With the weather about to start warming up, fishing will surely start picking up again for the freshwater as well as the saltwater fishermen.
The North Coast has been somewhat productive the past week as a lot of Couta, Tuna, Snoek and Wahoo are being caught. Sodwana Bay has been fishing well with reports of big Couta caught on live Bonnies as well as on live Shad. There been quite a few Snoek around picking up on fillet baits and when found, on bullet spoons.
The St Lucia area has slowed down considerably since last week as only a few Couta and Snoek have been coming out. The Couta have been picking up live Mackerel and small Bonnies whereas the Snoek have been picking up on fillet baits and small spoons.
Moving to the Richards Bay area, some very nice Tuna have been boated as well as some big Couta and Snoek. Most of the bigger Tuna have been caught in the deeper water on live bait. The Couta and Snoek are being targeted mainly on big bullet spoons.
Tugela mouth to Zinkwazi has been showing quite a few Dagga Salmon just off the backline in the evenings on live Shad, Mullet and Maasbankers. The Sharks have been giving the guys hassles by either picking up their live bait and smoking them or taxing their Kob.
The Umhlanga area has been about as productive as the rest of the North Coast with reports of a few Tuna still coming out on poppers and a few Couta still showing off some of the bait marks. The guys trolling for Tuna have been bitten off a few times leading them to believe that there are a few Wahoo around here too.
Our local water has been doing rather well as Snoek, small Couta and big Tuna are being caught. The small Couta have been picked up on small live baits and bullet spoons, flicked out for Bonnies and Snoek. The Snoek have been caught mostly on fillet baits and the bigger Tuna on big poppers and rather large live baits.
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 and Shad. Guys have been spinning for the GT’s and Garrick with a bit of success on plugs.
Moving to Shelly Beach and Port Shepstone, some big Garrick has been coming out on live bait and drop shot. There has also been a few bigger Couta and Tuna in the area, caught on live baits and Halco Lazer Pro 160’s in various colours, depending on the time of day.
Rock and Surf:
Kosi Bay has been fishing well over the past week with many reports of decent fish being caught on spinning tackle as well as conventional tackle. There have been many nice size Kingies caught on bullet spoons rigged as jigs over the past few week but this week has stood out from the rest, there have also been Snoek caught on standard bullet spoons. Sea-lice and Chokka proceed to be the winning formula for most of the species being caught up here as most of the Stumpies, Pompano, Kob, Speckle Snappers and many more species fall victim to these baits daily.
Fishing in Cape Vidal has also been just as exciting as many fish have been caught by our persistent spinning anglers, with a few Snoek coming out amongst the smaller Kingies and Shad. The bait fishermen have been getting some decent Kob in the evenings on big Chokka baits and live baits.
Maphelane has been just as successful as many big edibles have been coming out as well as big Sharks; the Sharks being picked up have been on swim baits and big baits being dropped with kites.
Richards Bay has seen the odd Snoek on spoon and there have also been quite a few Stumpies and 3 Spot Pompano on Sealice during the day. The Kob have been coming out mostly in the evenings on the incoming tide around the drop offs.
Tugela proceeds to be quite productive with reports of big Kob at night and Garrick in the mornings on live Shad and Mullet. 6 Inch Paddle tail seems to be doing very well for Kob in the late afternoons in to the evenings.
Ballito has also had its fair share of action with Stumpies, Pompano and Snoek off the rocks, the evenings have proven to be the most productive time for the Grey Sharks and in the early mornings the guys throwing plugs have gotten a few small Garrick.
Fishing at the Umhlanga Lighthouse has been good when the water wasn’t too big. Stumpies, small Muscle Crackers, Pompano and Grey Sharks have been coming out here. The above mentioned edible species have been coming out on whole Mussel baits and occasionally Sealice or Prawn baits.
Durban beach front has been a bit quieter than the North Coast with only a few Grey Sharks and small Shad coming out. Blue Lagoon has seen a handful of small Garrick around 6kg and the best bait has been live Shad. The river mouth has been quite productive with Kingies being caught on small white paddle tails and small Kob on camo worms.
In the Umkomaas area there have been reports a few big Kingies around as well as a few big Garrick, all coming out on live bait. There have been loads of small Shad landed on almost anything put in the water. Reports say there has also been quite a few small Snapper Salmon around in the evenings on small Chokka baits.
Pennington area has been seeing some nice Stumpies, Garrick and Shad; there has also been the odd big Blackfin Shark at Beazley as well as odd winter Diamond Rays. The Diamonds have been picking up on flapped Mackerel intended for the Blackfin Sharks getting the anglers quite excited when they realize it’s actually a diamond Ray most of the time.
The anglers in the Port Shepstone / Port Edward area have been landing a few Kob at night, mainly on live bait and paddle tails. The Shad have been wild, and there have also been quite a few Bronze Bream around, caught on Prawn baits and small Sealice. Some winter Diamond Rays have started coming out of the deeper water points around the Block and Splash Rock.
Port St Johns, we have heard that there has been nice size Kob coming out on paddle tails and live bait with the odd Hammer and big Grey Sharks showing themselves in the deeper water picking up on dropped baits, apparently lots of Sardine activity in the deep with Sharks jumping. A reminder that the Kingfisher Biggest Shad Competition has kicked off. This year it will be run over a two month period, August and September, with three prizes each month. The heaviest Shad for each month will receive a Daiwa BG 5000 Reel filled with Daiwa 8 weave 30lb J Braid, valued at R3000.00 incl, the second heaviest Shad will receive a 13’6” Kingfisher Coastline 5pce (L, M & H tip) Graphite rod, valued at R1998.00incl, and third heaviest Shad will receive a Daiwa Laguna 5000 spinning Reel valued at R998.00. Please note that all Shad (fresh) must be weighed at either, The Kingfisher, 53 Hunter Street or Tackle Centre, Old Fort Road or The Fishing Tackle Shop, Warner Beach during trading hours. Please remember there is a bag limit of four and the minimum size is 30cm and that the season closes 30th September, re-opens 1st December 2017.
Fishing in the Durban Harbour continues to be quite successful with our anglers still getting some decent fish including Kob, Grunter, Kingies, Torpedo Scads, and some big Sand Gurnards. The Kingies and Torpedo Scads are being taken predominantly on artificial baits such as bullet spoons, paddle tails and small Strike Pros. The Grunter, Kob and Sand Gurnards are being taken on bait such as Prawns, live bait and Chokka strips. Colours of the artificial baits being used varies from plain White, Chartreuse Pearl, Olive Pearl. The guys fishing as light as possible have had the most success; they are also using light gauge circle hooks.
The best was saved for last in the Finals of the Corporate Trophy Challenge held around Nottingham Road in The Midlands this past weekend. A monster Rainbow hen of 65cm / 25.6 inches was brought to hand. At just over 9lbs / 4kg, it missed the magical 10lb mark, the double figure Holy Grail. The weather was near perfect for most of the weekend, the dip in the weather only materialising a day later on Saturday afternoon – a nice escape for the anglers, but making the last sessions fishing a difficult one, with a number of anglers bailing for the comforts of the pub. Interesting fishing was had by those that stuck to it, as once again, there was no clear indications as to what the Trout were feeding on. Fish were taken on a variety of flies, from small nymphs to the larger dragonfly nymphs and streamers, and even emergers taking fish in the late afternoons. Successful colour variations also ranged from gaudy attractor flies, to the more natural patterns.
While there was a spit and spot that accompanied the dip in the weather, we would have liked more as water levels are dropping fast in The Midlands. Spring Grove Dam is still holding close to 90%, while Midmar had dropped down to just over 70% and Mearns is below 40%.
With the warmer weather, water temps are starting to climb already, with surface temps on the Midlands stillwaters approaching the low teens. The temperature of the Umkomaas River is also on the up, with some anglers reporting getting stuck into the Scaly’s / Natal Yellowfish on the lower reaches around Richmond / St. Josephines bridge area.
Carp fishing in Inanda dam has been quite good with a number of decent fish being caught, most of the fish caught have not been in open water, but around structure and drop offs. Preferred baits are boilies and tiger nuts critically balanced with pop up maize. A mix of both has been doing really well as feed to attract the Carp from all over. Most of the fishable marks are at least 250m out, so having a canoe or inflatable boat with a trawling motor is critical. 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 and get just past the water grass then fight and land the fish from there.
Fishing at Shongweni proceeds to be rather slow, but fish have been caught none the less. The water has been very cold the past while making fishing a bit more difficult but not impossible, but fishing the margins proceeds to be one of the only ways to entice a Carp to feed. When fishing is as difficult as this, one really needs to start pulling out tricks so finding the Carp is your best bet to catching them… in the warmer months one can attract them to a feeding area but in winter you would have to find them where they are ‘hibernating’ as they don’t swim around much due to trying to preserve their energy.
Midmar dam has been rather productive with Bass the past week with reports of Bass being caught off the bank as well as off the boat. The guys fishing off the banks have been rather successful using the drop shot method with Senko works rigged wacky. Small crank baits seem to be getting the pulls by the slightly bigger Bass. The guys fishing off the boats have been throwing jigs with big trailers around the water grass and structure with great success. Inanda dam has been fishing well the past week with reports of decent fishing being landed from the banks as well from the boats. The guys fishing off the banks have been catching an average size Bass of 800g with some as big as 3.9kg have been caught! Most of the guys targeting the small Bass have also been drop-shotting small Chartreuse worms and baby Bass colour worms. The guys fishing off the boats have been getting some bigger Bass in the deeper water on big Senko’s and super flukes, Watermelon Red and Black seem to be doing the trick.
Jozini seems 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 blob baits. The live baits have been rigged with standard circle hooks or fine gauge J-Hooks in order to penetrate their hard mouths. It’s critical to use a very high quality J-hook as Tigers have very strong jaws and will open weaker hooks. Targeting structure with your baits will always get you a fish over fishing anywhere else as Tiger tend to accumulate in these areas.
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