FISHING REPORT 16 September ’20

Fishing has been good this past week despite the weather. With conditions starting to settle and fall in to more standard patterns we can expect to see more predictable results soon. Please blow NE wind…we want summer!

Ray’s tip: Tackling the big sharks and rays of summer (and the rest of the year) is a lot of fun but it can also be dangerous if not done with the proper tackle and experience. There are a few essential items that you should add to your kit if they are not already there. A good set of gloves is number one. These will help with leadering bigger fish as well as general handling of the rough-skinned sharks. A decent wire cutter should also be in everyone’s box as it can be used to quickly cut the line as close to the hook (if the hook is too deep) as well as cutting hooks that have ended up where they shouldn’t have. The last few items are self-explanatory: water, disinfectant and sun cream.


The weather has been a bit naughty with the days of nice launches being limited. Hopefully with the onset of spring and moving towards more settled weather, we should have more predictable fishing. All things considered, the fishing has been good!

North – North of Durban the fishing has been consistent, with the Jex Estate stretch and Umdloti producing the most news from both paddle ski and ski boat anglers. These spots are both very productive in the early hours of the day for snoek. Pulling strip baits or smaller lipped lures will generally put a snoek or two in the hatch and settle the nerves for the day. As the sun comes up, a move in to the deeper water will see either tuna or couta depending on your targeting. Trolling lipped lures to cover more ground will be best suited to the ever-hungry tuna while live or dead baits trolled slowly in the depths will be tempting for the couta.

Central – The reports off Durban have been mainly from the charter guys. The backline charters have been fully booked with most trips producing results. The shad are still giving some anglers headaches while they look for live bait. Using a stronger hook snoot on your bait jigs will be your best chance to not lose all your jigs. The shallower reefs are taking quite a bit of pressure so please make sure to release all the undersized fish and keep only your limit (if you have to). For this type of fishing, a KP reel is still the preferred reel with its massive torque and nearly unlimited drag capability. Further offshore, the guys have managed some very good catches of bottoms including large rockcod and geelbek.

South – The south coast has seen a lot more launches from the Umkomaas River. The longer bank and more predictable wave sets mean this is one of the safer areas to launch if you know what you are doing! The reports from offshore have been slim with little news of gamefish. The couta have been missing but a handful have been reported from the south over the past few weeks. The deeper baits in the spread have produced most of the couta bites with live mackerel being the top of the pops. When the pickings are slim you need to do your best to maximise your chance. Using lighter leaders and hook snoots will generally give you the edge over the other anglers.

Rock and Surf:

The weather has been up and down but the fishing has been fairly constant. The shad are full up on most of the KZN coast so go catch a big one and weigh it in at one of our branches before the end of the month.

North – The north coast is warming up quickly and the summer fish are starting to appear in the catch reports (and our dreams). The NE wind needs to blow for a couple of days and we should be in for the first of the summer smashes up north. In the meantime, there have been diamonds at the banks as well as their predators. If you are wanting to test your mettle then swim one of these diamonds on the appropriate tackle and hang on! The longer beaches and rocky areas on the north coast have been very productive for edibles. The ledges have had an amazing bronze bream season with some beautiful fish being landed. The beaches have seen many species landed but some quality stumpies have been the top catches.

Central – The Durban coast has seen a lot of angling pressure this past week. The hot shad spots have been extremely busy and have highlighted some issues. Please pick up your rubbish when you leave…it is easy! The shad have been of a decent size with a couple smaller fish mixed in. The bigger inedibles have been scarce but a few have been hooked and some landed. The drone anglers have had an amazing hook-up rate. Grey sharks, diamonds and blackfins have been the three top species of inedible this past week. The blackfins have been the least landed after hooked. Their aerial displays put the heart in to top speed very quickly.

South – Suveer Singh landed an awesome white mussel cracker (brusher) of 6kgs at Ansteys Beach, Bluff, Surveer was using a crab as bait. The south coast has seen a decent run of shad but it has been a lot quieter than the central stretch. The early mornings have been the best chance at these toothy predators. The bronze bream have been testing the patience of the inexperienced anglers while the “pros” have made it look too easy. Remember to use a chunky prawn bait and try to keep the leader and hook snoot light as the bream can be very sensitive. The garrick have been feeding surprisingly well with some great reports coming from the Winkelspruit rocks. Getting a live bait has been the most limiting factor.

Report from Nic Maitland, Mtunzini Fishing Shop – “Fishing in the river over last weekend was good for those that ventured in to the wind, the main species caught were River Bream of various sizes and most were caught on Prawn tails. Other species reported were Spotted Grunter, Bar Tail, Stumpnose (Big Eye and Cape) but no River Snapper of Pickhandle Barracuda. Recently a Nondi Kob was caught which is not a common visitor to our river; it had a lice on its tongue similar to the ones the Spotted Pompano get. I was at the lagoon on Monday morning and there were three anglers, they had caught a Spotted Grunter and released it but they were having a good time. Friday night was good surf fishing and a lot of Kob were caught at various places then from Saturday things slowed down with mainly small Shad, Spinners and some Rockcod been caught. I was down at the beach for a while this morning and the conditions were great there were four guys fishing but I did not see them catching a fish. Over the weekend the ski boat guys who went our reported very few fish been boated but plenty of whale activity, Gert and Marius had the fortunate experience of a whale breeching and posing right next to their boat which more than made up for the slow fishing”. Thanks Nic.


The dams, stillwater’s and rivers have all been very kind to us. The bass have been on a different level this past week, the trout have been charged up and the carp have been hungry.

Bass – Wow! What a season we are having with the bass. All of the KZN venues are producing some slabs! Albert Falls and Inanda have been on fire for the boat anglers while Hazlemere continues to impress with regular catches of fish over the 3kg mark (some over 4kgs). To suggest that the success is down to a single bait or method would be foolish. The repeated success by some anglers has got to do with reading the situation, using their electronics (watch YouTube tutorials) and fishing their chosen bait properly. What can be said is that the bank anglers have done particularly well with whacky-rigged worms. This method gives the worms a lot more action and seems to irritate the bass. The boat anglers have seen success with multiple methods but the guys using search baits have seen good fish while those targeting the fish on the beds have seen good results with creature baits.

Carp – The reports from the carp fishing (both specimen and conventional) have been outstanding! The size and health of the fish coming out of our KZN venues is something to be proud of. The summer weather is almost here and the carp are responding. The smaller fish have gotten tired of the winter cold and are feeding on anything sweet. Honey and fruity flavoured floaties have been the most successful of all the baits for the conventional anglers. The specimen anglers have done well at Albert Falls and Midmar further inland while Inanda remains the pick of the big fish waters close to Durban. The sweeter (fruitier) flavours have done well for the specimen anglers using boilies and popups. Those preferring particles have done well with tigernuts fished over various mixes of feed. Accuracy of the cast in relation to the feeding area has been the most important aspect.

Trout – The trout fishing has been fantastic over the past few weeks with some amazing fish being touted on social media. The fish in 99% of the venues are no longer full of eggs but the flash of orange on a fly still seems to trigger a harder take. The streamers have come in to their own in the last while with crystal buggers and wooly buggers flying out the shops for very good reason. These flies are very forgiving when it comes to retrieves and casting. By simply varying the retrieve, you can mimic many different food items. The olive and brown colour variants have been doing very well in most of the reported areas. The rivers have been very low which has made fishing very tricky and sometimes impossible.

News from Jan, the Kingfisher in PMB “Herewith the fishing / water report from a topsy-turvy weather-wise PMB … from 31 down to 19 and back up to 27deg.C!

So summer was here, and then it became very Winter-ish again this week … and now it’s (apparently) back to Summer again … let’s hope it stays this time!  Was hoping for a bit more precipitation with the system that came over this week, but literally only a spit and spot received here and there, so we are still very much on the back foot.

The river (trout) anglers that have braved the current low water have reported some success from the lower reaches, where the fish will be waiting while they wait for the flow levels to increase, before moving up into the higher reaches.  The low flows and crystal clear conditions demand some modicum of stealth.  With river temps still being on the low side, Euro-Nymphing has been the order of the day.

The Stillwater (trout) fishing has been a little like the weather – up one day and down again the next.  From feeding large flies to hungry fish coming out of the cold of winter, then back to the fish refusing the bigger offerings when the weather turned.  Remember that the “what fly is working?” question that we all ask other (successful) anglers, may not be as important as depth, weight on the fly, style of retrieve, leader configuration, etc.  When fishing a Stillwater, one must first find where the fish are in the dam … and then their position in the water column … and then choose an appropriate strategy to target them based on what they could be feeding on.   In general, if one is fishing a bug on a floating line with a 20ft leader using a slow Figure-of-8 hand twist retrieve, and another angler is fishing the identical bug on a fast sinking line with a 4ft leader using a fast strip retrieve, depending on where the fish are in the water column (in this case to or bottom), one might argue that the fly has nothing to do with It … we anglers tend to get a little more than caught up in the idea of “use the same fly as the other guy that is catching fish”, where in fact the actual presentation and technique used by the other guy isn’t the same.  The overseas literature is also somewhat biased, where hatches are regular and fly pattern can be all important … in South Africa, we don’t have much by way of regular, seasonal hatches, so a precise fly match becomes more of a general consideration, so being flexible in approach makes all the difference.

After Albert Falls produced some great fish in the Joey’s Tournament Trail event earlier in the month, this week Albert’s produced another proper bucket mouth tipping the scale at 9.3lb / 4.2kg.  The fish was taken on a crawfish-style plastic.  As mentioned last week, the Spring Spawn is on the go, anglers are reminded that if practising C&R, to keep your fish in the water while unhooking, and / or get the fish back into the water as quickly as possible, and release when the fish is able to swim away by itself.  Good fish are too valuable to be caught only once…  No reports from Midmar Dam.

The scaly’s are still very much on the go, with some great fish coming out from the Umkomaas and Tugela Rover systems.  No news locally from the Umngeni or The Mooi systems.  Again, weighted jig-style nymphs and buggers in natural colours like olive and grey are the go-to flies of choice”.

The annual Kingfisher Shad Competition is in full swing. There are amazing prizes for September so get your spoons and sardines and get an early entry in! First prize is a Daiwa BG 5000 spinning reel, loaded with 30lb Daiwa J Braid valued at around R3500.00, second prize is the Poseidon Coastline 3 piece surf rod with two extra tips valued at around R2400.00 and third prize is the Daiwa Laguna 5000 spinning reels valued at around R1400.00. Your shad needs to be fresh to count (no frozen fish) and it must be weighed in at any of our Kingfisher branches. Guys, please note that the bag limit for shad is 4 and the min size is 30cm, also the shad season closes 30th September, re-opens 1st December 2020, good luck to you all.

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

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. For your convenience all Kingfisher branches will be open on Thursday the 24th from 8am – 1pm.

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