FISHING REPORT 2 September ’20 September 2, 2020 by The Kingfisher The first leg of our annual Biggest Shad Competition has finished and the following anglers need to be congratulated for their fantastic catches. In third place with a shad of 4.40kgs Paula Pillay; in second with a shad that just pipped third, a shad of 4.41kgs David Shar and finally the king of the competition, Rowayne Ramouthar who landed a beast of a fish weighing in at 4.52kgs. Very well done to everyone who weighed in a shad for this competition, we look forward to some even bigger fish during the September month. Already in September! This year is flying, probably for the best. The fishing has been good on all fronts with most facets eagerly awaiting the warmer spring weather. Ray’s tip: Get summer tackle ready! With the spring season here we need to get the big fish tackle ready! The weather patterns are starting to show a more summer setup with this weekend seeing three days of NE wind. The summer flatties will start to come on the bite so make sure you get all your summer traces rigged. Sharpen your hooks and spool the reels up. The thing to look for is three days of northeast wind and a flat-ish sea. These conditions will be the best to bring those summer fish in to the shallower areas where we can target them. Offshore: The offshore has been up and down. The seas have been choppy but those that have launched have landed some good fish. North – The north coast has produced some fantastic fish with big tuna and some fat snoek being landed. The snoek have been around the Tongaat Long Beach area. The backline is a fantastic stretch to troll for both garrick and snoek. The snoek have been preferably picking a fillet bait while the garrick likes a live shad or mackerel. The deeper reefs have produced some quality reef fish along with decent tuna on the drift. A live mozzie or mackerel under a balloon will quickly draw the attention of a passing game fish. Central – The Durban coast has seen a lot of tuna to the gaff this past week. The baitfish have been full up and the time is running out for freezer stocking. Make sure you pack your bait properly to ensure a summer season of decent fishing. A quality vacuum sealer is a fantastic investment for those who do a lot of fishing as they can help to preserve your bait for many months. Much like the north coast, the tuna have been very fond of a live bait but the odd fish has fallen for a popper worked near the bait showings. The setup for throwing these poppers is a multi-purpose setup that can be used for trolling and pitching live baits. The rod is usually around 8ft in length paired with an 8000 size Daiwa BG or Saltist reel and 65lb Daiwa J braid. This setup will pull even the most stubborn tuna from the deep. South – The south coast has seen a big focus on the bigger bottom fish in the last while. The copper steenbras and the black musselcrackers have been on the top of the hit list with the daga and geelbek coming in tied third. The geelbek and daga have been coming out at night (as per usual). A live bait or whole sardine is the best bait for these fish; just keep an eye on the shark activity. As soon as the taxmen show up, it is time to move as you will not get many fish out. The coppers and poenskop prefer bigger live baits fished to the deeper pinnacles. Trying to get locations to fish is a solo mission as not many people will give up their hard-earned spots. Fish heavier than normal as you need the power to bring the fish up. Rock and Surf: The rock and surf guys are starting to get excited as the summer conditions are starting to make an appearance along with some early summer fish. Look for the northeast winds to blow for a few days and head to your favourite summer spot. North – The north coast has seen a good display of edible fish recently. Rubberlips, speckled snapper, stumpnose and some big kingfish to name a few. These reefs and deeper rocky ledges are prime habitat for all these species. Most of these fish are residents and we urge you to release them if possible. Fishing for these fish is more about getting your bait in the right area than having an exact bait. White baits such as prawn and chokka work well as well as crayfish. Fish with circle hooks for better hookups and fewer lost traces. The bigger flatfish have started to appear on the banks. The guys wanting to target the big sharks on swim baits will be happy to hear that the zambies are full up. Central – The Durban coast has seen an uprising of shad over the last week. The season has been pretty poor on the whole for shad in KZN but the last week has been fantastic. The sizes have been varied with a mix of legal and giant shad. Fish the late afternoons and early mornings for the best results. There has also been a smattering of summer fish starting to be landed. The sandies have been on the small side but have put up a good account of themselves. The diamonds and grey sharks have also kept the guys entertained. Bloody baits such as mackerel heads with cutlets wrapped around are a good choice for multi-species targeting. South – The south coast has seen more edible fish than the central with shad, garrick, bronze bream and stumpies making up the bulk of the catches. The Winkelspruit area has produced some decent catches of shad and garrick over the past week on both lures and bait. The early mornings have produced the best bites. The shad have continued to fall for the gold Falcon spoon. The beaches have been a bit quiet with only a handful of diamond rays and grey sharks coming out on drone baits. The rocky gullies have produced some good catches for the scratching guys. Bronze bream have been the main catches in these areas. Pink prawn has been the most productive of the baits. Freshwater: The dams have all been fishing well with some cracker fish being landed. The rivers are open for trout and the scalies are still here to be caught. Bass – The boat anglers have been doing extremely well. The bass are moving on to the spawning beds and the boat guys have the benefit of being able to move around and find the nests. These fish can be targeted with various methods so focus more on the area and accuracy of your casts than the lure. Dropshot is a great method for the more finicky feeders using a straight worm or fluke. Those fishing the areas around the spawning areas have done well with reaction style baits. The jerkbaits have done particularly well but the deeper areas have been dominated by Carolina-rigged worms. The bank anglers have done well at Hazlemere but the low water levels have made fishing a bit muddy. Weightless soft plastics have done very well. A weightless fluke fished slowly through the shallows will produce some good fishing. Carp – The cold is starting to break and this makes the evening next to the dam a lot more pleasant. Spring is here and the fish are starting to feed. Spring is a great time to fish bright-coloured popups to sighted fish. These can be either orange, pink or yellow (many more colours) and should be fished fairly close to the bottom. The preference is for a spinner rig but there are multiple options available. Inanda has produced the most consistent results for the specimen anglers these past few weeks. There have been some amazing fish caught. Baiting an area and fishing to it accurately will get you the best results. Albert Falls has seen the most success for the conventional anglers. The numbers have been big but the weights small. Only a handful of decent fish have been landed. Trout – The arrival of spring means more activity in the Stillwater’s and the opening of the rivers. The warmer conditions bring about more plant growth, more insect hatches and a general increase in activity. The fishing will pick up in numbers but the bigger fish generally start to become scarce. If it is trophies that you are after, hurry to the berg. The streams are open (gentleman’s agreement) so get the hiking boots on and the 3wt or less and head for the winding streams. For the dry flies, an Elk hair caddis will do the job imitating most terrestrial and emerging insects. If you prefer nymphing, Gunn nymphs and Zak nymphs need to be in the box. Scalies – The scaly season is getting close to the end with the looming rains threatening to turn the rivers to mud. We should still get a few weekends in but make fast! The green rockworm with an orange tungsten bead has produced the goods time and again. Other small nymphs and jiggy buggers are also key in the fly box. News from Jan Korrubel – “Herewith the fishing / water report from a chilly and damp Midlands … This past weekend saw a big frontal system roll over the country, and temperatures plunged and while there was some ice on The ‘Berg from the light rains, nothing much in the way of the much anticipated snow … yet again. But, as the saying goes: “Be careful what you wish for…” … been keeping fingers crossed for some rain and snow to feed the ailing rivers, but not when I am fishing! … As this week saw the opening of the trout river season 1 September. The weather forecast was “iffy” to say the least, but one must do what one must do, so yours truly headed out and about for the annual Opening Day river inspection … and to throw a line of course! Having frequented the Giant’s Castle area over the last couple of weeks, expectations were not high for The Bushman’s River … but then again, I have blanked only twice in the 10+ years that I have fished the river … unfortunately, I now have a Hatrick … the river was the lowest I have seen it on Opening day, and a bracing 7deg.C (although it didn’t feel that cold as the outside temp was 8deg), and running (if you can say that) CRYSTAL clear. Ever the optimist, I threw a dry fly but after no sign of fish, even resorted to nymphing some of the holes … and still nothing. Other anglers reported success from lower down the river, so I suspect that the extremely thin water up the top was to play, and the fish are waiting for some flow before they move up. Conditions are much the same for The Mooi River in Kamberg – low flow, cold and clear. As they say, “Ah well, next time…” The Stillwater’s are also proving testy no doubt as a result of the season changing, but 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. There have been some good fish reported from Albert Falls in the last week … Midmar a bit on the quiet side. A reminder that the next Joey’s Tournament Trail event takes place this weekend at Albert Falls on Saturday 5 September – entries are open, contact email@example.com to get in soonest for this popular series of events. While we wait for the trout to wake up, the scaly’s (Natal Yellowfish) continue to dominate the river fishing, with some excellent fish having been reported from The Tugela River valley recently. Weighted jig-style nymphs and buggers in natural colours like olive and grey are the go-to flies of choice. The Umkomaas and Bushman’s Rivers are also giving up some slabs at present. Current dam levels are as follows: Midmar and Albert Falls just over 94% and 35% respectively, Spring Grove sitting at 51% and Mearns just shy of 47%. Wagondrift Dam on The Bushman’s is sitting at 93%”. Thanks Jan. Info in from Peter Prince, Rainbow Lakes in the Dargle area, KZN, (this is something for the trout syndicates in KZN). “Hi Mike, I thought that I’d update you on fishing activities at Rainbow over the last six months and also update you on our plans for fingerlings for the new season, for your interest. Trout fishing has been good through Autumn and Winter, with good supplies of clean well-oxygenated water which has revitalised the trout and even a ‘stockie’ feels like a two-pounder [sounds better than a one kiloer] when first hooked with long strong runs and much jumping! We’ve had good catches of mainly hens of between one and two kilos with a few big cock fish up to and over two and a half kilos on occasion. We have already received our new orders of eyed-ova which are currently almost all hatched now. With the last-minute order cancellations of last season, we have reduced our normal production numbers of +100 000 fingerlings and now have both Brown and Rainbow stock [40 000 of each-80 000 in total] which will be ready within a few months. Potential buyers need to let us know/place their orders soonest if they want an assured supply and we will be asking for a deposit of sorts to avoid the risk and subsequent wastage that we had last year when orders were cancelled at the last minute leaving us with a lot of unrecovered costs! With the now-turned-cold winter and the seeming onset of the more usual August winds, we’re hoping that some weather normality might be upon us, indicating a more usual fishing season ahead. If we get normal spring rains, then I expect a clamour for fingerlings from those who didn’t stock last year, but we will first supply our hardy regulars and only then, meet new orders from those who have booked and paid a deposit as suggested. All in all, I’m sure that we are all looking forward to the new season with no interruptions from any LockDown restrictions or similar. Trust you have all survived the dreaded virus so far and hope you all stay well!! By the way, orders for Browns and /or Rainbows need to be phoned through to me at 084 622 2274 [Peter Prince] or to Dave O’Connor at 074 239 8165. The new prices haven’t yet been calculated but are likely to be around R2.55 each for Rainbows and R3.00 for the more expensive Browns. Prices will be confirmed when ordering”. Thanks for the info Peter, for those that are interested please make contact with either Peter or Dave. 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. 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