Some tough fishing conditions have passed over the last weekend and part of the week, leaving Rock and Surf and Ski Boat fishing out of the question for many anglers. During the week when the sea was fine to fish, many anglers found out what was just a taste of what is to come in the festive season.
Rock n Surf:
North – Along the coastline over the last week, there have been very few reports which involve rock and surf fishing catches. Apart from the odd Stumpnose, Pompano, Wave Garrick and Bonefish, there have been very few reports from areas such as Kosi Bay, Bhanga Nek, Cape Vidal and St Lucia. For the anglers targeting inedibles on larger slide baits or throw baits, there has been the odd Honeycomb, Diamond and Brown Rays which have been fairly large. Anglers spinning in these areas have been successful with species such as Snoek, Kingfish and also Springer on some days.
All in all, this is the quiet before the storm and with this week looking far better for fishing, we can expect an exceptional few days of large flatfish and Sharks. As far as the edibles go, with the added water colour after the North East winds, there should be more reports of fish such as Pompano and Stumpnose from the popular spots.
Richards Bay saw a few good sized edibles such as Rock Cod and Stumpies, but most baits were gobbled up by smaller Diamond Rays, Spinner and Grey Sharks. For those who were persistent and set out with larger baits, rewards came in form of Honeycomb Rays, Diamond Rays, Black Fin Sharks and also a Zambezi Shark or around 80kgs. Grey Sharks have been abundant and feeding well on any fleshy bait in the water.
Shad have been plentiful in the Zinkwazi area, moving all the way down the coast into the cooler water. Many of the Shad reported have been extremely fat and healthy and have very rarely been below 1kg. Many fish have been reported at 5kgs. It is only a few days to go before the Shad ban will be lifted and anglers can get back to taking their four Shad if they wish to. Again a reminder that there is a 30cm size limit on Shad and anglers are urged to return the pregnant females back to the water if possible.
Salt Rock did extremely well with Bronze Bream and Stumpnose during the week, both species being caught on Prawn or Chokka baits around the rocks. Red Prawns or Vanemei Prawns have worked best for these fish, dressed on a size 1 Mustad Chinu Hook.
Local – Beachwood was a spinning hotspot and had plenty anglers fishing throughout the week. Many of the anglers fishing in the windy conditions managed to get a few Shad under their belt, many of which weighed in at around 2kgs. These will definitely be areas to watch out for in the weeks to come.
Durban had a good run of flatfish and smaller edibles ranging from Grunter to Stumpies, Blacktail to Pompano and everything in between. After some good weather in the week to come, the fishing should be excellent. There have been many Honeycomb Rays in the general Durban area, spotted around the shallower waters by Surfers and bathers. These fish are after smaller baits which is what they are used to feeding on next to the piers and close to any area which has a lot of bait waste. With the water temperature sitting at around 23,8 degrees, these summer fish will become more active and feed more often, particularly at night time.
South – Down the coast, the summer fish have definitely made their way down, resulting on a fair amount of larger flatfish such as Honeycombs, Diamond Rays and Sand Sharks being caught at areas such as Toti and Winkelspruit. Smaller slide baits have worked extremely well for these fish. Mackerel head is the best option so far, going by reports from many anglers.
Along the coast down to the Transkei, there have been excellent catches of both Bronze Bream and Brusher, which have also been feeding all day and even into the dark in some cases. Anglers have been using Red Prawn as a Crayfish substitute while the season is still closed, and having good success. Cape Yellowtail have made up a large portion of the catches from the lower KZN coast, which is an excellent sign of the movement of fish from colder waters.
Harbour – Catches of Kingies and Pickhandle Barracuda have been far more impressive over the last weekend, and with the tides looking good this week, anglers should take a look at getting their spinning kit together and stock up on a few lures. The most productive lures have been the smaller Kingfisher Anchovy spoons, Strike Pro Gobi Poppers, Strike Pro Thai Sticks, Halco Rooster poppers and on some days the smaller Jerk baits. Most catches of the species in question occur in the mornings on popper or surface presentation, and later on in the afternoon and into the evening on spoons and drop shot, Poppers and more productive than most, the McArthy Paddle tails in white or amber. A reminder that the hook up rate and landing rate will increase substantially by replacing the treble hooks supplied on most lures with inline single hooks. Mustad has an incredible range of inline hooks ranging in sizes to suit all lures. The Kaiju range is the most affordable inline single hook available on the market, which does not compromise strength and sharpness.
North – Another good week for the Ski Boaters around the Sodwana and Cape Vidal areas, as the Sailfish, Dorado, Tuna, Wahoo and even some decent Couta came on the bite nicely and provided some great fun for anglers on charters in the shallows and out deep for the bigger game. A number of Dorado in the 20kg range were seen in the deeper waters, with a few good specimen around 15kgs were taken in the shallower waters off the colour lines.
Some nice Snoek of 6kgs and above were caught off Cape Vidal over the weekend, on live bait of all things by anglers targeting Tuna in the shallower waters around a bait ball. More of this activity has been seen throughout the week and weekend. Many other fish have been landed and the weather forecast will be allowing for much more fishing in the days to come, so we can be expecting much more action! In the beginning of this week, Rattlers have pulled it off once again, landing the majority of Sailfish and Dorado in the Richards Bay area, as well as down the coast all the way into Durban where a number of Dorado, Tuna, Wahoo and Sailfish have been landed. Snoek have been feeding well off backline on Strike Pro Magic Minnows and small Halco Sorcerers in the Zinkwazi area and down to the Blue Lagoon stretch during the week.
Local – Durban Ski Boat club hosted the Jet Ski Bonanza over the weekend, and with an excellent turnout of competitors and social anglers, it was a huge success. Byron Cane came in tops with a Tuna of 21,3kgs, winning himself brand new Yamaha Jet Ski. Well done Byron! Coming in second with a tiny weight difference was John Williamson with another fine specimen of 20,65kgs. Tristan Thackwray managed an exceptional Dorado of 13,35kgs! Well done Tristan. Durban has come to life and apart from the bad weather on some days, produced a large amount of game fish as well as bottoms fish on the deeper marks.
South – The South Coast has been fishing well around the clock, with excellent catches of Yellowtail and Cracker, caught on dead baits as well as live baits. Jigs have been working well for the Yellowtail early in the mornings and die off throughout the morning.
Carp – Shongweni has had plenty of Flying Ant showers and other insect spawns which meant that there were plenty of fish feeding, which has caused the Carp to be very active on the surface. Many anglers have caught smaller Carp using conventional rigs, but have struggled with larger fish. At Inanda, the Carp still seem to be feeding deep, probably due to the excellent water clarity. Tiger Nuts in FX have still been the bait of choice and has worked well all week long. Midmar has been fishing well recently, producing a number of Carp up to around 5kgs, however, huge Barbel seem to be interfering with the baits more often than not. Best for these situations is to fish shallow margins with very little ground bait.
Bass – As we move into the beginning of the festive season, our dams become busier and more crowded with holiday makers and anglers. Most of these anglers will flock to the popular spot and the fish will get lock jaw for the majority of the day. The best way to target fish in these conditions will be to fish the shore drop-offs with downsized plastics or shallow running crank baits. do not be afraid to venture off in search of new spots, chances are if it’s the first time you have come across an underwater brush pile in the middle of the dam, it’s relatively un fished and will produce fish when the conditions are tough.
Inanda dam is fishing better now than in the previous weeks and has produced some quality fish too. A number of fish over 2kgs have been landed towards Car Body and surprisingly close to the wall in Durban Bay. The secret has been downsizing the diameter of the line to around 8lb and using fine wire hooks to improve the action of the baits. 8lb Daiwa Sensor is tough as nails and will produce fish when heavy lines won’t. Mustads Ultralock hooks are finer than most hooks on the market and have better penetration than most as well, but does not compromise on strength. It is essential to use fine wire hooks when using light line in order to set the hook.
Fly fishing – The Rivers in the Midlands area are starting to have much better volumes of water with the currents rains and this has made it easier for anglers to find Trout holding to the beginning or end of pools, concentrating on food. Anglers have been concentrating on their presentation, making accurate casts and allowing their flies to drift into the strike zone and in doing so, have landed many fish. Floating lines are to be used in the shallows, with tungsten heads on the flies to get them to the right depth. The standard patterns such as your GRHE, PTN’s and flashback nymphs will get good bites.
The latest series of Hier Gaan Ons Alweer with Petri de Wet premieres Monday evenings at 17:30 on kykNet, channel 144 and there are a number of repeats during the week. Series 14 runs for three months, ending on the 28th December 2015. As most of you know, Petri and his guests cover various angling styles in and around Southern Africa.
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