FISHING REPORT 15 January ’20.

Another week passes in 2020 and we have had some fantastic fishing. The dorado and tuna are keeping the offshore guys busy while the shad, skates and sharks entertain the terrestrial lovers.

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.

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Ray’s tip: circle hooks and live bait. This is always an “interesting” topic that is hotly debated around the braai or bar. With circle hooks, you want the gape as unhindered as possible so the hook can turn in the fish’s mouth and set properly. If the bait gets in the way, it can actually push the hook out the mouth. We have found the best method is to use a small piece of Dacron as a loop on the bend of the circle; this is then used as a bridle and attached to the live bait with a cable tie through the top of the eye sockets. This method allows a lot of movement, keeps the bait alive for longer and is quick to attach for the more delicate species (redeye and bonito).


The offshore fishing has been on fire. Giant snoek, lots of tuna, some big hauls of dorado and big couta appearing now and then. What a time to be on a boat!

North – The north coast has been fishing very well for the fishing ski and Skiboat anglers. The inshore guys have been doing very well with the bigger snoek. These fish have been hunting the anchovy and sprat shoals that have moved in from Umhlanga to Zinkwazi. These small fish can get the bigger predators in a tizz with tuna and snoek throwing caution to the wind. Even in this mad rush for food the fish are still in a clued in on a certain size of prey item and they will not eat anything bigger than the fodder fish size. This is the perfect time to take out the box of Kingfisher Anchovy spoons. With the variety of sizes you can quickly match the fodder size. Once you land a fish, they will generally spit up a few of the sprats they are feeding on. Try matching your lure as closely to the size as possible. The rest of the north coast has been fairly productive with tuna, dorado and the occasional couta making up the bulk of the catches.

Central – The dorado have been keeping everyone busy. Although the sizes have been a little small with the average fish weighing around 4kgs, there have been some impressive fish landed that have gone over 20kgs! These fish have been caught on most methods with live bait proving to be the pick of the methods. Most of the guys have managed to find a school of these beautiful fish and then fished to them by chumming sardine or other fleshy baits. The dorries are a very sustainable fish to harvest so please target them over the heavily pressured bottom fish. The guys fishing around the big ships have also managed some bigger wahoo. Well they have managed to get them to bite…not all have been landed. The rest of the catches have been focussed around the schools of frigates that are around and the ever-present tuna.

South – The south coast has been very similar to the central section of KZN with quite a bit of bait action in the form of redeyes and mozzies. The mackerel shortage is still bad and if you do get, hang on to them! There have also been dorado down south with the average fish being a little bit bigger than those caught off Durban. Trolling has been the most successful method on the south coast with lipped lures being the most effective off the fishing skis and skirted lures doing the job for the boats. Colours that have been effective are the ever-popular purple mackerel, pink and red/black. Those fishing for bottom fish have managed some trophy black mussel cracker and red steenbras with a lot of fish going back (well done guys). The rest of the bottoms have been a mix of slinger and rockcod.

Rock and Surf: The catches have been a bit patchy but those lucky enough to be in the right patch have managed some amazing fishing.

North – The north has been the centre of the heat and the better inedible fish catches. The sandies and flatfish have been the main source of back pain for the past week. Mackerel has been in scarce supply so if you get your hands on any, keep them safe! The fleshy baits have produced the quicker bites but the location has been more important than the bait used. The fishing has been a case of location over conditions with bites coming in one spot only. Umdloti, Umhlanga and Westbrook have been the most productive spots on the north coast with consistent catches coming from all three. On the edible side, Seola point has had a great run of smaller kob. These fish have caused a big rush of fishing on the point with a bamboo forest reigning for most of last week. Chokka and sardine have been the baits of choice.

Central – The Durban section of the coast has seen a lot of shad action this past week. The piers have been the source of most of the action with the beaches between Blue Lagoon and Umhlanga also producing some action. Sardine has been the most effective bait over the past week fish a drift bait producing the bigger fish. For those wanting to fight some bigger inedibles, the deeper water spots like Eastmoor and the piers have been the most productive. The deeper water has held the cooler temperatures which has kept the fish there. Fleshy baits and fishing in the rips has been the key to success with plenty of flatfish and some grey sharks being landed.

South – The south coast has seen a lot of flatfish action for the throw bait and drone anglers. Illovo and Toti main beach have been the key spots for both with plenty of blue rays, brown skates, honeycombs, ribbontails, thorntails and the occasional hiding being hooked. Bonito and mackerel have been the pick of the baits with large baits producing quicker bites than smaller ones. The guys targeting edibles have had a lot of luck around the Winkelspruit rocks with shad falling for both baits and spoons. The early mornings have produced more bites than the rest of the day. The rest of the anglers fishing with lures have managed some very nice kingfish with blacktips making up the bulk of the catches but some beautiful bluefins also coming out.

News from Mtunzini. “On Saturday an angler got stuck into two very decent size River Snapper and yesterday his grandson caught a Pick handle Barracuda which was his first and not a bad size either, lots of other species were caught over the weekend making the lagoon the place to be, most of the catches were small Grunter. A few days ago we were talking about Grunter runs , I  think we still do but their numbers are so low nobody notices them, we do not catch many big ones so it is nice to see the amount of juvenile Grunter of all species in the estuary let’s hope they all make it to adult hood.

Surf fishing was awful last weekend with nothing really exciting caught, the Zululand angling clubs fished common venue at Port Dunford and not even a Diamond was caught, this could be to the water being too warm and it is. Main beach had a side wash and weed in the morning. I believe even the Banks were quiet, this is strange for this time of the year, I think it  was on Thursday that in the Port Dunford area a lot of Diamonds were caught then just like that they were gone.

Ski boat angling, there was plenty of action on Osprey this weekend with a Couta of 10.7kg boated Sjoen Davidson then caught a very nice size Indian Mirror fish also known as a Threadfin Trevally, not to be out done Nanook boated Couta, Yellow fin Tuna, a nice size Dorado and a Sailfish although the bottom fish were not plentiful they were of a decent size and Mieka is on the board with a Slinger of 1.7kg ,Wit Oliphant also caught some Square Tail Kob and Rockcod (most of the Rockcod were thrown back as they were just making size or smaller and no good to keep but also like the boats on Saturday they were taxed by sharks.  Antoinette on Havoc boated her first Dorado adding great excitement to the trip. This week we have consistently good weather for going deep sea fishing from the land the water looks good so many be more game fish will be caught in our waters”. Thanks Nic Maitland fromMtunzini Fishing Shop for this report.


The dams and rivers have been providing some good fishing for the past couple of weeks.

Bass – The bass fishing has been the highlight of the freshwater fishing. With the summer heat comes an aggression in the bass that makes for some amazing fishing. Search baits such as bladed jigs, crankbaits and spinnerbaits are all great options when it comes to fishing an area. This way of fishing covers a lot of water fast and quickly picks out the active feeding fish in an area. Once you have fished the area, you can come back and fish it more thoroughly with a finesse or slower tactic. In this way you target the active and reluctant fish. Overall the dams in KZN have been producing good catches of bass. Hazlemere continues to be one of the busiest venues and probably the puck of the venues for the bank anglers while Inanda and Albert Falls fight for the best boat angler venue.

Carp – The carp fishing is going along fairly consistently.  For the specimen anglers, the fishing has slowed down but the big fish are still there to be caught. Reports have come in of some fantastic fishing at Inanda dam. The use of an effective feeding area with a variety of particles will keep the reels screaming all day. Make sure you use proper traces and if you do not want to make them yourself, The Kingfisher stocks a wide variety of readymade traces for specimen and conventional anglers. Speaking of the conventional anglers, they have been doing very well at all the KZN venues. Albert Falls has been the pick of the venues with very few anglers leaving disappointed. The sweet flavours are working well with anything sweet or fruity producing bites.

Trout – The trout fishing has continued to tick along with mixed results. The rivers are fairly low at the moment so the guys who enjoy a babbling brook might need to wait for some more rain in the catchment areas. The dams and lakes have seen some decent fish landed. The warmer conditions do make for more difficult fishing but the fish are still there and they still need to eat. The windy days make for some amazing dry fly fishing. The wind generally blows larger insects (terrestrials) on to the water and the trout take full advantage. Look for cruising fish in the shallows and gently present a hopper or other terrestrial pattern. Lead the fish and he/she should come up and swallow your offering.

News from Peter Prince: “We had good fishing generally over the festive period at Rainbow with most fish being in the 1 to 1.8 kg bracket!

We’re still being bothered by numerous cormorants taking fish daily with both White Fronted and Reed cormorants being involved, together with three otter families to boot!

We still have some 4 to 5 inch fish surplus to our needs and can supply if you know of any interest.

Have a great 2020”! Peter’s number if you know of anyone interested is 084 622 2274. Tight lines and screaming reels.

News from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Pleased to be able to report that The Midlands has been on the receiving end of some PROPER rain over the last week – this has put a solid injection of water into the rivers and streams … flows are up, and more importantly, water temperatures are down.  The Mooi and Umngeni Rivers were pumping and coloured, while The Bushman’s River also came up substantially last week, but without any further input, tends to drop just as quickly and is usually clear in the upper reaches.

The Norwegians have the weather looking settled for the remainder of the week, so the rivers will be settling and in fine form for the weekend, after which there is more rain for the forecast form next week.  Which bodes well for the autumn fishing…

As for The Midlands Stillwater’s … the NFFC (Natal Fly Fishers Club) cap of 2 anglers per WEEK on all their Stillwater’s is still in effect while we wait for the temperatures to drop in these non-moving waters… many anglers have responded positively to the cap, saying that unless you fishing for the pot, practising Catch and Release in the current warm conditions will result in more kills than survivals.

Albert Falls Dam continues to produce, with a 4.2kg fish being reported by local angler Lashen Murugan while fishing from the shore in the week.  On the weekend, Lashen teamed up with Jayceman Naidoo and taking the boat for a spin, the pair landed some solid fish on lipless stick baits.  On the soft plastics, the demand for “anything watermelon” in colour continues.

After the angry windy spells, some settled weather had Sterkfontein looking her best and providing some good fish.  Sight fishing with #18 ant patterns and long leaders was the order of the day.  The Smallmouth yellows were out to play, and even a Mudfish (notoriously difficult to take on fly) taking a dry fly!

With the increased river flows, the local Scalies (Natal Yellowfish) should start moving shortly”. Thanks Jan.

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