FISHING REPORT 05 March ’21 March 3, 2021 by The Kingfisher The fishing has been heated for all the facets. The summer heat has even pushed the water temperature off Durban up to 27 degrees! Let us hope we get some northeast wind to drop the temperature to a less bath-like nature. Ray’s tip: A proper knife is something that everyone needs. A cheap knife with a blunt edge will only cause annoyance and can ruin your angling experience. Getting a knife that holds its edge and has a bit of flex is ideal as an all-round bait and fillet knife. Knife care is also very important. No matter what a knife maker says, no amount of “stainless steel” labelling will prevent surface oxidation on a knife that has been left wet from saltwater in its sheath covered in bait. Wash your knife and make sure it is dry before putting it away. Offshore: Warm water… This has been the main limiting factor recently. The warmer water has seen a lot more billfish action than would be expected along with some beastly snoek harassing the sprats. North – North of Umhlanga the fishing skis have been doing some damage. Snoek, tuna and couta have been the main hatch-fillers. There have been snoek that have looked a lot more like couta (size wise). Some of these beasts have gone over 10kg! Umdloti has produced the most consistent results and would be the first place to consider when planning the next trip. Early morning trolling with fillet baits or lipped lures has been the most successful method. The snoek have been feeding very well after the recent rains. The flush of dirty water not only creates a brilliant hunting area for these predators but it also flushes the smaller estuarine baitfish in to the sea. The snoek love feeding on the glassies that inhabit all of the KZN estuaries. Fillet baits have been the ticket for most of the snoek action but spinning with small spoons on the backline has been the most fun. Central – The dorado have been keeping everyone busy. Although the sizes have been a little small with the average fish weighing around 4kgs, there have been some impressive fish landed that have gone over 20kgs! These fish have been caught on most methods with live bait proving to be the pick of the methods. Most of the guys have managed to find a school of these beautiful fish and then fished to them by chumming sardine or other fleshy baits. The dorries are a very sustainable fish to harvest so please target them over the heavily pressured bottomfish. The guys fishing around the big ships have also managed some bigger wahoo. Well they have managed to get them to bite…not all have been landed. The rest of the catches have been focussed around the schools of frigates that are around and the ever-present tuna. South – The south coast has also seen a few dorado out in the deeper water. Most of these have been caught trolling higher speed lipped lures and skirted lures. This generally requires heavier tackle so the fight is not as much fun. The couta are starting to make a real appearance on the entire coast but the south is where the bigger boys hunt. These fish are generally targeted in the shallower water than normal couta fishing. Look at using slightly bigger baits for these fish and focus on bait presentation, neatness of your trace and good knots/terminal tackle. You only get one chance at a fish of a lifetime so make sure you have done everything to the best of your ability in order to maximise your chance to land the fish. Rock and surf: With the summer heat comes the summer giants. This has been true for the past week with many big fish hooked and a couple landed. Fresh bait and northeast wind are the two main ingredients in the summer recipe. North – The north coast has seen a lot of both edible and inedible fish being landed. The warm water is a bit of a problem as it puts the fish in a sulky mood. The best bet is to fish as early as possible and to focus your fishing effort on the days after the northeast wind has been blowing. The rockier areas up north have been the place to fish for the bronze bream, kingies and stumpnose. Scratching is best done using circle hooks in these areas as the curved in point stops the trace from getting stuck which translates to a lot less tackle loss. Also put a knot in to your sinker snoot to avoid losing your whole trace if the sinker jams in the rocks. In terms of the best bait to use, chokka and prawn are your number one bait. Central – With water temperatures hitting the 27 degree mark the fish have been a bit reluctant to eat. The warmer water holds less oxygen and therefore these higher temperatures generally push the fish in to the deeper, cooler water. With that being said, look for the deeper water points to put yourself in with the best chance at hooking in to a summer special. A good approach to this type of fishing is to have a trace and bait that can multi-target as many species as possible. Look at using a 9/0 circle hook on a short section of 100lb carbon-coated wire attached to a 1mm thick section of nylon. South – The south coast has seen a lot of shad action in the early mornings with not much in the line of other fish chasing them. The garrick that were harassing them have moved in to the deeper water. The scratching anglers have seen some good catches of bronze bream, stumpies and kingfish. The chokka baits are producing the best catches if you can get the bait in to the right area. In terms of the bigger inedibles, there has not been much in the way of reports from the south. The beaches where deep water is close inshore are you best bet for getting stripped in to your backing. Freshwater: The summer heat has got the fish in a feed early and hide in the middle of the day mood. The higher temperatures raise the water temp and make for a less comfortable environment for the fish. The deeper or weedier water spots are the place to fish. Bass – The bass fishing has been hotter than the air temperature! The warm weather has made for some explosive surface action on frogs, walking baits and buzzbaits. Look at using these top water baits in the early morning and evening. These are the times the bass will move in to the shallower water to hunt the baitfish and frogs. The heat of the day is best fished in the deeper water with more finesse style worms or reaction crankbaits. The deep water holds more oxygen and makes the fish more comfortable. Colour for the surface baits is not as important as is often made out. The fish mainly see a silhouette so rather make sure the bait has a good profile over the “right colour”. The offshore bite is best done on structure using one of many techniques. The deep water fish are best targeted using your electronics and fishing to specific fish/spots. You can crank if you want to fish fast, a Carolina rig if you want to cover a lot of water slowly, a big jig if you want to fish for the bigger bite and then dropshot if you want to make sure you have caught all the fish on the structure. Carp – The summer feeding of smaller carp is phenomenal! They can graze a feeding area clean in minutes. The importance of adding smaller and larger particles to your feed is vital to keep the fish around. The smaller particles like hempseed will keep them rooting for hours. The bigger boilies are too big for the smaller fish to eat and will stay behind for the bigger boys. Sweet flavours are also very attractive to carp in the summer so try adding some molasses balls or blocks to your feeding spot. Overall the KZN dams have been fishing very well with both specimen and conventional anglers having good reports. Inanda and Albert Falls are the pick of the venues and should be high on your list. Trout – The trout fishing is still going very well with multiple anglers landing personal best catches over the past few weeks. The current weather conditions have seen a deeper and slower presentation performing the best. Jointed/articulated minnow patterns have taken the streamer world by storm. Not only are they amazing to tie, they are also extremely deadly. The inherent movement allows for slower presentations while still creating enough movement to entice a bite. Olives, greens and browns will be the first choice for streamer colours in order to match the fodder fish. News from our Jan from the Kingfisher in PMB – “Of course – as expected I guess! – just as I mentioned that the rains were tapping off, we get a major dump … nearly 200mm fell from the skies in the latter half of last week! Unfortunately that shelved my plans for my 1st river charge this past weekend, so now we keep a beady eye on the rivers for the next possibility…soon soon soon… Last week’s rains will get the fish moving up, and this week already (just yesterday!), received a report for some cracking fish taken on the dry even in the current high water conditions. A Foam Hopper and a large foam-post parachute dry were the culprits in bringing fish to hand for local angler Ryan Foster, who was prospecting the Bushman’s River. Large hopper patterns are particularly useful not only in the current high(er) water conditions, but as an effective searching pattern … if the fly is simply getting “bumps” from below and not getting eaten, indications are that there are smaller fish about … simply switch down to smaller size dry (e.g. #16), and it’s usually game on. Ryan tied his Hopper using theVideo from yours truly at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0GlL_o44u4 As indicated previously, the season will only get better from now as the rains do (finally) tap off, and the Stillwater’s cool. The bulk of the Natal Fly Fishers Club Stillwater remain closed for the time being however, with only some of the high-altitude waters having been opened so far, but expect the remainder of the waters to reopen shortly. Reports from the bass anglers are that they are having a bit of a slow time … interestingly, this appears to be a result of an OVER-supply of food available … plenty minnows on the water at present, with real live food being preferred over the lures! That being said, success is being report with baitfish lures and plastics, and floating frogs in the flooded margins. Local angler Lashen Murugan managed to entice a solid 3kg fish to hand last week fishing from the bank at Albert Falls, and reports indicate that Midmar has been producing of late. As the weather patterns are calming, Sterkfontein Dam is still enjoying some excellent fishing, with some great fish being reported on the usual suspects : beetles and hoppers. Access remains problematical however with the National Parks area being closed off as a COVID camp, and Qwantani Resort only allowing residential anglers. Dam levels are still on the up and looking the best they have been in years : Albert Falls finally now over half(!) at 51.3%, Midmar Dam still topping over at 100.7%, Spring Grove at 83.4%, Mearns also still over the top at 102%, and Wagondrift Dam on the Bushmans River also over at 102%” 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. 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 https://www.youtube.com/c/TheKingfisherFishing 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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