We are half-way through the year and there have been some amazing catches so far! We are holding on for the silver masses to arrive. With some early signs of a good run, we are hoping for a big run of sardines!

Ray’s tip: Garrick are one of the best fish to target on lures. There are three main types of lures that one can use to target garrick and each of them is effective at certain times. The first of the lures is the classic spoon. Spoons are generally used when you are searching for fish and need to get a bit of distance. You can use either a slender spoon if you need to retrieve quicker and throw further, or you can use an S-bend spoon on calmer days to get a bit of a slow flash in the water. The second tactic is the use of soft-plastics. Jerk style or paddletails can be used but the retrieve is the more important bit. Use a whipping action by raising the rod vertically and then winding on the drop. Last but far from least is the use of surface lures. When the sea is choppy, use a chisel-nose plug that will slap along the water and get the garrick’s attention. In a calm sea, the needle-nose plug comes in to its own. The time is now, so get out and target these beautiful game fish.


The bait fish are here! The mackerel have been wild off of Durban. The redeye sardines have been mixed in and need to be kept separately if you are going to keep them for later.


North – The north coast has seen a lot of snoek action over the past week. The river mouths are definitely the place to try. The hot spots include Umgeni, Umdloti, St Lucia, Tinley Manor to name but a few. For the snoek, the best time is the early morning, so make sure you target these fish early in your days fishing. Spoons on a light spinning stick can often produce a pull before you even finish a troll. There have also been a few couta and tuna around.


Central – The central zone has been fishing well for all the charters and recreational anglers. There have been a lot of bottom fish coming out from small reds to beautiful poenskop. All these fish are best targeted with a proper bottom fishing rod and a KP. The waters off Durban have also suddenly seen an explosion of mackerel. These mackerel are very feisty and can quickly render your bait jigs in to a tangled mess. Use a heavy sinker to keep the jigs apart and prevent tangles. These mackerel are definitely the best bait to use at the moment, so get them out as soon as possible once you boat them.


South – The south coast anglers are drooling in anticipation of the sardine run. We sit and wait…The south coast has seen much of the same as the north coast with the addition of more game fish on the deeper waters. Aliwal has seen some very good fish coming out including some proper tuna and a few wahoo. The inshore waters have been fishing very well for the smaller tuna, some couta and a lot of bottom fish.


Rock and Surf:

The rock and surf fishing has been far from slow over the past week. The bigger fish (sharks and rays) have been near absent and will only come around again if the sards pop up. The edibles have been loose and most trips have ended with a smile.


North – The north coast has been an artificial frenzy over the past few weeks. With the deep water points and long beaches, many anglers have been hooking some very good fish. The main catches have been snoek and kingfish. These fish favour a fast retrieved spoon. Look for a slender spoon which can be retrieved very quickly. The reefs and sandbanks have also produced a good few fish for the bait fishermen. Prawn and chokka have been the main baits producing bites from stumpies and pompano, but a few weird and wonderful species have come out in-between.


Central – The beachfront has seen some bigger fish hooked by the guys droning baits out in to the deep. Once again, make sure you have some fish-fighting experience before you tackle these bigger fish. Also, use the correct tackle! The piers and beaches are steadily producing edibles fish including blacktail, stumpies and shad. Redeye sardines have been the best for shad with Japanese mackerel coming second.


South – The south coast anglers are keeping their eyes focussed on the horizon for any evidence of the sardines. The latest official news of the sardines is still from the Transkei, so there is probably a bit of time to go before we see some silver shoals being netted. The south coast has produced a lot of kob over the past few weeks. All along the south coast from Toti to Port Edward has seen kob between 2 and 20 kgs. Chokka and redeye sardine is a deadly combination for these fish. The garrick have also started to show themselves which is very exciting.



The dams are starting to see more winter traffic which means more anglers and less leisure visitors. The water is starting to cool down but most of the more coastal waters are still very warm.


News from Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – The winter Stillwater trout season has had a great start with the last three weekends holding events on the trot.  No great shakes on the numbers front – but this to be expected as the fish switch in spawn mode – but some excellent fish have made a showing.


Last weekend saw the Boston Fly Fishing Festival taking place in rather chilly conditions, but the anglers made the most of the frosty weather and got stuck into the fish.  While official results are not yet available from the Festival (will follow in a future report) – the “Women in Waders” demonstrated their skills again … see The Kingfisher-PMB page on Facebook for pics of the ladies in action!

Targeting these spawning fish, that clearly has other things on their mind apart from food, requires patience and full fly box of patterns ranging from large, chunky streamers to itty-bitty small nymphs…and a range of colourful sparklers in-between.  Change is the name of the game and if your rig isn’t producing, change something: position (on the water), fly selection, or style of retrieve…or all three!


Summer is usually the time to target our local yellowfish (scaly’s), but the winter fishing, while slower, can produce some cracking fish.  The lower reaches of the Umkomaas and Bushman’s Rivers have given up the goods recently.  With the lower water temperatures, the level of insect life will be down so small is the way to go – weighted nymphs (e.g. Gold-ribbed Hare’s Ear / Pheasant-tail Nymph / Zak) in size 14 and down are best for this time of year.


Don’t forget to pop into your favourite Kingfisher store for the best advice in tackle …Thanks Jan.


Bass – The bass fishing has been very good at the more inland waters. Midmar and Albert Falls have produced some real big fish over the past month or so. Flukes have been the softbait of choice at both venues and colour is not that important, but more natural colours have been the best. Where possible, you need to fish these weightless. This type of fishing takes a lot of patience to fish properly as the bait takes a long time to sink. Fish these slower than normal and you will quickly be connected to your new PB. Those that prefer faster fishing will be best served by chatterbait or jerkbait at this time of year. Both these methods produce bites even if they are not in the mood. Colours of choice include bright attractors such as chartreuse and orange in combination with white.

Carp – The carp are making the cold nights worthwhile. There have been a lot of fish flaunted recently on social media and these have been across the country. Bright coloured pop-ups are producing most of the bigger fish for the specimen anglers. The Korda Pineapple or Almond Supreme Goo is the deadly if you are wanting to add a little extra attraction to your normal baits. The conventional anglers have been doing very well at Albert Falls with the fruity flavoured baits. The strawberry and tutti fruity mielies in the LL (Loutjie Louwies) Signature Series range have been doing the job for most anglers. Remember that the fish are not necessarily feeding very heavily so do not clog your fishing spot with bait.

Trout – Stillwater’s! This is the time of the year to be cruising around the larger dams and lakes on your float-tube. Make sure you have all the decent winter gear to keep you warm. This includes neoprene waders, thermal underwear, proper jackets and a beanie. All available at your closest Kingfisher branch.  Clothing aside, the fishing can be amazing at this time of year. The fish are pre spawn so they are wanting to bulk up before they go in to breeding. Use some of the bigger flies including minnow patterns and dragonfly nymph patterns. This time of year is also getting close to orange season some make sure you have some orange on your flies (orange tags or beads) and also a few blobs and egg flies. These are not everyone’s cup of tea but they do work.


Last week saw the much-anticipated fly fishing film tour take place in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Not only were we treated to fantastic films and a lot of freebie merchandise, there was also over R700 000 worth of lucky draw prizes and fishing trips! If you missed this year or have not been to one before, mark your calendar for next year!

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

(  Tight lines and screaming reels

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