With the North East wind bringing in some favourable conditions (for the rock and surf fraternity) the much-anticipated summer fish have made themselves known along the KZN coast. The sea has not been the nicest for the offshore guys, but the ones that have ventured out have stocked their live wells and managed a few fish as well.
We have received very few reports regarding the fishing on the North Coast but those that have come in have reported tuna being wild (the same is true for most of the coast) along with the occasional couta, wahoo and saily. Successful methods have been limited to trolling of lures and kona-type lures in search of the fish and then either actively targeting the area of the bite with the same lures or changing over to live bait and drifting/slow trolling through the area. The paddle-ski fraternity continue to have success with the snoek on the upper north coast. These fish have been significantly larger than the average with fish averaging 4 kilos and up.
The local commercial bait guys have been smiling all the way to the freezer with all the mackerel and red eye sardines around. They have been kept off the water with the rough conditions, but the brave have managed to fill their hatches. A tip while fishing for bait is to put one of the baitfish you catch out on a trap stick and let it drift around while you continue to catch your bait for the day. This is a deadly method and works for all game fish but is particularly deadly for tuna and couta. The tuna are still around at most of the usual spots and drifting the area with a lively mozzie will give you the best chance of nabbing one of these gas bottles. On the bottom fishing side of things, reports have mainly included geelbek and rock cod. The geelbek have continued to feed in strange areas and strange times, so don’t be afraid to try your luck just outside the harbour in the middle of the day (for example).
Tuna have been the saving grace for most anglers on the South Coast, as fishing has been a bit slow down there. Bait has been more than plentiful and this may be causing the fish to ignore everything else. Make sure to stock up on your bait jigs to ensure yourself the best chance of catching some lively bait fish. Those in the know recommend the red head version of the bait jigs as they say it out performs the rest. If you are stuck holding pole while others around you continue to pull up bait, add some small pieces of bait (sardine or squid) to the jig hooks as this should convince the bait fish to succumb to your offerings. Tuna are favouring a slow drifted live bait (preferably a mozzie) on a 6/0 circle hook attached to a piece of fluorocarbon leader. This on a 12-15kg rod will be more than adequate for most of the tuna you hook but you may want to go heavier in the Shelly Beach area as some monsters have been hooked and lost down there. Ray’s tip: circle hooks and live baits. Using a small Dacron bridle will help improve hook up rates and freedom of movement for the livey. Chat to one of our friendly staff or see the latest GoFish magazine for a breakdown of how to use this system.
Rock and Surf:
The annual meet for the common venue league of the KZNCAU took place this past weekend on the upper South Coast. Competitors were greeted with conditions that were far from ideal, 2.4m swells, surging waters, strong north easterly wind and rain. The Saturday session saw very few fish caught and initial positive attitudes were severely tested with the conditions. Sunday saw a much more friendly sea and less savage wind. Overall scratching was the order for the competition and the fish caught were the usual bronze bream, stone bream, rock cod, cave bass and kob (with the exception of a few flatfish). Scores were low at the end of the comp and teams eagerly await the official release of the results.
The North Coast has continued to be the spot of choice for the inedible anglers. Diamonds, grey sharks, hammerheads and giant sandies have been the main species coming out. Dean Reddy has been showing his form and the performance of the new Azure range of rods, pulling out some substantial fish (including a beautiful sandy of +70kg). Big baits and long throws (or wading to get your bait in to deeper water) is what’s called for on this section of the coast. Remember that you are not targeting small fish up there, so double check all your knots and use proper tackle as inferior tackle will only leave you disappointed and the fish with a trace and possibly meters of line trailing behind it. A truly notable catch made at the Mtunzini banks recently on the new Saltist grinder elite 15’ rod was a kob of over 30kg. Please see this video for more (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8RHIWqieng). Refer to our YouTube channel to see the recommend traces, tackle and species information to help make your trips more successful (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWIbHspBjLU).
With the north easterly winds and stained water, the Durban beachfront has been very friendly to most anglers targeting the summer inedible species. Due to the lack obstructions and generally smaller fish, fishing with lighter tackle will make the fight much more pleasurable. Remember not to go too light as this can affect survival rates of the fish you catch. I would recommend a 3-5oz rod with a 5000 size reel and 20-30lb braid. My setup for this fishing is a Daiwa Saltist 3-5oz rod with a 5000 Daiwa BG grinder paired with 30lb Daiwa J-Braid. This handles all but the bigger inedible species but works perfectly for the blue rays, brown skates, small sandies and diamonds. A notable catch made in the past week was a 7.6kg rock salmon caught while targeting inedibles. This fish was caught on a full metal jacket trace along the beachfront while targeting diamond rays, goes to show you that you never quite know what to expect to catch next.
For the edible angler, the South Coast has been the go to section of coast. Kob, a few Garrick, bronze bream, stone bream, rockcod and stumpies have been the landed species. Anglers have managed a few inedible species while targeting the above species (blue rays and brown skates). A medium tackle setup (around 5oz) is ideal for this angling (see my recommended setup for the Durban beachfront above). Monofilament helps with abrasion resistance so use a leader of around 0.6-0.7mm mono. So, for the grinder fraternity, you will use a braid leader of around 80lb attached to your mainline braid (using a knot of your choice but an FG is recommended). This braid leader is attached to a small swivel to which a short length (about 1m) of monofilament leader is attached. This mono is attached to the trace (this helps eliminate tangles, increases abrasion resistance and saves you cutting your braid leader for every trace change). For this type of angling, using a double hook trace is very effective. This will comprise a top hook with a small float (for targeting bronze bream) and a slightly larger bottom hook with a meaty bait without a float (for targeting rockcod and cave bass). This trace can be modified to suit the situation (e.g. using two prawn baits when specifically targeting bronze bream or two chokka baits when targeting shoal kob or cave bass).
Fishing has slowed quite a bit in the bay the past week as very few reports have come in of any fish being caught on artificial as well as on bait. The handful of reports that have surfaced have mentioned a couple of kingies on surface lures and tiny bullet spoons. The grunter seems to have disappeared as a fraction of the initial amount of grunter coming out being are busy being caught… There has however been quite a few small kob being caught on most baits being put in the water. Bat Centre and Yacht Moll are the two best spots at the moment and using your usual ultra-light tackle and small lures are your best bet at securing a good catch.
The recent heat wave has warmed up the waters of The Midlands considerably, making some fish start moving while putting others into a stupor. The moving fish are the yellows (Natal scalies) and other warm water loving species like bass and carp: reports are that the fish are starting make a move on their summer spawning run and heading upstream. So at Midmar, they will be found at the top end of the dam, looking to head up the Umgeni. The hard-fighting scalies can be targeted with a wide variety of “baits”: hard / soft / and of course fly. While carp are mainly considered to be the target for the so-called pap-gooiers, on fly they are another game altogether, often resulting in break offs and even broken tackle!
The trout streams are running low and warm, so while we wait for rain, we suggest that we give them a break as a fish fought in tepid water has a much decreased chance of survival when practising C&R (as we do for the stream trout). The Stillwater’s are also heating up, surface water temps nearing 20 deg.C have already been reported, and the same scenario applies when fishing fish close to the surface. If practising C&R, we urge anglers to “tippet up” in order to get the fish in as fast as possible, to send it on its way again. Summer Stillwater’s are best fished with an intermediate or sinking line, in order to get the fly down to depth where the fish are sitting in the cooler/deeper water. Dam levels are on the drop at present: Midmar at 74%, Spring Grove at 75% and Albert Falls sitting dangerously low at 20%. The forecast shows some decent rainfall for the greater Midlands area during the week, and clearing again for the weekend, so get your tackle ready over the next few days, the weekend looks like it will be a good one… Thanks Jan Korruel for this report.
Carp fishing in Inanda has been getting better by the week as more and more pictures of catches are coming in even though the water level is quite low. Lots of carp in the 3kg-9kg region are being caught weekly on conventional traces and baits. Plain and fruity baits are becoming the in thing now that summer is well upon us. Smaller baits at longer distances have doing much better than the bigger baits or closer casts. Dough backing and a small floatie or half mealie with a golf ball size mealie bomb at 100m+ has been the winning combination.
Hazelmere dam proceeds to produce many small bass which been ideal for most parents trying to get their young ones on to the sport have been very successful fishing by Hazelmere as it never disappoints. C-tail and U-tail worms in most colours have been the preferred baits to use for these smaller fish due to them being too easy to fish with and also getting most of the bites.
The latest series of Hier Gaan Ons Alweer (16) with Petri de Wet premieres Monday evenings at 17:30 on kykNet channel 144 and there are a number of repeats during the week. The repeats are on Tuesday at 10:00, Thursday at 16:30, Friday at 00.30 and Saturday at 13:00. Series 16 runs for three months, ending on the 25th December 2017. As most of you know, Petri and his guests cover various angling styles (fresh and salt water) in and around Southern Africa. This awesome series kicks off with Petri and the guys fishing in Angola, landing some amazing garrick and monster shad, well worth watching.
The Kingfisher Fishing channel features new content every Monday to Friday at 10h00 AM. Fresh content on Product, Baits, Methods & Fishing as well as the popular SPLASH giving back to fishing courtesy DAIWA & The Kingfisher. GOTO: www.YouTube.com/TheKingfisherFishing
This week’s content:
Monday 10h00 AM – SPLASH – Giving away the DAIWA Saltist 5000 Reel valued at R 4 500.00
Tuesday 10h00 AM – FISHING VLOG – Kob on Paddle Tail in the Transkei
Wednesday 10h00 AM – BAIT Demo – Double Sea lice
Thursday 10h00 AM – SPECIES – Cavebass
Friday 10h00 AM – GEAR – Shova Gum Boots
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