A good week of fishing with fluctuating weather patterns has passed, with a touch of chill in the air on most of the days. With more and more anglers trying to get in on the Shad, Kob and Garrick action, it is no wonder why so many fish have been landed.

Rock n Surf: 

North –
Big seas at Kosi Bay over the last week meant that a few days were unfishable. Most anglers who tried their luck had only smaller edibles to show for their efforts.

Cape Vidal, St Lucia and Maphelane were much the same, needing 10oz sinkers just to keep a bait from pulling at some spots.

Richards Bay was also relatively difficult to fish with the big seas, but had a handful of reports of Shad and small Sharks. In seas like this, there is really very little one can do to improve fishing. There are some basics that need to be followed to ensure that your bait is actually able to be located by the fish, and if these are followed then the chances of catching fish can increase significantly.

Firstly, one needs to ensure that once the bait has been cast into the desired location, it stays exactly there it lands. The best way to do this is to increase the weight of your sinker. The maximum size that your rod can handle should be used. The sinker needs to be of the 2mm wire Grapnel sort, and all 4 wires need to be bent out as wide as possible to achieve maximum anchorage. Once this is done, remember that in these rough seas there is a lot of debris in the water and it is difficult for the fish to differentiate between food and debris, unless of course the bait is larger and more smelly than usual. What is suggested is larger, bloodier baits that will increase the visibility and smell of the bait. Red Eye Sardine and Chokka for the attractive white normally works best. Now that we have covered the presentation and how to keep it in that spot, our last tip is about there to out the bait.

We know that fish do not like sand in their gills, and we know that fish enjoy moving water. In a very rough sea most of the water is “working” water and has movement, but most of it has sand in it. One needs to find the working water which has no sand churned up in it. This water is more often than not far out and either braid needs to be used, or lighter nylon than is normally used. Braid also has less resistance in the current and is easier to detect a bite with.

Zinkwazi saw slightly better seas and had a few more fishable days, still no more than a few Shad and some Grey Sharks but some fish none the less.

Shakas High Rock being a high spot enabled anglers to get some Shad out, most of which were caught on bait. Smaller Blacktails were also caught. Using live bait such as Shad, there were a few larger fish landed too, including a Garrick and some nice Kob. Most of the surf zones around the Dolphin Coast were extremely sanded up and did not yield much fish at all. The odd Stonebream and Blacktail were landed on Prawn.

Local – Virginia saw a few species during the week and on the calm days, mostly Shad and a Stumpnose or two. Most fish being landed early in the morning.

Blue Lagoon had Shad catches by the thousand before the big seas came through, with the beginning of the week being the most productive days when the sea flattened a bit.

Durban Piers had a few die hard anglers braving the spray and waves to get their share of Shad. Reports of a few Geelbek caught from North Pier give us hope for the weeks to come. Our beaches have produced very few fish over the last week but again, only due to the condition of the sea. With excellent weather predictions for the next week or so, more fish will be seen by anglers in the Durban area.

Anglers from far and wide have all managed to have fun on the Bluff with Shad on bait and spoon. Although the sea was big, anglers still managed to find some fishable spots. Most Shad have been taken on Falcon spoons. Anglers have used the gold Falcon spoons in the dirty water and the silver spoons in the clean water with huge success.

South – Garrick were caught on live Shad slide baits in the Toti area. These fish are on and off the bite on a daily basis. Anglers persisting in one spot have been successful.

Not too many reports from the Umkomaas area. Again more Shad, juvenile Grunter and a few Kob. Most Kob have been caught on baits but the odd fish has been taken on McArthy Paddle Tails. Big seas kept most anglers off the rocks at Scottborough, but those to brave the waves had success with Shad, bigger edibles and also one or two Kob.

At Hibberdene, better size fish were landed, even in the big seas. Most Shad making size easily and many Bronze Bream as well. Kob have been landed but not as many as previous weeks. With the good weather to come, the bites will only increase.

Orange Rocks has been producing good fish, but has also claimed terminal tackle. When fishing these areas be sure to stock up on sinkers, hooks and swivels.

Garrick have been landed in numbers in the PSJ area, mainly on baits but on McArthy Paddle Tails as well which is nice to see.  Kob of the larger sizes have been landed on paddle tails and Chokka baits for the stand and wait approach and Brazen Head saw some good catches of Hammerhead Sharks.

Harbour- The norm in Durban for the anglers who can’t be away from water’s edge for longer than a few days is to head to the Harbour in the event of bad seas. That seems to have been the case over the last week as we received more reports from the harbour than normal. Grunter reports from all over the harbour have poured in and not only are there a lot of fish being landed, but the size of the fish seems to be very good as well. Art lure angling seems to be a bit slow at the moment, with only a few reports of Kingies and small Shad at the mouth. The news that we have all been waiting for is finally here. The Garrick have arrived in Durban Harbour! After many months of waiting, there are finally reports of Garrick coming out on live bait in the Harbour. The perfect spot for these fish from the banks will be around the Wilsons Wharf area close to the Cement block. For the best results, small Mullet and Maasbanker will be the best bait to use, generally pinned on a simple single hook trace or a double hook trace. Back to back Mustad Big Guns are the ideal setup for these fish.

Ski Boat:

North –
On the fishable days over last week when the swell was not up, anglers saw good catches of Yellow Fin Tuna. Many of the Tuna caught have been on lures pulled behind boats and also skis. Couta seem to have turned off somewhat and only the odd large Croc has been landed. Tuna definitely seems to be the species of choice recently.  With the sea flattening out in the next week surely we will be expecting the other species to come on the bite.

On the Dolphin Coast there have been some excellent catches of bottom fish such as Cracker, Daga and Geelbek, which and now becoming plentiful in most areas. Locally we have seen an abundance of Shad in the shallows, on the bait marks and all over the general Bluff area. These can be a nuisance when targeting bait, so make sure to stock up on Sabiki bait rigs to avoid being on the water with no live bait. Tinley Manor has had a good few Snoek in the 4kg range taking Strike Pro Magic Minnows.

Local – Blue Lagoon had some good days of Snoek fishing with fish over 5kgs being landed on Snoek traces with Red Eye fillets. Tuna over 20kgs have been seen on a regular basis and are also taking surface lures such as Strike Pro Tuna Hunters and Rattler Poppers.

South – From the Bluff down to Umgababa, over the last week saw plenty of varied bottom fish. The most productive bait thus far has still been Maasbanker live on a size 6/0 Mustad Big Gun hook.  From Hibberdene down to Transkei has seen some good catches of bigger Couta all on big live baits. Most of these fish have exceeded 20kgs.  One fish in the Port Edward area weighed in at 34kgs.

Fresh water:

Carp –
 Carp anglers will be happy with the results over the last week as good results pour in with fish up to 17kgs being weighed in.  Local Inanda Dam fisherman have had an absolute crackers a week at the dam, with fish all between 11 and 17kgs being weighed in. Most fish were landed on bigger boilies fished on margins across from the camp sites.

Albert Falls has fished slowly over the last week with only a few smaller fish being reported from Bon Accord side, and from the back of Pelican Bay.

Shongweni has been fishing well with smaller fish but with many Barbel in the 2-4kg range taking over the swims. These Barbel can be fun on light tackle, if they are a target species.  If Barbel becomes a problem, move on to another spot, due to the food being scarce in winter, when the swim is discovered by Barbel, they will take advantage and eat everything in their paths.

Bass – In general, most of our anglers in Natal have gotten used the winter style of fishing, targeting these fish in deeper water and using larger, bulkier lures. Most successful anglers have fished with deep diving crank baits, large Senkos, Jigs and lures alike.  Areas which normally fish well in winter at a dam such as Albert Falls are spots like the Ridge, the dam wall, the drop off at Ken’s Trees, the river bed towards the back of Pelican Bay etc. Inanda fished slowly over the last week in the bitter cold, but picked up on the weekend, with reports of bigger fish being landed near Taxi Bay and many smaller fish at Cabbage Patch. Small lures such as swimming fluke Jr’s fished in the shallows got good results with the small fish.  Areas which fish well at Inanda are the Ridge (which is now exposed), the drop off on the north bank of Taxi Bay, the cliffs, Cactus Point and also the river mouth stretch.  Albert Falls has been doing well over the last week and saw many anglers. Large lures such as dd22’s and heavy Carolina rugged lizards, brush hogs and Senkos seem to be getting a bigger bite.

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