FISHING REPORT 9 September ’20

The shad have been on the bite, the offshore anglers have been smiling and the bass guys are putting on a master class… With the weather starting to look up and the fish feeding well, we are in for some great fishing ahead.
Ray’s tip: Preparing for trips. We have all been there… arriving at the venue and realising that you left your rod bucket (or worse, bait) behind. This is bad enough on a local trip but when you travel a long way, this can mean disaster. Most of these situations happen when we rush to get ready because we left the packing to the morning of the trip instead of the day before. When it comes to trips, be it for a day or a month, a list is your friend. If you are doing a trip for the first time and you are uncertain of what to pack, pop in to one of the Kingfisher branches and we can give you some pointers on essential gear. As with all things, get ready far in advance and make sure all your gear is ready.
The sea has been a bit upside down this past week with some bumpy conditions. The fishing has been worth the discomfort though with plenty of decent catches made.
North – The north has seen its fair share of the bottom fish action on the reefs and wrecks. Amongst the usual reds and rockcod, a couple black musselcracker have been landed. These along with the copper steenbras enjoy a bigger bait such as a flapped slinger or whole shad. These are very strong fish so heavy tackle is required. A 10 inch KP filled with 80-100lb Daiwa J-braid and a Kingfisher Poseidon Offshore series Geelbek rod will give you more than enough power to pull these brutes from the deep.
Central – The Durban stretch has seen some proper tuna landed. Most of these fish have been caught throwing a popper at sighted action. There has been plenty of bait around in the basin. Mostly shoals of mackerel with small amounts of redeye sardine. The snoek have been feeding around the Umgeni River mouth in the morning. The earlier you can launch the better. A standard fillet bait is one of the most productive methods. The average fish has been a bit small but a snoek is still a snoek.
South – South of the Bluff the boats have been doing well fishing on the bottom. Slinger, rockcod and geelbek have been the main catches with the lucky anglers managing a musselcracker, daga, copper steenbras or yellowtail. The game fishing has been slow but the dorado have started to make a showing on the further offshore marks. When these fish get in to a feeding mood, they can be caught on anything.

Rock and Surf:
North – The north coast has already seen the start of the summer fish. The Zululand anglers have started catching diamonds at the banks and a handful of the big zambezi sharks. The sandies have also started to make an appearance in the catch reports. Any of the beaches or points where you can get a bait in to the deeper water will be worth a throw. Your standard summer traces with 9/0 circle hooks and decent fleshy baits will get the attention of any flatfish in the area.
Central – The Durban coast has had a slow week for anything but shad. The shad have been feeding in some areas through the day and night (within curfew). They have been eating bait and spoon so choose your favourite method and go have some fun. Please remember to stay within the bag and size limits. The drone anglers have managed to get baits out in to the deeper and calmer waters. They have managed some decent sharks and some very respectable skates.
South – The south coast has seen a lot of good edible fishing this past week. The sea has been a bit grumpy but most days have seen fishable water. The shad have been coming out at all the usual hot spots (look for the bamboo forest). Winkelspruit has produced a good run of garrick on live bait. The ledges and gullies have all seen good catches of bronze bream and stone bream. Both of these species enjoy pink prawns and cracker. The bronze prefers a bigger bait while the stone bream likes a more subtle presentation.

The freshwater scene continues to produce news with plenty of fish coming to the net. The carp are feeding well at all the KZN venues, the bass are starting to protect their nests and the fly fishers have their pick of trout or scalies.
Bass – The bass fishing at all of KZN’s dams has been particularly good in the past week. A quick look at the many social media pages will show you the collection of bucket mouth beasts that have been landed recently. Inanda has been the highlight venue although Albert Falls and Midmar have seen some very good fishing. It comes down to fishing in the right area. With the bass moving on to the beds, the bigger females will be in the deeper water close to the spawning shallows while the male hovers over the nest. In the next few weeks the females will all move on to the nests as well. If possible, releasing these fish in the same area as the nest you caught them off.
Carp – The spring air has made the carp very hungry. The sizes may have gone down but the numbers are way up! The fruity flavours have come out tops for the conventional anglers with banana and honey continuing to rule the roost. The shallower areas that warm up quicker have been the spots to focus on during the day. The specimen anglers have done well with the bright popups (standard spring tactics). Pink and yellow popups have been the most successful with the fruity flavours producing the goods as well. Albert Falls and Inanda have produced good carp fishing in the past month so pick the venue closest to you and go do some relaxing by the water, we could all do with some…
Trout – The trout fishing has been amazing! The rivers are open so those who prefer the flowing waters now have their choice of target species from the hard-fighting scalies to the beautiful trout. Similar methods can be used for both although a preference for heavier flies and high-sticking seems to reign supreme for scalies while the trout (or trout anglers) prefer a more delicate approach. The Stillwater’s are still producing some fantastic results with all the venues mentioned in the shop producing good fishing. The olive and brown fritz buggers have been producing the goods on the warmer days while bloodworm imitations fished ultra-slow on a long leader have done well in the cold. Remember that it’s not all about the pattern being used. You need to fish it at the right depth, at the right speed and if that doesn’t work, then you can change.

News from Jan, the Kingfisher in PMB – “Well, it would seem that Summer has overtaken Spring in its haste to get here!! The Midlands has gone from near-frozen to cooking in the space of a week … so let’s hope that the rains follow suit and come a running … the rivers sure need it…

After the damp squib of Opening Day of the trout river season on 1 September last week, there have been some good reports from anglers that waited the weather out before venturing out and took advantage of the clearer weather. The fish appear to be holding lower down in the streams, while they wait for water in the upper reaches before moving up. With the colder water, insect life is not yet up to steam, but some fish were reported to be taking the dry, the majority on nymph however, when using a dry-dropper rig. For the Czech / Euro / Tight-Line anglers, weighted nymphs and jig-buggers were the name of the game.

With the focus on rivers, Stillwater news has slowed down a bit. That being said, there have been reports of some good fish from anglers that are out on practise runs for the TOPS Corporate Challenge due to start at the end of the month. With the waters warming, 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.

Albert Falls hosted a Joey’s Tournament Trail event this past weekend, and some cracking fish came out. With the Spring Spawn about to get underway, 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 after your “hero shot” 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… All quiet on the Midmar front.

While we now wait for the rains to shake the river trout out of their winter torpor, the Natal Yellowfish (aka scaly’s) are out to play, with the Tugela Valley providing some great fishing this past week. Weighted jig-style nymphs and buggers in natural colours like olive and grey are the go-to flies of choice’. Thanks Jan. Tight lines and screaming reels.

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!
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