FISHING REPORT 25 MARCH ’20

Lockdown… With a break in fishing for the next while we may as well reflect on the good run we have had. Please adhere to all lockdown regulations put in place. They are for the good of the people.

For those unaware, the Kingfisher has a massive library of videos, tutorials, advice and adventures available online. Our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8f8U0GjLGWFaEiUjs-n01w/videos ) has a myriad of videos to keep you entertained for the lockdown period. Not only are there plenty of species videos to brush up on your fish knowledge but you can also escape in to one of the many adventures around the South African coast. If organisation is not your strong point or you are looking to target some new fish once we are back to normal, we have all the trace making and bait preparation videos you could wish for. Look out for some ambassador lockdown videos as well.

Offshore:

The offshore fishing is really picking up. The couta have started to come on the bite properly and very few outings have been blanks.

North – The north has seen most of the couta action. Areas such as Zinkwazi, Blythedale and Umdloti have been the most productive areas. Mackerel have been around so these are first prize if you are looking for a live bait. Alternately, if you are after that big croc you can rig a shiny walla walla down deep. The flash that these fish create is phenomenal! Just be careful of the teeth, they have the uncanny ability to bite you if after they are dead (speaking from experience). When rigging these baits the best bet for spacing is to use the width of your hand as a spacer. Meaning from the lead hook to the first treble will be one hand width apart. Use as many trebles as you need but cap it around 4.

Central – Durban has been kind to the offshore anglers. There has been plenty of bait around in the form of mackerel and redeye sardines. These are both deadly live or frozen so take care of them and they will bring you some fish. Dorado and tuna have been the main targets off Durban. The dorado have ranged in size from 3-15kg. Look for any floating objects or troll the current lines with faster lures to find the shoal. The tuna have been found in much the same way or by looking for surface activity. A popper thrown in to the mix is a sure way to get your heart pumping.

South – The south has also had a good run of baitfish this past week. Most of the bait balls have been mackerel and redeye but the occasional bonito school has been around. Much like the areas further north, dorado and tuna have been the main targets. Those that have put the effort in for the couta have managed the odd fish but all in all the season has not been great and you are better off heading north if you need a couta. The tuna have been keen to feed on most baits down south. Purple and black lures have seemed to get a quicker bite but. Look at the range of Kingfisher Rattler range of lipped lures and the Chugger skirted lures.

Rock and Surf:

The rock and surf fishing has stayed in its summer season with plenty of big inedibles testing the resolve and drag of the anglers. Some beautiful edibles have been landed as well so there has been something for everybody.

North – The north coast has seen most of the inedible action. This along with some good size stumpies and kingfish being landed. The edibles have mainly been caught on chokka and prawn baits while the sharks and rays have happily accepted any fleshy fish bait. Seola has seen a lot of kob over the past few months. Chokka and sardine baits have been the most successful for these smaller kob. The bigger inedibles are best suited to Tugela north bank or the Mtunzini wading banks. Both spots have been consistently producing fish for the past month or two.

Central – The Durban beachfront has been active. The piers and beaches in-between have seen a lot of smaller shad during the early mornings while the night has seen some stumpies on cracker and prawn baits. The basin area in front of Ushaka has seen many grey sharks, thorntails, honeycombs, brown skates and many unlanded beasts. Fleshy fish baits such as mackerel head and cutlets or bonito are your best chance at success. Circle hooks all the way!

South – The south coast has been quiet but the fish are there. The beaches south of Toti have seen plenty of inedible action in the form of sandies and honeycombs. Mackerel and redeye sardine mixes are the preferred bait for both species although a fresh shad head is hard to beat. Those wanting to fish for the pan or just for edibles will be best sorted fishing the gullies and ledges. The brusher are still coming out but not in any great numbers, the shad are loose in most of the bays down south and the bronze bream are finicky but are there if you look hard enough.

Thanks to Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for sending in this report.It would be so nice to see the guys fishing at The Banks last weekend behaving like animals when walking to and fro to the beach as well as in the car park, animals don’t throw rubbish about. Last Thursday we fished the Banks we had 5 big baits out with various baits and while we were waiting for a pickup we scratched for some shad or snapper for swim baits, a young 7 year old showed us how it was done, he caught enough shad for all of us to have a live bait, he was catching them on top of the bank. Not only did he out fish all of us combined he also put his own chokka bait on and even cut his own shad bait, his bait skills and catching skills amazed those who had not seen this little guy fish, he fishes like a pro and even unhooks his own catch even little milkies that have a really tough mouth.

Freshwater:

The freshwater fishing has maintained its high level of action and excitement. Bass are wild, carp are greedy and the trout have been reckless. Great time for fishing!

Carp – The carp fishing has been great for both the specimen and conventional anglers these past couple of weeks. Shongweni and Inanda have been the pick of the venues for the specimen anglers. Both venues have produced large hauls of fish and some proper beasts as well. It has not been uncommon for the specimen guys to report more than 2 fish over 15kgs in one evening. The conventional anglers have done well at Inanda but their best results have come from Albert Falls. The entire dam has produced fish and good numbers. The sizes have been a lot more variable than the other dams but there has been the odd giant landed. Feeding spots have not been the most important if you are after larger hauls but if you are after the bigger boys then feeding an area is critical. Hemp, maize, peanuts, peas or any other particle well prepared and mixed with generous amounts of salt will get the fish in and keep them interested in the food for much longer.

Bass – The bass have been very responsive to most baits. Something with a rattle has got the better bites at most of the venues. Look at the new range of Daiwa Prorex bladed jigs to get some noise in the water. A bladed jig is a deadly bait as it can be fished fast, slow, straight, jigged, open water or in grass. It is a very versatile bait that catches a lot of fish. Hazlemere has been one of the most productive dams in KZN with many big fish being landed. The numbers of bass caught from this relatively small venue is quite astounding. Inanda has been next on the list and has probably produced better quality fish on the whole. Most of the basic techniques have worked but soft plastics have produced the bigger bites.

Trout – The trout fishing is starting to pick up as we move to the colder months of the year. The lockdown will give most of the venues and rivers a good break from fishing which should result in a buster season when we return to “normal”. The Stillwater’s have still kept their reputation for producing big fish. Streamers in black and olive have done most of the heavy hitting but on the slower days, a small damsel imitation fished with a hand twist retrieve along the weed lines has been the ticket. The rivers and streams have been up and down (literally). The fishing has waxed and waned with the water levels. When the conditions have lined up, the fishing has been great.

This will be our last fishing report of a while, (until at least the 22nd April), so good luck, stay safe and see you on the other side.

 

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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