A reminder that it’s the second instalment of The Kingfisher Biggest Shad Competition. The heaviest Shad for this month (September) 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 and not frozen) 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.
With conditions changing from one day to the next, planning your fishing trip has been a hit and miss affair. A few intrepid anglers have managed a few decent fish between the wind and rough seas. We already have a decent first place fish, sitting at 3.7kgs. Please keep the big shad coming in…
Offshore conditions have continued to limit access to the fishing grounds. Big swells and winds have kept all but the hardened from launching. The charters have reported some good geelbek catches but the sharks are still taxing their share.
Sodwana bay to Tugela:
The water has started to warm up and this has meant the first reports of successful Dorado ventures up north. The reports have been mixed in terms of what techniques have been working, but the usual methods should start to show dividends. These include trolling konas, feathers and lipped lures on any prevailing colour or temperature lines that you can find; pitching live baits and poppers at floating debris; or slow trolling a live bait near or on a drop off. If you need to choose a colour, pink is the only one you need. A deadly method for the paddle ski guys is to troll a threaded red eye sardine behind a small pink bird.
Umdloti to local:
Daga and geelbek are the predominant species making up the days catch. Tuna have fallen prey to poppers. If you haven’t tried this yet…you are missing out. Throwing a large popper around a pod of dolphins and seeing a 20kg plus tuna barrelling out of the water to kill your popper is a site you don’t soon forget. A decent outfit is required for tackling these fish as you never know if you are going to hook up to a giant 40kg angry yellowfin. A good example would be a Saltist popping rod matched with a BG 5000/Saltist 5000 grinder filled with 50-65lb braid.
The Aliwal gang have had success with the small yellowfin tuna that seem to congregate in this area. Reports of some wahoo being landed and many lost have filtered in. Remember to use a thicker than normal wire leader in front of your live bonnie. Catching the live bonnie can prove to be difficult if the wahoo are thick. The best method is trolling a daisy chain of small squid skirts behind your boat/jetski. The king of these are the Yamashita squid skirts in clear and white. Using a silver hook in the daisy chain adds some much needed flash which can make the difference between having live bait and trolling lures only. Some anglers have reported great success adding a small paddletail at the end of the daisy chain to send out a strong vibration.
Rock and surf
Summer is almost upon us and the species that favour the warmer water are starting to show themselves. Bronze bream, sandies and honeycombs are starting to get everyone excited.
Summer is almost here and the fish that we love to target are starting to come out on the upper KZN coast. Sandies, honeycombs and grey sharks are the main species. For these, large bloody baits thrown in to deep holes off the beach or in to the deep off a point will give you the best chance. A 6/0 Mustad tuna circle on a short piece of AFW Surflon wire as a bite section will be the best trace to use for targeting all these species. A mackerel head with red eye cutlets wrapped around the head will be deadly. When specifically targeting the flatfish, the use of a cone sinker (to avoid spiking the fish when it comes to eat the bait) and excluding the wire from the trace will increase your chances. When grey sharks are your desired specie, add foam to your bait to float the bait in to the strike zone.
As mentioned above, the time of the bigger shad is here. A fish of 3.7kgs is currently leading our biggest shad competition. These bigger fish are not easy to catch, as they have not gotten to the size that they are by being stupid. Increasing the size of your bait to whole sardines or mackerel is the best way to tempt these beasts.
Scratching around the bricks has resulted in a myriad of species. Of these, blacktail and bronze bream have been the targeted species. The use of small circle hooks for these fish increases your hook-up rate and reduces your chances of getting stuck in the rocks. Using bell sinkers as opposed to the usual bottle sinkers also decreases the amount of times your sinker gets snagged.
The south coast has continued to produce bigger shad. Drifting a whole sardine close to the rocks has produced the bigger fish.
Anglers have also reported catches of decent bronze bream. For targeting these fish, remember to make traces with and without floats to see what mood the fish are in on the day. A size 1/0 ringed chinu has been the hook of choice with a pink or red prawn. If you can get your hands on some cracker shrimp, you are in with the best chance for a personal best fish.
Shad have pushed in to the harbour. These fish have mostly been undersized but a few have made the 30cm mark. Spoons and drift baits have been the methods of choice. The flathead have started to move on to the banks and have been snacking on the grunter anglers baits. These fish can be caught using bait (the usual baits used for grunter) as well as lures such as paddle tails bounced along the bottom or weighted flies. Targeting these fish can turn a slow outing in to a busy day as they are always keen to accept any offering fished in the right area.
Anglers on the centre bank have managed a few grunter on cracker shrimp but the garrick are still eluding everyone.
Hazlemere has been the venue of choice. Anglers have reported large numbers of fish per day and although most have been smaller fish, a few large fish have been caught in between. Shongweni, Midmar and Alberts falls have been fishing slow but the persistent anglers have managed decent bags of small bass on large soft plastics fished slowly on carolina rigs. Junebug has been the most successful colour and Zoom dead ringers have proven their worth.
Fishing has been slow in our local dams. Anglers have reported long nights and few bites. The flavours of choice at the moment are Banjo and Tjop Tjop. These have been mixed in to the ground feed and fished as a boilie in a well fed area over night to produce the goods.
The new line of Africa lures have been producing the goods at Jozini dam. Many anglers are making the trek up to the Okavango delta for the annual barbel run which should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Some bigger scalies have come out to the guys persisting in the uMkomaas and uMzimkulu rivers. A large, heavy control fly on a size 8 scud or circle hook fished in conjunction with a small nymph such as a size 14 hotspot will produce the fish.
Trout have continued to favour large olive patterns in the stillwaters and small mayfly nymphs in the rivers. Some anglers have had the surprise of hooking in to a feisty scaly while targeting trout in the rivers. These fish have given a good account of themselves and have caused hardened trout anglers to reconsider their target species.
As always, limit your catch and don’t catch your limit.
The Opening of the Trout River Season went well, with a number of good fish (up to 50cm) being reported. The water levels are as expected for this time of year coming out of winter, and so much better than the past 2 seasons. We look forward to the coming of the spring/summer rains to get the flows back up, as both the Mooi and Bushman’s Rivers could do with another 6-8inches of level to really get things going.
That being said, the rivers have already had a good flush with the recent rains and snows from last month, and there is very little sign of the large algal mats and sediment clogging the pools. Water still very much on the chilly side, hovering between 7-8deg.C in the mornings and getting up to double figures later on in the day. Where the fish were looking up, dries were the order of the day with parachute styles for the win. For those fishing nymphs, success was had with small black, buggy flies.
Damn levels are still on the (very) low side with Albert Falls sitting at 26%, Midmar at 70%, and Spring Grove at 84%. There have however been some good very good bass in the 3-4+kg range reported from Albert Falls – the water is reported to be off colour, so lures offering maximum contrast are doing the damage; black still being the most popular but also plain white.
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