It has been a hit-and-miss affair of late regarding both the off-shore and rock and surf fishing. The brown water has continued to plague most of the coast but the fish have been biting if you find the right spot…
Ray’s tip: Pitching a live mozzie on a circle hook at any of the floating debris could prove very fruitful for the dorado as well as trolling in and out of the colour line.
North – The North Coast has been the place where most of the game fish action has been taking place. The larger couta have been making their presence felt with a few anglers having their tackle tested by some proper croc couta. Remember that a live bonnie is king for these fish and bonnies up to 4 kilograms is perfect to entice a croc. The dorado are around and it is definitely worth making a trip to purposefully target these fish. As they are very fast growing and on the SASSI (South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative), they are able to handle angling pressure a lot better than the resident reef fish.
Central – Daga and geelbek have been making up the charter boats’ catches. These fish have been coming out in the day as well, so do not limit your targeting to only night-time fishing.
Mussel cracker have been coming out on whole sardines dropped off the reefs on a sturdy circle hook. The best reel for the job is without a doubt a 10 inch KP and a glass fibre rod. This gives you a massive amount of torque to crank fish up from the depths. Remember to add a squid skirt to your bottom trace to help add some attraction to your bait
South – The southern section of the coast has been producing game fish. Tuna and wahoo have been the major targets. Adding an exciter bird in front of your Kona or squid will drastically increase your chances. We have just unpacked our new range of economy birds and trolling lures. These make a fantastic gift for a husband or friend and are a great way of getting in to game fish trolling if bottom fishing is more your style.
Rock and Surf:
North – The northern section of KZN has seen the majority of the inedible action. There have been reports of raggies coming out at Hlobane as well as a few sandies. Most of this section of coast is the place to try your luck for these early season summer fish. Throwing a large meaty bait in to the deep will produce one of these denezins. Look for the outgoing rips as well as the edges of sandbanks to increase your chances of putting your bait in the right area. When specifically targeting the raggies, the use of a full metal jacket trace with a large circle (or two J-hooks) would be the best option. 150Lb wire of about 1.5m in length attached to a strong swivel and 1mm leader really helps when trying to pull a stubborn fish over the bank and on to the beach, especially if there is a strong backwash or steep lip.
Central – Spinning has been on fire off the north pier. Guys had an amazing weekend along the pier with catches of 10 bonnies each along with sightings of couta off the point. Lures off choice are the longer style lures such as the Daiwa D minnow. Anglers have been stripped throwing poppers. These are most likely GT’s or black tip kingies in the 15kg plus range. Bait fishing has been fairly slow with the current conditions. The north east wind has not produced the inedible fish in the Durban basin area like it should have. Guys have reported a few blue skates, stumpies and small diamonds.
South – This has been the better section of coast to try your luck. The past weekend saw the second to last leg of the KwaZulu-Natal Coast Anglers Union common venue equaliser league take place. This was held on the lower south coast and saw quite a few fish coming out. Memorable catches included a 40+KG giant sand shark, a 46cm Stone bream and two anglers catching double-up kob. Recreationally, the fishing has been slow but is showing signs of picking up. Main species coming out are the usual scratching targets, stone bream, bronze bream, black tail and the occasional white muscle cracker. A few lucky anglers have managed to get stuck in to some of the early season summer fish. Diamonds, sand sharks and blue rays have made up the bulk of the catches but the grey sharks have been around. Larger mackerel baits with a lot of smell will give you the best chance of producing a pull from these fish. Remember to have stout tackle with sharp hooks and plenty of backing and once again, keep your hands away from the spiracles (gill openings), do not flip these fish over and be aware of the sharp spike along the tail. If you are unfortunate and do get spiked, emerge the wound in hot water and seek medical treatment as soon as you can.
Carp – Shongweni Dam has really started to pick up quite nicely as there were few to no reports back for weeks. The past week has proven to be one of the better times to fish Shongweni as many decent carp have come out by the camping area as well as the fish camp. Bait being used is the usual Tigernuts and Kaboem mielies balanced with pop up fake maize. Sweet corn and plain baits seem to be the way to go as far as flavouring goes. A standard hair rig has been the go-to rigs for most of the fishing in Shongweni as the floor is predominantly quite flat and sanded.
Inanda Dam has been doing very well for quite some now and so it precedes with reports of successful trips from specimen carp anglers as well as conventional carp anglers who have been catching their fair share decent size fish. Honey, honey glow and most sweet flavours are still doing very well by attracting the carp to the feeding area. Plain mielie bomb being fed and fished has been the preferred flavour of mielie bomb as per usual. Casting distances vary from 80m to 140m with the better fish coming out in the deeper water.
Bass –Shongweni Dam has produced a few bass and the most successful areas have been those only accessible by boat or some other form of watercraft. These secluded bays have been the target area of choice for the guys wanting to catch more than a few small ones. The bigger fish have been coming out on the Zoom Horny toads in various colours fished along the structure or reed beds.
Jan Korrubel from The Fish Eagle sent in this report. “The summer thunderstorms are starting to make an appearance, a good thing for current water levels that are needing a little booster. The rainfall measured in the Midlands to date is sitting around the 200mm mark, with most of it having gone straight in with little runoff (great for the water table). The bulk of the rainfall also appears to have been on the flats, with less in the upper catchment areas, so the still waters and river at lower altitudes are currently looking better. Midmar and Spring Grove dam’s levels are currently sitting at 75 and 78% respectively. After last month’s initial surge, the bass fishing has slowed down somewhat as the fish begin the spawn, although there are still some good fish being reported from Albert Falls. Soft plastics are doing the business there. The yellowfish reports have also slowed, even with the good flows in the lower reaches. The Umgeni is flowing well, but is still a touch on the cool side – no doubt as a result of the deep, colder water being released from the dams higher up in the system.
A fly angler reporting from the central ‘Berg area (Bergville) indicated that the yellows are coming on, flies of choice being a black taddy and green rockworm. The upper reaches of the trout streams could do with another 6” of flow to really get things moving, but the fish are around and happily looking up at the dry fly when the sun is in the water. Your “go to” patterns are RAB, Elk-hair Caddis, Klinkhamer and parachute mayfly. The Midlands still waters are hovering around 15-16deg.C, so still time enough to get in before the summer heat really makes an impact and send the fish to the bottom. Your summer staples are Black (Speed cop) Woolly Bugger, usually fished in a tandem rig with an olive Red-eye Damsel or dragonfly nymph. I will be having a closer 1st hand inspection of a brown trout river this coming weekend…so keep an eye out for next week’s report!” Thanks for the info Jan.
On the saltwater fly fishing side, anglers whipping the long rod have been having a ball in the Durban Harbour. Catches have included torpedo scads, flathead and kingies. Much like the spinning fraternity, ox-eye tarpon have found the small flies irresistible. They are tremendous fun, for a few seconds… invariably spitting the fly on the first or second jump. Ensure your hooks are sharp and your strip-strike game is on point.
Tiger fishing in Jozini Dam has been very slow for quite some time now but hasn’t discouraged anglers from trying all their tricks in the book. Lots of very small tiger have been coming out on sardine baits which has been keeping the kids busy but unfortunately the bigger tigers over 7lbs have been rather illusive. The handful that have come out, have come out on live tilapia/bream.
Things have really started to intensify in the Durban Bay. Although the dirty water has been pushed in by the easterly wind, the fish have decided that the time is now. Anglers have reported good catches of kingies (mainly black tip and GT, but the occasional big eye mixed in), torpedo scads, flathead, mullet and small kob. These fish are favouring a small paddle tail (colour not being too important) hopped along the bottom. Anglers have been hooking into the oxeye tarpon but have not been able to land these beautiful fish as they tend to throw the lure as soon as they feel any tension. A tip for increasing your hook-up rate is to change the small treble hooks on your lures to inline singles (such as the Mustad Kaiju hooks). These will hold a lot better once set in the fish’s jaw.
Spot to try: Wilson’s Wharf – Parking is secure so there is no need to fret while you fish. Remember that fishing in to the wharf itself is prohibited, but you can walk on the sandbanks from the wall and fish the drop off from the large concrete block all the way to Yacht Moll.
In Richards Bay Harbour, anglers have been having great success with the abundant pick handles as well as the large number of kingies. This is definitely the place to make a trip to if you are interested in estuarine light or ultra-light spinning.
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This week’s content:
Monday 12h15 pm – SPLASH giving away a DAIWA Laguna 5000 Reel valued at R 998
Monday 15h00 pm – Announcing the WINNER of the Poseidon Azure Pro 14,6ft Rod
Tuesday 10h00 am – Scratching on the South Coast
Wednesday 10h00 am – BAIT Demo – How to bait up half a Crab
Thursday 10h00 am – Gearing up for Transkei
Friday 10h00 am – Gear – DAIWA PVC Duffel Bags
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This week’s show is Petri’s last Angolan show with rock and surf tackle. Next week, the 30th is the first carp show using the Daiwa Black Widow BWR5000A reels, Black Widow 12’ rods (BWC2312) and the Poseidon Sniper and Marksmen rods. Then the 6th of November is the first with the new Daiwa Telescopic Legalis 7’ rod and Daiwa Laguna 3000 5Bi reels. The lines used are the Daiwa Sensor 8lb and our Daiwa J Braid, 8 weave 20lb (dark green).
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