A rather slow week has passed for the anglers along the KZN Coast, having received far fewer reports than last week’s chaos. Alas, the calibre of anglers who frequent our shorelines does not give up easily and with the passion that is possessed, there were still a number of locals who managed to keep the reports coming through. It is the passion that keeps this sport alive!


Rock N Surf:


North – After an extremely productive week around the KZN North Coast, anglers found themselves tapping off a bit with the seas up, and found themselves targeting a variety of species including a number of edibles.


Kosi Bay had a great run and had the local anglers landing some huge GTs in the lakes, including a GT on or around 30kgs caught by a local, using live bait. Unfortunately, many of the fish caught by the locals are not released, which urges the proposal to all anglers fishing in these areas to make an exerted effort to promote the release of all Kingfish in order to bank on a healthy supply for the forthcoming years. Every fish makes a difference.


South of Kosi Bay along the beaches, there has been a fair amount of activity along the backline which many anglers have assumed to be Sprats.  There have been larger game fish alongside these shoals of baitfish, whose smashes have been nothing short of spectacular. This activity has been present throughout the coast all the way down to Umdloti where the bait seems to have dispersed into deeper waters and have held a far greater concentration of larger game fish species such as Yellowfin Tuna.


Richards Bay harbour managed to produce some good fish over the weekend, including a number of Diamond, Honeycomb and Brown Rays. A few Grey Sharks have been seen patrolling the shallows around the banks in the harbour, which have also been caught by anglers targeting them with small live baits and also larger fleshy baits. Apart from the action in the harbour itself, the action around the Richards Bay area has been fairly dead.


The south side towards Ntunzini has been producing some good fish recently; however there have been a limited number of species available. Diamond Rays and a few Black Fin Sharks have been more or less the only available species present. A few of these larger Sharks have given anglers a hard time and it is only when this happens does the angler realise exactly how under gunned they are. When fishing in an area that is commonly known to produce quality fish, and it is one of these that you are after, be sure to kit up with the best of the best in order to avoid disappointment. High end tackle such as the Saltiga 6500 or Saltiga 8000 Dogfight may seem like overkill for these applications, however there is no substitute for the guarantee that you have utter confidence on any size fish for a lifetime worth of use.


Plenty of larger fish are also lost due to cheaper terminal tackle being used. Be sure to use the best quality terminal tackle that you can afford, as it is the difference between landing the fish of a lifetime and talking about the one that got away for the rest of your life. Good quality Mustad hooks, Power swivels, Maxima or Triple fish leader material and a good knowledge of knots will improve your odds endlessly. Another factor which will increase the chances of you landing your dream catch is to ensure you keep your tackle serviced and cleaned regularly. A service is suggested at least once every 3-6 months during times of regular use, and a coating of Spanjaard Tackle protector after each use on the rod guides as well as the reel and its moving parts. This spray does not affect the line at all, and will eliminate salt crystal build up.


Zinkwazi has seen good action in the last week, including a good Grey Shark smash and just a generally good run of Sand Sharks throughout a week.


Local – As we move down the coast, things start to calm down somewhat and by Umdloti, surf fishing tapered off to a standstill. The amount of baitfish along the backline was incredible and many anglers lucky enough to have a spinning rod with them managed to hook into a few unstoppable fish. The majority of the fish hooked were assumed to be Yellowfin Tuna, which were quick to the draw and lost either to Sharks or inexperience in a hurry. Amongst the baitfish were millions of Bonito which seem to have made up the bulk of the catches for the surf spin fishermen over the last week, with the odd Snoek coming to the party every now and then. For those who have opted for the use of bait, there have been a number of Pompano around, being caught on Prawn baits and Sealice.  Shad have been a popular target species over the last week, yielding very few results for most.  Smaller Shad just making size have made very good baits for Grey Sharks and other species such as Sand Sharks.


Umgeni River has been a hotspot for anglers catching inedibles recently; having seen some good catches in the last few weeks there seems to be an influx of anglers who have had heavy tackle out targeting Diamonds, Brown Rays and Grey Sharks.


The Durban Beaches have been quiet apart from last Friday just before the storm and even into the storm. Prior to the westerly hitting Durban, the pressure dropped substantially and turned the fish on the bite, which was shortly taken advantage of by local anglers who quickly got their rods and reels ready, popped into their favourite tackle shop on the way down to Ushaka Beach for some fresh bait and had a good time until the storm hit.


South – South of Durban had been extremely quiet lately and up to Warner Beach, hardly any reports have been received. Warner Beach has had a great run of Pompano and Stumpnose in the last week, with some of these fish weighing in at close to 7kgs.


Umkomaas was kind to spin fishermen and dealt a few Kingfish out to anglers fishing in tough conditions. Kingfisher Anchovy spoons have received a ton of praise for these catches. Many anglers are looking to throw spoons heavier than 45g, mainly in the 50-60g range in order to attain extra distance. The rod choice plays a huge factor in this is many rods which are only rated to 45g will not cope with these weights. An option such as the Daiwa Exceler Saltwater 10’6″ 3 piece  will handle just about any spoon available for surf spin fishermen and has the pulling power for those stubborn fish. Handling any spoon from around 30g up to 80g perfectly, it is also the most versatile option available for the angler who does not want to carry two or three rods to the ocean.


Scottburugh Point saw some good action over the weekend, with some Grey Sharks, Honeycomb Rays and Sand Sharks coming out in full force.  Further south in the Transkei, Shark fishing has been a dream, with multiple catches being reported all week long, ranging from Gully to Hammerhead to Grey Sharks and everything in between. These fish have been fairly large and heavy tackle is advised. Kite fishing has become quite popular in the recent months and with the correct wind, can be devastatingly productive. Many anglers still choose the failsafe method of swimming put big baits on an inflated balloon or similar inflatable device.


Harbour – With a recent influx of fresh water to the Harbour, fishing seems to have slowed down a bit, leaving deep waters around the Harbour Mouth the most productive. After a few good days of deep water fishing with Sardine baits and Cracker baits, the fish started to pick up in the shallows around the banks, which was good news for the anglers fishing around the Batt Centre Pier who had fun on light tackle.  Many anglers saw Grunter between 1kg- 3kgs all on light tackle in the Batt Centre Pier on the South side facing the Commercial Moorings. On the high tide the fish seem to be moving around a fair amount and a bait left untouched for a while should not be moved. The fish have been moving into an area and taking a while to feed. The game fish around Wilsons Wharf have been feeding well, from the boats and from the banks for the anglers fishing from the side. Small Kingfish and Pick Handle have been the most common catch. Strike Pro Arc Minnows are producing more fish than any other lure available at the moment. The Maria Fla-Pen has come in second best with its ability to outcast most other lures, getting better distance and covering more water.


Ski Boat/ Paddle Ski:


North – The North Coast areas such as Sodwana have been quiet recently, with very few boats launching. The anglers fishing off the bait balls managed to rack up the fish, with Snoek being the most frequently caught, even in the deeper water. Further down at Richards Bay, anglers have been launching on any day fishable in order to target Billfish and Tuna, and have had some excellent catches. Dorado have also been plentiful in these areas and seems to be much bigger than before. Most of the bigger Tuna which have come out over the last week have all been on live baits and have been mostly from Zinkwazi down to the Westbrook area.


Local – Some of the bigger fish have also been landed from Westbrook down to Durban, however these have been with the Dolphins using either live bait or Rattler Poppers etc. The beauty of live bait fishing is the angler is playing an open field and has the ability to fish one bait and target a variety of species at the same time. Durban has had some very good days of fishing over the last week and anglers who braved the less than desirable conditions were rewarded with some good fish.


Umdloti had everything from Dorado to Couta, Sailies and Tuna, the problem was the Sharks, but other than that, many fish were landed. In these situations anglers need to remember to use slightly heavier tackle in order to avoid wasting fish.


Number One saw some small Tuna early in the mornings and anglers who travelled to the ships caught some very nice Tuna and Wahoo.  Aliwal Shoal has produced a mixed bag of gamefish over the last week. Species like Snoek, Couta, Tuna and Kingfish have all been landed. Artificial lures produced good results in the deeper water whilst live baits produced some very nice results in the shallows. In the dirtier conditions which we have been experiencing recently, a small green duster in front of your live bait will almost guaranteed to get a bite quicker than a plain live bait.


Fresh Water:


Bass – Inanda Dam is the talk of the town at the moment with its stabilised levels and increasing visibility. Reports have given anglers an idea of what is to be expected for the weeks to come, and it seems to be lighter colour lures and low profile presentations will be more effective. Spinner baits with white, Baby Bass or even clear skirts babe been most effective.  Jerk baits with as natural a profile as possible have also been extremely effective. All of the best baits fished at the right spots in perfect conditions can still leave an angler fishless if the wrong tackle is used. Many an angler has come home empty handed wondering why he was the only one on the boat without fish, despite using the exact same baits and style as the angler next to them. The main difference between an angler who catches and an angler who doesn’t can be something as simple as line diameter, or retrieval speed. Whilst using Jerk baits, a thicker nylon will limit the diving depth of the lure as well as killing the action. In other situations, thicker nylon can be used to the angler’s advantage, by decreasing the float rate of a floating presentation. The choice of these components is often overlooked by the average angler, but can substantially increase your catch rate if time is taken to take all factors into consideration.


This report in from Alan Tonkin. “Myself and another kick-boating buddy, Dwayne Frenzel recently fished at Albert Falls (24/02/2016). There was little to no action near the Notuli Campsite area as well as the bank along from the PMB Bassmasters club. We then moved down near the Yacht Mall and in front of the dam wall where the fishing came alive. Dwayne caught a sizeable Barbell (didn’t weigh it) and a few Bass around the 1kg or less mark. I had similar success until around 2pm when the wind picked up a little and I landed a 1.6kg beauty. Fishing was tough due to extreme heat that day (35+ degrees)”. Thanks Alan for the info.


Carp – Carp anglers have been patiently awaiting the colder condition in hope of landing some large fish in the more productive dams such as Shongweni and Inanda.  There has already been an increase of catches in Inanda and Midmar Dams on specimen tackle and with the visibility of the water improving day by day, the anglers who have been using low profile and smaller baits have been getting best results.  Fluorocarbon hook links or braided hook links are essential in this clean water. Korda Goo Smoke has been a popular option in these conditions, and had been used by many a specimen and conventional anglers. Albert Falls has become more productive since last week, and many anglers have hooked into good fish along the slip weighs number two and three. Dam levels are slowly raising in most areas, again, needed water for the winter months. Albert Falls- 37,19%, Inanda- 79,23%, Midmar- 46,17%, Hazelmere- 35,06%.

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