FISHING REPORT 19 March ’21

With the water cooling off the fishing has definitely improved from the shore while the couta have been feeding one way offshore.

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.

Ray’s tip – How long did it take you to get to your fishing spot? How long did it take to make the bait and cast it out? How long have you been dreaming of the fish you are going to catch? Why then do you want to rush the fight and possibly part the fish off because you are over-exerting your tackle?! The best angler takes their time and enjoys the fight. There is no way that you will overpower a fish that weighs more than you. They are fighting for their life whereas you are just having fun. So learn how hard you can pull and make sure all your knots and traces are up to scratch. Have fun and enjoy the fishing.

 

Offshore:

Couta have been the main target for the last few weeks but there are some decent snoek and tuna being landed between the shark tax.

North –The north coast has produced some fantastic fish with big tuna and some fat snoek being landed. The snoek have been around the Tongaat Long Beach area as well as Umdloti. The backline is a fantastic stretch to troll for both garrick and snoek. The snoek have been preferably picking fillet bait while the garrick likes a live shad or mackerel. This time of year we are seeing a lot of snoek around the river mouth areas so take your time to spin in the mornings just behind the backline. Couta have been the main attraction on the coast at the moment with screaming reels causing some hands to shake. Make sure your reels are in top nick and that your line is new. The deeper reefs have produced some quality reef fish along with decent tuna on the drift. A live mozzie or mackerel under a balloon will quickly draw the attention of a passing gamefish.

Central – The Durban coast has not been as wild as up north but there have still been plenty of fish to catch. The tuna and dorado have been the main targets and the same methods mentioned above will work. The charter boats have also done well trolling skirted lures around colour lines and depth changes. These skirted lures can be trolled at higher speeds than there lipped relatives and also offer much less resistance therefore you are able to cover more water and use less fuel. Colours can be a personal thing but black/purple, black/red and pink/white are three combinations that deserve to be on every boat. The bottom fishing has produced a lot of fantastic fish with a myriad of species being landed. Soldiers, slinger, geelbek, daga and rockcod have been the bulk of the catches. Squid and live bait are all you need for a successful trip.

South – The south coast has been good for bottom fishing as well. Dageraad, scotsman, crackers, slinger, daga, geelbek, rockcod and soldiers have all been regular culprits on the catch reports. Those new to bottom fishing will be happy to know that there are ready-made traces available for targeting all these species at your nearest Kingfisher branch. If you are looking to multi-target different species then you need to use a trace than incorporates hooks ranging from 3/0 to 9/0. We would highly recommend circle hooks. Using a 3/0 on the top snoot, a 6/0 in the middle and a 9/0 on the bottom snoot will allow you to target everything that is likely to visit the inshore or offshore reefs.

 

Rock and surf:

The rock and surf summer season is finally starting to show some merit. The sea temperatures have dropped a bit so the fish are starting to feed a bit more consistently.

North – The north coast points and deeper beaches have seen some good fish landed and a handful of giants lost. The drone anglers are getting a lot of fish at most spots along the north coast. Please respect the other anglers in terms of space. The deep water points along the north coast have all been productive on the pushing tide. A fresh mackerel bait on a good throw off one of these points will put you in with the best chance of opening your summer account with a nice sandy or honeycomb. The recent competitions have yielded some very impressive edible fish up north with some top anglers landing impressive giant kingfish and some very big speckled snapper.

Central – The central section of KZN has seen a lot of edible fish landed and some decent inedibles in the right conditions. As previously mentioned, the right time is post NE wind just before the SW starts to blow. Look for a hot day with a flat sea and you are in the money seats. The sandies and honeycombs have been the main culprits for pulling drag and testing knots. Make sure your tackle is ready for the strain and that you are also ready. Look for an area where you can get your bait in to the deep water and get your hands on the freshest bait possible. On the edible side, there have been a good number of stumpies and shad caught along the beachfront. The best fishing has been into the evening.

South – The south coast has seen a lot of edible action these past few weeks. Bronze bream, stumpies, cave bass and blacktail are just a few of the species on the reports. All of the rougher sea conditions make scratching the only option at times. Look for areas that provide a bit of a break in the sea, like a ledge or rocky outcrop. These structures break the power of the waves and create an eddy where the fish will hide. Fish these areas with prawn and chokka baits for the best success. The inedible side has also been good on the south coast. The grey sharks have been feeding well of Scotties during the day but particularly at night. Mackerel head baits with cutlets have been the best choice for the guys fishing there but any fleshy bait will get a bite.

 

Freshwater:

The freshwater scene has been very bass-focused over the past few weeks but the carp and trout are still there for those who persist.

Bass – If you want to catch a ton of fish then now is the time. Grab a light spinning rod, a handful of lures and you are ready to have a fantastically fun day at most of the dams in KZN. If you are wanting to catch a giant bass then the pickings will be much slimmer but the reward can be even more than the pile of small bass. For the smaller fish, the shallows are your friend. Fish the selected lures around the edges of vegetation and drop offs. For the bigger fish you will need to be a bit stealthier. Most of our waters are quite pressured so going finesse is an easy way to get them to bite. Whacky rigged worms or neko rigs will see you get much better fish in the deeper water. All of the KZN dams are doing well but Inanda continues to be the favourite.

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 have 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 is still on a high. The winds are pushing the fish around a bit so shift around to find the feeding fish either at the end the wind is pushing towards or the opposite side of the water you are fishing. The same patterns are still producing fish with streamers being the most universal method used of late. The dry fly anglers are also getting a lot of fish in the morning and evening rises. Generic dry flies such as DDDs and elkhair cassis flies have been the most successful patterns reported. The streams and rivers are a bit low but the rains have lifted the levels a bit. High-stick nymphing has become a deadly method for trout and is something you need to try if you haven’t already.

 

The Midlands received a surprise rainfall dump last night – late, but welcome as we start easing into autumn and (apparently) cooler weather and less rainfall … although you wouldn’t say by the weather patterns of the last week!  As a result, The Mooi River has a bit of colour, but should be clear by the weekend.

 

News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “As mentioned last week, I finally managed to get out and made my 1st charge to the river – I can report that “Location X” was firing on all cylinders and interactions were had with some excellent fish.  Almost all on dry fly, very happy to see that the fish were looking up!  I was, however, very surprised at the temperature of the water coming down the mountain – started fishing at 15 deg. In the morning and ended on 21 deg. by late afternoon!  This is on the upper end of the scale to be fighting fish in, so the recommendation is to tippet up in order to get fish in as quickly as possible for a safe release.  I will be heading out to a different system this weekend, so will be able to compare.

 

The warm nights are what’s keeping the waters warm.  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 still remain closed for the time being however (note that some of the high-altitude waters have been opened so far).  The NFFC river beats are all open, but as mentioned, watch those temperatures to safeguard the fish.

 

Looks like the fishing at Albert Falls Dam is picking up again, with some good fishing being reported from the flooded inlets.  Midmar Dam is still reporting good numbers of fish.  A range of lures … baby bass flukes, spinner baits, topwater frogs and lipless cranks … are doing the damage.

 

The yellowfish anglers at Sterkfontein Dam are also reporting some good fish of late.  Fish are mainly coming up for the dry – small hoppers and midge patterns having the best results at present.  Access remains problematical however with the SAN Parks area being closed off as a COVID camp, and Qwantani Resort only allowing residential anglers.

 

With flows still up and the waters coloured, no news incoming from the local scaly (Natal Yellowfish) anglers, nor the carp angler”. Thanks Jan.

The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Saturdays 8:00 to 13:00.

 

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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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