FISHING REPORT 14TH DECEMBER 2016.
KZN’s weather has really been showing off over the last week with Durban and surrounds experiencing everything from blistering heat to pouring rain. This hasn’t stopped our fishermen though, with some really excellent fish coming out in every facet. We do advise anglers however to keep an eye out for the thunderstorms that arrive from nowhere. Remember, Graphite and lightning do not mix well.
Rock and Surf:
Anglers over the past week have been cursed with high winds and bad weather over the past week but this really hasn’t stopped the anglers from taking advantage of the non-eds such as Rays and Sharks that our wonderful coast has to offer.
Zululand has been producing some excellent edible fish up North with Vidal leading the way producing some nice size Stumpnose on a well presented Red Eye Sardine bait as well as a few of the bigger Kingfish on bait and spoon.
Shlaban has been producing some excellent Ragged tooth Sharks for this time of the year which hopefully indicates a good season for those of us fishing for these gentle beasts.
uMtinzini has been producing excellent Guitar fish / Sand Sharks on big bloody baits, anglers fighting the wind over the weekend were rewarded with fish just over the 40kg mark, as well as earlier this week with a good sized fish over 60kgs coming out. These fish are excellent fun to catch as they have immense pulling strength, even though the males do not reach the sizes of the females, they are much stronger and can easily run over 100m at a time.
On Monday, Lloyd Pereira landed a beaut of a Sandie of just over 53kgs, Lloyd was using the new 14’ Poseidon Azure Heavy Spin rod, a Daiwa BG 8000 reel filled with 40lb Daiwa J Braid, an amazing feat to land this fish in a rocky area.
Ballito again has been on fire with Sand Sharks, Diamond Rays and Grey Sharks, with the sun setting later and later anglers are having more time to go down to the beach and have a few throws, even in this windy weather. There have also been a few reports of Honeycomb Rays coming out between your more usual Rays, but nothing landed to write home about.
Durban is still producing some Shad with anglers trying to beat last week’s 7kg+ monster, there have been plenty of reports of fish well over 3kgs being caught all along the beaches around Durban, there have been a few Grunter coming out as well as the odd big Stumpnose. When targeting Pompano, Stumpnose and Grunter from the Pier, the trick is not to cast as far as you can, these fish all swim very close to the banks and ledges, they do not roam around in open water. Anglers fishing in the more secluded area are reminded to be weary of your surroundings, keeping a pepper spray handy when walking alone could help you avoid danger, but the best way would be to fish with someone else, that way, you will have a witness to that big one that got away.
Toti has produced some excellent Brown Rays, Honeycombs and Diamond Rays over the last week and will continue to do so over the next few months, Shad cutlet seems to be the bait of choice at the moment, but remember that even a Shad that you are using as bait needs to be the correct size limit of 30cm.
Further South from Margate / Port Shepstone there are plenty of Shad still around as well as Hammer Head Sharks for the lighter Non Edible Anglers.
Down past Port St Johns there have been plenty of Hammer Head Sharks coming out, some well over 40kgs, anglers have plenty of fun with these fish even though they are seen as a pest. There have been plenty of big Grey Sharks coming out around Port St Johns South on live shad, or a slid Chokka. The Shad a plentiful around the Transkei with Garrick coming out still further south still on spoon and bait.
The Durban Bay:
The Harbour has been producing some excellent fish around the banks over the past few days; anglers willing to fight the wind were able to record some excellent catches of Grunter and even bigger Blacktail. The bay is still riddled with Brown Rays activity as more and more anglers start to fish for them. Baby Squid seems to be the bait of choice for these fish where the good old Cracker Shrimp will get you the same result, just with a few Grunter in between. As Holiday season is upon us, take the kids down to the Warf and take a walk along some of the open Piers, this is a great opportunity to show them the boats and a few fish cruising around, remember to get yourself a pair of Snowbee Polarised Sunglasses to enable you to get the best view of the fish. There have been plenty of Kingfish around the Yachts lately giving the light tackle guys a good fight, as well as plenty of small Grunter, Blacktail and Sand Gurnards picking up the ground bait. Anglers have also been reporting smaller Shad coming out around the moorings and public slipway. There have been bigger Kingies caught around the edges of the banks in the yacht mall area as well as plenty of big Perch on slithers of Chokka and a Mustad Mosquito number 4 hooks. When rigging a sliding sinker for a running trace, place a rubber bead between the sinker and the swivel. This will stop the sinker from hitting the knot directly and weakening it, this could be the make or break when you’re on with a big fish.
The locals at Sodwana have been making the best of the weather and have seen a few good fish next to the boat including some rather large Marlin and Sailfish. Dorado seemed to be feeding mainly in the deeper water and were taken on Kona’s and strip baits. Smaller live Bonito have also been popular bait if they can be acquired, and have been successful in catching Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo and Dorado too. There are some fairly large Kingfish in the shallower waters and around the ledges, which are being targeted by boats willing to get into the shallow waters. These fish have been taken on the Daiwa D Minnows and other casting lures such as the Halco C Gar and poppers such as the Maria Pop Queen and Halco Rooster Poppers.
Down the coast at Maphelane there have been excellent catches of Dorado, Wahoo and some good sized Couta. The 50m mark off the Lighthouse has been one of the preferred spots. In this area, live Bonito have been king when targeting Wahoo or Couta. The bait is preferably down rigged with a 5oz sinker to get to the correct depth, which is usually a 4-5m off the bottom.
At Richards Bay, bottom fishing has been good, seeing a lot of Rock Cod in the deeper waters and Trawl Soldiers throughout the day. The Marlin Gurus are starting to get into the swing of things and have already managed to land a fair amount of decent sized fish in the last month, many of which have been on lighter tackle whilst targeting Wahoo or Dorado. Sailfish have been plentiful in most of the Richards Bay area and all the way down to around Zinkwazi where there seems to be a cut-off.
From Zinkwazi down, the main concentration has been on Tuna which have been abundant.
The Tinley Manor and Westbrook areas have been popular with larger specimen up to 38kgs. The Daiwa D Minnows again doing wonders for these fish when used on a spinning outfit. Dorado have seen the hatches of many Skis over the last week from Westbrook down to the Bluff, including the entire stretch between the two areas. The Ships have held plenty Dorado and will continue to do so for a few months to come. Live Bait works best here and a Shallow Diving Rattler in at a close second.
All the way down the South Coast there have been good catches of Yellowtail on live bait as well as lures. Tuna have been coming out thick and fast and have been rather large compared to most of the other weeks. In the Winkelspruit area, a number of Wahoo have made their way down and have fallen victim to a few of the live Bonito set out for Couta.
The locals in the Port Edward area continue to have fun with the Yellowtail which have all averaged around 15kgs in the last week. Live bait is the key here, with jigs coming in second best. The new range of Evil Eye Jigs from the Kingfisher have taken off at the speed of light, and have been working for Yellowtail, Tuna and even Wahoo which were caught last week off Shelley Beach
Albert Falls has been producing some nice Carp in the 8-10kg range; these fish seem to be eating in the early evening which is strange for fish in this dam as they usually begin to eat at around 2am. These fish have been caught on Garlic flavoured Corn. Inanda has been producing plenty of fish in the clean water with Carp of up to 8kgs coming out, these fish are being caught on a sweeter bait such as tutti fruity floties and boilies. Greener anglers must remember that there are plenty of smaller Carp and even Tilapia that will pick up and let go of baits, these fish are not really interested in eating the whole bait at once but more interested in moving it out of the feeding area, this is where anglers will often hear their alarms having short bursting runs but stopping immediately as the fish drops the now heavy bait.
Nagle Dam has continued to produce some really nice fish over the last few days with the biggest fish being reported at 9kgs. As more and more holiday makers come down to KZN for the festive season, we urge the use of catch and release of these big Carp, these fish are seen as trophy fish and anglers should do their best to protect them.
There has been one or two reports of Shongweni Dam fishing really well at the moment, thankfully the poachers gill netting has not taken out all of the fish.
We start off at Inanda where the very clean water has been producing some excellent Bass on the lighter colours such as the new McArthy Chrystella Tiddler, this light colour is a deadly bait in clean and clear conditions, it can be fished in almost any way as weightless it can be pulled along the surface of it will slowly sink to the bottom, then jerked around in a life like fashion.
Albert Falls is still producing lots of fish over 3kgs in the deep on deep diving cranks, when these fish take your lure, anglers explain how it feels as though you have hooked into structure at the bottom, more often than not these fish will be sitting on a slope to the deeper areas, so if you happen to feel yourself get stuck, give a good hit and wait for the Bass to move, if it doesn’t, well then you’ve gotten yourself a log.
Hazelmere is producing lots of little fish all around the sunken grass; this new feeding area has really been producing lots of fish between the 500g and 1.5kg mark. This is an excellent spot to fish if you have come to Durban for a holiday, there are lots of areas you can catch decent fish from the side as well as off kick boats.
There have been many reports of Fly Fishing anglers around the Underberg area changing tactics as the fish move deeper with the hot weather becoming more and more noticeable. Anglers are using Big Dragon Fly Nymphs and Papa Roaches to get at these bigger fish, a fast sinking line here is needed, as a standard intermediate will not get to the bottom in time. A few anglers are opting to use a long leader on a floating line with a strike indicator in the Dams, a heavily beaded fly will drop down to the floor and await the beautiful Rainbow or Brown that is bound to pick you 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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