FISHING REPORT 20 APRIL ’18 April 18, 2018 by The Kingfisher The weather has given a few unexpected gaps over the last week and anglers from all facets have managed some decent fish. Please see our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8f8U0GjLGWFaEiUjs-n01w) for exciting videos about fish species, traces and bait demonstrations. Also see the latest newsflash on the ASFN YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/jim6Bg4ivUU). Ray’s tip: There are multiple times when the use of a braided leader is necessary. Braided leaders like the Triple Fish Rhino is inherently susceptible to abrasion from rocks and other sharp objects. Minimising this lack of abrasion resistance is the place of a braided leader. A braided leader is simply a thicker braid used for casting abrasion (to avoid cutting your finger and for the wear and tear from casting through the guides), to help with landing fish (a thicker line to hold on when landing a fish) and abrasion resistance against the structure in the water. It is important to use a braid that is not outrageously different in breaking strain, i.e. you do not want to use 200lb braid leader on a 20lb braid mainline. This can cause difficulty when casting and can result in some wicked wind knots. For spinning, stick to a 50lb braided leader for most instances and bump it up if you are targeting GTs in rocky areas. For the rock and surf you can generally get away with using 80-100lb on the 30lb outfit while 150-220lb for the 50lb and above. Connecting the braid leader to a swivel is extremely easy and can be done by a number of knots including the Palomar, figure of eight and uni-knot. Offshore: I’m sure all of you have seen the pictures from the Shelly Beach area of the giant amberjack that was boated. In other news from the different zones, there have been a flood of late season dorado and a healthy splash of couta mixed in. The UKFC Kayak Fishing Competition is coming up and is an event which is really worth entering whether you are new or experienced behind the paddle. The camaraderie and tips you will gain cannot to measured. The comp takes place from the 4-6 May and will cost you R400 to enter (R500 after the 27th April). There are seven launch sites to choose from and briefing will be done on the 4th May at the Umhlanga Ski Boat club @ 18:30. First prize is a R50 000 cash prize, so what are you waiting for?! North –The North Coast, for once, has not been the home of the fish. It has actually seen the least number of fish caught (in terms of the reports). Of the reports that have filtered in, most of the catches have been on the lower end of the northern zone. These catches have included dorado, lots of tuna and the occasional croc couta. With the water temperature staying as high as it is right now, we can expect the summer season to continue for a few weeks and a delay on the winter. Central – The snoek are still around but are feeding very close in to the shore. Make sure that if you are going after these fish that you always have someone watching for rogue waves. A boring job, but it can be the difference between a good days fishing and a huge insurance claim. The dorado have also been feeding well at all of the FADs (Fish Attracting Device) and a live bait fished on a fluorocarbon leader in these areas will definitely be your best bet and hooking in to the majestic Mahi Mahi. This is also a good method of targeting the tuna that have been around. The big news has to be the upcoming Durban Ski Boat Club Festival! That is taking place on the weekend 28th – 29th April. With over R1.5 million worth of prizes to be won, you cannot afford not to enter. Early bird registration has unfortunately closed however it will still cost only R700 per angler to enter. If you require any more info please check out www.durbanskibaotclub.co.za. South – Close to 50kgs! That is what the scale had to say about the giant amberjack landed recently off Shelly Beach. A fish of this size is a fantastic catch and they are not often landed. Our hats go off to the angler and boat for landing this prized fish. Amberjack are structure-orientated species and are one of the strongest fish in the sea. They are also determined and once hooked will fight as dirty as possible to cut you off. A search on YouTube will see you watching videos of grown men hanging on for dear life as 100lb plus braid is stripped from the reel on a locked drag. These fish demand the best tackle and the cooperation of the skipper and angler. The approach is to drop a live bait or jig down on to the reef or pinnacle. Once the fish is hooked the skipper drives in to deeper water while the angler holds on. This is the only real chance of landing one of these brutes. Rock and Surf: The Rock and Surf scene started to pick up earlier in the week but has dropped off slightly with the warm water that has pushed through again. We can only hope that the cold water pushes in soon for the upcoming sardine run that we wait for so eagerly. North – The North Coast has been fishing very well for edible fish. The ledges at Cape Vidal and “Nyoggies” have been producing some beautiful fish. Cave bass, cat face rockcod, yellowbelly rockcod, speckled snapper, kingfish and lemon fish have been the main fish coming out. Remember that these fish are resident and are very sensitive to over-exploitation. So please release them in a safe manner and make sure they are good to go by reviving them in a pool. Central – The central Durban coast has not been on fire in the last week and the action has been a little slow. The edibles have been the stars of the show with only a few of the bigger flatfish and some small sharks making a guest appearance. The edibles coming out have been shad (finally making size!), pompano and stumpnose, along with the ever-present snapper salmon. With the light fading earlier and earlier as we move towards winter, the beachfront is the safest place to take the family if you are stuck fishing after work. Sealice, pink prawn and chokka are must haves and fishing them individually or in tandem will produce the goods. South – The cold water from earlier in the week produced the first proper honeycomb of the season. Once the cold water pushes in more permanently we can expect to see a few more of these very powerful fish coming out. The area has been producing some very nice edibles (similar species to the north with addition of some kob). Redeye sardines have proven themselves again as the best bait with pink prawn running a close second. Chokka is another firm favorite that cannot be left out of the bait box at this time of year. Have a look at our YouTube channel to see Ray making some very tasty scratching baits. Freshwater: The cold mountain water has been flowing in to the dams and has dropped the inland water temperature somewhat. The water levels are also coming up quickly and have left some beautiful shallows to fish for all sorts of fish species. Bass –The bass anglers are doing well in the shallow grassy areas. The bait fish breed prolifically in these areas and consequently bring in the big bass. These shallow areas will hold surprisingly large fish and the fishing in these areas can be explosive. One of the best baits in these areas is a floating frog. This fished on a stout rod with a decent baitcaster filled with braid will result in more fish landed. My combo would be the new Daiwa Strikeforce baitcaster, filled with 30lb J-Braid on a Daiwa Megaforce rod. The braid is there to help cut through the vegetation and land the hefty fish quickly so that they do not dive in to the weeds. Braid is also very direct so many people pull the lure out the fish’s mouth on the strike. It is very important to give the fish chance to turn with the frog before striking. It takes a bit of practice so do not be disheartened if you miss a few. If you do miss a surface strike, throw a weightless plastic in the area and you will often connect with the fish you missed. Carp – With the influx of the river water in to most of our dams and the colder weather that has been around, the carp are starting to go in to winter mode. This means the smaller fish will go off the bite and the bigger fish will start to make more of an appearance in the catch records. Winter-type fishing means a move away from the softer, sweeter baits towards harder and longer lasting big baits. This means the baits will last longer in the water (the bites are bigger but they are few and far between). Scents to go for are cinnamon-type, garlic and gumtree. This is powerful scents that will keep the fish interested as well as pulling them in from a wider area. Baits to consider are tigernuts and boilies. Remember that you are expecting bigger fish in winter and you may only get one bite in your trip, so make sure that your tackle is up to scratch and a little beefier than your summer gear. We are receiving a big order from Supercast in the near future so make sure to pop in and stock up before the stocks are sold out. Trout – The Rivers are producing some absolute beauties! Both browns and rainbows are being landed above the 50cm mark and all these fish have been in such good condition. It seems the “floods” over the past week and a bit have calmed down and have left the rivers flowing at a good rate and running clean. This higher than normal flow still means you need heavy nymphs to get down. Tungsten beads are the best for this as they are denser than nickel or lead. This means that a 4mm tungsten bead is heavier than a 4mm bead in any other material. Fishing tandem tungsten nymphs can mean the difference between fishing in the zone and catching fish or walking of the river without anything to brag about in the pub. News from Jan – There is a definite nip in the air these days, and it seems that autumn is starting to make a show. With air and water temperatures starting to cool, trout will be starting to make a move to feed up and gain condition for the winter period, so the time to get on the water is now. The good rains of late have really helped: the rivers are looking the best in years (perhaps still a tad on the high side for this time of year…but we’ll take it, Thank You), and the Stillwater’s are brimming. We are looking forward to a cracking next couple of weeks on the rivers before the river season closes on 31 May – with the faster water, the fish are looking for big food to make the move in strong current, larger dries (e.g. rubber-leg foam hopper) and nymphs (e.g. swimming damsel) in sizes 10 and 12 have been successful of late. In the Stillwater’s, olive seems to the prevailing colour of choice at present – dragonfly nymphs (e.g. Papa Roach), leech (e.g. woolly bugger) and baitfish (e.g. zonker minnow) patterns have all been producing. This week sees the SAFFA (South African Fly Fishing Association) A-team National Championships being held in the Midlands, hosted by the KZNFFA (KwaZulu-Natal Fly Fishing Association). Five sectors are being fished in 5 sessions over 3 days of competition – 3 rivers and 2 lakes/dams. We wish all the visiting anglers a great tournament and of course will be rooting for KZN as the hosts on home turf!! There are still some good bass coming out at Albert Falls Dam, which is now nearing 50%…much healthier than the 20% at the start of this year. The rise in water levels means flooded edges, and the fish have been patrolling these edges in search of prey… 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 baitfish. While the weather played ball and the rain stayed away, last weekend saw some hard fishing at the 4th KZN Small Craft Bass League for 2018 held at Midmar Dam. Plenty small fish were found, but top fish was a 67cm (length) fish that weighed in at 3.7kg.” Jan is from The Fish Eagle in Pietmaritzburg. Tight lines and screaming reels. The Kingfisher YouTube Fishing channel features new content every Monday to Friday at 10h00. Fresh content on Product, Baits, Methods & Fishing. Go to: www.YouTube.com/TheKingfisherFishing and register, it’s FREE 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 Holiday trading: The Kingfisher in Durban, The Fish Eagle in Pietermaritzburg and The Complete Angler in Kloof will be open Friday the 27th and Saturday the 28th April from 8:00 to 13:00, Monday the 30th April normal trading hours, but will be closed on Tuesday the 1st May. Hook, Line and Sinker in Ballito will be open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday from 8:00 to 13:00, Monday the 30th April normal trading hours. Tackle Center, Old Fort Road, Durban will be open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday from 8:00 to 17:00. Monday, normal trading hours. The Fishing Tackle Store in Warner Beach will be open Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 8:00 to 13:00, Monday, normal trading hours but closed on Tuesday the 1st May.