A noticeable increase in fish activity has been seen over the last week with fish coming out all over the Natal coast.  The summer fish are moving back down the coast steadily and Ski boaters and Rock and Surf anglers alike have had an excellent weeks fishing.

Rock n Surf:

North –

Kosi Bay had a few surprises over the last week, two of which were a pair of Kingfish taken in the lakes on Dropshot, weighing in over 25kgs each. Awesome catches for the lakes! The other surprises were the flatfish that were hooked off the surf. Most of these larger specimens were lost due to their sheer size, with a few of them landed weighing in at over 80kgs, these were Honeycombs and Diamonds.  The lakes also produced a number of Rock Salmon, Perch, Stumpies and Grunter.  Long lining was the only way to fish with the winds blowing as hard as it did. Cracker or “Kafuf” as the locals know it, was the most effective bait to be used. Lake Two’s North banks proved most effective.

Cape Vidal also spoilt anglers with a good run off Raggies over the weekend which were taken on larger slide baits.  Edibles such as Stumpies and Grunter were seen daily, taken on Chokka or Prawn baits.

The surrounding areas also produced a variety of species and had anglers coming back for more each day. The edibles really seem to be coming to life lately.

Richards Bay had countless edibles being landed on the north banks, most of which were Browns, Diamonds and Honeycombs Rays. On the South side, things have been slightly quieter with a few Diamonds and Milk Sharks being landed.

Tugela has seen less fish than the previous weeks, but has started to produce a few decent inedibles on slide baits. The Kob are still the most abundant edible target species for many anglers in this area.

Ballito has had the most incredible run of Grey Sharks over the last week. The secret is to be prepared to run to two or three spots in order to find exactly where they have been feeding. Mackerel head or Mullet head has been the most effective bait by far.  Anglers have been targeting these Grey Sharks on light spinning tackle and having the time of their lives. Small size 4000 Coffee Grinders are being used with 20-30lb braid and paired with a 10ft -11’ 6″ rod and casting a 2-3oz sinker and Mackerel head.  The fight takes longer but the results are far more satisfying. For this light tackle, a strong but thin gauge hook is required. The Mustad Really Tarpon or Tarpon hooks are ideal for these situations.

The Salt Rock area has been producing excellent numbers if Bronze Bream on Crayfish or Prawn baits fished in the shallows. These fish can be excellent fun on lighter tackle and are known for their ability to surprise anglers with their strength. An 11ft rod paired with a size 4000 spinning reel will work perfectly for these fish. Maxima 20lb or 25lb should be used as trace line, with a very light sinker line to avoid losing too much tackle. 15lb is perfect for a sinker snooting, which works very well with the 2-3oz sinkers used. The best hook for the job is the Mustad Chinu 1/0 hook which has enough power behind it to bring in a Brusher if accidentally hooked.

Spinning has been relatively quiet over the last week, with many anglers patiently awaiting the summer months for a different variety of species. For those who are looking for a rod to cover all aspects of spinning, the new range of Daiwa Exceler Saltwater Spinning rods has just landed and has already proven itself worthy of being dubbed the countries best multipurpose spinning rod. These featherweight contenders are available in an 8’, 9’, 10’ and 11’ 2 piece option, as well as a 10’6″ and 11’6″ 3 piece travel option, these are awesome rods, during testing have landed a number of good fish including 18 odd kilo Garrick at Port St Johns.  All models are equipped with the latest Fuji winch and Titanium wire guides which will ensure a lifetimes use out of one rod.

Along with the Exceler rods and reels, another brand new item to hit the market are the Kingfisher Anchovy casting spoons which are available in a variety of options from 5g up to 50g. These silver/glow bullet style spoons are designed to cast well without the loss of action, which means the angler will not only put the spoon in the strike zone, but it will do so without sacrificing the action, resulting in more fish hooked.

Shad season is officially closed as of the 1st of this month and will be closed for the next two months.  To report any illegal activity along the coast, please call the Ezemvelo Anti-Poaching hotline on 083 380 6298. Being in the position of any Shad, irrespective of size during the next two months is illegal and is punishable by hefty fine.  With the Shad fishermen taking a break for a while, there have been significantly fewer anglers on the beaches and Piers. Reports of other species such as Stumpies, Grunter, Rock Cod and others have increased heavily as many anglers have channeled their attention to other species.


Blue Lagoon has seen quite a few anglers spinning in the river for Rock Salmon and Kingfish where again the Strike Pro Sprat Stick has been a winner.  The surf side has still seen anglers targeting Grunter and other edibles as well as Garrick with smaller live baits. The beachfront has been quiet and has seen only smaller Snapper Salmon and Stumpies. The Bluff has been a Bronze Bream paradise with even the least experienced anglers hooking into a number of these hard fighters. Crayfish has been the best bait, with Prawn coming in second. The odd Brusher has been caught in the mix too.

South –

For a more consistent catch rate of Brusher, Toti is definitely the place to be. Heavier tackle is suggested for these fish as they are hard fighters and love the rocks. Crab is by far the best bait for these fish but a variety of baits such as Mussel, Crayfish, Prawn or Chokka will get a bite too.

Scottborough point has seen quite a few Bronze Bream too, along with these edibles, a few Grey Sharks and Diamond Rays. The fish seem to be on and off along this stretch but have feed well in the Westerly winds.

Port Shepstone had some Kob action at night as well as the early hours of the morning. Bronze Bream have been full up in these areas as well.

Port St John’s and surrounding areas saw some decent Grey Sharks coming out all week, mainly on larger slide baits. Through to the south side, there have been masses of Kob, Garrick and Sharks throughout the week and weekend.

Durban Bay –

The Harbour is starting to produce a wide variety of different species. The main species caught is the Spotted Grunter, but large amounts of Snapper Salmon are being caught in the deeper water near the mouth. Anglers are trying different techniques to catch these fish. The main artificial lure that anglers are using to specifically target the Snappers is the Kingfisher Pro Buck Jig with the preferred weight of 7g. Many anglers mistake Half Kob for Snapper Salmon which is crucial to avoid as Snapper Salmon have no size limit but Half Kob/ Dagga Salmon have to be at least 60cm to be kept. A good tip to remember is to look inside the Salmon’s mouth as Snapper Salmon have three distinct needle-sharp teeth (one on the top jaw and two on the lower jaw) whereas Dagga Salmon/Half Kob have no teeth.

Anglers are simply dropping their Pro Buck Jigs to the bottom and twitching it a few times, waiting for the Snapper Salmon to swim past and aggressively snatch the artificial.
The small Halco Poppers are working well for Kingfish near Wilsons Wharf at the moment. This specific popper has a beautiful action to it, mimicking a distressed and/or injured bait fish enticing a hungry Kingfish to strike. Anglers are catching the Spotted Grunter mainly on Cracker Shrimp as well as cutlets of fresh Sardine (Red Eye Sardine will also work). These fish are being caught during the day but better numbers of them are being caught at night near the Centre Bank. The main key to being a successful angler in the bay is to always fish with fresh bait, to read the tides properly and to persevere in the right fishing spots. Putting all of this into action will definitely increase the chance of catching better fish.


Ski boat:


North –


An excellent week of Ski Boat fishing has passed on the upper North Coast of Natal, with charter boats cleaning up with Snoek, Tuna, Wahoo and some smaller Couta.


Sodwana has seen the Lion’s share of these catches but Cape Vidal is starting to produce much more action recently too. The best way to locate these summer fish is to trawl Rattlers and Konas through most of the popular spots if possible, and when the fish are located, live bait can be used to pick off the larger species. This method can also be used to cover ground with the possibility of boating a fish or two between spots, particularly when spending a day on the water doing bottom fishing.

The Garrick are still coming out in good numbers in the Zinkwazi/Tugela area, which are possible the return shoals traveling back down the coast to cooler waters. The water is fishing extremely good and should continue to produce fish this week. For catch and release purposes, a circle hook is preferred. Mustads new Tuna Circle is by far the most popular choice for this application, taking the place of the ever so popular Z-Steel circles.


Local –


There has been excellent bottom fishing off Durban over the last week, including a number of Amberjack and Copper Steenbras being landed on the slightly deeper wrecks. Some huge Soldiers have been coming out on the deeper marks too, which have been an excellent fight for anglers using lighter tackle. Slightly more Shark activity has been reported in the shallower waters off Durban, so heavy tackle is advised if targeting larger species.


The Bluff has once again come to life and is the top bottom fishing spot over the last week. Numerous Cracker, Soldiers, Rock Cod and Copper Steenbras have been boated.


South –


From Toti to Margate, the bottom fish have also come to life and have kept anglers busy all week. Apart from that, there have been very few game fish apart from the odd Yellowfin Tuna and an abundance of Sarda Sarda which have been taking Daisy Chain readily. There have been a few catches of Yellowtail on the shallow marks which have taken baits intended for Geelbek and Daga Salmon.


Fresh Water:


Carp –


Fishing at Nagle Dam has been less impressive than last week; however there are a few decent fish to report. Most of these fish have been in the region of 7-10kgs and have been taken in the deeper water on the drop offs. Anglers fishing with conventional tackle have had far greater success casting their baits into deeper water. In order to attain ideal distance, a lower diameter nylon is required. With the lower diameter nylon, casting is made easier; bite detection is improved as well as line capacity will increase. Conventional anglers are going as light as 6lb nylon in order to achieve best results. The angler does however begin to encounter issues with thinner line which include snap offs whilst casting as well as snapping off on under water snags. The highest quality nylon available should be used to avoid the issues. Daiwa Sensor Nylon is fast becoming the most popular nylon in the country as well as the UK, Italy and Spain as it is known for its excellent knot strength and abrasion resistance. Available in 6, 8, 10, 12 and 15lb, it covers all aspects of Carp angling and is available in quarter pound spools in order to fill any reel.


The seasons are changing and anglers are beginning to change a few of their approaches. Bait flavouring is the first thing that most anglers would look at changing, and sweet flavours will be the direction that most will follow.


Many Barbel have been showing interest in the sweeter flavours, so it has become necessary in some cases to make use of plain flavours instead. Small amounts of ground feed are also helping with this issue.


The Vaal Dam has seen its fishing picking up heavily in the last few weeks and Specimen anglers as well as conventional anglers have been catching some serious fish. Many of the Carp from this Dam have been in the 8kg range but specimen of 15kgs have not been uncommon. Barbel up to 20Kgs have been common on specimen tackle too, which although puts up an incredible fight, will give many an angler false hope of a PB Carp. The larger cluster style baits have been preferred in order to avoid catching the smaller fish. Yellowfish can become a nuisance at times and have been picking any smaller bait up.


Bass –


After some good results at Midmar for the guys fishing the Divisionals, the shallower waters have continued to produce good fish on Jerk bait and even Crank bait. The spawning Bass are extremely aggressive at the moment and baits are punished if fished in the right areas. It is most important to use a slow floating Jerk bait or a suspending Jerk bait.  This allows the angler to keep the lure in the strike zone for longer without having to keep retrieving the bait. The Jerk bait is slashed into position and left to suspend the a few seconds before another few slashes/ jerks are made. Again, if the angler is in the correct spot, the nests can be seen and a lot of time can be saved be not having to search for the fish.


A good quality pair of Polarized Glasses can make a world of difference. Mako Sunglasses are by far some of the best on the market and will last a lifetime, but for the anglers on a budget, Snowbee / Mustad have an excellent range of more affordable glasses that are also polarized.


Albert Falls has seen a few windy days, which have unsettled silt in the shallows, leading to some excellent feeding along the colour line. Again, Jerk baits and Spinner baits seem to be the best option. The shallows at Albert Falls have been fishing very well with smaller baits fished on finesse rigs such as a Mustad Fastach Football weight rigged with a Trick worm or even a McArthy Slinki will produce fish in any conditions.


Shongweni Dam is seeing a lot of action in the shallows on Frogs, Spinner baits and Jerk baits. A more erratic retrieve seems to be doing the trick.


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.

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