With everyone in the Christmas spirit and the sea beginning to behave itself, the festive season is going jolly well.

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Ray’s tip: Fresh bait!

Mackerel are very scarce at the moment. Everyone is struggling to get their hands on fresh bait and those that have managed to get some have got the bites much quicker than everyone else. Now is the time of year when bait preparation and storage is of the utmost importance. Making sure that all the bait that you have is kept in the best condition while frozen is vital. Vacuum sealing is the best method as it prevents any interaction between the bait and the air. This prevents frostbite on the bait or freezer burn. Alternately you can wrap the bait in clingwrap which also does a fairly good job of the same task. Once you have the bait well packed, place it in a part of your freezer that is not often disturbed. Ideally you want your bait packed at the bottom of the freezer where it is the coldest and the opening and closing of the freezer will not affect it. Make sure to get as much bait as possible as the fish are hungry and the bait is scarce…



The offshore scene has seen some great catches over the past few weeks. There have been plenty of game fish along most of the coast and the guys that have been launching (even in the bad weather) have managed to land some amazing catches.


North – The north has been hot, this in terms of the weather, the sea and the fishing. There have been plenty of billfish caught by the guys fishing in the deeper waters. Kona-type lures have been the best all-round choice when it comes to searching baits for billfish. If you have not tried for them before or you are really wanting to catch one, The Kingfisher sells packs of Kona-type lures that are pre-rigged and ready to go. These make a lovely Christmas present by the way (nudge, nudge). The lures with splashes of pinks and purples have been the most successful. For the guys who prefer to use bait, there has been no shortage of tuna in the 10kg and under bracket. There have also been plenty of bigger bonnies that are eager to gobble up a live bait. The couta have not made a major appearance yet but we are hoping to see a good run in the near future.


Central – The central zone has been firing in the last week or two. There have been some interesting catches made by the guys. We have seen yellowtail, kingies, amberjack and many more on the catch reports. The main fish coming out though have been the gas bottle size tuna. These are yellowfin tuna in the sub 15kg bracket. These are aggressive fish that need to eat a lot of food to keep going, so they readily accept a trolled lure or live bait. For the guys looking for some variety, there are two other species that have also been present in the Durban area. Dorado have been wild on the ships and FADs. If you are privy to the location of a FAD, make the most of it and go target these amazing fish. The other species coming out is the majestic wahoo! For these fish you need a small bonnie or a sarda as a live bait. When you hear your reel scream as if it is about to explode, you know you have hooked a wahoo!


South – The south has been thick with good reports of bottom fish. There have plenty of rockcod species and reds coming out from the inshore reefs to the guys dropping baits in 100m or more. squid is the most dominant bait for these anglers although the guys going after the bigger fish rely on a frisky live bait to ring the dinner bell in the deep. The use of circle hooks has gained popularity and many have seen the light when it comes to the success rate of these hooks. The game fish hunters have had mixed results. There have been some snoek around the river mouths but they have been eating one minute and fussy the next. There are tuna around but you need to put the hours in trolling to secure a bite. The bigger bonnies have also snatched a few bait intended for other species.

Rock and Surf:


Diamonds are forever! The diamonds are here (north) and the guys have been having phenomenal sessions up north with these fish. If you have not ventured up north to target these fish, watch some of the videos on our channel to wet the appetite ( ;


North – As mentioned above, the north has been firing! From Blythedale all the way past Richards Bay we have seen an unprecedented number of inedibles caught. Many have made the pilgrimage, some from as far as Cape Town to tie in to these flatfish. All that have made the trip have been rewarded. Mackerel has continued to be the best bait. When making a bait for up north, use as much smell as possible as this will get the fish to your bait much quicker than anyone else. Use a mackerel head as a solid base and add the cutlets and inside-out belly section to draw those hungry diamonds in quickly. The guys fishing closer to Durban have also managed some decent fish, but the main event has been the banks and surrounds. A few lucky anglers have managed some monster GTs while targeting the diamonds up north.


Central – The central zone has thrown a few decent fish of late. The longer beached north of the Umgeni have seen some very good action with the honeycombs and sandies. A fresh mackerel or bonnie head has been irresistible to these fish. Look for the areas where the water is sucking out between the banks to get the best and fastest results. Closer to the basin, there are also plenty of bites to be had. The most dominant have been the diamond and the brown rays, although there have been some giants hooked. Both the diamond and the browns love a mackerel head but the brown prefers a smaller bait whereas the diamond favours a large, juicy bait. Fish lighter for the brown and heavier for the diamond and remember to avoid wire and grapnel sinkers. The edible anglers have seen some good catches on the piers and have seen the best results using chokka and prawn combo baits.


South – The south has seen some good action of late. All of the beaches with deeper water have produced some good fish. There have been some giant honeycombs and decent sandies landed in the past week or two. Anglers targeting the stumpies (which have been thick) have hooked a few of the honeycombs and have had a fantastic battle on their hands. The bream have not been feeding well, but the shad have been feeding well on the Bluff.

If you are more in to your bigger fish then the beaches are the place to go whereas if you are looking for some table fare, the rocks are calling…



The freshwater side of life has been going very well lately. The carp are being a bit moody but there are still plenty around to keep you busy at the dam. The bass are ravenous are feeding well in all the dams, so get your tackle and head to your nearest water source. The trout and other fly-rod targets have been keeping the fly fishers busy. So if you are in to your freshwater angling, pop in to one of our branches and stock up for your next trip, it’s going to be a good one.


Carp – The carp fishing has slowed down over the past week. The fishing has been rather hard with only the determined anglers getting much success. This is mostly due to the foul weather that has not let up in the KZN area. The patches of good weather have not been long enough to get the fish feeding happily. The upcoming weeks are looking better though and we should see some better fishing in the next little while. The flavours that have been working are the ever-faithful banana, the new wonder smell that is Spiderman and another faithful, garlic. These are flavours that you need to have with you if you are going anywhere in KZN. For the specimen guys, tigernuts remain the king of hookbaits. Once prepared they are so sweet that the carp cannot swim past without having a grub around. The Kingfisher has just unpacked a giant order from Korda. There are some long-awaited and very exciting products that have just been unpacked. Kamakura hooks and dark matter braid are full up so get your orders in.


Bass – The bass have not been as troubled by the weather as the carp. The bass fishing in KZN has stayed at an intense level for the past few weeks and there does not seem to be a dip in sight. Soft plastics have claimed the most number of fish (as always) while other anglers have turned to all sorts of methods to see what they can catch on. Watermelon red and the Black with silver glitter in the Kingfisher Reaction range have been the standout colours since they have been launched and are two colours that every angler should have in the box. In terms of shapes or styles of soft plastic, jerk baits/flukes are the favourite of most while straight- and curl-tail worms are close behind. Inanda has been fishing very well for the guys on the boats while the bank anglers continue to have the best luck at Hazlemere.


Fly fishing – The fly side of the freshwater scene has been just that, fly! There are plenty of species to be had with trout, bass and scalies being the big three. The trout do not fancy the warmer weather although it does bring some amazing surface fishing for them while they snack on the abundant insect hatches. When the weather gets warm, particularly in the heat of the day, fish in the cooler water in the deeper areas. Get yourself set with a quality sinking line and a juicy fly like a papa roach or a woolly bugger. This combo will have a few fish brought to the net in no time. once the weather cools in the evening or early morning, you can try your hand at the dry fly side of life. Look for surface activity and fish the area as stealthy as possible. Remember that trout feed 90% below the surface so focus your energy on the deeper waters. The scalies are also fond of the deeper cooler waters but are more abundant in the well-oxygenated river runs. Try a hotspot nymph in conjunction with a larger dragonfly nymph imitation to get the best results. The bass are ravenous little game fish that enjoy the fly. You can catch them on most trout flies but there are some bass specific patterns that are deadly. Pop in to any of our branches and chat to the guys about the fun that is bass fly fishing. Tight lines and screaming reels


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



The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Saturdays 8:00 to 13:00. All branches will be open for trading all Sundays in December, 8:00 to 13:00. Mondays the 24th and the 31st, 8:00 to 15:00. We will be closed on the 25th and the 26th December.

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