The annual Kingfisher Shad Competition is in full swing. There are amazing prizes for September 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.  Remember your shad needs to be fresh to count (no frozen fish) and it can be weighed in at any of our Kingfisher branches.

The fishing has not been fantastic on the whole. There have been patches of the KZN coast that have seen some action, but the feeling on the whole is more hesitation than excitement when deciding where to fish.


Ray’s tip: Paddle tails are soft plastic lures in the shape of a fish (generally) with a flattened tail that vibrates (swings from side to side) as you retrieve the lure. They can be fished weightless or rigged on a jig head. The weightless version of using these lures is only really applicable in estuary and freshwater situations where casting distance is not the biggest issue. The jig head rigging allows you to cast the bait a lot further and fish the lure closer to the bottom. Paddle tails are particularly deadly for fish that hunt with their lateral lines (vibrations). Naturally then, kob and garrick are your main targets. This does not mean you cannot catch other fish using paddle tails. On the contrary! The list of species caught using paddle tails is very long; kob, garrick, shad, perch, blacktail, grunter, kingfish, flathead, electric rays…the list goes on. The key is to vary the retrieve and size of the paddle tail to mimic the natural forage. Check in next week for more details on kob…


The offshore fishing has been centered around bottom fishing and some game fish (mainly snoek and tuna). The fishing has been slow but rewarding.

North – The north coast has seen the bulk of the game fish action. This has been the case for the last few weeks so if you are wanting to go after the tuna in the deep or the snoek in the shallows, north is the direction you need to head. The snoek have been finicky in the past few weeks. They have been eating the smaller spoons more so than the fillets and lipped lures. My personal choice is trolling a Clarke spoon and a small Strike Pro Arc minnow. Keep an eye on our YouTube channel for a video on these lures. The tuna have preferentially gone for live bait and have not been very interested in lures…

Central – The central coast around Durban has seen plenty of early morning action with the snoek. These little…picky eaters have had people pulling out their hair. The Umgeni river mouth has been the pick of the spots and has seen plenty of boating activity in the past week. The snoek have been there but have not been eager to eat. A small silver spoon retrieved through the surf zone at a rapid speed is your best chance at one of these. The rest of the boats off Durban have focused their energy on bottom fishing. There have been some amazing fishing coming out including some beautiful crackers and coppers. Please consider releasing these majestic fish if you are lucky enough to catch one. They are very slow growing and are the apex predators on the deeper reefs. Live baits and bigger dead baits are the best options for these bruisers.

By the way guys, conservation is what it’s all about and there is information available so you can make informed decisions as to what species are needing our protection and which can be safely consumed and the SASSI website does a fantastic job of doing that and it’s really easy to do if everyone downloads their app onto their phone so they can immediately check the fish they’ve caught. The app can be downloaded from their website here: – 

South – The south coast continues to be a very quiet zone. Much of the same as the two zones above applies. The Aliwal Shoal area has seen some of the boats get stuck in to the bigger pelagics but on a whole, the game fishing has been very slow and the anglers are eagerly awaiting the summer weather. The bottom fishing on the south coast has been very good. Reds and rockcod have made up the bulk of the inshore catches while the boats heading deeper have hooked up to cracker, daga, geelbek, coppers and amberjack. Most of these have been landed but the bigger boys have beaten the KPs and left the anglers with some bruised knuckles.

Rock and Surf:

The rock and surf fishing along the KZN coast is starting to pick up. There are still plenty of edible fish around although the action has been patchy. The grey sharks are keeping the inedible guys busy while the occasional flatfish has seen people sweating and aching.

North – The north coast has been seeing a lot of edible fish coming out. The upper north coast has seen an influx of smaller kob at most of the river mouths which has attracted its fair share of fishermen (and poachers). These fish are eagerly eating almost anything put in to the water but have shown a preference to chokka when the bites slow down. Circle hooks are a great advantage here as you can release the fish you catch once you have reached the legal limit. The deeper points have seen some inedible action in the form of early-season sandies and a lot of grey sharks. The sandies have mainly come out during the day while the greys only really come out at night. The baits for the two are much the same with chokka, red eye sardine and mackerel being the best choices for frozen bait.

Central – The central coast has been rather still. The drone anglers have been having their fair share of success but the fish have mainly been smaller inedibles. The shad have gone off the bite on the central section of KZN but there are still a few coming out in the early mornings. The beachfront has seen a few smaller grey sharks and diamond rays come out at night but the action has been rather slow. Fresh bait and fishing in the deepest water you can find have been the best choice to get a bite.

South – The south coast has seen more shad the north and central combined. The action has not been spread along the entire south coast and some areas have seen very little action. The upper south has seen enough shad to feed the entire Durban population whereas the lower south has seen only a handful. There are still garrick coming out on live baits and the deeper water points have been producing a lot of musselcracker for the guys actively targeting them. Muscleman crabs and mussels are your best baits to use for these strong fish.

Harbour – The harbour has been fishing very slowly over the past few weeks (hence the lack of reports). The mullet are still in their numbers and catching them is great fun, especially on the lighter setups. White bread and a float is all you need (with a hook of course). The banks and channels have seen some action but in general the fishing has slowed down. The grunter are around but the fish have been on the smaller side of the spectrum. The artificial anglers have been seeing great results in the deeper areas of the harbour with kingies and springer making up the bulk of their catches. Use the lightest and smallest lures you can get away with as this will give a better chance of a bite. Have a look at the new range of Daiwa Prorex lures!

News from Mtunzini: “The best fishing time over the weekend was Saturday morning and those that went fishing got some Shad and Pompanos. A big whale bone wash up at Doggies and then towards Garlands a young whale washed up, 3 guys from Durban went and dropped baits behind the carcass yesterday morning but I have not heard if they got anything, they should have as the sharks had started feeding on the carcass. The said wash and wave size put a lot of guys off yesterday as it was very difficult surf conditions to fish in.

Last Sunday was the annual social held by the Mtunzini Rock and Surf Club and the Ski Boat Club with only Garrick to count. The anglers were ferried to the South Bank of the river mouth and the gathering of mullet commenced, this did not take long and everybody had a live bait and the fishing could begin (this was a bad sign as the rule of thumb is if there is a lot of mullet about the Garrick are not there). The surf was big with a strong side wash that subsided as the tide went out in spite of this Zurika Klopper landed a nice size Squaretail Kob, Susan Breedt managed a small Shad and that was it for the day, note both ladies fish for MAC well done to them, after a slow morning fishing wise the group headed back to the Ski Boat Club for the prize giving and a braai followed by a lot of “Keel Vas”. Due to the fact no Garrick were caught the Ski Boat Club retained the trophy for 8 years running. This is the amusing part 8 years ago one Garrick was caught by a Ski Boat Angler and for the last 7 years no other Garrick have been caught at this event. I must admit the banter between the anglers leading up to this event was great fun and it is nice to see the clubs having some fun together, long may it last. Thanks to Giel, Gawie and Michael for helping to organize the event and all the anglers that pitched and travelled far and wide to attend.” Thanks Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for this report.



The freshwater side of things has been much brighter than the saltwater. The bass are big and hungry, the carp are biting more frequently and the trout still think its winter.

Carp – The carp fishing is really picking up at all the KZN dams. The pick of the bunch has been Inanda. This dam has produced more “come look at this fish” photos in the last few weeks than any of the other KZN dams hands down! Tigernuts have been the best bait for these fish and with the warmer weather; you better pack a bit more feed as the fish are starting to feed with more gusto. Sweet flavours such as pineapple, strawberry, honey and molasses have been the best for the carp whether you are fishing conventional or specimen. Adding a good amount of any of these to your feed will have the fish drawn in to your area in no time. The other KZN dams have also produced some good catches and Shongweni in particular has been very kind to the anglers. Much of the same applies to Shongweni as to Inanda with the exception that the barber there enjoy boilies, so if you want to avoid them, use smaller baits.


Bass – The bass are in full summer mode and are feeding. The faster baits and more aggressive actioned baits are starting to come in to their own in all the KZN waters. What a time to bring out some new lures. The Kingfisher has just released some amazing Daiwa Prorex lures including spinner baits and bladed jigs that are producing the goods. They are available at all Kingfisher tackle stores as well as stockists of quality fishing goods. The bass have been more mobile as the waters warm up and they are constantly moving between structure in search of prey. Keep a look out for the presence of baitfish on your chosen water and you will soon find the bass. When the heat gets a bit much, the fish will head for the cooler, deeper water and so should you.

Trout – The warmer conditions generally slow the trout fishing down, but it has not seemingly affected the trout yet. The fishing in the Stillwaters has still been on a high and some amazing fish have been netted in the past few weeks. The scaly fishing has really picked up and the pictures will have any fly fishermen drooling in anticipation for their trip up river. The trout have been more active on the surface as well and have been feeding heavily on the insect hatches. Keep your dry fly outfit close at hand for you never know when you need to flick a DDD at a rising giant. The rest of the time should see you working the deeper edges of riverbeds and reed beds with some streamers or tandem nymph rigs.

News from Jan, The Kingfisher in Pietermaritzburg – “As indicated in last week’s report, the mention of “the end of winter” got the weather gods fired up to send us a sting in the tail … also a case of wishful thinking (prompting…?), as we could do with some rain and a good snow dump up top of The ‘Berg to melt and feed the rivers/streams.

Last weekend’s opening of the Trout River Season revealed that there are plenty fish around, good conditions right through to the close of last season made for an excellent spawn.  The upper reaches are still very much of the low side, and fish up there are skinny – locked into the deeper sections with minimal food to share – so perhaps best to give the upper reaches a bit of a wait till we have had some input to the system.  With more deeper water, the fish lower down are in excellent condition, fighting fit and feisty!  Water temp is just over the double figures (11 deg.C), so the fishing takes a wee while to get going while the bugs unfreeze from the night…but by late morning, the dry fly action was what it’s all about!…Elk-hair caddis and para-RAB (emerger) doing the damage, while the nymphers were on GUN’s and PTN’s.


Stillwater temps will also be increasing now, and fish will be going into post-winter feed.  Larger flies woolly buggers, minnows and dragonfly nymphs will be the order of the day.

With the spring bass spawn in full swing, reports indicate some good fish being caught at Albert Falls Dam.  No reports from Midmar as yet.

The Scaly (Natal Yellowfish) fishing is still very much on the go – anglers taking advantage of the low and clear river conditions before the rains.  No reports on any dry fly action, nymphs current where the action is; e.g. Zak, PTN Hotspot, GRHE and Crystal Thorax.

Dam levels are looking good : Mearns just shy of 70%, Spring Grove sitting on 66%, Midmar at 96% and Albert Falls at 40% – let’s see the summer rains bring them to capacity.

We look forward to seeing you in your favourite Kingfisher Tackle Store to assist you with the VERY BEST in tackle and advice!” Thanks Jan.

Tight lines and screaming reels.

The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00,

Saturdays 8:00 to 13:00.


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