Season’s greetings to our fellow anglers! Many families will be happy to take a break and travel to their favourite fishing spots along the coast at this time of year, which means a lot of the fishing spots will be occupied and relatively festive. It is a fantastic time of year to fish and there have been phenomenal catches all over the KZN coast in this holiday period this far, and many more are to come. From The Kingfisher team, travel safe and enjoy the Holidays!
Rock n Surf:
North – An interest has been shown in the GT’s in the Kosi Bay area, which have been plentiful and seemingly easy to catch. Most of these monsters have been landed on spinning gear over the last month, as well as Fly tackle and live bait. With more and more anglers getting involved in Spinning over the last year, the number of catches has multiplied exponentially and has become the favoured technique for most anglers. Anglers with heavy Spinning outfits have also managed to cast a smaller live bait into the deeper water to search for a larger specimen.
With the introduction of the Daiwa Saltist Nero 6500 and 4500 to the market, a few anglers have come to know the power of these very affordable reels. The Nero 6500 reel will hold close to 900m of 50lb braid, and has a silky smooth drag system so it will have no issue landing any fish that a multiplier would be able to.
Further south towards Cape Vidal and its surrounding areas, as usual for this time of the year, the Shad are shoaling in large numbers in the bays, small edibles are feeding readily off the banks and the Kingfish are plentiful in most areas, being caught mainly on artificials. Kingfisher Anchovy Spoons, Bonnie Spoons, McArthy Paddle tails/ Dropshot and other long casting spoons such as the Chase spoons are the best to use for a variety of Kingfish species.
There have also been good reports of Sand Sharks being caught off Cape Vidal and Maphelane on Chokka baits. A rise in the numbers of Honeycombs in the area has also set off a fair amount of anglers to start throwing larger baits, which is what has been working well.
Richards Bay has had plenty of Sand Sharks and Honeycombs, both in the 60kgs range. These are strong fish and heavy tackle is totally necessary due to the fact that at any stage, a fish in excess of 100kgs can peel of 600m of line and send an angler home in a matter of minutes. When using a grinder setup, nothing less than a reel such as the Daiwa Saltist 6500 filled with 600m of 48lb Triple Fish Gatorbraid backing and 250-300m of Gatorbraid 48lb top-shot should be used. A rod capable of turning a 100kg+ fish should be considered. A Saltist Heavy Spinning 6-8oz rod or heavier will suffice.
Another important factor is quality terminal tackle. Strong hooks as found in the Mustad range, power swivels, a decent fluorocarbon such as Siglon or Triple Fish and of course, well-practiced knots.
Richards Bay Harbour has started to heat up somewhat, boasting a strong appearance of Ox-Eye Tarpon, Kingfish, Springer and a few edibles too. The Pick Handle Barracuda have been on the loose and will continue to supply hours of fun through December and January.
The waters between Zinkwazi and Salt Rock produced a variety of species in the gullies and off the banks, with some excellent reports of Stumpnose present at most favourite Stumpnose spots.
Good reports of Grey Sharks have also been received from the Ballito area and some good Rock Cod being landed on the larger baits in the rocky areas too.
Local – There have also been good reports of the Snoek which seem to have turned on again with the rains which came down last week. Apart from the Shad, the Umhlanga area seems to have settled somewhat, having had reports from few anglers, most of which have been inedible species such as Grey Sharks and Brown Rays.
Virginia has seen plenty of Shad recently, most of which have held good weight and have taken spoons and ground baits used for flat fish or Stumpnose. Spinning tackle has been doing a large sum of the damage here.
Beachwood locals have managed to land a few Pompano and the odd Stumpnose on Sea Lice. With the Shad slowing down at Blue Lagoon, anglers are keeping themselves busy catching a variety of smaller edibles and Sand Sharks, being caught on live Blacktail or Maasbunker. Further south along the beaches and piers, anglers have had fun with Grunter, Bonefish, Stumpies and Grey Sharks and Shad. Most of these fish have been caught on the exact same bait, which has been Chokka and Red Eye baits, baited on a size 4/0 hook.
The Bluff has had a ton of Shad, good numbers of Kingfish and excellent catches of Blacktail and Wildeperd. There have been reports of the odd Brusher coming out off the Bluff during the westerly winds. Shimano Angling Club fished their Champions of Champions Cup and Challenge Cup on Sunday the 13 December 2015. Not the best of fishing conditions but members fished hard. Shalvin Naidoo landed a beauty of a Shad which weighed in at 3.2kg winning him the Champions Cup and his team the Challenge Cup. Tackle used was Assassin rod and Daiwa Grandwave 40 reel with .45 line.
South – Toti and Warner Beach have seen a lot of Grey Sharks and Shad early in the morning, both of which have been caught on Chokka and Red Eye baits or Mackerel cutlets. The Shad have been caught on spoon and Dropshot too.
Umkomaas has seen very few edibles recently, but to make up for it, large numbers of Brown Rays and other edibles have been landed throughout the week.
Green Point and Scottborough had good action and produced plenty of Bonefish, Sand Sharks and flatfish.
Umdoni Point has had a few lonely Garrick patrolling on the high tide, on the inside of the banks. These have been caught on plugs as well as live Shad.
Port Shepstone on the other hand, has had a decent turn out of Garrick as well as Kob, both of which are taking live baits and McArthy Paddle tails.
The river at Port St Johns has produced many smaller fish and provided plenty of fun for the whole family. The most effective rig thus far has been a back to back Mustad Big gun 2/0 or Mustad Tarpon 3/0, bound together with cotton fished on Siglon 0,70mm Fluorocarbon on a standard 3-way trace with 700mm hook snooting’s.
Trafalgar is on fire this week and has produced a number of large Brusher as well as Bronze Bream on Prawn baits.
Lapatana in the Transkei Has had good reports of big Black Fin Sharks, which have taken large slide baits. Nothing less than 0,55mm Kingfisher Giant Abrasion nylon should be used in these areas. Mazeppa has also been fishing well, with reports of Raggies and Black Fin Sharks coming through regularly.
Harbour – The Harbour has had a really good run over the last week with what seems to be one of the best Pick Handle Barracuda season in the last few years. A few specimens of 2-3kgs have come out around the Batt Centre and the sand banks close to Royal Natal Yacht Club on the high tide. These fish have been spotted swimming around in the cleaner water in the moorings at the Yacht Moll, off center bank and also in the deeper waters towards the harbour mouth. The best time of day to fish for these fish is early in the morning and late afternoons into the night. The preferred lures include smaller diving baits such as the Strike Pro jerk baits and the smaller poppers or stick baits. A slightly thicker fluorocarbon leader is referred to combat the razor sharp teeth which do tend to get in the way at times. Next to the boat or shore where the fish will be landed is where the fish will roll around in a last attempt to rid itself of the hooks in its mouth. This is where the line usually wraps around a tooth and gets cut off. To avoid this, make sure that the fish is netted swiftly and is not left with slack in the line. Kingfish and other small game fish have also been around and feeding well, again on small lures. Smaller paddle tails still remain the king of kings and have outperformed most other lures. On the bait side of things, many anglers have settled for the average fishing from the banks, but some really decent fishing off the boats in the deeper waters. The Grunter seems to be holding to the deeper water, possibly due to the salinity of the water after the rains.
North – After a week of relatively unpleasant seas, anglers will be looking forward to some good weather coming up in the week to come and hopefully get back into the summer fish. The locals at Sodwana have been making the best of the weather and have seen a few good fish next to the boat including some rather large Marlin and Sailfish. Dorado seemed to be feeding mainly in the deeper water and were taken on Konas and strip baits. Smaller live Bonito have also been a popular bait if they can be acquired, and have been successful in catching Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo and Dorado too. There are some fairly large Kingfish in the shallower waters and around the ledges, which are being targeted by boats willing to get into the shallow waters. These fish have been taken on the Daiwa D Minnows and other casting lures such as the Halco C Gar and poppers such as the Maria Pop Queen and Halco Rooster Poppers.
Down the coast at Maphelane there have been excellent catches of Dorado, Wahoo and some good sized Couta. The 50m Mark off the Lighthouse has been one of the preferred spots. In this area, live Bonito have been king when targeting Wahoo or Couta. The bait is preferably down rigged with a 5oz sinker to get to the correct depth, which is usually a 4-5m off the bottom.
At Richards Bay, bottom fishing has been good, seeing a lot of Rock Cod in the deeper waters and Trawl Soldiers throughout the day. The Marlin Gurus are starting to get into the swing of things and have already managed to land a fair amount of decent sized fish in the last month, many of which have been on lighter tackle whilst targeting Wahoo or Dorado. Sailfish have been plentiful in most of the Richards Bay area and all the way down to around Zinkwazi where there seems to be a cut-off.
From Zinkwazi down, the main concentration has been on Tuna which have been abundant. The Tinley Manor and Westbrook areas have been popular with larger specimen up to 38kgs. The Daiwa D Minnows again doing wonders for these fish when used on a spinning outfit. A lovely Specimen of 25kgs was landed by Chris Liebetrau on the D Minnow from the Paddle Ski.
Local – Dorado have seen the hatches of many skis over the last week from Westbrook down to the Bluff, including the entire stretch between the two areas. The ships have held plenty Dorado and will continue to do so for a few months to come. Live bait works best here and a shallow diving Rattler in at a close second.
South – All the way down the South Coast there have been good catches of Yellowtail on live bait as well as lures. Tuna have been coming out thick and fast and have been rather large compared to most of the other weeks.
In the Winkelspruit area, a number of Wahoo have made their way down and have fallen victim to a few of the live Bonito set out for Couta. The locals in the Port Edward area continue to have fun with the Yellowtail which have all averaged around 15kgs in the last week. Live bait is the key here, with Jigs coming in second best. The new Range of Evil Eye Jigs from The Kingfisher have taken off at the speed of light, and have been working for Yellowtail, Tuna and even Wahoo which were caught last week off Shelley Beach.
Carp – With holiday season well under way and a good number of families around the local dams, things are heating up. As always, there are youngsters with lines in the water hoping for absolutely anything to bite. Be sure to head down to your local tackle shop to learn a bit about the species which we could expect to catch and discuss the various techniques used to catch them. Carp fishing is by far one of the most popular species to target by a few anglers who enjoy a relaxing form of fishing next to the dam. It is the type of fishing that the whole family can get involved in and have fun 24hours a day. Carp feed all day and night but do prefer the low light hours where they become far more active and begin to swim around in the shallows to feed on a variety of foods ranging from worms to nuts and seeds. The usual bait and most popular bait throughout the dams in SA has been standard Maize or Mielies as we call them. A variety of flavours can be used but the more popular ones seem to be the Aniseed, Bunspice, FX and Almond. One single kernel on the hook is all you need, fished with a Carp Bomb crammed with feed. Kingfisher readymade Carp traces are readily available and work like a charm. Albert Falls is relatively low and has not seen much action, not nearly as much as Shongweni, Nagle and Midmar dam which have all been performing relatively well.
Fly Fishing – Now is the time to target the Yellows and Scalies, either in the now fuller rivers like the Umkomaas and the Umgeni. For the rivers make sure you have a good selection of Tungsten bead head flies in your box, there should include, Z Wing Caddis, Green Rack Worm, Heavy Metal Caddis I also like the Hare and Copper files. The other fly will include the following; a must is the Hot Spot Nymph, Copper Johns and then your standard Cadis and GRHE in flashback, which are hard to come by for some reason and selection of unbeaded nymphs in various colours. For still waters like Sterkfontien Dam that many anglers are making this venue their holiday destination, the same flies but not really in the Tungsten, stick to unbeaded as you are fishing shallow water. At this venue you will have a have a selection of dries, such as, Foam Wing Hopers, Beatles, Parachute Hoppers and Elk Hair Caddis
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.
The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Tuesday 8:30 to 17:00, Saturday 8:00 to 13:00.
SUNDAYS & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON: Sunday the 20th and Sunday the 27th December: 8:00 – 13:00.
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