FISHING REPORT 19 AUGUST ’20.

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.

Big winds and bigger seas have made fishing difficult over the past week but there have been some worthwhile catches all around

Ray’s tip: This lockdown has been detrimental for a lot of fishing tackle. The long period of sitting in a cupboard has not been great. Fishing tackle needs to be maintained! The sadness brought to my heart when seeing an abused reel or rod…Maintenance is simple with most fishing tackle. Prevention is better than trying to fix. As soon as you finish fishing, make sure you wash off any dirt or saltwater. The sea is a cruel mistress and she will break all your tackle, on purpose. A simple rinse in warm water will go a long way in keeping your tackle lasting. Note, rinse not dunk! Same goes for any fishing related goods from your car to the swivels. Keep them clean and if you use them near the sea, wash them to get the salt off. Also, your reels need to be serviced regularly!

Offshore:

The big seas and strong winds have made the pleasant days much more enjoyable. The bottom fishing has been wild!

North – The north coast has seen a lot of snoek activity over the last while with plenty of epic morning sessions. The smaller lipped lures like the Strike Pro Magic Minnow and the likes have made short work of these backline beauties. These little lures allow for clean and fast pre-work paddles without the worry (and smell) of sardine fillets. Umdloti, Tinley Manor and the many spots around Richards Bay up north have been successful. The early mornings have undoubtedly been the best, so wake up an hour earlier and get out there. Closer to Durban the wrecks and barges have been producing some quality tuna with the odd couta around. The sharks remain a problem…

Central – The Durban coast has started to free up more with the move to level 2. That post trip beer has really been missed…The bottom fish have been feeding well since the end of lockdown and some amazing fish have been caught (and released). The soldiers and slinger have made up the most consistent catches in the deep but the coppers and cracker have been the real prizes. These fish are slow-growing and hard-fighting so they deserve respect and a safe release. The couta have been a bit quiet lately with only a handful of specimens being landed in the past week. The deeper reefs have been the place to target these fish, with a live mackerel producing the better bites.

South – The south coast has been quiet (no reports have come in). The shad have been a pest on the backline with bait jigs getting demolished very fast. Using the heavier duty Mustad jigs with the thicker fluorocarbon snoots will prevent this. The bottom fishing has been great with the far south producing some amazing fish including big black musselcracker, giant copper steenbras and KP-breaking yellowtail. These fish will all eat a live bait on the bottom and require a determined angler to be landed. Also the hotspots are a secret kept close to those who know them. Don’t bother asking…The shallower reefs have produced some couta with a shiny walla walla producing the most bites.

Rock and Surf:

The rock and surf fishing has been hampered by the wind and big seas. The smaller sheltered bays have been fishable and often produce good catches in the rough conditions.

North – The north coast has seen some decent catches in the recent weeks. The banks have been producing plenty of zambezi sharks for those brave enough to target them. Strong tackle and a live shark or ray is needed to hook and land these beasts. The deep water points along the north coast have seem a lot of early morning spinning action. The snoek have been feeding well in spots such as Seola and Balitto. Getting in to the deeper water often requires a bit of a swim so please be careful. The new Kingfisher Mucho spoons have been producing some good pulls with the pink glow getting the most snoek bites.

Central – Durban has been quiet but as we enter level 2, the beaches will at least be fishable. Please remember to respect the rules and regulations (as well as the authorities); a fish is not worth a criminal offence…The Umhlanga area has produced some good quality fishing with some decent edibles coming in around the lighthouse. There have been some big shad landed on whole mackerel baits while the scratchers have done well with prawn and chokka. Remember that the annual Kingfisher Big Shad Competition is under way and there are some big shad already on the board. The top place is currently held by a fish over 4.5kgs! Let us see what the rest of the month holds. To qualify the fish must be fresh (unfrozen) and be weighed in at one of the Kingfisher branches.

South – The south coast has seen mixed fishing with one day being hot and the next dead. The bronze bream have been fairly dependable with the usual rocky ledges and gullies producing fish. Make sure you keep a close eye on your rod as the bream have been feeding shyly. Any suggestion of a bite is worth investigating. The kob and garrick are still milling around the river mouths so fishing these areas with a live bait will be your best chance. Throwing a plug or bucktail jig in the vicinity of your live bait is a good way to pass the time and generate some excitement in the area. Use long sweeping motions for the bucktail and a high rod tip for the plug.  Those looking for bigger fish, it is best to drone a bait in to the deeper water. This has been the most consistent way to get a bite. Most of us cannot wait for summer!

Thanks Nic Maitland from Mtunzini Fishing Shop for this report – “A small baby Zambie was caught in the gill nets over the weekend and I did not know they came into the estuarine system during the winter. Talking to a shark expert of 37 years in research he tells me that they live for up to 3 years in an estuary before venturing out to sea, initially they return frequently before spending longer time out at sea eventually they do not return. Whilst from time to time they do get caught in our estuary the numbers are not sufficient to say that our estuary is a nursing ground for the sharks but they do rock up none the less. Fishing over the weekend was scratchy at best with many an angler blanking but that is how it goes.

From the surf, spinners were the main species caught again over the weekend with some nice size Shad thrown in between them, a bus of a Shad was dropped on main beach I am told. I think it could be it was forced on the last part of the fight, I think it was this because the fish was been retrieved on the suck back of the wave creating more pressure on the hook up, this is combined with the fish fighting the hardest as it does not want to come out of the water.

On the offshore side, Merriman made the most of the weather on Saturday and headed north towards Patinga and caught some nice fish including a decent size Bronze Bream, a first for him. He also managed 3 types of Kingfish plus some bottoms however he was Jigging for most of the time and that is probably why he got the Kingfish. We are told the mouth is quiet deep at the moment but the channel is narrow still with the sand bank to you south creeping north.

Freshwater:

The bass fishing is bringing some real fire to the freshwater scene. That combined with the epic trout action and the natal scaly fishing…it has been wild!

Bass – The bass are on the beds in most of the dams in KZN. The higher altitude venues will probably be a bit behind but the fish will be around the usual spawning sites. The debate over the ethical or unethical capture of these spawning fish is for some other time. Just make sure to release then safely and treat them with respect. Jerkbaits have been doing particularly well in most dams with the zipping action and sudden stops proving too much for most fish. Colour is not the most important but suspending bait is deadly. Alternately, if you are on the beds, soft plastics or a jig will do wonders. Something large with moving parts will annoy the fish enough to attack it. Perseverance is key to annoyance…Top picks for the week are Hazlemere for the bank anglers and Inanda for those on boats.

Carp – The carp have been busy rooting around the sediment. The cold has made fishing a bit slow but the big fish just need some more convincing to feed. Keeping your baited area well stocked and having multiple tester areas that you can monitor during your fishing time will greatly improve your chances. Make sure to include your hook bait in the feed you are putting out. Boilies are a great bait to use all year round and they really produce the bites. Banana is still producing fish for the conventional angler’s fish mielies and oozers getting results. The specimen anglers have seen success from both boilies and tigernuts.

Trout – The trout fishing has been fantastic. The colder weather has made the fish very energetic which makes for some great fights. The venues have all been behaving differently with fish at various ends of the spawn (still). Adding some orange to your flies is still a good idea. San Juan worm on a longer leader or fished as a dropper has been working for those you prefer a more subtle presentation. Those looking for faster paced action will do well flinging some streamers around and covering more water.

Scalies – The Natal yellowfish (scaly) is one of our greatest freshwater fly targets. They are readily available and love eating flies. This combined with the beautiful scenery in the locations where we target them and their dogged fighting ability makes them really special. Jig flies in olives and blacks have been producing the bites. Pop in to one of our branches for more information…

News from Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “And yet more Facebook “Memories” came flooding in over the past week reminding me of the snow(s) received at this time of the year – so I was most excited when it started raining at about 8pm the other night, hoping that it would start snowing shortly thereafter … alas, the rain came to a grinding halt a mere 5min later and that morning was bright and clear with no sign of snow anywhere.  There is still some cold front action on the way, so all we can do is keep those fingers crossed as the river Opening Day approaches…

With the frontal systems rolling in, the fishing has been a bit up and down – the warm(er) spells (and stable / rising air pressure) sees the fishing on the up, with a concomitant lull in the fishing as the next front (and associated low pressure) rolls over the county.  It does, whoever, seem that the signs of Spring are already in the air as the success is being had with bigger flies; e.g. woolly bugger in olive / black / brown livery … and when fished in tandem with a smaller trailing nymph / caddis fly, makes for a deadly combination “food platter” to tempt the fish.

Midmar and Albert Falls are also waking up – reports are that the bass and tilapia / kurper are on the move.  The next Joey’s Tournament Trail event takes place Albert Falls on 5 September – entries are open, contact tarryn.saville@gmail.com to get in soonest for this popular series of events.

The Natal Yellowfish (scaly) are also one the move with the warmer spells, and some good fish have been reported from the Umkomaas and also the Bushman’s River.  The cold spell will put them down for a bit, so hang on for the warmers days to come”. Thanks Jan. 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 or fish caught in your area to mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za

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