As expected, the winds of August have taken over, leaving very few fishing days for anglers around KZN and the rest of the country. Fortunately, we have had a few good catches from die hard anglers particularly in the Transkei area and surroundings. Get your fishing done early in the week because the weekend forecast leaves very few outdoor activities as options.
Rock n Surf:
North – The entire coast starting up at Kosi Bay has had some big seas and very strong side wash. Most baits to have been casted have been towed along the sand at a rate of knots. The smaller edibles have been the only real option for most anglers, and even that has been on heavy outfits with small baits on Big Gun 1/0 and down and small Chokka baits have worked well. The only real talk of the town from Cape Vidal down to St Lucia has been quite a few smaller Shad being landed in the mornings and evenings on bait. Once again the areas which allow anglers to fish in bays have been the most targeted due to the more relaxed conditions and smaller side wash. If the side wash is affecting the drag on your Shad trace then a good option is to cut your Shad float in half to limit the surface area and limit the drag. Richards Bay Harbour has produced some very nice fish recently, probably due to the high concentration of anglers who have given the high seas a break and opted to head down to try out some Harbour fishing. There have been Garrick on the bite, Kob, big Grunter and also some good size Shad. The surf side of things has been a bit slow with the sea being on its head. Worse seas expected in the weeks to come, as expected for this time of year, so get your Harbour tackle ready. Tugela had some smaller edibles in the big sea, small Shad on bait and a few Snapper Salmon on small baits in the evenings. Very few Garrick have been reported, probably due to the lack of anglers in the area. Ballito produced some good Sharks earlier on in the week including a few Kob on throw baits. The cold up dwelling of water along our coast has made for difficult and unpredictable fishing. Smaller baits have worked better in the bigger seas and strong side wash. Very bloody baits have worked better due to the turbulent surf. A good general bait will be a size 4/0 Mustad Big Gun, Glow foam dressed with a nicely beaten Chokka bait packed with Red Eye cutlets for extra smell.
Local – Umhlanga Light House area has produced a decent number of Grey Sharks and also a few Kob. Light House is known for its larger Shad at this point of the year and as soon as the sea has settled down we could expect an increase in catches from this particular area. Small live baits on top bung have always been a winning bait for the bigger fish. Blue Lagoon’s bigger seas seen towards the end of the week caused fishing to slow down substantially but the die hards held strong and ended up with a good few Shad and smaller flat fish. Durban area being the most protected from big seas and heavy side wash has seen more activity than in previous weeks. Small Grunter have been taken in large numbers, on Cracker and Chokka baits. Small Shad have been landed on most of the days on bait only, so be sure to stock up on sinkers and hooks. Heavy wash has caused many hookups in the rocks but the Bluff has been one of the more productive spots around Durban recently. Bronze Bream are coming out on most ledges, taking Prawn or Chokka baits. Shad have been few and far between but all decent in size. Black tail, Stumpies and Zebra fish have been on the bite as well.
South – Only small fish in the protection of the bay at Toti, small Shad and Black tail etc. and Grey Sharks in ones and twos. Scottborough Point has been very busy with anglers catching quite a few different species throughout the week. Lessers, Blue Rays and Grey Sharks have been taken regularly. Towards the end of the week things started to cool down as the sea gradually became more aggressive. Port Shepstone, another spot which has fished well throughout the week, with many different species being landed. Bigger Bronze Bream have been landed by many anglers. Zebra fish and some massive Black tails have been taken on Chokka baits and Crayfish baits. A larger hook such as a Big Gun 5/0 with Chokka and Crayfish has been deadly for bigger species such as Kob.
Harbour – Again we see as the sea gets big, many anglers flock to the Harbour in a desperate attempt to remain fishing. We have seen plenty charter boats launching to anchor on Limestone Reef just outside the harbour which gives each angler their 4 size-making Shad within 10 minutes of fishing. Other species which have been caught around the Limestone Reef are Kob, Geelbek, Couta and Tuna. These fish are uncommon but shows us just how close they are willing to venture inshore to feed. Of course, these fish come as a great surprise to “Backline” fisherman and prove their skills on the light tackle that is being used. Inside the harbour, the water seems to be colder than before. The Grunter are feeding well however few reports of large fish have come through. Good sized Rock Cod have been caught by a group of anglers near the mouth on Cracker baited on Mustad Mosquito #4 hooks, these hooks keep on proving themselves over and over again.
Ski Boat – There have been decent catches of a variety of game fish on the North Coast stretch between Sodwana and Zinkwazi. Reports indicate that not only were quite a few Sailfish caught, but also a few Couta and Tuna. Most of the fish being caught have been taking live Shad slow trawled over the marks. When the Sailfish and other game fish are roaming and pass the boat, it is always a mad scramble to get an outfit ready to present a bait. It is extremely important to have an outfit ready at all times. The outfit does not need to be too heavy, one should not look further than the new Exceler Oceano 4500 matched with a 7ft Exceler Jigging rod, 30lb Daiwa J Braid with Maxima 0,65mm leader tied to a Mustad size 6/0 Circle hook or alternatively a Big Gun 5/0. This outfit could be used for anything from Snoek to Sailfish due to its massive pulling power and soft action at the tip. From Maphelane down to Tugela mouth, anglers have had great fun targeting Garrick on the backline with live Shad. Be sure to take a popping rod along in order to raise the fish around your bait. At times the Garrick are one track minded and rarely leave the surf zone to feed, this is when the plug is required to draw them out towards your live baits. If this still does not get the bite, most anglers will venture into the surf zone. Remember to always have an experienced skipper that knows what they are doing in situations like this. Even if you are not the skipper, keep an eye on the swell rolling in, two sets of eyes are better than one.
Local – Big seas off Durban have meant very few launches recently. Anglers who did manage to launch had been picking up Tuna, Yellowtail and a variety of bottom fish deeper off Number One and surroundings.
South – South Coast anglers have reported plenty of Tuna around the Bluff through to Toti. These have been caught on feathers and also on shallow diving Rattlers. In the deep we have heard of excellent catches of Geelbek and bigger Rockcod. Further down the coast there have been good Cracker and Soldiers.
Carp – Fluctuating pressure systems have set the Carp into lock jaw recently, so very few catches of larger fish have been seen throughout the province. The weekend’s massive cold front should see many anglers either with large fires at the dam with a flask of something hot, or at home in bed. Inanda Dam has historically been very productive in the colder weather, which has been evident up till this day. Over the weekend Inanda was probably the most productive dam in Natal with reports coming in from a few different groups of anglers. Albert Falls has been slow in the shallower sections but near Kyalami Bay there have been a few fish biting. In the Kyalami Bay section, remember to kit yourself out for battle as there is plenty of underwater structure, Daiwa Sensor 15lb nylon will be a good match for the task.
Bass – Albert Falls Bass anglers will be frothing at the mouth in anticipation for this weekend’s Classic, which should be interesting with the Dam being on 26%. Remember your jackets, it is an extremely cold time of the year to fish and early mornings on the water need to be enjoyed in warm clothing. Daiwa has a great range of jackets for all needs, whether it is just for wind breaking or extreme bitter cold. The areas surrounding the exposed ridge at Albert Falls have been very productive over the weekend and has seen some nice fish throughout the week. This is a very popular spot in the tournament so one should scan the entire area with a Sonar and GPS to find more secluded spots which will not feel the pressure on the days of the Classic.
Trout – Going into a very productive time of year where the Trout feed aggressively and methods of retrieval are important for that larger fish, we will talk a bit about stripping methods. There are many different ways to strip a fly, and a general rule of thumb is that one should give their fly as natural an action as the food source which they are trying to imitate. For winter, a wooly bugger can imitate many kinds of insects. Dragonfly Nymph, Minnows, Leeches, Tadpoles etc. A Dragonfly nymph propels itself with a jet of water from its abdomen, from reed to reed. This imitation will require a fast short strip. They can also remain perfectly still on a reed, then dart off at the sign of predators, so do not be scared to “dead stick” your bugger for short periods of time. For this method, a not weighted fly is preferred. Beaded heads require a faster retrieve so to stay off of the structure which can snag your hook. Dry flies are generally an imitation of an insect that has settled on the water against its will. An erratic twitchy short strip retrieve can work, as well as a switch- pause method. The pause is very important as it gives the fish time to investigate its potential meal.
On the 1St August 2016, The Kingfisher started their “Biggest Shad Competition”. This year it will be run over a two month period, August and September, with three prizes each month. The heaviest Shad for each month will receive a Daiwa SL 50SHK Reel, valued at R2, 145.00, the second heaviest Shad will receive a 13’6” Kingfisher Coastline Medium, three piece, 4-6oz Graphite Rod, valued at R1, 389.00, and third heaviest Shad will receive a Daiwa AG 6000 Reel valued at R769.00. Please note that all Shad (fresh) must be weighed at either, The Kingfisher, 53 Hunter Street or Tackle Centre, Old Fort Road or The Fishing Tackle Shop, Warner Beach during trading hours. Please remember there is a bag limit of four and the minimum size is 30cm and that the season closes 30th September, re-opens 1st December 2016.
The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Tuesday 8:30 to 17:00 and Saturday 8:00 to 13:00. Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to www.facebook.com/thekingfisherdaiwa and “Like” us on Facebook to catch reviews, videos, fishing reports, great promotions and lots more.