Garrick here, garrick there, garrick everywhere! The weather has been fairly stable but the early morning chill has made getting to the spots early a bit more challenging.

Rays tip: The gentleman of the sea is one of the best gamefish to target on live bait or lures. They will eat most live baits but have a preference for mullet and shad. How to rig the live bait is always a bit controversial but a 6/0 Mustad Tuna Circle cable tied to the fish through the eye sockets is a firm favourite. In terms of the best lures, a bucktail jig worked in a jigging action or a chisel/needle nose plug are your best choices. Remember that garrick feed fairly close in so do not concern yourself with distance.



The offshore fishing is going extremely well. The geelbek are here and the big couta are feeding so you can choose your poison.

North – The north coast has seen most of the couta action, or at least the bigger couta. Tinley Manor has been an excellent spot for the fishing ski anglers as well as the boat guys. Bigger baits have produced most of the bigger fish. Fishing your baits at different depths is essential to find where the fish are feeding. The backline zone along most of the north coast has produced a lot of snoek so make sure you put a fillet out for the first hour of the day. Throwing a spoon in this zone is also extremely effective.

Central – The Durban coastline has seen a big mixed bag of fish from the offshore guys. We are still seeing some dorado even this late in the season. The main targets have been the tuna, couta and the geelbek. The tuna have fallen for live baits and poppers around the bait spots. The couta have mainly been taken on dead baits like walla-walla and bonito. The geelbek have been in the deeper spots but good quality sardines have been the best bait. The sea is still a bit warm at the moment so we hope that the temperature drops to bring the winter fish and the sardines in.

South – The south coast has seen a couple of big couta in the shallows. These fish are mainly caught on the trap stick while catching bait. Remember to set the drag properly on this rod and to make sure it is secured. The geelbek, soldiers and rockcod have been keeping the bottom fishing guys very busy on the south coast. If you are wanting to target multiple species on a single drop, try a three hook rig with two 4/0 Mustad Tuna Circles on the top two snoots and then an 8/0 on the bottom.

Rock and surf:

The arrival of the garrick has been the main news in the shore fishing world. The spinning guys have been catching and the bait anglers too.

North – 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. The edibles are great fun to target up north with a 30lb braid setup being the most universal setup for targeting the edibles and smaller inedibles. The inedibles up north have been a lot more scarce but the persistent anglers have reported good results on fresh bait and deep-water points.

Central – The Durban section of the KZN coast has seen a large number of anglers targeting garrick at the mouth of the Umgeni River using livability and lures. There have been a good number landed but the crowds have been large… Look at sliding a legal size live bait on a 5-7oz rod for the best results. The Durban coastline has been producing a large amount of shad from the piers and at the Umgeni mouth. The fish have been largely undersized but a few decent specimens have been landed in between. Japanese mackerel and sardine have been the two most successful baits for the shad. There have been plenty of other edibles around for the guys to target. The beaches have produced some smaller grey sharks and some brown skates for the anglers throwing baits along the beachfront.

South – The south coast has been the place to go if you are after the Garrick. Winkelspruit, Inyoni rocks and the Illovo stretch of beach are the three main areas on the south coast to visit at the moment. Live bait has been a bit tricky to find but as long as it is of legal size, you can use it for bait. A 5-7oz rod is perfect for this type of fishing and will easily handle the slide sinker you are throwing. You can throw a lure for this fish; see the tip above for recommendations. The south coast has also seen a lot of scratching fish in the gullies and ledges. Mostly bream and smaller rockcod but still a good bit of fun on the lighter tackle.


The freshwater fishing has been going very well for all facets. The colder weather has put the trout and the carp on to the feed but the bass are still in summer mode. The season is right to pack the tent and the blankets and get to your nearest venue.

Bass – The bass fishing has been explosive over the past while. The increased rainfall has caused dam levels to rise rather quickly which has made a lot of shallow vegetation for the bass to hunt in. This weedy grassy area is a deadly place to throw a topwater like a buzzbait or a weedless frog. This is braid territory so look at using a good quality braid like the Daiwa 8x 50lb and up. This on a fairly stout rod that has a softer tip will give you the right action on the frog while absorbing the initial strike and stopping you from setting the hook too early. The slightly deeper grass can be fished very effectively with a lipless crank. Try retrieving the crank so that it taps the top of the grass and then rip it free if it hangs up. This method will get you some very explosive strikes. Most of the venues in KZN have produced some quality fish over the last week so do not worry too much about where to go. Get in your car and get to a venue and catch some summer giants! Hazlemere continues to surprise anglers with the size and quality of the fish. The bank anglers have done very well here with a host of methods. Inanda has been the best of the boating venues.

Carp – The carp fishing has been on form in KZN with both the specimen and the conventional anglers seeing great results. Inanda has been the dam of choice for the specimen anglers. Although most have not seen success in a single day, the guys who have put the effort in over a weekend have seen big fish and many runs. Tigernuts and hemp are in short supply across the entire SA for good reason. If you can get your hands on these, buy in bulk! The hemp is amazing for the feed area while the tigers are a deadly hookbait. Albert Falls has been the dam of choice for the conventional anglers. The banana flavour mielie bombs have been the most successful feed at Alberts with a sweet mielie or floatie proving to be the best hookbait. My personal choice is a honey, G-Fox or black magic flavour floatie.

Trout – This cold weather is the right thing to put the trout in to feeding mode. The cooler temperatures makes the fish trigger a feeding response to put on weight for the winter months ahead. The Stillwater’s are producing the bigger fish and are the place to be. Look at the deeper areas of the dams and use a good sinking line and some streamers to get the attention of the big boys. The rivers are fishing well even though they are however very low at the moment and we hope that the rains will start to fill them up. Nevertheless, the fishing is still good in the rivers with the deeper pools holding the fish. 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. The Elkhair 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.

News from our Jan from the Kingfisher in PMB – “The cold snap of last weekend appears to have the desired impact (at least a bit) on the Midlands waters, and stillwater temps are finally starting to drop.  A degree here and there, but it’s a start, and hopefully the waters will cool a few degrees more to really kick the fish into proper feed mode.

While the rivers are still in good flow, it’s less than a week now before the rivers close for the annual 3 month closed season.  Many question the reasoning behind a closed “season”, noting that the fish have in all probability, spawned already.  While that may be true, the closed period is in fact simply to keep anglers off – and more importantly, out – of the rivers so that the fry (alevins) get time to develop and grow a bit, thereby securing the future fishing.  Coming off The ‘Berg, water temperatures are cool to cold across the rivers, and flies across the range from dry to nymph have been working.

The Stillwaters are in the best condition we have seen going into winter for a good few past years, and with a slight temperature drop so far, the “flat spot” reported recently seems to be resolving itself with some good fish been reported recently.  The higher altitude waters will cool first of course, and there have been some reports of the “winter colours” (read orange) already making a play.

The first weekend in June will the kick-off of the winter stillwater event season with the Kamberg Trout Festival, and 10 days later is the Boston-Dargle Festival as well as the start of the TOPS Corporate Challenge.

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 so much Jan.


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