With some piping hot water on its way down from Mozambique with the Agulhas Current, fishing has certainly heated up! There has been an incredible amount of fish caught in the last week along our coast, all the way from Sodwana and Kosi Bay down to the Transkei and even into the Cape. With the Kob in and out of the rivers, a few anglers in the Breede River have caught a few up to 60kgs!
Rock and Surf:
One species which has stood out amongst all others in the upper North Coast region is the Honeycomb Rays. These blankets have been spotted in the shallows along most of the north coast areas by divers and are said to have been in the region of between 50kgs and 120kgs. Many anglers who target these fish are using medium sized baits such as whole Mackerel slide baits or whole Chokka slide baits. These larger Honeycombs are well known for their ability to engulf a massive bait, so do not be afraid to put out a bigger bait. Anglers have put out whole Tuna heads for Sharks and caught Honeycombs and Thorntail Rays.
With the rods available on the market these days, heavy baits are a breeze to cast. The Daiwa Saltist 6-9oz has been known to throw a 7oz sinker and a 500g Bonito as bait.
Cape Vidal has been productive for our inedible anglers with guys catching good size Black fin Sharks. These fish are being caught on large Bonito slide baits on two Mustad Hoodlum 11/0 hooks.
North of Richards Bay we have plenty of Brown Rays and again plenty of big Shad. A favourite bait for the Browns would be a Red Eye Sardine head with cutlets cottoned onto the sides; anglers often hook into these fish while fishing for Stumpnose and other edibles such as Rock Salmon.
Some good size Diamonds are being caught south of Richards Bay and hopefully this is a good indication that the Diamond/Butterfly Ray season in Durban will be picking up shortly. Most anglers reporting that these fish are being caught on flapped Mackerel or larger Chokka baits, a good bloody bait should be used when targeting these species.
Mullet and Chokka baits are working well for the Grey Sharks around Ballito and Zinkwazi, these are awesome fish to go and tackle on light surf tackle, a slightly heavier leader such as Kingfisher .75 leader line, and a short nylon or carbon coated wire bite trace of around 6”. Mustad Tuna Circle hooks will be the name of the game allowing you to safely land more fish and have a far easier hook removal.
Lots of Stumpnose coming out along the Durban coast on Sardine belly and the Mustad Chinu 3/0, a lot of anglers are being surprised with other species taking their bait such as Grunter and Shad, a lot of healthy sized Shad are being caught and released around the Blue Lagoon and Virginia area. A lot of smaller flatfish such as Brown and Duckbill Ray coming out towards Toti, once again these fish are often caught when anglers are targeting smaller reef fish with a Sardine or Chokka bait.
The odd Honeycomb around the Winkle area giving anglers a good fight but are difficult to land. To target these big fish, it is recommended that you fish a FMJ (full metal jacket) trace with a big bait, don’t under estimate these fish; you will need the best of the best tackle to land them. A grinder no smaller than a 6500 size is recommended paired with a heavy 13’6” or 14 ft. rod.
Lots of Bronze Bream still all around the Toti area, once again the Mustad Chinu is the hook to use, with a 1/0 for these smaller fish.
Scottburgh is still showing some signs of Garrick with the bait of choice being a live Mullet. Some big Shad are being released around Port Shepstone, Kob are also coming out, a lot on artificials but the biggest being caught on live bait. The most effective live bait has been Mullet, however, anglers who are unable to attain Mullet can always scratch around the rocks and use smaller Blacktail, Karanteen and even species such as Stumpies as live bait with great success.
Down in the Transkei a lot of good size Hammer Heads and Gray Sharks are coming out making those big trips worthwhile.
Over the last few weeks we have been having some good fish coming out the harbour. The light tackle guys have been enjoying the large amount of decent Kob coming out around the banks and even some good sized Grunter making an appearance with Sardine belly again being the bait of choice for the larger fish, and Cracker working incredibly well for the smaller fish. There are plenty of smaller Kingfish around allowing the light tackle spinning guys to really test their tackle. These fish are incredibly strong and quick for their size, they also fight incredibly dirty trying to cut you off at every opportunity, and a few of them around the piers have been reported reaching up to 3kgs. Most guys are fishing for these fish as well as the other game fish in the area, on ultra-light tackle, being no bigger than 2000 size grinders and 7ft ultra-light rods.
Some anglers have been seen using fly fishing equipment along the piers and have had good success on smaller flies such as Crazy Charlie’s, Mylar Sprat and other Minnow mimicking patterns. The McArthy 3 inch white paddle tail is the lure of choice at the moment with these fish, paired with a 3/8thoz Mustad jig head you will be sure to hook right up. For those who are waiting patiently for the influx of Brown Rays, the time is now. With reports increasing daily of catches on Cracker and other baits intended for Grunter. Most anglers who hook into these fish for the first time lose them due to the fact that they worry about being stripped, and apply too much pressure and part the line. If you have a thin enough line, the line will do all the work. Let the fish run, apply moderate pressure and make sure that you retrieve the line as fast as possible when the fish swims towards you, or the hook may come loose and fall out of the fishes mouth. A very big Brown Ray in the harbour will run about 100m on light tackle, which means that 99% of out grunter tackle will be able to stop them in time from being stripped. Just a reminder not to use big hooks for these fish, as you will not be able to set the hook on light tackle and the hook will fall out as soon as the line has slackened.
What a fantastic time to be a Ski Boat angler with the summer fish starting to really show up in our waters. It is usually this time of the year that the fish move down the coast with the warmer current and become the main target of most Ski Boaters. It is a lovely time of year to take the youngsters out and let them enjoy the spoils of the game fishing that our waters have to offer. The species which move down the coast annually includes Dorado, Sailfish, Wahoo, Tuna and also Couta.
The number of Dorado and Wahoo has been increasing over the past few weeks around Cape Vidal and St. Lucia with the odd billfish being caught in between on Kona’s as well as live Bonito which can easily be caught off small spoons such as the Kingfisher Anchovy spoon which has been an extremely popular spoon not only for Bonito, but also Skipjack Tuna, Snoek and a variety of smaller Kingfish species inshore. A lot of good fish have been coming out on the Kingfisher Rattler range of hard plastic baits, particularly in the Ice-cream and Sardine colours.
As summer really starts to beat down on us, surface lures such as Konas will begin to work increasingly well for Tuna, Dorado, Sailfish, and Wahoo. Throwing poppers into shoaling baitfish will yield good results for Tuna and Dorado. If live bait does not produce the bite, then poppers will generally work as the fish may be after a slightly more erratic action on the day.
Zinkwazi has had its fair share of decent Tuna as well as some Snoek, further south at Tinley Manor fishing for Snoek has been very productive as some shoals have been big enough to be seen from the shore. Pulling Strike Pro Magic Minnows will work wonders here, or even Clark Spoons pulled fast through the shoals when they are feeding shyly.
There are plenty of Tuna off Durban as well as the odd Dorado off the ships, most of these fish being caught off live Maasbanker and even Mackerel if small enough. There are some massive Mackerel around, which are extremely good eating if smoked or fried in butter. Some of the Tuna sizes ranging all the way up to over 25kgs and around 15kgs for the Dorado.
For those who would like to take a trip at night for the Geelbek and Daga, there are still plenty of catches being reported. Most of the wrecks and ledges are producing fish day and night, but more so at night or the early evenings. Our friends down the south coast towards Port Shepstone have been getting some good bottom fish and will continue to for the next few months until the Geelbek and Daga follow the colder waters back down to the Transkei and Cape.
Albert Falls has been having some quality catches of Carp with reports of fish from 2kgs all the way to 12kgs being caught on conventional tackle. A combination of honey and tutti-frutti seem to be the flavours of choice for the Carp there at the moment. Anglers have been having good luck when throwing into the deeper parts of the dam. It is good to see the guys still fishing the dam hard even with the low water. Inanda has been producing for the specimen anglers with fish up to 16kgs being weighed in. conventional anglers have been reporting good amounts of fish between the 4 to 8 kg mark, mainly being caught on honey glow flavoured mealies and high protein ground feed.
All around there has been good Bass coming out over the past week with some fish up to 4kgs coming out at Albert Falls. The bigger fish seem to be hiding in the deeper water and eating big crank baits pulled slowly along the floor. Inanda is producing lots of small fish under the 2kg mark with a lot coming out on soft plastic; more success is being had on heavily scented worms such as the new Lucky John Wacky Worm.
Some good reports have been coming in of Fly Fishing anglers getting really good fish even with the dams being so low. A good way to target the Trout in our rivers and dams at the moment would be to fish a light floating line, an extended leader of between 10 and 12” and a small nymph pattern. These fish are becoming very picky with what they eat with the big winter patterns not yielding the same results as a few weeks ago. In our deeper stock dams, a good fly to use would be the Red Eye Damsel on a fast sinking line. This line will get your fly quickly to the floor, enabling you to find the fish on hotter days, most of the Trout enjoy the colder water and often you’ll find them sitting very deep during summer.
The Kingfisher and The Complete Angler are pleased to announce that Peter Brigg, author of the book “Call Of The Stream” will join us on Saturday 12th November 2016 from 9.00am till 12.00 noon at The Complete Angler in Kloof. Peter is a well-known small stream specialist and accomplished fly tyer as well as author and artist. “Call Of The Stream” will be on sale and Peter to sign copies of his book. A second book is with the publishers/printers right now and should be on the shelves in May 2017. He will also have some tying equipment so he can whip up a fly or two for us. This is a great opportunity to meet and chat with a very humble yet extremely knowledgeable man when it comes to matters regarding Trout. The venue is The Complete Angler, Shop 1, 6 Village Road, Kloof, and the telephone number is 031 764 1488.
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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