With a very windy period coming up, most of the attention has been set on the flatfish and Sharks that will be on the bite. With the amount of Stumpies, Pompano and Grunter coming out, this will be a daunting task, moving away from edibles that are feeding well to fish for the inedibles.

Rock N Surf:

North –

Our local Zululand anglers have hit the jackpot over the last week, having reported some lovely fish along the coast. The main areas in question have been Maphelane, Cape Vidal and also further down in the Richards Bay area.

Richards Bay and Hlabane area have been producing excellent catches of Sand Sharks and Honeycomb Rays.  With the seas being a bit rough in these areas, the majority of anglers have been targeting edibles and have been highly successful in doing so.  A handful of good sized Stumpies in the 5kg region were taken on Chokka and Prawn baits, along with a few good sized Cave Bass and even a number of Speckled Snapper. In most of these areas, the Shad have been relatively quiet and only reports from Cape Vidal were received. For those who managed to catch Shad, fresh Shad cutlet or Shad head was used to catch Diamond Rays and some small Sand Sharks.

The ever so present Wave Garrick made for excellent GT baits in the St Lucia and Sodwana areas. These have been slid out on heavy tackle or swum out if they are too big for the slide.

Most areas between Richards Bay and Zinkwazi have fished well, for smaller Kingies, flat fish, Stumpies and a fair amount of Grey Sharks. Grey Shark swim baits have been effective in the Umtunzini area, being responsible for some good catches of Zambezi Sharks and big Black Fin Sharks, for which we are thankful for the modern rods on the market that can put immense pressure on these fish. The Saltist range of surf rods are available in a variety of options, ranging from a 2 – 4oz up to a Shark taming 8 -12oz for those who want to stop anything in its tracks. Richards Bay also saw some nice Kingfish, including two large specimens taken on live Shad.

Umhlanga Rocks saw plenty of action with smaller edible fish in the rocks and gullies, most of which have been Blacktail or smaller Stumpnose.  During the evenings there have been a few Grey Sharks around, which have been feeding on any bait in the water. A few lucky anglers have found small shoals of Shad and managed to capitalise on the opportunity.

Local –

Fishing off the beaches between Umhlanga and Blue Lagoon has been pleasant, with slightly large seas being the only thing getting in the way of a good time. Some fantastic catches of Stumpnose and Grunter have been reported, being landed mainly on lighter spinning setups. For most of these fish that are strong fighters but have no rocks to cut the angler off on, so light tackle will suffice, preferably a rod that can take a beating like the Exceler 10’6″ 3 Piece. The Exceler range of rods can handle a fair amount of weight for a decent size scratching bait and sinker, and also has more than enough power to stop a stronger fish from returning to its hole,  and more than enough action to detect a bite.

Blue Lagoon has been up and down, having fished well a few days of the week. The river has come down and there was extremely off coloured water which also contained a fair amount of Hyacinth and litter. This has made for excellent Snoek fishing and many anglers have seen catches of larger Snoek off the Blue Lagoon area. The water is a magnificent colour and looks to have plenty of potential.  Shad have been the main haul in this area.

Durban beaches are still producing the goods; however it has been on a much lesser scale than the last few weeks. The amount of flatfish has definitely decreased in the last week, but luckily the edibles are in full force and many anglers using Chokka and Red Prawn baits have had excellent results.  The amount of Stumpies on the area is phenomenal, and the quality of these Stumpies is something to admire.

South –

Toti has been wishy-washy but the fishable days did produce good numbers of Shad, Stumpies and Grunter on certain tides. Most fish were taken on either Sea lice or Cracker baits.

Warner Beach has had very tough conditions but most anglers have had at least some luck with either Brown Rays, Shad or a Small Grey Shark or two. Heavier rods are advised, due to the need of larger sinkers to stay put in the bigger seas.

Umkomaas River is still open and flowing strong; however the sea has become horribly rough near the mouth and has put most anglers off.

Scottborough Point is fishing well for the anglers brave enough to fish, and is producing a variety of species from small edibles to larger Sharks and flat fish. With the sea on a steady increase, anglers are urged to be cautious on the rocks.

Port St John’s has been on top form and is one of the better performing areas on the South Coast. Good catches of Bronze Bream and other rock species have been caught daily. Kob and Garrick are still present but have slowed down. Reports of Brusher have come in, with fish between 3 – 8kgs. After being taught a lesson or two by these Brusher, anglers have learnt from their mistakes and have started using decent line such as the Kingfisher Giant Abrasion, Maxima leader material as well as decent hooks like the Mustad Big Gun range.

Hole In The Wall has produced many Sharks on slide baits as well as some excellent edibles all on Prawn and Chokka baits.  As always, remember that fresh bait will always get better fish than frozen bait, so be sure to search the waters that you are fishing in for fresh pickings.

Harbour –

There have been reports of dirty water over the last week in the Durban Harbour. Anglers having spent most of the week at water’s edge spinning for game fish have reported very few catches, unlike boat anglers fishing in the deeper water and off the banks, who managed to catch a decent amount of fish on bait and a few on lure too. Although not as many game fish have been landed during the week, the Kingfish which have been caught are decent size and have been feeding aggressively on jerk baits and poppers such as the Strike Pro Thai Stick and anything smaller. The standard “pop-pop-pause” retrieve has caught a few nice Pickhandle Barracuda whilst a faster more aggressive action will get the Kingies feeding well.

On the banks, anglers using bait have had fair success, landing Grunter and Stumpnose daily. Cracker seems to be the best bait, followed by Sardine fillets. For those who wish to fish for the Brown Rays which have been frequenting the shallows,  a large Cracker fished on a Mustad Chinu size 1 /0 will do the job. Be sure to use fluorocarbon leader to ensure the fight is not cut short by the wearing of the leader. The Kingfisher range of Fluorocarbon is not only affordable, but extremely effective for the toughest of critters. For those looking to move over to braid but are looking for a more affordable option, be sure to check out the new Daiwa J Braid which is available in 20 and 30lb which is perfect for this light bottom fishing in the harbour near the mouth.

Ski Boat:

North –

All in all, a quiet week for Ski Boat anglers along the Natal Coast thanks to the large surf conditions. The sea seemed to be fishable on the outside in the deeper water, so boats launching from protected sites were able to get out relatively easily. The surf launching boats had a bit of a tough time with surf that stood up to 4m in certain areas which combined with a short wave period, sent many seasoned surf launchers home. The boats up north who managed to launch saw some good Wahoo and Dorado with a few Marlin and Sailfish in the mix too. Some very nice Amberjack were also seen in the shallower waters and were caught on a variety of lures.

Richards Bay saw some lovely Sailfish and Wahoo, which have made good size and it has been good to see that most of the Sailfish have been released. Couta seem to be more active in the Richards Bay area and have moved down to Zinkwazi and even lower. Robbie Waites Jnr managed to secure himself a lovely Couta of 29kgs which puts him way up there with the top dogs this year so far. Robbie managed to land this beauty off his Paddle Ski which makes it even more impressive. Well done Robbie! The Snoek are now really feeding well and have made a huge appearance along the coast, mainly from the Richards Bay areas and down to the Bluff, concentrated mainly in the Umdloti area where many boaters are getting Snoek of up to 8kgs.

Local –

For the anglers not willing to get up early to meet the sunrise, it is good to know that the Snoek seem to be feeding all day and come on the bite particularly well in the afternoons.  Small spoons have been getting a lot of attention however the fish seem to be more committed to a Red Eye fillet trawled slowly behind the boat. Paddle Skis have been doing well with Clark spoon or even regular spoons being pulled at a faster pace close inshore.  The Kingfisher Anchovy spoon will be an excellent choice for casting the distance and with its foil finish will be sure to grab the attention of the fish in a hurry.  The new range of Daiwa Sealine rods has been released, which follow in the footsteps of the legendary SL range of reels, exceptional quality and reliability. These rods are available in a variety of options to suit each individuals need, and coming in at a fair price will be sure to impress even the fussiest of anglers. Another introduction that has been long awaited is the brand new Exceler Spinning rods which boast a quality Fuji Winch, Minima Titanium wire guides and one heck of a backbone to get you out of any tough situation. For live baiting, popping, jigging or just about anything required, the Exceler is as good as it gets.

South –

For those doing bottom fishing, excellent catches have been reported in the Bluff and Toti areas, moving all the way down to the Transkei where the seas have been a bit rough lately. The die hards have launched and reaped the benefits. Snoek along the coast towards Umkomaas have been on the loose and many fish up to 5kgs have been reported.

Fresh water:

Carp –
Another week of reports flying in, this week we have seen mixed emotions at Shongweni, regarding the amount of algae in the water. For most there is no issue, as fishing continues to go on as normal if not better than before, with some beautiful fat specimens being taken on tiger nuts and on smaller boilies. The average size of fish has been smaller; this could be out down to the water conditions causing the bigger fish to get lock jaw.

Midmar seems to be the most consistent of all the bigger dams, having shown off a variety of sizes throughout the week and over the weekend. Conventional anglers have done well over the last week, landing some very nice fish around the 7 and 8kg mark. These bigger fish were landed on Supercast Kaboom Mielies on Mustad Carp hooks. Most of the sweet flavours such as Almond or FX have produced the goods.

Nagle Dam has been quiet over the last few months, with little to no reports whatsoever from local anglers.  A recent trip to Nagle produced over 10 fish ranging between 5 -12kgs all caught on specimen tackle close to the river section. Specimen tackle was used on this occasion, with boilies as bait and the trip took place over 3 days. This is a good example of how no water should be underestimated.

Albert Falls did not see the same quality of fish from the day camping areas and slip ways; however anglers fishing from boats around the river inlet had great fun with larger Carp and even some huge Barbel all on large 18mm boilies. The secret to success when fishing for Carp off a boat is to be completely motionless once anchored. Two or even three anchors are spread out evenly in a triangle formation around the boat, which ensures very little or no movement is possible even in a wind. Long casts are not necessarily more productive, as the Carp swim around the river section in search of fresh food.  An absolute maximum of 10ft rods are required for best performance. Due to the fact that the boat will be permanently anchored, be prepared for a big fish with a strong line such as Daiwa Sensor 15lb, which will allow the angler to put more pressure on a fish if fishing in areas which hold more structure.

Bass –

Many Kick Boaters found themselves having loads of fun at Inanda Dam on the weekend, using smaller Strike Pro crankbaits such as the Cranky X50 which have been one of the most popular shallow running crankbaits for the last few months. These square bill shallow running crank baits are available in a variety of mind blowing colours that have outperformed many other competitors, and comes in at a fraction of the price.  Smaller spinnerbaits have also been a go-to bait for anglers struggling to boat a few fish, slow rolled around the grassy edges with a brief pause every two meters or so to allow the shirt to flare up and entice a bite.

Albert Falls has fished well and has definitely taken a few steps forward since last week, with numerous catches of fish over 2kgs, some reaching close to 3kgs, and some lots fish due to inadequate tackle, once again, a reminder to make sure there is a hook sharpener on the boat at all times. Even the best quality hooks on the market such as Mustad Big Mouth or KVD Grip Pin hooks will become blunt over time, due to the heavy cover it will be dragged through on every cast. After each fish, and at intervals of about 20 casts, it is suggested than anglers take half a minute to check the sharpness of their hooks. This little trick will ensure the elimination of an angler’s worst nightmare…  The hook being thrown due to insufficient penetration, another method of improving your hookup rate, is to practice your striking techniques to see which style suits you better. The most effective for most anglers is usually to drop the tip of the rod once the bite has been detected, point the tip at the fish and wind up the slack line, once the tension has been regained , lean into the strike and set the hook hard by striking straight up from 0 degrees to 90 degrees. This should ensure a hookup in the top lip most of the time.

The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Tuesday 8:30 to 17:00 and Saturday 8:00 to 13:00.

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