The summer fish have arrived with a bomb. The flatties have been making there presence felt on the north shoreline while the dorado have started eating well on the FADs and wrecks off Durban. This is a great time to get all your summer tackle ready and get back on to the boat/beach.

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Ray’s tip: Hydration.

Much like sun protection, correct and ample hydration is vital for summer time fishing. This is particularly important if you are wanting to tackle the big summer brutes that start feeding properly as the weather heat heats us. The long, strenuous fights coupled with the heat will quickly leave you cramping and in a state of dehydration. The best way to avoid this is to pack a lot of water and isotonic liquids. Any of the popular sports drinks will do coupled with a good amount of straight water. Avoid the energy drinks at all cost as they will spike your energy and then drop you like a bag of cement. Keep the water cool if you can and keep your sun protection on. Tight lines and roll on summer…

As mentioned above, the dorado have started to make an appearance on the Durban offshore scene and this coupled with some good weather has led to many a happy ski boater.

North – The north continues to produce a mixed bag of catches. Snoek have been the predominant catch for the guys looking for game fish while geelbek have made up the bulk of the bottom fish catches. The Mtunzini high points have produced a few bigger couta over the last week. These fish have favoured a bigger bait and a large shad or bonnie has been the best way to have your luck at a bite. These bigger fish require heavier tackle, stouter hooks and thicker wire, so prepare properly to avoid disappointment. The lower north coast has also seen a larger number of bomber size snoek fall for a fillet bait or a small spoon. These are great eating and spectacular fighting fish so make sure you target them in the early morning on your way out to the deep.

Central – The central section of the Durban coast has seen some game fish action over this past week. There has been a showing of dorado around the deeper offshore structure. Remember that dorado love pink and this is definitely the colour to choose if you are struggling for a bite. This applies to Kona style lures, lipped lures as well as skirts to place in front of a bait. Luckily we at The Kingfisher have all of those in the most dorado catching colours, so pop in and get yourself summer ready.

South – The south is still full of bait and Toti through to Port Edward has been splattered with patches of baitfish for most of the week. The tuna love to frequent the edges of these patches and you can easily see if the tuna are around as the baitfish will splash on the surface in an attempt to get away. Best thing to do is to troll some lures around the action and throw some spoons or plugs on the edges. This will get the tuna fired up and you are almost guaranteed a bite.

Rock and Surf:

A reminder that the Kingfisher Biggest Shad Competition has kicked off. The heaviest Shad for September will receive a Daiwa BG 5000 Reel filled with Daiwa 8 weave 30lb J Braid, valued at around R3000.00, the second heaviest Shad will receive a 13’6” Kingfisher Coastline 5pce (L, M & H tip) Graphite rod, valued at R2,000.00, and third heaviest Shad will receive a Daiwa Laguna 5000 spinning Reel valued at around R1,000.00. Please note that all Shad (fresh) must be weighed at either, The Kingfisher, 53 Hunter Street, The Kingfisher in Ballito, The Fishing Tackle Shop (The Kingfisher) Warner Beach or Tackle Centre, Old Fort Road, during trading hours. Please remember there is a bag limit of four and the minimum size is 30cm and that the season closes 30th September, re-opens 1st December 2018.


The rock and surf fishermen have really started to get excited around the first few hauls of summer inedibles. This combined with the good edibles that have been coming out means the action has been hot!
The shad competition is a lot more impressive early on than last month. The leaders have posted fish over 4kgs, and it won’t be long until someone cracks that. It is big shad season, so get out there and catch a giant.

North – The north has been fishing well. There has been an early rush of diamonds and various other summer fish at the banks and surrounds. These fish have been pounced on by hordes of anglers that have been waiting for months to throw a bonnie head instead of a pink prawn. The diamonds have favoured a big juicy bait as usual and a combination of mackerel and bonito has been a real winner.

Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop sent in this report. Fishing in the lagoon was very slow this week with no great catches reported, one of my Informants managed a Malabar Rockcod on the trawl and caught a few bits and pieces during his short stay. This week for the first few days we had a massive side wash so fishing was hard work and most people packed up. On Wednesday whilst some people were strolling on the beach they saw a Penguin in the surf after a while it seemed to give up and got washed onto the beach, there are so many questions as to how it got here as they are colder water animals and live South of East London and from there in the Southern part of SA. The penguin was collected by Ushaka Marine World and taken back to the aquarium to be checked over and they gave it fluid and medicine I quote from feedback given to us “Has arrived. Is terribly frail and very young. We have and ministered fluids and meds. Prognosis is guarded. It is a real beauty.”

The diamonds were making pigs of themselves at Port Dunford yesterday by taking all the bait put out for garrick they not very big around 40kg mark but still fun to catch. We had a good break in the weather and the Ski boat guys fished yesterday and today with good size fish been caught mainly squaretail kob, slinger, scotsman, rubber lips, cave bass to name a few. A real species anglers dream. One unusual fish was a massive 6.45kg rubber lips. The whales are still in the bay and are giving a real good show of themselves. No game fish at all but it seems the guys who went out just went to fish for bottoms. Nic tagged kob was caught and released at a place called Anchor tag no D204963 we are waiting details from ORI. Nic will be hosting a fishing clinic/social on Saturday 22 September at 2pm on the main beach in front of the Siyayi River, what we hoping to achieve is the anglers share tips and for people to meet other anglers. It seems as though we will be joined by a few anglers from our local fishing club. I am going to try get some guys to bring some Drones so we can watch them in action.

Central – The central zone has seen some inedible action, but the bulk of the catches have been the edibles. There have been some very nice kob that have been landed on live shad, this method has also accounted for quite a number of garrick. The scratching guys have also been on the bronze bream and they have managed some really good specimens of late. The best bait for a bream is a good sized prawn bait. This fleshy bait releases a lot of smell and will get a firmer bite than the smaller baits.

South – The south has had a late run of garrick. These gamely fighters have been falling for a live shad and a few have been taken on surface plugs. The chisel nose plug is best used when the conditions are choppy as it creates more noise on the surface as opposed to the needle nose which slices through the water. There have also been some great shad hauls and a few giants have made their way to our scales. Remember that our shad competition runs until the end of the month and there are some amazing prizes to be won. So shad up and fish!

Durban harbour is starting to produce more consistent catches as we creep closer to summer. There have been oxeye tarpon, torpedo scads and kingies to be had for the art lure guys. Small spoons and bucktails have been on the fish’s menu and a good fast retrieve with jerky movement has been the key. Best colours for the bucktails have undoubtedly been green over white. The key with this type of fishing is to keep your lures as small as possible. There has been little to report from the bait front but the catches have ticked along.


The freshwater fishing has been doing very well. All the different facets have been experiencing good fishing, so whether you fancy the long rod or the mielie bom, it is time to go fishing!

With the recent snowfall and rains, The Midlands is greening up very nicely – lovely to see the landscape change, and it always amazes me how fast it happens after the winter dry spell.  The rivers are clean, and flowing well considering the time of year.  The days are warm and spring is definitely in the air…a great time to be out on any piece of water.

There have been some excellent Brown Trout reported from the rivers – as a matter of fact, the BEST fish in the Natal Fly Fishers Club catch reports this month has come from the river…The Umgeni as a matter of fact…a testament to the work that the NFFC has put into restoring this historic stretch of water in the Dargle Valley by the removal of bankside wattle.

No reports of any BIG rainbows as yet from the Stillwater’s – slightly surprising, as spring should be the time that the fish get back on the feed fulltime after the winter layoff.  Perhaps the recent cold spell put the brakes on it, but expect the fishing to hot up as the waters warm up and the bugs (aka fish food!) make their appearance.

Another great initiative by the NFFC is the new Bushman’s River tribal water – a fly fishing project in conjunction with the amaHlube Community out on the way to Giant’s Castle Reserve.  Anyone can buy a day ticket and a guide / car guard will be arranged for you – it is a safe, lovely stretch water and full of superb Brown Trout.  Pop into The Kingfisher Pietermaritzburg for more information, or visit the NFFC website and click on the “Day Tickets” tab for details…anyone can go… you don’t need to be a NFFC club member…what are you waiting for?

There are some good bass in the 3kg+ bracket coming out of Albert Falls and Midmar.  With the spring spawn in full swing, care of the fish when practising catch and release is of the utmost importance to secure future fishing.


An excellent Natal Yellowfish (scaly) of 52cm, estimated to be in the 2.5-3kg range, was reported by customer Justin Watson from the Umgeni.  1st scaly for Justin and a cracker at that – taken on an olive nymph fished deep – here’s hoping his “gold rush” continues.


The forecast is looking great for the week ahead – time to start planning the weekends fishing…don’t forget to stop your favourite Kingfisher store the best tackle and advice! Thanks Jan Korruble for this report.


Carp – The summer has woken many of the smaller carp up and the action is getting hot quicker than a summers morning. The smaller fish can be a pest to the guys targeting the bigger fish but they can also lull the bigger boys in to a sense of comfort. The small fish feeding attracts the big fish in, seeing the small fish being able to feed and nothing happening prompts the big boys to start munching. The best way to avoid the smaller carp is to use bigger hook baits such as 20mm boilies or groups of tigernuts. They will struggle to get these larger baits in to their mouths and will therefore only be able to eat the feed and leave the hook baits for the big ones. The sweeter flavours come in to their own during the warmer months and should start being used more and more as we approach summer.

Bass – With the Albert’s competition showing us how sensitive the fish are to weather changes, it should teach you to fish hard before and after a front and not during. This was seen as the fish went very quiet during the passing of the front, but the pre-frontal weather saw them feeding well. The darker colours produced the bigger fish but location was more of a deciding factor. The Kingfisher Reaction lures did some real damage and accounted for a few giants. This time of year is a fantastic time to get back to your waters and start fishing hard again after the winter slow-go. The private farm dams are firing and the bigger waters are really heating up. Get off the couch and go catch some bass!

Trout – Despite the warmer weather causing the rest of the freshwater fish guild to feed with reckless abandon, the trout have maintained their picky feeding. The choice of fly is a hotly debated topic and most gatherings and is something which varies from day to day. Do not fall in to the trap of endlessly changing flies to get success. First make sure that you are fishing the current fly at the right depth, in the right area and with the right retrieve. If you are doing all of that right and not getting a bite, then consider changing fly. Consider fishing a two fly pattern to start in order to cover as much water as possible. Generally a dry dropper combo is a good bet on a river or shallow Stillwater while the deeper dams/lakes will need a double streamer combo. Dry dropper combinations are generally composed of a buoyant dry fly like a DDD coupled with a lightly weighted nymph or midge larvae like a San Juan, flashback or GRHE. The streamer combos as usually a pair of similar flies in different sizes or a bright contrast fly with a more natural trailer.


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

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