FISHING REPORT 15TH FEBRUARY ’19 February 14, 2019 by The Kingfisher Suns out, guns out. I hope you have weapons of choice at the ready, because the fish are biting and they are charged with summer energy. Please remember to leave the areas that you fish in a better condition than when you got there. Take a few moments to pick up some litter and take it to the nearest bin. Ray’s Tip: Knots: This word often makes people uncomfortable because they “don’t need these new-fangled, twisty things to catch fish”. That being said, knowing your knots is a very important part of fishing. You do not need to know every knot under the sun, but it is helpful to learn a few key knots. If you fish with nylon, you need to know how to tie a figure of eight and a Bimini twist, that is it. If you are fishing with braid, do not fret, there are only a few knots that you need to know. Firstly, the FG (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEzGbKbLpXE) this knot is not as difficult as people make it out to be, secondly the Bimini twist and finally the uni knot. With these three in your arsenal you have everything to tackle the biggest of fish. Remember to add more wraps for thinner braid and ALWAYS test your knots before you throw your line in. A wise man once said, “Rather your knot breaks in your hand than on a fish”. Offshore: The offshore scene has been the center of the action over the last few weeks. We have had a phenomenal dorado season that doesn’t seem to be coming to an end. The water temperature and currents have not made a difference to them. North – The north coast has been hot, in more than one way. The summer sun has made wearing your sun protection vital. The fishing has been very kind to everyone visiting the north. Then game fish have been feeding very well and most baits have been gobbled as soon as it hits the water. The problem is getting the bait. The bait continues to evade most of the anglers and the few mozzies that have made it on to the trace have been eating. Dorado and tuna are the main targets and catches at the moment. The best method for these fish is a live bait rigged on a 6/0 Mustad Tuna Circle. You can rig this either through the top lip of the fish or using a cable tie through the eyes. Central –The central zone has been much the same as the north with less fish being caught. The small shad have been plaguing the guys trying for bait and can be a real nuisance stealing the Sabiki jigs. The tuna and dorado have been full up from the shallows out to the deep and covering lots of water is your best bet at getting a pull. If you can get live bait, you are up. Alternately you can pull some plastics and find the productive areas. Pink, purple and blue are your main colours to focus on, with any of these combined with white being deadly. South – The south has been a little bit slower in terms of fishing, but the bait has been a lot more present than anywhere else. There have been shoals of smaller bonnies and frigates from the Wildcoast Sun all the way to Toti. These small tuna make deadly baits for both offshore and shore fishing, so treat them well and freeze them quickly. The fishing at the Shoal has been going very well and the guys have boated sailies, wahoo, tuna and dorado on multiple occasions. Put the time in and you will see the rewards. Rock and Surf: The summer fish are here in full fury and many tales of woe and lost fish have made it in to our stores. These are strong fish that like Superman, are charged by the power of the sun, so be prepared. North – The north coast has been hot, in more than one way. The summer sun has made wearing your sun protection vital (it’s repeated for good reason). The north has had the size aspect to the fish. There have been multiple fish around the 100kg mark and a few over that. The banks, Vidal and Kosi have all been places to go if you are looking for a bigger fish. These areas bring in the big sandies, honeycombs, multiple shark species and the giant kingfish. Prepare your tackle properly as all these fish will test your tackle and your endurance. Come in to any of our stores to rig yourself up with the right gear. Central – The central zone around Durban has seen a fair amount of action. The piers continue to produce good runs of edible fish. This in combination with the Umhlanga Lighthouse area would be my first choice for looking for edible fish in this region. Make sure you have a box filled with good quality bait focused around chokka, sealice, prawn and crackers and you are guaranteed a good few fish. For the guys wanting to look for the bigger fish, you need to focus your efforts on the beaches with deeper water nearby. Try the basin area or the Beachwood stretch. Keep a good stash of mackerel and bonito in your box and you will get a pull from a good fish. South – The south coast has been a fantastic spot to get away from the crowds. The more remote beaches and spots have been a lovely get away from the hustle of the northern zones. There have been plenty of fish on offer for the angler putting in the effort. The Toti area has had plenty of inedible action on the beaches and points while the quieter bays are full of shad. The further south you go, the better the fishing on the deep-water points becomes. Get on to these points and put a big bait in to the deep and hold tight because the fish are big and grumpy. News from Mtunzini: “Water temperature up at the mouth was 31 deg on Wednesday and here we were thinking with the bit of rain we had the temperature would drop, in spite of this some very nice catches of river snapper were had, the biggest being 4.5kg, honeycomb rays and nice size bream we caught. The hot spot seems to be the slipway at the moment, if you fishing on the Slipway itself please note the boats have right of way and this includes the area to the right of the slipway. On the surf side, the water is still warm and fishing is slow however some very nice catches of big shad have been made. This morning whilst fishing we saw a shark “finning” in front of the shore break, shortly thereafter we saw a big shad jump out of the water also in front of the shore break so we were wondering if the shark went after the shad. I put a bait into the area and it just got pecked, there were 3 of us fishing and it did not matter where the bait was the peckers got to it whole heads came back hollowed out. Ski boat, so guys went out on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday there was a lot of shoals of sprats with snoek after them but they were not chasing lures. The 2 Lads on fish ski’s had more luck by catching 5 each plus some kob. Fishing deeper out the boats struggled to get fish and mostly slinger were caught, one of the Jet Ski’s got a catface rockcod, the same guy was sitting in the area (where Stephan had his boat bitten) when he saw something flapping about in the water, when he got there he saw it was a very big shark and in his haste to escape from it he ended up driving over it, we not sure who got the biggest freight”. Thanks Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for this report. Freshwater: News from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Midlands is getting some big water of late, so not too much to report from over the last week or so… Albeit rather late, the summer rains appear to have arrived … at last … making the fishing somewhat difficult, but we cannot complain about the much need precipitation. The uMngeni and Mooi rivers are the usually the first to be affected, and have continued with their chocolate spate from last week. Reports are that The Bushman’s River also had some colour, a clear indication of good rains in that valley system also. While not the best news from a river fishing perspective, good news for the river systems and the dams that they feed…Albert Falls currently sitting at 33%, Midmar at 94%, and Spring Grove at 49%. The influx of water will also help towards cooling the Stillwater’s, many of which are still closed for fishing due to increased risk of fish mortality as a result of the high water temperatures. As a result, the NFFC reports a move by their Club Members towards the rivers (in between storms and spate events that is). While the lower reaches of the rivers are generally more affected by the rains due to runoff from agricultural lands, the higher one goes on the rivers, the clearer the water tends to be. With the rivers now running stronger, chances are that you won’t be using a dry fly … the current is simply too strong to warrant a trip by a trout up through the flow to the surface to grab a speeding morsel. There are, of course, always some slower spots and eddies where you will get fish on a dry fly, but they will tend to be fewer and further apart now. For the rest of it, expect to be nymphing. You will want to go to a sleek, slim nymph with a big tungsten bead that will have the fly as close to the bottom as possible where the fish are…not suspended in mid water. There are plenty of trout in our streams at the moment, and if you follow this, you will be getting fish. With the warmer water, the bass are still in full swing. While everybody has their lure of choice (thankfully…), I heard it said recently that “If you ain’t froggin’, you ain’t catching..!” Especially around heavy cover, rigged on a weedless hook, the Horny Toad will produce some of the best strikes of your life. And also don’t hesitate to throw it in open water as a searching lure. Currently sitting at 94%, Sterkfontein continues to produce the goods. Reports indicate that the smallmouth yellowfish are still in spawn. Popular flies are caddis and emerger patterns, and of course big hopper patterns that have been accounting for the largemouth yellowfish. With the weather gods at yr.no forecasting a tapering off of the rains over the next week or so, now is the time to get out there and chase some fish…Don’t forget to pop into your favourite Kingfisher store for the BEST in tackle and advice.” In other Freshwater news: Bass – Red. That is the colour that is driving the bass wild in this heat. The addition of red flakes/glitter in to a soft plastic is one of the greatest colour combinations ever. When it comes to choosing what to throw at the bass the next time you are on/at the water, choose a soft plastic that has a little red in it. Something like black with red glitter or watermelon seed with red glitter. These two colours deserve to be in every bass angler’s box (particularly now). The dams are all fishing well, from Midmar all the way down to Hazlemere. These dams are all producing some great fishing and the bass are aggressive and hungry. Try fishing a little faster and more erratic than usual. Something like burning a spinnerbait just under the surface or fishing a jerkbait with lots of twithces but few pauses. These two techniques allow you to make the most of the aggressive nature of the bass at this time of year coupled with being able to cover vast amount of water very quickly. Carp – “Spiderman. Spiderman”. Catches all the carp that it can” (I know you were singing along). This new magic flavour has sold out as soon as it arrives on the shelves and for good reason. The sweet yet pungent scent is delicious and very attractive to the carp. It has been working in all the local dams and is something that you should really add to your box of tricks. The dams have all been producing fish for the conventional anglers. Midmar has been producing a lot of small fish for the guys that have been fishing through the night. A small baited area is all you need to bring the fish in. Banana has been the stand-out flavour from the reports. Albert Falls and Inanda Dam have been the places to be if you are a specimen angler. These dams have required a bit more work in terms of preparation. A well maintained feeding area that is regularly topped up is vitally important if you want to keep the bigger fish in the area feeding. Trout – The trout have been taking strain in the heat. The warmer summer weather that has moved in has really heated up the waters and in so doing has driven the fish deeper. This warm water can be very dangerous for trout and most dams will close if the water gets too hot as catching fish will more than likely result in their death. The heat does have some positives, mainly in the form of insect activity. The warm summer sun promotes most insects to hatch or start breeding, so there is plenty of larger food available for the trout. If the dam is cool enough, and there is a breeze blowing, try your hand at some terrestrial patterns such as hoppers or beetles. These patterns are not just fun to tie, but they are a hell of a lot of fun to fish. 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 (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8f8U0GjLGWFaEiUjs-n01w/videos) and follow us on all the social media platforms. The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Saturdays 8:00 to 13:00. 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