Summer is here with a force. The north east winds are blowing and the heat is here…The summer fish (both the game fish and the back-breaking non-eds) have come to play. Please see the latest ASFN newsflash for more (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1mSWf0tAQc).
The northern sector has definitely been the place to fish and those capable of travelling far north (to Mozam if possible) are definitely getting the lion’s share of the fish. The tuna have slowed down over the last week but the catches of billfish have jumped drastically with quite a few reports coming in of marlin from Durban all the way north. These fish have fallen for many different methods ranging from live bait intended for tuna to purposefully targeting them with Kona-type lures.
Ray’s tip: With big seas on the horizon and pumping winds pushing through this weekend, it is time to have a look at the freshwater report and get some fishing done on the dark side… With the bass feeding as ferociously as they are, try your hand at a bit of basing and spend a day with the family at one of the many freshwater venues we have around KZN.
North – The further north you travel, the better the fishing seems to be. The Halco Max lures have been cleaning up, with these little lures being able to be trolled at high speeds, anglers are able to cover a lot of water which has been the answer to finding the pelagic game fish. Running a spread of these max lures in the centre with some skirted lures on the out-riggers and a feather on the “Hong Kong” has resulted in some impressive fish in the last week.
Central – The billfish, specifically marlin have been the stars of the show along the Durban coast. Reports are coming in daily of these beautiful fish being caught. Fish have been large and strong, some being over 200kgs! This is a magnificent catch, but we plead that you take good care of these fish and get them back as soon as you can. Ideally do not take them out of the water and take the time to revive them next to the boat with the motors in gear. Red and black Kona-type lures are proving to work the best at this point in time but our preference is still for the “fruit salad” type colour with the dash of pink on the belly..
South – The deep South has seen many tuna and the odd wahoo coming out, these fish have all been on trolled lures while the live bait fishermen have seen their fair share of dorado. The dark coloured rattler has been cleaning up with the tuna and it has out-performed all the other lures in the area. The bottom fishing has slowed in the area but anglers and charters are still getting the odd rock cod and brace of reds. Chokka is still the preferred bait with IQF sardines proving to get the better of the bigger fish.
The Durban Harbour has been producing some bomber grunter in the last week. Reports have come in of fish breaking the 6kg barrier, and this on more than one occasion. This means one thing, get your light tackle, go pump some prawns and get on to centre bank to catch some of these beasts. The artificial guys have been catching the usual fish, with the odd springer jumping on to the small offerings. Small spoons and dropshots have been the order of the day. Mitch Emanuel sent in this report. “Just though I would send this through, caught this beaut 4.6kg Grunter in the bay on Sunday fishing in the channel opposite the Navy base on Cracker. Awesome 25min fight on very light tackle, the fish was safely released!” Awesome fish Mitch well done. See pic of Mitch’s grunter.
Rock and surf:
The summer season has been opened for most of the guys, if you haven’t opened your account yet with a fish, get on to the beach and catch yourself a summer inedible to get yourself back in the swing of things.
The best of these to target are the many small grey sharks that are present along the Durban beachfront. Using a small bait and fishing in to the night is the way to go. A very good bait for this time of year especially when you need a bit of extra distance is as follows (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLFxl7x9_zM).
North – The North has been blowing hot and cold. Days that “should” produce amazing fishing have been mediocre while days that should be “all right” have produced fireworks. The wading banks have been the hottest of the spots up north with Dead Man’s being the runner up. The species coming out have been diamond & brown rays, giant sandsharks and the odd zambezi shark on a swim bait. At this point I must mention that if you are going to target big sharks be it with a swim bait, slide bait or even a drone, please use sufficient tackle for the job at hand. You are not after small fish so you need to make yourself and your tackle ready for a long fight with a giant. The worst thing you can do for these fish is to use “light” tackle. This will drastically reduce their chance of survival and will most likely lead to you losing the fish.
Central –The beachfront up to Umhlanga has been producing some lovely catches over the last week, however, the three days of NE wind did not turn the fish on as expected. This was more than likely due to the extremely warm water that has pushed in to the basin. This water does not hold as much oxygen and is generally unfavourable for most fish, although it didn’t seem to deter the peckers… As soon as some colder water pushes close to shore the fishing will definitely pick up and we can look forward to some hectic action. On the edible side of things, guys have reported some better shad coming out at both the Lighthouse and the Blue Lagoon pier. These have been mixed in with hordes of smaller shad. Some decent pompano are still around for the dedicated anglers with sealice proving to be the best bait.
South – From the Bluff down to Port Shepstone, guys have not sent in much in the line of reported catches. The bronze bream are all but gone and only a few are still coming out on the lower section of the coast. The scratching has been going very well for the anglers in the far South but the non ed guys are also getting a share of the prize. Pompano, garrick and kingfish are the rewards for the edible anglers while the ined-target orientated anglers are getting mainly diamond rays with the lucky few getting to tussle some sandies and honeycombs.
Carp – There have been a large number of carp coming out at Albert Falls the past week, most of the carp being caught are rather small and have been quite close. Smaller baits have been doing much better than the bigger as the same size carp have been picking up both size baits, the smaller baits have been picked up quicker. The guys who have been fishing a more specimen approach have been getting slightly bigger carp coming in at around 5-7kg. Giant maize and tiger nuts have been the baits of choice. The conventional guys have been fishing around the 60-90m marks where the specimen guys have been fishing a minimum of 200m. Most of the bigger fish have been coming out in the evenings. The smaller fish have been on the bite throughout the day, into the evenings. The fishing at Shongweni Dam has been very slow the past while in comparison to past weeks. There have been a few decent carp coming out here and there in the 9kg region and best baits for the carp are predominantly tiger nuts. Most of the carp being caught are coming out around the margins and occasionally in open water. Most of the bites have come in the evenings and very early mornings.
Bass – This past week has been extremely successful for the bass fishermen as hundreds of bass came out daily around the majority of Hazelmere Dam. The guys fishing in and around the inlet were extremely successful earlier in the morning; lures that were used were predominantly worms and poppers. The Zoom C-tail worms, dead ringer 4” worms and finesse worms were doing most of the damage during the latter part of the morning. Strike Pro poppers and any small popper were getting the most bites the first couple of hours of the mornings fishing and thereafter when the sun came out the bass were a bit deeper hence the worms being more productive. Most of the bass were under a kilo so ultra-light outfits were the most fun. Inanda Dam has been mediocre the past week with minimal reports of decent fish being caught. There have however been quite a few smaller bass coming out mostly from the bank. The Zoom junior flukes and top water lures have been doing a lot of the work early mornings. Small frogs and senkos have also been getting some 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. The few reports of decent bass that did come in suggested that jigs with chunk trailers around the cliffs were doing rather well.
Herewith the water/fishing report for the week, sent in by Jan Korrubel from The Fish Eagle in Pietermaritzburg. “Summer is turning up the heat and the warm waters species are loving it. Sterkfontein is fishing well, with plenty signs of spawning activity on the shallows. We urge all anglers to please keep away from areas of actively spawning fish; i.e. do not wade through these areas and disturb the fish, and do not cast at spawning fish. Dry fly is the main game at Sterkies, with beetles and hoppers being the most popular flies, although be prepared to change flies and tactics as the situation requires. A small weighted nymph dropped off the back of the dry can be deadly. There hasn’t been much rainfall in the catchments areas and the rivers and streams are showing signs of dropping, and water temperatures are rising. Not the best conditions for our river trout, but there some decent fish being reported. With the warmer surface waters, the fish appear to be slow to rise to the dry fly, a dry-dropper combination gives the fish both possibilities. With some Stillwater temperatures reported in the 22-23deg.C range, a number of the Midlands trout Stillwaters have been closed. These are generally the more popular and heavily fished of the waters, in order to protect the fish. Not nice to arrive at a dam with a couple dead fish floating about… If you are fishing now, and plan on practising C&R, please tippet up in order to be able to get the fish in as quickly as possible and send it on its way into the cooler depths again. Extended fights in the warmer surface water will only result in the death of the fish, even if released.
The Kingfisher Fishing channel features new content every Monday to Friday at 10h00. 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
Herewith the shows for this week: Monday 15 Jan 2018 – NEWSFLASH – Latest catches. Tuesday 16 Jan 2018 – BAIT – When to slide a whole yellowtail and how to rig it. Wednesday 17 Jan 2018 – CASTING – Starting with a Multiplier Part 1. Thursday 18 Jan 2018 – SPECIES – This week’s species covered by Mike Dyer. Friday 19 Jan 2018 – TRACES with Ray Thompson.
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. Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to firstname.lastname@example.org.