Last week has got to be one of the most incredible weeks of fishing to be had along the KZN Coast in ages. Anything from Snoek to Blackfin Sharks were caught, also with an exceptional week on the boats and Skis. With some good weather predicted for the near future, it’s time to stock up on tackle and fresh bait!
Rock n Surf – An excellent week for Rock n Surf anglers has passed, with the right winds blowing for long enough to really put the fish on the bite. With some very good conditions predicted for the upcoming days, anglers can expect the same action.
Kosi bay had an amazing run last week, producing a good few Sand Sharks over the 100kg mark! In the same area, anglers had good fun with the edibles such as Stumpies and Kingfish, with the odd Springer in the mix.
Cape Vidal has had an influx of edible fish, and although the banks are a bit sanded up, small white baits are producing the goods.
Richards bay has also been fished a lot, with Blacktip sharks, big Diamond rays and some very impressive Shad being the most commonly caught.
Lower down the coast at Mtunzini the game was on with countless catches of Diamond Skates and Brown Rays. This is common after three days of the North East and with the winds we had last week, there were no exceptions. Some clubs managed to catch more than 5 tons of Flatfish, with certain anglers managing over one ton by themselves.
Further down at Zinkwazi, anglers had a fairly decent Grey Shark run and begun to run out of bait after their frozen bait was used up. A small Christmas tree trace baited with Mackerel scraps and Chokka tentacles was all that was needed to entice a few small Blacktail to feed, which all worked extremely well for the Grey Sharks too. This can serve as a reminder that one should always carry more bait than they expect to use rather than too little bait and end up running out. Diamond Rays and Brown rays were also a popular target species over the last week, most of which were caught on smaller baits such as Mackerel cutlet or Red eye head baits.
Tinley Mannor had some large surf conditions for a lot of the week, which meant that there was fewer anglers gracing its shores. There were however some good reports from this area which consisted off some large flatfish and also some good Blacktip Sharks.
Ballito was the spot to be if you were planning on doing a bit of spinning over the duration of last week, where plenty of Snoek were landed on spoon off most of the popular spots. There was no shortage of size either, with Mark le Roux landing a beast of a Snoek of 8,3kgs, measuring a whopping 1m long. Well Done Mark! A few others ranging between 60cm and 90cm were also landed on a variety of spoons. The Pink or Chrome spoons seem to have done most of the damage.
Blue Lagoon has seen some really good fishing recently, not really off the pier, but more along the southern stretch towards the piers. Pompano, Stumpies and Shad were on the loose and seem to have been feeding on a variety of baits too. The Piers were also fishing well and produced a number of Pompano.
Durban beachfront had a great run and saw plenty of flatfish action. A huge Grey Shark was also landed, on a grinder outfit in the Basin during the week. Some Large Diamond Rays were also landed, and although landed on stronger reels such as the Saltiga Grinders, were nice to fight in a local spot.
The Bluff started to fire again, seeing a few Kingfish and a variety of other edibles.
Further down the coast at Umkomaas there have been good reports of kingfish and other gamefish species caught on artificials off the river mouth. A few small Kob were also caught on the longer casts with baits.
Scottburgh Point fished well, seeing a few small Snoek, Kingfish and Shad on lure, with Grey Sharks being the species to note on bait. Smaller edibles have been scarce. The Transkei coast has been relatively quiet and has seen very little action with the amount of anglers traveling up north to fish.
Harbour – Some anglers have had good fishing in the Harbour on the weekend, trying to escape the rough seas off Durban. Grunter seem to be on the bite and there is no doubt that the amount of Kingfish being caught has not declined in the last week. Anglers are still flocking to the Bay to try out the light tackle fun and many have been successful, mainly early in the mornings at sunrise using small lures. Trips down in the afternoon do not need to be limited to spinning for game fish, as the same spinning gear can be used for targeting Grunter and a variety of different species off the Piers and Sand banks. The standard running trace which consists of a 1/4- 1/2oz egg or ball sinker, 10-15lb leader and a small Mustad size 4 or 6 Carp hook is utilised.
Cracker is used by the majority of the harbour fishing fraternity, due to its high success rate and the ease of use. It is not a messy bait and can be relatively easily to acquire. A permit is required, however it does not cost much and can be obtained from your closest post office. 90% of the fish species in our harbour feed on Cracker as a staple diet and will not be able to turn up the opportunity to snack on these tasty treats if used as a bait. Sardine head is a popular bait for those who wish to target Stumpies, Rock Salmon, Rock Cod and the larger Grunter. A larger hook is required for this bait, normally around a 4/0 Mustad Kendal Round or a slightly more expensive but far superior option, the Tarpon C68. Thicker leader between 20lb-30lb is preferred for the abrasion resistance against teeth, rocks and anything else that may get between you and your catch. Heavier tackle such as a size 4000 reel and heavier braided line around the 20-30lb mark will also land more of these larger species.
Ski Boat – Our Northern stretches have been relatively productive recently, with anglers catching more Couta by the day. The weather over the weekend did not plan out in the anglers’ favour, however most boats managed to launch during the week and had quite a few catches to brag about. Couta and Dorado seem to have been all over the show, allowing 99% of boats to go home with multiple catches. Most of these fish were caught on live baits, however some of the larger fish off the Cape Vidal area were caught on Rattler 150’s on the 50m mark. Marlin have not been scarce and some lovely specimens have been landed, including a variety of these beautiful species as well as a few Sailfish.
There were plenty of Yellowfin Tuna around between Richards bay and Zinkwazi, which were caught almost entirely on lures.
Anglers in Ballito had a slightly different approach and have managed to boat a few Dorado and Tuna on live bait. Less is more when targeting these fish, so eliminating as many components on your trace will end up increasing your catch rate. A straight single hook onto a fluorocarbon leader or even a size 2 or 4 Treble hook does extremely well.
Umdloti had an excellent run during the week which saw many anglers filling their hatches with fish, many of which were Tuna, Bonito and Snoek.
Blue Lagoon has seen some large Snoek, but few of them on most days, with one or two days seeing massive numbers being taken on faster moving lures.
Durban has seen masses of smaller Bonito shallower inshore and millions of smaller baitfish to go with them.
The Basin area close to Limestone reef seemed to hold many Snoek and Bonito over the last week. The best results have been seen on the outgoing tide in slightly off coloured water. Tuna and Dorado have both been caught in the deep off Durban, on live bait on the bait marks and on Konas or Rattlers off the ships. There are still plenty of Dorado around and the size of these fish is definitely increasing.
Fishing near the ships with a live bait will get a larger fish 9/10 times. All of the bait marks such as the Caissons, the Barge and the Containers have been holding some excellent Tuna up to 35kgs.
The Bluff had some good Game fishing last week, with most of the game fish species caught mainly on feathers or Rattlers. Green point and Hibberdene saw the Odd Snoek and Couta, lacking in numbers but making up for it in size. Wahoo catches have started to increase on Aliwal Shoal, having been caught on live Bonito mainly. Unfortunately, big seas made weekend anglers change plans and the usual bunch were not able to see what the Tuna were up to at Shelley beach.
Fresh water– Carp – From the start of last week reports had been horribly slow and most anglers had not heard of many catches from our dams at all. It was only by around Friday that reports started to come in thick and fast, from most of our dams. The two dams which stood out over the rest were Shongweni Dam and Nagle Dam. Both dams have a good water colour and are not dirty as many of the others are. Fish have been caught on conventional tackle and Specimen tackle right through the weekend and it is refreshing to hear of the fun that a group of children had in the shallows at Albert falls with nothing more than a simple Rietvlei trace and Almond flavoured Mielies as bait.
This is the ideal way to get fishing into a youngster as there is no way that they can deny the fun they are having! Albert falls has always been an incredible Dam for good numbers of smaller Carp to keep the family busy, whereas Shongweni and Midmar have made excellent waters for larger fish on specimen tackle.
Bass – Good to see that there is an increase in Rainfall over the KZN region recently, which is the last hope before the winter months. The dams have filled slightly and will continue to fill slowly. After the recent pollution problem, Shongweni is starting to fish well again and has seen good numbers of Bass in the 1.2-1.8kg range.
Hazelmere has still been slow but is more accessible now with the water level increasing to 35.36%. With the rising water levels, the dam will begin to clear up and fishing will be incredibly exciting once the fish begin to become more comfortable in their new surroundings. Anglers who have not already made use of the low water levels should get down to the dam and mark off coordinates for drop offs, rock piles and any structure at all in order to be successful when the dam is full. It will not take long for the fish to move back to their original territory, and targeting them in the process is easy, provided you have a contour map or a good knowledge of the contours.
Fish will follow any contour and try remain in the same depth for as long as possible to avoid pressure changes. Once the fish has found the correct location, it will move extremely slowly, vertically into the depth of water which it feels comfortable in.
Albert falls saw a lot of smaller fish being landed close to the camp sites by campers and their children, which were using small plastics such as Zoom Fish doctors and C- tails in Electric Blue or Chartreuse. A range of Mcarthy Paddle Tails has been released which is the ultimate shallow water weightless option available for a variety of conditions. Be sure to try them out in the Shallows as the water levels rise!
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