Sardine! Sardine! Sardine!

The little silver morsels finally made a showing on the KZN coast. The first official net being pulled by Daiwa ambassador Jace Govendor. Check out



Ray’s tip: Tackle up right. If you are targeting blacktail, then a 7ft rod is more than adequate. When you are targeting sharks, you cannot use a scratching stick. It will only end badly, for you and the fish you hook. So, fortunately and unfortunately we need to have more than one rod to fish our coast. During this time of year with all the giants of the deep coming within targeting range, you need to significantly up your tackle. Sardine run fishing is Dogfight country…



The sea conditions have not been great and the sea has flipped a few boats that have rushed the launches. Please be safe out there and make sure you study the water before you launch.


North – The north coast has produced some good fish in the last week. The couta are still scarce but a couple of lucky anglers have boated a few. Live mackerel have been the bait of choice for all these fish and if you want to stand the chance of catching a few, best you get some in you livewell. If you are struggling to get your hands on livebait, add some bait on to your bait jigs. Also, for mackerel, use a heavier sinker to avoid tangles.


Central – The Durban area has been quiet. The odd tuna has come out but the other gamefish have been lacking. The tuna have come off the bait marks on livebait drifted on a trap stick, or by trolling lures around these areas. The bottomfishing has been very good. The charters, recreational and commercial anglers have all seen good success. Pota squid remains the best bait in terms of affordability and success rate. Sardines are at a premium at the moment but are always essential on the boat.


South – The south coast has been the focus of everyone’s attention. Now that the sardines are here (and there) we should start seeing some more action with them. The south coast has had a few couta and tuna but the pickings have been slim. Trolling lipped lures has been the best method down south. The Kingfisher Rattler range has been the pick of the lures. The green back and all black have been the two most successful colours.


Rock and Surf:

The sardines are here and should continue to “run” with the current weather forecast. This weekend does not look fishable, so spend some time prepping your tackle.


North – The north coast has been an edible hotspot. The fishing in Zululand has changed from inedible to edible and the catches are still amazing. The variety of edibles being landed is too long to list. Chokka is the bait to use for these fish as it is by far the most adaptable bait. Blob baits and slim chokka tentacle baits are the two main baits to use. Fish the ledges at low tide and the working banks at high tide.


Central – The central coast has seen a lot of shad activity in the last week. The upcoming arrival of the sardines should send the shad in to a frenzy. The piers have produced plenty of edible fish with the main culprits being blacktail and stumpies. The bait of choice has been a mix of prawns and sealice. These natural baits mix very well together and are deadly for most rock and surf species. The beaches have seen a few grey sharks and blue skates but the activity has been slow. Fleshy baits are beat for these species.


South – The south coast is the focus of all the attention at the moment. The sardines have arrived and the first nets have hit gold (or silver). This is the most exciting time to go fishing on the coast as all the activity is centered around the sardine shoals, so finding fish is as easy as finding the sardines (look for the crowds). Fishing in the sardines is done by either throwing lures for the edibles, jig and drop for anything or specifically targeting the giant sharks that accompany the shoals. Tackle up and head south!



The winter chill is in the air and the nights and mornings are a freezing affair. Prepare for the cold and you could see yourself enjoying the peace and quiet that winter camping holds, oh and some big fish.


Bass – The bass have been a mix of summer and winter. The dams further inland have seen the proper cold and thus the bass are in a slower, more winter mood. The coastal waters are warm enough to stay in at a semi-summer activity rate all year. This being said, the fishing has slowed down in most of the KZN waters. Finesse tactics and slower actioned baits have seen the bulk of the success. Drop shotting with one of the straight-tail worms from the Kingfisher Reaction stable will see plenty of bass to the boat. Fish these slowly with plenty of wiggle. Colour choice is easy, keep it natural.


Carp – The winter time is specimen time. The colder months of the year see a decrease in the activity of the smaller fish and more bigger fish able to get to your baits first. The colder months are beast fished with stronger flavours. That is both specimen and conventional anglers. Garlic, cinnamon and fishy flavours are all deadly at this time of year. Make sure your baits are visible and more attractive than the surrounding feed. Remember your eyes are your most important tool and carp fishing is 90% about location. See the fish and fish where they are.


Trout – The Stillwater’s are hotting up (in terms of action). The colder water has pushed the trout in to overdrive and the fish at this time of year are strong. The spawn is also upon us so make sure you have a few egg and blob flies in the box. The eggs can be fished stationary while the blobs can be fished with a bit of action. For the rest of the fishing, you can still nick on off the surface if you keep your eyes open for activity. The best bet is to fish the larger suggestive patterns around old riverbeds and deeper channels. The bigger fish are around so don’t be afraid to up your tippet thickness.



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.


News from Jan at The Kingfisher in PMB – “Well, so much for me trumpeting that we are over the Winter Solstice and on our way to SUMMER…I guess that was an invitation for the Weather Gods to bring the sting in the tail!  The frontal system just passed brought some light snow to the southern end of the ‘Berg and The Midlands was properly fresh!


June was a busy month with every weekend holding a trout fly fishing event – while the fishing was somewhat on the slow side as winter set in, there were some great fish recorded, good numbers of fish 50-60cm / 20-24inches and over, with the average size around the 40cm / 15inch mark.


There is only 1 event scheduled for July – Leg3 of the TOPS Corporate Challenge will take place over the weekend of 25-28 July…we should expect some fireworks as the fish will have had a good rest by then!


While the fishing slow down over the winter months, it must be remembered that the fish MUST still feed.  With spawning shenanigans going on, this will put the fish in the shallows…a perfect opportunity for sight fishing and actually getting a visual on the fish taking your offering (and rejoicing) … or rejecting it (and trying another) … as the case may be!  Anglers tend to favour smaller and brighter flies at this time, at least a combination thereby offering the fish a range to choose from.


For the fly angler looking for a tussle, carp are a highly underrated target.  With the recent hatches, Albert Falls Dam has been providing some great sport on the dry fly as the carp mop up rafts of midge pupa and shucks off the surface.


Definitely on the slow, but for those in the know, winter is when the big (ger) bass and Natal Yellowfish (Scalies) come out to play for those prepared to put in the time on the water.  There have been a few good bass of 2kg+ coming out of Albert Falls Dam, and the lower reaches of the Umkomaas, Bushman’s and Tugela Rivers are where the yellows are to be found.


Don’t forget to visit your local Kingfisher store for the best tackle and advice!” Thanks Jan.

Tight lines and screaming reel.

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