With some absolutely fantastic weather last week with calm seas and very little wind we saw some serious fish being caught along our coastline. Summer fish seem to be in full swing and the inedible as well as edible fisherman seem to be having a ball.
Rock & Surf
In Kosi bay south there have been a lot of edible fish i.e. 3 spotted Pompano, Stumpies and Bone fish. At night the grey Grunter have been a pest. These are often small so merely rob you of your bait before bigger fish get a chance to bite.
In Richards Bay North there have been lots of small flat fish i.e. Brown skates and small Honeycomb rays. Try using a mackerel or red eye head wrapped with cutlets if you can get some. Bait is proving quite scarce at the moment but Adcan marine does supply some really quality frozen bait that is proving very effective for these fish.
In Richards Bay South there have been some nice diamonds and the odd big Zambezi. Many of these fish have just been too big to stop
Ballito produced some nice grey sharks up to 20kg. What was amazing was the number of snoek that came out in that area over the weekend. Guys fishing with spoon from the deep water points caught multiple fish each. This is a really great way to fish and can be exhilarating landing such a beautiful fish from the side. Some of the spoons that proved effective were the Kingfisher Anchovy spoon as well as the Kingfisher Pro Bonnie. These spoons are well weighted so can be casted a long way especially if using a nice thing braid like Triple Fish Gator braid which is by far the thinnest on the market. Try a rod like a 10’ or above like the new Daiwa Exceler Salt water or the Saltist spin matched with a 3000 or 4000 size reel. The new BG would be perfect for this.
At La Mercy to Durban there have been some Honeycomb Rays, Brown Skates and the odd big Grey Shark. There have been lots of Pompano’s as well as Stumpies.
Blue lagoon also produced some Snoek over the weekend and while not in as many numbers as Ballito a good few anglers managed some fish.
Toti has been the hot spot yet again with lot of flatties been hooked i.e. Diamonds in the dark and Grey Shark, Honeycomb Rays, Brown Skates and Sand Sharks in the day light. There have also been lots of Snoek off the point. Stumpies and 3 spotted Pompano and Southern Pompano of the beaches.
Scottburgh has been quiet with only a few Greys and the odd Brown Skate.
Port Shepstone is producing some nice Kob all from small up to 5kgs. The odd hound shark also coming out.
At Port Saint John’s there have been lots of hammer head sharks up to 50kg and the odd Grey shark. South of Port Saint John’s there have been more big Grey Shark than Hammer heads.
On the Ski Boat side from Sodwana bay through to Cape Vidal is fishing very well at the moment, and with a days’ worth of flat seas and pleasant fishing conditions, it is no wonder so many fish have been landed. Most of the fish which have been landed are either Couta, Dorado, Tuna or Wahoo. Kingfish have also been plentiful and are not shy on size! Sailfish have been on the cards for most anglers fishing in the deeper water, with Marlin unfortunately being a bit scarce. The water has been extremely clean in these areas so the use of fluorocarbon is absolutely crucial. Live bait requires a thinner fluorocarbon to avoid line detection.
Zinkwazi has produced a few Couta in the 18-25kg mark and have been reported taking live baits over the wrecks and pinnacles.
Ballito is still producing healthy numbers of Tuna on Rattlers, along with some very nice Dorado which have been taken off the Ballito wreck on live baits. This area has probably been the most productive stretch along our entire coast line and will continue to fire for the next few weeks, particularly with the masses of Snoek coming out at the moment.
Umdloti down to Blue Lagoon has slowed down slightly but has continued to produce a decent Snoek for the diehard anglers.
Durban has been fishing well recently as well, with catches of Dorado and Wahoo off the Ships as well as along the colour lines.
Blue lagoon has also seen plenty of Snoek activity.
The Bluff is fishing well for Game fish as well as bottom fish and has produced some very nice sized Couta during the week. Deeper along the 50m mark, quite a few Dorado have been landed in the warmer water on Konas and live baits.
Toti and Umkomaas have both managed to produce good catches of Snoek, which the paddle skiers have taken advantage of over the last week. Most of these fish have fed in off coloured water and have not been spotted in the clean water at all. Over the last two weeks, the colour line has been within 1km from shore, making this entire area a deadly spot for game fish. Pulling a long through this colour line will get Tuna, Dorado, Wahoo and even Sailfish. Pulling Rattlers a bit slower than average through this colour line will get a bite from a wide variety of species including Couta and Wahoo. Normal speed for trawling these colour lines is around 8-12km/h.
Fishing in Durban harbour has been fair over the last few weeks. Anglers choosing to fish the early hours of the morning generally are being rewarded with the bigger Grunter. With some decent size grunter in the +/- 4kg range been caught last week. Cracker prawn still seems the bait of choice however anglers that were able to get their hands on some ginger shrimps got stuck into much larger fish.
In the daylight hours things have been a bit tougher plenty of small grunter and some other species to keep the anglers occupied. Perseverance is the key word here, drifting in the deeper waters has been yielding the odd nice fish.
Some massive chases have been spotted around centre bank lately. Possibly GT’s in the ten kilo range or big Seapike.
Anglers fishing for your non-edibles will be very happy to know that the brown skates are still around and very much in abundance and will readily take any cutlet or chokka baits. The water has been very warm and these fish are around for the angler that wants to test their tackle on the shallower banks. Anglers were actually having lot of fun landing browns between 6 – 12kg on baits meant for grunter on light tackle.
For the light tackle spinning enthusiasts there has been quite a lot of action from the mangroves area all the way up the silt canal. On small poppers, crankbaits and bucktail jigs anglers have been catching quite a few species including Pickhandle, Oxeye Tarpon, Torpedo Scad and a few species of Kingfish. There has also been some quite decent size Dusky Kob on slightly bigger crank baits and paddle tails. You can target this specie at night or in dirty water as it hunts more on movement, vibration and smell rather than sight. From recent success a smaller Halco twisty will definitely entice a kingie or two.
On the freshwater side apart from a solid thunderstorm that dropped some 17.5mm over Nottingham Road on Saturday afternoon, the rains appear to have slacked off in the Midlands and surrounds. That being said, the rivers are still flowing nicely and the dams continue filling:
Midmar is now sitting just shy of 74% and Spring Grove just over 83%. Rising water levels will flood more grassed edges, with the larger predatory fish hunting these areas for the baitfish and other food items hiding in the cover. With the grass/weeds being just below surface level, top water gear is recommended with floating or just-subsurface lures. For the conventional rods, the run on the Zoom “Horny Toad” continues, with interest also being shown in the popper-style hard baits.
For the fly guys, the fantastic Grip range of flies includes foam-head gurglers and jaw-breakers, as well as deer-hair divers, and the ever popular “JM Platana”.
There is great anticipation from the trout fraternity as we await the onset of autumn and the cooler waters that will put the bigger fish into shallow water while they go through their spawning motions. With the good dam levels as a result of the rains, this should make for some cracking sight fishing as we progress into the winter Stillwater season. While the rivers are still running a tad on the high side, reports are that they are clearing nicely, with the prospect of some great autumn fishing before the river season closes on 1 June.
Most of the Trout Rivers are very full and flowing very strong and fast. Heavy tungsten beaded nymphs will get your flies down to where the fish will be holding. Because of water clarity some suggest flies will be zaks, biot baetis and black patterns with hot orange tungsten beads.
Still water venues may take longer to clear than the rivers but with the rising water levels there is going to be an abundance of food in the flooded grassy shallows. My suggestion of tackle and flies here would be a floating or neutral density fly line with nymph patterns, minnows and a fly that not many anglers use is a frog trout fly, frogs make up a huge part of every trouts diet, especially the large fish that we are targeting.
With water levels on the rise as mentioned things are picking up nicely. Albert Falls has risen from 27% to 33% over the last week or two which will cause lots of previously dry areas to now have water. This causes an explosion of insects in the water which provides food for all the species. Not only will the Carp be moving in to feed but so will the Tilapia, Bass and Barbel too. It creates a food chain as the bigger fish feed on the smaller fish and so on. The Bon Accord stretches fished extremely well for Carp and had plenty of action. Smaller baits seemed to work well, as well as more subtle flavours such as plain and Banana. Most bites occurred during the evenings and into the early hours of the morning, with the occasional fish being taken during the day as well. Fish which were caught during the day were located substantially deeper and fed on larger baits. This is probably due to the extreme heat we have been having. Towards the Kyalami Bay area, anglers have been having fun on fly, fishing off a boat targeting Carp on the surface with dry flies. Along with the Carp, the same anglers have managed to land some big Tilapia in the grassy areas on fly too.
Midmar has also risen quite sharply so wathc this dam in the near future as well for the same species due to the same reasons.
Inanda has picked up somewhat and apart from the excellent Bass fishing, the Carp have been feeding extremely well and most anglers have had more than enough to brag about. In the case where a dam has risen substantially, any grass or reeds which would have dried up, or alternatively any new grown plant life which grew due to rising water levels, anglers are urged to fish with a line class which can withstand abrasion or snags. Daiwa Sensor Monofilament has proven itself time and time again in these conditions and is trusted by millions worldwide. Be safe, don’t take chances and remember that a lost trace is often a fish killed. Inanda Dam has been fished excessively over the last week, by anglers from the banks, from boats and even by anglers using fly tackle. Anglers on fly managed to rack up decent numbers on the northern side of the dam using olive wooly buggers with orange tungsten heads. On lure, some larger fish were landed around the Car Body and Cabbage patch areas in the shallows. Hollow Body frogs and Thai Stick top water lures came out tops for the week, landing some excellent fish with a very slow twitch-pause retrieve.
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