FISHING REPORT 30TH MARCH ’18

Fishing over the past week has been up and down for all facets. The Ski Boat fraternity has been enjoying some superb fishing on some days and terrible, fishless days the next. The Rock and Surf has been the same. With the weather unable to make up its mind, it seems the trends will be the same for the next while. So make sure to prepare your tackle and make the most of every fishing outing you get to go on.

 

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Ray’s tip: Fishing for edibles. With the summer season coming to an end it’s time to start scratching in the reefs and on the sandbanks for some edibles. The stumpnose are feeding very well at the moment in the south so get your hands on some cracker shrimp and pink prawn and head down to the ledges, gullies or nice rolling water sandbanks and target these hard-fighting fish. Stumpies fight extremely hard and do not do well if you keep them out of the water for long, so if you intend releasing the fish, do so as quickly as possible and make sure to revive the fish before letting it swim off.

 

Offshore: The offshore reports have been very nice to read over the past week with all facets enjoying some lovely fishing. There have been some very big tuna and couta coming out all along the coast and anglers boasting about their catches. Please keep the reports and photos coming in!

North – This has definitely been the land of plenty when it comes to offshore reports over the last few weeks. The snoek continue to feed well on certain days, but true to form they will ignore the same presentation the day after. Make sure you have all three common targeting methods available when going for these elusive light tackle game fish. That is small spoons (like the Kingfisher Anchovy spoon) on a flick stick, lures to troll (Strike Pro Magic Minnow, a small Rattler or a Clark spoon) as well as some fillet baits. The couta have also been gracing the decks and hatches of the boys up north over the past week. There have been some slabs landed and a few beasts lost to offshore SARS. Live bait in the form of mackerel or maasbanker has been the weapons of choice.

Central – The Durban area has been fairly consistent recently, reports of tuna, couta and dorado have come in in dribs and drabs for the past week. Our very own Brad Vinnicombe had a very good day out recording three beaut tuna of 17, 25 and 27kgs. All falling for a popper thrown in amongst the dolphins. During this time of year you are likely to come across all sorts of species when fishing the more popular spots. It is highly recommended that you drift with your live baits out and then work a soft plastic or spoon in the area to bring the fish from far out to your bait. Also, make sure that you have your tuna popper at the ready. For this type of fishing (throwing poppers), you need a rod that can throw a popper accurately and far.

 

We highly recommend an 8’6” with the Poseidon Offshore Popping or Daiwa Saltist Popping being the best choices. If you are on a fishing ski and need multi-purpose rods, you can get away with using a “jigging” rod for this application. Remember that the stealth of the ski means you can get closer to the dolphins without spooking them and therefore do not need to throw as far. For the reels, I would go with a Daiwa Saltist or BG and load it with 40-50lb J-Braid. This setup will pull anything you hook.

South – The south has been a hit and miss affair over the last couple of weeks. Some have enjoyed spectacular fishing while others have been left watching TV. Live bait has been the most consistent producer of fish but trolling to find the fish is still the fastest way of getting in to the right location. Purple and black have been the top colours for trolled lures in the south with the deeper divers out fishing the shallow-lipped lures almost 3 to 1. If you are wanting to fish for the billfish, make your way out to the deep and make sure to add a red and black Kona to your spread (you will quickly find out why).

 

Rock and Surf:

The hype and excitement around the big flatfish smashes up north have died somewhat but they are still feeding there if you make the trip. The edible fishing has begun to pick up and there have been some very nice pompano and stumpnose caught by the anglers targeting them.

 

North – As I mentioned above, the fishing has slowed up north but the fish are still there. Diamonds are still making up the bulk of the catches but there are a few other species thrown in to the mix. Giant sandies, raggies and zambies are the three most commonly caught by catch of the guys targeting the diamonds. All three of these species will take the same baits as those you throw/slide for the diamonds, so don’t be surprised when the fish you pull out doesn’t flap on the sand. Please see the following video for a continuation of Ray and Mike’s trip up north: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb_qfJX4_dU

 

Central – The beachfront has seen plenty of action last week, some nice grey sharks have been coming out in the basin area, Addington Beach has seen some sandies. With the warm water that has pushed in to the basin, the fishing will slow until the North Easter blows some offshore water in close. The edible fish, mainly shad and stumpies have been feeding well in the basin/beachfront area as well as the Lighthouse at Umhlanga. The baits of choice have been pink prawn for the stumpies and Japanese mackerel for the shad.

South – The south has been the hub of the edible action. Reports of kob, muscle cracker, stumpnose, pompano and bronze bream have come in over the past week. The baits of choice have been crabs, pink prawn and chokka. So if you are making an edible trip down south, make sure you have enough of each of the three groups of these baits.

 

Freshwater:

Rain! Finally the dams further inland are getting some rain. Midmar has been overflowing and we hope that the level in Albert Falls will continue to rise.

Trout – The rivers have still been producing some lovely fish, both rainbows and browns. Successful patterns have ranged from size 20 dry flies to bulky size 8 zonker minnows, so don’t be afraid to mix it up and do something out of the ordinary. The Mooi and Bushman’s have been the rivers to fish and some exceptional trout have come out of both systems, fish of over 50cm have been common. The Stillwater guys have been having tremendous luck in the Kamberg area with Facebook currently full of photos of some chunky rainbows. For the guys tying up some new patterns or replenishing their boxes, we are unpacking a new load of dubbing and materials from one of our suppliers so get down to The Kingfisher Durban and have a view of what’s new in the fly fishing department.

Carp – The news and reports have been very slow for the carp scene over the past few weeks. The only decent fish that have been reported have been a few sizeable specimens from Inanda Dam. These carp fell for a well-placed sweet corn boilie over a bed of particles. The boilie, a 16mm, was fished on a hair-rig with a drop-off weight. The particle mix was made from maize, hemp and chopped boilies with a dash of sweet corn hi-viz concentrate mixed in. This report was the only success that has come in over the last week…

Bass – Hazlemere Dam is still producing the goods, reports of anglers catching 80+ fish in a morning are not uncommon. With the water levels as high as they are, there is so much cover for the small bass to hide in and feed around. We are currently unpacking our Zoom soft plastics shipment, so if you are low on your stocks or need something new, pop in to The Kingfisher Durban and get your hands on some new flukes, worms and creature baits.

Harbour:

Mullet, mullet and more mullet. The harbour is looking like the 1970’s at the moment. Everywhere you look, mullet… The trick with these often finicky fish is to be patient and stealthy. Use a large white float; because a mullet is an inherently inquisitive fish, the white float attracts him from a distance. The rest of the trace is simple; one or two hooks on short snoots set very close behind the float. You want your hooks to sit about 15cm from the float. When baiting up, do not squash the bread. Squashing the bread makes it sink and you are wanting a floating bait. Break the bread in to small pieces and feed them on to the hook snoot so you have a string of bread. Cast this out to a likely area (where you have seen mullet) and leave it. Do not move the float as this will spook the fish. The mullet will come and take the bait and swim off. Then you can enjoy the fight. The rest of the fish in the harbour have been playing second fiddle to the mullet but the grunter are still feeding well. Please see the following video about this fine light-tackle fishing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ByIR9rqHTI

Tight lines and screaming reels

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.

Easter trading: The Kingfisher in Durban, The Fish Eagle in Pietermaritzburg and The Complete Angler in Kloof will be open Friday the 30th and Saturday the 31st from 8:00 to 13:00, but will be closed on Monday 2nd April. Hook, Line and Sinker in Ballito and The Fishing Tackle Store in Warner Beach will be open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 8:00 to 13:00. Tackle Center, Old Fort Road, Durban will be open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 8:00 to 17:00.

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Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za.