More good news from the KZN Coast from last week’s angling, during the competition angling as well as social angling. The boats had a great time locally where bait balls were the main target areas, holding thousands of fish including Tuna, Snoek, Wahoo and Sailfish. Many anglers are having a well-deserved break after some good fishing, and will be preparing for the decent upcoming weather.


Rock N Surf:


North – Due to the big seas at the beginning of last week and towards the end of last week, very few anglers attempted what they do best. Most anglers who braved the points hooked into a few Shark species such as Black Fin and Spinner Sharks.


Cape Vidal fished relatively well for the conditions that were experienced, most of the angling being done on the days that permitted sliding and light sinkers to stay put. With decent weather and sea conditions predicted for this weekend, Vidal should be good to go. With the sea being as flat as it is currently, sliding bigger baits for those bigger Black Fin, Zambezi’s and Spinners Sharks will be much easier.  Due to the presence of Shad, bait should not be an issue, as there aren’t many fish that could turn down a juicy Shad cutlet or Shad head. For a bigger bait, try a Shad flapper bait, with the fillets cottoned onto the head, this is also a great bait for a variety of bigger flat fish species such as Sand Sharks, Honeycomb and Diamond Rays.


At Richards Bay It has been a very long time since one could say that the Spinner Sharks have been “out of control”. After what the Richards Bay locals experienced over the last week, “out of control” seems only to be an understatement. Every Chokka bait to hit the water was scoffed by these Spinner Sharks. In between the Spinner Sharks, the odd Brown Ray, Sand Shark and Diamond Rays was landed, but obviously due to the abundance of inedibles, the edible species that have been present over the last month or so have been elusive with only a handful being landed. What happens in most of these areas that usually hold a good concentration of edible fish is when a bigger shoal of Sharks move in, they will clean an area out, they will herd fish into gullies, troughs, behind sand banks etc. and they will not stop feeding until there are no more fish to feed on. Sharks are known to feed until the point of regurgitation, and then feed further.


The Spinner Sharks have moved down to Ballito and Salt Rock areas, and are being caught on Chokka baits, Red Eye baits and Shad cutlets. There have been some Shad off most of the beaches and points, but mostly undersized. Still good fun for the kids on light tackle with spoons.


Salt Rock has been producing some nice Kingies, which probably came on the bite due to the rise in water temperature. Most of these fish were landed on Prawn and Chokka baits that were thrown for fish like Bronze Bream and Blacktail. These King Fish can also be caught on spoon and dropshot, and when they are really on the bite, nothing can beat this style of angling! McArthy 3 and 4″ Jerk Shad and even Paddle Tails will work very well. The warmer water has kept the Brown Rays in the area, and are taking Chokka/Red Eye baits and cutlets readily.


La Mercy produced a good few Juvenile Sand Sharks and Browns prior to the winds and rain, also caught on bloody throw baits. More and more anglers have been seeing excellent results using bait boats, particularly with Black Fin Sharks which generally feed slightly deeper and take big baits such as Bonito and whole Mackerel. These fish are extremely aerobatic once hooked and nothing less than 1mm leader should be used, Kingfisher offers a great range from 0.5 up to 1.0mm that has extremely good abrasion resistance, low stretch and low visibility, for a fraction of the price of Flourocarbon. Maxima Leader material is also now available at leading tackle stores in diameters between 1,00mm up to 1,50m.


Local – Blue Lagoon is a bit quiet at the moment, which is probably due to the conditions worsening. Not to worry, as conditions have already seen improvement and by the end of the week fishing should be back to normal again. The Shad have been present towards the end of the week and are being caught mainly on lures and spoons.


The Durban Piers are still providing our anglers with some Pompano and Grunter, on Sealice and Prawn baits. These fish can be fussy so try downsizing on the hook to improve your chances of hook-up. Many 3 Spot Pompano and Southern Pompano have been landed on Sealice from our more protected beach fronts. Most fish have been landed on small hooks but a 2/0 Mustad Big Gun is suggested due to the fact that bigger fish have seen and if a bigger Stumpnose finds its way to a smaller, weaker hook then most of the time the hook will be opened or crushed. This hook also works very well with Sealice to make a well presented bait.


South – Grey Sharks have been landed at Toti, mainly in the evenings, and on live baits. There are plenty of bait fish in the bay which will draw the game species in towards the end of the week. Snapper Salmon have made their way down the coast again to Scottborough, providing may an angler with some good fun and tasty dinner. During the Westerly wind, the Grey Sharks and Browns seemed to have been caught more than during the East winds. From Scottsborough through to Port St Johns, Bronze Bream, Blacktail, Wilde Perd (Zebra fish) and shad have been on the bite, with the odd Hammer Head Shark.


Harbour – The Durban Harbour has seen very little action lately but has been fished far less this week than before. A definite change in Sunrise and Sunset times can be seen, which is a clear indication that winter is on its way, which will be good news for some, as we can start to prepare for the winter species moving through, particularly the well anticipated Garrick run which keeps anglers coming back for more and more. For those who enjoy light tackle fishing for Mullet, then winter is the time to start fishing. The larger Mullet move into the Harbour and feed on Sardine chunks and bread on small hooks fished on the surface. A fly rod and 4″ KP would be the traditional outfit to use when targeting these fish, however the new generation can be found using a light action rod such as the Daiwa Crossfire 7ft light action rod with a small size 2500 reel such as the Daiwa Laguna. These steam trains have more than enough power behind them to keep an angler busy for a while, but make sure to use extremely sharp hooks such as the Mustad Mosquito hook or carp hooks, and ultra-light line in order to avoid pulling hooks during the fight.


Ski Boat:


Ski Boat angling started off relatively slowly last week, with only a few fish being landed at Maphelane, Vidal and off Durban. It didn’t take much to get the Ski Boaters on the water and towards the end of the week and over the weekend, many fish saw the gaff, mainly at Cape Vidal and St Lucia.  Good catches of Wahoo and Couta were seen at St Lucia, mostly caught on strip baits and live baits.


Just a tip for the Wahoo- when using lures and live bait in an area which is known to produce Wahoo or has been producing Wahoo recently, all lures and live baits should be fished with steel trace. Wahoo have some of the sharpest teeth in the ocean and will not hesitate to bite straight through even 1mm Flourocarbon. For diving lures such as Rattlers, a minimum of No. 6 wire should be used, and on Kona’s and surface lures, no less than 150lb Carbon Coated wire. Don’t take a chance, because even a Wahoo of 10kgs will give you a fight that you would not want to miss out on!


Due to the “up and down” seas over the last week in Durban, anglers have had to be fussy about launch days, luckily the sea became very fishable on Thursday and Friday and also saw Sunday being an incredible day. The weekend was touch and go, but ended up being fishable, As many of the websites indicated big winds as a false alarm, and those who could not resist a launch and made the attempt to get out of bed at 3am, were very pleased with what was offered to them. Boats saw Wahoo, Tuna, Couta, Snoek and Sailfish all over the Ballito, Westbrook, Umdloti and Umhlanga area. Poobal Govender managed to pull off a win at the Westbrook Ski Boat Club Monthly Mug with a haul of Wahoo and Tuna which were all caught on shallow diving lures along the Umdloti stretch. Tuna were caught by the shoal and Dorado surprisingly enough were still coming out in dribs and drabs.


The Snoek were in full force at first light off Umdloti where they seemed to be feeding heavily on the shoals of Anchovies in the water; most of these Snoek were caught on small Rattlers, Strike Pro Magic Minnows and small spoons such as the popular Anchovy spoon. A few boats also had fun with spoons at a few of the rips off Hyper.


Bottom fish off Toti, Warner Beach area saw plenty of action, with most of the fish being Reds and Rock Cod on the bottom fishing trips. South Coast anglers found themselves puzzling for Amberjack and Yellowtail, which were slow to bite but present none the less. Good trawl soldiers in the deep, the odd Daga and Geelbek and also good catches on trap sticks of tuna and Wahoo.


Fresh Water:

Carp –
Shongweni had played a big role in our local Carp angling over the last 10 years of increasing popularity of Carp angling in South Africa, mainly due to the fact that it is one of our most established masses of water. Shongweni has been around for decades and is home to some of the biggest Carp landed in Natal. This is what we need to keep telling ourselves in time of desperation, such as we are going through at the moment. Shongweni, due to its mountainous surroundings, is affected heavily by the rains, heat, and temperature fluctuation. As with most of our dams in Natal, Shongweni goes through all of the threats and changes that the other dams such as Midmar, Albert Falls and Inanda do, but on a much more severe scale. Shongweni can go from crystal clear to chocolate brown in a matter of 5 hours due to rains. It can go from 25 degrees to 20 degrees in a matter of days, and this is where the current problem of algae and organic growth comes in. The rising temperatures increase the growth rate of organic growth and this growth chokes all life forms around it. It starves the water of oxygen, and limits visibility severely.

Only the odd Carp will be landed but here are a few methods to be used that will increase your chances of a fish.
– Increase the size of your baits, this will make it more visible and more    appealing to the Carp.
– Add more flavouring such as Super Cast “Super Goo’d” or Korda “Goo”; this will help the Carp locate your bait in the low visibility.
– Use more ground feed, although this may attract Barbel, it will also attract more Carp.
– Fish in areas that seem to be less clouded with algae, the more visibility, the better the chance of a hook-up.
– look for action or feeding Carp on the surface and make a swim (feeding spot) in that area, these fish are obviously in that area for a reason and will be more active, feed better and be less weary.
Bass – Bass anglers visiting Albert Falls have been successful on flukes and top water lures such as Zara Spooks and Strike Pro Thai Sticks. Kyalami Bay is still the “Go-to” for slow angling, with very few anglers coming home empty handed. With the water being as low as it is at the moment, anglers have been shying away from the dam, however the fishing is extremely good at the moment and should be pursued if possible.


Midmar has been fishing better than before, seeing a good few Bass from the banks, as well as the boat. At this time of the year when visibility is low, it is easier for bank anglers to sneak up on fish in the shallows, particularly from the shore line. .


Inanda fished well over the weekend, prior to the rains, but during the week saw some slow fishing obviously due to the fluctuating pressure. Inanda saw good Carp angling and plenty of Barbel, for the guys who lean more towards the relaxed styles of angling.


Hazelmere seems to be settling and the visibility seems to be improving somewhat, however with the rains predicted for the coming days, we will be expecting to see a slight rise in dam level and a drop in visibility. The fish have remained on the bite and going into winter shortly, most of the fish will have begun their fattening up stages in attempt to put on a few pounds for the colder months.


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