The Kingfisher would like to wish everyone a happy new year, may the weather be good and the fish hungry.

Just over a week in to the new year and already the fishing has been memorable. Big dorado, tuna, bass, carp and some giant inedibles…what a great year 2019 is going to be!


Ray’s tip: Pink or sink… When it comes to offshore love affairs, nothing compares to dorado and the colour pink. They just seem to love pink. Whether you are trolling skirted lures, throwing poppers or drifting with a live/dead bait with a skirt, pink is the colour of choice. Skirted trolling lures (Kona-type) work very well when you need to cover a large area to search for the dories. When drifting with bait, a bright pink skirt slid in front of the bait will draw them in like the song of an ice-cream truck. So, whether you are targeting them on fly, artificial or natural baits, add a flash of pink in to the mix and you will up your chances of hooking a popcorn bream tenfold.



The offshore guys have been having a great time with the more settled weather and the abundance of dorado. The fishing has been good up and down the coast so pick your day and get out there! We have just released the new range of Rattler Poppers, pop into one of our shops and have a look at these beauties.


North – The north coast has produced some very good offshore fishing lately. When the conditions have lined up properly, the fishing has been wild. The couta have started showing up in much larger numbers and the guys have taken full advantage. A nice frisky live bait such as a mackerel or small bonito/frigate will put you in with a very good chance of hooking up to one of these prized fish. When starting out in the morning, keep your baits closer to the surface and work your way down as the day progresses. This is best done with a sinker on elastic; vary the weight to achieve the right depth. There have also been plenty of bigger fish for the guys fishing out in the deep. Off Richards Bay, there have been some very good catches of big tuna as well as some decent billfish. Colours of choice with the skirted lures have been purple, black, red and pink (or a combination of these).


Central – The central zone of KZN has seen some very nice fish coming out. Our very own Tyrin Bayne (Daiwa/ASFN Ambassador) managed a lovely dorado recently of over 14kgs! Well done Tyrin, keep it up. The rest of the anglers of Durban have managed some good hauls of dories when the sea has allowed them to launch. The dories have loved most of the offerings that have been presented to them, but the best results have come from slowly drifting the likely areas with a live bait. The livey needs to be frisky and energetic to call the fish in. The best bet is to set up a drift in a likely area and then to put out the spread of live baits while throwing some poppers or other lures in the area. This method is deadly for most game fish but works particularly well for dorado and tuna.


South – The south coast has been a hot spot for bait. Unlike the central zone, the bait has been a lot more abundant down south. This may be due to the colder water or any of the other 199 reasons the baitfish use to decide where they want to be. This is turn has produced some lovely game fish action for the southerners including good hauls of tuna and the odd couta. The snoek have also presented themselves around the river mouths with fillet baits and small spoons producing the best results. The bottom fishermen have had a good run with the kob and geelbek this season. The night time anglers have been doing very well with a live mackerel producing the best results. If you are new to the night time fishing, please practice extreme caution as it can be treacherous when you can’t see what’s around you.


Rock and Surf:

Chaos! This has been the message from most of the fishermen that have been fishing in the northern KZN. The raggies and diamonds have kept them busy while locally the edibles have been more abundant.


North – The north coast, mainly the banks, has been a hive of fishing activity. The diamonds and raggies have been keeping the guys busy over the past week with hectic action occurring on most of the days after some north east wind. Mackerel has been the bait of choice with bonito coming a close second but bait has not been too much of an issue as the fish have been very greedy. The two main traces have been the stock standard nylon (1mm Maxima or Kingfisher leader) to a single 10/0 either a Mustad Tuna Circle or Ringed Soi. This is perfect if you are only after the diamonds. If you are wanting to target the other species then an FMJ made of 120lb wire or thicker with a Tuna Circle or Ringed Soi is perfect. Please remember to practice extreme caution when fishing these areas as help is far away. When first approaching the area, look for areas with some rips and water movement. Remember to move if you are not getting a bite, the fish will be concentrated in a single area so you need to move until you find them.


Central – The central zone has been a bit quite in comparison to the chaos which is happening up the coast. The inedibles have been around, mainly in the basin and Beachwood areas. The best results have come off a mackerel head combined with a cutlet of bonito or frigate. This is a tasty bait that will work anywhere for the inedibles.


The piers are still producing good numbers of edible fish for the guys fishing in to the darker hours. These catches have consisted mainly of stumpies, blacktail and the odd pompano and grunter. The fresher the bait, the quicker the bite has been. There have also been a fair number of shad for the guys targeting them but most have been undersized.


South – The south coast has had a good run of kingfish. A live karanteen is a deadly bait for these fish. While a live bait is the first choice when targeting kingfish, the next best thing is a well-presented squid bait. A Falkland squid (baby squid) that is neatly presented on a hook with enough floatation is a great bait for the smaller kingies and will not be resisted by a stumpnose either. Fish this on the edge of a sandbank or the working water in the deeper sections of the beach for the best results. Alternately, one can target the kingfish with most lures. Make sure to keep the retrieves fairly brisk as a slow lure will be ignored by these speedsters. A shiny silver spoon is probably your best choice to target these fish. There has been a bit of inedible action of the south coast but it has been a bit sporadic. With the presence of some more north east wind, the fishing should improve for all the summer bruisers.


News from Mtunzini:


“Coming off spring tide you will notice a big drop in the water levels in the lagoon and people are complaining there is no water to fish in, here is a solution look for deep holes as the fish that don’t move out will lie there waiting for the incoming water, if you don’t have a boat try the Steel bridge and the logs to the right of the main car park. People often ask us “What can you catch in the lagoon”? the answer is about 40+ Species or more long the list starts from an apex predator the zambezi or bull shark to the bottom of the food chain which is probably your mullet (of which we have 3 types) or glassies at the moment it is quiet healthy with no real domination by any species. The most common fish caught on tiny hooks is the tiger or thorn fish (which by the way make good live bait) use big baits and big hooks to catch the bigger fish.


We rock and surf fished ourselves to a standstill last Sunday afternoon in that South wind but it was a trip long in the planning so regardless we fished we were at the hole North of Doggies and I think caught 3 rats and mice between 11 rods. Meanwhile at the main beach young Chris took his wife and son for a few hrs. on the beach and he took his 12ft rod with a small grinder to scratch with, after a 45min fight he landed a diamond, well done that man.


An Angler fishing at Port Dunford managed to land a nice size GT, it is not long and we will see them on the Mtunzini beaches. On Saturday there were diamonds galore they we popping up all over and even been taken on chokka baits. The weed should have started to settle and today been a hot day, one can expect to catch some diamonds, the trick is to set up a base and move up and down the beach looking for likely spots then put as many baits into the area as possible.


Green sea on Friday saw many Ski Boats coming back empty handed, however Nanook took a trip up North on Saturday and were rewarded with 5 nice dorado. Yesterday after 24hrs of South wind the sea started getting its colour back so those guys that are out now must up their game as there will be fish about, our shop fish are swimming high, always a good sign. Yesterday they spent nearly all day at the bottom of the tank. Wednesday is looking not too shabby for a fishing trip”. Thanks Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for this report.


Durban Harbour:

The harbour is fishing very well for both the lure and the bait guys. The lure anglers are doing very well with the oxeye tarpon and kingies at the moment while the grunter are loving a fresh cracker.



The freshwater fishing has peaked in the summer heat. The bait anglers are doing very well with the carp and the tilapia while the artificial anglers revel the the feisty summer bass and the trout and scalies on the fly.


Carp – The carp fishing has been very good over the past week. Much like previous weeks, the sweeter flavours have really come out swinging and have claimed most of the bigger catches over the last week. A real winner has been mixing a sweeter flavour with something spicy. I find that garlic and honey or molasses is a very good mix for most of the dams in KZN. Albert Falls has been kind to the conventional fishermen this past week. This has also been true for Midmar but not so true for Inanda. The conventional fishing has been hit or miss at Inanda while the specimen anglers have been relishing in success. Spiderman has continued to produce the goods. Of bid excitement is the new arrival of the Korda Kamakura hooks! These works of art are in stock and can be ordered from the Kingfisher in Durban. These hooks are beyond sharp and need to be seen to be believed. Tigernuts and sweeter boilies are the call at Inanda as they draw the bigger fish in and exclude the smaller fish. Inanda is a dam that requires a good baiting schedule to produce good results. Without a well baited area you are unlikely to produce consistent results.


Bass – The bass fishing has continued to produce fantastic results. All three of the big KZN dams have been fishing well. Watermelon red and black have been the two best colours for soft plastics, with flukes and senko type baits being the two “firm” favourites. Jerk baits are also doing well for the hard plastic fishermen. Strike Pro’s Arc Minnow is fantastic for the job and has caught countless numbers of bass. The two best colours are the natural olive and the chartreuse/silver/orange which results in many angry strikes. Your imagination is the only limitation when it comes to the retrieves for the jerks but remember to add a few pauses in for good measure. The soft plastics can be fished nice and slow for the best results. Also, with the soft plastics, fishing without any additional weight can drastically increase the number of bites you get on any day. The natural flutter of a fluke-type soft plastic as it slowly sinks to the bottom unhindered by lead can drive a bass wild. It may limit your casting distance but it certainly won’t limit your catching potential.


Fly fishing – The fly fishing in the rivers is really picking up. The higher streams in the midlands are full up with trout both brown and rainbow. The Bushman’s river has been particularly kind to the fly guys with catch reports begging belief. The smaller nymphs are the way to go if you are tackling these streams. The Gun nymph has become a firm favourite for this application as the amount of movement it has built in and the fact that it is a jig hook means it rides “upside down” with lots of moving parts that entice the trout and don’t snag the bottom. Other great choices for this type of fishing include the Zak nymph and various other small nymph variations.


The lower reaches of most of the rivers are also yielding great catches of the powerful Natal Scaly. Hotspot nymphs and larger black coloured nymphs are the better flies to use, but the choice of fly is second to the area you are fishing. You need to put the fly in front of the fish. Make sure that your flies get down to the fish, so add the appropriate amount of weight to the fly. You can do this by adding split shot to the leader or by weight the fly itself. The fly can be weighted with lead wire or beads. Beads can be made of different materials with tungsten being the densest (therefore heaviest for its size). Weighted flies and graphite fly rods do not mix well, so if you are not a competent caster, use flies that are lighter.


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