FISHING REPORT 20 August ’21

The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 to 17:00, Saturdays 8:00 to 13:00. We are pleased to inform our customers that we are open on Sundays from 8:00 to 13:00.

With seas on the heavy side you would expect there to be much to report, but the sea has been kind and some very decent fish have been caught.

Top tip – Bronze bream can be a very finicky fish at times. They can take your bait without you noticing and they can flat out refuse to eat if you don’t have your trace in order. A couple tricks for this species are as follows. Rather make a slightly chunkier bait for them than a tiny single prawn bait. Make traces up with different hook snoods. This will allow you to fish lighter or heavier depending on the conditions. Lastly, look for the fish and fish where you see them.

Offshore:

The bigger seas have not been the nicest to be on if you suffer from the curse of sea sickness but some very good catches have been made.

North – The north coast continues to produce the best gamefish action along the coast. The snoek have been feeding very well around all the river mouths and adjacent beaches. Trolling a fillet bait in the early mornings has produced some fine specimens. If you prefer lures, then spinning with a small spoon can be deadly when fished with a rapid retrieve. If you are fishing with a very small spoon then consider using wire, otherwise go without as you will get more bites as a result.

Central – The Durban area has also seen some decent snoek fishing around the Umgeni mouth as well as on Limestone reef just outside the harbour.

Those looking for bigger fish will be happy to hear that there have been plenty of big tuna around. These hard-fighting fish struggle to resist a live bait and a popper. The popper fishing is the more exciting of the two and often out fishes the live bait. Choose a popper that makes a good splash and a rod that has enough of a bend in the tip so that it doesn’t kill you trying to work the popper.

South – The south coast has been bottom fishing heaven with plenty of very big and very strong beasts being pulled from the deep. This includes some big copper steenbras and black musselcracker. Both of these are extremely hard-fighting fish and require the best tackle to pull them up from the bottom. These species are suckers for a bigger live bait on the bottom and as the main reef predators; they will be the first to eat a helpless baitfish.

The south has also produced some good gamefish action in the form of tuna and some good couta. Trolling lipped lures has been the fastest way to find the tuna after which you can target them by drifting with live bait or throwing a popper.

Rock and surf:

The rock and surf fishing is in a transition towards summer with some of the winter species starting to go quiet while the summer fish are starting to make an appearance.

North – The north coast has started to produce some of the early summer fish. This is always a tricky period to specifically target a species so fishing with something that is able to target multiple species is preferable.

A standard FMJ trace with a 9/0 circle hook and mackeral head bait will be able to hook most summer species. If you are only after the flatfish then you can use a straight nylon trace as this will give you a more “finesse” approach.

The ledges and gullies on the north coast are still producing good numbers of bream and various other edibles. Prawn and chokka are your baits of choice for this type of fishing. Also, the use of circle hooks will increase you hook up rate and reduce the amount of tackle you lose due to fowling.

Central – The Durban beachfront has not seen a large number of fish lately. There have been garrick around the Blue Lagoon area in the early mornings with a number of these being taken with live bait. There has not been much success with lures along the central coast. The north and south coasts have seen a lot more lure-caught fish in the last two weeks.

The shad have been thick on the beachfront. The Blue Lagoon area has seen the bigger shad while the beaches have produced large numbers of fish but the sizes have been lacking. Drift baits have produced the bigger fish, but with the sea being a bit grumpy, getting the bait to the fish and keeping it there has been the biggest struggle…

South – As mentioned, the south coast has seen some decent garrick taken on spoons, plugs and bucktails over the last two weeks. The plugs need to be worked briskly along the surface to create a disturbance that mimics an excited/escaping baitfish. A garrick off the top is worth 5 on any other method. For the bucktails, an irrational whipping action produces the most bites. Fish a long upward whip and allow the bucktail to drop down again. The hits often come as you start the up stroke.

The scratching has also been very good along the south coast with a lot of bronze bream and stone bream. Crackers and prawns are the most effective baits for all these fish.

Freshwater:

The freshwater scene has been tricky with the unstable weather patterns. The pressure has been the determining factor on most days.

Bass – The bass fishing has been up and down. When the pressure has dropped before the arrival of a front, the bass have gone on to the bite properly.

The top water bite has been there in the early morning and evenings. The wakebaits have worked very well in the darker hours. These baits run just under the surface and create a wake as they move through the area you are fishing. They work very well in the open water but also operate above the structure. As long as the hooks don’t get jammed in the structure itself.

For the smaller venues, the soft plastics have out fished most of the other methods by a long shot. Smaller curly tailed worms have produced the goods. Fishing these on a Texas or mojo rig have been the ticket to a happy day catching.

Carp – The carp fishing is moving in to real summer mode with plenty of fish to fill the keep net but not necessarily the sizes you want. The conventional anglers have done very well in most of the KZN venues but Albert Falls has been the most productive (from reports).  The sweeter flavours are still doing very well in the shallows but the deeper water has been more productive when fished with a stronger scent like garlic or gumtree.

The likes of Midmar and Inanda have been producing fish for the specimen anglers but the wait between bites has been quite long. Focus on making sure your tackle and traces are ready to make the most of the bite as losing a fish due to tackle failure after waiting a day for the bite is heartbreaking.

Trout – The midlands have been very kind this year with the trout season carrying on in full strength. The spawn has come and gone but the fish are still there to be caught. The Stillwater’s are producing some giants with social media full on new personal best specimens being flaunted by happy anglers.

The buzzers fished washing line style have done well in most of the Stillwater’s and have accounted for some big fish when the bites get finicky. The other method producing good fish is the use of bigger streamers with plenty of marabou or Zonker material for added movement.

News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “Apart from the usual moaning and groaning about the cold, last weekend’s winter sting-in-the-tail was most welcome for the moisture it provided the currently bone dry Midlands, and more importantly – the snow up top.  The melt will provide a decent input to the rivers and streams, giving them a pre-season flush that will almost certainly get the fish moving for Opening Day on 1 September … as long as the water warms up a bit and doesn’t stay cold (it was a mere 6degC last year!) and the fish stay in bed…  There is a spit and spot of rain still in the forecast for this weekend, and as the weather warms up, The Midlands is sure to burst back into its usual verdant green…

A mere week and some change of the “official” winter season left before the Opening of the trout River Season on 1 September … I for one will out and about on my annual inspection.

Last weekend saw “Leg 3” of the TOPS Corporate Challenge on the still waters in and around Nottingham Road – icy conditions notwithstanding, the 48 anglers did well to log 300+ fish. The winning fish was a beast of a brown trout that stretched the tape to 64cm / 25 inches!  While the winning angler logged some 19 fish averaging 48cm / 19 inches.  Seems like the fish came out to play in the adverse conditions, totally unconcerned by the weather!  The last qualifying leg of the TCC (aka Leg “2” which was postponed from a month ago due to the last period of Level 4 pandemic restrictions) takes place on the last weekend of the month.

Apart from the successes of the TCC anglers, the Midlands Stillwater’s have been on the quiet.  Water temperatures are still chilly; most Stillwater’s are sitting in single figures, with one of 2 waters above the double-figure mark.  Smaller flies seem to be on the menu of late – nymphs (e.g. PTN and hotspot) and bloodworm fished in tandem with a small attractor or booby.

After the great excitement of local anglers Kirk van Reeuwyk and Tiaan Odendaal taking top honours at the recent Finals of the FLW (Fishing League Worldwide – now MLF : Major League Fishing) bass tournament at Albert Falls, the fishing also seems to have gone quiet.  Last weekend’s massive cold front has no doubt put the fish down, an anglers are speculating on a delayed onset of the spawn.  We look forward to some behemoths as the water warms up.

For the yellowfish (aka Natal Scaly) anglers that have been out and about, there have been good fish recorded.  The lower Umkomaas towards Richmond, and the middle Tugela are proving to be the current hotspots.  Reports indicate that fish are “glued to the bottom”, so a heavy nymph rig is required to get down to the fish … CdC collar nymphs and the so-called “jig buggers” top of the menu right now.

Dam levels have been dropping of late; the snowmelt should help with inflow as well as the onset of the Spring rains (fingers crossed).  Current levels are : Midmar 94%, Albert Falls 50%, Spring Grove 85.5%, Mearns 66% and Wagondrift 95%” Thanks Jan.

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.

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.

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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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