Fishing the past week has been quite good despite the wind and not so ideal conditions to fish. The fishing has started picking at an alarming rate after the Sardines came through with quite a few fish being boated/ landed after their departure.
Rock and Surf:
Up North, in the Kosi Bay area, Honeycomb Rays been coming out on big throw baits, mostly intended for edibles. There has been very good fishing in the lakes with reports of nice Grunter, Kingies and Rock Salmon coming out mostly on bait. Small live baits have been the winning formula for the Rock Salmon and Kingies. Sodwana Bay has been rather quiet with only a few Stumpies, Bonefish and 3 Spot Pompano coming out. Small bullet spoons have been doing the job for the 3 Spot Pompano and small Chokka baits and Sealice have been catching all the Stumpies and Bonefish. There have also been a few Snoek around taking the small bullet spoons casted a bit further. In the Cape Vidal area there have been lots of Southern Pompano, 3 Spot Pompano and Snoek. The Southern Pompano have been coming out on Sealice and small Chokka baits. The odd big Blackfin has been jumping the guys fishing for edibles off. There have been sporadic catches of small Shad along this stretch too. Richards Bay, there have been quite a few small Kob in the vicinity as well as small Milkies and Shad. The Milkies have been coming out on the Shad traces and Sardine baits obviously intended for Shad. The odd Zambezi Shark has also shown its self on the bigger slide baits. Tugela River, there have been some nice catches of Kob and Garrick in this area on live Mullet and Shad, there have also been quite a few Blackfin around as well, also taken on live baits, live baits for the Sharks being Shad, Mullet and small Kob. Ballito, there have been a few Snoek around from the guys spinning in the deeper water, there have also been quite a few Stumpies coming out on Sealice and small Grey Sharks on Chokka baits. Dave’s Rock has been doing very well the past week with loads of Blackfin Sharks being hooked as well as Stumpies coming out on small Crabs and Sealice. Most of the Blackfin being picked are being lost due to jumping most of the guys off with ease.
Some local news is that Jason Martinaglia landed an awesome Shark last week, here is his report “ The day started out good with no wind and a flat sea but very clean water(Friday 30 June). I decided to use a Yellowtail (even though it’s a better cold water bait) because the peckers were stripping all my baits the past couple of days so I needed a bait to last long so I got everything ready and started cutting the bait and accidently slipped while cutting the pieces off the yellowtail and cut my thumb open quite badly, my parents said I needed stitches but then I probably wouldn’t of been able to fish so I asked my mom to put closure strips on so that I could go an fish and it seemed to hold it, so then we went to the beach and I dropped the whole yellowtail at about 300m with my Cuta copter M3, in the meantime my dad was trying to catch live baits and I was busy making smaller baits and looked to my right to find that my rod was pulled over and out of the rod holder (this was 45 minutes after I dropped the bait, so I ran there and the reel was screaming so I let the fish run for a bit while slowing increasing the drag to set the Mustad 12/0 offset tuna circle, my dad then brought me my harness and I strapped in and held on tight and as I started pulling the closure strips on my had come off and I started bleeding everywhere so my dad offered to take over so my mom could re-strap my hand but I refused so my mom wrapped cloths around my hand to help stop the bleeding and then shortly after it stopped bleeding but every now and again it would bleed and re-clot and towards the end of the fight it stopped bleeding completely, I had some skin torn off on my palm and thumb from reeling even though I was wearing a glove, The fish took me right to the top of the braid but not into it, the fish took most of the line I managed to gain every now and again, I got the fish very close but battled to pull the fish out of the gully were the waves were breaking and eventually a few waves lifted the fish out on to the beach, then my dad grabbed the leader to pull the fish to a point where we could grab it and with me and my dad pulling the fish by the tail, even with the water, we battled to move the fish but we managed to pull it enough so that we could work with it, the fish was a Female and I tagged the fish with an ORI Tag and we measured the pre-caudal length which was 274cm which converted to 303Kg and we managed to get the hook out which got her perfectly in the corner of the mouth, we were unsure of the ID of the fish and a lot of other anglers were also unsure, so ORI has identified it as a Bronze Whaler that moved up with the sardines and they estimate it at least 330Kg, even though the weight conversion is accurate, not many big fish have been measured. The fish was safely released in very good condition after having great difficulty dragging it back. A huge thanks to Ray Thompson for all the help and advice.” Well done and thanks for the report Jason.
Durban Beach front, not a lot has been happening apart from all the Shad coming out and Stumpies being caught off the Piers. There has however been quite a few smaller Sting Rays around harassing most of the edible anglers.
Toti area, there has been quite a few Garrick around coming out on live Shad, the Snoek have been coming out on spoon and lots of Shad and Lessers coming out on almost anything put in the water. Umkomaas, there have been quite a few Kob in the area coming out on Chokka baits, live baits and paddle tails. The evenings seem to be the most productive time to target these Kob on baits and early mornings, paddle tails. Scottborough, a few Snoek have been coming out of the deeper water points on bullet spoons. There have also been a quite a few small Grey Sharks in the area picking up almost anything soft and juicy. Bazley area has had lots of Blackfin jumping the guys off, as well as Garrick coming out on live bait. Bronze Bream have also started coming out on small prawn baits. Sandspit this time of year is a very productive area for Kob and Garrick on live bait, the Kob during the evenings and Garrick in the mornings. Splash Rock has been rather quiet with only a few small in-eds coming out on throw baits. Port St Johns, has been seeing a few big Greys around for the guys flying Drones and dropping very big baits. The odd Raggie has been coming out at Lupitan on big slide baits. On the edible side, some very big Brushers have been coming out on Crabs and Bronze Bream have been coming out on small baits, the Shad are also wild in the area. Quite a few big Kob have been coming out here on live and dead Shad as well bigger Chokka baits. The guys sliding juicy baits have had their hands full with smaller Sharks picking them up and ruining their baits. Brazen Head has been firing with in-eds as well as a couple of big Kob on live bait. The Garrick have also been coming out thick on plugs.
Fishing in the harbour the past week has been a bit slow for most of our anglers. There haven’t been too many big fish coming out the past while as most bait put out for bigger fish have either been harassed by smaller fish or just not been picked up at all. Small live baits such as Mullet and Mozzies have been the bait producing the only decent fish being caught. Kob and Garrick have been around picking up most of the live baits put in the right places. There are still a few Sting Rays in the harbour keeping the Cracker fishermen occupied in the deeper water. The guys fishing in the rocky areas and structured areas have been fishing with Sardine heads for Rock cod with a bit of success with a few coming out in the 2-4 kg region. The guys spinning have not had too much success with only a few Torpedo Scads coming out on small paddle tails and spoons. Wala Wala have also come out here and there in the evenings on Sardine baits.
Starting up North from Sodwana to Maphelane the fishing has been rather successful with reports of decent Couta, Snoek and a few small Couta. The Tuna are being caught on live baits and Halco Lazer Pro 120’s. The guys fishing for the Snoek have been throwing spoon and live Mozzies for them with a decent success rate. A few Couta have come out on spoon, but only the smaller fish. St Lucia to Cape Vidal hasn’t been too successful in comparison to previous weeks. There have been a few small Garrick around taking small poppers and plugs quite close to backline. There has also been a few small Kob in the shallower water hunting the Mullet and Shad. Further out, there have been reports of a few small Tuna and Couta as well a few hooks ups of Sailfish! The Umdloti area has started to pick up again with some decent reports of nice Couta being caught on live Mackerel and Bonnie dead baits. When tying a trace for a Bonnie one would usually lengthen the trace according to the size of the Bonnie as well as up-size your hooks due to the size of the bait. There have quite a few Geelbek coming while fishing bottoms with live baits. Dead baits have been smashed up to quickly by all the peckers.
Our local water proceeds with some action as some big Tuna up to 30kg is still coming out on the Barge on live Shad. The guys trying to get their hands on Bonnies have been trawling daisy chains; they are also casting/trawling small spoons such as the Halco Twisty and Clark spoons. There have also been a few smaller edibles being caught on the back line such as big Blacktail, Stumpies, Kob and quite a few Geelbek. When fishing for Kob and Geelbek, don’t be shy to use a big hook as they have very big mouths, a lot of guys are using circle hooks to target them predominantly with live bait.
Moving further South towards Umkomaas and Scottborough fishing has been rather productive with loads of good reports from Aliwal Shoal especially. Some big Wahoo have been boated as well as quite a few Couta and Tuna. A live Bonnie in this area has been deadly bait for the bigger fish as they seem to taking mostly on the bigger baits. Bottom fishing has also been rather productive with reports from Umgababa to Scottborough of big Kob coming out on live baits, regardless of size. From Shelly Beach to Port Edward fishing has been very good as many Garrick have been coming out on plugs, drop shot and live bait. Apart from all the Garrick being caught, there have been quite a few smaller Tuna and Couta being caught on Kingfisher Rattlers and Rapala Deep Divers. The guys fishing bottoms have also been getting in on the Kob and Geelbek action with many coming out, again, on live bait.
This report from The Fish Eagles Jan Korrubel “Water temperatures are still on the cool, and getting very close to single figures (10 deg.C at present) – that being said, apart from a couple of good frosty mornings, we aren’t really having much of a winter. This time last year The Midlands was experiencing morning temperatures well below zero, followed by some rain and snow at the end of July. We can but hope for some more of the same. While the weekend weather was off the top shelf, and there were some good fish that came to hand, it wasn’t quite fireworks. Of the reports that came in, top mention must go to a rainbow hen of 64cm / 25in taken by Bradley Beaumont from Hillcrest, fishing on an (as yet) unnamed Natal Fly Fishers Club (NFFC) water in the Kamberg (and the fly responsible also being kept under tight wraps…). Two other fish worthy of mention, rainbow cock fish of 50 and 52cm / 19 and 20in, were taken on a private Kamberg Stillwater on contrasting flies of a mink fur streamer pattern and a crystal “Tequila” blob fly. Winter scaly fishing, although slower than in the dead of summer, usually produces some fine fish – the lower reaches of the Mooi, Bushman’s and Umkomaas Rivers running low and clear and readily accessible. Flies of choice range from weighted caddis patterns fished sub-surface, and even dry flies.
Bass fishing at Inanda has been rather slow with not many fish being caught and the early mornings have been the most productive time throughout the day. Surface lures seem to the winning bait for the Bass in the mornings, a slow and distressful action tends to get more attention. As the sun starts coming up, switching over to the drop shot method is suggested, a Zoom finesse worm works very well when used in this method. When fishing any lure in winter for Bass, a slow retrieve is recommended but Frogging and top water tends to produce the bigger fish considering you have tackle to handle the big Bass. Small cranks baits and smaller jigs do very well with most of the other Bass. Early morning has been the most productive time of the day for most of the Bass.
Carp fishing in Inanda Dam has been quite good with a number of decent fish being caught. Most of the fish have not been in open water, but around structure and drop offs and the referred baits are boilies and tiger nuts. A mix of both has been doing really well as feed to attract the Carp from all over. Most of the fish-able marks are at least 250m out, so having a canoe or bait boat is a must. There has also been a lot of sludge, water grass and algae in the water making it a bit of a problem when landing your fish from the bank, so rather when you hook up, jump in your boat/canoe and get just past the water grass and fight the fish from there. Fishing at Shongweni has been rather slow, but fish have been coming out none the less. The water has been very cold the past while making fishing a bit more difficult but not impossible. Fishing the margins close and far has been almost the only way to get a bit as the few Carp that are feeding would be feeding along the margins as that’s where the majority of the food would be. When fishing close margins, it’s very important to be very quiet as you are fishing very close and can easily spook the Carp. Here’s a bit of feedback from Hayden Pretorius about Shongweni, “On Saturday morning we went to your Hunter Street store and asked your sales person for advice for “newbies” to Carp fishing, the salesperson advised us on the best tackle and bait that we purchased from him. Connor followed his advice to the T and ended up placing first as per below and pic.
Location: Shongweni Dam
Date: Caught 3 July 2017
Fisherman: Connor Pretorius, age 12 (from Mr Marias Fishing competition) 1st place
Fish: 9 kg fat Carp, Caught and safely returned to the water after this pic” well done Connor, awesome fish.
Jozini Dam proceeds to be rather quiet with only a few Tigers in the 800g to 2kg region coming out. Most of the bigger Tigers have been taken on live bait and the smaller Tigers on Sardine cluster baits, the live baits have been hooked with circle hooks due to the easy hook up. The new Mustad Tuna circle has really been proving its quality in securing every hook-up and due to its gauge, has been holding its shape in the worst of hook ups. It’s essential to have a quality hook remover that isn’t going to give up on you half way through your trip. Without a hook remover, the chances of you actually getting the hook out without losing a finger are very slim.
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