FISHING REPORT 29 January ’20

With Jan-u-worry done and dusted, we can look forward to more hot weather and hopefully even more amazing catches.

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: Hot foot! Anyone who has fished the Zululand coast in summer will know how hot the sand can get. Many people have learnt the hard way and have had blistered feet from the dunes. With the summer season in full swing and many people heading up to the hot north, remember to pack all the essentials for dealing with the heat. Make sure you have a pair of shoes that you can slip on when you leave the beach. These need to be light to avoid weighing you down on the long walks as well as needing to cover your feet properly to avoid too much contact with the sand.

 

Offshore:

The offshore fishing has gone well for everyone this past week. Plenty of dorado, a lot of tuna and a handful of couta have kept the hatches full and the smiles wide.

 

North – The north coast has seen some very warm water temperatures. This has slowed the fishing down a bit on some days. The popular spots have all been producing good catches. The pick of these has been Zinkwazi. This spot has been producing some giant snoek, couta, dorries and tuna over the past few weeks. Zinkwazi has also had a large presence of frigate tuna around which make for a deadly live bait. Other popular spots which have been working well include Blythedale, Jex Estate, Umdloti and Umhlanga to name a few. The fish have all been close to the surface in the morning and have moved deeper as the day progressed so fish accordingly with your down rigged baits.

 

Central – The central coast has seen some hectic action this past week. The dorado have been the main attraction for recreational and charter boats. Some boats have managed to find the bigger fish while the average catch has been closer to 4kgs. Any surface structure will attract the dorries so be on the lookout for anything floating and pitch a bait to it. Luckily with the bright colours of the dorado, you see them very quickly in clean water. Live bait has been the most successful method of multi-targeting species especially dorado and tuna. Alternatively, anglers trolled lipped or skirted lures to find the fish and then switched to chunking using bait.

 

South – The south coast has produced a mixed bag of results over the past couple of weeks. Some anglers have done very well catching plenty of bait, tuna, dorado and some nice couta. The bait has been scarce lately so make sure you make the most of the bait you catch by putting it in to an ice slurry ASAP and freezing it properly once at home. The tuna have been very hungry down south and fishing around the bait schools with a trap stick can be deadly. This method can produce many species. The bottom fishermen have had a good run in the far south with plenty of big fish being hooked and most landed.

 

Rock and Surf: The summer heat is here! The fish are biting and the sea is behaving itself for the most part. Go fish!

 

North – The north coast has been on fire, literally! The sand has been so hot that shoes are starting to melt. The fishing has been equally hot. The sandies have been biting really well on the lower north coast. Bonito and mackerel have been the baits of choice for the sandies and the other inedibles as well. Full metal jacket (FMJ) traces have been the go-to trace for most of the anglers due to the versatility of the trace. 9/0 circle hooks are the most universal of the hooks with the Mustad Tuna Circle proving its worth over the past week (and beyond). The wading banks and the Mtunzini area has been a hit or miss affair with many competitive anglers fishing there this past weekend and little success being had. The areas from Tugela south however produced many fine catches with ribbontails, sandies, brown skates, honeycombs, diamonds, spinners and grey sharks being landed.

 

Central – The Durban beachfront up to Umhlanga has been one of the more consistent zones for the shore anglers along the entire KZN coast. The fish have not been the biggest (although some giants have been hooked) but the fishing has been good. Grey sharks, smaller sandies, ribbontails and honeycombs have been the main species landed over the past week but the list of species has been rather impressive. Fleshy baits have been the most productive with a chokka and mackerel bait mix proving too tasty for the grey sharks to leave alone. For the anglers preferring to target the edibles, there have been a lot of shad around the Umhlanga area down to the piers. Drift baits have produced the bigger fish but once the school if feeding, anything will work…

 

South – The south coast has seen a lot of edible action these past few weeks. Brusher, bronze bream, stumpies, cave bass and blacktail are just a few of the species on the reports. All of the rougher sea conditions make scratching the only option at times. Look for areas that provide a bit of a break in the sea, like a ledge or rocky outcrop. These structures break the power of the waves and create an eddy where the fish will hide. Fish these areas with prawn and chokka baits for the best success. The inedible side has also been good on the south coast. The grey sharks have been feeding well of Scotties during the day but particularly at night. Mackerel head baits with cutlets have been the best choice for the guys fishing there but any fleshy bait will get a bite.

News from Mtunzini. “River Roman, what a great name for a River Snapper as these guys have got to rank as one of the top fish to catch in the river as Christo, Alvi and Ken can attest to, their biggest secret and don’t tell anyone is patience and more patience as these guys are ambush predators and you have to tease them a bit to get them to attack.

An interesting weekend of surf fishing was had more like a tales of 2 halves. A lot of clubs were fishing postal and came up to Mtunzini to fish the various spots, the Banks produced Edibles but no big fish were landed although quiet of few Rockcod, Shat and Snapper were caught. The guys fishing Port Dunford area were disappointed however on the Sunday the club fishing to the North of Shangri-La beach got over a ton of Diamonds. From Friday through to Sunday morning the guys fishing main beach were rewarded with Shad, Snapper Kob and Pompanos with some small sharks in the mix. On Saturday evening just before the gates closed 3 guys arrived on the main beach, made a fire and settled down for a night nothing wrong with that if you paid your overnight fee but what angered the anglers who arrived for an early morning session was the fact they left their fire unattended and all their rubbish together with the carcases of several small sharks with their Heads and Tails cut off, they are so lucky the parks board did not catch up with them as being in position of a Shark in a MPA is forbidden.

Looking forward into the week Thursday looks a better day for fishing as the water is very murky close in and needs to settle. By the sounds of it quite a few boats are planning to go out. Let’s hope those targeting the shallow reefs for Snoek get some. Slow trawl a medium size Mac around the Gerries area and see if you can get a Couta bigger than Pieter’s”. Thanks Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for this report.

 

 

Freshwater:

The February heat is almost upon us so make sure you have plenty of water packed for your next trip to the dam or river.

Bass – Bass fishing and summer go together like a braai and boerewors. The summer months see many of the bass food sources spring to life. The insects start hatching and the fodder fish start breeding. With plenty of food comes plenty of eating and this means good fishing. All the KZN dams have continued on their good fishing streaks. Inanda has dropped to second in terms of quality and Albert Falls has taken over top spot. Top water frogs have been the pick of the lures for fishing the shallower regions of the dams. Remember to use a quality braid as your mainline as you will need to pull some big fish out of some nasty structure. Frog colour is not that important but a good action is. Pop in to your nearest Kingfisher branch to have a look at the selection of frogs. For the deeper water, the lipless crankbaits have been deadly. Fishing these noisy baits with a yo-yo type retrieve can often generate bites from fish that won’t eat anything else.

 

Carp – The carp fishing has been good at most of the KZN venues. Those wishing to fish for the bigger specimens have had the best luck at Inanda. This dam holds some real giants. The key at Inanda has been to fish accurately to your baited area. The feed used for the baited area has also been quite important. Hemp, tigers and mielies/corn. With a the good feeding area and accurately placed baits, the fishing has been very good. The conventional carp anglers have probably seen the best results at Albert Falls. Sweet and fruity flavours continue to produce the best results at Albert Falls with many anglers filling their keep nets before the end of their session. Mielies have been the best baits as the prevalence of the smaller carp has made fishing with softer baits tricky.

 

Trout – The trout fishing has been constant. The Stillwater’s are still producing some amazing catches for the anglers that persevere. The deeper riverbeds have been the most productive of the spots to try at any of the KZN venues. Fishing a streamer along the edge of a sunken riverbed on a sinking line can produce some memorable catches. The river fishing has been slow. This is due to the lower water levels in the berg. Those that have seen some decent fish have fished hard for the bites. Dry flies like DDDs and RABs have been the pick of the Dries while the very popular Gunn nymph has been the go to fly.

 

News from Jan Korrubel, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Last week saw some good rains in The Midlands … and we are happy to report that the mountains are still leaking.   Perhaps not such good news for the river / stream anglers, as the rivers are running high and coloured.  Unless it’s really high water, The Bushman’s river retains its much of clarity, so there is a chance of some action from the (large) dry fly.  The mountains around the headwaters of The Mooi river however, tend to seep colour, colouring the water so that the best tactic is to get the fly down to the fish using a weighted nymph. On the upside, water temperatures have cooled down to the mid-teens, at least early on in the day, rising to late teens by the afternoon … but below the 20deg.C limit for trout.

The high water is not all doom and gloom as they, and the rains are most welcome as we head towards what looks like a cracker autumn season. (Fingers crossed).

The Natal Fly Fishers Club (NFFC) managed Stillwater’s are still under rod limits as February fast approaches, a mere couple 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 and large dragonfly nymph patterns.

Last weekend saw the “Cast For Cash” event taking place on Albert Falls Dam.  Biggest fish came in at 3.6Kg, and the bag taking 3rd place weighed in at over 10kg.  Well done those anglers.  The competition scene starts to heat up with the popular New Hanover Preparatory School Fishing Competition scheduled for 14 March, and the Joey’s Tournament Trail dates for April and May scheduled for Midmar and Albert Falls Dams respectively.

The Midlands Dams are filling as a results of the recent rains and all up a percent or two:  Albert Falls 32.5%, Spring Grove 41.4%, Midmar looking better at 92.5%, while Mearns is topping out at 104%.  Wagendrift Dam (on the Bushman’s River) is also full at 101%.

Still all quiet on the local scaly (Natal Yellowfish) fishing, but Sterkfontein has settled, and reports of good fishing are coming in  The nymphs appear to have taken a back seat, with the dry fly is the order of the day … The Good Doctor’s Beetle and hopper patterns in larger sizes are doing the business.  With the fish in prime spawning season, local guide, David Weaver, offers the following Rules of the Spawning Season:

  • Do not walk the banks where the fish are spawning as this disrupts the process and the fish abandon the spawn.
  • Stay away from the gravel beaches as this is where the eggs have been deposited and walking on these areas causes a disruption and destruction of the eggs.
  • Don’t handle the large females with distended bellies as this will often cause them to drop their unfertilized eggs”.

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

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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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