FISHING REPORT 2ND NOVEMBER 2018

Rays tip: Winds of change…Winds play a vital role in the sea conditions and in the behaviour of fish. Therefore, winds need to be one of the major considerations when choosing when and where to go wet a line. For example; the inedible fish on the KZN coast come alive after a few days of northeast wind. There are many theories as to why this is, but it is mostly due to the NE creating some water movement and this bringing more oxygen in to the water. This water movement also makes the sea a bit turbid which is great for predators and prey. The predators can hunt without being seen while the prey can hide in the dirtier water. So, with this in mind, anglers wanting to catch sharks and rays should always look for the NE wind to blow for at least two days and even better three. Now, a NE wind brings the fish, the southeast wind kills the fishing. The SE wind is known as the poison wind and if it is blowing, it is time to pack up and go home. In short, wind plays a very big role in determining what the sea is going to be doing and how the fish are going to be acting. Learn what it all means and your fishing will drastically increase.

 

Offshore:

The offshore scene has been alive over the past week. There have been loads of fantastic catches being displayed on social media and even more bragging happening in the shop. However, with the sea and weather conditions predicted for the next week or so, it might be time to pack the tackle up and get the boat cleaned.

 

North – The north has been the hub of activity. There have been more great fish caught up north than the central and south combined.

The north has been throwing sailfish, dorado, couta, tuna, wahoo, kingfish, snoek…you name it, it has been caught up north. Most of the usual game fish strategies have been working but a frisky livey has been the best of the crop when it comes to securing that all important first bite of the morning. For the guys who prefer a faster method of fishing, trolling lipped lures like the Kingfisher Rattlers has been a great way to cover more ground and find the feeding fish.

 

Central – The central zone has been dorado town. The FADs and ships have been the place to go if you want to catch one of these popcorn bream. A live bait pitched at any floating structure or slowly trolled around the boats is the best method of catching these fish. Add to this throwing of various lures and even fly fishing and you are guaranteed to get the attention of a few of these beautiful fish. They can get quite wild once out of the water, so be careful when handling them as they love to twist and turn. If you are releasing them, place a wet cloth over their eyes to calm them down. If you are keeping them, dispatch them with a knife as soon as you can to avoid excess suffering or injury to yourself. When it comes to choosing the colour to use, pink is the only way. Dorado do get greedy and when then eat almost anything, but pink always seems to out fish the other colours. So whether you are trolling lures or rigging a dead bait, make sure you put some pink in the mix.

 

South – The south has been a bottom fishing hotspot with many decent hauls being landed over the past week. Rockcod and daga have been the main contributors to the hauls with geelbek and a mix of reds making up the rest. The bait has also been thick off of the south coast and it is definitely worth launching (if you can with these sea conditions) and loading up on the mackerel and red eyes. Bait of choice for the bottoms has been chokka and Pota squid with a live mackerel being deadly for the bigger boys. Remember your glow beads for the night fishing and add a glow in the dark skirt if you really want to get some solid bites.

The game fishing has been focussed around the shoal. There have been a good whack of tuna coming out as well as the odd wahoo. The wahoo and bigger tuna have been caught exclusively on live bonnies. A daisy chain with good quality, small squid skirts is the best method of catching a bunch of these amazing baitfish quickly. Make sure the rig suits the size of the bait as well as the fish you are targeting.

 

Rock and Surf:

 

The rock and surf scene has been buzzing with the summer fish and the NE winds. All that is being spoken about is the arrival of the sandies or the diamonds or the raggies up north.

 

North – This has been the place to go if you are looking for that bigger bite. The Daiwa/ASFN ambassadors have been proving this and one look at Facebook will show you the great fish that are coming out on the Daiwa tackle. This fishing is not for the faint hearted, but is not out of reach for the smaller anglers amongst us. With the launch of the new Daiwa Saltist Elite MH (in 15ft and 14ft6), it brings a great rod to the guys and girls who cannot comfortably throw a bigger bait and sinker. These rods are designed to throw between 5 and 7 ounces and they throw and absolute mile. If you are in the market or just a fan of a good quality stick, pop in to one of our shops and have a look for yourself. The far north has been producing an insane amount of raggies! The diamonds have been scarce but the raggies have made up for it. A shorter throw has been out-producing the long throws and mackerel has out-shone the bonnies.

 

Central – The central coast has produced a lot of edible fish over the past week. The piers and Blue Lagoon have been the best spots if you are wanting to target edibles. Sealice, prawns and chokka need to be in your bait box if you want a chance to get a bite. There have been a myriad of species coming out, but blacktail, stumpies, shad and pompano have been the main catches. There have been some very good specimens of all of these caught on various baits. For the guys wanting to target the bigger inedibles, the basin has been the only place on the central coast that has seen a consistent bite. Mackerel has once again proved to be the best bait and the fresher the bait, the quicker the bite.

 

South –The south has been (as always) a combination of edibles and inedibles. There have been a fair mix of inedible fish coming out ranging from honeycomb rays to blackfin sharks. When targeting these fish, it is best to use an FMJ trace for just in case. If you are wanting to only target the rays, then omit the wire and use 1mm nylon. A circle hook is still the best when it comes to multi-targeting but it is vital that the bait does not obstruct the gape of the hook. Make sure that the dingle is the correct length for the bait you are using and that the circle just goes through the tip of the bait. The bait of choice has been a mix of redeye sardine and mackerel. Make a nice compact bait with lots of smell and find a rip to bomb it out in to. The edibles have been a real mix. Stumpies have been the most reliable to target of all of these. A pink prawn bait or better yet a sealice will have you bending in no time. Find an area of working water and you are in the money.

 

News from Mtunzini:

 

Lagoon –  “River bream galore and a lots making size however it was not then that stole the show but diamonds, young Zak nearly lost his rod as one took off with his bait, he had to run into the water to retrieve his rod and I Quote “Where does this thing think it is going? Durban” after a fight lasting well over an hour he lost it, another angler lost another near the mouth, for some reason at the start of the summer the big diamonds come into the lagoon and hang around for some time. Young Ryan was extremely lucky to land a size river bream as it had nearly straightened his hook looking at the picture it is a very dark specimen and had big teeth, could this be a very old one?. It is still swimming about so look out for it. River snapper catches are increasing mainly at the mouth and the area of the Steel Bridge going inland along the rocks. The most successful baits used were live mullet or glassies, our informants tell us that artificials were not very successful but hey that is how the Lagoon rolls.

 

Surf – There was a 3 day gap in the weather and the anglers took advantage of it. Some raggies and diamonds came out at the banks and a lot of edibles were caught on the main beach. There were some bust ups on cable to make things more exciting, I believe there were some nice kob caught in the Dunford area  together with small sharks. It is safe to say that the summer fishing has arrived when the snapper kob and baby hammer head sharks are here it is a dead giveaway. Unfortunately amongst all the activity in the surf the shad are often first to the bait only 32 days to go before you may keep these or use them for bait. Over at Amatikulu an angler opened his flat fish account for the summer with a 40kg diamond and a 43kg honeycomb ray.

 

Ski boat – Saturday morning saw a lot of boats launching as conditions we good with a SW forecast later in a day meaning an early morning launch and heading south was the best tactic to take advantage of the wind when it came up. Good catches of bottoms was made the main species were squaretail kob however while Janie was tied up alongside Wit Oliphant he caught 3 big javelin grunter, biggest was 5,6kg, the crew on Wit Oliphant could only watch in disbelieve as all they were catching were kob however later in the day they did manage to boat a very nice size soldier one of which has not been seen for a long time. Nanook headed out further and managed a few dorado. The water temperature has climbed to nearly 24deg so it is not long before we see the boats catching Pelagius. Just when we thought the whales had gone some were sighted in the bay however Fire Fly who was fishing at Sodwana Bay last week reports there are still stacks of them coming down so we must still be careful and on the lookout for them”. Thanks Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for this report.

 

Harbour:

The harbour is definitely picking up. The springer and oxeye tarpon are giving the lure and fly anglers grey hairs as they continue to attack the lures/flies and proceed to jump off the hook. The grunter are feeding well and are eating a well-presented sand prawn with vigour. Make sure to keep the hook snoot light as this will produce more pulls. The torpedo scads have been around most of the harbour and can be great fun on the ultra-light tackle. Any small lure retrieved at speed will elicit a take. The new Strike Pro Chippa lures have been doing some serious damage with the small kingies. This mini pencil baits create a lot of disturbance but can still be moved fast enough to get a take.

 

Freshwater:

 

The freshwater side of things has been a lot calmer than the sea. Not in terms of fish caught, but definitely in terms of the weather. While the coast gets pounded by waves and winds, the dams have remained fairly unscathed. So if you are primarily focussed on the salty pond, maybe turn your view inland during the terrible sea conditions and get yourself hooked on freshwater.

 

Bass – The bass have been out of control. All the major dams have been producing fish over three kilos and some well over that. Alberts has been the pick of the lot when it comes to quantity. A single morning can leave your live well full of great fish. Cranking around the deep water structure has proved to be the most consistent producer of big fish on Alberts, but soft plastics have been the answer everywhere else. Sexy shad and baby bass have been the two best colours. These in your crank bait of choice will be your token to the bigger fish. Make sure that the crank bait you are using can get to the depth you are fishing; otherwise you are wasting your time. Hazlemere and Inanda have not been bad choices to fish and are still producing some fantastic catches, not to mention Midmar which has also had a good share of giants over the past few weeks.

 

Carp – The carp have been feeding very well in all of the dams. Make sure to catch the Daiwa gear in action on Hier Gaan Ons Alweer on Kyknet to see what the new Daiwa Blackwidow 3lb 10ft G50 rod can really do. There have been numerous fish over the 10kg mark that have come out over the past few weeks. Tigernuts have been the outright winner when it comes to hook baits for the specimen guys. A sweet scent added to these tigers when preparing them has proven to be the cream of the crop. Make sure to add a good helping of these in the feed that you distribute in the area along with some bigger and smaller particles to keep the fish guessing. The deeper water channels and dips have been the hotspots at most of the dams so find these with your fish finder and keep your bait close to them. For the conventional guys, the garlic scents have still been producing fish at a consistent rate. The sweeter scents have done their fair share as well, but make sure you have garlic in the mix for the best chance at a bite. A plain bomb with a pair of garlic floaties is a good starting point for this time of year.

 

Trout – The trout fishing is slowly declining. Although guys are still producing some excellent catches from the dams and rivers, the number of fish has dropped off over the past week. The dams are still producing fish, but the trout are a lot more finicky as the heat starts to turn up. Keep an eye out for the evening rises as this can be great fishing and can produce some real monster fish. The rivers are producing very well even though they are running a little low (the rain predicted should help). Small black nymphs are the way to go if you want to go low. Zak nymphs would be my first choice with a black GRHE coming in second. For the dry fly fishers, an elk hair caddis is a great all-rounder and can produce some great fishing even in the smallest streams. If you want the best of both, simply fish the elk on top with the Zak as a dropper. Tight lines and screaming reels

 

Jan from the Kingfisher PMB had this to say. The recent hot spell and dearth of any proper spring rains as yet, has warmed waters significantly and seen the rivers run low.  While it was looking set for a wet spring, dam levels are also dropping fast, and we are in need of some proper rains to get things going.

 

While the trout streams are running low, crystal clear and on the warm side, there are fish to be found holding in the deeper pools.  With the water clarity, the upper reaches can be fished successfully with a dry fly, while in the lower reaches and slow moving water wet flies have been more successful.

 

On the bass front, the recent KZN Divisional’s held on Midmar Dam suffered from 2 days of wind, but overall some good fish have been coming out of both Albert Falls and Midmar Dams.  Top water action seems to be the name of the game at present, with various jerkbaits doing the business.

 

With some excellent fish coming out all over The Midlands, the scaly fishing has been off the chart recently.  Weighted nymphs and caddis patterns have been the go to flies, no reports of dry fly action as yet.

 

The weather forecast for the next while has cooler weather in store for us, a nice break from the heat and we hope that it brings some good rains with it.

 

The latest series of Hier Gaan Ons Alweer (17) with Petri de Wet premieres Monday the 1st of October at 17:30 on kykNet, channel 144. There are a number of repeats during the week, on Tuesday at 10:00, Wednesday at 10:00, Thursday at 16:30, Saturday at 13:00 and Sunday at 23:00. Series 17 runs for three months, ending on the 24th December 2018. As most of you know, Petri and his guests cover various angling styles (fresh and salt water) in and around Southern Africa.

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