FISHING REPORT 26TH APRIL ’19 April 24, 2019 by The Kingfisher Rain, rain go away… This past weekend saw the worst rains hit KZN that we have seen in quite some time. Since the rains have made most areas unfishable or unsafe to get to, the fishing is going to be put on hold for a few days. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those families who have lost possessions and/or loved ones during the past week. 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). Ray’s tip: Dealing with rain. Rain can be a real issue while fishing. It makes everything wet and slippery. There are a few things you can do to counteract this. The first thing to consider is keeping yourself dry and warm. Invest in a proper rain jacket and wear a cap to keep the rain off your face. For added grip we need to look at feet and hands. For your feet there are only two things you can do. Buy a pair of cut down gumboots. They are the best! Secondly, be extremely careful on the rocks. Accidents happen quickly, so take it slow. For the grip on the rod; make sure to keep a towel in your bag for drying your hands and try to keep the grip free from bait. Rain can make things dangerous, so be safe. Offshore: Big seas, wind and rain put many off, but there were fish to be had and competitions to be won. Well done to all those who competed in the DSBC festival here is the results of the Durban Ski Boat Club’s “BUNDU” Bester Memorial Cuda Festival 2019. The boats managed to put to sea on Sunday the 21st and Monday the 22nd in-between shocking weather conditions. First prize for the biggest cuda was won by J J van Rensburg with a fish of 22.54kg’s; he walked away with the main prize worth R410,000.00. Second was Jeff Harman with a cuda of 22.14kg’s and third was Frank Bouwer with a fish of 21.76kg’s. The top junior was Dylan Jordaan with a cuda of 9kg’s and the top lady was Yvette Houghton with a cuda of 8.02kg’s. A total of 210 boats comprising 604 anglers made up the field for the 2019 event. 9 different species were caught and a total of 73 fish were weighed for a total weight of 827.50kgs. North – The north coast has been blowing hot and cold with fishing being bountiful on one day and dead the next. There have been plenty of couta in the 10 to 20kg range with a few breaching the 25kg barrier. A live bonito has been the ticket to success and getting your mits on to one of these feisty fish almost guarantees success. If you are unable to get a live one pinned, rigging a well frozen dead bait is next in line. Take care of your bait and it will take care of you. Cling wrap or vacuum-seal your baits to protect the skin and overall quality. When rigging them, make use of bait swimmers and small chin weights to get them to track and not spin. Central – The central section of the coast has been the bottom end of the couta scene. There have been a few off the Bluff area but most have been on the upper end of the coast. The Durban area has also been producing some monster queenfish that are fantastic fun on the lighter tackle. Take your snoek gear and free-swim a small mozzie on a 5/0 Mustad Tuna circle. The acrobatics will have you rethinking your regular target species. The Umgeni was producing a few snoek before the rains, so as soon as it calms down they should be back. The big positive of the rain is the introduction of hundreds of FADs in to the ocean! South – The south coast has seen plenty of snoek action for the guys fishing closer in. A fillet bait has been the key to an early morning bite. With fillet baits you want to make sure that you do not use too much cotton to secure the fillet, the fillet must run straight and you do not want to use heavy wire with a large couta duster. Keep things light and simple. Number 3 wire with a sparse couta duster (not too much flash). When targeting snoek, always keep a spinning rod rigged with a spoon on hand. As soon as you see some activity you can flick the spoon in to the danger zone. Rock and Surf: The rock and surf fishing will be put on hold until the dirty water clears, but the large influx of debris and water will leave many spots changed. North – The north coast has not been hit by the rain like the rest of us down south, so this will be the best bet if you are looking for a place to fish this weekend. The north has still been producing fish. The sandbanks that are in reach have produced some lovely pompano and stumpies. These are fantastic fish to target and require a fair deal of skill. Keep your bait box topped with sealice, chokka, mussels and pink prawn for the best chance at success. Remember to have the appropriate licenses to collect bait. The bigger fish have started to slow down, but the dirty water from the rains should see a couple of Zambezi sharks for the swim bait crews. Central – The central section of KZN has been a bit quiet. The big seas of last week made for poor fishing as the surge moved the baits before a fish could even smell it. The guys that did manage to land a fish or two were mainly based on the piers and the main fish landed were smaller grey sharks and the odd edible. The grey sharks can be targeted using a short bite trace of 60-90lb wire and a decent fleshy bait. Get your hands on some mackerel or bonito for the best results. Use the head of the baitfish as a base and add some of the cutlets on to the outside to make a juicy ball of goodness. South – The south coast will be the most affected by the rains as the heaviest rains fell on the south coast and the abundance of rivers will leave the lower south as a muddy mess for a few days (or weeks). The rivers mouths will be deeper and wider than previously so once it clears a bit, the kob fishing at these mouths should be on fire. The previous week saw some good catches of bronze bream in all the usual spots. These fish enjoy a slightly larger prawn bait and adding a dash of banana essence will go a long way in getting the bite. Freshwater: The freshwater scene is probably the least affected by the recent rains, but the dam levels and rivers have all risen. The rivers will be unfishable for a bit while the torrents calm, but the Stillwater’s/dams will all be getting a healthy influx of cool water. Bass – The bass fishing is still going very well at all the larger (and private) waters. This is a great time of year for targeting bass as they are feeding well and the weather is generally a little calmer. The rains will muddy the dams a bit, but the larger waters will settle quickly and the fishing will return to normal. The bass have been favoring larger soft plastics of late. Inanda and Hazlemere are both fishing well with weightless Senko-type baits fished slowly along the bottom. Albert Falls on the other hand has been the place to throw the chatterbait. This dam has seen some monsters come out in the last few weeks on this fantastic bait. The flash and vibration of the blade combined with the presence of the skirt makes it an awesome bait. If you cannot get your hands on one, try using a spinnebait retrieved rapidly just under the surface to create a miniature bow wave. Carp – The carp fishing has varied from dam to dam but the overall impression is one of good fishing and happy fishermen. The fruity flavors are producing all the best results with Tutti-fruity shining as the winner. Bunspice has been producing for the guys fishing in to the evening and is a flavor that you need in your arsenal. Shongweni continues to produce some amazing fish, but Nagle has seen bigger fish lately and is a dam that not many people venture to fish. This slightly wild water holds some of the biggest carp in KZN and should be on your venue list if you are a specimen angler. The conventional guys have been seeing great results in all the dams in KZN with plenty of small carp filling the keep net. The likes of Inanda and Albert Falls are at the top of the list and guarantee a good outing. Trout – The trout are languishing in the cooler temperatures. The influx of cool, oxygen-rich water in to the dams will see the fish holding up in the areas where the inlets enter the dam. This is the place to focus your original efforts when starting out at the Stillwater of choice. The water flowing in to the dam is generally cooler than the main body of water and will also hold more oxygen. This is a magnet for the trout at fishing the confluence of the incoming and main water will have you in your backing in no time. The rivers have been flooded and will take a bit of time to settle. If you are going to make a trip up to fish the rivers, contact the local fly shops in the area to check the state of the chosen water. Tight lines and screaming reels. This report from Jan from the Kingfisher in PMB. And still the rains keep coming! And still we shall not *dare* to complain … although I think I know a few farmers that are starting to grumble…! Midmar is topping over very nicely, and Albert Falls Dam collecting the spillage is up a couple percent and sitting just short of 44%, and Spring Grove is now just shy of 80%. This means that the Midlands might not be the happiest of campers at present – rivers are still in spate and the stillwaters coloured from runoff. Prior to the arrival of the main rains on Saturday however, good fishing was reported on both fronts. The rivers were up, so better success was had by the nymphers, although some fish were reported coming up to the dry. Reports from the stillwater anglers included some excellent fish in the 5-7lb range, taken on larger flies like minnow patterns and woolly buggers. Water temperatures are now in the low teens, and should drop nicely in the coming weeks. On the bass front, it’s gone a bit quiet locally. The fourth instalment of the Joey’s Towing Tournament Trail of 2019 take places at Albert Falls in May. The only certainty is that if you are NOT fishing, you are NOT catching! There is NEVER a bad time to be fishing, and the best is if you can involve family and friends, and especially the youngsters. Don’t forget to stop by your favourite tackle store for the BEST in tackle and advice! The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Saturdays 8:00 to 13:00. 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