where many anglers can almost guarantee a quality fish almost every session. The margins are slightly deeper in the more productive areas and produce fish throughout the day and night. Many of these margins are loaded with heavy timber and heavy tackle is necessary in order to minimise the loss of fish. Daiwa Sensor 15lb has been the most popular line for this application thanks to its high abrasion resistant qualities.
Bass fishing has been extremely productive on the farm dams in the PMB and Dalton areas, where many Kick Boaters have seen some of the best fishing that KZN has to offer. Many a 3kg fish has been landed in the last two weeks including an excellent catch of 4,2kgs from the shoreline at one of the New Hannover dams. Often when farm dam fishing, soft plastics can become costly as they break after every few fish and is often a case that more than a packet an angler gets used.
The McArthy range of soft plastics is fast becoming one of South Africa’s most popular baits for Bass fishing and are they coming out with some of the best colours and designs for our local Dams, it is something to try out. The McArthy range of soft plastics is salt impregnated and super soft, and for a fraction of the cost of other soft plastics, it is no wonder they are flying off the shelves. Inanda has fished moderately and seen a few good fish in the 2kg range. Soft plastics have been fairly effective but crank baits seem to be the answer for the larger fish. Albert Falls is yet to disappoint anglers who have boating access. The fish in the deeper water are feeding aggressively and have begun to move around more frequently. This means that anglers can remain in one spot and wait for the fish to come to them.
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