FISHING REPORT 22 January ’20

The summer season is in full swing and the fish are enjoying the heat.


Ray’s tip. Hydration. With the summer, comes heat. Fishing for those big summer species on a hot north coast beach can be exhausting. People often pack all the best bait in to their box but forget to pack enough water. Dehydration is not fun and can quickly end a fishing trip. Make sure that you pack in enough water but also something with electrolytes. I favour water and a sports drink. Keep these nice and cold in your bait box and you will have a refreshing drink at the ready after you land the 5 diamond or so.


The frequent rains have pushed plenty of debris in to the water making attractive areas for the dorries. There are plenty around but they are a bit small.


North – The north coast has continued to produce fantastic fishing for all those venturing offshore. The lower north coast has been very kind to the paddlers with very few days having nothing to report. The Umdloti and Zinkwazi areas have been the most productive of the north coast with a lot of fish being caught. Couta have been the main target as the season has not been great. A few decent specimen have been landed. Snoek, dorado and tuna have been the alternatives. Live bait has been the best but lipped trolling lures have been getting plenty of action.


Central – The section of coast off Durban has been a real hotspot. The dorado have been the pick of the targets due to their high abundance. Trolling lipped or skirted lures has been the fastest way to find the fish. Once you have located the shoal, you can switch to live bait or chunk baits. These smaller fish that have been around are great fun on the lighter tackle but be ready for those bigger fish as they tend to hang around the smaller shoals. The anglers fishing for bottoms off Durban have had mixed results with a few decent rockcod, reds and geelbek being landed. 


South – The south coast has had a much better average size of the dorado being caught. Live bait, which has been much more readily available down south, has been the best method for landing these bigger fish. A 6/0 Mustad Tuna circle on some fluorocarbon is the way to go! The tuna have also been around the south coast with some specimens over 30kgs being landed. These fish have fallen for the same technique as those used for the dorado. The bottom fishermen have landed some very impressive black musselcracker. Fortunately most of these have been safely released.


Rock and Surf:

The summer season is one of the most exciting times to fish rock and surf. There are plenty of big fish hungrily waiting for a juicy bait.


North – The north has been the place to go if you want a bigger bite. The banks, Richards Bay, Seola, Zinkwazi and Tinley Manor have all produced great catches this past week. The banks have had raggies, diamonds, sandies and plenty of big zambies. The best bait has been mackerel and redeye. The zambies have favoured a live diamond but the hook up to land ratio has been low. For a general-purpose trace, look at using a FMJ trace of 120lb carbon-coated wire with a 9/0 circle hook. This will work for most species and the size of the hook can be changed depending on each species.


Central – The central section of KZN has been fishing well. The beaches have been very productive when the formation has been right. Deep water with a rip current has been the best area to look for if you want to go after those bigger fish. The Umhlanga area has been the most productive with sandies, honeycombs, grey sharks and plenty of smaller skates being landed. Smaller redeye sardine baits have been the choice of the baits for this piece of coast. Use a slightly smaller hook than you would up north. The shad have still been feeding in the early mornings.


South – The south coast has had plenty of edible and inedible action. The upper south coast has been the most productive for the inedible anglers with sandies, grey sharks and brown skates being the main species landed. Mackerel has been the most productive. Cutlet baits have produced the quicker bites. The edible action has been better further south with bronze bream being the main targets but stumpies, blacktail and kob have all been landed.

News from Mtunzini. “A member of the public called in to say the people were setting up gill nets, the Rangers responded and the net was removed, the parks board really do appreciate the public’s support in removing those death traps. There have been reports for bust ups in the river this week which makes us think we should take some heavier tackle use bigger baits and see what is out there, we think they could be big Rays as a nice size Brown Sting Ray was caught not so long ago weighing 7 Kg. We are planning a trip to the lagoon to see what we can catch and how many species.

Fishing was great on Friday night to early Saturday morning, a 80kg Honey Comb was landed by Willie De Jager at Port Dunford despite the chaos of DAFF appearing on the beach and people trying to hide their bakkies from them. Willem Randlehof and his mate got off to an early start at Doggies on Saturday and managed to bag 6 Brown Sting Rays, 1 Nice size Duckbill (a rare visitor)1 Honey Comb Ray 1 Kingfish, some Kob and Shad and an even rarer visitor a Baardman. The South came through at about 6 am and blew for the remainder of the weekend putting a real damper on things, the sea only calms down later in the week. It looks like the Turtle eggs that were laid in November are not going to hatch, they were meant to have hatched mid-January. The nest was monitored and there was no predator activity or poaching or maybe she did not lay any eggs at all.

Young Chris bagged 2 very big Zambezi sharks both been caught to the left of main beach, one weighed 327kg and the other was smaller at 209kg this the second shark had 7 Shad traces in its mouth leading to believe he was the culprit that bit the guys lines off, kind of scary to think he was swimming in the surf zone while people were bathing. We think the Zambies are hungry because their main food source Diamond Rays are not here in big numbers so they are taking dead baits even Sardines. I am getting loads of calls and Watsup messages asking where are the Diamonds and when are they coming, I have no idea, we have had odd days when quite a few came out but after all this hot weather since New Year apart from 1 day at Port Dunford when they were on the boil the odd one has come out. There are lots of small Shad coming out I mean undersize Shad, I think this is because there are not many Diamonds here otherwise they would have eaten them, we have always said the Diamonds come into the shore zone to eat these little fellas.

And then there was Pieter De Kok what a “Yster” on Wednesday he went out whilst launching he dinged his prop on a log but still returned home with a 33.8kg Couta which was recorded and put on the board, it is going to take some doing to beat that, it was caught at the “Bumps” i.e. Gerries, Pats and Edwards area. This week saw a lot a vessels heading out to sea as the Snoek were about and a lot of them however so were there plenty of sharks and some fish were lost to them but still nice to see the game fish are here. Bottom fishing was good with nice size Snapper Kob making part of the catches even pensioner Pat got into the action yesterday”. Thanks Nic Maitland.




News from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – “The rain is here … finally … and with some good falls up in the catchment areas, the rivers are flowing nice and strong … some might even say a little too strong … but after the recent hot spells and lack of any real rain to date, we’ll take it!  The Norwegians have it that there is more on the way over the next week or so, and if it continues through next month, we are in for a cracking autumn…

As a result of the rainfall, the river(s) have cooled right down … this weekend saw the water temperature having dropped by some 10 degrees from a high of 24 deg.C recorded 2 weeks back.  Fish activity has increased from a few lack-lustre rises to the dry fly and flashy attempts a nymph, to solid, committed takes on both.  The slightly higher flow necessitates the use of the weighted nymph (e.g. #16 PTN with a 2.5mm tungsten bead head) to get down in the deeper sections, while a “standard” dry fly (e.g. #16 parachute) worked well in the quieter sections and back eddies, with a larger dry fly (e.g. #12 foam hopper) required for the faster flowing white water sections.

The Natal Fly Fishers Club (NFFC) managed Stillwater’s are still under rod limits as February approaches (less than 10 days away), and being the hottest month of year, there is the anticipation of another bout of increased water temperatures.  Those anglers that are getting out there are reporting success with minnow patterns.

With the rivers having picked up, the major Midlands dams will start filling.  Current levels are on the low side: Albert Falls sitting at 31.2%, Spring Grove just shy of 39%, Midmar looking better at 91.7%, while Mearns is topping out at 106.8%.  Wagendrift Dam (on the Bushman’s River) is also full at 101%.

Albert Falls continues to produce.  The artlure guys are reporting some great catches of tilapia (mossambicus / blue kurper), and some excellent fish were reported from last weekend’s Charity Bass Tournament.  Ballito-based angler, Grant Hewitt, partnered with bass supremo Martin de Kock, and together they racked up a decent bag of 9.5kg’s.  Ever popular on the bass calendar of events, The New Hanover Preparatory School Fishing Competition is scheduled for 14 March.

With the temperature drop in the local rivers, fishing on the scaly (Natal Yellowfish) front appears to have quietened down.  On the other hand, the wind at Sterkfontein has settled, and reports are landing of the “Golden slabs” coming to hand on a mixed bag of dries (The Good Doctor’s Beetle) and nymphs (e.g. PTN, GRHE).

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.

In other news – The dams have been very busy lately. The bass are feeding heavily on the baitfish while the carp are slurping up anything on the bottom.




Bass – The bass fishing has been phenomenal over the past couple of weeks. Reaction baits like spinnerbaits and chatterbaits have been getting bites at every venue in KZN. Ianda and Albert Falls have been the pick of the venues. The bass are feeding very well on the abundant baitfish at these venues. The colour choice is up to each angler but the more natural colours are always a good choice. Those who prefer fishing with soft baits will do best using something with a big tail or moving limbs. Watermelon red and junebug have been the most productive colours at the moment.


Carp – The carp fishing has been very productive over the past few weeks. Inanda, Albert Falls and Midmar have been the best venues for conventional and specimen anglers. The conventional anglers have done well using a good assortment of flavours in their bombs. Fruity and sweet flavours have produced quicker bites. The specimen anglers have done very well using smaller particles in their feed.  Tigernuts have been the best hook bait but the feed has been a mix of hemp, seeds, corn, earthworms and various other particles. Fish to your feed areas and you will quickly see results.


Trout – The Stillwater’s have been best fished with streamer patterns to match the local forage. Baitfish, nymphs and leeches are the main items to replicate/imitate. Those wishing for something a little different will struggle to beat the excitement of fishing Sterkfontein dam for the yellowfish. The season is in full swing and this is a species that should be on every fly fisherman’s wish list. Tight lines and screaming reels

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


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