A never-ending story… here we sit, a good few weeks after the first sighting of the sards on the KZN coast and we are still seeing action. What a time to be alive! 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: Keep ’em sharp! Hook sharpening can be made in to a fine art, a pursuit of perfection. Nowadays a lot of hooks come pre-sharpened (either chemically or physically) but this does not mean they will stay sharp forever. It is vitally important to keep your hooks as sharp as possible to increase your chances of hooking every fish that sniffs your bait. This is best done using a hook sharpener and ideally by someone who knows what they are doing. Sharpening is particularly important if you are fishing for fish that have hard or tough mouths. Inedibles and fish like springer are prime examples. Keep your hooks as sharp as possible and give yourself the best chance of landing that fish you have been dreaming of.


It is difficult to outshine the action that is taking place from the shore at the moment but the ski boat, jet ski and paddle ski guys are doing a very good job of getting stuck in to some proper fish.

North – The furthest zone from the action but still producing some great results. The northern zone has seen some bus snoek over the last week. Some of these fish have come dangerously close to the 10kg mark! That is a massive snoek. There have also been plenty of tuna around to keep the trolling fans happy for hours. The fish have not been the biggest but there have been a few 20kg fish in the mix to keep the rod bent for a while. The darker lipped lures have been doing the bulk of the work for these tuna with the purple and black stripe Kingfisher Rattler doing some real damage. The snoek on the other hand have been falling for small bullet-type spoons, (like the Kingfisher Anchovy) retrieved rapidly in and around the surf zone. This is a dangerous place to be, so make sure that there is always one person on the throttle watching for waves.

Central – The central zone has been the quietest for the offshore guys. What has been coming out in the deep are some respectable tuna. Fish that one would expect off Richard’s Bay or the Cape. These have mostly been by catch from guys targeting other species, but there are a few individuals targeting them specifically…watch this space. For the guys not travelling to the deep, the backline charters have been full-up with shad and rockcod. There have also been the occasional tuna and snoek for these backline cruisers with a lucky one or two nabbing a couta.


South – This is where everything is happening. Much like the shore-based action, the offshore action has been near the sardines. This year’s run has been very shark-heavy, meaning that even pulling lures in the sardines has resulted in sharks taking the bait. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to move off the sards and fish as you would normally do. The sards have attracted the fish, now all you have to do is catch them. The other action to speak of is the run of wahoo currently going down at the Shoal. Guys have been getting stuck in to some very decent fish, managing to land a few as well. A live bonnie is your friend in this situation, but do not discount a big mackerel or the humble shad as a deadly wahoo bait.

Rock and Surf:

The conversation in the shop has been sardine-based for the last few weeks…what a fantastic run we have had! It seems that with the current weather and the continuing action, we will be seeing the sards for at least another two weeks! For the anglers who are wanting to give the shark fishing in the sards a go, The Kingfisher now stocks rigged and ready Drone and FMJ throw bait traces designed specifically for the current angling demands.

North – The North Coast has been a very quiet section of KZN. This is the place to be if you do not enjoy crowds. With everyone and their extended family on the South Coast, it is a good place to go to get some peace, quiet and a fish or two. The spinning has been on fire up north with a myriad of species coming out. There have been some very decent kingies landed on all manner of lure. The retrieve speed and time has been more important than the lure used. The shad have also been full-up at most of the fishing spots and drifting a whole sardine in the early morning should produce a fish for the pan. There have also been some snoek for the guys throwing small bullet spoons over the horizon. These can be very tricky fish to catch, but a quick retrieve and a small shiny spoon should see you with some success.

Central – The central zone has had its share of action (albeit a very small share). The piers are producing a lot of shad and stumpnose for the edible anglers while the inedible anglers have had success at the Umhlanga Lighthouse and the beachfront. Pink prawn has been working very well for the edible fish with the exception of the shad. The grey sharks that are wild on the beachfront have been preferring mackerel.

South – Ah the South! It has held the attention of the entire country for the last few weeks. The sardine shoals continue to scatter the coastline down south and the sharks and game fish are too happy to have a mobile buffet. The main action has been focused around the middle South Coast, between Port Shepstone and Scottburgh. The action has also been inedible with the occasional game fish coming out. A massive congratulations has to be given to Daiwa Ambassador Rorke who has been having a fantastic sardine season. Rorke managed to break the 300kg mark with a giant of a grey shark. Rorke has been using the Daiwa Saltist 8-12oz rod paired with a Daiwa Saltiga LD60 Dogfight. This reel is loaded with 600m of 80lb Triple Fish Gator Braid and 300m of 100lb Daiwa J-Braid Topshot. By the way, this fish was landed in just over two hours. This setup has proven itself this season time and again. Well done Rorke! The rest of South Coast has seen many sharks landed and even more lost. The sharks that are being lost have many been due to cut-offs. It is best to move to a quieter area than lose every fish to other fish swimming in to the line.


The freshwater side of things has been out of the spotlight due to the sardine action being so wild on the south coast of KZN. There have however been some respectable catches in bass, trout and the carp fisheries.


Trout – The winter chill is here with a vengeance. The past weekend saw snowfalls in the berg and the sale of firewood has tripled in the last week. The fishing has been good though. Any of the big Stillwater’s will produce (and have produced) some good fish. Any fly with an orange touch will induce a solid take. Try adding an orange nose to a common pattern (be it with a bead or a turn of orange floss). This can often produce a bite when the bites are slow. Make sure to keep a selection of tippets in the box as well, because the fish can decide to be finicky at this time of year and require a finesse approach.

Bass – The bass a staying warm and cozy in their structure. A bulky jig or soft plastic flipped in to a submerged tree can be devastating. The fights however, are not the most spectacular. The cold water has made the fish sluggish. This means they are not going to charge long distances to get to food or jump great heights. So place your lure as close to the fish as possible and move the lures slowly. A deadly method for winter is too slow-roll a spinner bait in the deep-water channels. Best colours are purple and black with a black Carolina blade (circular blade). Slow rolling means reeling the spinner bait very slowly as close to the bottom as possible. This often produces the bigger bites.

Carp – The Kingfisher Durban has just unpacked a new order from SuperCast. Come in to the shop to stock up on top quality carp gear and scents. Black Magic concentrate has been producing the goods in most of the KZN dams of late. This is a great flavour as it is both sweet and spicy. This cinnamon and molasses mix can be used in summer and winter. Inanda and Shongweni Dams have seen some decent fish coming out over the last week. Tigernuts have been fishing very well in Inanda for the particle guys while the conventional anglers have favoured the floaties in plain flavour (adding their own dips).

Info supplied by Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher – Pietermaritzburg.Just as we thought that this winter was going to on the warm side, the sting arrived last week with sub-zero temperatures.  The current perfect clear winter weather in The Midlands means crisp frosty mornings, and with daytime temps expected to stay in the lower teens, anglers in this weekend’s 3rd Leg of the TOPS Corporate Challenge are well advised to bring their winter woollies!  With water temperatures running into the single figures, and air temps close to zero, iced up rod eyes are going to be a problem in the morning sessions, so applying some “anti-freeze” (e.g. Loon Stanley’s Ice Off Paste, or even some Lip Ice) to the rod eyes will prevent ice forming and blocking the eyes. Some excellent 60cm / 23inch plus fish have already been recorded in the previous two legs, and expectations are high for the run of good fish to continue.  As expected for fish in their winter spawn, they are being picky to say the least and the range of successful patterns has been wide, ranging from the good old standard woolly buggers in olive and black, through recognised food patterns like dragonflies and damsels, to brightly coloured attractor patterns like eggs and blobs.  Fishing multiple-fly rigs the way to go, offering the fish at least two different “food items” (up to 3 flies is allowed) to stimulate a bite…the bottom line being flies that are different in shape, size and colour in the hope that at least one of the patterns is “the one”.

Don’t forget to visit your favourite Kingfisher store for the best in tackle and advice! Tight lines and screaming reels to all this weekend.

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