FISHING REPORT 16 DECEMBER ’20 December 17, 2020 by The Kingfisher A reminder that all Kingfisher branches will be open for trading on all Sundays in December 8-1pm. We will also be open on Thursday the 24th and Thursday the 31st, 8 to 1pm. The latest series of Hier Gaan Ons Alweer (series 19) with Petri de Wet premieres Monday’s at 17:30 on kykNet, channel 144. There are a number of repeats during the week, Tuesday at 9:30, Wednesday at 10:00, Thursday at 10:30 and Friday at 14:30. As most of you know, Petri and his guests cover various angling styles (fresh and salt water) around Southern Africa, but with the Covid-19 pandemic taking over and putting a damper on travel, this year’s focus is on fishing in South Africa. The festive season is in full swing and the fishing has been picking up steadily. The closure of beaches is a small price to pay for a bit for safety… Ray’s Tip: Blood is a very effective attractant for many of the inedible (and edible) fish species on our coast. When you make your baits and the blood is dripping off of them, you know you are in with the best chance at attracting the fish. If it’s chokka, you’ve probably cut your finger…Make sure that the bait you are using this summer is as fresh as possible and that it has been stored well to keep all the blood in the baitfish and frozen. Bait which is left to get warm before packing or squashed will quickly loose its effectiveness. Try to make your baits up semi-frozen so they defrost in the water and release the blood slowly. Offshore: The dorado and tuna and keeping the game fishermen very happy with acrobatic displays and log runs. Live bait is scarce but worth the effort. North – The north coast has seen some fantastic angling for all the offshore guys. The fishing skis are doing particularly well with the dorado even though the fish have been further out. The ski boats are seeing a lot of success trolling the deeper drop-offs with skirted lures in pink, black/purple and “fruit salad” colour. Most of the dorado caught in the last while have been smaller specimens but a couple beasts have been landed including a 17kg monster. The anglers launching out Richards Bay have seen the most success with the bigger tuna but most of the north coast has seen tuna on the bait marks. Central – The Durban coast has been very productive this past week. The weather is starting to behave a bit so planning trips has been easier than previously. If you are able to catch some live bait you are in the game. Unfortunately this is much easier said than done. A tip for tough times is to add a bit of bait on to the bait jigs. Use either a fleshy bait like sardine or squid. Keep a close eye on your fish finder and learn to identify what it is showing you. The bottom fishing has slowed down a bit off Durban although there are still plenty of geelbek around in the evenings. Some anglers have also had the fortune of connecting with some GTs while fishing on the bottom so be prepared because you never know what Neptune is going to throw at you. South – The south coast has had the first few dorado landed. So if you are on the south coast don’t worry, the popcorn bream have come to you. Remember that they love two things, structure that is floating in the water and anything pink! Try pitching a live bait to any large object you find out at sea. If the dorado are there, they will eat it 9 times out of 10. The offshore news has been sparse from the south with most of the reports being from the bottom fishing guys with mixed results. The live bait is also scarce down south so the same tip will apply as that given above. Rock and Surf: The rock and surf fishing is really picking up with more and more sandies, honeycombs and big sharks being hooked and landed. With the heat and the north east wind comes screaming reels (and anglers)! North – The north coast has seen the most number of fish. The sandies and honeycombs have been the main culprits when it comes to back pain and screaming reels. The drone anglers have been catching a lot of thorntail rays of late and most of the anglers are handling them with care. Please keep the fish out of the water for as short as possible and do not put your fingers in the spiracles. Fleshy baits such as mackerel and redeye sardine have been the most productive of the bought baits while fresh shad has done the business if you can catch one. Look for the deeper water spots close to sandbanks and you should find a bite. Central – The central section of KZN has seen a lot of angling pressure. The shad fishing on the piers and beaches has been fairly slow with small patches of success generally in the early morning just as the sun comes up. The spinning anglers continue to do well with spoons and larger lipped lures while the drift bait has been deadly where it is possible to use it. There have been a few decent stumpies caught in the evenings along with some grunter. Chokka and prawn baits have done very well although sardine heads and fillets have caught the bigger specimens. The inedible fishing has been good with the late evenings producing the most hectic action. Fleshy baits and a long throw have been the combination needed. South – The south coast has seen some inedible action but mainly for those anglers droning baits past the ever-present sandbank. These baits are being dropped between 200 and 300 meters out with good success. Circle hooks are the way to go with this kind of fishing. Just make sure to give the circle enough space to turn (don’t block the gape of the hook with the bait). The edible fishing down south has been very good with plenty of shad, bronze bream and a couple of garrick still around. The shad have been concentrated around Winkelpspruit rocks. A spoon or drift sardine has produced the most action. The bronze bream have been caught along most of the south coast with any rocky gully proving deadly. The Garrick have been focussed around the shad with the deeper water close to these areas being the place to target. Freshwater: The dams and rivers have been fishing incredibly well these past few weeks. The bass are exploding on top waters, the carp are still feeding well and the trout are as feisty as ever. Bass – Hazlemere continues to fish well with a lot of smaller fish in the margins. The water level has come up so wading in a couple of meters can allow you to cast to the deeper water. For those in the boats, please remember that the flooded margins generally have stumps or rocks that are just under the surface that love to damage the bottom of your expensive boat! Inanda has seen plenty of action on the boats with most anglers filling their wells up. The bank anglers have struggled with the hyacinth causing headaches. Midmar is another venue which has seen some big fish this past week. Carp – The carp have gone in to full summer mode. They are preferring to stay in the cooler areas of the dams during the day and then venturing out during the evening. Look for areas of shade or deeper water if you want to target them in the day. The nights will see the fish move in to the warmer shallows to forage on the summer bounty. The specimen anglers have done well in most of the venues in KZN with reports from all the dams seeing good catches and on various methods. Some anglers have had good success on zigs! The most productive method as per the reports has been baits an area with a good mix of particles and fishing the margins of this feed spot with plenty of patience. The conventional anglers have seen the numbers but not the sizes. Banana has continued to produce the results in most of the dams. Trout – The trout are still feeding well in the midlands and in some dams they have turned on. The summer season sees plenty of insects hatching and the trout turn their attention to the weed beds and the surface. Remember that the warmer weather will generally push them to deeper water but the prospect of food can coax them up. Keep an eye out for windy days where terrestrial insects get blown on to the water. Fish a foam hopper or beetle on the drift for the best results. Alternately, the summer season is a great time to fish a longer leader on a floating line with a damsel pattern. This combination is deadly for any fish that is patrolling the edges of the weed beds. The fly sinks slowly but when stripped, it rises to the surface. The longer marabou tail of the damsel pattern also gives and enticing wiggle on the way up…simply deadly! News from our very own Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “And so as the rains eased, the rivers were looking tip-top! And then a bit more proper rain again this week, so I suspect that there is a bit of water rushing about … while it might play havoc with one’s fishing plans, we can’t complain though as The Midlands is still on the back foot of a long-term drought, so every drop counts in order to get the dams back on track. With the good flow, the fish are certainly around, and some excellent fish have been reported from the rivers, including a 58cm / 23inch brown trout from The Mooi River by a newcomer … what an intro to the game! … We can safely surmise that fly fishing is that man’s new interest! With the flow still on the high side, a weighted nymph rig to get the fly(s) down to the fish is suggested for the deeper runs. If fishing the higher reaches with shallow water, a large dry fly can be used as a searching pattern to entice the fish up. Again, not much news coming in from the stillwater anglers … the rains will help to cool the water temperatures usually encountered at this time of year. Aside from the lightening with the afternoon thunderstorms, the possibility of (big) hail is also a threat … marbles and golf balls raining on your head will make you wish you had brought a crash helmet along! The bass don’t mind the rain, and from the anglers toughing it out, some good fish have been brought to hand. With plenty of baitfish around at this time of the year, flukes are a good bet, the watermelon colours being the most popular at present. Chatter Baits – also called the Vibrating Jig – are another popular choice … when pulled through the water, the metal attached to the jig head sends vibrations throughout the water column and makes the skirt wave back and forth frantically … bass will key in on these frantic movements and vibrations. On the yellowfish front: no incoming reports locally for the KZN yellows (aka scaly’s) … suspect that the rains have dirtied the bottom reaches. Its worth trying higher up though, as the scaly’s do move quite far up; e.g. they can be found below Giant’s Castle Reserve on The Bushman’s River. With some reports of good fish coming in, Sterkfontein seems to be picking up and should be in full swing”. Thanks Jan. Tight lines and screaming reels. 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