FISHING REPORT 04th MAY ’18

April has come and gone and the year is already picking up speed! The summer season is almost over and the time of the sardines is getting very close. We need the water to cool off because these shinning little silver fish don’t enjoy a warm bath. Please see the latest ASFN newsflash (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6raEjCF1A0) and go to our Kingfisher YouTube channel and subscribe to keep up to date with tips, tricks and species information.

Offshore:

The biggest news in the offshore scene has to be the Durban Ski Boat Competition that took place this past weekend. Firstly, congratulations to all the sponsors and competitors for a great event once again. The Kingfisher would like to congratulate Mr R Driemeyer for winning the competition with an impressive 26.9kg couta. Well done! May your winning prize bring you many happy memories. Also, well done to Peter Noek for winning the lucky draw prize!

The Umhlanga Ski Boat Competition is also nearing and the excitement is beginning to build. This is another competition that sees Skiboats, Jetskis and Paddleskis pitted against each other. Early bird registration is R500 but closes soon (15 May). Visit www.ursc.co.za to enter and see the amazing prizes they have in store.

North – The North Coat is fishing very well. There have been snoek coming out on the backlines from far south to Maphelane. The most successful tactics have been throwing spoons in to the backline while trolling your lures and strip baits. This is light tackle country and fishing with light spinning sticks will give you the most joy. For the other fish, the tuna and couta, you need to step up the gear to get the fish before Ocean SARS takes it share. Go up a line class and get yourself a good stout stick to pull the fish up and away from the sharks. The tuna and the couta have been falling for live bait almost exclusively.

Central – The central zone has seen a good amount of couta coming out. This is more than likely due to the pre-fishing and fishing of the DSBC competition. The couta have been falling for well-presented dead baits and frisky live baits. If you can get your hands on a live bonito, pin it and hold on. The tuna have been coming out at all of the bait spots and have been snacking on live mozzies and poppers like they haven’t eaten in weeks.

South – There were some very big fish caught in the Port Edward Ski Boat Competition this past weekend. The winning fish was a couta of around 35Kgs. Well done to the angler. Closer to home, the fishing has been focused around the shoals of bait. These bait balls have been made up of anchovies and the fish have been feeding very well around these mobile food stops. Throwing small spoons in to the medley of fish and sharks is the best way to get a pull but make sure to get your fish out quickly before the sharks eat them. Best to do is park your boat as far away from the shoals as you can cast.

Ray’s tip: Bottom fishing is not for the faint-hearted (or weak-tackled). Bottom fishing generally involves either anchoring or drifting over a spot ranging in depth from shallow backline reefs to colossally deep trenches. This type of fishing is normally straight down and puts a large amount of strain on the gear of a reel (if not used properly). It is for this reason that mainly people favour the raw power of the 1:1 gear ratio of a KP or Scarborough fishing reel. With a KP, there are no gears (only tears). This means that you do not have to worry about pump and wind, just forward and reverse. KP’s are also very easy to service and due to the lack of parts, are virtually indestructible. Rod wise, there are three main options to suit the different applications. For the backline fishermen, there is the Poseidon Offshore series Kingfish rod. This paired with an 8” KP will do the business. For the general-purpose angler, there is the Poseidon Offshore series Geelbek rod. Paired with a 9” KP there is not much you cannot stop. Now, for the boys looking for the denizens in the very deep, you best look at our Poseidon Offshore series Yellowtail rod. This beast of a pole paired with a 10-11 ½ inch KP will make fast work of winding up from the depths.

Rock and Surf:

The rock and surf scene has seen a mixture of fishing in the last week. The water is still very warm along the entire coast and this had made for some poor inedible fishing. The grey sharks are still feeding but are rather small. On the plus side, the edible fishing has been phenomenal and our own Dean Reddy showed us how it is done by having a great trip up north, landing some beautiful edible fish in the bricks (including a large Moray eel and some fat little zambies and a tiger shark).

North – The North Coast has seen the best edible fishing in terms of variety and size. Anglers fishing the reefs and ledges in the far north of the zone have been recording some spectacular catches. The most notable of these catches have been the large speckled snappers that have been landed. These are very special fish that need to be handled well and released to fight another day. They are also incredibly powerful and even a small fish will get you sweating and rock hopping to land it. They love a nice fleshy bait and require some very strong tackle to get them out the reef. Please see the following video on the species to give you a bit more information on the speckled snapper (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPEinYDED18).

Central – The central zone has been fishing well for the edible fish. The pompano and stumpnose are still feeding well. A combination of chokka, pink prawn, sealice and cracker shrimp. These baits can be used by themselves or in combination with one another. Mix up the areas that you are fishing and do not fall in to the trap of trying to cast too far. Most of the fish you are targeting with these baits feed very close to the side, so do not be afraid of putting a lob cast in to start and work your way deeper as you go.

South – The South Coast has seen some decent inedible fish over the last week. The conditions have not been fantastic and the water has been too warm, but there have been some flatfish, grey sharks and giant sandies coming out to the guys who persist. Mackerel and bonito have been the preferred baits and a head of one of these with cutlets on the sides has caught the majority of the better fish. The spinning guys also had a good run with the bonito last week. Most of the deep-water points saw good numbers come out while Scotties saw the bulk of the action. Small spoons with light braid have been the key. Use a 10ft6 rod, small grinder and some light braid. My setup of choice would be the 10ft6 HFS Daiwa BG rod, paired with a 3000 size Daiwa BG grinder loaded with 15lb Daiwa J-Braid. This setup will sail the small spoons out far and will handle any fish that decides to snack on your shiny offerings.

Freshwater:

The water levels keep rising. This is both a positive and a negative. Dams such as Albert Falls now have a margin of vegetation that it is nearly impossible to land anything in some areas. This is because the vegetation that was previously well established on the banks is now flooded. This will take a bit of time to decompose and fishing will return to its former glory. Other dams, such as Midmar have seen an increase in catches due to the flooded vegetation being a lot less severe.

The fly-fishing film tour is coming to South Africa again and tickets are selling fast. Make sure to visit their website and book your tickets for the Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban showings.

Trout – We have seen photos of some very impressive fish in the last few days that have been landed in most of the midlands Stillwater’s. Large flies are proving the magic and something like a Paparoach or big Walker’s Killer is deadly at this time of year. Remember to always think about what you are imitating and to retrieve the fly like the creature you are imitating would move.

Bass – The bass fishing at Hazlemere is still going fantastically well. This dam does not seem to be slowing down even with the approaching winter season. The other dams have started to slow and fishing in these slower dams will require a change of tactics. This means bigger baits with lots of movement fished slowly in the deeper water. The bass are becoming more lethargic and will therefore not move far to eat anything and will only move to catch something that is worth the effort (large).

Carp – The carp fishing has been very quiet here in KZN. For the guys wanting to fish the newly flooded areas you need to get your bait to sit above the layer of decomposing vegetation. There are a few ways to do this; you can either buy a floating bait or add flotation to your bait. Floating baits are your floaties (hard and soft) and the pop-ups. These come in a variety of colours and scents and the same rules apply as those for any other baits. Adding floatation to your bait is generally done by using cork either as a filling in a boilie, crushed in to the boilie mix or used in conjunction with another bait (mielie, tigernut, potato…etc.) to create a critically balanced bait.

According to Jan Korruble from The Fish Eagle in PMB, the Midlands is on fire at the moment, with some excellent trout coming out of both the rivers and the Stillwater’s.  We have only 4 weeks left of the river season (closing day is Thursday 31 May) so the time is now to get into it while the fish are feeding up for the winter.  The water flow has slowed nicely, and the upper reaches of the rivers, while tricky only 2 weeks ago, are now the best they have been in many a season.  Reports coming in indicate that the water is running super clean, and the fish are looking up, all action being on the dry fly; top patterns being hoppers, mayflies and emergers. The Stillwater’s are cooling very nicely, and this has given the fish the reminder that winter is on its way and they too have started feeding up.  Some excellent fish are being reported of late, with popular patterns being woolly buggers, minnows and dragon/damselfly nymphs.  A large, weighted pattern fished with smaller, less or unweighted trailer offers the fish two types of food, and doubles the chances…most popular is the “New Zealand” or ”truck and trailer” rig where the second fly is simply attached to the bend of the hook of the first fly with a 30-45cm piece of tippet. My rule of the two fly system is that should be different in size, shape and colour…no point in fishing two flies that are the much the same (unless you know for sure that’s what’s working of course). For those that weren’t aware, the South African Fly Fishing Association (SAFFA) Senior National Trials was held up in the Kamberg Valley 2 weeks ago.  Even with the water still being on the high side, the river sessions delivered with three fish over 22” / 55cm being recorded, while the Stillwater’s proved to be taxing as the fish were iffy with the change in season.  Congratulations to Western Province, Eastern Cape and KZN taking the podium places. There are still some big bass around, a couple in the 3kg+ range being reported from Midmar and Albert Falls Dams. Getting late in the season however, and as the water temperature drop, the action will slow down. Also getting late in the season, but the Tugela in the central / northern ‘Berg is still providing some yellowfish.  There are also still some fish coming out at Sterkfontein, but the season is pretty much done now, and it will be a hit-and-miss case requiring a couple days of good, warm weather to get the yellows active. Water levels are the best they have been for a very long time – Midmar and Spring Grove are both still over 100% and overflowing, and Albert Falls is now over the 50% mark.  The weather has settled and it’s setting up to be a great autumn – a great time to get lines into water!

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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 mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za