FISHING REPORT 22ND NOVEMBER ’19

The season of sales is upon us, Christmas is just around the corner and the fish are starting to bite with more regularity. The shad season opens on the 1st of December so please put all of them back before then and stick to the bag limit once the season opens.

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: Spoons! With the wide variety of spoons in most tackle shops, the selection of the “right” spoon can be daunting. Spoons are made out of a variety of metals with lead, copper and tin being the most popular. Spoons are also made in a wide array of shapes, but the basics are bent and straight spoons. Bent spoons are designed for a slower retrieve where their shape creates a lot of vibration and flash as they flutter. Straight spoons do not generally have any built in movement and need to be retrieved rapidly to produce a strike. There is no such thing as the perfect spoon for everything so make sure you get the best spoon for the intended target species.

Offshore:

The ski boat and paddle ski anglers are starting to get very excited with the arrival of the dorado introducing some variety to the usual tuna-dominant catches.

North – The north has been the place to go if you want a gamefish slam of any kind. Anglers have been landing 6 species or more per trip which is phenomenal. The sailfish are around and many anglers have been lucky enough to safely release these beautiful fish after an epic fight. Please remember that their bills are very rough so use a cloth of sorts when handling them by the bill. When you are caught unprepared, your best backup will be your cap. For the most successful methods, your choice is up to you. Trolling skirted lures in the deeper waters can often get the bigger sailies, while lipped lures or live baits generally produce better results for the fishing ski anglers. Dorado and sailies really enjoy a pink or purple lure so make sure you stock up on your favourite Kingfisher Rattler before the hordes scoop them all! The dorado have also been making an appearance up north and any of the methods for targeting sailfish will work for them too.

Central – Much like the north, the summer gamefish are starting to become a regular occurrence on social media. Dorado have been the cause of much excitement in the offshore fraternities. The purple and pink Kingfisher Rattlers have been flying off the shelves, so make sure you get yours before the season kicks in to high gear. The bottom fishing crews have been ticking along with some very consistent catches but nothing major to write home about. The best of the lot have been some nice black musselcracker off the deeper reefs. The rest of the catches have been mainly red fish such as soldiers and slinger. Those who have put a trap stick out while bottom fishing have managed some decent fish and some proper hidings. The kingfish are around at the moment and they love a helpless looking live bait.

South – The south coast has seen quite a lot of baitfish action. The influx of freshwater and debris has made for some lovely colour line fishing and pitching of live baits to floating objects in hope of a dorrie. Slow trolling your live baits along the colour lines is probably your best bet at any of the game fish. This is because the baitfish in the area see the colour line as a wall and therefore do not cross it. This concentrates the bait in an area and in turn calls all the predators in. The bottom fishing crews have (much like the Durban launchers) seen consistent results with plenty of fish to fill the hull. Remember that the copper steenbras season is still closed so limit your fishing in the areas known to hold them and do not keep them.

Rock and Surf:

The summer season is hotting up! The big flatfish and sharks are here to stay and with the north-easterly winds, the sea is calling all inedible anglers to use up their sick leave…

North – The north coast is your prime area at this time of year. If you are wanting to target the more summer-based edibles, then the ledges and sandbanks in the north are calling to you. Make sure you have a good supply of chokka and prawns at the ready and make some decent baits for the clean water. A chokka bait with a prawn cover is very difficult to pass up for any fish. As the water is generally very clean, make an effort to neaten your baits up and use little cotton. Also, fish in areas with some whitewater or fish at night. The inedibles have been feeding well in the north with some very big fish being landed over the past couple of weeks. The best bet for this area is three days of northeast wind and a clam sea. This combination will see you in the perfect setup for some giants. The banks and points will be best fished with fleshy baits and mackerel is going to be the best all-rounder.

Central – The central coast has been a mix of edibles and inedibles with each angler choosing their preferred target. The shad season is almost open so those that have been away from the sea for nearly two months need to prepare for the early mornings again. The beaches have seen a lot of edible action with stumpies making up the bulk of the catches. Prawn and cracker shrimp have been the best baits for these fish. The inedibles have been limited in the central zone, but the deeper areas such as Umhlanga Lighthouse or the beaches just south have produced the more consistent results. Much like the north, the fleshier the bait the quicker the bite. Look at making baits with a mix of mackerel and redeye sardine.

South – The south coast has seen some inedible action on the points. The bulk of the catches have been grey sharks but the drone anglers have managed to hook in to some bigger flatfish and sharks. Please make sure that you and your tackle are up to the challenge of these bigger fish as the fights can last a couple of hours. The bulk of the catches down south have been edibles. The gullies and ledges have produced some lovely edible catches over the past week. The main target has been the bronze bream but some anglers have managed a brusher or two. Pink prawn and cracker shrimp are your best bait hands down.

Freshwater:

The freshwater scene has been going well for all the facets. The carp and bass have been the highlight for the local anglers while those going beyond the SA borders have been smashing the tigers.

Bass – The bass have been feeding aggressively in most of the KZN dams. Due to the drop in water levels in some dams, your best bet is to focus your efforts on the deeper areas where the bass are likely to congregate. Fish these areas with your standard deep-water methods. The choice is either a Carolina rigged soft plastic (something like a lizard or bigger worm) or a deep diving crankbait. The cranks can be very effective, but only if you can reach the bottom. So make sure the depth range of the crank is slightly more than the depth you are fishing and that you are not using line which is too thick. In the shallower water, your best bet is a jerkbait, shallow crankbait or a bladed jig. The jerkbait will allow you to focus on a smaller area that you can fish slower. The erratic action will trigger bites from fish that would ignore other baits. If you are wanting to work faster through an area then a spinnerbait, crankbait or bladed jig is a better choice. Hazlemere has been producing some decent fish even with the low and dirty water. Inanda has been doing well for all the anglers that visit and Midmar is going well for the anglers that put the time in to figure out the patterns.

Carp – The carp fishing has been going great guns on all the KZN waters. Inanda continues to be the pick of the dams for both the specimen and conventional anglers. The conventional guys have been seeing great results with honey and caramel flavours in mielies and floaties. The flavour of the ground feed or mielie bomb is not of utmost importance, so don’t stress too much. The specimen anglers have reduced their fishing efforts slightly, due to the increase in the presence of smaller fish. The guys that are pushing through the hordes of smaller fish have managed to land a couple of giants. If you are wanting to deter the smaller fish, try some bigger baits and hooks that the small fish will not be able to get in to their mouths. Large boilies and groups of tigernuts are probably your best bet. These baits matched with size 2 hooks will allow you to preferentially target the bigger fish.

Tiger – The tiger fishing has been going very well for those fishing local and abroad. Jozini has been producing some better than average tigers. Spinners, spoons and fillet baits have been the best methods. Fillets have produced the most fish but the sizes have been on the small side. Spoons have produced the most consistent bigger fish bites while the spinners have been a mix of both. Those traveling outside of South Africa have seen the best of the tiger fishing with almost any method producing good sized fish. Live bait has seen the bigger fish landed.

Trout – The trout fishing has slowed down in the dams and Stillwater’s, but the higher altitude lakes are still producing trophy fish. Streamers are your best chance and hooking these bigger fish. If you prefer tying your own flies, try your hand at some articulated streamers and see the amazing movement they create. For those who prefer the burble of a stream and delicately presenting a size 18 or smaller fly to a wary river fish, your time is now! The streams and rivers are low, but the deeper pools are still holding a lot of fish. Try drifting some smaller dry flies through the riffles and then switching to nymphs in the pools. Remember that these fish are quite skittish and require a bit more finesse than their Stillwater cousins.

 

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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