A surprisingly quiet week has passed, with very few reports in most areas. With deviating weather patterns along the coast predicted for this week, anglers will have to make the best of the conditions and search for waters which are more productive. Moving on, here are last week’s catches.

Rock n Surf:

North – Kosi Bay lakes were responsible for most of the week’s reports, showing that there are plenty of fish to be caught in these areas and the surrounding areas. Variety is definitely not an issue, having seen anything from Rock Salmon to Rock Cod, Grunter to Springer and everything in between. There are a lot of fish being landed on artificials in the afternoons, which have been thoroughly enjoyed on light tackle. Much of the action has been seen on small diving lures such as the Strike pro Arc Minnows and the Maria Flapen, which work best when fished with erratic movement with pauses between twitches. As the light disappears a slower more constant retrieve becomes more effective.

On the surf side, no real fireworks to speak of, however there have been some fairly decent edibles and Sand Sharks which have been caught later on in the week.

Vidal saw a few more catches of edibles such as Stumpies, Kingies and Pompano, mostly on Chokka baits as well as Red Eye baits. At night, there have been a fair amount of Raggies that have been caught off the ledges, using throw baits and larger slide baits.

Richards Bay produced some good Grunter off the surf, along with a number of small Spinner Sharks.  Most Shad anglers had a good time; however the size of the Shad left much to be desired.  Good reports from the Harbour too, with many fish being taken on artificials.  Various catches of Kingfish have been reported, with a few good fish taken off the pier.  These fish are excellent fighters and will give the angler a good rev on any tackle used.

Further south, reports have been slow but Ballito had the best of them with some decent Diamond Rays as well as some Grey Sharks. The seas were huge and fishing from the rocks became a bit of a dangerous affair.

Local – The Umhlanga area only produced the odd Shad and Stumpie off the rocks, with hardly any bites on large baits. Some anglers had a Snoek or two on spinning tackle off the rocks in the Umhlanga area, which is nice to see. The Snoek have been scarce but have recently started to make an appearance again.

Towards the Durban area things started to heat up a bit, with good reports throughout the week. The beaches have produced a mixed bag of edibles as well as some inedibles.  Most inedibles were landed in the NE winds that blew over the end of the week and into the weekend, which turned the water into a mass of brown water, and consisted of mainly Diamonds and Brown Rays. The edibles which came out were of impressive size, and were taken on most Chokka and Red Eye baits.  The late afternoons seemed to be the most productive time of day. Be sure to head down to the Ushaka stretch after two days of NE winds to take part in the flatfish runs, and enjoy a lovely afternoon on the beach with your family.

The Bluff had a good run of Grey Sharks, which were caught on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon on live baits as well as larger throw baits.

South – Toti and Warner Beach also had a mixed bag of fish, being made up of mainly Inedibles. Warner Beach being the Stumpie hotspot saw quite a few decent Stumpnose as well as Shad early in the mornings. Sea Lice has been the most effective bait.

Scottborough was quieter than usual but still managed to produce a handful of Sharks and flat fish, with a few Kingfish sneaking in here and there.

Umkomaas however, saw plenty of Brown Rays and Sandies throughout the week.  Smaller Kingies were also present and took artificials and small baits.

Baizley had far more action than the previous weeks on Saturday and Sunday, producing a few Diamonds, Sandies and Browns, all of the usual summer suspects.

Margate and surroundings have had a decent run, having seen a few bigger Shad, Bronze Bream and even Pompano.  Once again, the early risers have been responsible for most of the damage.

Munster has also woken up with good reports of Bronze Bream, huge Stone Bream and Blacktail.

Port St John’s is working well and has pleased most anglers. Good Shad, many small Kob, Kingies as well as Garrick on plug.  Smaller Kingies have been landed in good numbers in the estuaries, by anglers using live Mullet or artificials.

Mazeppa Bay has shown off some of its larger Garrick, which have taken live Shad or plugs. The bulk of the damage being done on the Chaos Plugs. A firm favourite in the braids which has recently been released on the South African Market is the Daiwa J-Braid which has proven phenomenally strong for its rating and is by far one of the most affordable 8 strand braids available to date. The 20lb has proven more than sufficient for larger species such as Garrick and Kob.

Harbour – There have been far less anglers in the harbour over the last week, largely due to the water colour being off and the persistent winds, many anglers have been absent from the harbour over the last week, however there have been excellent reports of Grunter off the banks,  which are feeding well on Sardine or Cracker.  A variety of fish have been landed off the Piers, including some good Malabar Rock Cod, Pick Handle Barracuda and also some nice Kingfish.

Reports of larger fish have been received by anglers using big baits at the harbour mouth. These fish have not been landed and have taken anglers into the rocks. These are believed to be big Rock Cod and need to be dealt with using heavy tackle. There has been a large presence of smaller Snoek and Kingfish around the South Pier and around the mouth, which have been feeding on smaller baitfish and also Bay Squid. A drift Bay Squid will prove deadly in these areas being pulled slowly behind the boat or cast close to a wharf.

Ski Boat –

North – On the Ski-boat side of things, it is great to hear of decent numbers of Couta being landed all the way from Sodwana down to Durban. Most of the catches up north have been on trawled lures such as the Rattler 150 shallow diving lures, mainly in the pink or blue colours.  When using bait such as Sardine or Mackerel, a green or blue dusters in the clean water or Pink in the dirty water has been working well. Tuna have been slow up north but the few which have been reported have been of good size. Snoek have frequented the shallows, taking Strike Pro Magic Minnows, Sardine fillet and Clark spoons.  Most anglers trawling Clark spoons fast have managed to hook into some of the bigger fish off the rips in deeper water.

Richards Bay has had good numbers of Yellowfin Tuna move in, and a few beasts of over 60kgs have been reported so far. These fish have been taken on the 400m mark on Konas.

Local – Westbrook managed to dish out some fairly decent Couta, Dorado and Snoek too, with a few huge Tuna further south towards Stud Rock.

Umhlanga saw a few small Tuna, some Snoek and also the odd Couta which have been landed mainly by Ski anglers. The normal stretch between Hyper by the Sea and Blue Lagoon produced good numbers of Snoek during the week, with most fish being landed on small spoons or fillet baits. From the Number 1 area off Durban, down to Isipingo there have been good catches of Dorado along the 50m mark, also seeing a bull of 21kgs come out on a Wild Dog Stick bait whilst trying for Tuna. The most successful lures have once again been the Rattler 150 and the Williamson Dorado and Sailfish catchers.

South – Protea Banks is fishing better and has showed signs of increasing catches as the weeks go by. The usual species such as Dorado, Tuna and Yellowtail have been plentiful. Live bait has caught more of the larger fish, whilst anglers after numbers have stuck to trawled lures.

Fresh water:
Carp – Shongweni Dam has had a pollution meltdown and anglers are advised to stay away and resort to fishing surrounding dams such as Nagle Dam or Inanda Dam if possible. Luckily, both of the aforementioned dams have been producing good fish of late, including some good specimens of 10kgs on larger baits such as Boilies in the 16-18mm range.  Dam levels as follow. Albert Falls- 36.76%. Inanda Dam- 80.24%, Midmar Dam- 47.06%, Hazelmere Dam- 34.91%.The fish that move into the shallows will be looking for food and any opportunities available, so use a stronger dip to ensure your bait is found easily.

Inanda Dam has also risen ever so slightly and has already set the fish into feeding mode. Specimen anglers as well as conventional anglers have taken advantage of the conditions and have landed some beautiful fish so far.

Bass – As a few of our dams show slow increased levels of water, so the fish turn on the bite and move into the shallows to feed on anything that moves. In these times, baitfish, Frogs, Insects, Worms, Lizards and anything else that may be unlucky enough to be in these areas, will be fed on without hesitation.  Anglers will catch fish on almost any bait thrown, but in order to cover more water and to sieve through the smaller fish and into the bigger fish, search baits such as weightless flukes, Daiwa D Frogs, spinnerbaits and jigs are used.  This will ensure the angler less time in an unproductive area and more time in possibly productive areas. If you come across an area with more fish in it than others, take notice of the structure, depth, temperature etc. This will be the most effective method of locating fish. Take these conditions into consideration when searching, and if you can match the conditions, then it is almost a guaranteed success story. Most of the dams are already fishing well, with Albert Falls on top, Inanda coming in second and Midmar struggling in at third. Frogs have been the most effective bait in Inanda, whilst spinnerbaits have been deadly at Albert Falls.

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