The weather has been cruel over the last few weeks. With the only good days being Mondays… with some good northeast wind predicted and a break from the rain, we could see some good weekend fishing.

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Rays tip: Let’s get inky…

How many different kinds of squid or cephalopods do we use for bait?

Squid and octopus baits are phenomenally effective for a range of species. They can be used by themselves or grouped with another type of bait to create a delicious masterpiece. There are many different types of squid and octopus available to the rock and surf and the the offshore angler. Each of them has their place.

Chokka is the probably the most well-known of the group. It is a fantastic bait and can be used for everything from blob baits while scratching to sliding it whole for giant inedibles.

Next is the imported pota squid. This is a stubby fellow that has a thicker meat than the chokka. It works very well for the offshore bottomfish and is cheap.

Then we get octopus (and octopus legs), another great bait that can be used in the same way as chokka but is much tougher (great for when the peckers are around).

Then we move to the Falklands squid. This little gems are imported from the Falklands (bottom end of South America). These are great baits on their own or mixed with any number of other baits. They are essentially baby chokka.

The final is the most coveted bait in KZN…the bay squid. These tiny squids are so highly prized that they are bought and paid for before they are even caught. As they are not easily available, we will just say that the work.


The offshore scene has been really active over the last few weeks. The summer fish are really showing up in big numbers and the catch records are reflecting some great fishing. If the conditions are right, launch!


The north has continued to be the epicentre of the gamefish activity. The smiles on the faces of the guys that have made the summer pilgrimage to the north says it all. There have been plenty of sailfish to get the blood pumping and the short words flowing when they jump off. Boats have been recording multiple hookups and the landing rate is impressively high. The guys specifically targeting the sailies have had great success using the smaller kona-style lures with most colours producing. Black and red is a personal favourite. The opportunistic catches have been made while targeting the other gamefish, mainly on livebaits or faster trolled lipped lures such as the ever-popular Kingfisher Rattler range. The tuna, couta, dorado, kingfish and snoek have also made an appearance on the catch reports in very good numbers. If you don’t know where to go and you can afford to travel, head north.


The central zone has been full up with bait. The mackerel and redeyes have been the main contributors to these shoals. We are heading in to scarcer months for bait, so make sure that you take care of what you catch and that you freeze and store them properly so they will last. The tuna and dorado have been the two species accounting for most of the action in the central zone. There have been some absolute bomber dorado coming out. Some have pushed close to that magical 20kg mark! Livebaits have produced the most fish, but it is a more static form of fishing and does not cover as much ground as trolled lures. If you are going to slow-troll livebaits, throw some plugs, stickbaits or poppers around to get some excitement in to the area. This small change can often make the difference between staring at your rods or boating some good fish.


The south has continued to be a mixed bag of catches. This is mainly due to the large variety of fishing areas available to the guys down south. Aliwal has been producing some very good gamefish but nothing like the action that we are seeing on the north coast. The inshore reefs have been producing some very good bottomfish with catface rockcods making up the bulk of the daytime captures. The night launches have yielded some good daga and geelbek mostly on live mackerel but a mix of pota squid and a fleshy bait like sardine is also a great targeting method. The normal method is to use a two hook trace when targeting bottomfish. With the current shark issues and number of fish being lost to sharks and the amount of tackle lost, consider using a single hook trace as this gives you a much better chance of getting your fish out.

Rock and Surf:

The shore angling has been a summer fest. The bigger inedibles are starting to turn up on the catch reports as well as some better edibles. The sea conditions have been a bit messy but when the sea and the weather lines up, the result is fireworks!


The north coast has continued to shine. The inedible fishermen do not need to worry about where to go, just go north!

The diamonds have not shown up in great numbers as yet, but the other inedibles have made up for their absence. The banks and surrounds have produced sandies, honeycombs, spinners, hammers, milkies and a large number of raggies. These fish all love a juicy bait, so make sure you add a little extra on the outside of your bait to send out a scent trail to attract the fish to your bait. For the raggies specifically, make your hooks as proud as possible and allow him to eat the bait and pull you down before you set the hook. For those who prefer a j-hook, the new Mustad Ringed Soi 13/0 cannot be beaten for the raggie. Whether you use it by itself or as part of a two-hook trace, you can’t miss.


The central zone has been dominated by edible fish. The beaches and the piers are producing some very good edibles. Stumpies, pompano and spotted grunter have been the main catches. These fish have been in very healthy state which shows they have been feeding very well. The best bait has been cracker shrimp. Use it by itself or as a combo with pink prawn or chokka for the best results. The guys targeting these edibles have also hooked in to some big inedibles and the result is normally quite funny to watch when a pompano bite turns in to a 100kg honeycomb!

There have also been large numbers of shad being caught. Remember that it is closed season so please obey the law!


The south coast has been much the same as the central. The edible fishing has been very good along most of the south coast. The bronze bream are still feeding quite well but you have to cover some ground to find the shoal, so pack light. The guys fishing in the rockier areas have had some great crackers hooked and some of these have been landed. These are very strong fish and require sharp, strong hooks and good knots to be landed. A Mustad Hoodlum is your best choice to make sure you land your prized catch. Best bait has been pink prawn and cracker shrimp for the bronze bream while the cracker have enjoyed an octopus leg or a muscleman crab.


The harbour fishing is picking up as the heat starts to get the fish a little more excited. The art lure guys (spinning and fly fishing) have been having a ball with the oxeye tarpon, springer, kingies and the abundance of flathead. Make sure to use as light a line as possible and to use small, natural-looking lures to fool these crafty fish. The flathead are very greedy and will eat almost anything, as long as it is moving close to the bottom. They are a lot of fun on the light tackle and a great way to introduce people to the joy of estuarine angling.


The freshwater side of the angling world has been doing very well. The bass fishing is going great guns while the trout are keeping the river and dam guys busy and the carp keep the alarms singing. The weather is the only thing putting a dampener on the spirits (mood not drink).


The carp fishing has been fantastic. The new dips that have been brought out by Supercast have sold out so fast that the factory is having to produce more. The Kingfisher should have stock in a week or two. The Spiderman dip in particular has proven itself to be deadly for most of our KZN waters. Midmar has been producing some very healthy carp. A garlic bait mixed with something sweet has been the key to the success of the anglers up there. The fishing has been a bit slower than the more coastal dams, so you need to sit it out to get the results. Inanda, Nagel and Albert falls have all been fishing incredibly well over the last few weeks. Most of the regular flavours have been producing good results for the guys. The difference in the success has come in the baiting. The guys that have put the time and preparation in a week before the trip have seen more consistent results. Tigernuts have been the best hookbait for the specimen anglers. A ring of sweet tigernuts is irresistible for a hungry carp.


The bass fishing has been off the hook…

The dams are a little low, but the guys fishing the offshore structure have hauled out some giants over the last week. The same dams producing the carp are also producing the bass. Hazlemere has dropped drastically due to the lower water levels. The bass have moved offshore to find refuge away from the shallow water. Inanda and Midmar are fantastic at the moment. The Kingfisher Reaction soft plastics have the bass in a flat spin and the large amount of salt impregnated in to the plastic has them holding on much longer than some of the other brands. The best colours at the moment are the watermelon red and black. Whether it be a fluke or a worm, as long as they are one of those two colours, you are in the game.


The trout have slowed down in the dams over the last few weeks. There have still been some giants that have been landed, but nothing like the fishing we experienced this winter. The river fishing however, has made up for the slower stillwaters. The rivers have been firing like the siege of Ladysmith. There have been some beautiful browns and rainbows coming out of all the rivers. The flow is a little bit low at the moment, but the rains we are experiencing should pump up the volume a little. Zak, hotspot and gun nymphs have been the order of the day for the guys crawling along the bottom while the guys on top have favoured an elkhair caddis or a DDD. River fishing is all about hitting the pockets where the fish will be hiding and reducing drag. Drag makes the fly move unnaturally and needs to be avoided at all cost. Keep your tippets light and mend your line to get the best results.

Allen O’Connor of the Kingfisher in Durban will be holding some flycasting lessons on the 6th of December. These classes aim to improve your flycasting and make you a more efficient angler. The classes are free but do require you to book in advance. Please contact the Kingfisher in Durban to book your spot before the spaces are all filled in.

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.

The Kingfisher YouTube Fishing channel features new content every Monday to Friday at 10h00. Fresh content on Product, Baits, Methods & Fishing. Go to: and register, it’s FREE.

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