FISHING REPORT 19 February ’21

We made it past Valentine’s Day, now we can fish to our heart’s content… Joking aside, the fishing has been very good in the last few weeks. The edibles have been feeding well in the early mornings and evenings while the inedibles have kept the drags screaming all day!

Ray’s tip – Choosing the right hook when faced with a wall of options can be a daunting task. There are a few basic rules and tips you can follow. Firstly, there is no such thing as one hook that is perfect for every species. Secondly, size of hook is extremely important and will be dictated by the target species. For example: The hook for bronze bream (Mustad Ringed Chinu size 1/0) is not the right hook for stonebream. This does not mean that you cannot catch multiple species on one hook, but that you should vary your hook according to the species you are targeting to get a better hook-up to landing ratio or to better present the bait to that species. Using the example above, a bronze bream enjoys a bigger prawn bait and has a bigger mouth than a stonebream. Therefore, it requires the bigger hook. A stonebream is a shy fish and has a much smaller mouth. This means that when we target the stonebream, we scale down the bait and therefore the hook to produce a more natural-looking bait that gets more pulls.

Offshore:

What a time it has been offshore! There have been too many billfish hooked than can be mentioned, the tuna are large and charging while the couta keep most of the guys and girls happy.

North – The north coast has been the place to go if you are looking for more consistent bites and action. Unfortunately the sharks have been wild at most of the north coast hot spots. Umdloti has been particularly bad with taxmen making getting a decent fish out a bit of a difficult task. This being said, the bite has been there and it is worth the risk for the prize. Livebait has been king and you should definitely try your best to get your hands on some lively baitfish before you head to the deeper water. The north coast has seen some decent bottom fishing although most have focused on the game fish. The slinger have been schooling and providing some decent hatch-filling sizes.

Central – The Durban coast has seen some amazing offshore action over the last few weeks. There have been some absolute tank tuna caught. Some of these have gone over the 40kg mark! That is a true accomplishment! Some of these bigger fish have even been caught on poppers! The explosion of a decent tuna on a popper will get even the calmest of hearts to flutter. The couta have been around the Bluff drop-offs and on the wrecks off Durban but they are not as plentiful as they are up north. Livebait has been the most productive of baits along this stretch, out fishing even the walla-walla. Finding the right depth has been very important so make sure you run your baits at different depths with downriggers.

South – The south coast has seen plenty of both bottom fishing and gamefish action. The bottoms have been a mix of reds and bigger predators. The slinger have been making up the bulk of the catches in terms of numbers but the geelbek have made up the weight. The soldiers have also remained a decent size. The gamefish have been mixed down south. The deeper waters have also seen a good number of billfish. Trolling skirted lures has been the most successful method of actively targeting these fish. Make sure you have the right tackle for these beasts as you are in for a good fight!  In terms of colours to use, it really does come down to personal choice but the “Captain Morgan” colour (Black/red)) has been very popular.

News just in from Nic, Mtunzini Fishing Shop – “The rain we were meant to have and have right now has not happened although the weather is forecast to be a cloudy one. The wind will not be as strong as in the previous weeks which will give us nice cool fishing weather with the surf conditions been good.

Pickhandle Barracuda are still on the bite in the lagoon and the biggest we heard of over the weekend was 59cm or 1.1kg ORI. Most of these fish are been caught on the slow trawl or from the side with a slow retrieve, they tend to be top feeders so if you are using sard as bait use floatation. River Bream and Malabar Rockcod are also taking the lures as are small Brassy Kingfish. When fishing around the stone wall area Pops Duck lost a rod and reel if you foul hook it please drop it off at the shop, there will be a reward and the owner would appreciate it a lot.

I get a lot of calls with regards to fishing  permits to go to the Banks, you do not need permits to drive through the forest and park outside the park to walk to the Banks, all Mondi expect from us is we drive according the information  on the boards at point of entry and when they are working on a compartment when stopped by the safety official we follow their instructions as they will reroute you for your own safety, most of the area has been harvested recently so you should be safe for a good few years. This information I got from a senior manager who has recently moved to town. Fishing has been quiet during the week due to very strong side wash that caught everybody by surprise but it is dropping off now so the sea has become playable. Yesterday some guys fished the Banks and said the water was too clean but no reports of any wash.

Boating was quiet lately but Jannie did managed a Yellow Fin Tuna during the week, we think guys did not really fish over the weekend as we were expecting incumbent weather and of course with perfect conditions we know it is Monday”. Thanks Nic.

Rock and Surf:

The rock and surf fishing has been in real summer mode. As long as the conditions line up, the fishing has been fire! The edibles have been feeding very well in the twilight hours of the day while the sharks and rays have been testing the backing knots all day long.

North – The north coast has seen a lot of inedible action. The two main species causing the back pain and screaming drags are the giant sandy and the honeycomb. These are both extremely strong and hard-fighting fish so bring your A game if you want to target them. A mackerel or bonito bomb bait will be your best bet. Rig this on to a 9/0 or 10/0 Mustad circle hook and a trace that allows you to throw the maximum distance. Remember with the circle hooks that you need to make sure the bait does not obstruct the gape of the hook. This is the most common mistake with these hooks and results in missing fish. There have been some decent edibles caught along most of the north coast with kingfish and stumpies making up the bulk of the catches. The kingfish have mainly been caught using lures and plugs while the stumpies have fallen for chokka and/or prawn baits.

Central – The Durban coast has been very productive for edibles in the evening. Look for areas of working water and get your bait in to this whitewater. Baits of choice have been chokka, prawn and smaller sardine baits. The peckers (smaller fish) have been a bit wild so make sure to check your baits frequently to avoid standing without a chance of a bite. When the smaller fish are really bothering you, try fishing with unbeaten chokka, this and octopus are the most pecker-resistant baits. There has been plenty of grey shark and ray action along the beachfront. The entire day has produced fish but the evening pushing tide has been the magic time. Look for areas where you can get in to the deeper water and let loose mother goose! Mackerel and redeye sardine have been the most successful baits at the moment.

South – The south coast has seen a consistent stream of decent scratching fish being caught. The bronze bream have been the most targeted fish in the south with plenty of success being reported. Pink prawn has been the top producing bait for these rocky fish. Crackers have been very productive but have not lasted as long when the smaller fish have been around. Other than the bream, the black tail and stonebream have been the next most popular on the target list. Luckily, they are all caught in the same area with only small adjustments needed to specifically target each one.

Freshwater:

The freshwater fishing has been bass-dominated over the past few weeks. The bass fishing has been truly amazing, but the carp and trout have been far from absent!

Bass – The bass fishing has been explosive over the past while. The increased rainfall has caused dam levels to rise rather quickly which has made a lot of shallow vegetation for the bass to hunt in. This weedy grassy area is a deadly place to throw a top water like a buzzbait or a weedless frog. This is braid territory so look at using a good quality braid like the Daiwa J Braid 8x 50lb and up. This on a fairly stout rod that has a softer tip will give you the right action on the frog while absorbing the initial strike and stopping you from setting the hook too early. The slightly deeper grass can be fished very effectively with a lipless crank. Try retrieving the crank so that it taps the top of the grass and then rip it free if it hangs up. This method will get you some very explosive strikes. Most of the venues in KZN have produced some quality fish over the last week so do not worry too much about where to go. Get in your car and get to a venue and catch some summer giants!

Carp – The carp fishing has played second fiddle to the bass. This is mainly due to the sizes of the fish being on the small size but the numbers have been good.  Albert Falls has been very kind to the guys with many anglers having to empty their keep nets halfway through a session. The specimen anglers have slowed down a bit as the bigger fish have been absent from most of the venues. Some of the smaller private venues have seen better fishing but these are not open to the public and their location is always a secret… The flavours of choice have been banana (once again) and “Spiderman” from Supercast. The fruity flavours of both of these scents has driven the small fish wild and has caused a lot of alarm screaming. If you do keep the fish in a sling or keep net, please make sure that there is enough water flowing in the net and check on the fish frequently.

Trout – The trout fishing has been surprisingly good even though the heat has been up! The streams are fishing very well with all but the Umkomaas being reported to be firing. The rains have increased the levels and have allowed a bit more flow. The squirmy wormy has been a deadly pattern and some have even stopped using it for it has caught too many fish…The Stillwater venues have seen plenty of the bigger fish action. Most of the deeper lakes have been producing quality rainbows with only a few browns making it on to the web of social media. Streamer patterns and nymph imitations have been the pick of the flies to use. The dry fly fishing has only been available for short periods at a time. Keep that rod ready though, as a big trout sipping dries off the surface can render even the steadiest hand shaky! Tight lines and screaming reels

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

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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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