Fishing seems to be picking up slightly from our previous report, but certain areas have still been extremely quiet and have seen very little action over the last week. Some areas have been far more productive and have given anglers hope for the following weeks.
Rock n Surf:
North – Some big seas stopped most fair weather fishermen from taking part in their weekend rituals at Kosi Bay, with only smaller edibles being landed by the die hards braving the big seas. Some bigger Bonefish have been landed in the area on small Chokka baits.
Lots of edible fish have been landed in the Sodwana area, mostly Stumpies but also plenty Kingies, Bonefish and Shad. Most of these edible fish have been caught on small Red-Eye belly and Chokka mix baits. The Sand Sharks up to 6kgs that have also been landed were caught on Chokka baits and also whole Red -Eye.
Excellent reports have been coming in from anglers using Mustads C68 Tarpon hooks which have been used on small to medium sized throw baits. With an unbelievably sharp point and strength to match, these hooks are quickly becoming a favourite amongst Rock and Surf anglers as well as Ski Boat anglers.
Anglers around St Lucia have been bombarded with Shad of all sizes. Three Spot Pompano have also been plentiful and being caught on Prawn baits.
Richards Bay experienced big seas most of the days last week and has had poor fishing. The bay itself however, has been more successful and reports of good catches of Kingies and Grunter have been coming through.
Tugela was kind to anglers in the beginning of last week, before the big seas rolled in. Garrick as well as Kob came out on live Shad slide baits and also McArthy paddle tails.
Lots of bait was present at Zinkwazi during the week, which comprised mainly of Red-Eye Sardine and Mackerel. Fishing was good and many edibles and a few Sharks were landed, but mostly in the late evening.
A few lucky anglers have been able to land some Garrick during the week in the Ballito area. For the non edibles anglers, there was good fun to be had with the Grey Sharks which have been around 8kgs.
Local – Blue Lagoon has been a bit of a rough area to fish, especially over the weekend, where the sea conditions went from bad to worse. The anglers who fished in the calmer conditions hooked into a few nice Shad and some other smaller edibles including Stumpnose, Threadfin Mullet and Lesser Sand Sharks.
Our Piers in and around the Durban have produced small Rays and Sand Sharks and hundreds of Shad. Most fish have been caught on Sardine and many Shad on Falcon spoons as well. Toby spoons have also worked extremely well as they cast much better and have plenty of action. Most anglers will look into changing the original treble hooks out for single hooks especially when targeting Shad as they are known for tearing their own mouths apart once hooked on trebles. The best options for this replacement application are either the Mustad Kaiju inline hooks or the Mustad Tarpon C68. Both of the options given are well known for holding a point even when being dragged through the sand and over rocks and will also hold up very well to rust, not rusting at all under normal circumstances.
The talk of the town has been Durban beachfront; Addington produced plenty of Grey Sharks over the last week and mostly on light tackle as well. It’s nice to see anglers down scaling and enjoying themselves a lot more. Vetch’s Reef saw many anglers towards the end of the week and a variety of bigger edibles such as Grunter and Stumpnose were landed on Red-Eye baits. Grunter have been seen shoaling around the North Pier in large numbers. A long cast with a neatly presented Red-Eye belly will get a pull.
In these situations it is sometimes better to use an 11’6 spinning rod such as the Exceler Salt Water 11’ 6”, 3 Piece which has the ability to cast a 2oz sinker along with decent bait with ease. The lighter rod will allow for better bite detection and also will be more forgiving on hook pulls whilst fishing with braid, not to mention, much better fun.
The Bluff seems to have gone a bit quiet over the last week with fewer Shad being caught and only on the high tide. The Kingies seem to have gone off the bite for the time being but reports of sightings in the shallows have come through.
South – With lots of up country visitors, the Inyoni Rocks area around Toti has been very busy. Not many fish have been caught despite the crowds. Shad and Grey Sharks have been on the menu with the occasional Garrick.
Warner Beach has seen some good action over the last week, more so than many of the other spots in the area. Kob have been abundant in certain spots, taking both bait as well as lure. Some very good sized Shad have been caught on the Daiwa D Minnows in the shallows, most of which have measured at least 40cm.
At Umkomaas, Shad, Grunter and Kob have been feeding sporadically. Very nice to hear reports of Kingies in the area as well. The settling sea should see more big Shad landed.
Scottborough Point has been producing some good fish, but unfortunately lost pace into the bigger seas. Shad have still been landed on spoon, and Grey Sharks on Mackerel or whole Red-Eye. Garrick have been landed on plug on a regular basis.
At Port St John’s, there have been plenty of small Kob which have been caught on McArthy paddle tails. Some seriously big Shad have also been landed on spoon as well as baits and Grunter have been landed on bloodworm in the estuaries. For the Inedible anglers, the bigger Hammerheads Sharks have been full-up and supplying hours of fun to anglers. As usual for this time of year, the bigger baits are getting the bigger pull, so don’t be scared to swim baits and also to slide whole Bonito or Yellowtail.
Harbour – Durban harbour has had a bit of a quit spell, which may have been due to the cold snap. There has not been a shortage of fish, only a shortage of large fish. There has been an increase of Stumpies on the bite and these unlike the other species, have been rather big. Anglers spinning around the Wilson Wharf area have caught a few Blacktip Kingies on McArthy paddle tails and Spanyid Maniac spoons. The Garrick have gone a bit quiet but have been replaced by Snoek in some areas. This is a highly uncommon occurrence but has been known to happen every year. The deeper channels around the Harbour Mouth are the best spots for these fish. Small spoons fished fast along the surface, fillet baits trawled along the surface and also Strike Pro Magic Minnows have always been the most productive way to target these fish when they come through.
North – Good reports of Queen Mackerel on the northern Zululand Coast have come through. Most fish have been caught on Maria Duplex lures in the natural colours, and also on small Sprat spoons. The Shad have also been plentiful and take baits if they are used for Snoek. The Daga Salmon seem to be on the North Coast stretch now, with many reports of catches on the wrecks and ledges. A whole Sardine with a Yamashita green glow squid skirt seems to be the best choice of bait. Also on the wrecks and shallow reefs have been some very nice Musselcracker which have also been eating bigger baits used for Daga.
Local – Anglers around Umhlanga have been landing many smaller Yellowfin Tuna around 5-7kgs on live baits and also on Kingfisher Rattlers. The bigger Tuna still seem to be hanging around the Dolphins and on the Barge. There have been many Bonito between the Tuna as well, some of which have weighed in at close to 6kgs. These fish often don’t survive after a long fight especially if they have been hooked badly and lose a lot of blood. This fish doesn’t have to go to waste, rather consider either using the meat for bait, biltong or even cooking if bled properly.
Snoek have been landed in ones and twos along the Durban North/Virginia stretch and have been taking spoons. Almost any bait put in the water has been eaten by Shad, which can be annoying. Consider a super-fast retrieve with a spoon to avoid being bombarded with Shad.
South – Shelley Beach and surroundings have produced a number of Yellowfin on the trawl, with lures such as Rattlers 150s and Halco Lazer Pro 160s. Bigger fish have been landed on baits but they have been far between. There are still a number of Wahoo around but due to insufficient tackle, most of these fish have been lost. Be sure to upscale on the size of your wire and to use extra strong Mustad treble hooks. Bottom fishing has been excellent with good catches of Musselcracker and also some excellent Shad.
Carp – Good catches of Carp in most of our dams have been reported. Inanda seems to be on top form as many anglers have managed to maintain an excellent catch rate over the last week. Fish of over 14kgs have not been uncommon for the specimen anglers at Inanda and the bait of choice has been 18mm boilies.
Shongweni is also producing good fish but more so in numbers than size. The Barbel have once again proved to be an issue but with the use of smaller baits and less ground feed, anglers seem to have been able to stay away from the whiskered critters.
Bass – Some excellent fish have been landed throughout the week and weekend at Inanda. Most fish have been caught on deep, slow retrieved plastics such as magnum flukes and magnum brush hogs. Any deep point or ledge has worked and anglers working the shallows have caught smaller fish on finesse worms and small Rattlers.
Albert Falls has fished well but with a shortage of larger Bass around, comes second to Inanda dam. Anglers fishing off the banks and slipways have done particularly well in the evenings on small poppers and crank baits. In winter the fish move towards any rocky area or sun bathed ledges late in the afternoon as the sun goes down. Any heavy structure heats up throughout the day and holds its heat for longer than most areas in the dam, which attracts the fish.
Shongweni has had some decent fishing towards the wall area, fishing very deep with large lures. With the aid of tungsten weights, anglers have increased their catches in the deep. The McArthy range of fresh water baits have been used extensively in Shongweni recently and have produced a number of good fish.
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