FISHING REPORT 29 JULY ’20 July 29, 2020 by The Kingfisher The fishing has been good on all fronts. The guys targeting edibles have had the best of the fishing whether they have been on a boat or the shore, they have not gone home empty handed (photos or fish). The sharks and rays are still there for taking while the harbour has seen a lot of action. Ray’s tip: Lockdown has taught many people and businesses the benefit of online platforms. This is also apparent in the world of fishing. Whether you are fishing for carp, bass, marlin or sharks, there is a wealth of knowledge on the net. Look at the forums on the many websites. These can be valuable areas to not only connect with people with similar interests but also a place to learn from people that have been in the field. Although it will never replace the personal touch of visiting the Kingfisher, our online content will help when you can’t get to the shop. Make sure you are part of our online world by following us on Facebook and Instagram. These platforms will not only keep you up to date with our competitions and product releases but are also loaded with tips and tricks from the experts. Also, it’s free so you have nothing to lose… Offshore: The offshore fishing has been good on most fronts. The garrick have made an appearance along with the snoek. The deeper waters have been dominated with reports from the guys fishing on the bottom. North – The north coast has seen snoek and garrick for the game fishermen. The snoek have been on the smaller size with the average fish weighing under 5kg. These smaller fish are a lot more greedy than their bigger siblings so you do not need to go as light on the wire. That being said, they can still display their “snoekness” and refuse anything you throw at them. A fresh redeye sardine fillet is very rarely refused…The garrick have also been around and are a lovely change of pace from the usual couta or tuna. The garrick are best targeted using a live bait just behind the backline. Keep an eye on the sets as too many people have lost boats and tackle to a rogue wave! While trolling the livies, throw a spoon or popper to attract the garrick and possibly hook up. Central – The Durban area has been focussed on the snoek at Blue Lagoon and the bottomfish on the deeper marks. The snoek have also been a bit smaller than the earlier season fish but they are still fun to catch and make a delicious meal. Much like the north, a redeye sardine fillet trolled behind the backline produces a bite on most mornings. The Strike Pro Magic Minnow has earned its reputation and deserves a spot in every snoek tackle box. The bottomfish have been keeping the KPs back-winding. Some very decent cracker have been landed over the last week or so and respectfully, many have been released (well done to these anglers). The rest of the catches have been made up of rockcod (white-edged, catface, yellow belly) and the usual red fish. The slinger and soldiers have been of a very impressive size, seems lockdown may have done them good? While fishing on the bottom, try fishing a trap stick with a livey. This is best done using a balloon to suspend the live bait a meter or two below the surface. This is a great way to target gamefish while getting your bottoms. South – The south coast has been bottom fishing well. Dageraad, scotsman, crackers, slinger, daga, geelbek, rockcod and soldiers have all been regular culprits on the catch reports. Those new to bottom fishing will be happy to know that there are ready-made traces available for targeting all these species at your nearest Kingfisher branch. If you are looking to multi-target different species then you need to use a trace than incorporates hooks ranging from 3/0 to 9/0. We would highly recommend circle hooks. Using a 3/0 on the top snoot, a 6/0 in the middle and a 9/0 on the bottom snoot will allow you to target everything that is likely to visit the inshore or offshore reefs. The game fishermen have managed some good tuna out deep but the wahoo on Aliwal have continued to play hard to get. Only a handful have been landed and many sad stories have been told in the past few weeks. Rock and Surf: Edibles have been the main target over the past week. The stable conditions have led to a lot more pleasant fishing and family-friendly seas. North – The north coast has seen a couple of garrick for the guys fishing live bait. Targeting the areas of slightly deeper water close to a river mouth are your best bet for these fantastic gamefish. The tackle does not need to be too heavy as a garrick is one of the cleanest fighters you will ever hook. The north coast has also seen some very good shad coming out. This bodes well for the upcoming shad competition and we look forward to seeing your giant shad getting weighed in! On the inedible front, there have been a couple of diamonds around but the main fish caught have been blackfins and grey sharks. Mackerel has been the bait of choice for all of these. Targeting both of the sharks mentioned sometimes necessitate a decent cast so make sure you have the correct braid and sinker weight for your rod to maximise the distance of your bait. Central – The beaches in and around Durban have seen some decent fishing this past week. The cape stumpies (silvers) have been keeping the light tackle guys very happy with hours of fun to be had. This is a great species to target for the newcomers or younger anglers. They fight hard for their size and are not very fussy with baits. Make a Christmas tree trace with a size 2 or so Mustad Ringer Chinu and you are in the game. The shad have been scarce in the Durban area for some reason… Your best bet is still the Pier at Blue Lagoon though. Keep an eye on the action in the early mornings and evenings. Lots of cars in the car park is generally a giveaway of some action. South – The south coast has seen plenty of shad action around the main spots. Scotties point, Inyoni rocks and Winkelspruit are the three top produces at the moment and should be your first areas to check if you are planning a trip this weekend. The garrick have been coming out but the bites have been few and far between. To try and be as “lucky” as possible, look at scaling down your leader and hook snoot to be as invisible as possible. Also check your live bait frequently to make sure you have a feisty offering in the water when the garrick comes past. The bigger inedibles have only been accessible to the drone anglers. Some very big sharks have been landed recently. Dropping a bait between 150-300m is more than enough and has seen some proper hidings. Make sure you and your tackle are ready for the hours of fighting ahead of you… Harbour: The Durban Harbour has seen a lot of action recently. The center bank has been fairly busy on the weekends so make sure you get to your spots early to avoid disappointment. Also please respect the other anglers and anchor a fair distance from them. The grunter, skates and smaller sharks have been keeping the bait guys honest with some big specimens coming to the boat side. The lure anglers have also managed some good fish with kingies making up the bulk of the catches but the occasional oxeye tarpon and springer creating some screams of excitement. Thanks Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for this report – “At last we are having some rain and it will properly lead to the river going back to its normal colour after been so clean the last few weeks and this could be an end of the Shad run we had. An Angler over the weekend got a bit of a fright when the Thorn or Tiger fish he was reeling in was taken by quiet a big Diamond right near the bank, who says these fish don’t make good live bait, a few Diamonds have been caught on artificial lures recently adding to a list of fish that can be caught on them. A very big River Snapper was also caught meaning they are still here, we did see some decent size ones from the boat on Friday heading towards the N2 bridge as the water was clean we could see them under branches. The Beaches are now open to angling with a very big BUT you have to be in position of an angling license and you must go directly to your spot to fish, in your tackle box you must have a little bottle of sanitizer. A family may fish as a group provided all members have a valid fishing license the rest of us must social distance not that that will be a problem as there is plenty of space, yesterday the was a couple fishing with 2 small children and they were told to leave the kids at home next time, I think this has to do with gazette no 42410 d/d 3 June 2020. The park is open from 6am to 3pm for fishing at the lagoon and main beaches. Snoek were caught close in on Friday and I am sure the boats that were fishing close in around the Glenton Reef area. Merriman got a nice big Catface Rockcod which he released and a rare visitor a Striped Grunter another rare catch Merrimen had was a White Edge Rockcod it seems like it was his weekend, these Grunter tend to live on the reefs and are one of the only species of grunter that do not visit the estuarine system as they have a very low tolerance of the salinity in the water. The mouth and area leading up to it is getting very shallow especially as we are going into neap tide and more and more boats are returning on the beach, all good so far however the snag is the ramp and beach itself is very soft even the rock robbers mentioned this maybe over time the vehicles will compact the sand on the ramp, Ross mentioned to me how he and Greg struggled to get off the beach because the ramp was so soft”. Freshwater: The freshwater scene is getting busier as the weeks go by and more of the venues open up. The trout are feeding well, keeping the midlands anglers happy. The bass are fussy but are there to be caught. The carp are waiting for you to send a mielie bomb their way… Carp – The carp reports have been a bit sparse. This is based on many venues being closed to overnight fishing. The venues that have allowed this have seen some decent fishing, even on the coldest days. The stronger scents have been producing the bites on both conventional and specimen fronts. The conventional anglers have reported good fishing while using the garlic, tcp and gumtree. These have been the top three flavours/scents reported from most of the venues. The winter water is generally a lot cleaner than in summer. This means a fluorescein dye will greatly increase the attractiveness of your bait. Green and red are the two most popular. Adding some of the powder in to your mielie bomb will put up a smoke cloud leading the fish straight to your bait. The specimen anglers have seen good results from the fishy flavours and by adding oils in to their feeding mix. This has led to some barbel catches but it is part of the territory. Bass – The bass fishing is picking up. The settled conditions over the past week has made finding the fish and figuring out the feeding pattern a lot more easy than weeks before. The bass are not at their heaviest but there have still been some solid fish landed this past week. All of the usual venues have produced good fish with Hazlemere, Inanda and Albert Falls being the pick of the venues. The shallower grass beds are a great place to break the blob for the day as the smaller fish are full up there harassing the tilapia. Look at throwing smaller weedless plastics or ripping some lipless cranks through the sparser grass. You might get a surprise from one of the bigger fish hunting the small bass… For the bigger fish, you are best suited targeting structure. The colder it gets the deeper and closer they go. Isolated trees, underwater stumps, riverbeds or humps are all great places to go pitch some creature baits, get your baits in to the heart of the structure and watch your line for subtle bites on the way down. Trout – The midlands have been cold! This has not put the trout off; on the other hand the fishing has been rather good. Most of the trips up to the many Stillwater’s in trout country have yielded success for even the newcomers to the art of fly fishing. Some of the venues have still reported good catches on orange-coloured flies so make sure you do have something in orange to use if nothing is working. The stockies have been feeding fairly heavily on bulkier flies with a black woolly bugger continuing to come out tops. The flexibility of this pattern in terms of retrieves is phenomenal! The larger fish have been a bit more selective with more realistic baitfish patterns producing some good results. News from Jan Korrubel – My Facebook “Memories” tells me that 9 and 5 years ago we were knee deep in snow this week … but alas so far this year … the Snowman seems to have missed us … so far. All we can do is but hope that there is a late sting in the winter tail, as we have had some pretty decent snows as late as mid-September. For the rest, there have been some proper chilly spells and water temps are well down into the single figures, making the fish torpid and slow on the take. Combine that with iced up lines and rod eyes, and throw in the CRYSTAL CLEAR waters, and fishing can get tough … real tough. Downsize to 5X tippet and #16 and #18 flies (small nymphs like PTN / GRHE / Zak are a popular choice) and you might get a lucky take, but then you still need to land the beast on the micro-gear. They are there, and there have been few coming to hand, so I don’t think that I need to remind you that your line has to be out and your fly in the water to stand a chance… No local news on the bass font coming from either Midmar or Albert Falls … reports coming in indicate that Nagle Dam is the place of choice currently. Notice from Msinsi Holdings is that the Bon Accorde resort gates at Albert Falls Dam will be closed from 28 July to 03 August due to a positive case of COVID-19, therefore requiring disinfection. Visitors are therefore requested to make use of Albert Falls gate for alternative access. With the odd warm spell in-between the chills, the Natal Yellowfish (scaly) anglers are taking to the rivers and some good fish have been reported from the Umkomaas. Dams levels continue to drop – Midmar a percent down to 96.6%, Albert Falls down 0.5 percent to 39.5%, Spring Grove almost 2% down to 59.9%, while Mearns also 2% down to 69.62%. Wagendrift Dam (on the Bushman’s River) still sitting pretty at 97.52%. Kingfisher-PMB would like to give a hearty welcome to Michael Dickason, who has joined the store on a permanent basis. Anglers may remember Michael who temped with us over the holiday periods. He is an accomplished carp and bass guy … but is already showing strong interest in The Long Rod (i.e. fly). Welcome Michael! 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. 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. 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. Go to www.facebook.com/thekingfisherdaiwa and “Like” us on Facebook to catch reviews, videos, fishing reports, great promotions and lots more. Please send any info about fishing or fish caught in your area to firstname.lastname@example.org Free Fishing Reports Subscribe to our weekly fishing reports We respect your privacy.