Anglers have had better conditions to fish in over the last week, resulting in some excellent catches of edibles and non edibles, particularly in Zululand, the North Coast area and also the Umhlanga stretch.
Rock and Surf:
North – In the Kosi Bay area there are still high volumes of edible species off the surf and some very nice fish in the lakes as well. The size of the Kingfish has definitely increased over the last week or so, leaving anglers itching for more. Live baiting has been the more effective method of catching these bigger Kingies, but anglers using plugs have also managed a fish or two off the ledges. The Grunter in the Lakes are feeding on all Prawn baits, Crab, Chokka and Sardine baits.
Although the bay is pretty sanded up, there are still good catches of Wave Garrick and small Grunter in the Cape Vidal area. The water has been relatively dirty which hasn’t provided for great fishing. Hopefully within the next week or so of lighter winds we will start to see better water conditions.
Richards Bay Harbour has had some good catches of Snapper Salmon and Kob recently, all on Cracker or Sardine baits. The Grunter have remained on the bite and have been feeding well on Cracker. On the surf side, Spinner Sharks and Brown Rays have been taken on Red Eye and Chokka baits. Big surf has had an effect on productivity over the last week but the conditions are predicted to settle.
The rains along our coast have added some colour to the water in the Tugela area but anglers fishing earlier on in the week managed to catch some nice Kob on McArthy paddle tails and some of their smaller cousins, the Snapper Salmon, on small baits.
Big seas and strong side wash at Zinkwazi has kept fishing to a minimum recently. Anglers braving the conditions managed to land and release some huge Shad and also some Kob on baits. Good Cave Bass have been seen in the area too.
Ballito produced some good Brown Rays earlier on in the week, along with some bigger Grey Sharks. The bigger seas towards the end of the week caused fishing to slow down substantially.
Local – Choppy seas brought on the Brusher in the Umhlanga area, being caught mainly on Crab or Mussel baits. Remember that for fish like these with strong jaws, anglers should not compromise with the quality of tackle used. Fluorocarbon bite traces and Mustad Big Gun hooks are a must. Alternatively, a Mustad Kendal Round will do the job.
In the evenings, many anglers hooked and landed Grey Sharks on Mackerel baits. Most of these fish were caught in the evenings. From Glenashley through to about Blue Lagoon, many anglers have been catching Garrick on artificials. Plugs and McArthy dropshot has been working the best but the odd spoon has worked well too. Live bait seems to be the best option for the larger fish.
Although there have been terrible seas to compete with in Durban, anglers still made their way down to the beaches to try their luck. Most anglers on the piers hooked into nothing but Shad, and as luck would have it, extremely large Shad in the banned season. The Ushaka stretch produced Grey Sharks and Brown Rays throughout the week, mainly in the evenings and early mornings. There have been a few bigger runs but anglers were cut off on either Moyos Pier or the nets. It is nice to know that there are bigger fish in the area.
South – Not too many reports of fish from the Toti stretch, as the big seas moved in and limited fishing. Some smaller Stumpies were landed along with a few Blacktail and Shad.
Umkomaas had a bit of colour in the water, as well as some serious side wash which made fishing difficult, but the Kob seemed to hang around and take most baits that they stumbled across.
Scottborough Point, Greys, big Shad and a few Rays for angler’s eager enough to fish in the rough conditions. Later on in the week, Shad were the only fish in the area. Reports came through of two Brusher which took Crab off the point later in the week. Anglers have targeted Bronze Bream where possible in the Trafalgar area, fortunately to good effect. Some nice catches of around 2.5-3kgs were reported. Other species such as Stone Bream and Blacktail have been caught in between.
In the Port St John’s area Hammers, Grey Sharks, Shad and Kob have been on the loose. The Transkei area has been extremely productive recently. Chokka slide baits have worked for most species including bigger Kob. McArthy paddle tails have been responsible for most of the Kob and Garrick catches. Early morning has been the time of choice when targeting Garrick and other edibles. For anglers targeting bigger Sharks, the evenings have definitely been more productive.
Durban Harbour – Fishing has been tough for most over the last week but some anglers have done very well in the bay, particularly with Grunter which have been caught in various spots around the bay on fresh Cracker. The start of summer has brought on a few more Kingies as artificial lure anglers have started to spend more time on the water in search of these good fighters. With the introduction of McArthy 2″, 2.5″ and 3″ paddle tails, catches have already increased for anglers in the bay. Closer to the piers, there have been masses of larger Kob taking either Strike Pro Arc Minnows or McArthy Paddle tails.
North – With the seas being as big as they were over the last week, it is only expected to receive few reports of fish from ski boaters. Luckily, there will always be the die-hard anglers out there braving the sea trying to attain bragging rights. St Lucia had fairly decent fishing for a few anglers, all the way from St Lucia itself through to Richards Bay. Tuna and Amberjack have been caught in as little as 15m of water in certain areas on live baits. The water is still greenish but should clear up over the next week. Some decent sized Snoek have been caught on spoon, as well as a few Tuna in the shallows.
Local – Umhloti and Glenashley have still seen good Garrick activity on live baits in the rough seas. In these conditions, the Garrick will more often than not be willing to venture further out into deeper water as the bait fish tend to do the same, seeking refuge in the choppy water. From Durban all the way down to Toti, anglers have hooked into small quantities of Snoek on the backline. If the Snoek are feeding shy, downsize on your bait and spoons and you will be amazed with the results.
South – Protea Banks should start to produce good numbers of game fish soon, when the water settles and increases in temperature. Wahoo have made a surprise appearance with a few boats managing a fish or two off Shelley Beach area.
Bass – Inanda has come out tops this week, with reports from many anglers of good catches. Weightless flukes fished in the shallows will get the bite according to reports, with spinnerbaits and frogs coming in at a close second. Albert Falls has also fished well recently, although at 24%. Hollow bodied frogs fished alongside the drop offs in shallower bays towards Kyalami Bay have worked wonders; followed up with a spinnerbait has been a winning combination. Strike Pro Thai Sticks fished fast along the surface off the primary points has also been deadly. The Daiwa D Frogs have been the new up and coming hero of the Hollow Body Frog world and have been reported to be working extremely well in all dams.
Midmar has produced some lovely fish of 2kgs and 3kgs recently as well, which should be motivation enough for anglers looking to fish dams with more water than Albert Falls. Hazelmere has dropped a few percent but is still holding at 64% and is looking great with less chocolate brown with mud type water. The best technique seems to be to fish these conditions is with crank baits and dropshot rigs.
Fly Fishing – At this part of the year, when the saltwater heats up and the fish become less active, many anglers will venture into estuaries and bays to find more active quarry. Most anglers would prefer to use a 7-9 weight outfit as the flies used are often smaller patterns such as Crazy Charlie’s etc. There have been some very nice Kingfish around, with the odd Sea Pike feeding as well. For these fish, a flipper or other style of popper will do well. The Springer will be arriving soon, and will be caught on the same patterns. These species should be targeted using a light fluorocarbon leader of about 15lb, with Maxima Ultragreen used for the poppers to avoid diving. A fast retrieve will attract more attention and result in more bites.
The latest series of Hier Gaan Ons Alweer with Petri de Wet premieres Monday evenings at 17:30 on kykNet, channel 144 and there are a number of repeats during the week. The repeats are on Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:00, Thursday at 16:00 Saturday at 13:00 and Sunday at 23:30. Series 15 runs for three months, ending on the 26th December 2016. As most of you know, Petri and his guests cover various angling styles (fresh and salt water) in and around Southern Africa.
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