Much cleaner waters all round for our KZN anglers over the last week which was much needed after the hugely dirty waters that were brought down from the rains experienced recently. Although the water was clean, strong currents made it tricky but all in all, a productive weeks angling, from the shore and from the Boats.

Rock n Surf:

North – Some lovely Kingfish were landed on a live Wave Garrick and other live baits at Kosi Bay last week, and it is nice to hear that these fish were released to fight another day. There has also been news of Bonefish which cannot leave the smaller Prawn or Chokka baits alone. A Chokka tentacle with Prawn mix on a Mustad Big Gun size 2/0 works wonders for these fish and other smaller edibles. Very clean water at Kosi Bay and Cape Vidal has had lots of small reef fish such as Snapper, Cave Bass and Rock Cod which are falling victim to fish baits such as Red Eye and Mackerel combined with Chokka. An abundance of Eel-Tail Barbel and Fish-Tail Barbel also taking any bait that hits the water. The Eel-Tail variation being the better of the two for the table, and although considered a nuisance, are tasty treats.

Richards Bay is still fishing well having seen many Shad which have been fairly large and most fish being landed on fleshy fish baits.

Tugela seemed to be the most productive spot over the last week, producing excellent numbers of Kob on bait and also on paddle tail. Due to the decent conditions over the last week and weekend.

Ballito saw many anglers on its shores. Most fish being landed were Shad that were targeted off the rocks. Late evenings and night time angling seemed to be the more productive times to fish. Spinning enthusiasts hooked into some good sized Snoek and also a few good Kingfish.

Local – Blue Lagoon anglers had fun on bait, caching a variety of species including Shad and Sharks.

Durban Piers have had a surprise with species recently, with a massive range of fish ranging from Blacktail to Grunter, Sharks and everything in between. Shad have moved through in numbers and more anglers seem to be landing these fish by the day. With the colder water have come the Sand Soldiers, eating many baits being cast into the deep. These small Reds make excellent live bait or even cutlet baits.

Bluff anglers seem to be getting it right, with reports of decent fish being more and more regular by the day. Live bait anglers have been hooking into good sized Kingies up to 8kgs. Most anglers have been using Mustad Hoodlum 8/0 hooks, or two 6/0 tied back to back for their sheer strength when fishing these Kingies, as it’s more of a “hit and hold” approach. The hooks slightly thicker shank also means less fish will be lost due to hook pulls, as the thicker shank does not tear though as easily.  Anglers have also been landing a fair amount of Bronze Bream on Prawn and Chokka baits. Time to visit the fresh water section at your local tackle shop and stock up on aniseed or banana flavored dips for the winter; Bronze Bream tend to prefer flavored bait.

South – Isipingo Beach is a relatively unpopular spot compared to some of the favourites along our shoreline, but anglers have impressed most with the size of Shad there over the last week, these are the first of many to come in the upcoming months. After last year’s Garrick smash, we can only hope for Isipingo to produce again this winter. This weekend seems to be settling down somewhat so we will hopefully see more good fish being landed.

Warner Beach and Toti fished well for the select few who spent the hours on the water. Anglers landed Grunter, Pompano and Bronze Bream in numbers using Cracker, Chokka and Prawn baits.

Umkomaas through to Scottborough saw dozens of Juvenile Grunter, the Odd Pompano, Shad and Kob were plentiful in certain spots.

Closer to Scottborough, Grey Sharks and Blue Rays have been landed in the late afternoons. Transkei northern areas saw Kob, in decent sizes too, Garrick and Pignose Grunter. McArthy paddle tails fished slowly down deep seem to be getting a better bite. Garrick has been landed on live baits but is now being successfully caught on dropshot as well. For Garrick on dropshot, one is able to downsize on the braid as these fish are not dirty fighters and will not try cutting the angler off on the rocks. Gatorbraid 26lb or Daiwa J-Braid 20lb is more than sufficient and will allow for a much better cast than the standard 33lb or 40lb used for Kob and Kingies.

Harbour – At the moment, there are hundreds of undersized Grunter in the bay, which although can be menacing, can provide hours of fun on ultra light tackle. Remember, these smaller fish tend to swallow the hooks, resulting in the inability to remove them as we normally would from the lips. When this happens, be sure to cut the line as close to the fish as possible. Do not try ripping the hook out as this will kill the fish. If the line is cut, the hook will eventually rust out or the fish’s body will excrete the hook in its own time. Another way around the smaller fish is using a bigger hook such as the Mustad Chinu size 1/0,  Red Bait Holder or even Big Gun which can accommodate a bigger, more versatile bait such as Red Eye head, fillet or cutlet. This will not only catch a wider variety of winter fish, but also be more difficult for the smaller fish to swallow.

Ski Boat:

North – Although reports of unsettled sea from our North coast, a fair amount of boats managed to launch, and return with fish too. Most fish being caught include Couta of the larger variety, caught in a depth of 30m or less. These have been landed on live bait with sparse dusters or even just green beads due to the clean water having moved in. In this clean water extra precaution is to be taken when tying leaders. An extra-long fluorocarbon leader of 8m or more should be used, of plus minus 0,60mm. This will increase bites drastically. Other species include Sailfish, Tuna and Wahoo, also caught on live bait and Rattlers 160 Shallow divers. Zinkwazi is on fire with the Couta at the moment and reports of fish between 15-25kgs have been common.

Local – The Tuna have been less plentiful than expected, which is a change from last year in these months. Westbrook and surrounding areas have been fishing really well and have seen the Lion’s share of Couta recently, which have all been over 10kgs. Many larger fish around the 20kg mark have been taxed by Sharks close to the boat; however there have still been some good reports of these fish being landed. One of Durban’s better seasons over the last few years and what is surprising is the amount of larger fish being landed on the Fishing Skis. Over the last week a few Tuna over 15kgs were reported being landed off Skis around the Umhlanga Barge or Containers. Although the Sharks have been an issue, anglers are still getting their trips worth by passing the Barge. Once again, clean water calls for fluorocarbon. Couta have been a popular catch over the last week too, seeing many an angler through their dry spells.

South – Aliwal Shoal is still the number one Wahoo supplier this time of year and more have been landed on the last week on live Bonito. There has been an abundance of bait offshore and the fish seem to be holding tight to the bait shoals, following the blue and warmer water.

Fresh water:

Bass –
Inanda Dam has been fishing extremely well lately, two Bass have been reported close on the 4kg mark, one caught on a Spinnerbait near Donkey Bay along the reed lines and the other during the week from the lower end of the dam close to the Durban Bay area on a fluke. A number of smaller fish have also been caught in the same areas on similar lures. Albert Falls has seen plenty of action with fish up to 1,8kgs in the shallows; most reports of fish caught have been on soft plastics. Hazelmere is on its way up again after the rains, seeing the dam rise to 47, 37% at the moment, submerging most structure that was exposed during the drop. lt is a good time to make use of your knowledge of the structure and take advantage of the marks that you have saved mentally when the water level had dropped. Although the water is low, fish are still being landed and is improving by the day as the water level rises. With the water being muddy, one needs to remember to use high impact lures to make the best of the conditions.

Carp – Most anglers will be planning their annual trip away to their favourite dam at this stage of the year. When planning a trip away for an extended period, make sure you take sufficient ground feed and hook baits. We heard of a group of anglers who fed a spot for 3 days and on the 4th day, landed two fish. After that the Barbel moved in and they could not get another Carp out. Examining the dam later on that day, the anglers noticed Carp swimming in the shallows, and feeling on their doorstep. On inspection of their bait stocks, they realised that they had ran out of feed and could not create another swim. Small things like this can ruin a trip, so make sure you take extra, as it will never go to waste. Inanda has fished well, seeing Carp over 10kgs on a more regular basis now, with some very nice fish up to 13kgs being taken on the weekend from a private spot near Barbel Bay.

Albert Falls has had decent numbers of smaller fish up to 3kgs, mainly on conventional tackle and in the Kyalami Bay area. Most anglers who have attempted to fish for Carp off the boats have struggled slightly and have moved from spot to spot in attempt to find the fish. Albert Falls can be a tricky dam to fish if the fish are not biting. The best bet is to fish a bay where there is more surface activity than others, feed the areas accordingly and hope for the best.

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