Bad weather and good fishing, this basically sums up the fishing at the moment, with the spirits of anglers only being held up by the quality of fishing over the last week.  Those who have decided to stay home and avoid the weather have missed out on a load of good fishing.


Rock n Surf:


One week into Shad madness and the catches are unmatched. Numerous catches of Shad between 1kg and 5kgs have been reported including a beast of a fish weighing in at 8kgs, caught by Cosy Govender off High Rocks in Ballito. Anglers have had great success with a variety of methods and baits but one bait has stuck out like a sore thumb and has been getting plenty of attention. Mackerel is not a usual bait for Shad but has recently been noticed as one of the most successful baits for the larger Shad in the recent weeks. A conventional trace is used as would be used for Sardine, and the same rigging style. Either a fillet can be used or a whole Mackerel if it is small enough. This bait stays on the hooks longer and seems to get the attention of the larger fish.


Another method of catching these larger Shad and is becoming more popular by the day is spinning. Shad can be caught on anything from an 8ft rod up to around 11ft matched with a coffee grinder to suit the rod size. Monofilament of 15lb is recommended, or braid between 15lb and 25lb.  When spinning for Shad, it is unnecessary to use steel trace as Shad are known to hit a bait from the back, immobilising it. The preferred lures for Shad include S-Bend spoons such as the Toby, casting dive baits such as the D Minnow, Dropshot and even Plugs at certain times of the year. Shad prefer a slower moving bait most of the time, as they are relatively slow moving predators. When using an S bend spoon or other “wobbling” lure, it is generally more effective to lift the rod tip and allow the lure to be fished in the middle of the water column with a wide and slow side to side action.  When using a D Minnow or similar lure, either a slow straight retrieve or a twitch-pause retrieve will do best.


North –


On the North Coast over the last week, it has been all about the flatfish. Sand Sharks, Honeycombs, Diamonds and Brown Rays have been on the loose and have been caught throughout the week, but were most active on Tuesday and Wednesday. This has been the case from Kosi Bay all the way down to around Zinkwazi but particularly in the Zululand areas. As usual, the larger fish are coming out on fresh Shad head or cutlets, with second best being fresh Mackerel. As far as edibles go, there have been few reports apart from the odd Stumpnose, Pompano and Wave Garrick. Shad are still coming out in certain areas but the size of these fish on the north coast have been far smaller than that of the ones being caught on the south coast. This is fine for most anglers who are looking to keep a few for bait (remember the 30cm size limit guys).


At Richards Bay, the Diamond Rays have been keeping anglers busy and have been targeted heavily after two or more days of the NE winds. There have been good reports of Stumpnose around Richards Bay, most of which have been caught on Sealice or small Chokka baits. There have been a fair amount of Sharks around lately, mainly smaller Zambezi Sharks, Spinner Sharks, Blackfin Sharks and the odd Raggie too. Sand Sharks have been plentiful in most areas but particularly in the Mtunzini area.


South of Richards Bay, the Milkies have been out of control and feeding on any bait available. The Shad are making a nuisance of themselves at times too, cleaning most of the baits off larger traces.


Zinkwazi remains unbeaten in producing some good sized Sand Sharks over the last week. Most of these have been caught on Shad head and Mackerel. Amazingly, there are still a few Garrick in the Zinkwazi area which have been caught on live Shad.


At Tinley Manor, there have been a few Snoek coming out in the cleaner water, a few Shad and also some nice Sand Sharks at night.


Local –


Umhlanga Light house has been extremely busy over the last week with anglers attempting to get in on the Shad action, after seeing so many good catches in the area. It was only after Tuesday when things started to heat up somewhat and Shad after Shad was taken on bait, each fish making good size.


At Blue Lagoon there was also a fair amount of excitement as anglers managed to catch a few decent Shad on lures and bait. Smaller stick baits, diving lures and spoons worked wonders for these fish for those spinning.


All areas down to Addington have been highly productive for Shad, Grunter, Stumpnose and smaller flatfish. The Piers have seen a bit of Grey Shark action on certain days too. With so many baits in the water, there have been a few anglers who have found success in a different approach.


The Kingfisher Bonnie spoons which have just arrived in SA have been long awaited and have been producing the goods for species such as Snoek, Shad, Kingfish and Wave Garrick. Last week, a Shad of 3kgs was landed on the 40g Glow Bonnie spoon.


Anglers fishing around North and South Pier have been hooking into some extremely large flatfish recently and have not managed to land them. Other anglers have been spinning in the same areas and hooking into some very nice Big Eye, Giant and Black Tip Kingfish. Anglers need to be aware that only 50lb braid and above should be used for these fish as they are incredibly strong and can make short work of thinner braid around the rocks.


South –


Toti was a spinner’s paradise for species such as Shad and Kingfish over the last week, seeing many fish around 2kgs being landed. Anglers using bait also did fairly well and managed to get a wider variety of species out. Grunter, Pompano, Stumpies and also a few nice Rock Cod were caught during the week, and with the weekend’s weather being a bit rainy, less catches were reported from these areas. Excellent weather for flatfish is predicted for the upcoming week, so make sure to stock up on Mackerel and Red Eye.


Scottborugh Point is still producing the goods, seeing a number of Brown and Diamond Rays, Sand Sharks and the odd Honeycomb on the right days. Many anglers have been making use of the Mustad Tuna Circles for the inedibles which has been the top performing circle hook in recent days and has become more popular now in the summer flatfish season. Most anglers have been using this hook with the Dingle Dangle, however it is also extremely effective when snelled on carbon coated wire for a rigged bait.  For anglers looking to target edibles off the rocks along the South Coast, an exciting addition to the family has landed. The already trusted Poseidon Coastline range has released a 12’6″ model with a light action tip. This extremely affordable scratching rod is rated at 1-3oz and is ideal for species such as Bronze Bream, Galjoen, Blacktail and Stumpies. With a fast taper, this rod is ideal for keeping fish out of the rocks once hooked thanks to the backbone, but does not compromise on casting distance and action.


Further South at Mazzeppa Bay, Sunil Piyarlall had a mind blowing run with the Grey Sharks over the last week, he landed one of 205cm and another of 241cm (pre caudal). Well done Sunil, these are a Shark anglers dreams!


Harbour –


The Durban harbour has been a spot of refuge for many anglers looking to escape the winds and make their fishing in the rain more pleasant.  A number of larger Grunter were taken on the banks, including a fine specimen of over 7kgs. Mike Pereira decided to have a session around the Centre banks over the weekend, which turned out to be a trip to remember. Mike managed to land two good sized Brown Rays and a GT of around 4kgs all on an Ultra-light Daiwa 7ft rod matched with the new Daiwa Exceler 2506HA. What makes these fish even more special is the fact that Mike was using only 6lb Daiwa Sensor. From the side, anglers have been spinning around the Yacht Moll area with huge success. Large Pick Handle, Kingies, Rock Salmon and even Perch have been coming out, which is nothing new; however the size of these fish has increased substantially, with Pick Handle of almost 70cm being landed.  The Silt Canal has also been producing the goods and apart from the Grunter that have been caught in this area, there have been a number of anglers sinning, which has produced a number of species ranging from Kingfish to Flathead.


Ski Boat:


North –


The Cape Vidal and Sodwana areas at this time of the year are possibly one of the better areas to fish as far as Game fish are concerned. The first of the shoal Couta have made their presence felt here which is a good sign for the local Couta run. Apart from these fish there are also Dorado, Tuna and some Sailfish being landed Cape Vidal is in the process of having the best Dorado season in years and all anglers are urged to make a trip up to enjoy this incredible species.


Billfish, especially up at Sodwana are also being seen and landed but no huge fish of any significance have been reported as yet. The North Coast and the Durban area have also reported some fairly decent catches of Tuna and the odd large Dorado has also been landed, along with these have been the hundreds of smaller Dorado between 5-10kgs.


Local –


Areas that should start producing soon would be the Highpoint, Ballito and Westbrook marks. As far as bottom fishing is concerned, anglers are still finding some significant catches of both Geelbek and Daga Salmon which is unusual for this stage of the year. General bottom fishing with regards to ‘Redfish’ and Rockcod has also been quite productive in these areas.


South –


Much the same can be said for the Ski Boaters on the South Coast but the Shark problem here has recently become a growing concern. Aliwal Shoal has started producing some good catches of Yellowfin Tuna with a few good size Wahoo being reported. There has also been quite a few nice Sailfish being landed here and there, with the Pennington area doing particularly well. Fishing further south, the Protea Banks at Shelly Beach are also yielding some good catches of Yellowfin Tuna and a few good sized Wahoo. The Divers have had good success with Dorado, Wahoo and also Couta.



Carp –


With Shongweni Dam becoming busier by the day, most fish reported have been landed during the evenings. A few good fish up to 12kgs have been landed at Shongweni over the last week. Inanda seems to be the dam of choice when targeting bigger fish. Quite a few fish up to 15kgs have been landed by a local group fishing during the week. The general idea seems to be to get the baits in a swim for long enough to allow the fish to come across it in their own time, as they have been difficult targets to lure into an area. Conventional anglers at Albert Falls have been smashing the smaller fish, with quantities of up to 20 per session all on Sweet corn. The New Kingfisher Sniper 12ft Carp rod is not available and is doing extremely well for anglers fishing conventionally style.


Bass –

Albert Falls has had a drop in productivity over the last week, with only a few anglers coming back with decent bags. Most fish caught were on the ridge and other deep water drop offs due to most of the islands being out of the water at the moment. Spinnerbaits and crank baits have done well. Inanda is doing well and anglers who have a good knowledge of the deeper water have managed to land some good fish and good numbers too. After some disappointing angling from Goedetrou Dam over the last few weeks, there seems to be a drop in catches to the point that many anglers have stopped fishing, probably due to the extremely low water levels. Anglers are urged to fish other waters to avoid disappointment.


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 13th December, Wednesday the 16th December, Sunday the 20th and Sunday the 27th December: 8:00 – 13:00.

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