The sardines have dominated any fishing news for the past few weeks. The fishing has been a bit quiet, but the action should heat up very soon.

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.

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Ray’s tip: Sharper edge – There is not much that is more annoying than trying to work with a blunt knife. Trying to prepare a delicate prawn or chokka bait while using a war relic of a knife is only going to end with a hook and a pile of mush. A sharp knife and one with a decent handle is vitally important for bait preparation and enjoying your fishing. Everyone has their own preference and most of us have gone through a few knives to find the right one. Generally we use a smaller knife for scratching and then a bigger knife for bigger baits and inedible baits. My choice is the Victornox knives for the smaller baits. The colourful handles help you find your knife quickly and the blade is amazingly sharp and holds its edge. The bigger baits are best cut and shaped with the Whitelux knife. The bigger handle gives you a better grip and the thicker blade slices through anything without bending. Both of these knives can be used for multiple purposes and make excellent filleting knives. Available at all leading tackle stores.



The offshore has been slow. The shark activity has decreased off the Durban coast with all the taxmen heading south for a feast. The gamefish have been absent and very difficult to tempt.


North – The north coast has seen some action in the form of snoek and the odd tuna. The snoek have been around all of the river mouths and are a lovely fish to target at first light to get your day started. Troll some fillet baits behind the backline and combine this with one or two people spinning with small spoons. The snoek love a small spoon worked very quickly in and around the white water. Once you have had your fill of snoek or they have given you the middle fin, you have two options. You can head deeper for bigger gamefish or you can stay in close and troll some live baits for garrick.


Central – The Durban beachfront area has not produced much in the line of gamefish. There have been plenty of bottomfish for the guys on the charters and commercial boats. There have been some lovely red fish caught over the past week. A few of the boats have been lucky or skilled enough to land some musselcracker. These are amazing, slow-growing fish that deserve to be let go. The geelbek and daga are still around and it is a good time of year to target the fish on the bottom. If the sharks show up, move!


South – The south coast has had the sardine action but the gamefish have not been with the sards. It is still worth targeting the fish around the shoals of sards and a live sard is the best bet with lures coming in a close second. The lures prevent you from hooking sharks, although the blackfins do occasionally jump on to the lures. The bottomfishing has also been particularly good on the south coast and all of the deeper wrecks and reefs have been producing the goods.


Rock and Surf:

Where are the sardines? This has been the main question asked for the past couple of weeks. Predicting where the sardines will be is an art that the netters have an eye for. If you are wanting to chase the sardine activity, start at Toti and head south.


North – The north coast has gone out of focus due to the sardines stealing the show down south. This is still a fantastic piece of coastline to go fish at this time of year. There are plenty of edible species to target and a couple of inedible ones as well. For the anglers looking for gamefish, you have your choice of spinning for snoek, garrick and kingfish or using live bait to target the last two. All of the river mouths are a great place to target the garrick and snoek. The kingfish are best chased in areas with nice structure and lots of working water. Remember to up your tackle in order to stand a chance at landing these brutes.


Central – The central coast has seen some baitfish action but the sardines have not made their arrival on to the Durban beachfront as yet.

The piers have seen the most action in terms of catches with a lot of shad and other edibles coming out. With sardines finally available and most tackle stores, the shad have been given the best of baits to nibble on.

The basin and Addington beaches have seen a couple inedibles coming out. Blue rays and grey sharks have been the main fish landed, with a few diamonds in the mix.


South – The sardines have been consistently coming out along the Toti coastline and this is definitely the area to start looking at if you are lucky enough to spend a day chasing the action. The drone anglers have had all the luck with the sardines so far and they are the only ones that have landed the bigger sharks that are patrolling the deep. The gamefish have been scarce and only a few garrick and kingfish have come out. The kingies have been real trophies with some of the blacktip kingies pushing the 10kg mark!



Frost is starting to make an appearance in the mornings, making getting up early that bit more difficult. The fish are there, waiting to be caught…

Bass – Further inland, there have been some real trophy bass landed. Not to be left behind, the KZN dams have also produced some cracker bass that have needed the anglers to lift with their legs. Crankbaiting has been a fantastic method to cover a lot of water and generate a reaction bite even if the fish aren’t feeding. Midmar has consistently produced big fish. Alberts and Inanda have also had their share of success over the past few weeks and are worth the drive.


Carp – The carp fishing at this time of year can be spectacular. This is the time to catch your new personal best. Social media can be a great help here in determining where and when the fish have been coming out. Remember to always trust your eyes when you get to the water’s edge and fish where the fish are. Apply the buffet theory in your feeding to keep the carp interested. This means feeding the area with multiple baits and not just mielies or boilies. Adding a multitude of sizes, textures and tastes will get more fish interested and will not make the carp wary of a particular item. All of the bigger dams have been fishing well with Nagle producing some proper fish over the past week. Shongweni is doing incredibly well and is a venue worth looking in to.


Trout – The trout fishing has been epic. There have been multiple anglers breaking their previous personal bests and a handful of the fish have pushed over the magical 10lb mark. If you are wanting to catch a big trout or best your PB, this is the best time of the year. The “best fly” is a challenging question to answer. Egg patterns certainly have their place in the box but the ever-faithful woolly bugger is still the best choice when it comes to selecting a single fly to use. If you are planning a trip, all the big venues will be fishing well at this time of year. Speak to your closest Kingfisher branch and they will be able to tell you what is happening where. Tight lines and screaming reels.


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