With the sea misbehaving the way it has, it has come as a surprise the amount of fish being landed off our coast over the last week. All things considered, the fishing seems to be improving throughout the bad conditions.
Rock n Surf:
Kosi Bay – Very few reports have been coming through from the Kosi Bay area due to the size of the seas over the last week. There was no shortage of anglers in the area; however the only species that stood out was Bonefish. The water seems to be heating up a bit, so anglers should take a look at targeting the summer species which should be through any time from now in full force.
In the Cape Vidal area, Garrick have been landed on live Blacktail and Pinkies. There have also been large quantities of Wave Garrick which were caught on any smaller bait thrown into the shallows and around the sand banks. These catches have been anything up to 2kgs so the fun factor is always there. A perfect combination for this sort of angling would be the Daiwa Lexa 11ft rod paired with either with the new Daiwa BG 3000 coffee grinder or the Laguna 4000 which handles braided line like a dream.
The North Pier of Richards Bay seemed to be the only really comfortable fishable spot throughout the week with the sea being unpleasant on most days. In this area there were quite a number of Milk Sharks and Spinner Sharks which were all caught on small baits whilst targeting Blue Rays and Grey Sharks. Fleshy baits on foam dressed Mustad Gig Gun size 5/0 up to 8/0 have worked best.
The only areas to produce fish were the main points in Ballito. Mostly Grey Sharks and small Brown Rays with plenty of Shad, teasing anglers who are forced to return all catches to the water in this closed season for Shad.
Local – Umhlanga Light House area has been cleaned out by the large seas experienced recently. Many anglers in the area had more luck targeting smaller Blacktails and Stumpnose in the bricks. Red Prawn on Chinu size 4 hooks cast into the gullies has produced more bites than anything else. It is important to use light gauge hooks such as the Mustad Chinu in order to give the bait as much movement in the water. This will ensure more bites and bigger fish more regularly. Only the odd Stumpie and Grunter to be seen off Blue Lagoon recently. The Shad anglers have been out of site since the start of closed season and any Shad caught accidentally have been returned to the water without hesitation, which is a lovely sight along our coast line.
The piers along Durban have fished very well over the last week, producing many good sized Grunter and Sole too. Cracker and Chokka baits have worked best. The sea has been unsettled in most areas so anglers using spinning setups have been doing better with less drag in the water.
The earlier parts of the week produced a fair number of flatfish in the calmer sections of the protected areas such as Ushaka and Addington. Grey Sharks and small Browns have been caught on cutlet baits with a long casts into deeper water. Plenty of Karanteen as well as Blacktail have been caught by the youngsters using light setups in the gullies off the Bluff. Small Mustad Big gun hooks or Chinu’s baited with Prawn or Chokka have produced hours of fun for the kids whilst parents fish for the bigger species such as Kingies and Kob, both of which have been caught fairly regularly off the Bluff.
South – Murphy’s Law, At Toti, as soon as closed season for the Shad starts, the Shad fire up. Many anglers who have been using baits for species such as Kob and Rock Cod have landed very nice sized Shad. Remember it is at this stage of the Shad’s year where they need to be handled with care, so ensure the quickest release with minimal damage to the fish.
At Umkomaas, Grunter have been plentiful around the mouth, and have been caught on a variety of baits ranging from Cracker to Crayfish, Sardine to Chokka and just about anything rigged on the right trace. Remember to make use of a light fluorocarbon snooting or Maxima Ultra green hook snooting for the lowest possible visibility. Light gauge hooks such as the Mustad Red Bait Holder or the Chinu will also give the baits the best movement in the water. A heavy set hook will sink the bait too quickly and there will be little to no movement. Smaller Kob have also been in the area, taking the same baits as the Grunter.
Over the last week, many anglers would have found fishing off Scottborough Point enjoyable. The few anglers who remained optimistic and kept to their game plan managed some excellent fish off the front of the bricks. A few Kob up to 15kgs were landed on bigger baits to the north of the point, whilst targeting Grey Sharks on spinning outfits. Smaller Garrick have been caught on plugs and McArthy 7″ Minnows. Grey Sharks, Blue Rays and Brown Rays have all been caught throughout the evenings on a variety of bloody baits.
In Port Shepstone there have been better reports of Kob being caught in the Sandspit area on baits as well as Rattlers and dropshot. The Shad in the area seem to be enjoying the smaller artificials, so the use of larger lures such as 6″ paddle tails and Rattlers are recommended. Garrick have been caught on plugs and paddle tails as well, but there has been a noticeable drop in catches since the closed season for Shad.
The Skimmingtons area has been extremely productive for species such as Kob and Garrick, both of which have been caught on McArthy paddle tails and Rattlers in the shallows.
Brazen Head has seen good catches of Hammerhead Sharks on larger baits, mainly in the mornings off a slide trace or big throw baits. Hole In The Wall has shown off its ability to produce excellent fish with countless Kob which have been landed on any bait or lure over the last week.
Harbour – Durban harbour seems to be getting into the swing of things recently, with anglers boasting some excellent catches from the banks and from the boat. Anglers around the Batt Centre Pier landed some good Grunter on Cracker during the evenings and a variety of other species such as Rock Cod and Perch during the day. The Kingies have been more active and anglers are starting to catch one or two a session on small McArthy paddle tails and top water Strike Pro Gobi Poppers. The Yacht Moll has been responsible for most of these catches. Boaters enjoyed a very productive week on the Grunter front. Many of these fish have been caught in the deep towards the harbour mouth and a variety of baits have been working for them. Make sure to always pump your own cracker to ensure the freshest bait possible is being used. An old cracker will give off fewer vibrations in the water and as a result, catch smaller fish and less of them. Light gauge Mosquito hooks or Carp bait holder hooks are imperative in order to improve your catch rate.
North – The upper reaches of our North Coast have produced good fish on the fishable days of last week. Reports of Green Jobfish have been seen from the entire Zululand region and provide plenty of fun on light tackle. Reports indicate that these fish have been caught on live bait on the marks, but Rattlers and bucktail jigs have also produced a good bite. These fish are very good eating and will be caught far more regularly in the summer months, so keep an eye out for them.
There have been a handful of small Tuna in the Richards Bay area, which have been caught on surface lures at first light and on live baits later on in the morning. There have been a few Sailfish in the deep of Richards Bay as well, which took konas on the 150m mark.
Tuna have been caught quite frequently between Amatikulu to Seabelle area. Live bait has been the key to getting the bigger fish in these areas, with Rattlers getting quite a few of the smaller fish too. Some of these fish have weighed up to 25kgs, so be sure to get that heavy tackle out.
Westbrook deep has been fishing well with bottoms and particularly Geelbek. Most catches have been reported between 50-90m of water and Sardine/Chokka baits have worked way better than most other baits. These bigger baits should be fished on a Mustad Kendal Round 9/0 hook.
Local – Virginia also produced a far better catch of Snoek over the last week and it seems that they are here for the summer. Strike Pro Magic Minnows once again produced the goods, with strip baits and Sprat spoons coming in at a close second. Jet Ski anglers had good success with the Tuna off the bait marks and around Number One during the week in the calmer seas.
South – The stretch between the Cutting and Greenpoint produced good numbers of Snoek when anglers found it possible to launch. These fish have been feeding very consistently and have made good size between 3-5kgs, strip baits and spoons have produced the goods. Although on a good day anglers may hook into dozens of these fish remember that there is a limit of 10 per angler and we should only be taking home what we can eat.
From Hibberdene down to Port Edward there have been good reports of Yellowtail which have been caught on the bottom on heavy outfits. Be sure to use nothing less than 100lb braid and super strong hooks such as the Mustad Hoodlum range, Kendal Round 8/0 or 9/0 will do for small to medium sized fish.
Bass – A group of land based anglers at Albert Falls has managed to locate and catch quite a few larger Bass from the banks. The same group who managed some decent fish during the precious weeks on some drop offs close to the now exposed ridge and Tim’s Trees. Junebug flukes worked well in the deep and smaller baits such as watermelon red flake finesse worms worked very well drop shot rigged in the shallows. Anglers fishing deeper on the ridge using football jigs managed to land some lurkers during the week. The tip given by one of the successful anglers was to make sure a trailer is used on the jig. Most trailers used were McArthy paddletails, McArthy Spanky paddletails or Zoom brush hogs.
Inanda had anglers drooling over the weekend as they had excellent fishing in Taxi Bay and off Cabbage Patch using smaller crankbaits and jerk baits to catch dozens of larger Bass. Slow retrieved crank baits in the deep and faster retrieves with spinnerbaits in the shallows have produced better fish. For those of you who enjoy fishing light with either dropshot or soft plastics, Daiwa has recently launched their already popular J Braid in an 8lb option, ideal for ultra light angling.
Carp – Due to the low water levels in almost all of our dams, Carp angling has been extremely difficult. Most areas are muddy and can’t be accessed the same way as before. Anglers who have spent time clearing out bush and creating a decent fishing spot have managed to land some good fish at Inanda and Albert Falls. Fish over 10kgs have been landed at both dams on bigger boilies in sweet flavours such as caramel and FX. Shongweni has not been fished due to the railroad accident which caused a spillage of some sort. The dam is still closed to fishing but is open to camping and day visits.
Fly fishing – With the lack of rain inland for our rivers and dams, most levels are very low, but the waters have cleared right up. This is an excellent opportunity for the optimistic anglers who are keen to learn the structure of dropping water. Use this to your advantage and plot marks and be sure to revisit them when the water rises again. Fishing can be difficult if you happen to select a warm period to fish in. Last week a group of anglers had excellent fishing trip to the Midlands, funny enough still on egg patterns. Many of the anglers are starting to swap over to intermediate lines at this stage of summer and are hooking into more fish per trip than before. The usage of streamer patterns and killers will get a lot more bites as the water heats up.
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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