FISHING REPORT 23 September ’20 September 23, 2020 by The Kingfisher The weather is starting to get its act together and the fishing is getting better and better! Ray’s tip: Spinning for shad. With the season almost closed, generally the size of the fish pick up. There are a few lures that work extremely well for shad. You do not need an entire bag of tackle, simply a few lures and some leader line. The lures of choice are the gold-coloured falcon spoon, the classic v-back and the Kingfisher Rattler. These three lures will cover any situation you may encounter and they work very well! Offshore: The bigger seas have made fishing a bit interesting on the KZN coast but there have been tuna, couta, snoek, yellowtail and geelbek (to name a few). North – The north coast has been very productive. The guys on the backline have been catching a lot of garrick on live bait and surface lures. A live bait on a circle hook slowly trolled just behind the backline is a deadly method. Use a 6/0 circle hook bridled on to the live bait and you are good to go. This is a dangerous area to fish so please make sure you have someone on “wave watch” constantly. The rest if the north coast has seen a handful of couta for the dedicated anglers while those fishing on the bottom have caught plenty to fill the hatch. Central – The Durban coast has seen a lot of anglers due to the more protected nature of the close reefs. The bottom fishing has been very good with geelbek and daga making up the bulk of the catches but there have also been some giant rockcod landed. If you have not tried circle hooks for bottom fishing yet, give it a go…few people look back. The tuna have been the only consistent gamefish to target off Durban recently. Live bait and poppers have done the trick on most days. Summer is on its way so get ready for sailfish, dorado and the rest of the summer crew. South – The south coast has been very similar to the central coast. The garrick have been around the river mouths and a live mackerel on a 6/0 Mustad Tuna Circle will be the ticket. The bottom fishing has been brilliant with some very good catches and even better releases. Some lucky anglers have had the privilege of releasing some giant musselcracker and copper steenbras. These bigger reef predators love a bigger bait so either flap a smaller bottom fish or a bigger live bait. Report from Nic Maitland, Mtunzini Fishing Shop – “The slipway road is now open and done and dusted a big thanks to Steve De Langer and Scribante construction for making this happen and finally thank you all for donating money to the Honorary Officers to pay towards the cost of the operation. Park hours remain at 6am-5pm for the time being the park is waiting for head office to advise when camping will be allowed and the gates closing at 10pm. When the park opens to 10pm again we can sit for Kob with live Mullet, get a braai going and wait. After the Cobia last weekend, Louis while targeting big Shad caught a Garrick on a Shad rig with Mac fillet as bait, surf fishing is not always a dull affair; he did get his big Shad on a Sard fillet as well as a small Spinner. Note the Garrick do bite on steel, I have caught them on steel, seen them been caught on steel and now Louis got one, if they are hungry they will eat. Shad were caught all over the place this weekend but not all were busses, Mark was fishing at his spot and they observed Garrick in the waves, a live Shad was slid out but they did not get a pickup. No reports of any non eds yet but Port Dunford is looking good as the channel from the river mouth is running that way. Last Saturday Mtunzini Angling Club and some members of the public joined the Honorary Officers for the Siyayi Coastal Park for the beach clean-up; 873kg of plastic were collected from the mouth as far as Red Boom. The next clean will be from Emboyeni up to Red Boom, well done to all who participated. We had to limit the participants to 50 as we were still I Lock Up level 2”. Rock and Surf: The rock and surf fishing has been getting better and better as the summer weather rolls in. The shad are still here and the competition is not done yet. North – Brusher have been the main target for those looking beyond the shad. Brusher are not a species of finesse. They are incredibly strong and can straighten or squash any hook. The best bait is hands down a crab. Fish this on a heavy hook snoot and hook in the rough white water near a rocky ledge. The rest of the north coast has seen an arrival of some summer flatfish with diamonds, honeycombs and sandies making an appearance on drone and throw baits. Mackerel and fresh shad have been the baits of choice. Central – Brusher have also been around the central coast. The Bluff beaches have seen the most consistent results over the past few weeks. Musselman crabs have been the pick of the baits, fished on a 6/0 Mustad Hoodlum with around a 0.8mm hook snoot. There have been some proper specimens landed with a few going over 12kgs! The shad have been a bit finicky on most mornings and evenings. Whole sardines have been the most effective baits for the bigger fish, but some decent fish have been landed on spoons. Blue Lagoon has seen some amazing catches this past week with a giant garrick and a lot of shad coming to the beach and rocks. South – Shad have been the most consistent catch on the south coast but the brusher and bronze bream have also been in the mix. Winkelspruit has produced some garrick catches mainly on live shad. The lure anglers have also done well in the south with some good sized garrick being landed on both spoon and plug. The rocky areas have seen both brusher and bronze bream. The bronze bream season has been the best we have seen in a very long time. Pink prawn and cracker shrimp have been the most effective baits. Freshwater: The bass and carp fishing has been very good since the dams have opened. The trout fishing is also on a different level with many new anglers landing their first trout. Bass – The bass fishing has been incredibly good this past week. Albert Falls has been the most productive in terms of big fish but Inanda has seen more fish on total. A variety of methods have been producing the results with each angler reporting a new “deadly method”. Jerkbaits are a great way to generate a bite irrespective of the bass’ mood. There are two schools of thought, either match the hatch (mimic the local fodder) or bright trigger colours to annoy the bass enough to bite. Other methods that have done well include bladed jigs, whacky rigged worms and crankbaits. So the as long as you are using the lure properly, you will catch some fish. Carp – The carp catches have been good. The keep nets have been filled up quickly with some anglers having to empty the net mid-session. The sweet flavours have come in to their own. Honey and banana have been the best flavours. Mielies and floaties are your best bet on any of the venues in KZN. Adding a stripe of sweet syrup on to your mielie bomb will go a long way at attracting the fish to your spot quickly. The specimen anglers have seen very good results with tigernuts and boilies (if you can get them). Getting the feeding area set up properly will make the difference between a few bites and a great session. Trout – The trout are getting a lot of people that are new to the sport of fly fishing addicted… The Stillwater’s and rivers have seen good results. The rivers are a bit low at the moment and once we have a bit more rain the levels will go up. The Stillwater’s are producing some amazing fish with a few catches going over 10lbs! Various fly patterns are seeing results with streamers seeing the most consistent results. It is more important to fish your pattern properly than to copy whoever is getting results. So fish different depths and retrieve speeds first before changing patterns. News from Jan, the Kingfisher in PMB – Not exactly sure what the Weather Gods are imbibing upstairs, but one day it’s full on Summer with temps in the late 20’s, and the next is back to single-figure Winter! The Norwegian’s are forecasting a cool, wet weekend ahead … perhaps not the best for one’s fishing plans, but it will be most welcome to settle the dust and give the post-burn Spring growth a kick to get The Midlands back to lush and green… The (trout) rivers are still low and slow – probably best to avoid the upper stretches for time being till we had some decent rain in the catchments to get the flow (and the fish) moving. The middle to lower reaches will also be slow, but offer better prospects in the deeper holding water. Low flows and crystal clear water demand stealth and small flies, with hatches being slow in cool water conditions, sub-surface nymph your best bet. For the most part, the (trout) Stillwater’s are still looking good. With cooler winter temps now starting to rise, fish are generally keen to feed, so bigger flies representing proper food have the fish going for minnows, dragons, woolly buggers … the bigger flies in your box. Reports received also make mention of fish filled with snails, so it’s also worthwhile giving a small dark fly in the style of a “Coch-y-bondhu” a fling. Reports incoming indicate that spawning bass are to be had at Albert Falls on a variety of lures from soft-plastics to crank baits. With the Spring Spawn is on the go, anglers are once again 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. Still no local news on the scaly’s in the Umngeni, Mooi or Bushman’s River system. But further afield on the Umkomaas and Tugela system, anglers are reporting some good fish. No news on any dry fly action as yet, so weighted jig-style nymphs and buggers in natural colours like olive and grey are currently the go-to flies of choice”. Thanks Jan. The annual Kingfisher Shad Competition is nearly over. 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 https://www.youtube.com/c/TheKingfisherFishing 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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