FISHING REPORT 6 JANUARY ’21 January 7, 2021 by The Kingfisher Well we have survived the first week of the New Year. If the catches are anything to go by, we are in for a fantastic year! The dorado are keeping the offshore guys very happy, the bass are making the bass anglers weak at the knees and the sandies are stripping line off reels at an unprecedented speed! Ray’s tip – With all the dorries around at the moment this is the perfect time to discuss the best handling methods once you land one. Dorado can be a real handful on the boat or ski. Your best bet is to get the fish in to the hatch as soon as possible. Once in the hatch, cut the trace as close to the mouth as possible and close the hatch. Do not sit and fiddle trying to get hooks out. This will either waste time while the rest of the school swim away or will see a hook thrashed in to your hand. The dorado is a fast growing fish so it is much more sustainable than many other species. This being said, you do not need 10… Offshore: The dorado have stolen the show offshore. There are enough tuna to keep the poppers nervous and some decent billfish have been landed… North – The north coast has seen a lot of kayak action. Tuna and dorado continue to make up the bulk of the catches but the north has also seen a flourish of couta catches. The Blythedale area has been the most consistent producer of couta up north. In terms of methods, bait has been the king. If you can get your hands on live bait you are in the game. If not, you need to the freshest bait possible. Make sure to rig the bait properly so it does not spin in the water. The rest of the fishing up north has been further offshore with some decent billfish being hooked and some hauls of bottom fish coming off the deeper marks. Central – The Durban area has been very productive in terms of dorado. The commercial boats as well as the charters have done extremely well with the dorado. Trolling skirted lures continues to produce the most consistent results for those wanting to move around more. Colour has not been the most important factor but a flash of pink or chartreuse has done well. If you are able to find a location holding the dorado, you can then switch to more targeted methods. Drifting with live baits or throwing lures work very well. Surface lures are a great way to target dorado and have the benefit of making the action very visual. South – The area from the Bluff south has seen much the same action as Durban with plenty of dorado and tuna for the game fish anglers while the guys looking on the bottom have also managed good hauls. The dorado and tuna have been mostly caught on trolled lures, lipped or skirted. The darker colours have been reported to be working well down south. Colour like black/red or black/purple have been reported to out fish the flashier colour combinations. The bottom fishing has been consistent down south with plenty of good fish coming up from the deep. If you are new to the game, please make yourself familiar with the species which you are and are not allowed to catch. Rock and surf: The shore-based fishing has not been far off the excitement of the offshore scene. There have been plenty of screaming reels and bent rods. This is the time of year to make sure you and your tackle are ready for the strong summer fish! North – The north coast is the usual center for the summer fish action. This past week has been no exception. The number of giant sandies caught has been amazing. What is even more impressive is the number of these fish that have gone over the magical 2 meter mark! Any angler who lands one of these needs to be commended. The north coast has also seen a surge in the catches of grey sharks during the early evenings. The big difference with these fish is often casting distance, with the further casters getting more bites. This is the reason so many competitive anglers carry a spare spool for their reels with a lighter braid on for increased distance. Look at using the usual mackerel and redeye sardine baits but remember that during times of high river flow, mullet often out-produces all other baits. Central – The Durban area and its surrounds have been fishing very well for the edible species. Spotted grunter and stumpnose have been the main species targeted and landed along this stretch (excluding the shad). Look at using thinner hook snoots and a bait that has a bit of movement. These two tricks can often be the difference on the day between watching others catch and others watching you catch. Best baits include pink prawns, crackers and chokka. The inedibles have been a little more scarce around the center of KZN with only the drone anglers recording consistent success. These guys have managed a lot of different species but the grey sharks and diamond rays have made up the bulk of the catches. Once again, please handle these fish with care and learn how to handle them properly before you go out to target them. South – Scratching has been the name of the game down south. The occasional inedibles has been hooked and landed down south but the majority of the fishing has been for the edible fish in the rocky gullies and ledges. The stone bream and bronze bream have been full up along the south coast so make sure you keep an eye out for them in the waves around the rocks and flick your bait as close to the action as possible. This type of fishing is best done with lighter tackle as it is not only more enjoyable, it will also get you more bites. Look at a rod between 8-10ft6 in length and a decent coffee grinder loaded with braid 20lb or less. The Daiwa Crossfire 8’ rod and 3000 size reel is a great option News just in from Nic, Mtunzini Fishing Shop – “Warm days and the wind is playable however we on a low barometer most days so hang in there and chill fishing we expect will be slow. Another what we suspect as an Estuarine Pipe fish was caught in the lagoon over the weekend exactly a year since the last one was reported, these fish are previously thought to come back from extinction, In spite of the rain the water does not appear to have discoloured as much as we expect so the fish are still there. For day visitors the gates at the park are open from 6am to 6 pm to fishing permit holders only not for children and family members to have a day out we have to wait for a few more days to see if the status changes, please do not abuse this and be the reason the park is closed to angling, I see there are issue further south and the anglers have been told to toe the line or else. Fishing was busy this has been the first opportunity to have a proper fish for the year and almost everybody got a something, Lee-yager bagged himself a 54cm Snapper Kob which is probably the stand out fish of the day as it is not common to get Snapper Kob that big, there were bigger Kob caught off over 60cm as reported by Tulane however they were squaretails. Chris managed a Diamond at the banks while Neil and his gang also fishing their settled for Shad and rats and mice. A picture was sent in by another Neil of parasites on the fins of a Milky this is the feedback I got when asking if they will harm the animal and must the anglers pull them off like we do with the Kob “They can but I wouldn’t worry. They are skin parasites and won’t cause any major problems”, this Neil also caught quiet a big Silago which Gerhard stole and put it out as live bait but was not picked up. Christine caught a fair size Kob but it just did not make size so back it went, Rudi caught quite a few Milkies on one of his outings. The Umlalazi Ski Boat Armada took to the seas in great spirits, the Rubber duck Club been the major contingent various tactics to catch game fish were planned but alas it was not their day with a few bottoms been caught. The boats that went out deep fared better as some game fish were caught in saying that on old year’s eve Pieter got 3 Dorado and dropped a couple more including a decent size Couta, this was in the bay or close in. Just in Byron on No Fine boated a 25kg Couta making it the biggest so far this season. We had a very busy December holiday season and thank you all for your support, it was fun seeing the old and new alike and we hope you all made it home safe and are not sitting at your desks this morning feeling grumpy. We are as the shop is like a morgue”. Thanks Nic. Freshwater: The freshwater fishing has been hot! The bass continue to rule the catch reports but there are a fair number of carp and trout being landed as well. Bass – The bass fishing has been epic! The top water blow ups on the frogs has made many a knee weak. Seeing a 2kg+ bass erupt out of the water with the single-minded need to kill your frog is something that stays in your mind. Inanda and Albert Falls are the two most successful spots for the boat anglers. The benefit of being able to cover a lot of water means these bigger systems are better fished with a boat. Senko style baits have been deadly over the past week (and since their original launch). These “do nothing” baits have a subtle wiggle on the way down and present a large food item to the bass. They are a must have in your box. Those that prefer a more visual bite will do well with walking style top waters for the more open areas and frogs for the vegetation. Both of these lure types allow you to fish the selected areas effectively and are both extremely exciting to fish as the blowups are phenomenal! Carp – The carp fishing has been good for both specimen and conventional anglers. The conventional anglers have been hitting the numbers hard. The keep nets have been bulging. On that note, please make sure to empty your keep nets frequently and place them in water that is deep enough as well as cool. Inanda Dam has produced some real quality specimens over the last while. The weed has been a problem but can be overcome with a bit of work in terms of raking. Once again accuracy in terms of your baiting and casting/dropping remains the most important factor when fishing Inanda. Trout – The midlands have remained cool enough that the trout fishing is still going very well. The bigger dams are fishing better at the moment as their size gives the fish plenty of place to go to feel safe. The presence of deeper water is also a great help in the warmer summer weather. Now is the time for a sinking line to get those streamers down to the fish as quickly as possible. Make sure to vary your retrieves as a speed up or slowdown could be the difference between a smile or frown at the end of the day. Summer is generally the season to switch to the more green and olive colours. Make sure you have plenty of zonkers and woolly buggers in black and olive. Summer also brings with it a myriad of different insect hatches so keep your eyes trained on the surface for any feeding fish. News from our Jan from the Kingfisher in PMB – “This report previously mentioned that a La Niña summer was in the forecast – i.e. cool and wet (above-normal) conditions over the summer rainfall areas of South Africa – with some blistering days over the last while, not so sure about the cool, but the rainfall certainly seems to be in line with the forecast … it’s rather wet out there! After the lack of rain earlier in the season, we aren’t really allowed to complain, but when it interferes with the fishing, we are allowed to sulk … just a little… :_) The trout streams are up and giving it stick – more inclined towards a white water rafting experience … that is if you can find any white water with the amount of chocolate coming down at present! The best bet would be to go as high as possible, in the hopes that the water will be clearer, and the flow manageable. The Midlands trout Stillwater’s are getting a rest currently as the natal Fly Fishers Club has closed their waters due to high water temperatures. The NFFC river beats remain open. While there have been some fish reported from Albert Falls, the bass fishing appears to have slowed as a result of the fast rising waters, and high water temperatures. Yours truly managed to throw (fly) line on some private waters recently, and while there was evidence of fish around (spooked a few), couldn’t even buy a bite! On the yellowfish front: only a single report of some scaly’s from angler fishing Cascades, where the Umngeni River enters Midmar Dam. Dam levels continue to rise, all dams are up a couple percentage points over the last while : Albert Falls 32.27%, Midmar Dam 99.16% (hoping for spill over shortly…), Spring Grove 60.84%, Mearns Dam 121.83% (!!), and Wagondrift Dam on The Bushman’s River 103.51%”. 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. 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 The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Saturdays 8:00 to 13:00. 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