Well the shop has been buzzing with all the chat around the sardine activity. This combined with the upcoming sale has had the Kingfisher packed. Make sure you come round for the sale and pick up your new combo or replace your braid. As always, remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date with all our new video releases and to brush up on your species knowledge, tactics and tips/tricks (

Ray’s tip: Rig it right. Using the right rig is vitally important. Some may even go as far as to say it outweighs the importance of fresh bait. The right rig is more than just the right hook. It comprises the right hook snoot, the right length, correct sinker, correct hook and correct sinker. Now this can change for each fish that you intend targeting. If you need a lot of movement from the bait you need to add floatation to the hook along with using a supple line for the hook snoot. If you are wanting to fish in rough water, you are going to need to shorten both snoots and use an anti-tangle sleeve to reduce knots. If you are scratching in the rocks, you will need to use circle hooks to reduce the amount of times you get stuck in the rocks. Using the correct sinker involves understanding the substrate that you are fishing as well as knowing how much you want your bait to move (or not move). Remember, you need to put thought in to your traces to maximise your limited time on the water.


The last week has had more focus on the rock and surf scene than the offshore side of things. This has mainly been due to the large number of sharks around the sards out-competing the gamefish. Nonetheless, there have been some decent fish coming out.

North – The north, the furthest location from the main sardine action, has been quiet, but there have been plenty of tuna around. These fish have been widespread and locating the schools has been the recipe for a productive day. This means putting your head down and covering as much water as possible. Make sure to give yourself the best chance by trolling lures of different diving depths so that you can find what depth the fish are feeding at. Try one of the new rattler colours that have been launched. Come in to the shop and stock up.

Central – The central zone has been very busy with bait shoals filling the bay. These shoals have been mixed between scads, redeye sardines, sardines, mackerel, bonito and maasbunker. This large concentration of bait has meant that the bites have been slow as the fish have plenty of food to choose from. In this situation, the best bet is to go for a reaction bite instead of a feeding response. This means you will want to use brightly coloured lures or ones with a vigorous action. This is where you can learn from the bass anglers. A lure with a tight vibration, an orange stomach and a rattle will often produce a bite when the water goes quiet.

South – The south, this is where all the action has been happening. The sardine shoals have been full up from Port Edward all the way up to the Bluff. Although these shoals have been plagued with sharks, there have been gamefish in between them. Mainly tuna and garrick but there have been snoek, couta and prodigal son mixed in to the chaos that is the sardine run. With the large concentration of sharks around during this time of year, you will want to up your tackle. Get yourself a rod with a decent backbone and a reel that has a proper drag system and fill it with some strong line. I would recommend the Poseidon Kingfish rod paired with a Daiwa BG 50 loaded with 30lb Kingfisher Giant Abrasion nylon.

Rock and Surf:

This is where all the action and excitement is happening. The shoals of sardines that have been making their way up the coast have been followed by gamefish, sharks and hordes of bipedal followers. Remember that a day out chasing the sardines is great fun for the whole family and ending it with a bunch of masala sardines and dhall will have you smiling.

North – The north coast section of the KZN coast has been the place to be if you enjoy solitude. With all the action down south, the beaches up north have been delightfully empty. The fishing up north has however been good. There have been plenty of scratching fish for the edible anglers while the bigger fish have been around for the guys putting out bigger baits.

Central – The Durban beachfront has been slow in terms of fishing. The piers are producing some shad and the odd stumpnose. This is the same story for Blue Lagoon. The shad have been a mixed bag of legal and non-legal size fish (remember to put the small guys back!). Japanese mackerel has been the bait of choice in the central zone while sardine has out-performed all other baits down south. For the shad, the early morning bite has been centered around the surface so make sure you are fishing with a drift trace or top bung to keep your bait high in the water column. The garrick are around so put one of your legal shad out while you catch your remaining 3 for the pot.

South – Much like the offshore side, the south has had the lion’s share of the action. Of the more interesting catches that have been made, there was a prodigal son landed and tagged (the tagging officer has been making an effort to tag as many of the fish being caught) along with a giant dusky caught by Jace Govendor. This beast converted to over 315kgs!!!! Well done Jace, a true denizen of the deep. Make sure that if you are going to drone a big bait out or even tackle one of the sharks in the sardine run, that your tackle is able to handle the fight. This means monster line capacity and a very strong drag. Also, if you have not caught a decent shark before, starting with a 200kg+ giant may not be the best way to start…The netting is ongoing and difficult to predict, but if you are needing to know what is happening, pop on to Facebook or our YouTube page.


Away from the sea and the chaos of the sardine run, the freshwater angling scene is sitting peaceful and tranquil. The Berg and its beautiful trout is still warm enough to enjoy the early morning while the carp are starting to really slow down.  News just received from Jan Korrubel from The Kingfisher in Pietermaritzburg, “Apart from the odd colder day, the positively balmy Midlands weather is keeping the trout in fine form – reports are coming in of fat, healthy fish that are fighting fit!  Water temperatures are still hovering around the 10deg.C mark, and indications are that the fish are moving into the spawning period.  Eggs in the females are showing signs of colour, but not yet full on ripe.  That being said, flies with orange in them (e.g. hot spots and tails / egg patterns / blobs) are doing the business…and as expected, along with a number of other patterns…so it’s still very much a case of game on!  Most of the Stillwater’s are currently crystal clear, so if your favourite patterns are not working, then step down in size.  If you find yourself fishing in an off-colour water (perhaps where the dam has inverted) with no option to move, then fishing larger patterns that push a lot of water, thereby making themselves “heard” to the fish, is the way to go (e.g. woolly buggers / minnow / dragonfly patterns).

Next weekend (5-8 July) sees Leg 2 of the TOPS Corporate Trophy Challenge – we will be looking at the results to see who will be joining us in The Finals scheduled for end-August. Cold water conditions have made for tough fishing for the bass guys, but anglers down scaling lure size have been rewarded – Bryan Leppan using a Strike King “Structure Bug” came up trumps at Albert Falls this week.  The Kingfisher PMB has just received stock of a wide range of Strike King baits, so pop in while they are still available!”


Carp – The carp are starting to feel the winter chill. Although the water and air temperatures are still fairly warm, the fish obviously know what is coming. The further inland you go, the colder everything becomes. If you are planning an overnight trip anywhere, make sure to pack your winter warmers and a decent flask of coffee. When it comes to areas and baits; look for a deeper spot than you would during summer and also use a bait with a stronger, more pungent smell. My personal choice at this time of year is a strong cinnamon flavour. If this fails, gumtree is sure to bring the fish in. Set up your feeding area properly with a good mix of food to keep the carp interested. Have a look at SuperCast’s “Monster Mix” particle mix. This is a blend of all the carp’s favourite foods.

Bass – Much like the carp, the bass have gone deep and are starting their winter sulk. As mentioned in previous reports, get your bait to where the fish are holding. This means either targeting the trees and onshore structure, or looking in the deeper water for channels and dips/humps. For the shoreline vegetation and structure a jig is probably your most useful bait. You are able to pitch it in to the deepest structure and not get snagged. Also, with the stout hook, you can really pull a fish out of even the gnarliest of snags. For the deep water searching, you will need a quality fish finder and the knowhow of how to use it. Once you have located the structure to be fished, use a Carolina rig or a deep diver or a spinner bait and fish the area as slow as possible.

Trout – The trout are most definitely the highlight in the freshwater scene. The fly fishing fraternity has been treated to some spectacular fishing over the last few weeks and this is set to continue in to winter. The fish have been big and strong. Most of the bigger venues have produced some giants and many anglers have come in to the shop to step up their leaders to handle these bigger fish. Dragonfly nymph patterns are still the best of the bigger patterns to use at the moment with minnow patterns of all shapes and sizes following closely behind. Olives, browns and blacks are the colours that you are going to want to be tying on. Ensure that your box is full of zonkers, baitfish patterns, papa roaches and Hamil’s killers. 12Lb leader material is not out of place at this time of year and some have even found this to be too light. Tight lines and screaming reels.

Don’t forget our Birthday Sale this weekend – Friday and Saturday ONLY!  See you in store…

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