The weather has been the main factor in the last week. The offshore fishing has been great, the shad have made a fantastic appearance for the rock and surf guys while the bass are getting frisky.

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.

Ray’s tip: The trapstick.
The trapstick is a rod which is often forgotten on the boat (or ski). This is a general term used for a rod that is used to put out a live bait while you fish for bottom fish. This method usually utilises a balloon and a live bait. The balloon stops the live bait from swimming too deep along with making it constantly struggle against the resistance of the balloon and thus putting out the good vibrations. This method can be done with multiple different setups. You can choose to either have a dedicated trap stick such as the Kingfisher Poseidon Offshore Series Kingfish rod with a 40 or 50 size Daiwa multiplier, or you can use one of your other rods as a multipurpose rod. The best choice is probably your popping setup, just lengthen your leader and use a balloon about 2 meters above the live bait. Try it next time you are drifting or anchored for bottom fish and see what jumps on the trap stick!

The focus in the last few weeks has been on the bottom. The bottom fishing has been rewarding but the snoek and tuna are still around for those who prefer moving and fishing.

The couta have been around in dribs and drabs. Some lucky anglers have managed some proper fish while targeting the snoek on the backline emphasising the need to use the best tackle possible. The snoek have continued to blow hot and cold on the north coast. The early mornings have been the peak time with the earlier you can launch the better. The Strikepro Magic Minnow and the smaller Kingfisher Rattlers have been doing the business for those who prefer a lipped lure over a fillet. The redeye sardine fillet has done some real damage in the last few weeks. Go as light as you can with your tackle to get more bites but remember that a hungry couta will not say no to a well-presented fillet bait flapping past him on the surface.

The central zone has seen a lot of very good bottom fish action. The big hauls of daga and geelbek are starting to happen and some amazing (and sad) amounts of fish have been mentioned. Both of these species can sometimes get picky with what bait they want to eat so make sure you have some sardine, some live mackerel and shad. A hungry daga or geelbek will not be able to say no to those. Never forget the trap stick while you are fishing on the bottom. The trap stick out the back of the boat has accounted for a lot more fish than people think. The tuna love to jump on the trap stick after getting attracted in to the area by the commotion of fish being hauled up from the bottom. A live bait under a balloon is the best choice to put out on the trap stick. The tuna have continued to provide some consistent action with some decent specimens being landed recently. The guys fishing on the bottom have also managed some giant copper steenbras and black mussel cracker. Fortunately, most of these fish have gone back (well done guys)!

The south coast has been much the same as the central coast with a lot of focus going to the bottom fish action.

The closer reefs have seen some decent couta. These bigger couta can get a bit fussy in terms of what they want to eat so make sure that you give them a couple options. Best option is to rig your baits at different depths and to use two different baitfish if possible. Alternately you can use two different coloured skirts in front of your mackerel. The garrick are still around on the backline and the same methods mentioned previously will produce the bite.

The Durban harbour has been fishing particularly well over the last few weeks for both the artificial and bait anglers. The springer have been around for the entire year and are only getting feistier as we get closer to summer. The kingies have been keeping the lure anglers happy as they have been gobbling up anything that moves fast enough. Look at using some natural coloured jerk minnows in the 3-4inch variety. The garrick have also been there. These fish have been reluctant to eat but have kept the hearts as they chase and splash at the baitfish in the area.

Rock and Surf:
The shad have been keeping the rock and surf scene busy. As we go closer to the end of the season the fish will keep getting bigger so remember to bring your biggest catches in to be weighed at your nearest Kingfisher branch.

The north coast has been a great place to head if you are after edibles. The bigger seas have made many spots difficult but the abundance of spots with protection from these bigger swells have meant a lot more fish are accessible during these conditions. The stumpies and kingfish have been jumping on any prawn and chokka baits that are fished on the banks while any fleshy bait has been pounced on by the shad.

The sandies are starting to make an appearance with some smaller specimens being landed over the past few weeks. As soon as we start getting some consistent northeast wind, we will be able to target these beasts properly. Those looking for inedible action will be best suited to fishing for the grey sharks at night with a meaty mackerel bait.

Much like the north coast, the grey sharks have been fairly plentiful. These are great fish to target as they put up enough of a fight without being unmanageable. This makes them accessible to everyone and a great introduction in to the realm of inedible angling. A mackerel head wrapped in cutlets will do a great job of attracting these fish in.

Those looking to win the shad competition will be best suited fishing in the early hours of the morning and evening as most of the bigger fish weighed in have come in during the morning. Focus on the Umhlanga lighthouse area as well as further north. The piers have produced some decent stumpies and blacktail this past week and are a great place to take those new to the sport or those uncertain of the beaches/rocks. Light rods and small hooks will keep you entertained for hours.

The south coast has seen some very good bronze bream action in the areas that are not too sanded up. Look for areas where there is good rock structure with some moving white water along with some weed. These three things will make the bream feel at home. Fish with a decent prawn bait and make sure you have traces with and without a float depending on the amount of water movement.

The longer beaches on the south coast as well as the deepwater points have done very well for the drone anglers. Any of the fleshy fish baits such as mackerel, yellowtail or bonito have produced bites. The ideal drop has been between 200 and 300 meters. Make sure you and your tackle is up for what follows before you put a 1kg bait out…

The freshwater fishing has been very kind to all the anglers over the past week. The bass are starting to move on to their spawning beds making them easy to find. The carp are feeding well at all the KZN venues for both specimen and conventional anglers. A simple Social media search will show you how well the trout fishing is going (not to mention the scalies)!

Inanda and Albert Falls have been the two most mentioned venues in the last week. Both of these venues give specimen and conventional anglers a very good chance at breaking their personal best record. Albert falls is better suited to the conventional angler although it does work for the specimen guys. The areas of shallow bays with adjacent deep water give the best chance at holding feeding fish. Fishing consistently to one spot will produce more bites. The flavours of choice have been banana and honey but a sneaky few fish have been landed on garlic, in either floaties or mielies.

The specimen anglers have done better at Inanda with some real trophies being landed the past week. Boilies have been the favourite for the quick session anglers while those fishing for longer periods have done better using tigernuts (properly prepared). The deeper holes have produced the big fish thus requiring a fishfinder to locate them. Once these spots are found, you can have great success.

The bass fishing has been going extremely well with Inanda dam producing the most consistent results with the boat anglers while Hazlemere has turned in to the place to go for the bank guys. The cold fronts have made the fishing a little up and down but the pre-frontal conditions have been fire. Jerkbaits continue to produce great catches with the natural colours out-performing the reaction colours. The fish have started moving on to the beds so look at either targeting the shallow sections if you want to catch a lot of angry male fish or you can fish the drop-offs close to these spawning flats to target the big, staging females. The females in the deeper water generally take more convincing and a finesse approach such as a dropshot worm will be a good idea. The males are best targeted using a reaction-type bait such as a jerkbait or bladed jig/chatterbait.

The trout have been very hungry in the stillwaters. Most of the streamers have been producing decent numbers of fish with the cactus buggers in brown and black seeing a lot of success. The frontal conditions have made fishing difficult at times but the dropping pressure of the pre-frontal times have made for hectic action.

Post-frontal the fish tend to need a bit of persuasion to eat and then more subtle methods tend to get the better bites. Look at fishing san juan worms on a long leader and floating line with a very slow retrieve or replace the san juan with a small flashback nymph.

This report from Jan Korrubel at the Kingfisher in PMB.

So Facebook has been giving me a bit of a break with the snow memories, but the Norwegian Weather Gods have it looking possible this coming weekend … and there is already a change from the blistering summer days this week … so once again, fingers are crossed for some input up on high to feed the streams for next week’s (official) Opening Day of the trout river season on 1 September.   FYI – anyone wanting to ask questions about river fishing for trout better ask this week, or Monday latest, because Tuesday you will not find me … #justsaying J

The apparent change in season is also having some effect on the current fishing : the trout stillwaters are proving to be somewhat slow and testing, but that being said, some cracking fish have been coming out.  With the warming waters, larger flies are on the menu again, so back to woolly buggers, dragon and damselfly, and minnow patterns.  No harm in fishing a trailer setup with either an attractor pattern (e.g. White Death) up front of a large fly, or trailing a smaller pattern (e.g. nymph or bloodworm) behind the big fly.

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

A good few reports have been incoming on the Natal Yellowfish (scaly) fishing, with some excellent fish (numbers and size) being brought to hand from the Umkomaas and also The Bushman’s River, with the Tugela scaly’s also on the move.  Not called “freshwater bonefish” for nothing, Scaly’s pull hard and worthy opponents on light tackle.

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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