FISHING REPORT 12 March ’21

All in all the fishing has been kind to all facets. With the sea temperature starting to cool a bit, fishing should pick up in the week ahead.

Ray’s tip: We all would love to fish more than we do; therefore maximizing our time spent fishing is of vital importance. Storage and organisation is often overlooked (to that person’s detriment). There is not much more frustrating than trying to find something in a box when the fish are biting. The best way to keep everything neat and tidy is to allocate boxes to swivels, hooks and traces. This allows you to organise them at home and then pack according to the area you are fishing and the targeted species. For example, I have a box of sliding traces that will obviously not get packed when I’m going scratching. This keeps the clutter minimal and the box much lighter to carry. This type of preparation during the bad weather or days where fishing is not possible will make life so much more enjoyable when you are out on the water/beach.

Offshore:

The sea surface temperature is starting to go down to more manageable temperatures. The warm seas have made for some amazing fishing though…

North – The north coast has been on form these past few weeks. Vidal and Sodwana are on fire at the moment so if you are looking for the right time to go to the upper north coast, it’s now! The couta are the main targets for the guys up north but the snoek have been a bit more consistent. Vidal has also produced good catches of sailfish and monster tuna. The rest of the north coast has been firing on spots. Umdloti, Umhlanga and Westbrook have been the top three spots but fish have been coming out along most of the coast. Snoek have made a real charge this past week with some bombers being boated. Fillet baits trolled behind the backline in the early morning have been the most productive of the three methods (spoons, fillets and lipped lures). The Kingfisher Rattler has also claimed its share of the fish (for those who prefer a lipped lure) while the Kingfisher Anchovy spoon has continued to deceive any fish that sees it.

Central – The Durban area has been focused on the snoek at Blue Lagoon and off South Pier as well as the bottom fish on the deeper marks. The snoek have also been a bit smaller than the earlier season fish but they are still fun to catch and make a delicious meal. Much like the north, a redeye sardine fillet trolled behind the backline produces a bite on most mornings. The Strike Pro Magic Minnow has earned its reputation and deserves a spot in every snoek tackle box. The bottom fish have been keeping the KPs back-winding. Some very decent cracker have been landed over the last week or so and respectfully, many have been released (well done to these anglers). The rest of the catches have been made up of rockcod (white-edged, catface, yellow belly) and the usual red fish. The slinger and soldiers have been of a very impressive size, seems lockdown may have done them good? While fishing on the bottom, try fishing a trap stick with a livey. This is best done using a balloon to suspend the live bait a meter or two below the surface. This is a great way to target gamefish while getting your bottoms.

South – The south coast has produced a mixed bag of results over the past couple of weeks. Some anglers have done very well catching plenty of bait, tuna, dorado and some nice couta. The bait has been scarce lately so make sure you make the most of the bait you catch by putting it in to an ice slurry ASAP and freezing it properly once at home. The tuna have been very hungry down south and fishing around the bait schools with a trap stick can be deadly. This method can produce many species. The bottom fishermen have had a good run in the far south with plenty of big fish being hooked and most landed.

Rock and surf:

The rock and surf fishing has been up and down. The warmer water has put a lot of the fish off feeding but there are some quality fish being caught by the persistent anglers. Grey sharks have been the main inedibles caught with any sort of consistency.

North – The north coast has not sent in any news of great catches or consistent fishing. The area around the Tugela mouth is still producing a lot of smaller kob. These fish are not fussy when it comes to bait selection so my recommendation is to use sardine and chokka. Please stick to the limits as these fish are very easy to overfish! This area has also produced a lot of decent shad in amongst the kob and some anglers have been lucky enough to land a tripletail. Please consider releasing these fish. The bigger inedibles are around but you need to fish hard for them. Look at using the freshest bait possible to maximise your chance of picking up the fish that are around.

Central – The beaches in and around Durban have seen some decent fishing this past week. The cape stumpies (silvers) have been keeping the light tackle guys very happy with hours of fun to be had. This is a great species to target for the newcomers or younger anglers. They fight hard for their size and are not very fussy with baits. Make a Christmas tree trace with a size 2 or so Mustad Ringer Chinu and you are in the game. The shad have been scarce in the Durban area for some reason… Your best bet is still the Pier at Blue Lagoon though. Keep an eye on the action in the early mornings and evenings. Lots of cars in the car park is generally a giveaway of some action.

South – The south coast has been quiet but the fish are there. The beaches south of Toti have seen plenty of inedible action in the form of sandies and honeycombs. Mackerel and redeye sardine mixes are the preferred bait for both species although a fresh shad head is hard to beat. Those wanting to fish for the pan or just for edibles will be best sorted fishing the gullies and ledges. The brusher are still coming out but not in any great numbers, the shad are loose in most of the bays down south and the bronze bream are finicky but are there if you look hard enough.

Freshwater:

The dams and rivers are all fishing very well. The rains have filled up the Stillwater’s and given the rivers the much needed flow they needed.

Bass – The bass fishing has been much the same as it has been over the past month. That is great news! The bass fishing has been insane with fish being caught on most methods and in most venues.  Midmar has produced some proper fish this past week with some large fish being landed on spinnerbaits and weightless flukes. The summer season brings with it a lot of fodder fish so mimicking these are key to success.  Inanda has been the pick of the coastal venues, also seeing some big fish filling live wells. Remember that these big fish are the breeding stock of the population so please look after them and get them back safely. The surface bite has been explosive in the early mornings. Frogs have been the main bait used in the back pockets while the walking baits have been better in the open water.

Carp – The carp have been enjoying the summer feast of insects and vegetation. Inanda has been the best of the venues if you are looking for the bigger fish. Albert Falls has produced a lot fish but they have been smaller. Fruity and sweet flavours are the best choice for all the KZN dams. Banana has been the most popular choice for the hook baits while a bit of colour in the mielie bomb has been the key to getting the quicker bite. The choice is yours between floaties and mielies. The mielies last longer but the floaties seem to have the edge for attraction. The specimen anglers have slowed down a bit in terms of catch rates but some decent fish are still making it to social media.

Trout – The Stillwater’s are fishing very well. With all the baitfish around in the margins, the fish are really gorging themselves in preparation for the cold months to come. Look at using an imitation of these baitfish that closely matches the fodder fish in profile. This is more important than colour in my opinion. If the venue you are fishing does not have a large concentration of baitfish, search the margin vegetation for signs of what is on the menu. It will be a good bet to fish some dragonfly and damselfly nymphs on a long leader and floating line in the shallows. Keep your eyes open and look out for any activity that you can target.

News just in from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Looks I’ll finally be getting to make that river charge this weekend … the time has (finally) come… J

With just a spit and spot of falling water recorded here and there, dare I (tentatively) mention once again that things are looking up, and I’ll be making my 1st charge to the river this coming weekend.  Watch this space – report to follow next week… J

This last weekend I was up at InjisuthI, aka “The Place of the Well Fed Dog”, and home of the Njesuthi River.  As the name suggests, the river was still rather well-fed and flowing strongly, making river crossing a tad interesting.  This was a hiking, not fishing, sortie but I did see some fly anglers at the causeway bridge below the camp.  While they professed to be new to the game, they had managed to get a fish each between them, good result in the fast flowing waters.

After a couple of cool nights and crisp mornings, the expectation was that autumn was on our doorstep, but it’s warmed back up again with day time temps in the mid to upper 20’s and night time temps back into the middle double figures.  The Stillwater’s are needing a spell of single figure nights to start cooling effectively … so the bulk of the Natal Fly Fishers Club Stillwater’s will remain closed for the time being however (note that some of the high-altitude waters have been opened so far).

Fishing at Albert Falls Dam, the local Bass Mecca is currently on the slow … while Midmar Dam is reported to be on fire.  The boat anglers are landing good numbers of fish in the 1-2kg range, with some larger fish of 3kg+ also coming out.  A range of lures … baby bass flukes, spinner baits, top water frogs and lipless cranks … are doing the damage.

The fishing at Sterkfontein Dam also appears to be slowing down as we get into the busy (real work) part of the year.  Access remains problematical however with the SAN 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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