Sardine fever has hit the South coast with sporadic shoals being netted at various spots along the coast. The news is of big shoals further south that have been spotted so let’s hold thumbs for a bumper sardine run. Don’t forget the Kingfisher Annual Winter Rod Special. Repaired rods, Demos, end of ranges and samples will be at massive discounts. There will also be 20% off all new rods in store.
Rock and surf
From Kosi bay to Cape Vidal, fishing has been on fire with some excellent reports from a spinning point of view as well from bait point of view. There have been quite a few Pompano and Stumpies being caught on Sealice and Chokka baits, there have been a few bone fish being caught on small Chokka baits as well as on Sealice occasionally. There have also been loads of Black fin sharks coming out on Live baits slid out as well whole grunter and grunter heads.
Richards bay South hasn’t been as successful as there have only been loads of Milkies and small Kob harassing the guys. There have also been a quite a few Blackfin in the area picking up on big baits being slid out as well as live Mullet.
Tugela to Ballito – Tugela has been seeing lots of small Kob in the 1-3 kg range and the odd few up to 16kg on live baits such as Mullet as well as fresh Chokka baits. There has also been lots of Garrick from Seola all the way South.
Moving towards Ballito, there have been a few snoek coming out off the rock from the guys spinning with bullet spoons. There have also been a few Kingies coming out on bullet spoons. Apart from spinning, there have been a few grey sharks coming out in the evenings.
Umhlanga has also seen its fair share of action with reports of Stumpies and Pompano coming out near the Lighthouse on Sealice and Chokka blobs. There have also been quite a few grey sharks coming out on the Chokka baits and live baits being slid out for Garrick and Kob.
Our local water has been seeing quite a bit of action as there have been quite a few Blackfin sharks coming out as well as Stumpies on the beach front. The black fin have been coming out on grunter heads and the Stumpies on Sealice.
Warner beach has had lots of small pockets of sardines with quite a few snoek and Garrick coming out from the surf on plugs and spoons. There have also been a few nice Kob coming out on live bait and dropshot.
Umkomaas has had some big Kingies and Kob as loads of bait fish in the deeper water have been coming in closer and closer. Live bait in this area has been golden as most of the fish have been coming gout on live mullet, live shad, live Karenteen and live black tail.
Pennington – lots of sardines, Gannets have started to dive in the deeper water, Snoek, Kingies and Garrick have been coming out spinning as well as a few grey sharks. Diamond rays have been coming out almost every night. Blackfin have also been coming out on small swim baits and live bait.
Port Shepstone to Splash rock has seen some nice Kingfish coming out, Kob and Cat Face rock cod have also been coming out on sardine baits and small live baits. Shad have been coming out during the high tides early mornings and Late afternoons on S-bend spoons.
Port Edward to PSJ – lots of sardines and Gannets. Game fish have been smashing the sardines, visibly from shore. There have loads of Kob and Garrick coming out on all artificial lure such as drop shot, spoons and plugs. There is a very big school of sardines just North of hole in the wall Although still out in the deeper water.
With the sardines making their appearance fishing has started picking up again right up and down our coastline with some fantastic catches of Big tuna, couta and wahoo. Bottom fishing has also been quite good with quite a few dagga coming out as well as a few Geelbek.
Starting up north at Sodwana bay there have been some very good reports with quite a few decent fish being caught on Rattlers and live bait. Big tuna have been caught using poppers and stick baits around the bait marks due to quite a bit of bait fish being in the area. A few Sailfish have also been picked up on bigger Konas being dragged rather quick. Couta are being caught in most of our waters at the moment predominantly on live mackerel and small bonito. Snoek and bonito are caught here and there but definitely not in abundance, Most of the Snoek have been taken on strip baits and small Halco sorcerers.
St Lucia has also had its fair share of decent fish the past week as there’s been reports of Couta, snoek and a few decent tuna coming out. The Couta and tuna have been taking live bait as well as hard plastics such as your pink Kingfisher Rattler and also in the Sardine colour and Halco lazer pro 120 and 160 in the R15 colour. Snoek haven’t been too much of a mission to catch as they have been coming out on almost anything from live mozzies, bullet spoons, whole squid baits and sardine fillets.
Richards bay proceeds to do quite well. Fishing in general in this area has been pretty successful with Wahoo starting to show in between all the Couta being caught. Big tuna have been coming out on live bait mostly, giving the guys a decent run for their money as most guys flicking a live bait out, do it on a grinder in a 5000 size with a 30lb – 50lb braid. There have also been quite a few Dagga coming out in the deeper water on live baits on circle hooks. Fishing with circle hooks is becoming more popular as more and more guys are mastering the technique of setting the hook at the correct time.
Further South in Umdloti the fishing has starting to pick up again. The snoek that are coming out are being taken predominantly on spoons such as Clark spoons, Halco Twistys and Kingfisher bonnie spoons. Couta have also been coming out in this area as well as Wahoo. The Couta are coming out on live and dead bait namely Bonnies, Mackerel and Sardines. The Wahoo on the other hand have been tacking the Kingfisher Rattlers in the pink and all bright colours. Be sure to put a long piece of piano wire in front of your lures when targeting Wahoo as they usually grab a bit more than just your lure.
The local fishing in and around Durban also proceeds to be rather productive with quite a few Couta and tuna coming out off the bait marks. The bigger tuna are taking poppers more often than bait unlike the shoal size tuna that are screaming off with almost any live bait dangled in front of them. Couta are being caught more and more often on big bullet spoons being worked with a 7inch KP with 16kg maxima line on a whipping rod due to the Sardines making their appearance.
Fishing in the harbour the past week hasn’t been too bad as there have a few decent fish coming out.
Most of our anglers braving the cold have been rewarded after much patience as bites are far and few in between. There have been some big Perch coming out on small live baits along the rocks at Bat-centre as well as a few small Kob. Not too many guys are fishing off the banks in the evenings any more due to a few sightings of sharks in very shallow water. The guys spinning have not been too successful as the only species that would be around this time of year, are scarce. There have been a few Torpedo Scads coming out on small bullet spoons and small sprat sticks. The few Kob that have been coming out on spinning tackle have been on S-bend spoons and 4 inch paddle tails in White, Gold fish and Red mullet.
The freshwater angling has slowed down drastically the past few weeks as expected as the winter in is in full blow now and most fish’s metabolisms have slowed down. The fish haven’t stopped feeding completely but don’t feed as much as they usually would in the warmer months. There is always a dip in the fishing as soon as Winter starts, then it begins to pick up slowly again to the point where one would catch fish on most outings but not slaughter them.
Shongweni dam – fishing here the past week hasn’t been too bad considering the ice cold weather that has been experienced here. Most of the bass being caught have been in the shallower water in the day. This is due to the water being warmer and the bass gathering in these areas, this also makes it easy to find them. Surface lures and jigs being bounced across these shallow banks prove to be most successful. A Thai stick moving as if it’s in distress on the outskirts of these banks and or around/near water grass and reeds have also been very successful throughout the day. The guys using coffee grinders have been quite a bit more successful due to them being able to get a longer and being able to stay further away from the fish as the spook much easier when they are basking in the sun.
Midmar dam – The bass fishing at Midmar hasn’t been too bad the past while as reports seem to be rather positive with a few great catches. Most of the better catches have been coming just on the outsides of the overgrown grass and around submerged structure. Most of which have been picked up on creature baits and bigger and louder Poppers that one would usually use. Cranks baits have been doing the dirty work for the smaller bass through the water grass and in the shallower water. The guys bouncing jigs in the shallower water have also had their fair share of action but mostly with snags and small barbell.
Shongweni dam has been fishing very slow the past few weeks but starting to pick up again very slowly but surely. Shongweni fishes really well on Tigernuts and particles in general. No special rigs are needed for success in this dam, just a standard braid or combi trace will do the trick. When tying a combi trace a rather stiff material is required as the first length of line is there to push your trace away from your sinker. An Albright knot to your braid is usually most effective when connecting a thick line/ fluorocarbon to a thin braid. Heat shrink will neaten up the knot. Tungsten putty can be used over this knot if popped up baits are being used. If the water is extremely cold, try avoid using tungsten putty as it hardens a lot in the colder water and can damage your braid and line.
Albert falls dam – fishing has slowed down a bit since last week but that hasn’t stopped our anglers from taking a drive down and having a cast! Most of our anglers brave enough to endure the colder weather have been rewarded with some beautiful specimens of carp. Bigger baits seem to be the new hype as most of the carp being caught that arte actually worth talking about are taking strings of mielie and mielie pap balls with large amounts of feed, fed in the vicinity. TCP and Fx has been a brilliant combo for most baits. When fishing bigger baits, carp will often take longer to commit to your bait and this usually due to them sizing your bait to their preference and will only then pick the bait up and run with it.
Jozini dam proceeds to disappoint most anglers fishing for bigger tiger fish with very few tiger fish coming out. More barbell are being targeted now as the tiger fish are very scarce. Live tilapia are becoming more difficult to catch no with the colder weather starting to set it. There have been a handful of tiger fish caught in the shallower water throughout the day on sardine bait, whole or fillets have been doing the trick.
On the Trout side Jan Korrubel from the Fisheagle in PMB is pleased to report that the Trout of The Midlands are on their game – and have had quite a work out over the last month, with an event every weekend to date. Reports indicate that the biggest fish so far – 63cm (along with fish of 61 and 60cm) – came out in the Boston Fly Fishing Festival, followed by fish of 58cm and 56cm in the legs of the Corporate Challenge.
Initially, larger flies were the main attraction – minnows and buggers ruled the roost, as the fish were feeding up for the winter sojourn. With the water having cooled now, and the fish are in the shallows along the water’s edge with their minds on things other than food. Coloured attractor patterns are the way to go – with “Bacon and Egg” being a popular sight-fishing rig : an egg pattern (or blob or similar attractor pattern, usually orange) with a trailer of a small (#14 or #16 nymph) trailing behind.
Fishing a trailer rig with at least 2 flies, up to 3 are allowed in the events, is definitely the way to go so that you offer the fish the widest possible choice. The simplest setup is a larger, weighted lead fly with a small, less or un-weighted pattern trailering off the bend of the hook of the 1st fly in what is known as a “New Zealand Rig”. Popular lead flies are streamers (e.g. woolly buggers / Mrs Simpson / Hamill’s Killer etc.) with a smaller, unweighted trailer such as a White Death / egg or blob fly, San Juan Worm or nymph.
We see the fish having a wee break for the next couple weeks, before the 3rd leg of the Corporate Challenge on the weekend of 20-22 July.
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