With the schools on holiday and most people (the lucky ones at least) taking leave, the beaches are definitely going to become a little more crowded. Remember to give your fellow angler enough space and that the spot goes to the first person there. Also, the end of the year is not that far away and I’m sure if you are like me you still have some species on the bucket list for the year…better get out there! Ray’s tip: Sun protection! This is a point that cannot be stressed enough. We live in a beautiful country with a wilderness that deserves to be explored. However, we also live in a country with a strong sun and with that comes the potential for embarrassing and painful “tans”. For those of you coming down to the coast for your yearly pilgrimage, please ensure you use sun protection. You get three forms/styles so use which ever suits you. The easiest is to stay out of the sun (the shade-hugger), the second is the use of sun screen (the pasty) and the third is the hat and Sports Scarf (the bandit).
The offshore scene is still being dominated by tuna. These have been ranging from the usual 6-8kg gas bottles all the way up to 30kg beasts. Most of the catches have been on poppers, but trolled lures have played their part. Dorado, couta and the odd billfish have made up the remainder of the catches.
North – Cape Vidal and Sodwana have really been producing good fishing. As mentioned above, these areas will begin to become crowded with the flocking visitors, so I appeal to you to obey the rules of the launch sites, ask for help if you need it and give everyone their space. Fast-paced trolling is the order of the day, this will locate the feeding fish quickly and thereby allow you to focus all your fishing time in the right area. Mix things up with your trolling lures. This means trolling lures that dive at different depths (1 shallow diver and 1 deep diver) or different coloured lures. Once you have found what the fish are wanting, change to that lure on your rods and have some fun. The billfish that have come out have been sailfish mainly with the odd marlin, the sailfish have fallen for well-presented dead baits (mackerel being the favourite) and fast-trolled lipless lures, while the marlin have all gone for skirted Kona-type lures.
Central – Tuna, tuna and more tuna! The Durban area, up to Tinley Manor has been alive with tuna and other gamefish, the tuna have been taking a particular liking to anything with a bit of purple in it. My recommendation is the Kingfisher Rattler with the purple back and black stripes. Fairly fast trolling through any of the likely areas will quickly show you if the tuna are playing game. Alternately, driving around looking for baitfish activity or dolphins and throwing a popper in to the mix should produce a feisty yellowfin or two. The couta have also been making an appearance and some lovely fish have come out in the last few days. The mackerel and redeyes are wild off the coast. So make sure to stock up on bait jigs and get some fresh bait in to the freezer.
South – The south section of the KZN coast has been a hit and miss affair of late. Reports have come in of good and bad fishing from both the bottom-fishing fraternity as well as the gamefish boys. The bottoms that have been coming out have been rockcod and reds while the gamefish catches have been mainly tuna, wahoo and dorado. Aliwal has been the hotspot for the gamefish guys while Shelly Beach and Port Edward have been favourable for the bottom fishing crews.
Rock and surf:
The inedible anglers are in full force and the fish are obliging. With the species diversity really starting to heat up and the normal summer visitors finding their way in to anglers reports.
North – The northern sector of KZN has sent in reports of cooler than normal water for this time of year. Nonetheless, anglers have revelled whenever the conditions have suited and have reported catches of some great summer fish. These have included duckbills, raggies, giant sandies, brown rays, grey sharks, ribbontail rays and the mighty honeycomb ray.
Central – The Durban area has been favourable in the changing conditions. Due to the structure of the beaches and the sheltered nature of the area, it can be fished in the most terrible conditions that would be unfishable elsewhere. The shad have made their presence known to anyone who puts a bait in to the water. There have been a few larger individuals caught for the guys targeting them. For these larger fish, the best approach is drifting a whole sardine or redeye in the deeper water around a pier, rocky gully or point. The inedible guys have had fairly good success rates with the many species available on this piece of coast. Catches have included honeycombs, brown rays, grey sharks, giant sandies and diamonds. These fish are best targeted with a fleshy bait that lets out a lot of scent, this can be done by adding cutlets on to any bait.
South – This has been the place to go if you are wanting to target edibles, the further south the better. The kob have still been around and are favouring a large paddletail pulled slowly along the bottom. Look for edges of sandbanks, gutters or a rip current close to a river mouth. The bronze bream and other scratching species are still around but few reports have been coming in due to the focus shifting to the bigger inedibles that are around. If you are new to scratching or a bit rusty, please go to our YouTube channel and give the following videos a watch. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfiBF5uyCak ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS2tufKcka4 ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drNzIL1Sp64 ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EabsMnvDTag ). They will help brush up your knowledge and give you a better chance and nabbing a fish or two.
Bass – Fishing has been excellent the past few weeks at Hazelmere Dam; many fish have been landed from the bank as well the water. Dead ringer 4” worms and c-tail worms have been getting most the bites from the smaller fish throughout the day. Most the fish being caught are not very big so light outfits would be most appropriate. The bigger bass seem to be coming out on hard plastics mostly such as crank baits and jerk baits.
Fishing at Inanda Dam has been rather slow the past few weeks with minimal reports of decent fish being caught. There have however been a few smaller bass coming out mostly from the bank. The Zoom junior flukes and top water lures have been doing most of the work catching the fish early mornings. Tiny brush hogs and June bug speed craws have also been getting some bigger fish around the water grass in the camping area. A slow to medium retrieve and action has been most successful when fishing with these lures.
Carp – Fishing at Shongweni Dam has not been very productive with only a few reports coming in daily. Carp in the 9 kg region have been falling victim to tiger nuts in sweeter flavours in the evenings where smaller carp up to 7 kg have been falling victim to the more conventional approach of using mealies, floaties and dough. Bigger baits throughout the day have been getting the better quality fish in the deeper open water. A quality feeding area has also played a big part in getting the higher quality fish.
At Nagle Dam, the fishing has started to pick up the past week as reports of a few decent carp have come in. The stronger flavours such as Gumtree and Perdeby have been the flavours of choice as most of the reported fish have been caught on them. The feed is generally plain and oozing with protein and is also quite visible. All particles have been doing great as hook baits, corn, tiger nuts, giant maize and chick peas have been favoured hook baits all year round for this dam. Critically balancing all these baits has been a crucial part of all the success.
News just in from Jan at The Fish Eagle in PMB, “The summer rains have made their appearance at long last – great for the lands, but perhaps not so for the fishing – but we cannot complain (as a matter of fact, we need more…)! The overcast, rainy and misty conditions for most of December has kept The Midlands wet and cool, and while some reports indicate that the rivers have come up and have a touch of colour to them, some great fish are being caught (and released). With flow and colour up, the fish are less inclined to be looking up for a dry fly, so nymphs are your feed of choice currently – a dry-dropper will cover both bases. An excellent combination to start with is a large hopper pattern (deer-hair or foam) with a small weighted nymph suspended a foot or two below. With the Stillwater temperatures still down from the summer highs usually to be found at this time, the trout can still be found feeding instead of sulking on the bottom looking for cooler water. Larger patterns have been the order of the day, with woolly buggers and minnow patterns in standard summer liveries of black and olive. Last week saw the Albert Falls Xmas Charity Competition taking place, and some good fish were caught. Albert Falls is still sitting below the 20% mark, we trust that the recent rains will allow the dam to recover as the Midmar level (now at 79%) is back on the rise. The cool weather has also kept the Sterkfontein yellows off their full summer bite, although the odd sunny day’s inbetween has provided some excellent sight-fishing opportunities. While beetles are usually considered to be the smallmouth staple, emerger patterns like the Klinkhamer have been producing.”
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 ends on the 25th December 2017 with a wrap up of the last three months. As most of you know, Petri and his guests cover various angling styles (fresh and salt water) in and around Southern Africa.
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
The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday, Wednesday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Tuesday 8:30 to 17:00, and Saturday 8:00 to 13:00. Open for trading all December Sundays 8 – 1pm. Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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