With the weather being up and down over the past week the fishing has been slow. With the days leading up to the weekend with no distinct patterns in the wind and rain predicted for Saturday, it seems to be the perfect time to take a step back from the fishing and get your tackle and traces back up to scratch. Latest Kingfisher newsflash: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8f8U0GjLGWFaEiUjs-n01w/videos
Ray’s tip: Preventative measures. Prevention is far better than a cure (and often a lot cheaper). In terms of fishing this can range from medical to tackle. With the weather being a little foul this weekend, it is your perfect chance to do some maintenance or cleaning up. Make sure your traces are neatly packed and that the rusted versions are thrown away. Retie all your leaders. Fix the electrics on your boats trailer that you have been meaning to do since last season. Give your rods and reels a good clean. Go through your tackle box and first aid kit and make sure you have everything that you may need. This can range from emergency numbers to antihistamine ointment. Doing the prep during your down time will make the time you spend doing what you love so much more enjoyable (it will also save you lots of money in the long run).
Big seas and rain on the weekend mean it might be a good weekend to spend with the family. The offshore fishing has been good over the last week with tuna and couta making up the majority of the catches.
North – The North Coast has been consistently producing some fine gamefish. Sailfish, dorado, tuna, couta and kingfish are but a few of the fish available to you if you make the trip up north. If you manage to get access to some of the private area on the lower north coast you have a chance at some bomber snoek. We have seen fish over 10kgs come out in the last week! Fillet traces and small lipped lures trolled behind the backline are the two methods to go for when targeting these fish. Keep a flick stick close at hand rigged with a small Kingfisher Anchovy spoon so that you can fire a quick cast in to the shoal once you see them.
Central –The couta are still around and a few decent fish have come out over the last week. The shark tax is very high at the moment and the bites are few and far between so make sure all your tackle is up to scratch and in good condition. Also, fish heavier than you need to, this means you will be able to pull your catch in quicker and therefore stand a much better chance of landing an entire fish instead of just a head (or nothing).
South – Finding the fish has been the issue down south. One day they are feeding shallow and the next day they are feeding in the deep. This can be a daunting thought when it comes to planning the day’s fishing, remember the basics and target the fish where they should be, but do not get sucked in to the notion that they were there yesterday and therefore will be there today. The ocean is a dynamic environment and the fish move around depending on their needs. Look for areas of change such as temperature change or current lines and focus your energy on fishing these areas. The first step is almost always to troll two or more lures through a likely area to see if the fish are in a feeding mood. Troll a deep and shallow diver and as soon as one gets picked up, change to using two of the same lure to maximise your time in the strike zone. If lures aren’t your thing, the same will apply to baits. Down rig your baits with different weights, for example, in the early morning, put one bait on the surface, one down rigged with a 3oz sinker and one with a 5oz (depending on depth). Then the same will apply as above, as soon as you get a bite, change your weights to fish at the same depth.
Harbour – The Durban harbour continues to produce grunter for the bait guys. Crackers on a standard running trace with a light sinker (the normal rig) fished on a sandbank edge are producing the best results. Albany white bread is proving to be the downfall of the mullet in the harbour and some big fish are being hooked but not landed. The lure anglers have been having a lot of luck with the abundant kingies and springer. So far there have not been any giant fish caught but the numbers are making up for the lack of size. Using a decent light setup such as the 6’6” Daiwa Exceler rod paired with a Daiwa Procaster 2000 reel loaded with 8lb Daiwa J-Braid will not only be able to land a bigger fish when it comes along but it will also help you to throw the small lures that the fish are favouring at the moment. A small spoon like the 5g Kingfisher Anchovy (the smaller the better) retrieved rapidly triggers the best bites.
Rock and Surf:
The diamond smashes have come to a halt over the last week. This has been due to the NE winds no longer blowing consistently. If you can’t get to the banks, watch the following video to give you some motivation to get up there: Mtunzini vlog
North – The North Coast has been producing the goods over the last few weeks but with the conditions being a bit temperamental over the next few days, the catches will more than likely decline. The problem up north is that when the diamonds aren’t feeding, it can be a long, long day of holding pole. High risks come with big rewards, so if you are willing to risk the long drive, you may just be rewarded with an empty beach and a shoal of hungry diamonds all to yourself. Closer afield the lower north coast has produced some pompano for the edible fishermen. These fish have fallen for cracker shrimp and prawn baits. These are fish with good eyesight, so scale down your traces and you will stand a better chance of catching more fish.
Central –The central section of KZN has been rather sparse in terms of reports. This is more than likely due to everyone and their dog making the trips up north to target the diamonds. The inedible fishermen have not had much luck fishing the basin to Umhlanga area, with only a few grey sharks to mention. The edible anglers have seen some lovely stumpies and pompano for their efforts with the same baits as mentioned above proving successful.
South –The South Coast of KZN has been producing some absolute bomber bronze bream over the last week and the sale of small orange floats has shown that the news has spread. Please see these videos to make your perfect trace for these often shy feeders and get to know your quarry (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drNzIL1Sp64 ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6qDpomNGU0).
The lower south coast has also produced some white muscle cracker over the last week. A very effective bait for these fish is a crab, in particular a muscleman crab (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoYQf65xWrw). If you can’t get your hands on these, a ghost crab will also do the trick. Remember that you require a licence to collect anything from the sea or beach so make sure you have the appropriate paperwork before you go about using any natural bait. If you are uncertain about what licence you need, pop in to our store and we can help you out or go to your closest post office and they will advise you accordingly.
The freshwater season has been fantastic so far. The fish have been there in number and size and there have been many species to choose from. The tiger fishing competition happening this weekend will see the hordes descend on Jozini, so give them some space if you are heading up that way and let them try to win that awesome grand prize.
Carp – The carp fishing has either been on fire or dead because nobody has sent in any reports of the fishing status over the last week…Being summer, one can assume that the fruity, sweet flavours will be the best choice when it comes to either specimen or conventional carping whether you are fishing inland or coastal. Something like supersweet mixed in to your mieliebom or ground feed will do wonders to bring the fish in to the area you are fishing. To this, using a sweet bait (be it a boilie or floatie or mielie) will give you the best chance of converting your effort in to success. Going by reports and fishing trends from this time of year and the previous week, we can assume that Albert’s will still be producing lots of smaller fish and Inanda is producing the bigger specimens for the guys specifically targeting them.
Bass – The bass fishing season, or at least the peak season is coming to an end. If you have not experienced the mayhem and fun to be had at Hazlemere then you are running out of time. Get yourself a spinning rod and a few lures. The best general purpose lure for bass at Hazlemere is a small dark coloured fluke. Something like the junior fluke by Zoom in black is an absolute winner for the bass. Alternately a popper or small jerkbait never fails to trigger an aggressive response. For the guys wanting to target the bigger fish, Albert Falls and Inanda are the two places to go. Reports and pictures have made their way to the shop of some impressive fish over the last few weeks. Tactics that have worked have varied and range from finesse dropshot fishing the deeper areas to working a crankbait around prominent structure.
Tilapia – The tilapia are feeding ferociously in most of the bigger dams around. Remember that these are fish that can survive in pretty much any body of water, so if you are itching to catch a fish but you can’t get to one of the more prominent dams; go try that little pond down the road. Just make sure fishing is allowed. Small spinners and little crankbaits elicit the most aggressive responses out of the tilapia. Alternately you can try your hand at fly-fishing for this little game fish. Any of the traditional trout flies will work for them but a San Juan worm fished slowly around weedy areas has worked very well in the past.
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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. A reminder that The Kingfisher will be closed on the public holiday, Wednesday the 21st March. Tackle Center, Old Fort Road, Durban will be open normal working hours and Hook, Line and Sinker in Ballito will be open from 8 2pm. Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to email@example.com. Tight lines and screaming reels.