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The fishing has been wild across all facets. The freshwater guys are doing well and the salt is being kind. The winter is on the way and so are the sardines… Let us hope that the silver shoals grace our shores with a good run this year.

Ray’s tip: The dingle dangle is used for two main reasons. The first being our need for more distance. The dingle helps make the sinker and bait package more aerodynamic. This translates to less resistance and therefore a further throw. The second is for better bait and hook separation when using circle hooks. This leads to better hookups as the circle hook has more movement and is not hindered by the bait. For these two reasons the dingle dangle has made a giant contribution towards shore-based angling and is a vital part of any serious angler’s kit.


The offshore scene has been on fire. The winter swells are here and the sea has definitely settled a bit. The crocodiles are patrolling and the tuna are hungry so get on your boat and head out.

North – The north coast has been the place to launch/fish. The biggest of the couta have been caught from the Umdloti section north. It is the time of the year to put out the bigger baits and look for that shallower water bite. The bigger fish generally patrol in the shallower water in pairs or alone. It is also a good idea to have baits rigged at different depths. This is done by using downrigger baits with the aid of a sinker on an elastic band. Place this in the line about 10 meters from the bait. The Umdloti area is probably the most popular spot at the moment for both ski and boat anglers. Unfortunately the shark tax is extremely high so it is advised to take the heavier tackle to make sure you get your fish out before the Johnny comes by to take his share.

Central – The Durban coast has seen some excellent catches of snoek, tuna, dorado and couta. The dorado has been the biggest surprise with them being here very late in the year (by their standards). Floating structure and colour/temperature lines have been the place to be to if you are wanting a chance at one of these jumping beauties. Live bait and trolled lures are the way to go. The tuna and snoek have mainly been caught on lures. The tuna have been caught on poppers casting them in to likely areas or around dolphins. The snoek have been caught in the early mornings around the river mouths or bait marks throwing small spoons on lighter spinning setups. The couta have been much the same as the north coast.

South – The south coast is the place to keep your eyes on for the next while. The sardines should be making an appearance in the next month or so. The south coast is also the place to look for the bigger couta (usually). The south coast’s shallow reef systems have always produced the bigger crocodiles on slowly trolled dead baits. Get your hands on some walla-walla or bonito and make sure that they are trolling straight and not spinning. The choice of the skirt is up to you but my preference is for a glow bead. The south has also seen plenty of bottom fish action along with the spots further north. The daga are coming out on all the usual spots so make sure that your KP is spooled and that your back is ready for some long nights of pulling big head nods from the depths.

Rock and surf:

The surf fishing has been in a mixed period of the year in terms of catches. The summer fish are still coming out but the winter fish are starting to take over. Remember that winter time is not only for edibles, there are still plenty of inedibles around.

North – The north has seen plenty of bigger edibles coming out for the guys scratching in the rockier areas. The use of circle hooks in these rocky areas helps with reducing your chances of getting stuck. Use a softer bait like fleshy fish baits or chokka. These areas can produce a multitude of reef fish so go prepared as you don’t know what is going to bite your bait next. The inedibles are still around up north so if you are after a drag-testing sandy or honeycomb, aim for the upper north coast where the water is still holding some warmth. The same baits as always for these fish apply, use as fresh as possible and make it nice and juicy. The trace for these fish is the standard thick nylon with a 120lb steel bite trace attached to a circle hook. This is a trace that can be used for most of the inedible fish on the KZN coast as the only thing to change will be the size of the circle hook. You would for example use a 6/0 for brown skates, a 8/0 for grey sharks, a 9/0 for sandies and a 10/0 for diamonds as a rough guide.

Central – The edibles have been on the quieter side but some big stumpies and pompano have made it on to social media recently. Octopus legs, chokka, crabs and prawns have been the most used baits for the edibles this past week. The area around Blue Lagoon has been the most productive (according to reports). Other than the stumpies and shoal pompano, there have been a couple of decent kob caught on chokka baits. There have been some blackfins hooked recently. These speedsters enjoy jumping in to the air and generally win the fight. Other than the blackfins, there have been some bigger flatfish hooked. The two main species have been the thorntails and diamond rays.

South – The south coast has seen some garrick action on live shad. The shad have been a bit picky on most mornings but a drifted sardine has made quick work of getting your limit. The trick has been to get through the smaller shad to get ones that make the legal size limit of over 30cm.  The south coast is still producing very good numbers of bronze bream. The rocky ledges and gullies along the south coast have seen many species being landed but the stone bream and bronze bream have made up the bulk of the catches. Pink prawn and cracker are the two must have baits for these two species. Light tackle will not only get you more bites but it will also see you have a lot more fun.


The freshwater scene is alive and action packed! The bass are in the mood to attack, the big carp are feeding well and the trout are making it easy to step away from the fire and in to the chilly water.

Bass – The bass haven’t been told that winter is almost here…The bass fishing is going extremely well in all of the KZN dams. Hazlemere and Inanda dam are the two most productive venues being reported. Those with a boat are definitely more likely to get stuck in to the bigger fish but do not be disheartened if you are stuck on the bank. Try to focus your efforts away from the busiest areas as the bigger fish tend to shy away from busy spots. The topwater bite is still on especially on the warmer days. Buzzbaits and frogs have been the most likely to get you a big bite. Later in the day, weightless soft plastics are the ticket to a good day.

Carp – The carp fishing is getting better for the specimen anglers while the conventional guys start to drop off the number of fish but gain in the average size. The colder waters and chilly mornings make the fishing a bit more difficult but the rewards are worth the earlier wake up. Inanda continues to top the list of productive venues for both specimen and conventional anglers. Successful flavour reports have been a real mixed bag of traditional summer sweet flavours and strong winter flavours. I would suggest a mix of fruity and pungent. Something like a banana and garlic or berries and menthol.

Trout – The trout fishing is continuing to produce some amazing catches each week. The Stillwater’s are seeing the bigger fish but the streams are producing the prettiest.  Woolly buggers and the likes have been the most successful flies reported. The darker colours have been the most popular. Try fishing a dark brown or black woolly bugger slowly along the bottom with an erratic hand twist retrieve. For most of the dams in the Midlands, an intermediate line will be more than sufficient to get the fly in to the strike zone. The deeper lakes require a type 3 or 4 sinking line. With all sinking lines, you do not need as much emphasis on tapered leaders and delicate presentations. A level leader is exactly what is needed. The faster the sink rate of the line, the shorter the leader needs to be.

News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “With chilly starts and clear blue skies during the day, seems like winter is (finally) here … although Madame La Nina had a toe in the door with that rain dump at the end of last month – locally, reports indicate falls of between 40mm (Midlands / Nottingham Road area) and 95mm (Hilton) – this gave the rivers and dams a (nother) proper push and Midmar is still coming over the wall.

With just less than 3 weeks left for the trout river season, the rivers are looking good, with some good flows to be had that we hope will assist in carrying the rivers well into the winter.  Spawning fish were reported some weeks back, so care is requested when wading – fish will already have hatched, so the alevins will be in between the gravel – fish from the bank if possible, and avoid any obvious concentrations of fish and let them get on with the business of providing us more fish for the years to come…

While some good fish have been reported from the Midlands Stillwater’s recently, there seems to be a “flat spot” currently in the catch reports.  Waters temperatures are still in the lower teens, hopefully heading to lower double-figures soon which will kick the fish into feeding up for the cold winter waters ahead.  From those anglers reporting fish, flies of choice have been on the larger end of the scale – woolly buggers and minnow patterns especially.

The bass bite is cooling along with the water temperatures – reports from Albert Falls indicate crank baits are working at present.  No reports from Midmar at present!

On the yellowfish front, there is some good fishing to be had for scaly (Natal Yellowfish) in the lower stretches of the rivers, as the fish drop down from the thin, cold water of the higher reaches.  While there are still anglers heading to Sterkfontein, it’s really late in the season and catch reports are thin.

With the recent rainfall, dam levels are the best they have been for a while;  Midmar is still on 100%, Albert Falls now at just over 56%, Spring Grove also at full capacity at 100%),  Mearns Dam just shy of FSL at 99%, and Wagondrift Dam on The Bushman’s River still at 100%”.

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.

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


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