FISHING REPORT 15 JULY ’20

Foul weather and big seas… this hasn’t put everyone off. Those that fought with Mother Nature managed some decent catches over the past week.

Ray’s tip: Bronze bream. The time has come and the bream are here. Targeting bronze bream is an art and can result in some multi-species catches. Pink prawn and crackers will always be the best baits for these shy feeders and the Mustad 1/0 ringed Chinu is the best hook (fact). Accuracy is key with finding the bream as 2m away from the structure is too far. Finding them comes down to practice so make sure you pack light and keep moving along the beach/rocks looking for these fish. Watch our YouTube videos for more tips and tricks.

Offshore:

The big seas left very few gaps for comfortable fishing. The catches have been good in these gaps though.

North – Snoek have been the main paddle ski target on the north coast and for good reason. The average fish has been a lot bigger than normal. Some of these usually fussy fish have been close on the 10kg mark. Fillet baits, magic minnows (Strike Pro) and spoons (Kingfisher Anchovy) have been the most productive methods. Slightly further south at areas like Umdloti, the guys have managed some decent couta on live mackerel. Most of the better fish have been taken on deeper rigged baits. The tuna have been around and offer a fairly dependable bite. Make sure you have a popper ready to throw in to the action!

Central – Much like the north, the snoek have been given a lot of attention this past week. The results have been a bit smaller than their northern cousins but a snoek is a snoek. Further offshore, the tuna have been hungry and willing to scoff most offerings. Trolling lipped or skirted lures in purple and black has been the most successful way to get at least one fish to the gaff. If you prefer seeing the bite, a popper will be your most entertaining lure. Colour is not as important as profile although the darker lures seem to get more bites.

South – The south has seen some gamefish action in the form of garrick on the backline, snoek slightly further out, couta on the mid reefs and wahoo in the deep. The most consistent fishing has been on the bottom. The gamefish have been scarce but some very decent snoek have been hanging out around the sardine pockets. These fish are fairly easy to target with an assortment of spoons and some fast retrieves. The bottomfish have been filling the hatches down south. Most of the usual culprits have been around with the daga becoming more prevalent. Remember to use a bit of glow in the dark material on the hook snot to get their attention. Also, if the sharks are taxing your fish, move on!

Rock and Surf:

The sardine fever is finally starting to subside although there may be a flair up around the corner…The sea has not made for easy fishing but the few gaps that have been available have been fruitful.

North – The north coast has not sent in any news of great catches or consistent fishing. The area around the Tugela mouth is still producing a lot of smaller kob. These fish are not fussy when it comes to bait selection so my recommendation is to use sardine and chokka. Please stick to the limits as these fish are very easy to overfish! This area has also produced a lot of decent shad in amongst the kob and some anglers have been lucky enough to land a tripletail. Please consider releasing these fish.

Central – The Durban area has been quiet. The piers have been producing a lot of edibles. The blacktail have been of incredible sizes and are a lot of fun on the lighter tackle. The shad have been few and far between. The pompano have been the most consistent of the edibles. Using a neatly constructed chokka bait with a bit of prawn (or better still cracker) on top will see you able to target all of the species. Remember to check your bait frequently if you are feeling bites as the peckers can strip a hook bare very quickly. The anglers managing to get baits further out by drone or slide have hooked in to some decent inedibles, with blackfin sharks being the main species landed.

South – The south coast saw some very nice kob landed from the Margate Pier this past week. These fish were caught amongst a run of some very nice sized shad. The shad have been taken mostly on drift baits whereas the kob have gone for the deeper ground baits. Sardine has been the winner when it comes to bait choice. Further up the coast the bronze bream have been feeding well in most of the rocky gullies and ledges. Pink prawn and crackers are the pick of the baits with a combo bait making the fish jump for joy. Make sure to carry traces with and without the bright orange floats. Sometimes they want the bright stop sign and sometimes they don’t.

News from Mtunzini – “Weather for the week, not looking good, we are facing big seas again for most of the week with nice strong wind, temperatures are not looking that great so wrap up and stay warm. 

I think for the next week lagoon fishing will be the way forward as there are places you can hide from the wind and fish in relative comfort. A Garrick was caught at the river mouth on Friday and a very big Diamond was hooked but on light tackle and bust off, a short while later one of the guys netting Mullet stood on it and got a fright of his life, the diamond was hooked on a live bait between the stone wall and the river mouth. Garrick do come into that area of the mouth so it is worth putting a live bait out for them. Shad have been caught as far as the main car park and even the steel bridge, when you get your hooks bitten off it is probably them as Pickhandle Barracuda have not been caught for a while.

The beaches are still closed to fishing; we think they might open in level 2 at best or level 1. This is a government directive and not a Parks Board directive they are merely enforcing the law as they are required to. Parks are now open for exercise so may the beaches will be next.

Fishing has been slow due to incumbent weather however I here from guys that fished last night Kob were caught and in some area Milkies and small Spinner Sharks. Going forward to this week we see the swell rising again which will make fishing tough and with the Kob and big Shad about will be worthwhile , don’t discount fishing for Garrick at the river mouth, this area is not as effected by side wash as most of the beaches might be.

Here is another tip I picked up during the week with regards to looking after your reel between services especially if you wading, for Grinders even those been used on Ski Boats when you get home take the spool off and dunk it in fresh water and shake it out a bit and leave it to dry in a well-ventilated area. Submerge the reel in fresh water and give the handle a few turns and set aside to dry, the biggest injuries these reels get is shaft corrosion and what I call the centre bearing rusting and jamming, with multipliers although they seem better sealed they do take in saltwater but not to the same extent, submerge them in fresh water and give them a few spins and set aside to dry. If you not going to use the reel for a long period of time open them and grease and oil them.

Boela seemed to be the only one that went out to sea on Friday he was not out long and managed a few Kob however when he came back he had to sit on the sand bank in the mouth area to wait for water so he could come in, the mouth is very shallow at the moment. Fishing this week looks like a bad idea with massive seas and strong winds, however at the moment fishing at the back end of the week may be an option”. Thanks Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for this report.

Freshwater:

The cold weather has made early mornings at the dams a tricky affair. Beanies and jackets are essential along with a warm beverage. The fishing is slow but the fish landed have been worth it!

Bass – The bass have had a lot of time to themselves during the lockdown. Now that most of the venues are open, they better watch out. The fishing has been a bit slow with the colder water but those putting in the effort have managed some decent fish. Slowing down the retrieves and focusing on feeling the bites has made a big difference. Hazlemere being one of the first venues open has received a lot of attention. The shallower areas have done well in the later mornings with the bass moving up for warmth and baitfish. The colder months are perfect times to fish some bigger profile soft plastics. Look at the brushhogs or similar creature baits for the most movement and attractive size for the lazy winter fish.

Carp – The carp are slow but the big fish are still rooting around looking for goodies to feast on. The colder water leads itself to stronger scents such as almond, gumtree and garlic. These stronger smells seem to draw the carp in from a much larger area than the sweeter or fruitier flavours.  The specimen anglers have been doing well with fishy based boilies keeping the fish interested for longer. Unfortunately the barble also find these boilies very tasty and there are quite a few shocked faces when “the carp of a lifetime” turn out to have a slimy moustache! The conventional anglers will do well adding a garlic bol dip on to their mielie bomb. This combined with a red or green fluoro will attract the fish in from far and wide and will keep them looking for the food long after it has been eaten. Remember to make sure you are ready for the cold night!

Trout – The cold is making the early morning fishing a bit unpleasant. The trout have not been too bothered though, so put on a beanie and start flicking some feathers. The egg flies and blobs are still doing well in most of the Stillwater’s. Anything with a flash of orange is a good bet for the bigger fish. Slower retrieves and focus has been the difference between hooking fish and going home empty handed. The stockies are been feeding with little concern for matching the hatch or even decently tied flies, so if you are just after a bit of fun then get a black woolly bugger and strip it with a bit of flair. Those looking for the bigger fish will do well to slow down the retrieves and look for flies that offer a lot of movement even when they are not being stripped. Look at flies that have plenty of rabbit zonker in them…

News Jan Korrubel – “Well, so much for any plans to fish in the snow – the cold fonts seem to be dropping their load in the south of the county, and then once emptied out, picking up speed and flying over the rest of the country at pace leaving only a dash of chill… L  Still wishing for a proper snowfall up on The ‘Berg so that the melt can tide the rivers over for the latter half of winter, as the upper sections are running very low…

The Midlands Stillwater’s are still giving up their fish.  With the waters being CRYSTAL clear and COLD, attractor patterns are currently high on the menu … along with the usual orange “egg pattern”, white is proving to be popular at the moment in the form of a “White Death”.  Back from the old school, the “Appetiser” fly has served well at time…

No news coming from Albert Falls after reopening last week … although sure there would have been flocks of anglers! … but some bucketmouths have been reported from Midmar with a fish over the 5kg mark.

Dams levels continue to drop – here’s hoping for some of that snow being promised by the frontal systems : Midmar just on 97.43%, Albert Falls on 40.63%, Spring Grove 63.43%, while Mearns has come up a percent to 72.87%.  Wagendrift Dam (on the Bushman’s River) just under FSL at sitting on 98.25%.

With no recent reports incoming, seems to be all quiet on the local scaly (Natal Yellowfish) fishing”. Thanks so much Jan.

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. Tight lines and screaming reels.

Please note: We will be closing every Wednesday at 16h00 at our Hunter Street branch for deep sanitisation. All Kingfisher retail branches will be undergoing deep sanitisation every week for your safety and ours. Stay safe!

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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