FISHING REPORT 12 February ’21

The fishing has been amazing for all facets. The offshore guys are having a great time for the gamefish while the shore-based anglers are doing their best to keep up…it is close!

Ray’s tip: Too often we as rock and surf anglers get caught up with distance. Getting that extra 5 meters becomes an obsession that can never be satisfied. Much like the golfer trying to shoot the perfect game, we will always want more. Distance is often necessary to get the bite, but accuracy it far more important. If the fish are feeding at 80 meters, why are you throwing past 100 meters?! Learning to read the water and knowing where the fish are likely to hold is a key part of knowing how far to cast. A balanced setup will also make things a lot easier on you.

 

Offshore:

There have been more small marlin caught in the last two weeks than is believable! The offshore angling has been phenomenal on all fronts with plenty of gamefish to keep the reels screaming.

North – The north coast has seen many flock to the busier launch sites (Vidal and Sodwana) to hunt for the summer gamefish. The billfish have stolen the show along most of the coast but the north has definitely seen more of them. There have been plenty of smaller marlin and some big sailfish. Specifically targeting them has been best done trolling skirted lures in the deeper waters along depth changes. The lower north coast has seen a flurry of snoek in the shallower waters. Fillet baits have been the primary targeting method for these backline beauties but a small spoon has been more effective. The north has also seen good numbers of couta. The main factor for the couta has been getting your hands on quality bait.

Central – The Durban coast has seen some giant tuna landed over the last week or so! There have been multiple fish around the 40kg mark! This is insane! Previously, a tuna of 30kgs was a rare and extremely impressive catch. Now it won’t be too long until we see fish over 50kgs being boated. Live bait has been the most successful method for targeting these fish but the big boys have been caught on poppers, skirted trolling lures and lipped trolling lures.  The central coast has also seen a good number of snoek around the Umgeni mouth in the early mornings. Keep your eyes peeled in the early mornings and have a spinning stick at the ready to cast towards any surface action. Trying to set a rod up when you are surrounded by jumping snoek can be a true test of nerve.

South – The south coast has also experienced a good few couta being landed recently. It bodes well for the bigger boys later in the season. The south coast has also held a lot of good sized tuna (yellowfin and eastern little). Most of the tuna have been caught while drifting with live bait although a good few have been taken on trolled lures. Those that prefer the shallower hunting grounds of the backline have landed some decent snoek and surprisingly, still a couple of garrick. The Garrick have all been reported on live bait while the snoek have mostly eaten a small spoon retrieve out of the surf zone.

 

Rock and surf:

The summer season fish are feeding well with plenty of bigger edibles and inedibles being reported in the last week. The action has been hotter up north and has dropped off as you move south.

North – The north coast has been producing very good catches of both edibles (in the form of kingfish and stumpies) as well as some of the back-breaking inedibles (in the form of honeycombs, sandies and some shark species). The trace for these fish is the standard thick nylon with a 120lb steel bite trace attached to a circle hook. This is a trace that can be used for most of the inedible fish on the KZN coast as the only thing to change will be the size of the circle hook. You would for example use a Mustad 6/0 for brown skates, a 8/0 for grey sharks, a 9/0 for sandies and a 10/0 for diamonds as a rough guide. The deep water points have produced most of the better fish with the deeper water getting the fish to come in closer, to within casting range. These points have also produced some bomber snoek in the early mornings, so pack your spinning rod!

Central – The Durban section of KZN has been very active. The area from Addington to the North Pier has been exceptionally good for the inedibles with most evenings seeing plenty of drags screaming. The grey sharks have been the main culprits but some giants have been hooked in between the smaller fish. These spots can get quite crowded so please keep your social distancing etiquette as well as your angling etiquette. If you are not a competent caster, either ask for help or try not to go in to the biggest crowd. Baits that have produced the best bites have varied from day to day, so rather make sure you have a good selection of quality bait and see what works on the day.

South – The south coast has been producing some cannon shad in the late afternoon and early mornings on both lures and bait. The hotspot for these fish has been Winkelspruit High Rocks. The inedible action has been a bit slow on the south coast with most of the fish coming out being hammers on the lower south coast. These fish require a lot of floatation to get the bait up in the water column. The south coast has produced plenty of bronze bream and other scratching fish in the gullies and ledges. Prawn baits and chokka is the way to go.

 

Freshwater:

The freshwater fishing has been going very well for the bass, carp and the trout anglers. The irrational weather, summer heat and dirty water have tried to ruin the fishing but the fish aren’t having any of it!

Bass – The increased water levels from the rains has made for a lot of shallow, submerged vegetation. The shallower areas of grass are producing frog bites so those who enjoy a blow-up on a froggy can do well in the shallows. This can be some of the most exciting fishing you will ever have! Look at a rod like the Daiwa Fuego 731MHB. This rod has plenty of backbone but a soft enough tip to allow the fish to swallow the frog. This means fewer missed strikes and more hook-ups. The deep water fish are best targeted using your electronics and fishing to specific fish/spots. Use methods such as dropshots, jigs or deep cranking. Hazlemere continues to surprise anglers with the size and quality of the fish. The bank anglers have done very well here with a host of methods. Inanda has been the best of the boating venues.

Carp – The carp fishing has been very good in all of the KZN waters with plenty of carp being landed by both the specimen and conventional anglers. Inanda has been the pick of the bigger dams but Albert Falls is not far behind. Bright colours and fruity flavours are the way to go at this time of year. The bright colour triggers the interest of the carp and the fruity scents are often too much for then to resist. This is true for both specimen and conventional anglers. Specimen guys can look at dying their tigernuts a bold colour or using a bright popup. The conventional anglers should consider floaties or mielies in brighter colours. Look at flavours and dips that contain fluorescein in them so that you can get the attention of the carp. The sweeter scents seem to drive the fish crazy at this time of year. In the dams where the fish have started to spawn in the shallows, look at a musk type flavour to get their attention.

Trout – The trout fishing has been amazingly good over the past few weeks. The fish have been feeding very well and aggressively despite the warmer weather. The heat pushes the fish to deeper water in the middle of the day. The early mornings and evenings see the fish move to the shallows to feed on the hatches and baitfish. The warm weather also correlates with tadpoles so do not be afraid to throw a smaller woolly bugger in black but with a long marabou tail. The deep water is best fished slower with a streamer. Look at throwing slightly bigger patterns in the deep water. Look for road beds or stream beds as these will hold the colder water and thus the more oxygenated water. This in turn attracts the fish out of the warmer shallows in the heat of the day.

 

News from our Jan from the Kingfisher in PMB – “Rains still causing interference, but at least the bass and yellowfish lads are getting some action!

 

The rains persist and the overflow from Midmar continues, with Albert Falls getting the benefit.  As a result, the waters of The Midlands waters are still in limbo with water temperatures still up, river flows better suited to tubing and white-water rafting as opposed to fishing!  But with S.A. being a water-scarce country, we shouldn’t really complain about the rain… (Unless it affects our fishing of course! J)

 

The reopening of Midmar for boating / fishing, some good fish have been reported.  Local competition angler, Kirk van Reeuwyk, got a cracking 8lb / 3.6kg bucket mouth to the net using a spinner bait with paddletail trailer – nice one Captain!  With the extra water, Albert Falls is also producing.

 

For the yellowfish anglers, Sterkfontein is having a late summer rush with some excellent fish being reported on the dry fly.  Local angler Wayne Stegen got the best possible birthday present with a 109cm FL, 15lb / 6.8kg largemouth yellowfish … taken on a #10 beetle pattern … on a 4wt with 7lb tippet!  Fish of a lifetime…

 

With the rivers in full bore – no reports from the local scaly anglers.  Zingela on the Tugela is near flood level! – and they are “fishing” for firewood as the river brings down driftwood (see their Facebook page for the video clips).

 

Dam levels continue to rise with current dam levels as follows: Midmar just shy of 101% and overflowing nicely, Albert Falls up 3% and now at 45% fast heading for 50%, Spring Grove up 2% to 75%, and Mearns tapping off just a touch at 107%.  Wagondrift on the Bushman’s River up a percent and topping over at 103%”. Thanks Jan.

 

Please 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.

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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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