FISHING REPORT 1ST FEBRUARY ’19

The weather has been a cruel mistress of late. The weather and sea conditions have been amazing during the week and shockingly bad on the weekend. Nevertheless, there have still been some great catches made.

On a more serious note, we are lucky enough to be able to fish in such an amazing country. Please leave the beaches, piers and rocks in a better state than when you arrived. Too often are fishermen blamed for the litter that is lying around, let us make a change and be an example for the rest of the community by picking up our rubbish and keeping our areas clean and tidy.

 

Ray’s tip, light it up: The importance of a good headlamp is only ever understood when you are trying to clamber over some slippery rocks in the middle of the night while fighting a fish and with the equivalent of a candle strapped to your head for lighting. It is at these times that you wish you had listened and spent the few extra bucks on a decent torch.

A good headlamp or torch is not just about the most number of lumens, there is a lot more to look at. Functionality is the key word here. You need a good beam of light that is not going to drain the battery, that fits well on your head and that is not too bulky. There are hundreds of brands and models out there that will suit the fishing field. The main criteria to look for in a brand is that the products are made well and that the backup service is readily available. With all of that in mind, the Kingfisher has two headlamp models that will suit most of your fishing requirements. There are two main versions, a rechargeable torch that is charged using a regular USB charging port and a model which runs on AAA batteries. Both are affordable and provide more than enough light for baiting up and moving around at night.

 

Offshore:

The sea has been cruel on some days and very giving on others. Most of the coast has been fishing very well with a few hotspots producing some great hauls. Daiwa Ambassador Tyrin Bayne has been firing on the boat and continues his great season of dorado by landing and safely releasing a beautiful sailfish. Please check or social media accounts for more details and the photos.

 

The new Daiwa Saltist black/blue

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uEbRNgIlhk) is out and is already appearing on most boats. If you are a bit of a tackle tart that enjoys matching up tackle and getting all your colours right, come have a look at the combo of a Daiwa Saltist black/blue on a Kingfisher Poseidon Offshore series Couta Lite stick spooled with Maxima Tuna Blue, you may just be buying a few new outfits…

 

North – The north coast has been doing very well for the offshore clan. There have been plenty of fish hooked, but unfortunately the sharks have been over-taxing most of the guys. When the sharks are around, you have to either move off to another spot or up your tackle to be able to get the fish in quicker. When it comes to pulling hard, you cannot beat braid. Using a quality jigging outfit instead of your usual trolling sticks will have that fish on the boat before it knows it has been hooked. The benefit of a jigging stick is the short length and the pump and wind technique when bringing fish in. A good outfit for this would be the Daiwa Saltist 6’3” Jigging paired with a Daiwa Saltist 5000 loaded with 50lb Daiwa J-Braid. This setup has accounted for many trophy fish and has more than enough power for most fish on our coast. The rest of the north coast has seen some tuna, dorado and couta being landed. Most of the catches have been on trolled lures with the guys choosing to cover as much water as possible instead of focussing on a single mark. Lure colour is a hotly debated topic but the matching the action to your trolling speed is more important.

 

Central – The central coast has been on fire. The dorado are out of control and most anglers that have launched have come back with a dorrie in the hatch. These fish are very energetic and go crazy on the boat. This can be very dangerous as a trailing hook is bound to find a patch of skin to bury itself in. Once you have brought the dorrie on board either get it back in to the water if you want to release him/her, otherwise get it in to the hatch as soon as possible to prevent any injuries. Placing a wet towel over their eyes does calm them down as well if you are wanting to remove a lure or hook but it is sometimes easier to cut the line and tie on a new lure/hook and retrieve your tackle once the dorrie has died.

For the guys who prefer trolling, you can either troll the conventional skirted lures or lipped lures. As mentioned previously, when in doubt put the pink one out…

 

South – The south coast has seen a lot of fish coming out on Aliwal Shoal, so the guys that have the money for petrol need to definitely make a trip out. The rest of the south coast has seen quite a bit of bottom fish action with daga and geelbek still coming out in large numbers for the guys who know how to find them. At this time of year it pays to move out to the deeper marks where the fish tend to shelter from the shallow water. When fishing in these deeper spots where current can be an issue, make sure to use as big a KP as possible to bring in the line quickly and make sure to use braid to avoid drag. The guys after game fish on the upper south coast have managed a few dorado, some shoal couta and the ever-present tuna. Most of these fish have been caught on trap sticks while fishing on the bottom. This is a deadly method of targeting game fish as the activity of bottom fishing and bringing up fish attracts the game fish to the area. The hapless live bait that you have put out either under a balloon or free-swimming is then an easy target for them. This method works particularly well for large couta and tuna but most game fish will fall for this.

 

Rock and Surf:

With all the north east wind that is predicted to blow in the next few days and the weather reminding us that summer is here, you better get your tackle in order because the big inedibles are going to be feeding very well.

It is here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KIEmGo5qow), the rod we have all been waiting for, the Daiwa Tournament Grinder.

 

North –The north coast has been plagued by warm water. This has put the fish off feeding for a while, but the north east winds that are predicted to blow should bring most of the north coast back to life. The points from Tugela south have all produced grey sharks for the guys throwing mackerel baits. For these fish you can use either a circle or j-hook. A bite trace of around 15-20cm is more than adequate for the smaller greys, but you may want to go for an FMJ if you are getting the bigger duskies. I would suggest an 8/0 J-hook or a 6/0 circle, with my preference being a 6/0 Mustad Tuna circle. A mackerel head is probably the best bait for these fish, but do not discount a mixed grill bait of chokka and mackerel or redeye. Grey sharks are very fond of chokka so if you are going to target these fish, make sure to have some in your box.

 

Central – The central zone has been a fairly quite zone in terms of catches. The piers are producing a constant run of edibles for the guys fishing through the different conditions. The stumpies have been feeding very well on most of the beaches and piers and have favoured a juicy prawn bomb. If are able to get your hands on some live crackers, you are in with an even better chance. I prefer to use a 4/0 – 6/0 Mustad Ringed Soi hook for these fish as its combination of strength and sharpness doesn’t give the stumpies a chance. The guys fishing for the bigger inedibles have had a few fish to the side, but there have been no real fireworks to speak of. The basin has produced a few decent flatfish, all of which have fallen for a bonito and mackerel mixed bait.

 

South –The south coast saw a few fish come out during the first Common Venue League round of the year (KZNCAU). There were a few grey sharks, a diamond or two and a surprising number of bronze bream landed. The warm water did not seem to affect the fish down south as much as it has up north. The scratching fish were all caught on cracker shrimp and pink prawn while the diamonds and grey sharks favoured shad and mackerel as baits. The rest of the angling down the coast has been rather uneventful albeit for a few scratching fish. There have been some kob coming out on the south coast. Most of these fish have been caught around the river mouths on either live mullet or chokka baits.

 

Freshwater:

The freshwater side of the fishing world has been doing well for both the carp and the bass guys. There have been plenty of personal bests beaten over the last few weeks and many happy faces on the people leaving the venues.

 

Bass – The heat of summer has kept the bass in a feeding mode and they have been aggressively attacking most lures brought close enough to them. The very successful Kingfisher Reaction range of soft plastics has now been brought out in a few new exciting colours. Get in to your nearest Kingfisher branch or quality fishing shop to have a look at these bass catching machine baits. Most of the bass dams are producing fish over the last few weeks. Midmar to Albert Falls, Shongweni to Hazlemere have produced some fantastic catches. Many of the anglers who are regularly on these waters have broken their personal bests on more than one occasion over the past week. The early hours of the day and the section of time just before the sun dips below the horizon is going to be your most productive fishing period as the heat has not driven the bass in to the depths yet. These time slots will have the bass feeding in the shallower waters.

 

Carp – The carp fishing has continued on the high from last week with most of the dams producing some good fish for both the conventional anglers and the specimen guys. For the conventional anglers, the order from Conoflex is finally in so please come and pick up your much needed feed and stock up on the flavours and floaties. For the specimen anglers, we have most of the Korda products in stock so please send in your orders and we will get your quality carp products to you. The sweeter flavours are really producing the good lately with banana continuing to get the carp’s attention before any other. Make sure to add a little bit of banana concentrate in to your feeding mix or the bomb mix you are using. Do not add too much as this will put the carp off more than it will attract them. This banana bomb combined with some banana floaties or a bright coloured floatie/hookbait will get you a bite in 99% of all the dams in KZN. For the specimen guys, have a look at the new Master class videos released by Korda and see the effective ways of producing results from the different waters fished. Get yourself rigged like the pros and get your Korda products now.

 

Trout – The trout fishing has been fairly constant these past few weeks. With the warm weather and hot water, the fishing has stopped on most of the Stillwater’s as the high temperatures would more than likely result in fish death. These have pushed most of the anglers to the rivers and streams. This is far from a bad thing as the rivers have started to fill up and have been producing some phenomenal catches of both browns and rainbows. The flowing water is a different kettle of fish when it comes to trout. It is all about find the right area and avoiding drag. Stick to your smaller nymph patterns and buoyant dry flies. My personal preference is for a natural colour elk hair caddis as my dry and a Zak nymph as the dropper. This combo has served myself and many others very well on most flowing waters.

 

News from our Jan Korrubel in PMB – Last week’s crossing of the fingers seemed to help – The Midlands received some rain over the last couple days, and the God’s of yr.no are saying that there is more on the way…

The rain on the weekend raised river levels, and made the fishing quite difficult, but reports indicate that there were still some good fish brought to hand.  If the current forecast comes to be, it might be that the upper sections will be blown out shortly…but we can live with that for a few days as the water is much needed before we settle into the winter dry spell.  While upstream dry fly is the preferred method for sublime river fishing, a weighted nymph rig fished under an indicator (or tight-line / Czech / Euro nymphing) is called for under conditions of flow.

 

The rains will also serve to cool off the Stillwater’s, many of which are still closed due to high water temperatures and the increased risk of fish mortality for those anglers practising catch and release.  Only some of the higher altitude waters remain open.

 

Dam levels continue to drop: both Albert Falls and Midmar are down a percent to 34% and 93% respectively, while Spring Grove and Mearns have dropped some 2.5% and 8% respectively…hoping the rain of the next week or so will give these waters some input.

 

The big bass are still on the go – some cracking fish being reported from Albert Falls over the last week.

 

The shining star in the fishing firmament at present however must be Sterkfontein.  Reports are that the fishing is on fire, with a report of two 70cm+ smallmouth coming to hand over the last week!

The time to put line to water is now!  Don’t forget to pop into your favourite Kingfisher store for the BEST in tackle and advice.

Tight lines and screaming reels.

 

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