FISHING REPORT 27TH APRIL ‘18 April 25, 2018 by The Kingfisher The excitement is palpable over the upcoming Durban Ski Boat Competition. The long-awaited competition has seen entrants from all over Africa fly in and our shop is buzzing with people buying last minutes goods to put them in line to win. Further inland the joy is focused around the dam levels finally rising and the walks from the campsites to the water’s edge has drastically reduced. Ray’s tip: Preparation can save the day. Picture it, you are fishing an important competition and when you open your tackle bag all your traces are rusted or the downrigger sinkers aren’t in their bag. This can ruin your day and your chance at winning. So, with all the competitions at the moment, I cannot overemphasize the importance of preparation. Check all your traces, stock up your first aid kit, make sure your bait is the freshest you can get your hands on and check that your rods and reels are ready for the big day. Nothing worse than saying “I could have won the competition but my drag was sticky, or my rod broke, or my guides had a crack I didn’t know about etc…” Most of the times, the competition is won the day before. Offshore: Everyone is abuzz with the upcoming competitions. Make sure that you have stocked up on all the essentials for the competitions. North –The North Coast has seen the biggest of the couta over the last few weeks. The biggest of which has been a 26kg beast caught off Jex Estate. Keeping with the same area, Jex has definitely been the best area over the last few weeks and has produced some big tuna, couta and bomber snoek. Further north, the Sodwana area has not fired like it should and the currents are running very strong. The sharks are also taxing heavily up north (and the rest of the coast for that matter) so make sure you fish a little heavier than normal to get the fish out. Central – The central zone of the KZN coast has been a hot spot for the guys targeting edibles. The dominant species coming out have been the pompano. These have been coming out from the Umhlanga Lighthouse in the north to Sezela in the south. The best bait is undoubtedly a sealice and adding some cracker shrimp in to the mix will increase your chances of a new PB pompano. Make your traces a little longer than usual and cast short. Often people fish too deep for pompano and don’t get the pull. Other edibles coming out include some bronze bream, stone bream, kob and natal stumpnose. On the inedible side of things there have been grey sharks, sandsharks and diamond rays around. South – The anchovy have been shoaling off the South Coast. These bait balls are attracting all sorts of predators are definitely worth fishing around. The main species coming out of these bait balls are snoek, bonito, tuna and couta. Make sure to pack plenty of lures and leader material as the sharks have clued in to these bait balls and once you hook a fish, you need to move away from the action as quickly as possible to make sure you don’t get taxed. Rock and Surf: The rock and surf scene has been more edible-based over the last week than the inedibles. There have been some very nice pompano caught over the last week and the shad have decided to grow up. North – This last weekend saw another round of the KZNCAU postal league take place. A few of the teams headed north and managed some very good edible fish with the occasional ined thrown in. Some notable catches include some beautiful kingfish and some double-decker speckled snappers. Well done to the anglers. Recreationally, the news has been slow from the north. The beaches have seen some very nice pompano and stumpnose being landed by the guys with sealice while the occasional brown ray and sandshark have fallen for a well-presented redeye sardine or chokka bait on the sandbank. Central – The Durban area has seen some lovely fishing over the past week. The conditions have been more than perfect with warm water and flat seas helping those with unstable feet to keep their breakfast in place. The fishing has also been worth the early wake ups. There have been dorado around and they’re favouring a nice frisky livebait, this has also been the downfall of many tuna. The couta have not been wild before the competition and we hope that this weekend will see some big fish coming out. The bottoms are also starting to take preference for the Skiboat guys and some lovely reds have been landing in the hatches. There have been a few John Dorys caught along with a few other strange and wonderful species. South – As mentioned in the offshore report above, the bonito have been around in greater than normal numbers along the South Coast. Anglers spinning off the points and beaches have managed good hauls of these little predators which are in great demand before the Durban Ski Boat competition. The high concentrations are due to the anchovy schools which attracts all sorts of gamefish. Any small shiny spoon which can be retrieved rapidly without losing its action will work for targeting these. The trick with these fish is to be able to cast the spoon far enough and to retrieve it fast enough. My combo of choice would be the Daiwa BG 10ft6 Heavy rod matched with a 4000 size Daiwa BG reel loaded with 15lb Daiwa J-Braid. This combo (in my opinion) will get the spoon to the fish with ease and will handle any fish that decides to eat your small shiny offering. On the inedible side, there have been some decent flatfish caught. These late season bites can be attributed to the drop in water temperature and the large amount of bait in the area. The main species have been diamond rays and giant sandsharks. Freshwater: The freshwater scene has been dominated by the trout news over the last two weeks or so. This is the season to catch your PB trout and if you haven’t given fly fishing a go yet, maybe this is the year to finally cross over to the light side… Trout – The South African Fly Fishing (SAFFA) nationals recently took place in the midlands, specifically the Kamberg waters. A total of 849 trout were captured and released. Big congratulations to team Western Province for taking gold and to Dirk Immelman from team WP for winning individual gold. The prize for most fish went to Brett van Rensberg (Team CG), biggest fish went to Johan Ferreira (Team MPU) and Matt Rich was crowned the “Fly Tying Champion”. The Kingfisher would like to congratulate everyone who took part. Outside of the competitive sphere, the Stillwater’s have been the place to go if you are targeting your next PB trout. The fish are hungry and in a mood to feed. This means big flies and faster retrieves. Pop in to out PMB, Kloof or Durban branch for expert advice on what to use and how to use it for this time of year. Bass – The bass are feeding very well in the shallows. All the dams have risen with the amount of rain that we have had over the last while and this has seen the margins and bankside vegetation flooded. These shallow, weedy areas are breeding grounds and safe havens for smaller fish and tilapia; this in turn attracts the big bass. Make sure you get yourself one of the new square lip Strike Pro crankbaits in the bluegill/tilapia colour and start prospecting the grassy shallows. Carp – The carp fishing has been slow over the past week. There have been no reports sent to write about but our Super Cast order is almost here, so get down to the Kingfisher in Durban to get your hands on some new and exciting carp baits. We have also brought out a new range of nets that will suit your pocket and scoop up your trophy catch. Tilapia – Much like the bass, the shallow grass that has been flooded is the place to go if you are wanting to catch a lot of fish. Try fishing with a small float and either some bread or some earthworms or termites. You can have hours of fun catching these little guys on ultra-lite tackle and it is fun that the whole family can enjoy. As we have reported, 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. 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?! Tight lines, screaming reels and good luck to all the guys taking part. 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.