FISHING REPORT 4 MARCH ’20

Another month in and 2020 is starting to pick up speed. The fishing has been good for most facets and great for others. 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.

Ray’s tip: summer is not over yet. Summer is still here and so is the sun. The importance of sun protection cannot be overlooked. Whether you prefer to cover up or use lotions, you have to protect your skin somehow. If you prefer covering up, then a day in the summer sun will involve a long sleeve UV-resistant shirt, long pants, a buff, a hat and possibly sun gloves. Sun screen on the other hand will need to be re-applied a few times during the day if you prefer to fish in your shorts and t-shirt. The choice is yours… choose one of the two but please protect your birthday suit, you only get one!

Offshore:

The offshore fishing has been great! We have had an amazing dorado and snoek season and it is not over yet.

North – The north of KZN has been producing some amazing catches for the boats and skis. There have been snoek that have looked a lot more like couta (size wise). Some of these beasts have gone over 10kg! Umdloti has produced the most consistent results and would be the first place to consider when planning the next trip. Early morning trolling with fillet baits or lipped lures has been the most successful method. With the snoek, using your tuna or couta gear will not leave you enjoying the fight. I would suggest using a lighter stick and reel and having a bit of fun. Please always keep a spinning setup rigged and ready as you never know when the baitfish shoals will pop up. This action is fast, so be prepared!

Central – The area offshore of Durban has been kind to most of the boaters. Tuna, dorado, snoek, couta, kingfish and marlin have been the major players for the anglers targeting game fish. Live bait is still the best way to target multiple species at slower speeds. If you prefer a bit more speed, a lipped or skirted lure will be the best choice. Those fishing on the bottom have also managed some good catches. Geelbek have made up the bulk of the reported catches but there have also been cracker, kob, some massive yellowbelly rockcod and a handful of reds. With the bigger bottom fish like the rock cods and crackers, please consider releasing these older specimens.

South – The south coast has seen a lot of baitfish activity. Most of the shoals have been redeye sardines but there have also been frigates and mackerel mixed in. Remember not to drive too close to the shoals so as not to frighten them and respect those that were there first. The fishing down south has seen plenty of snoek along the backline. The Strike Pro Magic Minnow has been on fire this past week (and since it was first introduced). The UV version of the pearl colour (purple chin) is the number one! Further offshore the guys have managed a lot of tuna and dorado but no giants to speak of.

Rock and Surf:

The shore fishing has been good along most of KZN. From the upper north coast down to the mid-south, the drags have been crying.

North – The north coast is still the most productive big summer fish spot. There have been some truly astonishing fish caught this past week on the upper north coast. A handful of sandies close to and over 100kg were landed this past week! These are amazing catches! The rest of the north coast has produced fish at most of the popular spots. With the upcoming easterly winds…there should be chaos along the coast. The deep water points along the north coast have produced the most consistent results this season. So if you are looking for a new spot to try, head north.

Central – The beachfront has not fished as well as previous weeks but this does not mean there hasn’t been anything caught. The basin area from Moyo Pier down to the North Pier has seen plenty of grey sharks in the evenings. The peckers have been wild though so take some extra bait. The Vetch’s reef has thrown a couple stumpies this past week. A pink prawn bait with a cracker or two tied on should see you in the action. The edible fishing has been good off the Blue Lagoon pier as well. Stone bream, blacktail and stumpies have been the main species landed.

South – The south coast of KZN has held some cooler water this past week and has seen some better fish landed. The beaches around Toti have been very productive. Sandies and honeycombs have been the main inedibles caught. Mackerel and redeye sardine has been the most consistent producer. There have been shad around in the early mornings but they have mostly been too small. These fish are a lot of fun on the ultra-light tackle, give it a go. The far south has produced a mix of both edibles and inedibles. Bronze bream have been the main edibles targeted while the inedibles have mainly been flatfish.

Freshwater:

The dams and rivers have seen plenty of activity. The rains have filled the waters and the fish are enjoying the warm sun rays.

Carp – The carp fishing has been good over the past week. Inanda has produced some lovely mirror specimens for those who fished the dam properly. The conventional anglers have seen the best results from Albert Falls. Banana and honey floaties and mielies have been the pick of the bunch. Strangely, bunspice floaties have also been reported to have done well for the anglers this past week.

Bass – The bass summer season has been phenomenal in KZN! Albert Falls and Inanda have produced some incredible catches. Hazlemere has also produced some surprisingly big fish. Soft plastics have been the most successful big fish producers for all venues. Watermelon red continues to be the most popular colour with watermelon seed and green pumpkin close behind. This being said, crankbaits have also yielded some very good bags. The deeper diving crankbaits have been deadly on the drop-offs while the shallower bays have seen better success with square bills and lipless cranks. The square bills work best in structure-heavy bays while the lipless cranks are deadly in the grass areas.

Trout – The trout fishing in the bigger Stillwater venues has continued to produce good fish. The warmer weather has seen the fish become lethargic and seek the comfort of the deeper water. This means type 3 or 5 sinking lines and streamers. The different type sinking lines while sink at different rates (3 & 5 inches per second). The deeper the water the bigger the type you need (higher number). The recent rains have put a lot more flow down the rivers and has definitely picked the fishing up. Floating lines and a pocket full of flies is all you need.

News from Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “A tad more rain recently means that the rivers are still on the high side … the (heavy) nymphers are smiling, the dry fly guys not so much!  Although a report from the weekend indicated that there are fish to be had on the dry if targeting the slack water along the edges, and the sheltered eddy’s were also holding fish.  Much the same applies when fishing nymphs … the riffle water in the centre of the river being too high and too fast for the time being.

This week’s weather forecast has been looking really good – with the rain apparently holding off till next week some time, the rivers will settle a bit and should be good for a venture out.  Again, we can – but shan’t – complain about the rains (!) … the land. The farmers (especially) and the rivers need the water and we setting up for some cracking autumn fishing…

On the Stillwater front: reports indicate that most angler are concentrating on the rivers, and the Stillwater’s have taken a bit of a backseat recently.  The Natal Fly Fishers Club water closures is still in force for the time being – again, this will give the fish a bit of a rest and as soon we get to autumn proper and the water temperatures start dropping, we will be in for some great fishing as the fish feed up for the winter.  Large flies (e.g. buggers, minnows, dragonfly nymphs) are the go-to patterns at the time.

On the bucketmouth front – it’s back to Albert Falls for the monsters … the FLW “SA Bass Cast-for-Cash” KZN tournament for February was moved from Inanda Dam up to Albert’s this past weekend – the winning team coming in with a record-breaking bag of 17.25 kg!  Next month’s event will be held at Inanda, and then it’s back to Albert’s for May.  Results from the Harding Bass comp from this past weekend are: longest overall fish (adult): 55cm, longest overall fish (lady angler): 47.5cm and longest overall fish (junior): 40.5cm – well done to those anglers.

Dam levels are still on the rise: Midmar 96%, Albert Falls 34.6%, Spring Grove 60%, and Mearns still topping over at 105%.  Wagendrift Dam (on the Bushman’s River) is also at FSL at 101%.

With no recent reports incoming, seems to be all quiet on the local scaly (Natal Yellowfish) fishing, while Sterkfontein is still producing the gold.  Recent reports indicate that the fish are back onto the ever popular beetle and hopper patterns.

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.

A couple of competitions to look forward to:

The Durban Ski-Boat Club Festival is taking place on the weekend of the 24th April 2020. With over R1.5 million Rands worth of prizes and the main prize of a Seacat 520 with 2 x 60hp Yamaha 4 stroke motors, this is a competition not to be missed! Entry forms are available from The Kingfisher with early bird registration valid until the 31st March.

The New Hanover Prep Comp. The 17th New Hanover Prep farm bass competition is happening on the 14th March 2020. With 20 dams to fish and prizes for both adults and juniors per dam, this is a must fish competition! Entry fee is R200 for adults and R130 for juniors. For more information look at www.newhanover.co.za or phone Stof 082 496 2696

The Matatiele Lake Fly Fishing Compo. The much-anticipated Matat fly fishing competition is happening on the weekend of the 5th of June. Entry fee of R1000 covers dinner (Friday and Saturday), lunch on Friday, coffee/tea and rusks all weekend, camping and a goodie bag. With some amazing venues and awesome prizes, this is a competition you have to fish! Contact Shane (083 2994996) or Dale (081 4010027) for registration and further details.

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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