FISHING REPORT 01 January ’20.

Another year has come to an end and the summer fishing has just begun. If you haven’t opened your summer account yet, you still have time.

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: Festive fishing! The festive season is renowned for its crowds and busy beaches. Please be conscious of other beach users and specifically other fishermen. Too many stories have filtered in of anglers (drone and casting) fishing over other anglers. Fishing etiquette is too often forgotten and is essential for all anglers to adhere to. There are a couple things to remember: It is first come first serve but this does not mean you can put out ten rods spaced wide apart to take up an entire beach. Pick a piece of water and fish it. Allow others access to the water. On the flipside, do not go and setup on top of someone else. If they have made the effort to get to the spot early, it is only right that you give them a bit of space and not setup your fishing tackle right next to them or behind them and fly your drone over their spot or cast over their lines (common sense). These rules are all the more important during the busy season. Be kind to everyone and see the difference it makes.

Offshore:

The sea has been very kind to most of the anglers. The weather and sea has been a bit unsettled lately so choosing your day to launch has been more important than what colour lure to pull. The summer game fish are here and the hatches are getting very colourful!

North – The north continues on its good run with plenty of fish coming to the gaff. The dorado and tuna have been the main catches for most of the coast but the north has yielded some other species as well. Anglers on skis or boats have managed some good hauls of tuna, couta, snoek, dorado and bottom fish. The snoek have been feeding in much the same way as the entire year with a fussy mood kicking in every now and then. A small spoon like the Kingfisher Anchovy will quickly see a couple of fish in your hatch. Fish these lures on a light spinning setup with a rapid retrieve for the best result. The rest of the game fish have all fallen for a combination of trolling lures until the hotspot is found and then switching to live baits.

Central – The central coastline has fished much the same as the north with snoek being caught in the shallower areas and couta and tuna on the deeper structure while the further offshore boats have managed some good dorado catches. The dorries have been on the smaller side but are still a lot of fun. A couple of beasts have been landed (over 20kgs) so make sure your tackle is not too light! The dorado are very fast growing and are able to handle fishing pressure a lot better than some other species (particularly bottom fish). Therefore we can highly recommend targeting dorado over other species. A host of lures will work for the dorries and sometimes they will grab anything. On other occasions one needs to be a bit sneaky and fish a well-presented live bait. The rig is much the same as when fishing for tuna. Use a 6/0 Mustad Tuna circle and rig it on some decent fluorocarbon (Siglon for example).

South – The south coast has produced some monster bottom fish! There have been a couple copper steenbras caught recently that have bigger teeth than a pit-bull! These are true trophy fish and deserve to be safely released after a couple of hero photos. There are plenty of other bottom species that are being caught, so chat to the local club guys to see where to focus your efforts. The rest of the south coast has seen plenty of tuna and a smattering of dorado. Luckily one can target both of them in the same way. Troll some skirted of lipped lures around the likely areas until you get a bite. Once you have found the best area you can either keep trolling through the spot or you can switch to live bait and drifting.

Rock and Surf:

Summer is here and the fishermen are in a state of euphoria as their reels sing the best song in the world…the screaming drag aria!

North – This is the area to focus if you are looking for the bigger inedibles. The north coast has and always will be the place to go target the bigger fish of the skate or toothy kind. For those who enjoy a chiropractor visit, there have been plenty of big sandies around the upper north coast. These brutes can quickly break inferior tackle so make sure you have checked all your connections and that you are not taking any shortcuts with your terminal gear. Those who are up for a real fight have been swimming some of the skates they have been hooking and these have been gobbled up by the packs of zambies. These are the UFC fighters of the shark world as they keep pulling throughout the fight. Those anglers wanting a little bit less can have plenty of fun on the points throwing smaller baits for the grey sharks and brown skates. Try a redeye sardine bomb on a working bank!

Central – The central zone has been a lot busier than the north with the holidaymakers making full use of the warmer weather. The best fishing has been on the quieter beaches and piers so avoid the busy areas as it is not worth the headache. The evening bites have been good for the edible and inedibles anglers. The pompano and stumpies have been feeding well during the evenings with the stumpies feeding in to the night. Try a prawn and cracker bait to get their attention. The inedible anglers have also managed some good action at night with plenty of grey sharks and some brown skates. These are great fun on the 30lb tackle so leave the big stick and try fighting these feisty fish on the lighter stuff. Redeye sardine and chokka are the baits of choice for both of these.

South – The south coast has seen a lot of holiday action with a lot of bathers making the most of the sunny weather. This is not ideal for us fishing folk but there is plenty of sea to fish. The deeper banks have been producing some giant flatfish for the drone anglers. These guys are dropping whole chokka or bonito and have been hooking some giant thorntail and honeycomb stingrays. These bruisers are not for the faint of heart or tackle so make sure you have a decent rod and reel to handle the strains of these beasts. For the guys fishing for the pot or the smaller fish, there have been plenty of shad around in the early mornings. Spoons and bait have been effective. The bronze bream have also been around so make sure you have some prawn in your bait box.

Harbour The harbour is producing some proper fish for the artlure anglers. The surface action has been wild for the past few weeks. Make sure you have a good selection of poppers in your box as there have been plenty of springer, oxeye tarpon and seapike all of which love to smash a lure off the surface. There have also been plenty of grunter and smaller kob for those fishing with crackers on the bottom. Remember that the harbour means light fishing so make sure your line to your hook or lure is as light as you can go and you will definitely get more pulls. Also use a smaller lure.

News from Mtunzini. You might beturned away at the entrance of the park and this could be because the park had reached its capacity of 75 cars, this will probably happen when there is a huge influx of day visitors, to avoid this go in early i.e. before lunch time. The Pick Handle Barracuda are taking baits so it you are spinning or trawling put a short piece of wire on your lure or bye bye R70.00, they have very sharp teeth. Although the Stumpies are just making size they do not have much meat so if you don’t mind put them back so they can get bigger.

On the surf side the main target was Diamonds, of which few were caught however fishing in a South wind is not ideal for these specimens. Some nice big Shad were caught as well as Kob around 54 to 57 cm just not making size one of 72cm was reported. A few days ago, Chris managed a Java Shark of 88kg, these sharks are not very common and are very similar to a Zambie and one of the easiest ways to tell them apart is the first Dorsal Fin is 3.2 times longer than the second Dorsal Fin, also the skin of the Zambie is very rough (like most sharks) but the skin on a Java is slimy. Some Milkies were also reported so they seem to be back after a long absence. The Spotted Pompanos I have seen are a pretty decent size and they are more easily caught in shallow water or on sand banks try using a small rod and cast in maybe 20m with a number 1 hook even put 2 hooks if the wave pulls back and you bait is exposed leave it there as the Pompanos come in the next wave and even swim on their sides, have fun. Thanks Nic Maitland fromMtunzini Fishing Shop for this report.

Freshwater:

The freshwater fishing has been superb! The carp fishing is doing well for specimen and conventional anglers while the bass guys are slaying personal bests every day!

Bass – The bass fishing has been going wild over the past couple of weeks. The summer heat has got all the fish in to a feeding mood so if you are keen on getting in to the sport of bass fishing or looking to break your personal best, now is the time to get out there and catch some fish. All of the KZN dams are fishing well. Inanda has probably been the most consistent of all the venues with the weekly reports having plenty of bigger fish. Lipless crankbaits have been the most successful of the baits. Fishing these noisy baits in a yo-yo motion on the drop-offs has been deadly. The rest of the KZN waters (Alberts, Midmar, Nagle and Hazlemere) have all been fishing well so there is no bad venue at the moment. The festive traffic will be the only real consideration as the bass (and any other fish) do not enjoy a lot of boat traffic. So find the quieter bays and deeper areas to fish. While the bass are feeding as well as they are, it is a great time to try out some different techniques to gain some confidence. If you have a technique in mind that you are unsure of, now is the time to give it a go.

Carp – The carp side has been mush the same as the bass. There have been plenty of hungry fish around. Albert Falls has been the pick of the venues for the conventional anglers with almost no anglers reporting a blank trip so far. Make sure you have some sweeter flavours in your box to entice the smaller fish to your spot. Tutti frutti is a top pick at the moment and should be in every box. Mix the concentrate in with your feed but remember that it is a concentrate so add small amounts. If you can get your hands on hempseed or molasses, add these to your feeding area to keep the fish there. The specimen anglers have slowed down but the action is still there. Tigernuts are still the favourite bait for the bigger specimens. With the smaller fish being more prevalent, make sure to add plenty of smaller particles to keep the fish feeding long.

Trout – The trout fishing is still going well. The warmer weather has made the lower altitude venues a little bit slow with the deeper water being the only place to still hold bigger fish. The higher altitude venues are still going well with plenty of bigger fish being caught on a regular basis. Damselfly nymphs are full up at the moment so make sure you have a few different patterns in the box to imitate these. The keys are a slim body with a wiggly tail and big eyes.

The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Saturdays 8:00 to 13:00. 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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