Our small stretch of paradise has definitely given us fishermen something to smile about over the past week, strong winds and big seas have not stopped some of the brilliant fish that this season is offering. The Kingfisher staff recommends that you grab some tackle and head down to the beach to really experience the excellent fishing that KZN has to offer.


Rock and Surf:

We begin up at Cape Vidal, anglers should be pleased to learn that there are still good numbers of edible and non edible fish coming out, mostly being caught on Chokka and Red Eye baits. There is still the odd big Stumpnose coming out so get those rods ready, now that Shad season is open, anglers are taking advantage of the massive shoals passing through. North of Richards Bay is still producing some excellent flatfish such as Diamond and Honeycomb Rays, but unfortunately not as many as the week before. Bonito fillet seems to be the bait of choice currently. Richards Bay south is the place to be to catch some really nice Shad, these fish seem to be so hungry up there that angers are reporting that even their sinkers hare coming back with teeth marks. Throwing a Shad fillet around this area will yield the best results for the bigger flatfish this summer, as they cannot resist this fantastic bait. Balito is still producing good numbers of Grey Sharks and Guitar fish / Sand Sharks. These fish both falling to what seems to be the best bait this season which is the Shad cutlet, or in the Grey Sharks case, a live Shad. Preparing a Grey Shark bait is pretty simple, catch yourself a fresh Shad of 30cm, cut the Shad diagonally behind the gills and about 10cm lower down the body, cutting the Shad this way allows for the bait to have a mixture of belly and fillet. Hook you Mustad Big Gun through the top of the fillet and cotton the bait nicely, the bait should now resemble a Dingle Dangle type of style. This bait is irresistible to almost any non edible fish, and you are also likely to get a few more Shad on it too. Anglers have been having an excellent time catching the numerous amounts of Shad around Durban lately even though the weather really hasn’t played part. There have been some really big fish coming out at the Blue Lagoon and Beachwood area. A Shad of 7.6kgs was caught by Aslam Mahomed on Tuesday being caught on a Poseidon 14ft rod, SL30SH and Kingfisher Giant Abrasion line, Aslam used a Japanese Mackerel bait, an awesome fish, well done Aslam. Shad are definitely not a stupid fish, on light tackle the smaller Shad can really give you a run for your money and try to cut you off where ever possible, on heaver tackle a 3kg + Shad will give a good run and try every opportunity to cut you off. We do have to remember that we must stick to our bag limit of 4 per angler as we approach the festive season, as we all know that the officials will be in full swing to catch the poachers. Toti is producing some excellent flat fish at the moment with some really big Honeycombs coming out around the Winkle Beach area. These fish are falling victim to a well prepared Bonito bait or Shad cutlet.

Durban Harbour:

The harbor is producing some really excellent fish at the moment. Timing your trip down to the harbour is imperative if you are looking for some bigger Grunter, these fish will be on the banks in the lowering tide and eat the Cracker in the sand, walking out onto these banks on a low tide can offer some brilliant catches but make sure you take your Cracker pump with you as there are plenty of smaller fish around that will strip you clean. Using a Number 4 Mustad Mosquito hook allows for an almost instant hook up, this hook has an incredibly thin gage and hooks up with every fully committed Grunter. Off the boat, anglers have experienced the sheer power of the Brown Rays in the harbour with angler Jesse Schubach having his skills put to the test on an excellent Brown Ray of over 18kgs. Jesse was using his 7ft spinning rod, his Daiwa Ninja 2000 and 8lb Daiwa J braid, this outfit paired with an excellent Baby Squid bait was too much temptation for this Brown Ray, Jesses tackle was certainly put to the test of this excellent fish. There have also been some really good catches of Grunter and smaller Stumpnose in the harbour over the last few days. There are plenty of smaller Kingies and Scad to have fun with in the harbour on artificial lures; poppers seem to be working incredibly well early in the morning where the deeper diving Strike Pro lures seem to be working a lot better during the day. The Kingies seem to be sitting under the Yachts moored around the bay, and a clear colour Strike Pro seems to work a lot better than the rest. The Wala Wala seems to have disappeared which is good news for the anglers we prefer drop shot in the harbour as they should get a much better lifespan on their McArthy paddle tails.


Ski Boat:

Ski Boaters have been having an amazing time as there have been quite a large number of Couta coming out and filtering through to the Sodwana, Maphelane and Cape Vidal areas, it is still relatively early for these fish but that shouldn’t stop you from trawling a Mackerel behind the boat rigged with your favourite Mustad trebles. Live baits, dead baits and even strip baits seem to be working in these areas for the Couta, Tuna and Dorado. The shallower waters have seen quite a few more fish recently, which have been caught on shallow diving Kingfisher Rattlers. There have been good numbers of Sailfish, Tuna, Dorado and Bonito this week, with Snoek all the way down to the lower North Coast.  Zinkwazi seems to be the place to be to catch Couta at the moment with anglers on Skis and Boats alike hooking into some really decent fish. Snoek along the backline have been showing face more and more and will continue to do so over the next few weeks, but seem to be happier staying up north, with only a few sightings of them closer to Durban. Tinley Manor seems to be producing some really good fish up to 5kgs on spoons and small Strike Pros. Durban seems to have settled a bit with us only seeing a few Dorado, Tuna and Bonnies coming out, most of these fish were taken on live bait but you can never go wrong by trawling a decent lure past a Yellowfin Tuna’s nose. The Dolphins seem to be holding a few Tuna and the ships have the Dorado. For the less experienced anglers, fishing in these areas would enable you to find the fish pretty easily, trawling around the ships with shallow diving rattlers seem to yield the best results. Marlin and Sailfish bites have are steadily increasing and will continue to do so as summer progresses. The South Coast is still seeing good numbers of bottom fish as well as the odd Tuna and Wahoo coming out on the Shoal. Divers are reporting large numbers of Tuna around the bait marks too, but as always, they are being followed by some massive Sharks. As an angler that often fishes for sport more than for the plate, Sharks can be quite the irritation, as you can no longer fight the fish properly. Winching the fish to the boat is the only option you have before the Taxman takes a bite


Albert Falls seems to be producing some excellent Carp of up to 12kgs mainly coming out on the sweeter Super Cast flavours, anglers also seem to be going smaller to get the bigger fish where even the conventional anglers are adding in a few tricks by using much smaller hooks with one Tigernut which is fooling the Carp. Carp have very soft and sensitive mouths and will often spit the hook if they taste the metal of the hook; this is why anglers are going as small as possible. Inanda is producing lots of smaller fish at the moment with the fish not much bigger than around 6kgs, anglers are using spicier dips to influence the smell of their baits, and Banana seems to be the best working flavour for the ground bait. Nagle Dam is producing plenty of smaller Carp as well as Midmar Dam. If you are struggling to get a feeding area going and the fish just aren’t interested, add a cup of milk powder into your next bomb, this will attract fish from all around the Dam by creating a milk cloud, the fish will be drawn to the center of the cloud where you will hopefully have your hooks.

Things are quiet on the Bass front in Inanda with only the smaller fish making an appearance, Hazelmear Dam is producing some good fish from the side as there is plenty of new flooded grass areas where the fish have been hiding, this rain has produced some brilliant new areas to catch these fish. In the deeper areas, a 9m Crank Baits are the only lures to use as the bigger fish are sitting very deep. Anglers have been reporting some excellent catches in this dam of up over 3kgs. The deeper areas in Albert Falls are still producing some exceptional fish with anglers reporting 2-3 fish a day up to 3 ½kgs. Nagle Damn also seems to be producing some excellent numbers of fish but unfortunately the size isn’t there. Frogs and poppers seem to be working well at the moment which is slightly odd for this time of the year; anglers are pitching frogs under low hanging trees and twitching it erratically to attract the fish that are hinging in the structure of the bank. This is an excellent style of fishing but you have to fish quite a tight drag, these fish will take you into structure and cut you off at their first opportunity, fishing a 50lb + braid on a heavier rod will allow you to pull the fish out with the structure that it pulls you into.

The dams around the Dargle area seem to be turning on before the pressure drops, before storms the Trout seem to be eating mostly on the surface on a floating line and a small delicately presented floating fly. As all us fly fishing boffins know, storms in the Berg disappear as fast as they arrive, as soon as you see those grey clouds rolling over, grab your floating outfit and throw a fly in, as you will only have a small window of time before it becomes too dangerous to fish. There have been excellent fish coming out around the Underberg and Kamberg areas on fast sinking line in much deeper water, often next to weed beds of in holes in the weed, pulling a fly over the hole and dropping it down will allow the fish time to react, but often the fish will attack the fly as it moves into the open water. Anglers seem to be going lighter and lighter these days when fishing a lot of our local stock damns around the Berg area, often we see anglers rigging themselves out with 2/3 weight floating outfits with ultra light reels. This allows the best fun when catching the smaller stockies and river fish.

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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