FISHING REPORT 1ST MARCH ’19

Winner, winner, fish and chips for dinner!

The fishing has been extremely productive over the last week. The offshore guys are having an absolute blast with the summer game fish. There have also been plenty of edible fish for the rock and surf guys along with a few giants. 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. 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).

 

 

Offshore:

 

The offshore fishing has been phenomenal over the past week. There have been so many catches that Facebook and other social media platforms have been inundated with photos and videos of fish and screaming reels. Dorado, tuna and couta have been the main catches, and there have been some giants of all three species finding their way on to the hook and in to the hatch.

 

North – A lucky angler managed to land his first ever couta off the ski this past week. He was fishing off of Westbrook and while catching bait, pinned a live shad and hooked a monster couta. This fished weighed in at a mere 33kgs…not a bad first couta off the ski. There have been plenty of big tuna and dorado on the catch reports from both the ski boat and fishing ski guys. Remember, with the dorado you need to keep one word in mind, STRUCTURE. Any type of debris or structure floating on the surface will attract the smaller fish which will in turn bring the dorries. With the recent storm donating many FADs to the ocean, it will not be too tricky to find a dorado hotspot. Fishing the colour line on the edge of the brown and clear water is also a sure fire way of finding the game fish, be it dorado, sailfish, tuna or couta.

 

Central – The central section of KZN has been very busy. The charter boats have been fully booked for all their fishing trips. The recreational fishermen have been taking full advantage of the summer weather and the abundant game fish. There have been a few more baitfish around in the past week and this has helped a few anglers get stuck in to some proper couta and tuna. The dorado have calmed down a bit, but they have certainly not gone away. All the techniques mentioned in our previous reports regarding dorado will see you landing one of these popcorn bream. The bigger tuna have made a significant appearance this past week and a few fish were caught around the magical 40kg mark. These are giant fish for the KZN scene and need to be celebrated when caught (why not buy yourself a new reel, that new Saltist Black/Blue is a nice celebration). Lures or live bait are the way to go, so choose your preferred method and stick to it, you will come right.

South – Finding the fish has been the issue down south. One day they are feeding shallow and the next day they are feeding in the deep. This can be a daunting thought when it comes to planning the day’s fishing. Remember the basics and target the fish where they should be, but do not get sucked in to the notion that they were there yesterday and therefore will be there today. The ocean is a dynamic environment and the fish move around depending on their needs. Look for areas of change such as temperature change or current lines and focus your energy on fishing these areas. The first step is almost always to troll two or more lures through a likely area to see if the fish are in a feeding mood. Troll a deep and shallow diver. As soon as one gets picked up, change to using two of the same lure to maximise your time in the strike zone. If lures aren’t your thing, the same will apply to baits. Down rig your baits with different weights. For example, in the early morning, put one bait on the surface, one down rigged with a 3oz sinker and one with a 5oz (depending on depth). Then the same will apply as above, as soon as you get a bite, change your weights to fish at the same depth.

 

 

Rock and Surf:

 

The rock and surf fishing has been injected with a new batch of energy after the photos and videos of zambezi sharks has done the rounds.

The rumours of a plague or infestation of these sharks is utter rubbish as these sharks have always been in the Durban area (harbour included) in fairly large numbers. What has not been around in large numbers is the presence of people uploading to social media platforms… One shark suddenly escalates to a hundred because sensationalism sells. I digress, back to the fishing.

 

North –The north coast has calmed down in the past week. The main catch success has gone to the guys using drones to deploy there baits. The drones have allowed these anglers to get their baits out even when the sea is not “right”. If you are in the market for one of these drones, pop in to a Kingfisher branch and have a look at the new flying machines that have landed. Mackerel and bonito continues to be the bait of choice when it comes to the inedibles. A good, juicy bait with lots of scent and blood will attract the fish in quickly and get you the bite.

If you are more prone to casting a bait, look for the deeper water spots closer to shore. Areas like Umdloti and Ballito are producing the best results of late, so head down and go tight.

 

Central – The central zone of KZN has seen a lot of edible action. The pompano have made their presence felt over the past week with a lot of action on the piers and on the beaches. A sealice bait with a bit of prawn or chokka will get you the bite. Look for the areas of working water and do not be afraid to throw short. Rather have your bait in the right area and get the bite than outcast the guy next to you and spend the evening holding pole. The inedible action has been varied, but there have been some fish landed. The summer flatfish have been around with quite a few sandies, honeycombs and diamonds coming out along the beaches. The same baits as used up north will see the best results.

 

South – There have been a fair mix of inedible fish coming out ranging from  honeycombs to blackfin. When targeting these fish, it is best to use an FMJ trace for just in case. If you are wanting to only target the rays, then omit the wire and use 1mm nylon. A circle hook is still the best when it comes to multi-targeting but it is vital that the bait does not obstruct the gape of the hook. Make sure that the dingle is the correct length for the bait you are using and that the circle just goes through the tip of the bait. The bait of choice has been a mix of redeye sardine and mackerel. Make a nice compact bait with lots of smell and find a rip to bomb it out in to. The edibles have been a real mix. Stumpies have been the most reliable to target of all of these. A pink prawn bait or better yet a sealice will have you bending in no time. Find an area of working water and you are in the money.

 

Freshwater:

Bass – KZN dams have been producing for all those visiting. Fishing from the bank or a boast if you are lucky has produced fish. Remember that the summer heat can be vicious, so take preventative measures to avoid heat stroke. The summer time bass fishing is at a high, so make the most of it. If you have not experienced the mayhem and fun to be had at Hazlemere then you are running out of time. Get yourself a spinning rod and a few lures. The best general purpose lure for bass at Hazelmere is a small dark coloured fluke. Something like the junior fluke by Zoom in black is an absolute winner for the bass. Alternately a popper or small jerk bait never fails to trigger an aggressive response. For the guys wanting to target the bigger fish, Albert falls and Inanda are the two places to go. Reports and pictures have made their way to the shop of some impressive fish over the last few weeks. Tactics that have worked have varied and range from finesse drop shot fishing the deeper areas to working a crank bait around prominent structure.

 

Carp – Most of the dams in KZN have been producing some excellent carp fishing over the past week. Those looking for a weekend of fun and fish can literally go to any of the big three and they will catch fish. Shongweni has been the dam of choice lately with anglers reporting good catches of above-average carp. These have been fish in the 12kg+ range. These fish have been favouring the sweeter flavours with honey being particularly effective. Floaties and dough have been doing all the work with flavours such as banana, pineapple, tutti fruity and most sweet and fruity flavours. The best fishing has been throughout the day. Making a mealie bomb including one of these flavours will really up your chances. For the best mealie bomb, get yourself a meat mincer and prepare some whole maize by soaking them for 24h then cooking them at a low heat until they swell and they are soft. Take the mealies and mincer to the water and when the time comes to put your mealie bomb on, take a handful or two and mince it up and you have the best mealie bomb you’ll ever use.

 

Trout – The rivers have still been producing some lovely fish, both rainbows and browns. Successful patterns have ranged from size 20 dry flies to bulky size 8 zonker minnows, so don’t be afraid to mix it up and do something out of the ordinary. The Mooi and Bushmans have been the rivers to fish and some exceptional trout have come out of both systems. Fish of over 50cm have been common. The Stillwater’s continue to be a bit warm, so fish carefully and focus your efforts on the deeper and cooler sections of the dams that you want to fish.

Tight lines and screaming reels

News from Nic Maitland, Mtunzini: “A very big malabar rockcod was caught on a whole mackerel to the left of the slipway on the shallow bank and there goes my theory about big fish been caught in deeper water during the day. Catches of bartail or river gurnard we frequent during the week and over the weekend. There are still lots of prawns in the lagoon, good bait. On Friday afternoon we put some live bait out and had a pickup but did not set the hook, it was more of a case of watching the rod than picking it up and striking, we were waiting for a proper pull. When using bait floats seem to be working the best due to the river still being very silty.

 

At last some diamonds were caught over the weekend, one on Doggies just before the storm and most of the others were at Port Dunford. Big shad are still here as well as kob however most of the kob are not making size. Spotted pompano and southern pompano are in the shallow surf try use light tackle when targeting these fish and have some fun. Snapper kob have not left yet but it seems like the big ones have as the ones been caught lately are not very big. As for other big non eds they seem to be somewhere else, we swam a diamond on Friday for well over an hour with no takers.

 

Last Sunday seemed to be a better day out than Saturday with relatively flat seas the fish were mostly caught in deeper water in the Yellow Rope area, A square tail kob of 9.1kg was boated and that boat caught mainly kob together with some lantern (caught on a double up), slinger, soldiers and a yellow belly rockcod that was put back. There were some splashes and upon investigating them no fish were there. One of the boats on Saturday heading towards Yellow Rope saw lots of dolphins and birds; they tried spooning in the area but had no luck. Not long now and it is Couta Classic time however before that in fact this weekend is Cape To Rio at Vidal and there are good reports of catches being made so let us hope the fish hang around.

 

We have an 8 sleeper house (can sleep 10 as it has 2 double beds) should a group want to hire it, it is self-catering with ample bait storage space.” Thanks to Nic from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for this report.

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