FISHING REPORT 5TH APRIL ’19

The weather has been a bit…terrible. The weather has not been consistent for more than two days at a time and that has made planning trips a bit tricky. Nonetheless, there have been some decent fish caught and some good memories made.

Ray’s tip: Headlights

Headlights are one of the pieces of equipment that are often overlooked. It is a vital piece of kit that can make the difference between falling on the rocks, losing a fish or getting lost. A quality headlight does not mean the brightest. This is often the mistake that guys make. A bright headlight is nice to have but it normally means it will use the battery up to quickly and generally will be too bright to use and will scare anything in the vicinity. You need to get a light that fits comfortably on your head, doesn’t weigh a ton, is bright enough but doesn’t use a battery an hour. There are lots of alternatives available so pop in to your closest Kingfisher branch to check them out.

 

Offshore:

There is huge excitement starting in the offshore scene. The couta are here! More and more of these fantastic gamefish are starting to make it on to the catch reports.

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… The prizes are being sorted and the pile is huge. Make sure you get your tickets ASAP. This is a biggie, so get ready.

 

North – As mentioned above, there have been quite a few couta around. The north has been the most productive in terms of couta fishing. There have been some proper beasts over 20kgs landed over the past week on both the boats and the skis. These fish have proper teeth so remember to use wire and make sure you do a proper haywire twist to ensure you don’t lose a fish of a lifetime. Zinkwazi and Salt Rock are the two top spots at the moment, but most of the north coast is producing fish.

Central – The central zone has had a few couta, but the main fish coming out on the Durban coast has been tuna (like the past few weeks). The bait is starting to pick up, so we can look forward to some fresh bait hitting the shop soon. The tuna have been hitting most lures, but if you are looking for the bigger fish, livebait is the way to go. Any of the regular livebaits will work. Try get your hands on a mozzie, mackerel, shad or redeye sardine for the best chance at success. Tuna do not have cutting teeth so you do not need wire. They do however have the ability to wear through thinner line over a long fight so use a quality fluorocarbon like Maxima or Siglon tied to your circle hook.

 

South – The south coast has had much of the same as the central and northern zones. The tuna and couta have been there for the guys wanting to target them but those wanting to try a bit more technical fishing have been chasing the snoek. These fish have been available for the guys around the river mouths. The snoek have been there on the south coast (and the north) for the past few weeks. The best methods for these fish are undoubtedly fillet baits. You can troll these baits on the backline in conjunction with lipped lures (Strike Pro Magic Minnow) or throwing spoons in to the backline surf zone.

 

Rock and Surf:

The big seas and the warmer water has put the rock and surf fishing on a hold. There have been fish in both the edible and inedible side from the upper end of the north coast down to Port Edward.

North – The north coast has been the only section of our coast producing decent inedibles consistently. The area north of Richards Bay has been producing decent edibles fish, so plan your trips depending on what you want to target. The inedibles have been honeycombs, diamonds and the occasional shark. Bonito has been the most decent bait. Large bulky baits allow you more chance of weeding through the pesky milkies (swim one…). The edibles up north are best targeted using sea lice or pink prawn and consist mainly of pompano and stumpies.

Central – The central zone has been an edible hot spot. Stumpies have been full up and are fantastic to target on lighter tackle on the open beaches. There have also been some pompano for the guys fishing off the piers or in the Virginia area. Use lighter leader material with decent sharp hooks and lengthen your hook snoot to create some excellent movement. Use pink prawns, cracker shrimp, sea lice and chokka as your main baits. For the guys wanting to target some inedibles need to focus on the deeper water off the piers. Most of the inedibles have come out at night, so stay out a bit later and you should see some success.

 

South – The south coast has been patchy. The big seas have put most off and have made certain spots unfishable. The edibles have been feeding along most of the coast all the way down to Port Edward. The colder water down south (far south) has seen some decent smoothound sharks coming out. These are one of the hardest fighting fish per their size. If you haven’t caught one yet, make sure you make your way down south.

 

Freshwater:

The freshwater scene has been going well for the bass, trout and carp fishermen alike. There have been big bass landed, large trout gracing the net and some fat carp steaming line off the reel.

Trout – The trout fishing is picking up speed rather quickly and the fish pictures are causing large amount of drool. The Stillwater’s are the place to be at the moment. The rivers have been producing quality fish but the rapidly fluctuating water levels have made the choice of where to fish a bit of a problem. The Stillwater’s on the other end have been largely unaffected other than some dirty water on occasion. Use the bigger zonker and woolly buggers at this point in time and start adding a bit of orange in to your patterns as the fish will start to clue in on this in the near future.

Bass – The bass fishing has been phenomenal at all the KZN dams. The big dams have seen the bulk of the action but the smaller farm/private dams are seeing some beautiful fish coming out. The fish are still in their summer feeding mode, so make the most of it and get out to your nearest water. Both soft and hard plastic lures are working at the moment so it is more about the erratic action of the lure than the lure itself. If the water is dirty, use a darker lure. If the water is clearer, use a brighter/lighter lure.

Carp – The carp fishing has been going particularly well in the more coastal dams. Shongweni Dam, being syndicated has produced amazing fish for the guys in the lucky group. The rest of us have to make the best of the public waters. This is not a problem in KZN because we have so much to choose from. Inanda, Midmar and Alberts are three quality dams that are constantly producing giants that would grace anyone’s glory wall of photos. Honey, strawberry and anything sweet are fantastic flavours to use at any of these dams. Whether you are conventional or specimen, the KZN dams are currently producing some real quality tackle testers, get out there!

News from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – “With Autumn taking its own sweet time to get here, summer seemed set to stay a while longer … but at last there seems to be a bit of a chill in the air, signalling that a change in season is imminent.  The Midlands waters are still somewhat on the warm side and we wait for the temp to really start dropping to get the fish on the move as we anticipate a cracking Stillwater trout season.

 

That being said, the first reports of good fish are already starting to filter in.  Many of the Midlands waters hold minnow populations, so that’s a great starting point.  Other favourites for a starting fly are of course the ubiquitous Woolly Bugger (“Speedcop” and olive being the top flavours) or a dragonfly nymph pattern (e.g. Papa Roach or Filoplume Dragon).

 

The trout streams are still producing and the game is on as we wait for the bigger fish to start moving up for spawning.  A hopper pattern is a great searching dry fly pattern for the rivers, use larger sizes fished close to the edge in faster flowing water.  If nymphing is more your style, weighted patterns like the Perdigon, GUN and a local favourite, the Blue Nissan, have all produced fish in fast water.

 

Any trout anglers up in the Central ‘Berg over Easter period, don’t forget about the “Royal Natal Mahai Easter Fly Fishing Challenge” taking place at the Mahai Rest Camp Dam, Royal Natal National Park, on Saturday 20th April.  A Grand Cash Prize of R10, 000.00 is available for the biggest fish of the day…so get your best flies out and May the Fishing Gods favour you on the day…

 

Dam levels are looking good from the rains to date.  Midmar is still pushing over at 100%, Spring Grove is sitting just shy of 75%, and Albert Falls has come up nicely to 41%.

 

We are still seeing some good bass around.  The SA Bass Angling Association (SABAA) event no.5 for KZN took place on Albert Falls Dam 2 weeks ago, and some lunkers in the 3-4kg range were brought to the weigh-in.

 

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 should be fining off from now on out – so now is the time to get out and make good use of the break in the weather”. 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. Tight lines and screaming reels and don’t forget to stop by your favourite tackle store for the BEST in tackle and advice!

 

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(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8f8U0GjLGWFaEiUjs-n01w/videos).

 

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Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za