FISHING REPORT 23TH MARCH ’18

Conditions for the next few days are not looking too great. With the sea on its head and rain forecast, it’s time to relax and take some time to organize the fishing tackle and spend time with the family. Please see the latest newsflash on our YouTube channel and hit “subscribe”, it’s FREE, if you haven’t done so already, to keep up to date with all the latest news, reviews and fishing vlogs

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm_opNLcTOo).

Ray’s tip: Picking up stumpies…With the sea looking a bit nasty for the next few days and the prospect of catching big inedibles off the table, try your hand at catching some lekker stumpies. A 4/0 Mustad Tuna circle on some 0.6mm nylon or fluorocarbon is just the trick for any size stumpnose. With the rougher sea conditions, the best bet to avoid tangles will be to use an anti-tangle sleeve. If you don’t have these, shorten your hook snoot length and this will drastically reduce the amount of time spent untangling or retying traces. The best bait for these hard-fighting fish is undoubtedly a seal ice (mole crab). Second to this is a small ghost crab or a pink prawn. The ideal tackle for this will be a 3-5oz rod with braid. My choice is the Daiwa Saltist 3-5oz MLS rod paired with a Daiwa Saltist 5000 spinning reel loaded with 20lb J-Braid. This outfit allows you to cast to the further banks if you need to along with giving you plenty of pulling power for the bigger fish.

 

Offshore:

 

The fishing has not been fantastic over the last week with only the die-hard anglers with their secret spots producing catch reports. The sale of anti-nausea drugs has sky-rocketed in the past week with the expected bigger seas on the horizon. The further north you go, the more variety you are likely to come across.

 

North – Snoek, couta, tuna and dorado. The lower end of the north coast zone has been the hub for snoek activity and many anglers have caught some sizeable snoek over the past few days. These fish have been caught from the Blue Lagoon area all the way to Jex Estate. The best catches have come on small lipped lures such as the small Rattler in the white and pink along with a fillet bait on the other stick. The rest of the catches have been a combination of a few tuna and the odd couta. The tuna have (for the major part) fallen for trolled lipped lures while all the couta have been caught on either drifted or slow-trolled dead and live baits. The best live bait trace to use is a small single hook, something like a Mustad Hoodlum 2/0 as a lead hook with a 4x strong treble near the rear of the bait. Use a no. 5 wire as the leader and no. 7 wire between the hooks with the all-important green glow bead in front of the lead hook.

 

Central – Tuna, tuna and more tuna. This seems to be the prevailing sentiment from all the reports coming in from the Durban area. The tuna have been loving any fast trolled lipped lure with purple standing out as the favoured colour at the moment. Pulling two different diving lures (in terms of depth) is the best way of find the depth at which the fish are feeding. In general, as with bait fishing, the fish prefer a surface bait early in the morning and will move deeper in the water column as the day progresses. Anglers who have managed to wade through the shoals of smaller tuna have managed a few decent game fish. These have been couta, wahoo and dorado.

 

Please watch the following video to brush up your knowledge or learn something new about yellowfin tuna: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22Viyh36jsU

 

South – Bottoms are the order of the day down South. The reports from last week were filled with some very nice bottom fish. These have included most of the “reds” along with decent-sized rockcod. The game fish lot has not reported much from the deep south but tuna have been reported as the main catch coming out. Slow trolling live baits or drifting over likely reefs is the best method to cover a lot of water and find if the fish are feeding or not.

 

Rock and Surf:

The onset of colder weather has caused the fishing to slow down for all facets. The edible fishing has picked up and there are some reports filtering in of better fish coming out over the past week.

 

North – The North Coast is still producing the odd inedible for the guys wanting to stretch their arms and test their knots. Placing a big bait in to a likely area is your best way to snag yourself a toothy critter. Best bait for this time of year is undoubtedly a fresh mackerel. If you are not able to cast the bait, go back to sliding. Sliding on braid is however not recommended as the slide clip often gets wrapped and the wearing effect of the clip on the braid is not well understood. The upper end of the North Coast, Cape Vidal and Maphelane side has been producing some very nice scratching fish. Eel-tail barble, rockcod, cavebass, lemon fish, speckled snapper, kingfish, pompano, stumpnose and wave garrick are just a sample of the fish species available to the edible angler up north. Remember that all these fish are slow growing (for the most part) and are therefore sensitive to overfishing. This means they do not respond well to fishing pressure and it is a better bet to release them and just enjoy the fight and challenge of catching them instead of the effort of lugging the fish all the way home and then having to gut and clean it after a long hard day of fishing.

 

Central –The beachfront are has not produced very many reports over the last week. The main species coming out have been small shad, pompano, stumpies and snapper kob. The best baits for targeting the edibles in the bay are small head baits (sardine, redeye or mackerel), chokka (simple or combined with another bait) and prawn (including sea lice or on its own). The use of a circle hook is up to you although many people who have converted to circles claim better hookup rates. If you are using a J-Hook, then I would recommend the Ringed-Soi Mustad in a 4\0 or 6\0.

South – The South (down in to the Transkei) is producing quite a few edible fish with the points in the Skei throwing a few bigger inedibles such as blackfin, hammers and the occasional raggie. For the edibles, scratching in any of the rocky gullies has proven to be the best bet. One of the best spots to fish on the south coast, when targeting edibles, is Trafalgar close to Port Edward. This area consists of a series of rocky ledges and gullies that hold a myriad of species. The Transkei produced a few bigger fish over the weekend for the guys fishing the second round of the KZNCAU Postal League. A few big blackfin sharks were lost and some big raggies were landed.

 

Freshwater:

Winter is getting closer and the change from summer to winter tactics is going to become essential if you want to keep the summer success going.

 

Carp – The sweet smells and scents are going to become less successful in the coming weeks and the change to the more general winter tactics is going to become vital. Winter generally means stronger smells and more spicy scents. So, instead of adding super sweet to your mielie bom, add some garlic or curry powder. For your hook baits, instead of fishing sweet floaties like custard or pink sweets try some cinnamon or garlic flavours. As with all forms and facets of fishing, there are no rules…so do not stick to what should be happening and experiment if your plan fails.

 

Bass – The bass season is nearing its end. The feeding frenzy that is summer is starting to fade out but the smaller fish are still feeding very aggressively, especially in the shallows where the water remains nice and warm. Remember that as the water temperature begins to fall, the fish will stop attacking everything that moves and will become more selective with their meal choices. Changing from small worms with curly tails to larger profile lures fished slowly on the bottom will increase your chances of breaking your PB.  Hazlemere is still producing big bags of small fish and is the place to go if you are wanting to relax and catch a few fish. The rest of the dams have been fairly quiet and no reports have come through over the past week regarding any bigger fish.

 

In other news – The barbel have been feeding well in all of our local dams. Fish have been favouring chicken livers and platana frogs (as you would expect). Fishing either of these baits in the deeper areas of the dam or in the shallow bays at night is definitely something to try. The trout are also feeding well at the moment with anglers reporting some spectacular fish over the past few weeks. Notable fish include a 59cm brown from the Bushman’s River taken on a small nymph. The other reports have revealed good fishing in both still waters and rivers. Look at fishing some bigger streamers in the start of your session to try for that bigger fish and then move down to smaller (more typical) nymphing to bulk up your numbers. Tight lines and screaming reels.

 

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