FISHING REPORT 15TH MARCH ’19 March 14, 2019 by The Kingfisher March has been a very exciting month! The senior A nationals have just taken place in Struisbaai (well done KZN!), the B nationals are starting next week and the offshore fishing has been amazing all round! Ray’s tip: Why we fish. Fishing brings in more revenue than most major sports combined in SA. We are fortunate to be blessed with a varied coastline that grants us the opportunity to fish for many different species in picturesque settings. Fishing is not a right, it is a gift and a gift that needs to be protected from gillnets poachers and dishonesty. Why do we fish? Is it to take food home, to gain glory or bragging rights or do we fish simply to relax? The truth is that all of those are true. Some of us will fall more in to one category than the others, but at some point we have gone fishing for all of those purposes. The point is that you can fish for whatever reason you want to as long as you are doing so legally and not obstructing anyone from their activities. For example, throwing your used tackle and rubbish on the ground can endanger wildlife or people walking in the same area, cheating on a competition result can give you bragging rights but it will be a hollow victory… Offshore: The offshore fishing in KZN has been wild for the last few weeks. There have been some splendid catches from all the vessels be it a jetski, fishing kayak or a ski boat. This puts some real excitement in to the mix for the upcoming competitions! Two notable catches over the last week: a 36kg tuna landed by Andrew Maclachlan and a 33kg tuna landed by our own Tyrin Bayne. Well done boys, these are truly great catches! The Umhlanga Ski Boat Festival is taking place on the 23rd and 24th of March. This competition is for jet ski, fishing ski and ski boat anglers and is always a fantastic day with plenty of prizes and festivities. Make sure to enter this one as the prizes are beyond fantastic and there have been plenty of fish in the area. The big one is coming up…the Durban Ski Boat Club Festival! This is a biggie so get ready, 19th to the 21st of April. Stay tuned for more details… North – Cape Vidal saw Justin Rademeyer land a beauty of a cobia of 16.5kgs. Well done Justin. The entire north coast has been producing fish for the offshore guys. The tuna and the dorado are still around for the guys putting the time in to troll, but the live bait crews are getting the bigger fish. The north bank of the Umgeni and Umdloti has produced a good few snoek recently. For these areas, not much can beat a fillet bait and shiny skirt combination. The flash and smell drive the fish wild. Combine this with a small spinning stick to throw spoons on and you are sorted as a backline hunter. For the deeper reefs and wrecks, there have been tuna aplenty. A live mozzie has been the order of the day for these hungry predators. Drifting with a live bait is a deadly method for most game fish and you never know who is going to grab the bait. Central – The central section of the Durban coast has seen some game fish action over this past week. There has been a showing of dorado around the deeper offshore structure. Remember that dorado love pink and this is definitely the colour to choose if you are struggling for a bite. This applies to Kona style lures, lipped lures as well as skirts to place in front of a bait. Luckily we at The Kingfisher have all of those in the most dorado catching colours, so pop in and get yourself summer ready. The rest of the action off Durban has been focused around the ever-present tuna population that keeps the rods bent and brows sweating, and the bottom fishing. There have been plenty of geelbek around for the charter and recreational bottom fishing crews. These fish love a whole sardine and chokka. Get your hands on the best quality sardines you can buy, as these fish can be picky. Also, when the sharks are around, reduce the number of hooks on your trace so you can get the fish to the boat quicker. South – The south coast has seen plenty of bait action. There have been hoards of smaller tuna, frigates and bonito for the guys to fill their freezers with. The mackerel are still absent and the mozzies are making a small appearance in the catches. The importance of live bait is evident when one looks at the catch records of the bigger fish. Lures are great and do account for many fish, but live bait often produces the bigger fish. The south has had a few decent fish caught over the past week. Tuna, dorado, couta and a saily or two have made up most of the reported catches. Choose your preferred method and go target these summer game fish while they are still around. Rock and Surf: As mentioned above, the A nationals just took place down in Struisbaai. The Kingfisher would like to congratulate all those that took part and made the event possible. We would like to send a special congratulations to the KZN team for winning this year! The Daiwa/ASFN ambassadors represented very well at the nationals and placed very well on the scoreboard, well done guys! To all the B national contestants, remember to fish hard and enjoy the time you have at this great competition. North – The north has been producing a mixed bag of fish. There has been a real mix of edible and inedible fish for all the anglers. Much like the central zone, it has been dominated by edible fish. There has been some very good kob coming out. These have fallen for lures (paddletails in particular), chokka baits and live baits. There have also been a fair number of stumpies caught along most of the north coast but the Umhlanga Lighthouse is always a hot spot. The Lighthouse area has also produced some of the only grey shark bites and is a definite area to concentrate on if you need a bite. The inedibles side of the fishing has seen grey sharks and sandies as the main catches coming out. Get your hands on some good quality mackerel and bonito and you are set to target these fish. Central – The central zone of KZN has been dominated by edible fish. The stumpies and pompano have been the highlight of these catches with a few odds and ends filling in the gaps. Luckily, both these fish feed on the same baits and in much the same area. Look for some working water close to a bank or rocky ledge. Fish these areas with a crab, sealice, cracker, pink prawn, blob bait or whole mussel and you are giving yourself the best chance of success. The piers are producing a lot of shad and stumpnose for the edible anglers while the inedible anglers have had success at the Umhlanga Lighthouse and the beachfront. Pink prawn has been working very well for the edible fish with the exception of the shad. The grey sharks that are wild on the beachfront have been preferring mackerel. South – The south coast has been a bit quiet. The fishing has not been wild like much of the north coast. The unsettled weather and large amount of freshwater from the rivers is more than likely the cause of this dip in the fishing. Nonetheless, the stumpies have been keeping the edible anglers happy and you can target them as mentioned above. There have also been a few kingies and garrick that have taken a livebait. The inedibles have been few and far between, but there have been some grey sharks, brown skates and honeycombs to keep the reels screaming and to make the anglers stress about their backing knots. News from Mtunzini: Although big rains were forecast this did not happen so the river colour is unchanged, just like the surf zone fishing was quiet, in fact for a weekend the lagoon area did not have many people fishing and I have no reports of boats on the lagoon making catches. However Murphy’s Law after the report is published someone will report a good catch hahahaha. Puffers and very big ones have made an appearance on the main beach as Martin found out to his horror yesterday morning. He said he also dropped some nice bites when he had his rod in his pension pipe and we teased him they were not big shad but big puffers. Last Thursday night 2 diamonds and a sandy were landed at the Banks but apart from that it was quiet weekend. In front of the Forest Lodge some small sharks were landed but no edibles over the weekend. We have a NE blowing with hot days for most of the week which should result in better catches been made. Ski boat fishing was very slow over the weekend both from here and Richards Bay I believe out of the 9 boats that went out of Meer en See 1 caught 1 fish. I think with the forecast for Sunday looking like rain and wind we only know of one boat who fished an early session but no reports of catches were made. 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 Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for this report. Freshwater: The freshwater scene has been dominated by the amazing bass catches over the past week. The fishing has been non-stop bass action in all of the dams in KZN. The new Reactions stretchy soft plastics have been doing very well and are an essential item for your tackle box. 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. Carp – The KZN carp have been feisty the past few weeks. The flavours that have been working are the ever-faithful banana, the new wonder smell that is Spiderman and another faithful, garlic. These are flavours that you need to have with you if you are going anywhere in KZN. For the specimen guys, tigernuts remain the king of hookbaits. Once prepared they are so sweet that the carp cannot swim past without having a grub around. Trout –The summer heat has slowed the trout down, but there have still been some very good catches reported from this past week. The higher streams in the midlands are full up with trout both brown and rainbow. The Bushmans 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. When the weather gets warm, particularly in the heat of the day, fish in the cooler water in the deeper areas. Get yourself set with a quality sinking line and a juicy fly like a paparoach or a woolly bugger. This combo will have a few fish brought to the net in no time. once the weather cools in the evening or early morning, you can try your hand at the dry fly side of life. Look for surface activity and fish the area as stealthy as possible. Remember that trout feed 90% below the surface so focus your energy on the deeper waters. The Kingfisher (Durban branch) will no longer have Korda items displayed on the shop floor. Due to the extremely large range, we are not able to do the selection justice in the space we have. If you are wanting any Korda products, speak to one of our helpful salesmen or order through or email service (firstname.lastname@example.org). We have every Korda product you need! Bass – The bass fishing has been out of control. All the KZN dams are fishing incredibly well. Inanda has been fishing very well for the guys on the boats while the bank anglers continue to have the best luck at Hazlemere. Getting your bait in to the thicker cover will often produce the bite. Keep your colours natural and add a splash of colour in the form of a dipped tail or pincers. For the dams with more open water, a crankbait or spinnerbait is the best method of covering water quickly and efficiently. If you want a slower approach then fish a jerkbait or weightless fluke. Colours are always a controversial topic but stick to natural or outlandish (the choice is yours). Fish the likely spots (weed lines, points and structure) carefully and do not be afraid to fish the same area for a while if it looks promising. We are very excited to announce the launch of a new range of soft plastics! The Reaction range has already done incredibly across SA and now we have launched the Reaction Stretch range. Look out for the blue packets in the shop and give these amazing baits a try. News from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB Some rain in The Midlands over the last week, but things are still looking good for great autumn fishing – and we dare not complain about the rain! Herewith this week’s report: Thanks to the rains of late, all our favourite trout streams are flowing like the clappers at the moment. For the fly tiers out there that have been playing with those heavy-weight patterns favoured by the competitive crowd, now is your chance to put them to good use! Patterns like the Perdigon, GUN and local favourite, the Troglodyte, have all produced fish in the faster flowing white water. Back eddies and any other marginally slower water (than pure white) you might find is the place to prospect with a dry fly … a favourite searching pattern is a small #12 (on the large side by our stream standards) rubber-leg foam hopper – the veld is alive with them currently, the real one’s that is! This tasty morsel is sure to bring any fish up to inspect : bigger fish will take the hopper directly, but if there is a preponderance of smaller fish about, which are only able to bump / flash the fly, switch down to a smaller pattern like an Elk-hair Caddis on a #14 and it will be Game On.. If a steam train stream isn’t to your liking, there is always the Stillwater’s to throw a line on. Pretty much all are full and overflowing – perfect as we head into the best fishing time of the year: Autumn. The Natal Fly Fishers Club recently opened its dams again after a near 3 month closure due to high water temperatures, and while some waters may still be coloured due to the rains, these will clear as the temperature drops off. Dirty water can be a deterrent, but it doesn’t have to be … sure, there’s a point where the water is just too muddy to fly fish effectively, yet in all but the toughest conditions, success can still be had. Bottom line: the dirtier the water, the more attention the fly needs to attract; this can be achieved by increasing the fly size and choosing one that’s bulkier. Large streamers and woolly buggers, with or without rubber legs, are the name of the game. Last weekend saw the 16th annual New Hanover Prep Farm Dams Bass competition – with 19 dams and entries running to over a thousand anglers across all ages, some great fish were reported. Congrats to all who got a slice to the extensive prize table! Sterkfontein is still playing ball, with good smallmouth and largemouth yellows coming to hand. Dry fly is the name of the game there, with the ubiquitous “Good Doctors Beetle” accounting for many a fish, along with large hoppers, and then some smaller emerger-type patterns for the picky fish. The weather gods at YR only have rain in the forecast a week from now – so now is the time to get out and make good use of the break in the weather. Don’t forget to stop by your favourite tackle store for the BEST in tackle and advice! Thanks Jan. 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). 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