FISHING REPORT 18th December ’19.

The year is almost at an end and Santa is getting ready to take flight…hope everyone has been good this year.

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: Buckets. Having a clean source of water next to your box to wash your hands after baiting up is essential. This water source can also be used to keep a live bait or two. A bucket is the best way of keeping water on the beach or rocks. Now buckets come in a variety of sizes and are made from all sorts of materials. The most popular are the collapsible type that are easy to transport. These are available at most leading tackle shops. If you are going to use a bucket that was used for something else, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned. If the bucket previously housed paint or chemicals, it is probably a better idea to buy a fresh one…Remember with any soft material bucket, do not drop your knife in the water to wash it…nobody likes a leaky bucket!

Offshore:

The sea is starting to clean up nicely after the heavy rains. The fishing has been going well for all those taking to the water with plenty of summer fish hungry and waiting.

North – The area from Umhlanga north has been the most productive section of coast for the offshore anglers. The sheer variety of species and the number of bites one can get make the trip up north worth it. Sodwana and Vidal are both fishing very well with very few anglers coming back disappointed. There have been quite a few billfish around, so if long fights and jumping giants is your things…better get all the tackle ready for work. The more conventional tactics have been producing plenty of game fish up north. Tuna have continued to be the main catches but the presence of dorado has made for some variety in the hatch. The odd couta has bee. Landed but overall it has been a poor couta season.

Central – The central zone has seen plenty of the jumping dorado this past week. With the water clearing up, the fishing will only get better. Look for any structure that breaks up the monotony of the vast blue ocean. This can be a floating object, an anchored ship or a colour line. Fish these areas with a live bait and you will quickly see if any dorries are home. Once you hook one, keep it in the water for as long as possible as the others will follow it around and thus be easier to see/catch. The copper steenbras have been around and those who have their secret spots have been hooking in to some giants. Please remember that these are slow-growing, long-lived fish so consider targeting other fish first and if you do go after them, make sure you have a release mechanism at the ready and please stick to your limits!

South – The upper south coast has been much the same as the central zone. There have been plenty of tuna keeping the guys happy while the dorado have made for a pleasant surprise. The tuna have been plentiful and those wanting to catch a fish or two for the pot are best suited targeting these pelagics. Live bait or lures will work. Lures in blues, purples or pinks are the best. The far south has seen some giant ambers, musselcracker and copper steenbras boated over the past week. These deep water beasts require the strongest tackle (available at all Kingfisher stores) and some muscle! Make sure you have a depth release at the ready to return any fish to their home and stick to your limits. A nice flapped slinger works wonders…

Rock and Surf:

With the summer heat comes the summer giants. This has been true for the past week with many big fish hooked and a couple landed. Fresh bait and northeast wind are the two main ingredients in the summer recipe.

North – The north coast has been the place to go hunt your next personal best inedible. From the Umgeni river to the Mozambique border. The deep water points and the beaches with broken sandbanks are your best choice for inedibles. The broken sandbanks allow the bigger fish passage through to the shallower areas to feed. Look for breaks in the waves and rip currents. These areas are hotspots for summer inedible action. The banks have not produced a diamond smash as yet but the season is still early. There have been plenty of raggies up north so make sure you take your FMJ traces with you.

Central – The middle section of KZN has seen a lot of bigger shad since the season opened. These fish have ranged from 2-6kgs and have mainly been caught while targeting the bigger summer fish. Some have fallen for lures but a whole drift mackerel or redeye sardine will be the best choice for targeting these. The summer fish have been around at Eastmoor, Blue Lagoon and the promenade beaches. Get your hands on the freshest bait possible and look for the deeper holes along the beach. The basin area has produced a lot of grey sharks and smaller flatfish. The occasional giant thorntail has also made for exciting fishing!

South – The drone anglers have been having great success along the south coast. The Toti area has seen some giants hooked over the past two weeks. Most of these have been thorntails and honeycombs and the fights have been long and arduous. Chokka has been the most productive bait for these big flatties and dropping distance has been around 200-250m. Once again, please make sure that you and your tackle are up to the fight before hooking the fish. The gullies and ledges along the south coast have been producing some good edibles for the scratchers. Bronze bream and stumpies have been the main catches.

Harbour:

The Durban Harbour is firing on all cylinders! Those who enjoy the lighter tackle lure fishing need to get to the harbour ASAP. The reports have been very promising. Kingies, shad, kob and flathead have been the main fish coming out, but there have been some springer landed (plenty hooked). The flathead are still around in big numbers and a lure fished slowly along the sandbanks will quickly see you in to a couple of these. Watch out for the spines on the gill plate! For the rest of the fish, a small lure fished with a fast, twitchy retrieve will work.

Freshwater:

The carp and bass fishing are going well for all the anglers involved while the trout fishing has dipped a bit, but still produces some surprise catches.

Carp – The summer feeding of smaller carp is phenomenal! They can graze a feeding area clean in minutes. The importance of adding smaller and larger particles to your feed is vital to keep the fish around. The smaller particles like hempseed will keep them rooting for hours. The bigger boilies are too big for the smaller fish to eat and will stay behind for the bigger boys. Sweet flavours are also very attractive to carp in the summer so try adding some molasses balls or blocks to your feeding spot. Overall the KZN dams have been fishing very well with both specimen and conventional anglers having good reports. Inanda and Albert Falls are the pick of the venues and should be high on your list.

Bass – New personal best! This has cropped up in more social media posts and reports lately. The summer heat and abundance of food drives the bass in to a feeding frenzy. Albert Falls has been the most productive venue for the past few weeks with numerous reports of big fish and large numbers of fish caught. As a shallower dam, it warms up quite quickly and can jumpstart the summer action. Fish the shallower sections in the morning with a noisy top water and shift offshore for the midday bite. Midmar, Inanda and the ever-popular Hazlemere have also produced some great catches this past week so if you can’t make the trip to Albert Falls, don’t feel like you are missing out.

Trout – As mentioned above, the trout fishing tends to slow down during summer. Warm water and trout do not mix well and they generally go in to a sulking phase when the water gets too warm. This being said, there are still plenty Stillwater venues producing good catches in the last couple of weeks. Focus on the deeper areas of the Stillwater’s and use some bigger streamers to get the big boys interested. The shallows need to be fished in the morning and evening. Make sure you have a terrestrial pattern tied on your floating setup as the fish can get focussed on beetles/grasshoppers when the wind is up.

News from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Be careful what you ask for they say … the catchments have received some good rains recently, and we are happy to report that the rivers have essentially gone from “Zero-2-Hero” in the space of a week.  As a matter of fact, the dry fly aficionado’s might even say too full and quick (for that perfect drift…), but hey, we’ll take it…it will slow down again in due course and then it WILL be perfect…

In the meantime, the rivers are getting a good flush and scour, which will remove any settlement that occurred during the low flows of winter and the spring drought.  The good flow will get the fish out of the pools where they have been locked down for the past while, and they should be moving about happily in proper feeding lanes.  For the dry fly guys – go bigger…a good size (e.g. #12) hopper pattern will do the trick and pull fish out of the quieter water and eddy’s in search of a decent bite to eat (for the flytiers, see “The Hopper Dry Fly” on the Kingfisher YouTube Channel).

The rains will also have given The Midlands Stillwater’s some much needed input, assisting in bringing water temperatures down a bit.  Reports from those anglers that have been out are that the fish are still holding deep.

Dam levels are now holding as a result of the rains, with Mearns showing a massive 20% increase from the water coming down The Mooi River; current levels are as follows: Mearns 88.7%, Spring Grove 36.7%, Midmar, 90.6% and Albert Falls 31.8%.

Albert Falls Dam continues to produce some good fish (accessibility no doubt aided by the low water level), with a 5.3kg bucket mouth being reported in the week.  This weekend sees the PMB Bassmasters Triple Skins Bass Challenge to be held on Albert Falls Dam on Saturday December 21st..  Registration takes place from 4:30pm on Friday 20 December at the PMB Bassmasters Club grounds. The next bass challenge will take place in February 2020.

While also on the low side, and in-between some seriously windy spells, Sterkfontein has been on fire of late, with some excellent fish being reported. The weather is the one to watch … after a 2-3 day spell of hot weather, and if the wind stays away, the NEXT day is the day to go.  The Good Dr’s Beetle has been performing well.

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 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.

The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Saturdays 8:00 to 13:00. A reminder that all branches will be open for trading all Sundays in December, 8:00 to 13:00. Tuesday the 24th and the 31st , 8:00 to 15:00. We will be closed on the 25th and the 26th December.

Go to www.facebook.com/thekingfisherdaiwa and “Like” us on Facebook to catch reviews, videos, fishing reports, great promotions and lots more. Please send any info about fishing, fish caught or competitions in your area to mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za.

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