Over the past few weeks, we have been having fantastic fishing along the coast with some really brilliant catches surprising our anglers. Unfortunately the fishing hasn’t been as good this past week, with the weather not playing ball and the sea being on the rougher side, anglers have been struggling to get the good fish. Anglers who have persisted through the rougher weather have been rewarded with some excellent fish.


Rock and Surf:


With rough seas and high winds, lots of Rock and Surf anglers have shied away from fishing this past week with very little gaps to actually get a cast in.


In Kozi Bay there were plenty of bone Bonefish coming out on small Chokka, a 2/0 or 3/0 Mustad Red Tarpon being the hook of choice.


Cape Vidal is a spinners dream at the moment with plenty of 4kg + Kingfish and a lot of 3 Spot Pompano/Wave Garrick. The Bone Fish are also around with guys having most luck on small Chokka baits.


Not too much to report from Richards Bay unfortunately with the South West wind blowing putting the flatfish off the bite. A lot of anglers head up that way at this time of the year to target the big Brown Rays and Diamond/ Butterfly Rays that frequent the area.


Richards Bay north has been very quiet as well even with the conditions being better. A lot of anglers fishing this area but there were not many worthy catches to report.


Further down in Ballito there have been plenty of Grey Sharks coming out with the water being very clean, many edible anglers are choosing to target this species at the moment with not many edible fish around. On the few days there were gaps, a few Bronze Bream have been caught and the odd Stumpy, Water conditions are vital when targeting these fish with most anglers having luck on exceptionally clean water days just before a large pressure drop, i.e.;  before the large storm on Saturday.


Around Durban there has been the odd grunter coming out on Sardine belly, the water is slightly off colour which is good news for our spinning anglers who will be preparing to target the Snoek that are going to be popping up soon, unfortunately no flatfish off the surf to report as the anglers have been struggling to find the gap to fish. There are still plenty of Shad being caught and released as it is still closed season. The sea has been pretty big with very few fish coming out; the odd Bronze Bream on Pink Prawn bait has been coming out.


Scottburgh has been rewarding with Grey Sharks in the evening on Mackerel and Bonito heads, a few Shad are also being caught around this area. Kob are still coming out in Port Shepstone on Chokka baits, anglers have also been reporting lots of Shad and bigger Bonze Bream around the area. This is a good sign that holiday makers in Port Shepstone will experience some good fishing.


There is a lot to report down Port St Johns way with plenty of Shad and Bronze Bream around. The edible anglers are being harassed by the influx of Hammer Head Sharks in the area at the moment taking most Sardine baits in the deeper points. The Port St Johns River is flowing nicely with all the rain we have been having and is slightly off colour, there are plenty of Grunter, Perch and smaller Garrick around in the river giving the light tackle anglers a hard time.


A lot of anglers opting to fish the Durban Harbour this week with the current weather situation, with rough seas and heavier winds, a lot of Ski Boat anglers are going back to basics and launching into the harbour. There have been excellent catches of Grunter by the guys fishing the banks with Cracker Shrimp and Sardine belly, most of these fishing being between the 2-3kg range but with more than the odd over 4kg coming out and giving the angler a happy surprise. The guys fishing light tackle spinning are being harassed by the Torpedo Scad while trying to hook into the bigger Kingfish around the piers at the moment. With school holidays coming up, an excellent way to entertain the kids would be to take a drive down to the Wilsons Warf area with a light 6 or 7ft rod, a 2000 size reel, light braid or nylon and throw small artificial for these game fish. Pulling a McCarthy 3’’ White Paddle Tail along the floor can yield good results for the last of the Kob in the area as well as the Sand Gernerds who become very aggressive when one of these lures is pulled past. A Strike Pro Arc Minnow pulled through the water slightly faster will attract the bigger game fish such as the Kingfish and Pick handle Barracuda, these fish are fun as they are incredibly strong and like to run. Surface action lures such as poppers are brilliant fun in the early mornings as you and the kids can watch the fish come out the water and attack the lure, which is brilliant fun.


Ski Boat:


Starting off at Sodwana, there were a few gaps over the past week that the anglers could fish but bad weather put a lot of them off. Those who decided to take the risk and launch in the heavy surf experienced very uncomfortable fishing but were rewarded with some good fish, most of which were Dorado, Wahoo and Tuna. Most of Dorado and Tuna being caught on live bait, and when the seas have been slightly flatter, a fast trawling lure has been the name of the game for the Wahoo.


Maphelane has produced some excellent catches of Snoek over the past week on small trawling lures such as the Strike Pro Magic Minnow and Halco Sorcerer, there have also been one or two Dorado cruising around that the guys have been hooking into.


The bottom fishing along the Zinkwazi stretch has been good with a wide variety of fish being landed, anglers opting for bottom fishing over this stretch due to the rough seas and rain, making it difficult to trawl lures for game fish. For those anglers who are waiting for the Snoek, there is a lot of colour in the water at the moment and there have already been broken reports coming out about Snoek in the Tinley Manner area, so it’s time to get the Snoek rods ready and stock up on your favourite colour Strike Pro. Tinley Manner all the way down to Blue Lagoon should really start producing good Snoek fishing soon. There has already been good Snoek action off of Blue Lagoon over the last week.


Off of Durban there has been lots of action off the bait marks with plenty of decent size Tuna coming out and some huge Bonito. John Williamson managed a fantastic Sailfish of 55kgs over the past week, this fish was landed on his Daiwa Saltist 6500 H, proving this reel can stand up to any surprise. When fishing for Sailfish with live bait such as a Mackerel or Maasbanker, it is a good idea to let the fish run for a bit before you set the hook. The Sailfish will knock the bait around a bit with its bill before eating; this will ensure the bait is dead. A lot of anglers strike after the first knock and end up losing their fish that way. Down the South Coast there have been plenty of boats launching without much luck for the game fish, but there has been reports of a few Tuna and Dorado off the Aliwal Shoal area. Most of the anglers down the coast are still bottom fishing but unfortunately this too has been very quiet with only a few decent fish coming out. Anglers seem to be opting to wait the bad weather out rather than brave the seas, hopefully this next week opens up with a few gaps.


Fresh Water:


Trout anglers braving the colder and wetter weather are really coming off well with big catches in most of our dams; there are some smaller Browns and Rainbows coming out in the streams around the Underberg area. These fish are getting very feisty around this time of the year taking smaller Nymphs, in the early morning most reports are coming back with fish taking on static dry fly. For those lucky enough to have a float tube or kick boat getting to the deeper parts of the dams and fishing a fast sinking line with a big wet fly will yield the best results for catching trophy fish, often these bigger fish lay right on the bottom of the dams, away from the heat and open areas. You can often find them hiding in the reeds. These fish are more alert and if you are fishing in a popular dam, these bigger fish have most likely been caught before. This adds a more challenging aspect to hooking up and landing these fish.


Bass anglers fishing Albert Falls have found that there are plenty of smaller fish around in the shallower areas of the dam, with the recent rains most of our dams have raised slightly, this has opened up new areas for these smaller fish to hide away in and deepened a lot of structure around the area. This is also allowing fishing grounds that have not been fished in a while to be fished again.


Inanda is producing some nice fish from the side but unfortunately due to the closure of many of the slipways, anglers have been shying away from this dam. There have been recordings of 3kg + Bass over the past week but the weather have also put a lot of anglers off. When fishing these dams and you find nothing seems to be working, change up your retrieval style, often anglers fishing off the edges get frustrated with not catching fish on a slow retrieve and bring their lure in fast to change it, this now quick movement is something different that the fish in that area have not seen from that lure and this may trigger an enquiry, our advice to any angler is to first try change up styles of retrieve before changing  lure or location, because you may use a fast surface retrieve, when the big Bass may want a slow bottom retrieve.


There have been good reports from Jozini recently with some decent Tigerfish coming out on spoon, artificial and bait. Most success as usual coming from the bait but guys are throwing their arms off to catch these beautiful fish on artificial. Braid is the way to go when targeting these fish using the directness and no stretch to set the hook. These fish have incredibly hard plates in their mouths and catching them can prove difficult without the correct tackle. A fast action stiff rod would need to be used and a 15 to 20lb braid for our Tigerfish here. The directness of the braid is very important as you lose no power from the strike to the nylon, and all the energy is transferred to the point of the hook. The hook of choice would be the Mustad Tarpon 6/0, this hook is incredibly strong and sharp, and this will allow for the best possible hook up with a third of the damage to the fish’s mouth that the conventional treble will do.


The Carp fishing at Albert Falls has been good over the past few days with plenty of anglers reporting lots of catches in the 6-8 kg. Anglers are having most luck on a high protein sort of ground feed such as the Super Cast SVB and any sweet flavour seems to be catching the fish. At this time of the year Inanda Dam has a lot of the smaller Carp around as there is not as many Barbel in this dam, Barbel often target smaller Carp as a source of food, as there are not that many in Inanda, these smaller Carp are left alone to play havoc with anglers lines, often just picking up the bait and running in before dropping it again, not allowing a hook-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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