FISHING REPORT 22 JULY ’20 July 22, 2020 by The Kingfisher A reminder that the Kingfisher Biggest Shad Competition kicks off on the 1st August 2020. This year it will be run over a two month period, August and September, with three prizes each month. The heaviest shad for each month will receive a Daiwa BG 5000 spinning reel filled with Daiwa 8 weave 30lb J Braid, valued at around R3500.00, the second heaviest shad will receive a 13’6” Poseidon Coastline 5pce Graphite rod (L, M & H tip), valued at around R2,400.00, and third heaviest shad will receive a Daiwa Laguna 5000 spinning reel valued at around R1,400.00. Please note that all the shad must be fresh, not frozen and must be weighed at any of the Kingfisher branches. Please remember there is a bag limit of four and the minimum size is 30cm and that the season closes 30th September, re-opens 1st December 2020. Snoek for the offshore anglers, bronze bream for the shore anglers and carp keeping the freshwater guys busy. 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: Bronze bream beauty fishing for bronze bream is an art form. It is easy once you get a couple of things right. Make sure that you have the best quality pink prawn, cracker or crayfish that you can get your hands on. When making your baits, make a bigger bait than you think. This often produces a much more positive bite than the usual single prawn bait. After this, you need to make sure you put the trace and bait in the right area. Look for the fish, you will see them. Fish close to structure as the bream like being close to rocks and ledges. Fish light and go have some fun! Offshore: The offshore scene has been a lot busier this week with the improved weather and sea conditions. The snoek have made launching as early as possible paramount. North – The north has been producing some lovely snoek catches. The areas around Blythedale have seen the most consistent action. Even though most of the fish have been under the 5kg mark, there have been some bombers mixed in so don’t go too light. Fillet baits and Strike Pro Magic Minnows are the keys to success. Speak to the friendly guys at your closest Kingfisher branch for tips on how to bait up the fillets, speed to troll and the use of wire on your lures. The bottom fishing has been productive with a lot of geelbek and daga filling the hatches. This combined with the tuna that have been around makes the north a very good prospect for this weekend. Central – The Durban area has been rather quiet. The bottom fishing has been good on most of the wrecks and pinnacles. Some lucky anglers have managed to land a couple of poenskop and copper steenbras. These magnificent species are a special catch and their release should be considered before you sink the gaff in to them. The tuna and snoek have been the main catches for the gamefish anglers. The snoek have been schooling on the backline off Blue Lagoon, eating the host of baitfish getting pushed out the river. The smaller trolling lures like the Strike Pro Magic Minnows are the way to go if you want something other than fillet baits. South – The south coast has had good numbers of baitfish. Mackerel and redeye sardines have been the bulk of these schools. The bulk of the sardines have seemed to have gone past the bluff. The inshore areas around the river mouths are still producing both garrick and snoek. The snoek are eating the same as the central and northern relatives. The garrick are favouring a live mackerel trolled slowly behind the backline on a light fluorocarbon leader. Look at using a 44lb leader at the most. Tie your circle hook to this and make use of a short Dacron loop and cable tie to bridle the livey on to the circle. This allows more movement for the live bait as well as hook setting ability. Rock and Surf: The rock and surf sardine chaos has calmed down. There are still shoals around but the bigger sharks seem to be full of sardines… North – The north coast has seen a lot of edible fish for the scratchers. The bronze bream have been around most of the KZN coast. In the north, the area from Westbrook to Ballito has been the most productive. Read Ray’s tip for more bream advice. The cape stumpnose have been available for most anglers and a simple ground bait trace with a prawn or squid bait on a 1/0 size hook (Mustad Ringed Chinu) will do you well. This on a 20lb hook snoot is ideal for these smaller fish. Those looking for bigger fish are better suited to the Tugela River area where the kob have been wild. Central – The central coast has seen a lot Cape stumpnose, much like the north coast. The Blue Lagoon pier has been the most productive spot along the central coast. Grunter, pompano and shad are the three most common species being landed. Look at prawn, chokka, crackers and sealice as your main baits. Use a longer hook snoot if possible (not too much current). Those looking for drag stripping monsters will do well on the beaches north of Blue Lagoon. A fresh mackerel bait cast or dropped in to the deeper water should see results fairly quickly. South – The south coast has seen a good run of garrick over the past week. Live bait and bucktail jigs are the most successful methods. Shad have been the best live baits for the guys wanting to slide or cast a bait for the garrick. Those preferring lure angling should look at using a bucktail jig with a slower whipping action. Speaking of garrick we just need to touch on the disgusting slaughter of the kob and garrick down at port St Johns… Please stick to the limits! This rampant greed and stupidity by a small group of “anglers” will quickly ruin it for the rest of us. Thanks Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for this report – “The water in the lagoon is still very clean and that is probably why Shad are still been caught every day. Some unusual sightings/ captures were a Zebra and Blacktail been caught and the large amounts of Sea Hares seen near the mouth. Species caught and some decent size ones were River Gurnard, Black tail, Shad, Toby, Zebra, Silago, Brassy Kingfish, Stumpie and Pickhandle Barracuda. Sardine seems to be the go to bait for the lagoon at the moment. The beaches are still closed as per Government although people are fishing in other areas the Parks Board still has the beach closed, I am putting a proposal in today on how it is policed in other areas so let’s wait and see. Fishing was slow for some over the weekend and the spots were not producing as much as we would have licked however Barry got a Garrick at the mouth and he waited the whole day for it, Rudi and Wolfgang got a decent size Shad and Long Michael got a nice size Diamond of 68.67kg these were caught at the mouth yesterday, Wolfgang got his Shad on Saturday in the Lucky Dip area I have also heard during the night nice size Kob were caught in the same area. Rudi’s Shad was caught on a Chokka Sard combo and this judging by bait sales seems to be the most common bait been used. At long last we will have a friendly surf size to fish this whole week. Peter De Kok took his son J.D. for his first deep sea fishing trip and what a trip it turned out to be, after landing a 5kg YFT it was J.D. up next and as luck would have it his reel screamed and he was game on and it was a proper fish taking line with him holding the rod with both hands battling away at getting on top of the fish, the fish came to the boat twice and great care was had keeping it away from the motors it was only after he got it to the boat for the third time Boela could gaff it, it was a 20.5kg YFT well done young man, the fish was caught on a deep diving Rapala North of Richards Bay. Two other local boats went north one to the 100m mark passed the Jolly Rabino and managed a small Amberjack, Nanook hung around the Dawson’s area and also got a Tuna of around 15kg. On Saturday Nanook managed 2 Couta and a baby Marlin on a Couta trace which after a tough little fight and a jump or two they got it to the boat and unhooked it and when it was properly revived they let it go. Closer to home the fishing was also slow with Shaun on Legal Duck bottoms were very slow , although he got some it was not easy, Louis reports he caught big Kob, Big Rockcod descent size Slinger and a big Soldier”. Freshwater: The dams are starting to warm up a bit and the fish are warming up to. The bass are still enjoying the warmth of the shallows in the early morning while the carp slink around in the deeper channels. Get your jacket and longs ready if you are heading to the berg for trout. Bass – The bass fishing has starting to gain a bit of momentum with the warmer weather we have experienced over this past week. The stable weather has also made predicting the fish locations a much easier affair. In the earlier hours of the day, look at the shallower section of the water you are fishing as these will get the first rays of sun and subsequently will warm up first. These areas are best fished with lighter tackle and more finesse. My preference is for dropshot or shakey head presentations. The shakey head can be used with most soft plastics but benefits from a longer, thinner worm with a bit of buoyancy. Fish either of these techniques slowly and with a lot of shakes and pauses. Watch your line in the pauses as a subtle tick in the line can be the only hint you get that a bass has inhaled your bait. If you are wanting to target the deeper water then a dropshot will be the best for targeting a specific spot. If you are wanting to target a deep ledge or riverbed then a deep diving crank will do you well. Carp – The carp fishing has been good for most of the venues that have allowed overnight stays. The day visit venues have been a little bit quieter but this is expected with a reduction in fishing time. The reports that have come in from the anglers that have fished have been of slow fishing and long waits between bites. Make sure that you are prepped for the winter conditions as the early mornings and evenings have been icy, particularly if you are up in the midlands. The stronger scents like almond, garlic and gumtree are the most productive. These scents spread better in the colder water and thus draw fish in from further away. The garlic in particular is a very successful flavour when you are fishing in waters that have a muddy bottom. The mud tends to smother your bait and stops the scent moving through the water. The garlic is a strong enough flavour to pierce through the mud and get the carp rooting around. Trout – The trout fishing has been good on all fronts. The stockies have been eager to jump on most offerings in the Stillwater’s. If you are new to the sport or have someone with you looking at starting out, these are great fun on the lighter tackle. Look at a 4 or 5 weight setup and a handful of flies. Woolly buggers and zonkers will keep the stockies eagerly chasing and attacking. For those looking for the bigger trophy trout, look for the deeper structure. My personal choice is to focus on the old riverbeds. These underwater structures attract the bigger trout which like to hold on their edges. If you can find sunken structure along a riverbed, you are in luck. The trout are still in a spawning mood in most of the waters so make sure you have a selection of orange flies such as red setters, woolly buggers and egg patterns, these can be very productive. News from Jan Korrubel – “So with the arrival of what feels like summer already, I will have another moan at the lack of a winter snow to feed my beloved rivers … so much for cold fonts #3 and #4 that were supposed to bring up the rear of the biggest set of storms that SA has seen in a while … just mere fizzle and no pop! That being said, there is usually a late “sting in the tail”, so hopefully the moaning will stepping on the tail and bring about a late event… <fingers crossed> On the upside, The Midlands Stillwater’s have been on fire of late, offering up some excellent 50cm+ / 20”+ fish of late. The anglers are playing their cards close to their chest however, and no flies were mentioned … apart from a mention of “something that I wouldn’t ordinarily fish” … so there a hint: NOT the usual. Probably something bright and sparkly, disco ball in nature, to attract the fish in the current crystal clear cold waters. No local news on the bass font coming from either Midmar or Albert Falls … seems like the bass are active down where it’s warmer as the reports from Inanda Dam are coming in thick and fast…. With the warmer weather, the 1st of the Natal Yellowfish (scaly) anglers are frequenting the shop and starting to look at the Umkomaas and Umzimkulu for some early action. Dams levels continue to drop – Midmar now at 97.05%, Albert Falls at 40.05%, Spring Grove 61.743%, while Mearns has dropped a percent or 2 down to 71.25%. Wagendrift Dam (on the Bushman’s River) just under FSL at sitting on 97.88%. 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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