FISHING REPORT 08TH JUNE ’18

The fishing has been very good for most of the facets. The sardines are making their way up the coast and with the colder water temperatures that we are seeing; we can hope to see a good run this year…fingers crossed.

Ray’s tip: Circle of winners. Using circle hooks when scratching is almost a no-brainer once you have done it a few times. With the design of the circle hook, the point facing inwards, the amount of hookups on the rocks is reduced by a very large percentage. The hooks simply bounce off the rocks whereas the same size J-Hook would see itself hooked solidly in to the rocks. This would normally result in the tying of a new trace and a drastic increase in frustration. This is why most competition anglers have shifted towards the use of circles, to save time. The Mustad Tuna circle has been tried and tested on all the common (and rare) reef fish, and it has come out smiling.

Offshore:

The offshore fishing has been tough over the last week. There have not been many catch reports coming in and the ones that have come in have not been the best reading. The tax has been hurting but there have been some good fish landed.

North –The northern KZN zone has seen the warmest water along our coast. Temperatures have been in the mid-twenties. There have been some very good couta and snoek coming out off of Jex Estate. These fish have been coming out of trolled mackerel and fillet baits (mainly). The only issue has been the sharks. The tax in this area has been astronomical. Some anglers have yet to get a fish out! The only way to beat the main in the grey suit is to move away from the area and to make sure you tackle up.

Central – A reminder that the Umhlanga Ski Boat Competition is next weekend, on the 16th and 17th June and the anglers can’t wait. This is another competition that sees Ski Boats, Jet Skis and Paddle Skis pitted against each other. Visit www.ursc.co.za to enter and see the amazing prizes they have in store. The central region has seen a lot of baitfish action, some of which has been the pilot sardine shoals. The pockets of bait have been mixed redeye sardines, mackerel and Natal sardines. The game fish have not been smashing these shoals yet and this is probably due to the large amount of bait in the area. The tuna have been the only guaranteed game fish to target. For the bottom fishing crews, the fishing has been good. The rock cod have been feeding very well and the reds are plentiful off all of the usual spots (wrecks, reefs, etc.).

South – The South Coast has seen water temperatures drop below 20 degrees. This is fantastic news as we need this cold water to get the sardines to move in to the inshore area where they can be netted. If the water remains at this temperature then you can bet that we will have a great run…fingers crossed. The wahoo are still feeding well off Aliwal Shoal. These are giant fish and need proper tackle and good boat driving to land. If you are going after these big boys, make sure your drag is nice and smooth and that your line and rod is in the best nick possible. Get your hands on a nice live bonnie and you should be in the money.

Rock and Surf:

The rock and surf scene has seen a fantastic run of very late season summer fish. There have been many big sandies and various other flatfish coming out over the last week.

North – The far north (Vidal, Sodwana, etc.) has been fishing very well for the edible fish. The stump nose, speckled snapper and cat face rock cods have been the main culprits. These fish are all very strong and love feeding around rocky areas. There have been some big inedibles mixed in to the edibles coming out, but most of these are not landed due to the lighter tackle being used for the edibles. For this type of fishing in the heavy structure and the chance of some big fish, I highly recommend the use of strong Maxima hook snoots. I would use 0.7mm as my hook snooting and 0.8mm as the line between the swivels.

Central – The lower north and upper central section of the KZN coast has been where the late season flourish has occurred. The KZNCAU clubs testing the waters prior to the weekend’s postal competition got stuck in to some very good summer fish. There were some big sandies, brown skates and honeycombs landed. This late season appearance of these fish is probably due to the cold water which has pushed in to the close inshore zone. With temperatures dropping to the low twenties and sometimes below, the fish turn on and feed very aggressively.

South – The South Coast has seen some good fishing. The edible side of things has been focused around the arrival of the garrick. These fish are heavily targeted when they are migrating north or south, they have to swim past thousands of live baits in their path. The fish have been coming out at most of the deep water points along the South Coast and the river mouth beaches as well. Shad are the best bait choice at this time of year. For the inedible anglers, there have been a surprisingly large amount of sharks and rays around. The most prevalent have been the grey sharks and the black spot reef sharks. Some nights have seen anglers landing 10 each of these fish. Redeye sardine and mackerel have been the baits of choice and both of these have out fished any other bait hands down.

Harbour:

The harbour has been hit and miss affair over the past week. There are still plenty of mullet around for the guys wanting to target them. These fish love white bread and the trick is to use a white float along with the white bread bait in order to attract their attention. The grunter have been around but the sizes have been rather small. Very few fish have crossed the 1kg mark. Crackers have been the go to bait. For the lure guys, there has been some springer around as well as a few kingfish. These fish have been very sporadic and targeting them has not been sure-fire. We eagerly anticipate the arrival of the garrick in to the harbour.

Freshwater:

Fishing has been surprisingly good in the freshwater scene with all the facets producing fish for their respective anglers. The weather has been fairly stable but the odd cold front has put a hold on the fishing for a day or two.

According to Jan from The Kingfisher in PMB, it’s getting PROPERLY frosty in The Midlands of late – last week’s frontal system brought with it a spot of rain and some light snow on the ‘Berg, and a freezing water temp (7deg.C) for the closing day of the River Season on 31 May.  As expected, flows had already dropped with the dearth of rain over the last month, but water conditions were near perfect and the fish were happy to oblige on the dry fly.  Weather notwithstanding, a great day to end the season – already looking forward to Opening Day on 1 September…Stillwater temps are also dropping quickly now, soon to be nearing the single-figure mark, and fish are changing mode from full-on feed to full-on spawn.  The feeding fish are looking for ready meals to go, so larger flies like buggers, minnows and dragonflies are your go-to patterns.  If these flies are being refused, try going smaller and/or brighter in colour to attract those fish in spawn mode with other things on their mind.  The bank anglers should be looking for fish patrolling the near-shore area, a great chance to sight-fish the cruisers.

Anglers out on float tubes should be keeping an eye on the shallows, looking for signs of moving fish…use a floating line and a lightly weighted fly. This weekend sees the winter Stillwater season kick off in fine style with the Kamberg Trout Festival, now in its 22nd year!  Anglers will gather at the Kamberg Farmers Hall on Thursday, fishing 2 full days on Friday and Saturday… Prize giving is on Saturday night and is guaranteed to be a fun-filled affair! The calendar hot’s up thereafter, the following weekend sees the Boston Fly Fishing Festival (held at the Boston Country Club, fishing the waters of the Upper Dargle Valley) as well as the 1st Leg of the TOPS Corporate Challenge (held at the legendary Nottingham Road Hotel, fishing the waters surrounding the village of Nottingham Road). We have had some reports of excellent fish from the Stillwater’s already, so expect much more in the next while with the influx of anglers!  Don’t forget to stop by your favourite Kingfisher store to get up to speed with the very best of tackle, flies and friendly advice…

Bass – The focus has finally shifted off of Hazlemere dam! The top producing bass dam has been Inanda, hands down. Inanda has been producing some fine specimens. Most anglers have been able to add a 2kg+ fish to their bags every day. The fish do not seem to be feeding specifically on any one pattern but they are attacking most lures with great vigor. This type of feeding lends itself well to fishing a jerk bait (soft or hard plastic) and targeting the areas where the bass will be holding (structure or depth changes). Fish these baits with an erratic retrieve and you should attract the attention of any bass in the area. Colour-wise you can go one of two ways, either you can try to replicate the natural colours (using watermelon red is your best all-rounder) or you can fish a bright attractor like a lumo pink or chartreuse and orange. This bright colour normally triggers a very aggressive take.

Carp – Along with the bass, the carp have also been feeding very well at Inanda Dam. There have been some very good fish coming out and the anglers have been revealing in this good fishing. The stand out flavours have been honey and banana. Make sure that you have both of these in your bag if you are wanting to go after these bigger fish. The Kingfisher Durban branch has a few sale carp rods that are perfect for those wanting to start out in the specimen carp angling scene. There are some very good rods retailing for very good prices.

Trout –The Stillwater’s are fishing incredibly well. With the colder temperatures we have had over the last few weeks and the good rains, the dams are full and the water is cold. These are two conditions that drive the trout in to a feeding frenzy. Any minnow pattern or large dragonfly nymph fly will work at this time of year, but make sure you also have a box with some smaller nymphs and dry flies in case the fish turn off the bigger meals. For the big flies, you need papa roaches, muddler minnows, zonkers and Mrs. Simpson-style flies while the smaller flies will be woolly buggers, zaks and DDDs. Remember that these bigger fish are very strong, so don’t go too light on the tippet material. Tight lines and screaming reels

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