FISHING REPORT 06th APRIL ’18 April 5, 2018 by The Kingfisher The fishing has been spectacular over the last week. There have been notable catches in every facet and category of angling. These ranging from a giant marlin off Richards Bay to some sizeable trout in the TOPS Corporate Challenge. Ray’s tip: don’t hesitate, medicate! Summer is still upon us and the flatfish and sharks are still feeding well along the upper KZN Coastline. With the targeting of the sharks and rays come the risks of landing and handling your catch. Always err on the side of caution with both types of inedible but if you follow a few simple rules you will never have to fear. 1) Make sure to watch our videos on the YouTube channel to see how we handle the fish, 2) if you do get spiked, make sure to immerse the effected body part in water as hot as you can handle, 3) seek medical attention as soon as possible. Offshore: As mentioned above, the highlight of last week’s fishing has got to be the grander which was caught off Richard’s Bay. A huge congratulations to the angler and the boat (Rough Rider) for an outstanding catch! In other news, there have been plenty of couta, tuna and snoek around for all the offshore anglers. North – The marlin have been feeding well and a few very respectable specimens have been landed recently. Much like the rest of the KZN Coast, the tuna have been wild. Unlike the rest of the coast, the tuna up north have not been tiddlers…these have been giants in excess of 50kgs. Pulling Kona’s has accounted for all of these bigger fish. If you do intend going for these tuna or any of the billfish, please make sure your tackle is up to scratch. These are not weak fish that give up easily so rather take a bazooka to a gun fight than a flick knife. Feel free to bring your rods and reels in and one of our friendly staff will assess whether anything needs redoing or replacing. Central – The central zone of the KZN coast has been the place to go if you are looking for couta or snoek. There have been some absolute bomber snoek that have come out in the past few days. Many of these have been over 8kgs in weight! The snoek have been falling for either a well tied fillet or a small lipped lure. For the fillets, make sure to use as little cotton as possible and to troll the fillets at a speed that makes them “swim” properly and not spin or hop out the water. South – The South Coast has also seen its fair share of snoek with Toti and Umkomaas being the two top spots for these picky eaters. Keep a lookout for the species file video on these interesting species on our YouTube channel being released soon. The same tactics as above apply for the southern snoek and always make sure to keep a small spoon at the ready to throw at any action that you see. The other species coming out are the same as the central zone, namely couta and tuna. Live bait has been king and mozzies are proving the best on some days and mackerel the best on others, so make sure to collect a few of each if possible. Rock and surf: The rock and surf scene has not sparkled as brightly as the offshore over the last week. The beachfront has seen some good fishing for both edible and inedible fishing while the far north has seen some beautiful edible fish landed. North – As mentioned above, the far north has seen spectacular edible fishing over the past week. Our ambassador, Dean Reddy had an amazing session up North recently and notched up some beautiful edibles including a giant speckled snapper. Fishing in the reefs up north is best done with circle hooks to avoid getting stuck while winding in. Best baits have been red eye sardines, hands down out fishing any other. Another essential bait up north is chokka. Being a very versatile bait, it can be cut and moulded in to any size or shape that you need. Central – The central area of the KZN coast has seen some nice pompano and stumpies coming out to the edible anglers. Favoured baits have been pink prawns and cracker shrimp. One of the most important things to remember when targeting either of these species is that you need to place your bait where they are feeding. It is pointless just bombing out a cast as far as you can and sitting and waiting for them to find your bait. You are going to wait a while… rather fish to the fish. For the pompano, a short cast (or even a lob) is your friend. For the stumpies, a sandbank is the place to be. South – The South Coast has been news free for the last week. With the heavy rains, the river mouths have been pushing out mud and dirty water. This has made these areas quite unfishable. With the high number of big rivers in the south, this has made most of the South Coast unfishable. The best places to fish will be areas of clean water or borders between the clean and dirty water. Mullet is one of the best baits after periods of freshwater influx. Freshwater: The freshwater scene has not been as fiery as the other two main facets of this report. The fly fishers have been doing very well in all the Stillwater’s and some big fish have come out over the last week. In other news, the water levels are going up in all the dams and we can look forward to some exciting fishing in the near future. Trout – The Stillwater guys are having the bulk of the luck over the past few days and the reports that have come in have been almost entirely from the dam anglers. The river walkers have been rather quiet of late. One of the most awaited competitions of the year; the TOPS Corporate Challenge took place recently and saw some giant rainbows landed. Carp – The carp scene has been very quiet with few reports being sent in for this past week’s fishing. There have been some very good fish being landed further inland, but the coastal dams have been quiet. Bass – The bass fishing has not changed much since the last report. The Hazelmere bass are still eager to feed on almost any offering. The dam levels in the other KZN dams are increasing daily and we can look forward to some very exciting shallow water basing in the near future. When the grass beds flood with the increased water levels, there are a few methods that work extremely well at getting the bass to feed. For the smaller guys or in the very shallow water, a popper or buzz bait is ideal and will get you many strikes. In the slightly deeper water grass, using a rip retrieve with a lipless crank will produce some memorable fish. Another method for more finesse fishing is the use of weightless flukes. Tiger – The tiger fishing in Jozini has not been a highlight lately. With the levels of the dam being very low and the clarity closer to mud than gin, the lure anglers have not been the top of the pops. Bait is the way to go during these periods. Make sure that if you are making the trip up north that you pack enough sardines and if possible, get your hands on some live baits. When fishing the bays or drop-offs, put out a few fillets on snoek-type traces and put a livey or two out on a float. News from Jan Korrubel at the Fish Eagle – “The summer rains appear to be abating now, and dam and river levels are the best they have been in some years! This is simply excellent news for the autumn fishing in The Midlands, and as the water temps start dropping off, the trout fishing will go off the hook. It appears that the bigger fish are already on the move, with some great catches having been reported from the rivers – world class brown trout right here on our doorstep! April is THE month to be on the rivers, as previously river fishing was closed from the 1st of May for 4 months (most will remember the saying … ‘all the months without an “R” in them, meant no river fishing’; i.e. May, June, July and August). Currently, the closed season for river fishing runs for only 3 months, from 1 June to 31 August, which applies to the upper reaches of both The Mooi and Bushman’s rivers, to protect the areas considered to be trout spawning habitat. For The Mooi River, this is all water above the Inchbrakie Falls (now inundated by Spring Grove Dam), and for The Bushman’s River, all water above the confluence with the Ncibidwane tributary. River fishing below these 2 points is allowed in winter. While the river season is now technically still open in May, the fishing in the upper reaches can slow to virtually nil as the fish complete their spawning run and disappear from these upper waters; according to some, the closed season in the upper reaches is a moot point as the fish are just nowhere to be found. The theory being that the fish spawn in the upper stretches of the rivers which offer clean flowing, silt-free, oxygenated water for the eggs to develop in, and the post-spawn fish head downstream to overwinter in the deeper, slower moving waters of the lower reaches. With the higher, and sometimes coloured waters, weighted nymphs (e.g. G.R.H.E. / PTN / Zak) to get down to the fish have been the order of the day – as the waters drop and clear, the dry fly fishing will get back on track; favourite flies being Elk-hair Caddis, hoppers and parachute-style Mayfly and emerger patterns. As we all know by now, Midmar is overflowing for the 1st time since 2015 – welcome news all round – the rains providing a very much needed relief to the ailing Albert Falls Dam, which is now sitting at just over 40%, double the figure from the beginning of the year. What this means is that the previously low and exposed dam margins are flooding / flooded, giving the prey species (baitfish, frogs etc.) some extra cover, making the fishing somewhat challenging (difficult as some would say!) as the bass follow their food close in. Some good fish in the 4kg+ range have been reported from Albert Falls Dam recently. For the shallows along the grass, lures of choice are currently frogs (the Zoom Horny Toad still a firm favourite) and various paddle-tails / flukes to best imitate the baitfish. The gospel according to St.YR.no has little in the way of rain for the week ahead, a mere spit and spot here and there (take a jacket, just in case…), so time to make hay while the sun shines and get out there and wet a line!! There is a “Joey’s Towing Tournament Trail” event on this weekend at Midmar – we would like to wish all contestants Tight Lines!” 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 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.