FISHING REPORT 1ST SEPTEMBER 2017.
Big seas, strong winds and rain…not words you want to read when deciding whether you are going fishing. These conditions have kept many anglers indoor however; the persistent anglers have had success with multiple species.
Offshore fishing has been limited by the sea conditions, but recent competitions have however yielded some prize catches for those with iron stomachs.
Sodwana Bay proceeds to be one of the better off-shore destinations with various reports of tuna coming out on poppers, live bait and Kingfisher Rattlers. Mackerel have been the live bait of choice for these tuna and a small lively mackerel rigged with a 6’O Mustad Demon circle has proved to be deadly with a 30lb fluorocarbon leader.
Maphelane to St Lucia has also been doing its rounds with the fish as quite a few snoek have been caught on small fillets baits and bullet spoons right on the backline. Reports of some solitary Dorado coming out on Kona’s and live baits pitched at floating objects. The guys fishing for live bait are being harassed by under sized shad, resulting in Sabiki being bitten off so don’t be shy to take a few extra.
Cape Vidal to Tugela has seen smaller tuna for the lure trolling guys and the lures doing most of the damage are the Laser Pro 140dd and the smaller Rattlers. The guys using live baits have been catching couta, mostly shoalies with occasional bigger fish on larger live baits fished deep. The snoek have been around but not in great number, it is always worth spending the first hour of daylight trolling a few small lures and strip baits on backline in search of a nice fat snoek. Don’t be surprised if one of these get picked up by a big couta.
Umdloti and Umhlanga have had reports of tuna coming out on live bait. These fish have fallen for a mozzie with a 6’O circle through the back suspended about 5m below a balloon. This is a deadly method when drifting around the main bait spots and wrecks, the balloon stops the live bait from swimming down to the rest of the shoal and the panic vibrations caused by this attracts the game fish. On your way to the fishing grounds, don’t forget to troll a lure or two, the R15 Halco Laser Pro 120dd has been the winner of late.
Locally, shad and rock cod have dominated the inshore catches. Pockets of red-eyes are becoming more and more frequent; hopefully the game fish won’t be too far behind. The anglers venturing further offshore have had good success fishing for bottoms and have landed a few tuna on their trap sticks. This is a very useful tool to have as a bottom fisherman and involves drifting a live bait near the surface while fishing on the bottom. This method has resulted in more than its fair share of monster couta and tuna. Trolling lures such as Halcos and Rattlers has been the most successful way to target the tuna. Using a live bait on the bottom has been the bait of choice when targeting the geelbek, daga and coppers.
From uMkomaas south, anglers have seen a few tuna and Couta, these fish have fallen victim to both trolled lures and live bait. Numerous reports of screaming runs and bite offs have come in and one can only assume these to be one of the resident wahoo making short work of the light wire leaders. Targeting these wahoo is best done with a live bonnie on a longer than normal wire leader.
Rock and Surf:
Scratching has been the order of the day with the prevailing conditions. This involves fishing amongst the rocks mainly with prawn and chokka baits. Circle hooks are the best choice for this terrain as they do not get stuck as easily as J-hooks.
Spinning in the Kosi Bay area has been slow up north, with mostly undersize shad making an appearance. Toby spoons have been the lure of choice when targeting these fish, but please adhere to the bag and size limits and change your lure’s hooks to singles to reduce the damage caused to the fish. Anglers scratching amongst the reef have caught the usual bag of species with stumpies dominating the daytime trips and eel-tail barbel and cave bass the night. This area is the perfect place to use a double hook trace with circle hooks. Due to the inward point of the hook, it bounces off the rocks and does not snag as easily as a j-hook would. A Mustad 4’O tuna circle is the weapon of choice with a chokka blob bait, and this hook will work for most of the species in the area.
Richards Bay, the anglers spinning along this stretch of coast have had success with snoek and kingies, these fish have come out on modified spoons with small squid skirts on their assist hooks. These are cast out, allowed to sink and worked back with a jigging action. Bait anglers have reported various levels of success with both edible and inedible species. A few diamond rays have been caught in the Doggy Beach area on large throw baits such as mackerel heads with multiple cutlets wrapped on the outside.
Tugela has seen the odd giant sand shark, however most of the catches from this area have been smaller edible species caught while scratching on the sandbanks and between the rocks. Chokka and prawn baits are the best to use to maximize your chances, try out one of Ray’s secret baits from the YouTube videos, www.youtube.com/TheKingfisherFishing
Like the rest of the coast, the prevailing conditions in Ballito have meant that few reports have come in from this area. The anglers that have gone out have had mixed success with scratching species and these fish have been caught with chokka and sea lice baits. Grey sharks have been scarce, but some anglers have had success off the points with fresh mackerel and red-eye baits.
Anglers in the local area have continued to catch a mixed bag of species, pompano, grunter and shad have been the main species caught. Smaller chokka and prawn baits have been working extremely well while Japanese mackerel has been getting the shad to bite.
Toti has been the hot spot for anglers hoping to catch a Garrick and the best bait for these fish is undoubtedly a live shad, but do not hesitate to throw a whole sardine or mackerel as a few fish have been caught using dead baits. Anglers scratching for smaller fish have had success with a few bronze bream and kingfish.
Scottborough has produced a few reports of Garrick on live bait, the best of these has been a live shad caught in the bay. A drift sardine or toby spoon is the most likely to catch yourself one. Some large Kob has also come out on live baits fished at night off the point. On the ineds side, a few blue rays have been caught on red-eye sardine baits.
Shelly Beach to Port Edward, anglers dropping large baits with kites and drones have seen continued success, most baits being picked up but few fish being landed. Please ensure you have adequate tackle and fitness when targeting these giants as any weak point will see you lose your fish, tackle and possibly injure yourself. The largest shad have been coming from this area and anglers have been using larger than normal baits (whole mackerel and red-eye sardine) to catch these fish. Please remember to adhere to the bag limits and bring in your fresh trophy catch to The Kingfisher in Durban to stand a chance to win our shad competition, see details below.
The Transkei has produced some lovely kob and other scratching fish. Some lucky anglers have even managed to land poenskop while targeting other species, these rare catches are special and the fish should be handled with utmost care for a photo before being released for another lucky angler to catch one day.
In The Durban harbour, the smaller Daiwa Prorex paddle tails are continuing to produce fish. All the colours have UV-activated hot spots (ask one of or friendly staff to show you). While the fish being caught are not giants, ultra-light tackle means you will enjoy the fight with the kingies, flathead and smaller kob. Spinning in the harbour will begin to pick up with summer on its way and one can expect to catch a variety of species on small spoons and lures. The bait fishermen have caught perch on small squid baits while the guys on the boats have been having success with crackers and live baits. The grunter falling for a cracker on a light line and circle hook rigged through its tail, these smaller circle hooks such as the size 1 Mustad tuna circles have proven to work well on the grunter, these small hooks are incredibly strong and will not open on that once-in-a-lifetime fish.
Bass fishing in Albert Falls dam has been producing some absolute pigs; these fish have fallen prey to finesse tactics, mostly shaky head worms and drop shot. A decent spinning outfit with 6-8lb line would be the tackle to use, and braid with its directness allows with a much more sensitive touch for detecting the subtle bites. We have multiple braid options available at various prices. The discontinued Daiwa Tournament braid has been dropped to ridiculously low prices and comes in 135m, 300m and 1000m spools, so pop in and have a look. Midmar and Inanda have continued to produce fish; deep-water tactics such as California rigs with large senkos have caught the larger fish. The key has been to find the areas the bass are holding in, so don’t be afraid to move around until you find the sweet spot.
On the whole, the carp fishing has been slow of late, as with the previous facets mentioned, the onset of summer is eagerly awaited. All of our dams have produced a few fish, but guys have had to put in long hours for their success. Feed and rigs dropped along the marginal vegetation has proven to be out fishing the open water areas, this as a result of the carp moving to the warmer shallow water. Establishing a good feed area with ground feed such as hemp and mealies will certainly increase your chances of a successful trip. Shongweni, Inanda and Albert Falls are all worth a trip and with camping facilities available, they make for a lovely weekend getaway.
Tiger fishing has continued to be slow with only a few guys recording success at Jozini. As usual, successes has been a mixture of lure and bait, and remember that a small treble with a short piece of wire is the best method of hooking up when using live bait. One needs to make sure to use the finest gauge and sharpest hooks that you can to ensure that you are able to set the hook in the tiger’s hard mouth.
With summer approaching, the trout scene is beginning to heat up, the fish are still responding to orange flies (egg patterns and red setters) but are starting to take large dragon patterns (olive wooly buggers being particularly deadly). Scalies are becoming a preferred target for the coastal guys; most fish are coming out in the uMzimkhulu and uMkomaas river systems. One needs only search Facebook to see the success certain people are having with these freshwater game fish. Although scalies (Natal yellow fish) are small fish, they put up a very sporting fight particularly when targeted with the appropriate tackle (3-4wt rods with a floating line). Short casts and dead drifting a team of nymphs is the order of the day. We stock all the tackle to set you up for a scaly adventure, with multiple options and various price options, so, if you haven’t given it a try, why not pop in and chat to one of our friendly fly fishing staff.
According to Jan Korrubel from the Fish Eagle in PMB, the excitement mounts as we rush towards the opening of the Trout River Season on Friday 1 September – it’s been a long wait for the “river’ holics”, and the time is almost nigh…finally. With the recent injection of moisture (light rain and snow) on the ‘Berg recently, expectations are running high – stay tuned as your reporter will be roving both of the premier wild-spawn Brown Trout streams this country has to offer: full report to follow in next week’s column (pictures on our Facebook page). To avoid the last minute scramble to setup your river (fly) tackle, herewith a recommended list of the basics: 1 to 3wt sticks and reel outfitted with a floating line, dry fly for the purists (and nymphs for the not so…), wading boots (felt sole with good ankle support), and a vest or pack in either of “waistcoat” or “technical” styles (daypack for those extended upstream strolls that require necessary extra’s like lunch). Stop by the store for assistance / advice with any of the above.
The Stillwater trout fishing appears to have had a bit of lull, no doubt as the fish figure out what the weather / season is doing. As the water warms, the fish will head off into deep looking for cooler water and fishing deep and slow will be the rule of the day. While Albert Falls Dam is still below 30%, Midmar and Spring Grove are currently at 70% and 86% respectively. During the pre-spawn period (August through October), bass spend most of time in shallow water, crank baits that run shallow, and floating plastics will be your go-to lures. The yellow fish (Natal Scaly) are very much about with most of the action being on bread, and a bit slower on the fly. Again as the water warms up some more, we can expect the action to hot up correspondingly.
For advice and tips regarding any of the species mentioned or the methods used to target them, please visit anyone of our retail stores and have a chat with one of the friendly staff.
Don’t forget to check out our new Kingfisher fishing channel on YouTube, www.youtube.com/TheKingfisherFishing with great product reviews, tutorials and new episodes of fishing being uploaded all the time.
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