FISHING REPORT 21 May ’21

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The fishing has been cracker for the last week. The Garrick have arrived and are gobbling up any live bait they can, the offshore world is going very well and the freshwater scene is seeing giant bass and big trout.

Ray’s tip. A circle hook can only work properly if it is allowed to do so. There are two important aspects of rigging them that we need to consider when using them. They need to be snelled on to the trace. This allows the line to exit on the hook point side on the eye which enables the circle to turn better when setting. The other important consideration is to make sure the gape of the hook is not blocked by the bait. This was originally pioneered by the big game fishermen when they bridled their baits for marlin. Much the same applies. Make sure your bait does not obstruct the gape and does not hinder the functioning of the hook.

Offshore:

The offshore fishing has been very kind to the guys up and down the coast. The water is still a bit warm so the dorries are hanging around, the couta are keeping the drags smooth and the tuna are providing good sport. Well done to all the guys that fished the UKFC competition this past weekend. Special congratulations must go to Quentin Beningfield for his beast of a couta (29.02kg) and winning overall. Some fantastic fish were caught all around (including 8 couta over 20kgs!) and the event went off very well as usual.

North – The north coast has been the most productive of the spots for the guys targeting couta. The section from Zinkwazi north has been the most consistent in terms of bigger fish. These bigger fish generally favour the shallower reefs and some bigger baits. Look for a live bonito or shad otherwise a walla-walla or dead bonito rigged as best you can. These fish can be picky so make the extra effort to make sure the bait looks natural and swims straight. There are some tricks for this so make sure you either check out our YouTube channel or come in to one of the Kingfisher branches and we can help you out.

Central – The mackerel have arrived in their numbers which marks the change in the seasons. The colder winter months are almost here so make sure you keep a jacket on the boat. The winter generally means bigger swells but the waves are further apart, so although it might look scary to launch, the timing is a lot more forgiving than the summer. This being said, never push beyond your comfort levels just to fish. It isn’t worth it! The reefs off the bluff have produced some good couta and kingfish. Live bait has been king here. Remember when using a live bait that you should not use a skirt or flasher as this will eventually “choke” the livey.

South – The south coast has fished well for the game fishermen especially at Aliwal. The wahoo, couta, tuna and amberjack have all made it on to the catch reports. These fish all favour a live bonito in this area so first step is to pull a daisy chain. Make sure you are ready with the rod and trace to be able to pin it and swim it ASAP. The bottom fishing has also been on fire down south with some lovely soldiers being landed along with some cannon kob. A KP is still the best option in terms of reels for this application as the torque cannot be matched by many other reels.

Rock and surf:

The Garrick have started making an appearance in the reports!

North – The north coast remains the place to go if you are still after the classic summer fish or larger edibles. The reefs and ledges up around Vidal are a great place to scratch for these bigger edibles. The reefs and beaches up north can produce so many different species! The pompano have been feeding in the sandier areas, preferring a crayfish and chokka bait on a light hook snoot. The benefit of this type of bait is that there are not many fish that can resist it. The north coast has still got some flatfish coming out. A nice meaty mackerel bait will give you a good chance of hooking in to a late summer bruiser.

Central – Garrick! The majestic Garrick has finally come. The areas around the Umgeni river mouth have been the most productive this past week. Getting your hands on live bait is essential for these fish as although a couple are caught every year on dead baits, you have a much better chance using a livey.  Remember that any fish that you use for bait needs to be over the size limit i.e. you cannot use a shad as bait unless it is bigger than 30cm. The basin area around Ushaka has produced some inedible action this past week. The main catches have been grey sharks. 6/0 circle hooks, 90lb wire bite traces and a mackerel head bait is all you need in the recipe.

South – The south coast has also seen its fair share on the first Garrick. All the usual spots are quite busy already. Look at areas like Acid pipe, Inyoni rocks, Winkelspruit and Ilovo beach on the upper south coast. These are generally the money spots. Please respect the other beach users and don’t put out ten rods spaced out along an entire beach. Respect the legal limits and try to release as many of these Garrick as possible as the population is not in a good state. The south coast water is still a bit warm so we hope that the temperature starts dropping so the sardines can make an appearance this year.

Freshwater:

The bass are gigantic and eating everything they can before the winter chill, the trout are feeding well in the cooled water and the average size of the carp has dramatically increased.

Bass – The bass are hungry! The frog fishing has been explosive (excuse the pun). Fishing the heavily weeded areas with a floating frog has produced some truly insane action these past few weeks. Colour of the frog is not too important but being able to walk it slowly is. This kind of fishing requires braid, a fast reel and a decent rod with backbone AND tip action. A rod which is too stiff will allow you to set the hook but it makes walking the bait very difficult. The areas which you fish with a frog can also be pitched and punched. Once you have gone through an area with the frog, double back and go through it again with a creature bait and see how many fish are actually there. Midmar has produced some proper quality over the past few weeks. It is not an easy dam to fish and once you figure it out, it is very rewarding. Albert Falls and Inanda are both fishing well for the boat anglers while Hazlemere is the pick of the venues for the bank anglers

Carp – Carp fishing is starting to pick up in terms of the sizes of the fish coming out. Albert Falls continues to produce some very big fish for both the specimen and the conventional anglers. The sweeter flavours are still working for both facets but with the colder weather looming it is advised to add a strong scent in to the mix to give your baits and feed a bit of stay power. Gumtree or garlic are two personal favourites. The specimen anglers have done well in most of the venues in KZN with reports from all the dams seeing good catches and on various methods. Some anglers have had good success on zigs! The most productive method as per the reports has been baits an area with a good mix of particles and fishing the margins of this feed spot with plenty of patience. The conventional anglers have seen the numbers but not the sizes. Banana has continued to produce the results in most of the dams.

Trout – The time for the big trout is here and the cold weather has put them in a hungry mood. The fishing has been good for most of the bigger Stillwater’s with plenty of people either catching their first ever trout which is great or catching their personal best trout which is also great. The cooler water has more oxygen and is more comfortable for the fish to be in. The best way to get down to the fish is to use a sinking line and a shorter leader. The sink speed of the line determines how deep it can efficiently fish at and the time it will take to get there. The shorter leader keeps the fly at the same depth as the line so as to avoid the line running deep and the fly sitting 9 feet above it. Find the deeper areas of the dam during the middle of the day and prospect them with a sinking line and streamer. The early hours are best fished looking for surface activity or prospecting the shallows.

 

News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Once again we have to report that winter is sort of, kinda, almost here … while there have been some chilly mornings to start the day off, the clear blue sunshine skies during the day mitigate the cool nights that are needed to bring the water temperatures down.  The rivers are still in good flow, and the dams are in the best condition we have seen going into winter for a good few past years … Midmar has slowed from the last rainfall, but is still just topping the wall…

Two weeks left of the trout river season and it seems that the fish are already making themselves scarce.  While reports indicate good looking waters, the fishing has been slim pickings.  The water coming off the mountain is properly down already; with a morning temp around 10deg … fish just aren’t keen to get out of bed in that!  With reports of spawning fish some weeks back already, it’s more than probable that the fish have completed their nuptials and packed it in for the winter.  Again we request that care is taken if wading currently – fish will already have hatched and 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…

The “flat spot” reported recently appears to continue with many of The Midlands Stillwater’s reporting (very) slow fishing.  Contrary to the mountain waters, Stillwater temps are still up in the mid-teens … temps are starting to drop and a couple more degrees down will put the fish properly into the winter bite.

There were however, some good reports from last weekend’s Hastings Invitational that took place on the waters of the upper Dargle Valley.  Good numbers of fish in the 40-50cm / 15-19 inch range were reported; with a few topping the 55cm / 21 inch mark.  Well done those anglers.  Water temps ranged between 14 and 17deg … as mentioned, still a tad on the warm side, and contrary to previous reports, small flies were the order of the day.

The bass bite is cooling as we head into winter – however, since fish don’t read the Rule Book, a monster made its appearance at Albert Falls this week – a fish of 5.89kg / 13lb taken on a crank bait by local angler Willem Rheeder –a fish of a life time, Congratulations sir!  All quiet at Midmar it seems…

On the yellowfish front, anglers are gearing up for some winter river fishing for scaly.  The fish will have retreated to the lower stretches of the rivers, with nymph fishing being the primary tactic”. Thanks for the report 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. Tight lines and screaming reels.

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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