FISHING REPORT 30TH DECEMBER 2015 January 4, 2016 by The Kingfisher FISHING REPORT 30TH DECEMBER 2015 Good all round reports for the KZN region over the last week, having seen a nice variety of edibles and some much larger inedibles coming out on the up and down the entire coast at the end of the week. The larger Sharks such as Tiger Sharks, Raggies and Zambezis have been the talk of the town and have been heavily targeted in the more off-coloured waters. Rock n Surf: North – Kosi Bay has fished very well over the last week with smaller edible fish, but with North Easterly winds predicted to blow the whole of the forthcoming week, anglers can expect some explosive action with a variety of Sharks and flat fish. Last weekend there were reports of Sand Sharks, Blackfin Sharks and Brown Rays, which is a good start for the week already. Cape Vidal has seen some very big Zambezi Sharks being landed throughout the course of last week, most of which have been landed near the river mouth. With the reopening of the Shad season, anglers have become more versatile and have been able to target a wider variety of inedibles on live Shad, Shad head and Shad cutlet baits. Richards Bay north has produced some very nice Sand Sharks, Honeycomb Rays as well as a few Diamond Rays last week – all of the above have ranged between 20kgs and 50kgs. Thinus van Vyk was seen with a late season Kob caught at Richards Bay Caravan Park, weighing in at a whopping 20,6kgs! Richards Bay south has seen good numbers of Spinner Sharks, Milkies, Brown Rays and Shad. Zinkwazi and Blythedale seem to be doing better than most spots, with many good reports of edibles and non-edibles. The top species have been Sand Sharks, Grey Sharks, Diamond and Brown Rays. Stuart Haynes managed a lovely Blackfin Shark of 82kgs on his Poseidon HMG Medium Heavy. There have been plenty of Shad around too, which have been well utilised as bait. There have also been good reports of Kingfish from the area, also taken on live Shad. Sachin Chathargoon had some fun at Nonoti with a few summer flatfish including a large Sand Shark on his Saltiga 50. Ballito saw some Grey Sharks and Sand Sharks in the evening sessions, along with some excellent Stumpnose. The number of Diamond Rays in the area has increased as well, providing good fun for anglers on light tackle. A few decent Tiger Sharks have been seen along the coast over the last week, including a beautiful specimen from Durran Els. Further South at Umdloti, there has been no shortage of action for anglers using heavier tackle and swim bait outfits. Zambezi Sharks up to 200kgs have been hooked, some landed and some lost. Make sure to use only the best equipment when targeting larger species as such Mustad Hoodlum 10/0 and up, heavy gauge steel trace, a decent leader and a minimum of Giant Abrasion 0,55mm main line. Also make an attempt to head down to your local tackle store and ask for a demo on knot tying, which will not only help with your heavy tackle, but throughout your fishing styles. Local – Umhlanga Lighthouse saw good catches of Shad and Grey Sharks over the weekend, but did not fish as well as Beachwood and Virginia which produced the goods throughout the week and weekend. Grunter have become more prolific in these areas as well, but have been selective with their bait of choice. Most anglers using Sea lice or Sardine fillet have been successful. Durban beachfront will be heating up during the course of this week with the NE winds predicted. We have already seen catches of Pompano, Grunter and Stumpnose from Addington and Ushaka beaches on light spinning outfits. The beauty of this area is that the angler never knows what they will be catching; the amount of fish in these areas which feed on Sea lice is phenomenal. The possibilities range from Grunter, Pompano, Stumpnose, a variety of flatfish and also other edibles such as large Blacktail and Wave Garrick. When targeting these species which have relatively delicate mouths, the angler needs to make a decision whether he/she fishes with nylon or braided line. There are both advantages and disadvantages with either. Braid has zero stretch, which means that a lot more pressure will be out on the hook at all times, resulting in hooks pulling when the fish shakes its head hard etc. Nylon on the other hand will stretch and absorb the shock, and be more forgiving than the braid. Braid will require the angler to learn new knots in order to tie leaders on etc. Braid, however, casts like a dream and will out cast any nylon in an equivalent breaking strain. It also has less drag in the water due to its thinner diameter plus more braid will fit onto the reel spool making for a larger line capacity. Finally, Braid will allow for the angler to detect a bite easily since it is more direct. Mustad Wish is available in an ultra-smooth 8 weave and is perfectly suited for the angler who does not want to settle for a substandard product. The Bluff has been a bit quiet of late, but will be on fire towards the end of this week after the NE winds. South – Toti and Warner Beach have been quiet, but are beginning to pick up as the week goes by. Grey Sharks have been the main target species in these areas. Scottborough has been on fire, with most of the anticipated species coming out in good numbers. Brown Rays, Grey Sharks, Diamond Rays, Sand Sharks and good Shad have all been caught and will remain on the bite in the NE winds this week. Margate beaches have seen quite a few anglers and a showing of fish to match. Shad have been caught regularly, Grey Sharks, a handful of Blue Rays and also some nice Raggies. Fishing in the Transkei region has been productive and only seems to be getting better. With flat seas, anglers are finding it easier to slide large baits out and are enjoying the Shark and Garrick fun now that the shoals are moving back down the coast and have settled in a few spots. The Kob have been relatively quiet, but anglers have been happy to target Yellowtail instead, which has been a blast. Plugs on the surface have worked a dream and have seen many of the larger catches recently. The Chaos range of plugs has taken off and has seen a few anglers on their way to successful plugging with its large range of sizes, designs and colours including Glow and Glow Pink for low light conditions. Harbour – The harbour has dealt yet another crazy week of fishing to many anglers, shore or boat based. With fishing seemingly unbeatable at the moment, it was not expected to get even better, but it has and many anglers have enjoyed hours of fun from the piers, boats, banks and off the boats in the moorings. Anglers fishing off the Batt Centre Pier have caught some huge fish off the point, using Cracker Shrimp as bait. The Yacht Moll has been quiet and has produced very few fish but the Wilsons Wharf section has been most productive, making up for it. Pickhandle Barracuda seem to have moved into the deeper waters and made space for a few nice Kingfish which is a nice change for the anglers spinning in the mornings. The anglers fishing off skis and boats in the deeper waters towards the banks have had good success with the Pickhandle Barracuda on bait as well as lures. Remember that when these fish get near the boat, extra care needs to be taken to avoid getting bitten off. A swift lift or netting should be made, to avoid the fish rolling the line into its teeth. When spinning for these fish, a slower retrieve is preferred and often a stationary lure which has been paused after a twitch will work well. Smaller lures such as the Strike Pro Sprat Stick or similar have been used with great success. On the boats in the deeper waters towards the mouth, there have been masses of fish including Rock Cod, Goatfish, Slinger, Blacktail, Perch, Grunter and a variety of smaller species. These are all being taken on either Cracker or Sardine baits fished on a standard bottom fishing trace in the deeper water or around the wharf. Ski Boat: December has been the month for the game fish along the Natal coast, with huge numbers of fish coming out all the way up to Sodwana. A sure sign that the Snoek are biting is when the anglers spinning from the surf start to catch them on spoon etc., which means that they are feeding well and have come shallower to feed. This is when anglers should be getting close in, pulling small Strike Pro lures and Clark spoons in the back line, and fillet if the fish are feeding slowly. When targeting these fish on fillet, be sure to keep a spoon rigged on a light spinning rod, and when a fish is hooked on the fillet trace, have a few casts into the area where the fish was hooked. This will increase your chances of hooking into another fish from the shoal. Be sure to keep the lines apart to avoid a tangle. North – On the Maphelane coast, there have been large shoals of Tuna, Dorado and Couta too, which have been feeding well. In the deeper waters there have been some good Marlin and Wahoo taken, mainly on Konas. Further south at Cape Vidal there seems to be no shortage of Dorado and Tuna which have come out on a variety of trawled and casting lures such as the Daiwa D Minnow. At Zinkwazi, there have been far better bottom fish and game fish catches over the last week, with a busy week of boating meaning there were plenty of lines in the water. A lovely Dorado Bull of 21kgs was landed deep off Zinkwazi on a bottom trace whilst trying for Rock Cod on a live Mackerel. The live bait was taken on the way up from the depths. Local – Umdloti and Westbrook seem to be the firm favourites for Kayak anglers over the last week, having seen plenty of Tuna and Dorado action, plus a few sneaky Couta in the mix too. The Snoek have been more prolific in the Umdloti and beach stretch between Umhlanga and Blue Lagoon, which have not only been caught by boaters but spinning from the beach too. These fish seem to be a lot closer inshore and a dry mouth approach is often needed when trying to locate the Snoek. Many boats will attempt to trawl a Clark spoon very shallow at a speed and try to get the lure into the strike zone. Once the shoal is found, spoons can be used to pick more fish off the area. The Bluff is producing masses of fish and is becoming the most productive spot of late. Tuna, Wahoo, Dorado and Yellowtail have been coming out of the Bluff the whole week. The ships off Durban are holding a lot of Dorado and can be fished early in the mornings with live baits. South – On the south coast, shallow marks are producing a lot of Shad and smaller Yellowfin Tuna, which is not common but is providing plenty of fun for the Kayak anglers. Bottom fishing further south has been good and various reports of Yellowtail over 20kgs have been received. Freshwater: Carp – Due to the low water levels at Inanda Dam, the water grass is much closer to the bank, making it easier to fish around. Longer rigs are preferred due to the majority of the floor being silt and it’s not always easy to tell how thick/deep the silt is. So the last thing that you want is dropping / casting a short rig into deep silt and having your lead pull your whole rig and bait in under the silt. In terms of bait, fruity flavours and high visibility seem to be getting quick takes. Banjo, Juana and Tutti Fruity are some of the more preferred flavours. Floaties or any buoyant bait is suggested so that when you cast your bait it doesn’t sink with much velocity into the silt. Critically balancing your bait if not popping it up, is a good way to reassure that your bait is well presented on the silt. Fly Fishing – This time of year you find many anglers planning trips in search of the hard fighting Yellow fish. Most of our rivers hold a population of Scalies which are caught on the same flies and tackle as the Yellow fish. The beauty of this, is some of the venues are not too far to travel so they can be done in a day session, however the meca of the Yellow fish is the huge Sterkfontein Dam. This is a venue you must plan a 2 to 3 day trip to; the species you can get here are Carp, Yellow fish, Barbel, Moggel, Bass and tons of Small and Large Mouth Yellow fish. For the Small Mouth Yellows, a 4/5 weight outfit is adequate, loaded with floating line. You can present nymphs and dry flies with this line and eliminates the bows in the line. The most popular flies are the Flash Back Nymphs. It’s advisable to have these flies both beaded and bead-less. Use a slightly heavier rod for the Carp and Large Mouth Yellows, a 7 weight will be perfect them. This will handle the bigger flies you will use, including Zonkers, large Wooly Buggers and Streamer patterns. 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. Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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