FISHING REPORT 20 JANUARY ’21

The fishing has been going very well along most of the KZN coast. The offshore and shore based anglers are all having a fantastic start to 2021.

Rays tip: Fun in the sun. With the summer season in full flow the lovely summer heat is here and so are the summer fish. This is the time to make sure that all your knots are 100% and that the cheap backing you put on to save a buck is changed. The first run of many of the summer fish will take you in to your backing. Also, do not panic when your backing knot goes out. You have plenty of braid on your reel so let it go and do not think you need to lock up as soon as the fish starts going. That will only tire you out and put your tackle under more strain than it might be able to take.

 

Offshore:

Dorado, dorado and some more dorado. These jumping bream have stolen the offshore show for the past few weeks and we are not complaining!

 

North – The north coast has seen plenty of action in the deep and shallow. The couta have been around in good numbers along most of the north coast. Zinkwazi has been a hotspot for the past week but most of the lower north coast has seen a good showing. Bait remains the main problem with getting a livey taking up most of the time. Get your hands on the best quality dead bait that you can and do not be afraid to troll plastics around.

 

Central – The Durban area has been mainly focussed on dorado. There have been some proper tuna hooked as well but the main catches have been the magical jumping bream. The good thing about the dorado is that they grow fast, eat almost anything and fight very well for their size. This makes them a fantastic fish to target on all fronts. If you can find them close to a floating structure, you can easily get them feeding on chunks of bait. If you are struggling to find them, focus on trolling some skirted lures along drop offs or water colour changes. This method has also accounted for multiple billfish in the past week including some nice black marlin!

 

South – The south coast has produced a good number of dorado as well over the last month. The south coast fish have been a bit closer to shore with most being reported in less than 50m of water. Bait and capture methods have been the same as the north and central with skirted lures being the best searching method. The tuna have also made a good show of themselves down south with some fish getting close to the 50kg mark. The bottom fishing has been very productive in the south coast. There have been a big mixture of species but the geelbek and slinger have made up the bulk of the catches.

 

Rock and surf:

The shore based angling has been very productive along the upper and central coast. The south has been a little slow but some good fish have made up for that.

 

North – The Zululand section of KZN has seen some spectacular fish hooked and some of these landed. The drone anglers continue to hook decent fish and have definitely had the best hook-up rate in terms of number of baits per bite. Please ensure that you and your tackle are up for the challenge of a decent fish before you go target them. Mackerel and shad have been the pick of the baits but anything fresh has been the most successful bait.

 

Central – Durban and surrounds have been fishing well for both edibles and inedibles. The edibles have been enjoying a prawn and chokka bait. This has been deadly for the stumpies and kob around the Umgeni mouth. Look for areas of working or deeper water close to the sandbanks and get your bait in there. The shad have also been feeding well in the early mornings and a drifted sardine have been the ticket! The beaches and the Blue Lagoon breakwater have been producing good numbers of grey sharks and skates. The thorntails have been very hungry this week so go prepared for a big fight. The greys have preferred a mixed grill bait so wrap some chokka and mackerel together.

 

South – From the Bluff south there has been little reported apart from shad around the Toti area. The early mornings have been the best time for these shad and a bigger sardine on a drift has been the most successful way to target the bigger fish. The anglers that have used these as live bait have hooked some bigger fish with the best of these being some bigger kingfish (both giant and blacktip). The rest of the fish down south have been a mix of grey sharks and scratching species.

 

Freshwater:

The dams and rivers have all done well after the influx of rainwater the levels are all good and some of the dams are finally overflowing.

Bass – The bass are in full summer mood. Hungry, aggressive and looking for cooler weather during the heat of the day. Faster moving baits have worked very well in the mornings and evenings. Look at the spinnerbaits, blades jigs and crankbaits to cover more water and find the active fish. For the guys that prefer an explosive bite will be happy that the frog bite is on at most of the dams! With the increase in water levels, there is so much more cover and shallow grass to fish. A frog is one of the best ways to target these areas. Remember to keep a rod with a weightless soft plastic handy. If the fish misses the frog, pitch the soft plastic in to the same hole and he should smash it. Inanda, Hazelmere and Midmar are all fishing well so pick your closest water and go get some fish!

 

Carp – The carp have been feeding well at all of the venues in KZN. With the influx of rainwater, the carp have been moving through the shallow grass beds so make sure you fish a sneaky rod in the shallows. The sweeter flavours have been doing well for both the specimen and conventional anglers with both producing some beautiful fish this past week. The raised water level has made it a bit tricky in some places due to the submerged vegetation so make sure you wade in a bit when casting or retrieving fish. The heat of the day has been dead in most venues, so use this time to rebait your area and rest the spot of fishing pressure.

 

Trout – The trout have not been as affected by the heat as some of the other species. This is more than likely due to the higher altitude dams that they are found in. The dams and streams are all doing well with plenty of fish being caught in both. The streams have fished well with a darker nymph or a high floating dry fly. When looking for a dry fly, focus on the silhouette that it will cast rather than the specific colour of the fly. The dams have been fishing well close to the weed beds in the early and late hours of the day. Look at using dragonfly and damselfly nymphs fished along the margins. Once the heat gets a bit much, focus on the deeper water with a focus on trenches and old river beds. Use bigger streamers in the deep with a lot of movement.

 

News from our Jan from the Kingfisher in PMB – Not much has changed again, Stillwater’s very warm and river too high…

 

Waters are still very much in limbo at present … temperatures and river flows are still up, and with the current forecast for more rain, appear to be that way for the next wee while yet…

 

While the Natal Fly Fishers Club (NFFC) Stillwater’s are still closed for angling, most likely for the next couple weeks / most of February, reports from some private waters indicate that while slow, there are some fish to be caught  – local lady angler Sindi McBain catching a personal best 52cm brown trout on an olive minnow pattern.  Other reports also indicate that olive is the current “go to” colour, baitfish and dragon / damselfly patterns doing the business.

 

Even the bass appear to be of the slow, no reports coming in from Albert Falls, and Midmar is closed for fishing.

 

Sterkfontein had a run of good weather recently, and some excellent fish have been reported as many more anglers make the trip up north.  Flies of choice have been the ubiquitous Good Dr’s Beetle, hoppers and Klinkhamer dries.

 

As the influx of water continues, dam levels are improving all round … current dam levels are as follows: Midmar overflowing at 100.5%, Albert Falls getting the extra input now at 36%, Spring Grove just shy of 70&, and Mearns also overflowing at 111%.  Wagondrift on the Bushman’s River is also overflowing at 102%”. Thanks Jan.

Please remember to leave the areas that you fish in a better condition than when you got there. Take a few moments to pick up some litter and take it to the nearest bin. 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

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The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Saturdays 8:00 to 13:00. Please note: We will be closing a little early every Wednesday at our 53 Hunter Street branch for deep sanitisation. Stay safe!

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Please send any info about fishing or fish caught in your area to mike.pereira@kingfisher.co.za

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