FISHING REPORT 26 February ’21

The past week has seen some questionable weather but there have been some decent catches reported.

Ray’s tip. One of the most irritating things when fishing is not being able to find what you are looking for in your box. The shad suddenly come on the bite, now you can’t find those traces you made, let alone the hooks. Having your box packed neatly will not only make your fishing a lot more pleasant, it will make it a lot more efficient. I recommend using smaller containers or boxes to split your terminal tackle up. For example, keep all your two way swivels in one container with split compartments and then all the three way swivels in a separate container. Place your traces in individual bags or a trace pouch and label them. When the fishing is slow or the weather is bad, sit down and get the organising sorted so that when the good weather comes, you are ready for action.

Offshore:

The offshore fishing has been very kind to all the boats in KZN. The billfish are loving the warmer water and the bait is starting to make an appearance.

North – The north coast has been the most consistent spot for those targeting the gamefish. Couta and tuna have been the main targets on the hit list. The couta have been enjoying a frisky live mackerel down rigged with about a 6oz sinker (depending on the depth you are fishing). The bonnies have been around but the sharks have found these too tasty to leave alone.  Speaking of which, the shark tax has been extremely high this past week. The sharks are in the mood to feed so this is the right time to bring out the heavier tackle to try get the fish in as quickly as possible. Either follow the fish with the boat or pull as hard as the tackle allows.

Central – The Durban section of KZN has produced some good gamefish and bottomfish catches over the past few weeks. The charter boats are keeping their clients happy with plenty of tuna and the odd billfish to get the heart’s pumping and the drag screaming. Darker coloured skirted lures have been the most successful for these faster gamefish. Remember that the wahoo also love a skirted lure at speed so use some wire or a chain gang.  The bottomfishing has been patchy but good. The slinger and soldiers have been the bulk of the catches in terms of numbers with a few rockcod rounding off the catches. Squid and sardine have been the most reported baits used successfully.

South – The south coast has also seen a good share of the bottomfishing success. The further south the boats have gone, the better the fishing has been. The lower south coast has seen some true giant fish hooked and lost with plenty of plosive language and back winding KP’s. The south has also seen some decent couta fishing with the 27m depth range proving to be a frequently reported happy zone. Live bait has been king but a good quality dead bait will also get you the pull.

Rock and surf:

The shore-based angling has been firing in all facets. Some days the snoek have been keeping the spinning guys busy, next the inedibles are stripping reels left and right. You have got to love summer!

North – The heat of the north coast has been vicious. Make sure if you are going to the Zululand area that you take plenty of sun protection and water. Heat stroke is not fun… The beaches and points that allow access to the deeper water have been the most productive. There have been a good number of big sharks and rays hooked this past week with some unstoppable monsters in between. Please make sure that you are prepared for what may take your bait and don’t take a knife to a tank fight. The points further south have seen a lot of grey shark action in the evenings so get your lighter setup and go have some fun.

Central – The central KZN coast has been packed with anglers and action. The flatfish have been the most consistent bite. These have ranged from the smaller brown skates up to the colossal thorntails. Smaller redeye and chokka baits have been the ones to throw for the brown skates while those looking for the giants are better off with a bonito head and cutlets. The smaller browns skates and grey sharks can be tackled fairly easily with a 30lb setup. Use a nylon trace with a short bite section and about a 6/0 hook (circle). The thorntails require heavy tackle, 50lb and up. 10/0 circles and a good chiropractor on call.

South – The south coast has seen a good amount of spinning action in the mornings and evenings. There have been some very good kingfish landed, some cracking the 10kg barrier! Well done to the anglers who kept these fish from reefing them. The spinning has also seen some snoek, a lot of shad and the odd bonito. The south coast has not seen as many big fish as the north and central but it has had some good edibles caught. The chief of these have been the bronze bream. Scratching in the gullies and over the ledges with lighter tackle has been some of the most fun you can have. 20lb Daiwa J braid, a 10-12ft spinning rod and a 4000 size reel, you are in for a great days fishing.

Freshwater:

The freshwater fishing has been going very well for the past few weeks. The bass are loving the abundance of smaller fish and the trout are enjoying the summer insect quantities. Get out there and get fishing!

Bass – The bass fishing is insane at the moment! The fish are in a feeding frenzy at the moment and the summer heat is stirring them up. The shallower areas of grass are producing frog bites so those who enjoy a blowup on a froggy can do well in the shallows. In terms of dams producing the better bites, Inanda has been the place to go for the boat anglers. The deeper sections of the dam have seen good catches on the deeper diving crankbaits. Look for a rod that is soft enough to absorb the bites and loads all the way to the middle or deeper. Rods that have a composite construction or are entirely glass fibre will be your best choice. Hazlemere and Albert Falls have seen an explosion of baby tilapia in the shallows and the bass have clued on to this. This means it is time to use any of your minnow imitations. The smaller flukes (junior size) work very well. Try using them weightless in the shallows and keep an eye on your line as they sink…often they get picked up before you even twitch them.

Carp – The conventional and specimen angling has been very rewarding lately. Albert Falls and Inanda have been the places to visit. Albert Falls has been the choice for the conventional anglers where they have been getting great hauls of smaller fish. This is not to say the bigger boys have not been there, on the contrary! The guys using the bigger baits have managed some decent fish over 10kgs. Garlic and honey have been the two best flavours at Albert’s with both mielies and floaties being effective. The specimen anglers continue to produce great results at Inanda (and Shongweni). Boilies and tigernuts have been the best baits for the bigger fish but the key has been setting up a decent feeding area. Hemp, mielies and tigers have been the best feeds for the feeding area.

Trout – The higher streams in the midlands are full up with trout both brown and rainbow. The Bushman’s River has been particularly kind to the fly guys with catch reports begging belief. The smaller nymphs are the way to go if you are tackling these streams. The Gun nymph has become a firm favourite for this application as the amount of movement it has built in and the fact that it is a jig hook means it rides “upside down” with lots of moving parts that entice the trout and don’t snag the bottom. Other great choices for this type of fishing include the Zak nymph and various other small nymph variations. When the weather gets warm, particularly in the heat of the day, fish in the cooler water in the deeper areas. Get yourself set with a quality sinking line and a juicy fly like a papa roach or a woolly bugger. This combo will have a few fish brought to the net in no time. Once the weather cools in the evening or early morning, you can try your hand at the dry fly side of life. Look for surface activity and fish the area as stealthy as possible. Remember that trout feed 90% below the surface so focus your energy on the deeper waters.

News from our Jan from the Kingfisher in PMB – “Well, it seems that that rains are tapping off a bit, and with little in the way of falling water over the last 10-14 days, reports coming in are telling tales of crystal clear mountain streams and perfect flows with fish rising to the dry fly with abandon … can’t wait to FINALLY get out there myself … watch this space!!  Of course we can’t complain about the rains, as it was desperately needed, but having done its job of flush and scour, I for one am looking forward to a cracking autumn season.

The Stillwater’s of the Natal Fly Fishers Club remain closed across The Midlands for the time being.  Night-time temperatures are still on the warm side, and this keeps the water temperatures up … the waters will start to cool properly when the evening temperatures start to dip.

With dam levels looking the best they have been in years, the flooded margins are proving to be where it’s at for the bassinators – you can’t beat the top water action with a floating frog at Midmar reports local angler Alistair Moores-Pitt.  For those fishing deeper, jerk and chatterbaits remain your currently “go to” lures.

Sterkfontein Dam is still enjoying some excellent fishing, with some great fish being reported on the dry fly; beetles and hoppers topping the list.  Access remains problematical however with the National Parks area being closed off as a COVID camp and Qwantani Resort only allowing residential anglers”. 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.

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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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