Mother nature is starting to become more stable… With the north east winds and the sea kind of behaving itself, the time for targeting summer species on the boat and from the side has come.
Ray’s tip: With the high winds bringing on dangerous conditions, if you do venture out to sea, make sure you have all the safety equipment required and that it is all up to date. Also have the NSRI number on hand in case of emergencies (NSRI :: Emergency please call 112 from your cell
or Craig Lambinon 082 380 3800).
The past week has seen quite a lot of action on both the bottom fish and dorado front. Sailfish and Dorado are starting to keep the big game fisherman busy and with some unconfirmed reports of marlin around, the excitement around the kona section of the shop is palpable. Remember that although these are generally expensive lures, we now stock an entry-level start-up kit which has everything you need to give this exciting method of fishing a go. The bottom fishing has been going well off the common spots with daga and the occasional geelbek being caught.
Bottom fish, dorado and tuna have been the main targets for the daring. The tuna and dorado are favouring a trolled lipped lure such as a pink rattler as well as a free-drifted mozzie on a circle hook and a fluorocarbon leader. Both these methods should be focussed around the many wrecks, reefs and baitfish spots along the coast.
Bottom fishing has yielded some massive mackerel (some over 2 kilos!!!) along with daga and geelbek. Dropping a live mackerel to the bottom near a reef (up-current or down-current) will be the best bet for the daga while a whole sardine will be best for the geelbek.
The wahoo have still left many anglers puzzled. These are big, powerful fish and require top-notch tackle with good drags and strong backbone. Trolling a live bonnie around Aliwal will almost certainly produce a pull, but make sure to use the boat to chase the fish down so that the ever-present sharks don’t tax you harder than SARS.
Tuna are also full-up, so troll your favourite lipped lure around or give one of the new Halco max 110’s a go. As they can be pulled at high speed they are ideal to put out when you need to cover some water.
Rock and surf:
With the conditions starting to stabilise and the north east wind blowing, the time has come to take out the big tackle and target those big summer inedibles.
The north zone of the KZN coast is probably the best area to target the early summer inedibles during this period of north east wind. Sliding a big bait in to a deeper hole along one of the beaches will set yourself up for a chance at a honeycomb, raggie or sandy.
The spinning guys have still managed to hook in to a late season garrick or two and the odd snoek. Any of the bullet spoons on the market will give you a reasonable chance of success. Using a good quality thin braid (15lb J-Braid is ideal) on a 10”6′ rod with a fast action (the Exceler is perfectly suited to this) matched with a high gear ratio reel to keep the spoon moving at the right speed (the 3000 Daiwa Saltist or BG grinders are the choice). This will give you a light outfit that you can spin with all day and then use the same outfit to catch some bream if the spinning doesn’t prove fruitful.
The central natal coast saw the last leg of the KZNCAU common venue league take place this past weekend. The conditions proved to be the determining factor and many anglers struggled to adapt their game plan on the day. Scratching was the order on the day and there were some fine fish caught including a geelbek and some lovely kob (one of close on 20kgs!). Bronze bream and various other rock species made up the bulk of the weight with the top two clubs weighing in 60 and 80 weight points respectively.
On the recreational side of things, the Scottborough and uMkomaas area have been the most productive spots. This can however be due to the ease of parking and access to these fishing spots. Live baits and chokka baits with tentacles are the most likely to produce a Kob in these two spots. Medium tackle (be it a multiplier or grinder) will be more than adequate to subdue these fish.
Anglers have also been having lots of fun with the paddle tail soft plastics for the Kob currently present along this section of coast.
The south has been fairly quiet for the guys targeting the bigger fish. Most of this area has produced the smaller rockfish such as stone bream and bronze bream. Rock cod, mainly cat face, have also made their presence felt with angler reporting great fights on their light bream rods when a feisty catface decided to snack on their delicate prawn bait. Fishing a double hook trace is always a good choice in these situations but it does up the chances of getting stuck, so weigh up your options. If you want to target both rockcod and bream, add a larger bait to your bottom hook (fleshy or chokka based) and your usual prawn bait to the top hook. If bream are your sole target, use two small hooks (chinu size 1 or 1/0) with either two prawn baits or a prawn bait on top and a chokka blob bait on the bottom.
The water in Durban harbour has started to clear up nicely. This has meant much more productive fishing for everyone. For the bait guys, the mullet are still in full force. Targeting them simply requires a float and some small hooks (preferably circles). To this just add some white bread for bait and chum.
The evenings have yielded a few larger grunter on free-drifted cracker shrimp. It is possible to target these fish by sight as they can be spotted tailing on the banks. This can also be very frustrating as they are particularly finnicky when feeding in this manner (hence the weight-less presentation).
The lure guys have continued to have mixed bags of success with most anglers getting a kingy or two and the lucky ones being rewarded with an ox-eye tarpon or prized springer. Once again, small dropshots and jerk minnows (such as the kingfisher reaction baits or the prorex minnows) will be most successful.
Shongweni has been the dam of choice lately with anglers reporting good catches of above-average carp. These have been fish in the 12kg+ range. These fish have been favouring the sweeter flavours with honey being particularly effective. Floaties and dough have been doing all the work with flavours such as banana, pineapple, tutti frutti and most sweet and fruity flavours. The best fishing has been throughout the day. Making a mealie bomb including one of these flavours will really up your chances. For the best mealie bomb, get yourself a meat mincer and prepare some whole maize by soaking them for 24h then cooking them at a low heat until they swell and they are soft. Take the mealies and mincer to the water and when the time comes to put your mealie bomb on, take a handful or two and mince it up and you have the best mealie bomb you’ll ever use.
Hazelmere – The fishing is very good as usual more from the water than the bank. A lot of the fish being caught are taking crank baits being trolled and flicked towards the banks. Jigs and senkos have also been getting a few fish around the structure. Bouncing a jigs on floor around the submerged structures were getting quite a few pulls, casting the jigs towards the bank and even onto the bank then drag/bouncing it back towards you also seemed to get some action from the smaller bass wondering around in the shallows. The worms in the other hand were fished weightless most of the time and sinking slowly along the structures.
Shongweni – black junior flukes, frogs and small poppers have been doing very well with most of the bass being caught. When fishing with frogs, one can fish relatively heavy as the areas that you target are usually heavily over grown, a submerged tree/stump or just plain lilly pads. If a bass of 5kg+ picks you up, you cant give it an inch of braid that’s why so many guys fish up to 75lb braid straight to the frog. A sliding tungsten weight above the black fluke helped a lot when approaching a very quiet area in getting a good cast before you get too close.
Reports and pictures have been doing the rounds of large rainbow and brown trout up in the midlands.
In the big salty dam, flyfishers are starting to have more success with the summer species. These have included all the rock species (from rockcod to blacktail) for the guys scratching in the gullies with small white and orange patterns. Try a white death or small charlie in the gullies and gutters on your trout set up and see how much fun you can have with the saltwater species.
For the gamefish guys, the harbour has continued to produce pulls from oxeye tarpon, kingies, torpedo scad and the occasional springer. Try natural coloured baitfish and shrimp patterns fished along the edges of sandbanks with an intermediate line.
With the wind blowing like it is, the beaches will be a very hard spot to flick flies. Remember that even in the strongest wind, you can still find a place to fish if you target the lee side of a rocky point. These quieter bays are often a very productive spot as the wind pushes the baitfish in to the bay and these will be followed by the gamefish.
Jozini has been very quiet lately with no definitive reports being received. As with fishing a new or unknown venue; start out targeting the most likely areas, i.e. structure or areas of transition (either in depth of water or temperature). For tigers it is always advisable to troll lures, cast spinners in likely areas or to drift with some sardine fillet baits. As soon as you have found the fish, you can focus all your attention on similar areas across the dam.
This report from The Fish Eagles Jan Korrubel “Although this weekend’s cold spell was highly anticipated to bring some more moisture to the ‘Berg and The Midlands, nothing much came of it. Temperatures dipped all the way to the low single figures in some parts, and Sani Top reported some flurries of snow, but for the rest, mist – the stuff so thick that you can’t see your hand in front of your face – only brought a few mm to the gauge. As indicated last week, I found myself having a day on the river this weekend, and dismayed to see how the water level has dropped in the last 2 weeks to my previous visit; a couple inches at least! While not quite the dire straits that the Cape is experiencing, we need (more) rain to get the river flows up and moving properly and dam levels up. On the up side, the brown trout are there, and of the number rising to the dry fly, we managed to bring two fine specimens of 11 and 9 inches to hand. Water temperature in the morning was a cool 11deg.C and crystal clear. In the current low flow conditions, the fish are holding in the deeper pools, with only a few in the cobbled runs in-between. Flies of the day were Elk-hair Caddis, Royal Wulff, Rubber-leg Stimulator and Klinkhamer.
Reports from The Midlands Stillwater’s indicate that there some good rainbows about. The usual medley of summer patterns can be relied on produce the goods: Woolly Buggers in Black aka “Speedcop” and standard olive livery, Red-eye Damsels in olive and black and “Papa Roach” dragonfly nymphs in olive.
While still early days, the yellows have also started to move – news of fish locally from the Umgeni and further afield from Sterkfontein has started to filter through. Water temps till needs to get up a bit, but conditions will only improve from now on. The lower Umkomaas was firing on all cylinders in sudden summer heat of last month, and slowed down somewhat in the cooler weather this month, but reports are that the fish are coming back on again.
With Albert falls fast approaching a shocking low of 20%, it would seem that the big bass have no place to hide! Midmar and Baynesfield have also been producing, with darker colours being favoured at present: watermelon in its various guises right through to black.”
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 week’s show with Petri 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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