FISHING REPORT 7 May ’21

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Into the fifth month we go and the fishing continues to surprise! With reports of sardines starting to gain momentum, the excitement of the silver tide is spreading.

Ray’s tip: For those of you who are launching your boat for the first time this year, or maybe for the first time ever, choose a sheltered launch site. One of the harbours is perfect for this. Otherwise, speak to the guys launching from the spot you have chosen and watch them for a while. See the lines they are running. Sometimes you cannot just punch straight out to sea and you need to run parallel for 100 meters before shooting the gap. It is coming to winter time here in Durban (not in temperature but in wave size). The winter swells are much bigger than those of the summer days. The sets are generally further apart so timing can be easier. Be safe and have fun!

Offshore:

The geelbek and daga are starting to make a real appearance on the reports from the bottom fishing guys while those targeting gamefish have managed to land some impressive fish (including late season dorado).

North – Couta have been the main species targeted up north and for good reason. The number of crocodiles that have appeared on social media in the last few weeks is jaw-dropping! For those who don’t know, a “crocodile couta” is a fish which has gone over the 20kg mark (at least) but normally closer on the 30kg mark. This bigger fish generally patrol the closer inshore waters and are usually moving alone or in a pair. These bigger fish do require some stronger tackle as they are not only bigger but also a lot smarter than the generally shoal size couta. Look at using 30lb Maxima Ultra green nylon on a reel with a good, smooth drag system (Daiwa Saltist Black/Blue) and a rod with some decent backbone like the Poseidon Offshore Couta Ski rod. Tuna have played their part in the north with some cannons falling for a frisky live bait. See the tactics below for some trace tips.

Central – The waters offshore of Durban are producing some epic fishing. The tuna have made up the bulk of the catches with some beasts being landed. Live bait has been the most successful method of targeting these bigger specimens. Although, catching them on poppers is a lot more exciting! A 6/0 circle hook on a section of fluorocarbon is all you need in terms of a trace for these tuna. Even though we are on the cusp of winter, there are guys still catching dorado! Most of these fish were caught around structure floating offshore. Most of the reports from the central coast have been around the geelbek and daga starting to make their appearance on the many bait marks and wrecks. This means bottom season is here!

South – The south coast has seen plenty of bottom fish action from the shallow reefs all the way to the deep. Many anglers have switched to the electric reels (like the Daiwa Tanacom 1000) for the very deep water as this is a lot less effort. These new reels have more than enough power and allow you to fish fairly easily in 400m or more. The bottom fish catches have been a mix of reds and bigger rockcod but predominantly geelbek. There has been plenty of bait on the south coast. Remember that a trap stick is a great way of targeting gamefish while you are catching bait. The first live bait you catch, put it on a rig and drift it behind the boat either on a free drift or under a balloon.

Rock and surf:

The rock and surf scene has seen some amazing catches this past week. From yet another big couta caught on a drone bait to some big kob, it has been a good fish week!

North – The north coast has been dominated by the bigger summer fish even though winter is almost here. The sandies and honeycombs have been the main target species as well as the main reason for tears (of joy and sadness). The fresher the bait the quicker the bite with this being proven time and again. The weather for this fishing is important with the most hectic action happening after a few days of northeast wind and a flat sea (not too flat). Get your hands on the freshest bait available and head to some deep water. Most of the longer beaches and points will present you with the chance to cast in to deep water. Look for the darker coloured water as this is generally the deeper area.

Central – Durban has been producing a few grey sharks and diamond for the guys targeting inedibles. Fleshy fish baits mixed with chokka are a great way to target multiple species at the same time. Use a basic full nylon trace with a short bite wire section attached to a 9/0 Mustad Tuna Circle hook. This trace has accounted for multiple species and works for most of the year. The edible fishing has been nothing to pull your nose up at. The stumpies have been of a very impressive size. The evenings have been the most productive with sealice and occie legs producing the best bites.

South – The edible fishing down south has been very good with plenty of shad, bronze bream and a couple of garrick still around. The shad have been concentrated around Winkelpspruit rocks. A spoon or drift sardine has produced the most action. The bronze bream have been caught along most of the south coast with any rocky gully proving deadly. The garrick have been focused around the shad with the deeper water close to these areas being the place to target. The sardines are due to arrive soon so keep your eyes peeled and get your heavy tackle ready. Let’s all hold thumbs for a good run again.

Freshwater:

The bass are on a mission to stay the fish in the spotlight, the carp are starting to get bigger in the reports and the cold weather means the trout fishing is on the rise.

Bass – The bass fishing in KZN is going very well. Most of the bigger dams are still producing fish at the same rate they were during the heat of summer. The smaller farm dams and those further inland are starting to cool down and require a bit more finesse type fishing to get the fish excited. A spinning rod with some light braid and a nylon leader is fantastic for this light presentation work. A weightless worm rigged wacky-style will get bites were other presentations will fall flat. If all else fails, resort to the Ned rig! Hazlemere continues to fish well with a lot of smaller fish in the margins. The weightless presentation is fantastic in the shallows as it is natural and gives a great wiggle that most fish can’t resist.

Carp – Conventional angling has been very productive in all of the KZN carp waters. Albert Falls has been the pick of the venues for the conventional anglers as the fish have been feeding very well in the shallower areas of the dam. Honey has been the most reported flavour with floaties out fishing mielies. The specimen anglers have been doing very well at Inanda. Hinged rigs have made the most of any bite. Tigernuts and pop-ups have been the most successful baits reported. Adding some colour to the hook bait has also increased the success rate.

Trout – The Rivers are all still fishing well with the trout and scalies feeding eagerly on our feathered offerings. Keep your patterns simple and make sure you have versions with and without flash. The Zak nymphs and Gun nymphs have been the answer for the deeper water. The shallower runs have been excellent to fish with a dry fly. The Elk hair caddis is probably one of the best generic patterns for this type of fishing and should be kept in a few colours in every angler’s box. The Stillwater’s are fishing well with some big fish falling for the fly. Streamers stripped with an erratic retrieve are an extremely productive. Fish these on an intermediate or sinking line and a short leader to keep the fly at the right depth. Colour of fly is not as important as the correct retrieve and the correct depth but focus on browns and black coloured flies. 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.

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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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