The annual Kingfisher Shad Competition has begun (as of the 1st of August). This competition runs for the months of August and September. The competition is for the three biggest shad weighed in at any of the Kingfisher branches. The shad must be fresh and not frozen. There are amazing prizes for each month so get your spoons and sardines and get an early entry in! First prize is a Daiwa BG 5000 spinning reel, loaded with 30lb Daiwa J Braid valued at around R3000.00, second prize is the Poseidon Coastline 3 piece surf rod with two extra tips valued at around R2200.00 and third prize is the Daiwa Laguna 5000 spinning reels valued at around R1100.00. Guys, please remember that the bag limit for shad is 4 and the min size is 30cm. The results as of the 14th of August are as follows: Hendrik Vorster 1st (4.9kg), Deepu Gayadin 2nd (4.2kgs) and Ricky Singh 3rd (3.85kgs). Awesome fish indeed, well done guys.

The past week has seen some very windy conditions but the mornings have been beautiful. The shad are keeping the peckers in check and the summer inedibles are starting to feed with a bit more ferocity.

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: Snoek. Go catch a snoek! You can do this either from the shore or from any boat. Shore-based targeting comprises of a 10’ 6” or longer spinning rod, a fast ratio spinning reel with some thin braid to throw the smallest spoons as far as possible. My suggestion would be the newly-released Daiwa Saltist 11” 6” Power Spin paired with a 4000 size Daiwa Saltiest grinder loaded with 15lb Daiwa J-Braid. This will allow you to throw the small spoons far enough to reach the snoek while the reel lets you wind the spoons in fast enough to attract the snoek’s attention. From the boat I would use the small reel but substitute in a shorter rod of around 8’, my choice being a rod with a nice soft tip like the Daiwa Saltist 7’ MHS (60-110G) to prevent hook pulls. Snoek love feeding in rips and current lines right behind the backline. Throw your lures or troll your fillet baits in this area in the early hours of the morning. Focus your attention around river mouths and you are guaranteed to up your chances of hooking one of these strong game fish.



The offshore fishing has been dominated by bottom fishing for the past few weeks. This is more due to the consistency of catches than the preference for this style. The game fish have been unpredictable but a few snoek and tuna have been landed.


North – The north coast has seen the most consistent game fish action in the form of snoek. These silver razors have been around most of the river mouths, patrolling close behind the backline looking for some small baitfish. Spoons cast in to the backline and retrieved rapidly out will be your best bet at fast action. Look for the activity in the form of splashes and jumping fish. Alternatively you can troll smaller lipped lures, Clark spoons or fillets in the same area. The north coast reefs and wrecks have also been producing good bottom fish catches for the charters and recreationals. The catches have been a mix of reds and rockcod. Live baits are the best bet for the bigger bottoms while chokka or squid will work for the smaller reds.


Central – The bottom fishing charters are continuing to have good catches of reds and rockcod during the day and daga and geelbek at night. To eliminate the amount of losses incurred while fishing (whether you are wagon-wheeling a red from 100m or trying to budge a stubborn gas bottle from under the boat) use the heaviest tackle you can. This will reduce the length of the fight but will increase your chance of landing the fish. Using stout rods, like any of the Poseidon Offshore Tuna rods, a 10” KP and 100lb braid for your bottom fishing and 30lb+ mono for the game fish is the best way to bring in your catch whole. The Durban area has seen snoek caught off the Umgeni river mouth in the early morning but the rest of the game fishing has been rather quiet. The only offshore game fish to get to the gaff has been a few tuna. These have mostly been on live bait but a few have fallen for a popper.


South – The upper south coast has been plagued with smaller shad on the bait marks. These undersize shad can be a real problem as they generally destroy your bait jigs. Using jigs with longer shank hooks or thicker hook snoots is the only way of getting past these fish. Alternately you can move… The tuna have been few but they are on the bigger size, so it is always worth putting out a live bait on a trap stick wherever you stop. A 6/0 circle hook (Mustad Tuna circle) on a good fluorocarbon hook snoot will be the most useful trace for tuna on the drift or slow troll. Port Edward has seen some decent bottom fishing action with most of the dedicated guys returning with a few reds for the pot. Chokka is still your best choice for bait as it stands up to the peckers while pilchards give off the best smell for the larger fish but they are more sensitive to peckers.


Rock and Surf:

The shore-based fishing has been dominated by shad (lure and bait), garrick (mainly live bait) and snoek (lure). These three species have been coming out on the length of our coast with early morning being the best time to target all three.


North – The north coast has been the best spot to go to if snoek are your intended target. These fish can be a lot of fun to target as well as extremely annoying when they get lock-jaw. Read Ray’s tip above for more on targeting these game fish. The north coast has also seen more edible action in the form of scratching species in and around the reefs and ledges up north. The multitude of species available in these areas is vast. Chokka and prawn baits are your best bet at targeting all the different species. Double circle hook traces will be the answer to catching these fish and not getting snagged in the rocks. Have a look at Ray’s trace of choice on our YouTube channel for details on tying and fishing this trace.


Central – The beachfront has seen some edible action over the last week. The species coming out have been shad, pompano and snapper salmon. The shad have been 90% undersize and they have been a pest for anyone fishing for a bigger fish. Using Lycra cotton instead of latex can make the difference between your bait lasting 2mins or 20mins and this can be the difference between catching a fish or running out of bait early in the night. The pompano have been feeding well in the early mornings and the guys who have been successful have said that sea lice have been the most productive bait. Remember that these fish feed on the edges of sandbanks and right behind the shore break. Often making the change from a full throw to a lob over the shore break can produce a pull. There have been a few inedibles around the basin area. Blue rays and grey sharks are the two main species coming out, 6/0 circle hooks are the best bet for both of these species. Baits will vary but chokka and redeye are your number one.


South – The south coast has seen more summer fish than either the central or north coast. Sandies, honeycombs, grey sharks and the odd brown skate have been coming out along the upper south coast for the past few weeks. The fleshier mackerel and redeye baits have been the best choice for all these species and all nylon have been the way to go unless you want to target the greys. The lower south coast has seen an abundance of bigger shad that have been coming out in amongst the smaller guys. A small mackerel is the best bait for these bigger boys (unless you get your hands on a live pinky). Drift baits are working the best at the moment as they present a more natural bait. Remember the shad competition is still on so get out there and target some of those bigger fish.



The dams and rivers have been very kind to all the facets. The carp have been getting feistier by the day and the bass are attacking most lures with vigour. The trout are starting to slow down a bit with the warmer weather but great fishing is still to be had.


Bass – The bass fishing has been very good at most of the KZN dams. Inanda has been the stand-out in the reports received. The fish have been feeding on more imitative minnow patterns of late. Something that looks like the natural fodder of the bass is going to be the best lure to effectively target them. Jerkbaits have been particularly good but the crankbaits and spinnerbaits are still racking up the points. For those who prefer a slower presentation, soft plastics are the answer. Look at fishing a weightless fluke in the shallower grassy bays and hold on to your rod for some explosive action. If the fish do not want to co-operate with the faster methods, a slowing down and more structure-orientated approach is necessary. Look at pitching bigger soft plastics at trees and underwater structure. The closer you can get the better your chances of a big bite are.


Carp – A look at social media will quickly get the heart pumping. The carp coming out of the KZN dams are lighting up social media like a firework display. Shongweni and Inanda are the two best producing dams over the past few weeks and they should be at the top of your list if you are looking for your next trip. Tigernuts have been the best bait (although best is subjective). Any sweet flavour on these amazing specimen baits will have you quickly gain the carp’s interest. Banana, honey and pineapple are the three must have flavours in KZN for both the specimen and conventional guys. The bank/conventional anglers have shared in the success of the specimen guys. Although the fish have been smaller, they have caught a lot more of them. Fruity and sweet flavours in floaties or mielies are the baits that are producing the goods.


Trout – The trout fishing is starting to dip a bit but the fish are still feeding and fighting hard. The slightly warmer weather will see them seeking the embrace of cooler waters so your best chances are to find the deeper areas as these will hold more fish. The deeper water will be a more consistent temperature area as well as holding more oxygen in the water. Streamers are still my choice when it comes to chasing the bigger fish and particularly if you see a lot of minnows in the shallows. Zonkers have a lot of movement in them so are obviously a good choice but there are thousands of patterns out there that imitate minnows. Stick to natural colours such as yellows, greys and olives. Keep the flash minimal as this can often put the fish off. Never leave the smaller nymphs out of your box as you never know when they will get fussy.


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