Fishing the past week has been on its head as the ice cold SW wind has been pumping nonstop for well over a week now. The weekend gave our anglers a gap to fish as the wind died down completely giving us flat calm seas to fish.
Rock and Surf:
Fishing has started stabilizing over the past few days as the wind has given our anglers a break to fish with the calming of the sea. The winter fish haven’t given us a gap to prepare for them as they have already started coming out and the in-edible fish have started disappearing.
Starting up at Kosi Bay, fishing has been rather quiet with very few fish coming out on bait as the water hasn’t been ideal. Majority of the fish being caught has been on dropshots and spooning in the protected areas. When fishing this far north it’s critical to use high quality equipment as these areas are very unpredictable with what size fish can smash your lure.
Moving to Richards Bay, the fishing has been rather productive with reports of some big Kingfish around picking up live baits as well as bigger baits intended for Sharks and flat fish. In the harbour the guys have been getting some decent Sea Pike as well as some big Sand Gurnards fishing for Grunter and Kob.
Moving a bit further south to Ballito there have been some very nice Grey Sharks coming out over the past week as the deep water there has not been too big to fish. Some big Sand Sharks have also been coming out but mostly from the guys taking their baits out over 300m. Some Kob have been coming out on paddle tails off the rock as well. The paddle tails mostly being used are 6 inch in size and white seems to be the preferred colour.
Locally there has not been a lot happening, but there have been a few fish coming out none the less. A lot of our anglers have started sliding live Mullet for the Garrick as Shad have not been as easy to catch to be used as live bait. There have also been reports of Kob coming out at the mouth of Blue Lagoon late in the evenings on live Karenteen and Mullet. There have been a few small Rays still coming out here and there on lighter traces and smaller baits. Around the reefs there has been some action with small Stumpies, Black tails and Sand Gurnards coming out on Sealice baits as well as Chokka and Prawns.
Moving to the South Coast, Amazimtoti has been quiet due to a big long sand bank appearing that’s a bit too far out to get a bait over, and also a bit too shallow for the flat fish to come over. There has however been a few fishing coming out in some of the gap in the sand bank such as small Honeycomb Stingrays and small Sand Sharks. Garrick have started coming out on plugs and dropshot. There have also been quite a few small Kob coming out on dropshot and Chokka baits late into the evening.
Scottborough has been very productive with decent amounts of Grey Sharks coming out on the deep water points. There have also been a few bigger Sharks giving the guys hassles that have been stripping them or taking bites out of their small Sharks that they are fighting. This would probably be a good time to take a swim bait outfit with you next time you go fishing!
From Port Shepstone to Port Edward fishing has not been too productive with only a few small edibles coming out and reports of small Garrick and a few Kob all coming out on paddle tails. Size of the paddle tails being used is 5inch and 6inch in colours white, olive and pearl and chartreuse. The few small edibles being caught are on Chokka and Prawn combos off the rocks using very light tackle.
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Starting up North, the fishing is starting to become more productive as lots of Couta have been coming out as well as quite a few Snoek and the odd Garrick. Sodwana Bay has been one of the more productive areas as the Paddle Skis and Ski Boaters have been getting loads fish the past couple of days. Couta has been the fish under the spot light as the majority of the guys on the water have been targeting them.
The St Lucia area has picked up since last week as Couta and Snoek have been coming out. The guys targeting the Snoek have been throwing bullet spoons, twisties and been trolling a fillet with a flasher over it. The Couta coming out have been coming out rather shallow as there are still reports of them being picked up right on the backline.
Moving over to Richards Bay, big Tuna have been coming out as well as big Couta with the occasional Snoek being picked up. Most of the bigger Tuna have been coming out in the deeper water on live bait and poppers. The big Couta are taking on Bonnies and big Mackerel with slightly bigger treble hooks around size 2 to 2/0. Throwing small spoons around the backline has proven to be most effective for the Snoek and Shad.
Tugela mouth to Zinkwazi is showing some decent size Dagga Salmon in the evenings predominantly on live bait, live baits that can be used range from Shad, Karenteen, Mullet and majority of the smaller silver fish. Circle hooks and rather large J-hook are usually used due to the Kobs huge mouth. The Mustad Soi and the Mustad off set Tuna Circle seem to be doing the business with all the Dagga being caught.
The Umhlanga area proceeds to be productive with a lot of Tuna and Couta coming out on live bait, poppers, spoons and recently on stick baits. A couple of our anglers have started targeting Garrick and Kob even though it’s still a bit early for Garrick a few have been coming out on the backline. When targeting Garrick its best to use live bait such as Shad as that’s what they come to feed on.
Locally, there have been a few fish coming out with weather that has stabilized and calmed the sea down. A few Tuna are still coming out on lures being trolled as well as on live bait, but the main specie being targeted is Couta with the Durban Ski Boat Couta Competition coming up this weekend, the guys are getting some practice in. We have heard of two monster Couta caught locally, one from a Boat and one from a Ski, so looking good for the weekend. Apart from live bait the pink Kingfisher Rattler seems to be doing the trick with most of the fish being caught.
There have also been quite a few Stumpies and big Black tail being caught right on the backline by the guys fishing bottoms with light tackle using small hooks and Chokka baits.
Moving South to Umkomaas and Scottborough there have been a few Wahoo and some decent size Couta coming out mostly on Rattlers and Halco’s being trolled with decent length of wire in front of it due to the Wahoo’s aggression when attacking a bait\lure. There have also been a few Garrick coming out on live bait on the backline early in the mornings and late afternoons.
On to Shelly Beach and Port Shepstone, Garrick have been coming out on live bait, drop shot and plugs quite close to the backline, there have also been quite a few bait balls in the vicinity so it’s safe to say that we can expect some of the bigger game fish to be coming in shallower over the next few weeks. There have been a lot of smaller reef species coming out on the backline from the few guys fishing bottoms with light tackle. The Mustad Soi J-hooks are ideal for targeting reef species as they usually have harder mouths and stronger jaws as these hook have a slightly heavier gauge with a decent offset.
The harbour proceeds to be rather productive with the winter species filling the harbour at the moment with reports of small Garrick coming out and quite a few Kob that have been coming out for quite some time now. Grunter have also been coming out but have become much harder to catch due to the colder weather coming through, there metabolism slows down dramatically too. Biggest trick to catch Grunter when fishing close is to be as quiet as possible as too use a light line and small hook. When targeting Kob and Garrick in a Harbour/Estuary one would usually use the same trace and bait. The only thing that would differ is how deep you fish. When fishing for Kob you would fish in deeper darker water and preferably in the evening. When fishing for Garrick one would fish from dusk till dawn as Garrick rarely feed in the evenings. The trace predominantly used is a standard sliding trace, using a J-hook or circle hook, not too big as it will kill your live bait quicker. When fishing for Kob you would use a slightly heavier sinker to keep your live bait on the bottom as that’s where Kob feed majority of the time, whereas fishing for Garrick you can use the lightest of sinkers, if any sinker at all. From your hook to your swivel should measure around 700mm to over a meter, the longer the better due to your live bait having more line to move around. The line that one would use to tie up a trace for either Kob or Garrick is usually around 0.60mm, going lighter is okay considering you have space to fight the fish and there is no structure that can cut you off.
Craig from The Complete Angler in Kloof sent in this report “Bass fishing has been a bit tough at the local dams over the last week and Inanda has produced some small fish. The odd larger fish has been taken on flukes being fished slow and deep. Hazelmere, Mearns and Baynesfield have been producing lots of fish under 1 Kg. Some good Carp have been caught at Inanda dam on pop-ups.
The Mooi and Bushman rivers are still fishing well with decent Browns reported. The Dargle Valley Dams are also reporting good catches along with Nottingham Road area. A float tube is a good option for many of these dams which still have a lot of the summer weed growth”.
The Bass fishing has slowed down drastically with the colder weather that has come a bit quicker than anticipated. Not making it impossible to catch something but making it a lot more challenging to get a bite. When fishing for Bass in consistently colder weather one would start using braid as a main line as the bass bite doesn’t bite aggressively at all in comparison to the warmer months. In terms of lures one would start looking at using creature baits and brush hogs with a very slow retrieve on the bottom. Bass see this as an opportunity to eat a rather large bait with using minimal energy as the bait is moving very slowly. This is also the best time to start using braid as a mainline as the Bass don’t bite aggressively due to them trying to conserve energy. The braid allows you to feel the smallest of bites a lot more directly and also allows you to cast further giving your bait a lot more time on the bottom before lifting during your retrieval.
Jan from the Fisheagle in PMB had the following to say
After the relatively minor cold blips of Easter and earlier this week, the weather looks to be quite settled for the week ahead – and we can look forward to a great long weekend. While it appears that the bass and yellows are slowing down, the river trout are on fire at the moment – literally making hay while the sun shines in their spawning machinations as we head into winter. With the cold water, not much happening on the hatch front, so while the dry fly is preferred, a dry and dropper setup combines the best of both; a suggested rig would be a Rubber-leg Simulator (standard or foam body) with any one of the regular nymphs on the dropper (e.g. Zak / GRHE / PTN, or my other favourite, a Prince). From previous experience, I project that we have about 2 weeks of river fishing left, i.e. till mid-May, before the fish simply disappear and the season closes 1 June, reopening 1 September.
The Carp fishing has not changed a lot since last week with reports of a few Carp being landed, not very big in saying that but that’s because the Carp are still acclimatizing to the cold weather coming through. The fishing should start picking up in about 3 to 5 weeks from now. Now would be the time so start preparing for long sessions in the winter by stocking up on high protein feed and high visibility baits. It would also be a good idea to prepare spending many days and nights in ice cold temperatures. You can never take enough wood with you to your camping grounds as you will often stay awake all night and need to burn wood the whole night to keep you warm.
Jozini is looking very promising as the water is starting to clear up near the dam wall and guys have started catching Tigers on artificial baits again. With the water starting to clear up but still being off colour one would use rather loud and visible lures as the visibility of the water isn’t where it should be yet. When fishing for Tiger fish in winter, try fish a bit deeper as the water tends to be warmer.
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