With a definite chill in the air, many anglers would have felt the urge to stay in bed over the last few days, which could have been a huge mistake. Fishing over the last week has been great, not only from the surf but also from the boats and skis, which there were plenty of on the water recently. With a nice gap in the weather, fishing was hard to pass up, and reports definitely showed that it was worthwhile to get up early and head down to the water.
Rock n Surf:
North – Kosi Bay Lakes have been relatively quiet of late, with catches of game fish slowly starting to dwindle. Apart from a few smaller Kingfish and Pick Handle being caught on spoon, there were very few reports across the lakes for game fish. Grunter in the lakes have been feeding well, some up to 5kgs have been caught in Lake 1 on Cracker. Kosi Bay had some good fish on the surf side, some lovely Kingfish and other smaller game fish, for those who have been spinning in the mornings and afternoons. Anglers targeting larger fish such as Honeycombs and Sharks have found themselves struggling a bit, with only a handful of reports coming in.
St Lucia has seen lots of edible fish such as Stumpies and Shad on bait, the latter of which seems to be the main target species at this stage and will continue to be until closed season close to the end of the year. On spinning gear, many wave Garrick and Kingfish have been caught on small baits and on lures. Light spinning outfits are incredibly fun to target these species on.
Richards Bay has had anglers bending with Brown Rays, Spinners and the odd Sand Shark. Most fish being landed on Red Eye and Chokka baits or slightly larger Mackerel baits.
Zinkwazi had a good number of anglers targeting inedibles, with little luck. The fun started when the Shad came on the bite and had anglers catching fish for hours.
Ballito has seen the odd Grey Shark and Brown Ray, caught on Mackerel head and Chokka baits. Bonefish have also been seen feeding on the sand banks close to the shore by Spear fishermen.
Local – Umhlanga Light house has also seen a fair amount of fish, caught on Red Eye and also on Sea Lice. Durban has fished well over the last week, with numerous reports of decent fish being landed particularly off Blue Lagoon and off the beachfront near the Snake Park. Pompano have been landed on Sea lice as well. Lots of small Shad off the beaches and piers.
South – Toti has had incredible seas for swimming but poor seas for fishing. Clean water and flat seas have made for poor fishing but the odd Shad and even a Kob or two have been landed.
Scottborough has produced some nice Blue Rays and Grey Sharks, with the odd Sandy being landed at night.
Port Shepstone anglers had fun over the last week with Hound Sharks and Blue Rays in the late afternoons and into the evenings. Bronze Bream have been landed during the day, with most of the popular points working. There have also been many Shad around in most of the south coast areas.
Transkei has seen many edibles such as Rock Cod, Bronze Bream and Zebras, all caught on smaller baits. The use of Mustad Chinu size 2/0 has increased the amount of fish being landed since the growth in popularity over the last year. This hook is strong, sharp and perfect for Prawn baits.
Harbour – Durban Harbour is a very interesting location to fish in our winter months, as we have an influx of cold water species which come into the Bay from the South Coast. These species include our 2 most popular and most targeted winter species, Kob and Garrick. Because Garrick prefers turbulent surf conditions which they hunt well in, they do not move into the Harbour for long. There is often a 3 or 4 week period in which these fish can be targeted on live baits such as small Shad and Maasbunker. One could also try their luck with small lures such as Strike Pro Thai Sticks and Halco Rooster Poppers. Kob and other Silver Salmon species such as Half Kob, Snapper Salmon and even Geelbek have been noted to move into the Harbour during winter, but the most commonly caught is the smaller, more abundant Snapper Salmon. Kob have been known to take any bait from Cracker to live bait but will prefer a Sardine fillet or Sardine head. For those who would like to target these fish on artificials, a 4 or 5″ McArthy Paddle Tail will work well at night or in low light conditions. Other species that we land during our warmer months do not go off the bite during winter, they only slow down and some may argue that winter fishing in the Harbour is just as productive. So get your Harbour tackle ready and enjoy winter angling in the Harbour, but remember your jackets and buffs! Climate Sports Scarves are now available in a much warmer, thicker option which will make a huge difference when fishing at night in winter.
As most of you will know, Durban Ski Boat Club hosted the annual Durban Ski Boat Festival over the weekend, which is one of the largest and most prestigious angling events on the country. Prizes are awarded for heaviest Tuna, Dorado, Wahoo and Snoek, but the main prize being a Seacat 520 rigged out and sporting two Yamaha 60hp 2 stroke motors being awarded to the angler weighing in the biggest King Mackerel of the competition. The main results for the main prize are as follow-
1 Gerhard Blignaut Couta 28.15
2 Rowan Coleman Couta 26.20
3 Pat White Couta 24.45
4 Henry Landman Couta 24.40
5 Henry Landman Couta 24.35
6 Dwayne Boshoff Couta 24.00
7 Kevin Coull Couta 22.80
8 Justin McCabe Couta 22.55
9 Henry Mitchel Couta 22.10
10 Guy Milstead Couta 21.95
11 Neil Barnes Couta 20.95
12 Mike Longhurst Couta 20.70
13 Jan Faul Couta 20.35
14 Jeff McKenzie Couta 20.30
15 Peter Flanagan Couta 20.20
Junior: Frans Badenhorst Couta 16.85
Second Junior: Luke Nielson 17.75
Ladies: Fahmida Shaik Couta 13.50
Junior Lady: Courtney Aspden 12.65
Dorado: Leighton Green Dorado 6.80
Queenfish: Barry Vincent Queenfish 10.85
Tuna: Kyle Walsh Yellowfin 26.70
First lady other Fish: Ursula Nortjie Yellowfin 25.65
Species Landed Total Weight Avg Weight
Couta 87 1296 14.9
Bonito 10 58.75 5.9
Yellowfin 12 214.8 17.9
Queenfish 6 54.1 9.0
Dorado 1 6.8 6.8
Total 116 1630.45 14.1
As one can see from the results, the fishing was excellent. There was a good amount of by catch, which came in all shapes and sizes, ranging from Rock Cod to Marlin and Sailfish. The Competition was delayed by one day due to rough seas, and carried over to the Monday which proved a popular move and was accepted by most.
On the North Coast, fishing was relatively slow and reports from the Cape Vidal and St Lucia areas were bleak. The fishing only improved from Zinkwazi and South, where the Couta started to feed very well. The catches extended through to the lower south coast where the fish seemed to be slightly smaller but abundant none the less. Bottom fishing has improved heavily and many anglers are beginning to see good catches of Geelbek and Daga, along with the other usual winter suspects. Bait is plentiful and using these live baits in the deeper waters has managed to increase the catch rate of the larger species.
Bass – Angling in South Africa is steadily growing in popularity and over the last few years has seen a vast number of anglers converting from other forms of angling such as Ski boat and Rock and Surf fishing. As the price of living goes up and the price of fuel increases, salt water angling becomes too expensive for some. Most anglers are in this situation, with their passion for fishing have opted to move over to fresh water angling, and it is with no doubt that Bass fishing is the most exciting form of fishing this side of Jozini. Dams such as Albert Falls, Inanda, Midmar, Shongweni and Hazelmere are all within an hour’s drive and over the years have provided anglers with some of the best Bass angling our country has to offer. So why not give it a try, nothing beats a day at the dam with the family.
Inanda Dam has recently fished well, with Taxi Bay and Donkey Bay producing fairly decent fish on crank bait. Early mornings in the cold have been producing good top water bites particularly near the dam wall area and Durban Bay.
Albert Falls has seen its fair share of Bass anglers over the last week, with the slight water level rise attracting the attention of anglers far and wide. Albert Falls has been known for its explosive fishing on the rise of the water level, and we have experienced only a percentage of what it can be like, which is getting many anglers excited for the months to come where hopefully we will be getting more rain and a full dam. Many reports of fish being landed on weightless flukes, trick worms and McArthy paddle tails, fished amongst the reeds and long shallow drop offs. Crankbaits however, still seem to be the winning recipe.
The current Dam levels are as follow- Albert Falls: 33, 43%, Inanda: 76, 87%, Midmar: 45, 83%, Hazelmere: 43, 41%.
Carp: Fishing at Shongweni Dam has been quiet for the past few months but now that the water has been clearing up a bit and colder months are arriving Carp have started coming out again on tiger nuts with a particle mix as feed. Bites aren’t too frequent but fish are coming none the less.
Persistent anglers are being rewarded with massive Carp all around Inanda Dam. Big baits in deep water for long periods of time have been producing the bigger Carp in the 8kg range have been coming out a lot more often on smaller baits and mouse trapping in shallower water. Baits used are mostly boilies of around 18mm to 26mm for the bigger Carp and particles for the smaller 8kg Carp
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