FISHING REPORT 25TH OCTOBER ’19

With some better weather and some incredible catches, this past week was definitely one to wet a line!

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

(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8f8U0GjLGWFaEiUjs-n01w/videos).

Ray’s tip: Leaders. A leader is generally a section of heavier material joining your main line to your lure or trace. Nylon and braid are both used for leader material. Braid as a leader has the benefit of lack of stretch and smaller knot size for heavier breaking strains. Nylon has the benefit of better abrasion resistance and stretch (sometimes it’s a good thing). The most popular knots for joining the leaders to the mainline are FG, PR, figure of eight, double uni knot and the French knot to name a few. Make sure there is not too much of a jump in diameters between the leader and main line if you are attempting to throw long distances. A big jump in diameters can cause tangles and break-offs.

Offshore:

The offshore fishing is still going a bit slowly but the summer fish are starting to make an appearance, with a few dorries already boated.

North – The north continues to draw the majority of anglers looking for the summer game fish. Tuna have been the main catches up north for the game fish anglers. The great news is that a couple of dorries have made their way in to the hatches. For the dorries, your best bet is a frisky live bait on a circle hook. This can either be slow trolled or pitched at floating debris. Lures are the next best with a variety of different methods. Poppers and plugs can be worked near surface debris to see if anyone is home. Alternately, you can troll lipped or skirted lures to locate the fish. Remember that dorado love pink!

Central – The central section of KZN also produced a couple of dorries and the same tactics as above will apply. The central coast has mainly been fished by the bottom fishermen. They have managed a lot of decent reds (slinger and soldiers) along with some bigger coppers and cracker. Please only keep what you can eat as these inshore reefs are not an endless supply cupboard, they will run out…The paddle ski guys have managed some lovely garrick and kingies over the past few weeks. These have mostly been targeted on the backline with live bait. A simple fluorocarbon leader with a suitable circle hook is all you need for the terminal tackle.

South – The south coast has been much the same as the central. The southern guys have managed a few more cracker. The bottom catches have also had their fair share of daga and geelbek in the mixes although these have mainly been at night. The bigger fish have preferentially gone for the bigger live baits and a flapped slinger is a surefire way to call the big one on. The rest of the bottoms have been taken on live baits, pota squid and sardines. Take a good amount of these on the boat and make sure you have your bait jigs packed.

Rock and Surf:

What a weekend! The last of the KZN Coastal Anglers Union Postal competitions took place over this past weekend. With clubs spread across most of KZN, the success was varied and some clubs did extremely well.

North – A few clubs fished from Tugela north and saw good results. One of the clubs managed a massive hit of raggies that saw them well in the lead. One lucky angler managed a kob just under 50kgs (a true fish of a lifetime). Very big congratulations on this catch and a tip of the cap for getting this beauty back to the sea a.s.a.p. The recreational anglers have managed some decent fish up north with plenty of inedibles coming out on the north coast. Mackerel and redeye sardine are the two must-have baits at this time of year and will allow you to target any of the toothy or flat giants. The north coast has also produced a lot of kob and snapper salmon, so if edibles are your cup of tea, there is place at the table up north.

Central – Some of the clubs fished the local waters with mixed success. The beaches produced some flatfish, mainly in the form of blue rays, diamonds and sandies. The most successful baits have been redeye sardines with mackerel coming a close second. With the netting of some very late Natal sardines in the Addington area, you can bet that the resident flatfish will be there to finish the scraps. On the edible side, it has been fairly quiet in the Durban area with not much being reported. Some garrick have been landed in the Blue Lagoon area but other than those, the edible guys have been quiet.

South – The teams who fished down south and in to the Transkei managed some very good scores with mostly inedibles making up the points. The south coast produced mostly flatfish in the form of brown skates, sandies and honeycombs along with a grey shark or seven. The Transkei produced kob and raggies. The guys fishing from the Bluff to Toti have continued on their success with the brusher. The mussel man crab continues to produce the bigger fish while mussels produce respectable results as well. The points and gullies have been producing some bronze bream and other scratching fish, but the action has been a bit slow. Hopefully the weather will settle a bit and give the fish a chance to relax.

Harbour: The harbour is fishing fairly well for both boat and shore anglers. The night time fishermen have managed a few walla walla along with bigeye kingies for the lure guys. The grunter have been on the banks tailing like mad but they are frightfully skittish at the moment so ultra light presentation is key. The daytime bites have been slow with plenty of rats and mice on crackers and some decent kingies on the lures.

News from Mtunzini: “The lagoon was busy with lots of species been caught namely River Bream, Spotted Grunter, Javelin Grunter, St Lucia pest or Tiger, River Gurnard and a nice size Baby Honey Comb Ray.  When handling any Ray please do not put your fingers in its Nostril (Spiracles) they are not handles nor must you turn them over, pull them out of the water just far enough to handle  them then using the line lift its head up enough so you can get a finger or 2 in its mouth to remove the hook, failing that just cut  the line as close to the hook as possible and let it go, in the ideal world one should squash the barbs when river fishing this does not lead to the loss of fish but makes hook removal so much easier. It is a myth that using barbless hooks causes you to loose fish, ask the anglers in the UK were barbs have been banned for some time, they still catch fish.

Apart from the action in front of Forest Lodge on Friday night, it was a very quiet fishing weekend with only Rats and Mice been caught early in the morning. Saturday afternoon was a dead loss so to speak in the 3 hrs. I was on the beach a Spinner came out way to the left of us. Chris had just put a big bait out about 300m from the main beach when a ski boat driving on backline passed us and picked up his line after a brief fight the Ski boat bust off.

On Saturday a lot of boats and Jet Skis went out and very little fish were caught however Sarel managed to catch some Tuna and a Dorado. Sunday it was a different story, Mathias and Merrimen went to the wreck first thing and were rewarded with Natal Snoek (Queen Mackerel) they were around 7kg apparently they were the only 2 vessels there, they were back in time to watch the rugby. Louis managed to get his first Brown Spotted Rockcod which is a rare species in our waters, he estimated it at 50cm and put it back, all of this species under 30cm are female and they grow to about 70cm, 30cm specimen weights about 1.5kg.

We are getting in some nice bait this week, big 30cm plus Mac’s, throw size Mac’s, some 30cm plus Chokka as well as nice Sard. The Chokka is excellent quality like we have not had for a long time and it was caught this season plus it is a lot cheaper than our previous stock.” Thanks Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for this report.

Freshwater:

The freshwater fishing has been firing on all cylinders. The bass have been feeding very well and aggressively on most lures while the usually relaxed carp have been charging around and feeding heavily.

Carp – The carp fishing has been good. The conventional anglers have been catching very good hauls at most of the KZN dams. Albert Falls has been the main attraction for the conventional anglers. The “best flavour” is always a hotly debated topic and can get most anglers in a spin. Make sure you have a selection of fruity, spicy, strong and sweet flavours in your box and you will be able to match what is working. Also, speak to the other anglers and see what they are catching on. Remember that they have put the effort in to figure out what is working, so be respectful when asking. The specimen anglers have been fishing two venues mainly over the past few months. Inanda has been the first prize with Shongweni coming in second. Inanda has been the pick of the dams for its mystery, number of carp and the size/ beauty of the fish coming out. Tigernuts have been the pick of the baits for the past while but a planned feeding regime and well set out feeding area with your selected bait will eventually pay off.

Bass – The bass are in full spring/summer mode and are feeding with proper vigour. If the early morning or late afternoon is warm enough, try your hand at some top water action. Poppers will be the best bet to slowly fish an active area, walk-the-dog lures will be the best intermediate lure to cover some water and buzz baits will be the first choice if you need to cover a lot of water fast for the rest of the day, jerk baits continue to be a great choice to get the bass feeding. Matching the hatch to the local fodder fish is your first choice with vibrant colours being second. On the soft plastics side, target the areas in the deep-water where there is anyone bit of structure. Try a whacky or drop shot presentation and see how well they both work at getting stubborn fish to feed.

Trout – The trout fishing is still going very well with multiple anglers landing personal best catches over the past few weeks. The current weather conditions have seen a deeper and slower presentation performing the best. Jointed/articulated minnow patterns have taken the streamer world by storm. Not only are they amazing to tie, they are also extremely deadly. The inherent movement allows for slower presentations while still creating enough movement to entice a bite. Olives, greens and browns will be the first choice for streamer colours in order to match the fodder fish. The streams are also fishing well and if you prefer to fish with a 2wt rod instead of fishing with a 10cm plus streamer, head to the berg and see what an amazing day you can have on one of the many rivers. Take a selection of small black nymphs and natural dry flies, and you should be able to tempt even the most selective wild brown.

News from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – HOT-COLD HOT-COLD … does it sound like I am repeating myself here…?  The Weather Gods are surely driving around in circles … and driving us dilly at the same time.  After the 40deg heat of last week and the weekend, The Midlands was rather chilly again and almost felt like there was snow about!!!

Happy to report that the “Springs Rains” appear to be trying to get a nose in … The Midlands has had a few sprinkles in the 4-5mm range, with reports from higher up closer to The ‘Berg up to 20mm, and is looking somewhat greener.  But the rainfall(s) appear to have been very local and confined to a valley here and there, and not widespread across the catchments as we desperately need.

As a result, the rivers are still very thin, and dam and Stillwater levels are dropping fast: Mearns Dam is on 63%, and Spring Grove Dam, now at 50%, is being used to maintain Midmar at a healthy 93%, while Albert Falls is sitting at 34% … not a good state of affairs and we can but hope that we get some GOOD rains sooner than later.

On the trout front: it’s not pretty out there, but for those in desperate need of a fix, there are fish to be had; in fact, some of the returns from both river and Stillwater show excellent catches.  BUT trout don’t like the heat, and when the heat gets as oppressive as it has been of late, I find no inclination to go fishing at all.  Instead I am squirreled away at the bench fly-tying … and hoping for rain … so a suggestion is to do the same … and wait for the rain.  With the waters low and warm, releasing fish will be a questionable practice anyway.  And when the rains come, I will have a Celebratory Ale!  Maybe even two!

On the bass: there are some great fish in the being reported from Albert Falls in the 1.5 to 4kg range.

With the warm weather, the first reports from Sterkfontein are starting to filter in – if the heat wave continues, pretty sure the fishing will start firing of all cylinders shortly.  While the rivers are low and clear, the Scaly (Natal Yellowfish) action is still going strong.

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.

The latest series of Hier Gaan Ons Alweer (18) with Petri de Wet premieres on Mondays at 17:30 on kykNet, channel 144. There are also a number of repeats during the week, Tuesday at 09:30, Wednesday at 10:00, Thursday at 02:00 & 10:30, Friday at 14:30 and Saturday at 17:30. Series 18 runs for three months, ending on the 30th December 2019. As most of you know, Petri and his guests cover various angling styles (fresh and salt water) in and around Southern Africa. Tight lines and screaming reels.

 

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Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za.

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