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Rock and Surf, Harbour and Ski Boat angling have been very productive over the past week and it seems to be the anglers fishing in the rougher conditions that are succeeding in all facets of the sport. Weather that was as upside down as it was over the past week can really separate the men from the boys. Fortunately the weather on Saturday turned for the better with bright sunshine and flat seas allowing the guys fishing the Jet Ski Competition to catch some incredible fish, and have a fantastic time with the rain holding off until Sunday.


Rock and Surf:


This past week there have been plenty of different species landed all along our coast, guys have been having most luck with edibles but there have been some noteworthy catches in the non edibles as well.

Starting off in Cape Vidal there has been an array of game fish species and a few reef fish as well, mostly Pompano, Stumpy and Bonefish. There have been plenty of Kingfish coming out on spoon but all other fish taking the preferred Chokka or small Squid bait.

Richards Bay North has produced a good number of flatfish such as Brown Rays, Honeycomb and Diamond Rays over the past week on fleshy baits such as Bonitos rigged with a Dingle Dangle onto a circle hook, these fish have not been huge but they have been a form of entertainment for the greener non-edible anglers. Unfortunately the weather has not been right to bring the bigger fish in close enough to feed with some anglers saying a North East wind blowing for 2-3 days will bring the bigger fish.

Richards Bay South is having a slight problem with Shad at the moment with these fish eating the bait before it even settles for the bigger flatfish to find it. Anglers advising guys, who are inexperienced in fishing this area to look for the banks, prepare a good sized fleshy bait and cast to the center of the bank, this will yield good results as there are big Diamond Rays that hang about in this area. The choice bait to use in this area would be the Bonito, rigged onto a Dingle Dangle with a Mustad Tuna Circle circle hook.

Ballito is still producing good catches of Grey Sharks, hopefully giving the early holiday makers some fun. The water is still quite clean even with the rain so there is still a possibility of catching Bronze Bream around the area. There are plenty of Shad around the Durban area which are harassing anglers trying to fish for other edibles, there are a few Grunter coming out just north of Durban as well as a few Diamond Rays coming out on our front door.

In the beginning of the week, the water around Toti was a Ginger Beer colour but has cleaned up quickly, there are quite a few Rays coming out on Bay Squid and Chokka baits, there have also been a few Sand Sharks in the area, these fish are incredibly strong for their size and will take anglers by surprise once landed. It is encouraging to see these fish being caught in Westerly winds.

Water around the Port Shepstone area has been on the dirty side with a lot of rain water coming down the Sheppie River; this has made fishing for Garrick difficult but also kept the Kob for a bit longer. Anglers fishing for Bronze Bream have been surprised with this by catch so late in the year even though they are on the smaller side. There are plenty of Hammerheads and Ragged-Tooth Sharks being landed down in the Transkei area at most of the deep water points, these fish are being caught on live Karanteen and Blacktail. There have been plenty of Shad around and anglers are counting the hours as the yearly Shad ban comes to a close.


Ski Boat:

Over this last week the North Coast saw plenty of Tuna, Dorado and Sailfish, most of these fish being caught on Kingfisher Rattlers and Konas, with anglers around the Sodwana area reporting that these fish are not interested in live bait such as Maasbanker and Mackerel.

There have been a few brilliant catches of Tuna around the St. Lucia area with most coming in in the 25kg + area, again, most of these fish being caught on fast moving Rattlers and Konas.

Further down towards Tugela, anglers are reporting some really good bottom fish coming out on Squid baits. As the bottom fishing becomes less productive, anglers are looking at using lighter outfits to make every catch count. An 8” KP reel with a lighter rod like a Poseidon Couta Light or Poseidon Dorado with 50lb Daiwa J Braid, this outfit is ideal for smaller Reds and Rockcod. There are also some reports of Dorado in the deeper water as well as a few early season Couta coming out.

There have been reports of Tuna all the way down from Tugela to Durban, some weighing up to 35kgs! These bigger fish giving anglers a good tussle on any outfit. Live bait such as Maasbanker and Mackerel are working well over bait marks around Durban where fast trawled lures are working better in the deeper water. There are plenty of Dorado being caught off Durban with numbers of these fish increasing day by day, some up to 20kgs. Rattlers again being the lure of choice when looking for these bigger fish, trawling quickly close to debris in the water or around ships will raise your chances of catching. There have been a lot of reports of Bonito coming out of Durban, these fish are incredibly fun on lighter tackle and are great for the first timers and kids on the boat to experience the power of the game fish our coast has to offer. Unfortunately shoals of these fish are being followed by Blacktip Sharks so getting your fish to the boat as quick as possible for a quick photo would be the best.

There are some bigger Sailfish being caught along our coast as well with even more reports of the 35kg + fish coming out. Further down the coast there are still reports of Wahoo coming out between the ever rising number of Dorado and Tuna, again a fast trawled Rattler or Kona over bait marks work incredibly well. There are a few big Tuna around the Port Shepstone area giving angers a hard time.



Durban Harbour:

Fishing in the harbour has unfortunately been very unproductive this week with only the odd grunter coming out during the day. There have been a few Brown Rays coming out in the evening taking bloody Sardine baits and Cracker Shrimp. The catches of these fish are staying at a constant but their size is definitely increasing with anglers that fish for these Rays reporting that they are getting much bigger and will continue to do so for the next couple of months. Many anglers at this time of the year like to go hunting for the big ticket fish in the bay, such as a 60kg + Honeycomb, on light tackle this fish will be almost impossible to land with its immense strength and stamina we find that these fish can fight for hours without losing any strength. Anglers like to tackle these fish on short 7ft heavy boat rods, 6500 – 8000 size grinders and 50lb braid, what the boat angler has to his side is that he is able to follow these beastly fish when they start to run, opposed to the rock and surf angler who can only fight the fish within 600 – 1000m of braid. This upper hand allows the Ski Boat angler to chase the fish and keep until it tires itself out; it then comes to the boat, tagged and safely released for future anglers to tussle. The ideal bait for these fish would be a medium sized Chokka, thrown and left on the banks to see what the harbour has to offer.


Fresh Water:

The Carp fishing in Inanda Dam, has unfortunately slowed down over the past week due to the amount of rain we have been experiencing, this rain is not a bad thing as our dams desperately need this water. There has been an influx of natural food being washed into the dams and the fish seem to be no longer feeding on the baits anglers are putting out. The water in Inanda has also been reported as being a Ginger Beer colour which perhaps is putting the Carp off the bite. The fish that have been coming out have all been caught on high visibility pop up baits such as bright TigerNuts and Boilies and even Corn. In conditions such as this, creating a large enough feeding area is essential to help the fish find your bait. An angler told us this week that catching any size fish in these conditions is often better than catching the biggest fish in perfect conditions, but he still wouldn’t mind a trophy.

Nagle Dam unfortunately there is not too much to report as there have not been many Carp coming out but from reports the quality of these fish have been impeccable. Most of the anglers fishing this dam have gone on the boilie campaign and this method again is proving most affective with a high visibility bait working the best. Most of these fish have been coming out in the early hours of the morning with anglers stating that fish are turning on the bite just before the rain comes down. More than one angler this week has reported catching a few Tilapias on boilies as well. This could indicate a very good season for the anglers and perhaps give the Carp anglers something to do while they sit and wait for their rods to take off with the trophy fish.

Inanda has not been producing a great deal of Bass over the last week with the muddy conditions not allowing the anglers to have much success. A few anglers have reported catches just before the rain has arrived on brightly coloured soft plastics and just after the rain has gone with small surface poppers and even on fly. The drop shot rig seems to be working best with a Chartreuse and even Pink Zoom Finesse Worm. Fish will be moving into the deeper areas of the dam during the day with temperatures rising, this was not an issue for bank anglers when the damn was still full, but these areas have slowly become more and more difficult to reach as the dam gets lower and the fish head towards the center of the dam.

Albert Falls has been having some good catches of Bass and Tilapia on smaller Crank baits. The anglers having the most success would be the anglers on kick boats and rowing boats; it seems these fish are becoming skittish around the sound of motors and big disturbances in the water. Again the rain is playing havoc on anglers but is does not seem to be making much difference to the water level. Anglers are reporting high catches of Tilapia during light drizzle on the surface, the Storm Chug Bug and Strike Pro Popper seem to be the best for this job and if you can find a school of these Tilapia in the rain, they will not be able to leave these lures alone.

Shongweni has been incredibly quiet with dwindling reports of anglers fishing there and those who do are reporting very little fish coming out. We are having a few reports from Nagle Dam with anglers fishing strong smelling soft plastics having the most luck on these fish. There have been a few big fish lost to structure but anglers are using their initiative to get these fish out fast.

Trout fishing over the past week has also been relatively productive with anglers still using the winter patterns to fool these fish onto the lines. The Wildfly Dams have been fishing incredibly well in deeper water with a slow sinking intermediate line. Anglers fishing a floating line will often fish flies in tandem, more often than not the second fly will fall victim to the trout so make sure your joining knot to the hook is strong.


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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