With 7 months already under the belt, 2020 is going rather quickly (probably for the best). The fishing has been good all round with some great catches over this past week.

Ray’s tip: Light is right! With all the quality scratching fish coming out at the moment, a tackle tip is in need. Scratching can be as easy or difficult as you want it to be. Pack all your sinkers and your heavy outfit along with your h-frame tackle box and you are unlikely to be mobile enough to fish effectively let alone enjoy the fishing. But, pack a sling bag with a couple of ready-made traces, a handful of sinkers and a hipster cooler, now you are ready. The rods of choice for mobile scratching are the Daiwa BG Power Spin range. These have more than enough backbone and sensitivity for bronze bream while being amazing casting machines should you target the snoek or garrick. Keep you tackle light and you may just start enjoying your scratching more with every bite!


The flat seas and lovely weather have made long days on the sea very pleasant. This combined with some hectic action and you have magic.

North – The north has seen the majority of the snoek action. Any of the spots that offer proximity to a river mouth or some good rips are great places to target snoek. Fillet baits have been the key to catching the bigger fish with redeye sardine fillets out-performing Jap mac and Natal sardines. Everyone has their own secrets to tying a snoek trace. The simplest method is just a suitable hook and a short section of American Fishing Wire, number 4. The tuna have been around for those wanting to target something bigger. Poppers and livebait have been the winners for these gas bottles.

Central – The Durban coast has been very kind to those fishing on the bottom. There have been some amazing fish brought to the boat in the last few weeks. The geelbek and copper steenbras have been the main targets. Targeting these hard fighters is best done with a stout rod paired with a 9″-10″ KP loaded with 80-100lb braid. The braid helps with cutting through the current and gives you a lot more sensitivity than nylon. This outfit is pretty multi-purpose and will allow you to target most bottom fish. Bait is dependent on target species but livebait is king for the bigger species. For the smaller reds, chokka is your best bet. Blue Lagoon has continued to produce good numbers of snoek in the early mornings. Trolling fillets or small lipped lures has been key to hooking a couple of these beautiful fish.

South – The south coast has seen much of the same blissful weather as the north and central coast. This has meant a lot of boats launching. The fishing offshore has been good for both the bottoms and the gamefish. The geelbek have been around but the sharks have been rather greedy. If you find the sharks are around, rather move to a new spot as you are not going to get much past the grey skins. The guys going out to Aliwal have managed a couple of wahoo but tuna have been the main catches. Closer inshore the garrick have been there for those wanting to target them. Fish close to the backline but please keep an eye on the rogue waves!

Rock and Surf:

The rock and surf reports have been edible dominant. Stumpnose, shad and snoek have made up 90% of the reports.

North – The far north has seen some good hauls of stumpies and some bigger shad. Remember that the first leg of the annual Kingfisher biggest shad competition is on so bring in your best catches to be weighed fresh. The bigger shad have all been caught in the early mornings or evenings so set your alarm and go for a throw before and after work. The bigger fish are generally caught on whole sardine or mackerel baits… The stumpnose and other edibles have mainly been caught using chokka, sealice, prawn, crackers or a combination of these. Look for the working white water and place your baits along the edges.

Central – The central zone has seen a lot of smaller grey sharks in the evening. These fish have been so wild that you can almost guarantee a bite on every throw. The greys have been smaller but the occasional bigger one does creep through so make sure you are ready at all times. Mackerel and redeye sardine have been the best baits. Look at making some aerodynamic baits to get as much distance as possible. Usually with grey sharks, the further the throw the quicker the bite. The piers have produced a fair number of edible fish of all shapes and sizes. We urge you to release the fish that you do not recognise as too many fish are kept “by mistake”.

South – The south coast has seen the most garrick action from the shore. There have been a fair number caught using livebait and on lure. The livebait fishing has been a bit picky as the garrick have favoured different baits on different days. The lure guys have had the most success using the new Mustad bucktail jigs but the Chaos needle nose plugs have managed their fair share as well. The bronze bream are keeping the scratchers busy with most anglers managing a fish or two. Make your baits a bit bigger and mushy and you will be surprised how much harder the bream bite.


The cold of the mornings and evenings has made it difficult to get up early.

Carp – Battling the icy mornings has been worth it, with some amazing carp being weighed in the slings. The conventional anglers have been doing very well with the stronger scents like almond, garlic and TCP. These flavours spread a lot faster and linger longer in the cooler water. You do not need as much feed in your feeder section at this time of year but make sure you use properly cooked feed. The specimen anglers are in their element at this time of year. Some beasts have been landed most of which have fallen for the Ronnie rig. This time of year it is a good idea to use a bright-coloured topper on your boilie. A fishmeal boilie used in conjunction with a bright pink pop-up will draw the carp in from far and wide. Inanda dam has been producing some great fish along with Shongweni. The conventional guys have done well at Albert Falls.

Bass – Although it has been a bit cold, the bass have been feeding well in most of our KZN dams. Reaction type baits have been getting the better bites with bladed jigs and jerkbaits proving to be the most successful baits. These reaction baits will produce a bite even when the fish are not in the mood to feed. The lures with a vibration or vigorous action will do the job. The Strike Pro Arc Minnow in various sizes will do the job for you. Make sure to jerk the lure on a slack line and take up the slack between jerks. Using the smaller versions is a great way to finesse fish reaction baits. Target the areas near heavy structure as the bass will be held up in the thicker vegetation waiting for food to come past. If the reaction baits are not producing the bites for you, try a more finesse approach like drop-shotting or shakey heads. Natural coloured worms on either rig worked slowly around subtle structure will get the bass going.

Trout – The winter cold makes the early morning sessions a bit tricky. The orange craze has started to die off with the fish forgetting about the spawn and now focussing on eating a bit more to fatten up. Streamers are your friend at this time of year. Look at using more natural-coloured woolly buggers and zonkers as these will mimic the natural forage that the fish are after. There are generally a lot of stockies feeding at this time of year so I recommend flattening your barbs so you can easily release the fish. These smaller fish are the future of the sport so please look after them and get them, back to the water with as little contact as possible. Tight lines and screaming reels

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.

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