Fishing the past week has not been top shelf as the cold SW wind has made fishing conditions very unpleasant for most anglers. There have some fish coming out, out at sea as well as off the surf and out the harbour.
North: North Coast has been somewhat productive the past week as a lot of Couta, Tuna, Snoek and the Wahoo have started to show, the Garrick have also made their arrival. Sodwana Bay has been rather productive with reports of big Couta taking on whole Bonnies as well as big spoons being whipped from the bottom using rod and a conventional 6 inch KP reel and 40lb line. The guys getting the Tuna have been catching them on various methods such as popping around the bait balls and Dolphins, throwing bullet spoons and stick baits as well as down rigging a live bait.
The St Lucia area has slowed down considerably since last week as only a few Couta and Snoek have been coming out. The guys targeting the Snoek have predominantly been throwing bullet spoons and occasionally been trolling a fillet. The Couta coming out have been coming out rather shallow compared to usual with reports of them even coming right on the backline.
Moving to the Richards Bay area, some very nice Tuna have been coming out as well as some big Couta and Snoek. Most of the bigger Tuna have been coming out in the deeper water on live bait. The Couta and Snoek are being targeted on big and small bullet spoons whether it’s being whipped or darted through the water, there were results.
Tugela mouth to Zinkwazi has started showing some Dagga Salmon just off the backline in the evenings which is a good sign to the rest of us a bit further South. The guys that have been getting the Dagga Salmon have been using live bait hooked with a Mustad 8/0 Tuna circle.
Local: The Umhlanga area has been about as productive as the rest of the North Coast with reports of a few Tuna still is coming out on poppers and a few Couta still showing off some of the marks. The guys trolling for Tuna have been bitten off a few times leading them to believe that there are a few Wahoo around. When trolling for Wahoo, make sure that one uses a decent length of piano wire in front of the lure as Wahoo tend devour a bit more than just the lure. Our local water has slowed down a bit since last week as not many fish are coming out any more except for some of the smaller reef species.
Snoek are still coming out here and there but definitely not in abundance. The occasional Couta has still been coming out of the bait marks again on whipping spoons as well as live bait. Some small Dagga have also started to show on the backline picking up Squid and Prawn baits. Lots of Stumpies and big Blacktail have been coming out right on the backline on Sardine and Prawn baits.
South: Moving South to the Umkomaas area, not a lot has been happening apart from the guys fishing near the Aliwal Shoal area who have been getting some decent fish ranging from big GT’s to some decent Wahoo. All of which have been coming out on live Mozzies. Guys have been spinning for the GT’s but haven’t been too successful in doing that.
Moving to Shelly Beach and Port Shepstone, some Garrick have been coming out on live bait, drop shot and plugs. The odd Snoek has also been showing on plug while targeting the Garrick in the area. Apart from that not a lot has been happening down South.
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Rock n Surf:
Due to the continuous blasting of the SW wind, fishing has been slow with not too many fish coming out.
North: From Kozi Bay to Sodwana fishing hasn’t been too bad as a decent amount of edibles have been coming out now that more and more guys are targeting them with the lack of in edible fish coming out. A lot of nice Stumpies, Snapper Salmon and Kob have been coming out around the ledges. Standard 3 way traces with the new Mustad Soi hooks are being used to target all these fish as the gauge of the hook can handle the strongest of jaws. The guys spinning in the area have also been catching a few fish on drop shot and bullets spoons. Live baits have also been a good choice of bait the past week as guys have been picked up and fought very aggressively then broken off almost every time leading the guys to believe there some monster GT’s lurking about.
From Cape Vidal to Richards Bay the fishing has been productive with Kob and Three Spot Pompano coming out. Some Garrick have also been coming out on live bait as well as plugs early mornings when the water is at its calmest. The Kob being caught are being targeted with live Karenteen in the evenings also leading to a few Kingies being landed.
Moving to Ballito, there hasn’t been much happening as only a few small Greys have been coming out and the occasional Stumpie. Some Snoek have also been coming out on the deep water points by guys throwing bullet spoons and small plugs.
Local: Umdloti is still producing the odd Snoek off the rocks but not nearly as many as last week. Some decent size Grey Sharks have been coming out on big baits being casted as well as being dropped by drones and bait boats. There have also been a few Honeycomb Rays around which the guys sliding Bonnies have been picking up but rarely landed.
Durban’s fishing has slowed down dramatically as almost no fish have come out due to the howling SW winds. There have however been a few flat fish coming out at the Blue Lagoon area over the past week such as Diamonds, Honeycomb and a few small Brown Rays. The proffered trace when targeting skates specifically is a nylon trace of around 0.80mm in diameter snelled to an 8\0 to 10\0 tuna circle hook. Although when targeting the Brown Rays your trace is scaled down to a 0.60mm nylon and a 5\0 circle hook. There are still a few Pompano and Stumpies coming out on and around the piers using Sealice and Prawns.
South: Amanzimtoti and Warner Beach have both still been producing some decent fish. Guys have started fishing with live bait for the Garrick even though it’s still a bit early but have been picked up mostly by Grey Sharks and Kob later in the evening. Some nice size Diamond/Butterfly Rays as well as Honeycombs have been coming out in the deeper calmer areas on big bloody baits using very heavy equipment as a large amount of guys have been losing their fish due to being under gunned when targeting these beasts. A minimum of an 8oz rod and grinder with a minimum of 800m of 50lb braid would be required as the Honeycomb Rays are known for stripping over 600m of braid on their first of many runs.
Umgababa to Umkomaas has had a lot of activity the past week as plenty of small Spinner and Grey Sharks have been coming out on all baits mostly intended for edible fish. Some bigger Zambezi Sharks have been harassing the guys trying to land their Kob at the mouth but unfortunately they have only been landing Kob bitten in half. One or two of the locals have attempted to land the Sharks in the area but have been unsuccessful every time as they don’t have the correct equipment to handle these giants from the deep.
Over to Port Shepstone and Margate, the river is still flowing quite nicely and has brought some colour to the water and with no surprise the fishing has started picking up. Some decent Kingies have been coming by the guys targeting Snoek with their small bullet spoons. Kob have been coming out around the mouth on live bait and paddle tails. Preferred colours for the paddle tails have been white and chartreuse as those colours stand out quite nicely in the dirtier water. Some fins have been spotted in and around the mouth which has attracted the attention of the in edible anglers.
The fishing in the harbour has unexpectedly been very good for the guys fishing in the deeper water in bait as well as artificial baits. Some big Kob have been landed the past week in the channels of the harbour fishing with live Mullet, big paddle tails and buck tail jigs. The guys fishing with Cracker have been getting some nice size Grunter in the shallower water, mainly at night. Fishing during the day has slowed down a lot as the ice cold wind seems to be chasing the fish as well as our anglers away. A few Kingies have also been coming out at night on poppers, size depending on the wind, stronger the wind, bigger the popper.
With the weather and water playing ball, it’s been a cracking run in The Midlands over the last couple of weeks, with some stunning Trout coming to hand in both the Mooi and Bushman’s Rivers. After the recent drought, we suspected that we might have a slow autumn, but the quality of the fish coming to hand has been phenomenal; these are quite clearly South Africa’s premier wild spawn brown trout streams. The Midlands got properly showered early last week in a very typical (albeit rather late – but we’ll take it, Thank You) summer thunderstorm : rainfall in excess of 50mm was reported in Nottingham Road and 70+mm towards the ‘Berg. With the dearth of rain over March, and this month till yesterday, dam levels have remained pretty constant over the last while – Midmar and Spring Grove hovering around the 75% and 85% marks respectively. A tad on the low side for this time of year as we head into the dry winter period, but way better than this time last year. The Bass anglers have been quiet this side, although some anglers report that the Bass are still around, some heavy with eggs – perhaps confused by the run of late summer weather. The flooded margins should still be providing some sport with the Bass feeding in the shallows, before the waters cool too much more. The cold snap over the Easter weekend was a result of a light dusting of snow over the ‘Berg – as the waters work their way off the mountains, this will send water temps plummeting – and send the Trout into high spawning gear. As the still waters cool and clear, we can look forward to some great winter sigh fishing. Thanks Jan Korrubel, from The Fish Eagle in Pietermaritzburg for this update.
Bass: Nagle Dam has been the winner for Bass fishing the past week as loads of big Bass have been coming out on all baits from spinner baits, big poppers, frogs, worms all the way to live Tilapia. When fishing for bigger Bass don’t forget to use a heavier line/braid as they will attack your lure with a lot more aggression and power forcing your lure into any structure possible. When a Bass of this size smashes your lure you need to pay special attention to setting the hook with quite a bit of force as well as keeping a lot of pressure on the fish throughout the fight so that he doesn’t spit the hook. Don’t be shy to use a rather large hook either when fishing for Bass as they extremely large mouths and even the smallest of Bass can get the biggest of hooks in his mouth with enough determination.
Carp: Shongweni Dam is up and going again and the Carp have started coming out here and there. More and more fish have started coming out within casting distance. Specimen traces are still the more productive traces to be using as the bait being picked up predominantly is tiger nuts which you can’t hook straight onto a normal hook as it’s too hard. A good ground feed that can be used is a mixture of hemp seed, whole kernel corn, tiger nuts and chick peas. The trick is not to use too much ground feed if you’re fishing shallow water along the reeds as the Carp are spooked easily in shallow water.
Nagel Dam proceeds to produce some decent Carp as most of the anglers have started changing tactics for the colder months. Very few small Carp have been coming out as the baits being used are rather large. Boilie baits and feed are almost the only things being used in this dam as boilie campaigns are a regular occurrence in this dam. When fishing for Carp of this size, its crucial to fish with a slightly bigger hook and heavier coated braid as well as a heavier main line/braid.
Tigerfish: Jozini Dam has been rather quiet over the past week as not too many Tigerfish have been coming out with the weather that’s been rather cold, putting the Tigerfish off the bite. When fishing these extreme conditions one needs to change things upon a bit if the Tigers aren’t too interested in you bait. Using louder, bigger and more colourful lures as well as bigger smellier baits is probably your best chance at catching something. Don’t be shy to try fish the deeper water columns as Tigers will target these areas as the water temperature is more constant in the deeper water.
Trout: After all the cold weather Trout fishing is bound to pick up soon in addition to that, May is quickly approaching which is one of the better months for Trout. With the Nymphs disappearing, guys have resorted to using terrestrials and minnows.
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