FISHING REPORT 8TH FEBRUARY ’19

February already?! The year is flying but the fishing has been good for all facets. Summer is here and the heat is on. Many have suffered the pain of the early season sunburn while pursuing their passion, so be safe out there and be sun savvy.

 

Ray’s tip: Sports scarves. As we are in the heat of the summer, sun protection is high on the list of essentials for every trip. Sport scarves can be used in many different ways (just look on the packaging). The main usage is to keep the sun off of your face and neck, as these are areas that often get neglected in the application of sun screen. They take a bit of getting used to, but the benefits far outweigh the initial discomfort. Whether you are on the boat, at the dam or on the beach, you can definitely benefit from wearing a sports scarf for some extra sun protection. The Kingfisher has a range UV protection Climate Sports Scarfs in a variety of designs and colours; these are available at all leading tackle stores nationwide.

 

Offshore:

The fishing off the KZN coast has been good for most of the vessels. Although the bait has still been scarce and patchy, there have been quite a good number of fish caught.

 

North – The north coast has been producing some great fishing. There has been an influx of cooler water which has stirred up a bit of action. The high points off Mtunzini have produced some proper couta. Make sure you up your bait size and wire thickness if you make a trip up there. Cape Vidal and Sodwana have also been producing fantastic fishing. Variety has been the name of the game up north and most boats have come home with a decent mixed bag of game fish. The regular summer game fish making up the bags.

 

Central – The Durban area has been focussed around a few key species. Tuna have made up the bulk of the catches for both the boats and the skis. These ferocious predators can be caught on most methods but a free-drifted live bait will not be left alone. Rig a frisky mozzie on a 6/0 Mustad Tuna Circle and leave the drag very light. Once he picks it up, let him run a bit and tighten up…you won’t miss. The rest of the catches have been focussed around bonnies, dorado and the occasional snoek. The dorado have favoured a live bait while the rest of the lot have mainly been taken on lures. The bonnies are on the big side at the moment but they do make excellent bait for both rock and surf or to chum an area.

 

South –The south coast action has been patchy, much like the north. The main hub of activity has been around Aliwal Shoal. This spot has produced some great dorado catches over the past few weeks and continues to produce when the conditions line up. Most of the dorries off Aliwal have fallen for trolled lures. The lures have depended on the vessel they are being pulled behind. The Jet Ski guys have seen good success on lures that can be pulled at higher speeds, like the Halco Max or any of the skirted lures. The Ski boats have favoured the lipped lures, with the Kingfisher Rattler range proving its worth. Colours that have produced the goods are on the darker spectrum like purple and black. Keep a daisy chain rigged and ready to go as a live bonnie is a one way ticket to wahoo station.

 

Rock and Surf:

The heat of summer is upon us and the summer fish are here! Make sure your knots are good and your backing is in good condition. You don’t want to lose that fish of a lifetime because you wanted to save a few bucks.

With the current state of our beaches, please pick up your rubbish when you leave the beach. Let us be the solution rather than the scapegoat for the public. Let them rather say that fishermen are the reason the beach is clean instead of the reason it is dirty.

 

North – The north coast is the place to be at this time of year. The fishing has been hot but the sand has been hotter. An important note for first time visitors to the north, bring some shoes with when you are fishing the beach. The sun cooks the sand up there and blisters on the feet are a painful reminder of forgotten shoes. Fishing-wise, there have been plenty of bites up north for those fishing the right tides and times. There have not been as many diamonds as there should be but there have been plenty of other fish coming out. The night time bite has been far better than the day and the species coming out have been feeding on the pushing tide. Mackerel and bonito have proven to work for the honeycombs, duckbills, milkies, spinners, hammers, browns and diamonds that are all coming out.

 

Central – The central section of KZN has seen some good fishing for both edibles and ineds.  The basin and the beaches between the piers have been producing some decent grey sharks between the 10 and 20kg range during the nights. There have also been some brown skates, sandies, honeycombs, diamonds and a few giant thorntails hooked. These fish all enjoy chokka, redeye sardine, mackerel and bonito. A combination of chokka and one of the meaty baits is a great way to multi-target these species. Look for areas of deeper water and get your bait to these spots. If you are not wanting to catch the sharks, omit wire from your traces and use a good quality nylon such as Maxima Ultragreen. For the edibles, there have been some very good grunter caught off the piers on cracker baits. This is a deadly bait for most edible fish and will work very well for stumpies, kob and pompano as well.

 

South – The south coast has had a large number of bronze bream caught over the last while. The conditions and time of year is out, but the fish are still feeding well. These fish are very shy feeders and it takes a master to learn to hook them when they are in a mood. It is best to use an abrasive resistant thin line with a Mustad Chinu 1/0 and a small orange float. If the fish can be seen but they are not taking your bait, take the float off and see if the more natural approach does not help. The rest of the south coast has seen a few good inedibles coming out (see baits and tips above) as well as some decent edibles. There have been a few garrick on the live baits as well as some decent kingies.

 

News from Mtunzini:

“It seems the warm water has no effected the lagoon as there are no reports of many fish caught however with the rain fall we had might cool the water down especially if a lot fell inland , this will make the mouth area more productive again….we hope.

At last there was some action on the Banks on Friday night and Saturday morning, not sure what happened on Sunday. Some diamonds and big giant guitar fish were landed as well as some decent size shad, due to the warm water fishing was slow over the weekend, the hope the NE would blow cold water in did not materialize let’s hope the South blowing this week will do that. Warm water makes the fish lazy. Yesterday Mtunzini main beach was very quiet as was Doggies, I did send some guys to Port Dunford but I have not heard back from them”. Thanks Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for this report.

 

Freshwater:

The freshwater facets have seen much the same results as the previous few weeks. The bass are biting, the carp are feeding and the trout are still grumpy. 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.

 

Bass – As mentioned above, the bass fishing has been very good. Remember your sun protection at this time of year, because the fishing isn’t the only thing that is hot at the moment. The heat can be vicious in the middle of the day and you are not the only one that will feel it. The bass are also sensitive to the bright light and warm water. When the sun is blazing you can either head in for some rest and lunch, or you can focus your efforts in the deeper water where the bass can seek refuge from the summer heat/sun. The old adage holds true, “bright sky, bright fly (lure)”. In the clear conditions, a more natural colour such as watermelon-red or watermelon seed is a great way to get a bite. In the earlier hours of the day and the evenings, a faster plan of attack can prove deadly. Try throwing a jerk bait, crank bait or spinner bait to elicit a more aggressive attack.

 

Carp – The carp fishing has been very kind on most of the water in KZN. Midmar and Albert Falls Dams are both producing good fishing for the guy’s further inland while Inanda and Shongweni are the go-to spots for the more coastal carp hunters. The specimen guys have been doing very well in both the coastal dams with many fish over the 10kg mark. The guys can get very cagey about the baits used and the locations fished, but a good selection of baits is always a great help. Make sure you have a banana scent of some sort as well as a honey; this covers most of the dams in SA. Add to this a garlic scent and some cinnamon and you have all you need to catch a giant. Location is something that changes on a daily, and even an hourly basis. Use your eyes to find the feeding fish and try to look early in the morning to see where their favourite spots are. Put your bait in the active areas and you are in with a good shot at success.

 

Trout – The fly fishing scene for trout has been a bit quiet, but it continue to tick along. The summer heat brings with it a myriad of insect hatches and lots of baitfish in the shallows. This means it is time to select those bigger flies and to target the hungry brutes along the drop-offs.  Keep a good selection of terrestrial patterns on hand and make sure they include beetle and grasshopper patterns as these represent a mighty meal for a hungry trout and will not be refused. If you are getting refused by trout at the last moment, either lengthen your leader to reduce any drag or add a small dropper nymph to give the fish more options. The river fishing is going steady. The waters are still a bit low, but the rains should pump them up a bit and get the flow higher. Stick to tried and tested pattern and make sure to fish the pockets where the fish will be waiting to snack on a passing morsel.

 

News from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB. “On the trout front, February is usually the month where we in The Midlands start looking forward to the fining off of the summer rains, waning of the summer heat, and the waters start clearing and cooling.  With the late rains this year however, the Umgeni and Mooi rivers are in chocolate spate and many of the Midlands trout waters are still on the warm side and closed for fishing due to increased risk of fish mortality as a result of the high water temperatures.  The Bushman’s River holds its own however, and while the flow may be up, runs much clearer than the Umgeni and Mooi.

With the warmer water, the bass are still in full swing.  As are the yellowfish at Sterkfontein.  Some excellent smallmouth have been reported of late, and recently largemouth have been taken on the dry fly, large hopper patterns in particular.

 

There is never a bad time to put to throw a line – as the saying goes: if you ain’t fishin’, you ain’t catchin’ either!   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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