It’s that time of the year again, Shad, Shad and more Shad. At this stage, many anglers would have already started getting their traces ready and even started to catch a few of the early season Shad which have come through. With some decent size Shad making their way up the coast, we can expect an excellent season ahead of us.

Rock n Surf:

North – Kosi Bay has had kept anglers busy with the Kingies in the 2-5kg range, mostly GT’s and Blacktips. These fish are being landed on throw baits such as Chokka and also Red Eye baits. Some anglers seem to be hooking into a few of these Kingies on dropshot and spoon too. Honeycombs are still on the bite and taking bigger fleshy baits and fish heads. Some decent Bonefish have also been coming out on smaller baits, which have also been catching a few Stumpies, 3 Spot Pompano and other edible species.

Cape Vidal has still produced good catches of edibles and it is nice to see the Shad moving in in decent numbers already. Most fish being caught on drift bait and standard Shad traces with Sardine as bait. Other species at Vidal include Stumpies, Pompano and Wave Garrick. Some good catches of Lantern fish (Cave bass) and Rock Cod too.

Richards Bay has been consistent with catches of smaller Spinner Sharks and also Brown Rays on Red Eye baits. Catches of Kob are already being recorded, as well as Snapper Salmon. All of the rivers in the area are producing good fish such as Pick Handle and small Snapper Salmon.

Zinkwazi seemed to be relatively quiet over the last week however , the anglers who walked North and fished close to the rocks managed to hook into some excellent inedibles which seemed to be bigger than most could handle, seeing two or more traces being bitten clean in half.

Ballito has been staying in the game with a handful of Grey Sharks and also Brown Rays, also caught on Red Eye. Stone Bream have been caught by a few anglers using Cracker as bait. Shad have been landed in decent numbers on bait and Toby spoons. For better results, tie your 0,5mm leader directly to your spoon which results in better action and a less visible presentation. Kingfisher fluorocarbon leader will provide better abrasion resistance and virtually invisible connection between your main line and spoon.

Local – Durban has been fishing well of late, with reports of Pompano, Grunter and a decent amount of Stumpies coming out. Most fish being caught on Red Eye and Chokka, with most fish being landed at night. Good news in the form of small Kob at Umgeni River mouth, being caught on baits on the south side of the mouth at night. These fish will become more frequently caught as the water temperature drops, and our spinning enthusiasts will have loads of fun targeting these fish on McArthy dropshot and Rattlers.

The Bluff has been producing good catches of Kingies and the start of Bronze Bream has caught the attention of anglers.
South – Toti locals had plenty of fun with Shad, although on the small side, still much fun on light tackle.  Also good numbers of Brown Rays in the 2-3kg range. Most fish have been caught on sand banks in the afternoons.

Scottborough was the Grey Shark hotspot during the evenings last week, with the odd Blue Ray and Shad in numbers being landed too.

Port Shepstone saw Shad at all the deep water points, Kob at the river mouth and Bronze Bream at all the usual spots. Transkei northern spots saw good catches of Hammer Head Sharks ranging between 15-25kgs, and big Grey and Black Fin Sharks.

Port St John’s anglers got in on the action with McArthy Paddle tails and Rattlers with weighted hooks, mainly at the river mouth section. Quite a lot of nice size Grunter were caught in the river itself, some of these fish are extremely sizeable and require a little more power in the tackle to land. A Daiwa Exceler 8ft Salt Water spinning rod with a size 3000 reel is perfect for this application. A decent braid such as the Daiwa J Braid 15lb should suffice, however the 20lb would be recommended in heavy structure or rocky areas.

Harbour – Durban harbour has been a fantastic location to fish recently, as so many different species have come on the bite. The usual suspects such as Grunter, Perch and Stumpnose have all been in full force. Many anglers have been using the double hook trace with excellent results. The trace is simple, two size 6 Mustad Chinu hooks are used on a double Christmas tree trace, with a light teardrop sinker, hook shootings are 40cm. This trace can be used with two of the same baits, or even two different baits, such as Cracker on the top hook and Red Eye on the bottom hook, remember if Red Eye fillet is being used, then the bottom hook should be changed to a number 2 Mustad Red Bait Holder. The reason two larger or stronger hooks are used is to avoid the situation where the second hook catches the body of the fish and opens up, often causing the fish to come loose.

Ski Boat:

North – Sodwana has produced excellent catches of Sailfish, most of these fish have been caught on lures such as jet heads, feathers etc. and boats fishing in the 100m mark seem to be most successful. Maphelane is still providing anglers with lots of fun with Snoek, Couta and a Wahoo here and there.

Zinkwazi has been a Couta hot spot over the last week with decent reports of fish up to 32kgs. Westbrook, Seabell and Umhloti all produced excellent catches of Couta, very few of which weighed less than 15kgs, with Paddle Skis doing most of the damage in these areas.

Local – Most local anglers have got in on the Tuna action on the Barge, using live bait. The technique is simple for this style of angling. The live bait is rigged with a single 4/0 to 6/0 Mustad Hoodlum, size 4 Mustad treble or even a Mustad size 6/0 circle hook. The bait is then fed down to the desired depth and only the ratchet with a light drag is set, once the bait is taken, the Tuna should be allowed to run off the mark to eliminate any chances of a tangle with other angler’s lines. This style of angling can be done on all bait marks and wrecks. Along with the Tuna, catches of big Bonito, Couta and Queenfish can be expected.

Durban has really been on top of its game when it comes to bottom fish. Excellent catches of Rock Cod and general Reds have been seen on charters and private boats. Good catches of Geelbek and Daga have been seen from wrecks on the Bluff and even on the Barge. Live Maasbanker and Mackerel have been the bait of choice. If the bait isn’t live, try use the “flapper” bait presentation. The bait is filleted from tail up on both sides but the fillets are left attached to the head of the bait, the spine is then removed, leaving the head with two flapping fillets. The hook is fed through the mouth as normal.


Carp –
  Angling has been rather productive over the last week, with dams in the Midlands producing good catches, Albert Falls and Midmar both seeing decent fish, but there were reports of some excellent Carp at Inanda Dam too.

Shongweni has been quiet of late, but this gives is time to try out other dams such as Hazelmere and Inanda, which are all over productive. Despite the massive amounts of rain we had over the weekend, none of the dams filled up due to the fact that the rain missed the catchment areas.

Hazelmere Dam had a slight top up of a few percent but nothing major was seen.  The rivers came down in a big way and most of the smaller dams all along the coast filled up nicely.

Inanda has been the most productive Carp dam over the last week with anglers fishing very deep and very far out.  For those looking to fish deeper waters in busy public dams and have issues with boats cutting the line,  it is extremely important to make use of either a co-polymer line or a fluorocarbon line in order to keep the main line on the bottom out of harm’s way.  There are two good options for this and both are world renowned for their performance and abrasion resistance.  The full fluorocarbon option is the Siglon Basic which is available in a 300m option and the second option is the Triple Fish Co-polymer which is fluorocarbon coated and is also available in 300m lengths. If fluorocarbon isn’t for you, then the Daiwa Sensor monofilament is the way forward with its legendary performance.

Bass – Inanda Dam hosts many small club fishing competitions weekly, and most of these competitions involve Bass fishing. Reports from these organisers indicate many good catches of Bass in the Taxi Bay area, with top water action in the mornings using strike Pro Thai Sticks and Zara Spooks, and crank baits throughout the day. Cactus Point produced some lovely fish throughout the duration of last week and slowed down over the weekend with the overcast weather and cold conditions.  Most anglers decided to stay in bed and keep warm.

With Hazelmere Dam filling up slightly, anglers will be looking at paying their favorite Bass spots a visit soon, which will be fished with heavy impact lures such as Spinner baits, crank baits and big soft plastics.  Snowbee spinner blades can be added to any soft plastics to improve the vibrations given off and also increase flash and movement.  This proves deadly in dirty water as well as clean water when there are a few bait fish in the area and the Bass are feeding heavily on small Tilapia or Mosquito fish (Guppies)
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