FISHING REPORT 1 October ’21 September 30, 2021 by The Kingfisher The weather has taken a bit of a turn after some fairly settled conditions. There are still some opportunities to wet a line but this is the perfect time to get ready for summer. Top tip: There is not much worse than getting to your fishing spot and then spending half the trip looking for that piece of tackle that you thought you had or needing to use your pliers only to find them rusted shut in the bottom of your box. All of these could be avoided by making sure you are organized and ready. Get yourself a good handful of boxes and containers to organize all your smaller bits and bobs. Always check your tackle long in advance to make sure your rods and reels, if they need to be serviced/fixed, will be ready in time. Offshore: The sea has been a bit of a washing machine. The fishing has been fantastic but the conditions have been rough. North – The north coast has seen some good fishing for those that ventured out in the less than perfect conditions. Some decent garrick have been taken on live baits while slowly trolling around river mouths. The Tongaat Long Beach area has been particularly productive for this type of fishing. This is also prime area for the snoek so make sure you spin with a small spoon while slowly ticking along the backline. Further north, there have been few reports from the Vidal/Sodwana area but it seems fishing has been pretty good up that side with many anglers booking second trips up north. Central – The Durban coast has seen some proper sized tuna taken on both live baits and poppers. If the thrill of a 30kg+ tuna smashing a popper on the surface doesn’t make your legs a bit weak, you might need to consider a different sporting hobby… The bottom fishing off Durban has been very productive for both commercial and recreational anglers. There have been plenty of fish caught and some decent specimens from all categories. With the arrival of the dorado, it is good practice to fish a trap stick out the back of the boat while you fish on the bottom. Look at rigging a live bait on a 6/0 circle hook and set it up under a balloon. The balloon keeps the bait near the surface but also allows you to track where it is all the time. South – Aliwal has seen a couple of dorado which is fantastic news. There have been reports of some decent wahoo there as well but most have been vague and nonspecific. The arrival of the dorado means that summer is properly here and it is time to focus more effort on the summer species and trolling lures specifically for them. Trolling skirted lures is the most effective way of locating these fish unless there is floating debris that they have associated to. With the recent rains, look out for floating debris in the water and throw a live bait or lure in the area to see in anyone is home. Rock and surf: Kobtober is upon us and many anglers have already landed some beautiful specimens. The summer fish are making an appearance and the weather is starting to settle in to predictable patterns. North – The north coast has been fishing very well with the area around Tugela mouth producing plenty of fish. The only issue has been the safety in these areas. Please make sure to not fish these areas on your own and always be vigilant. The kob have mainly been caught on fleshy baits mixed with chokka. Try a sardine and chokka bait with longer tentacles to entice the fish to bite. The rest of the north coast has started to see the summer fish feeding off the deeper points and on the beaches where the deep water is close enough to reach. Try getting a mackerel head bait in to this water for your best chance at getting a bite. Central – The central coast has been quiet due to the closure of the beaches with the spill of waste. Never take a chance when these restrictions are in place as your health is not worth risking for a single fish. Prior to the closure, the fishing was very good along the beachfront with plenty of good edibles being landed. The stumpies were being caught with good regularity. Most evenings are worth a throw with a sea lice and prawn bait. These are bigger fish but are best targeted with light to medium tackle in order to reach the back banks where the bigger stumpies are feeding. The inedibles are also starting to make an appearance with a good handful of diamonds and blue skates being caught in the last few weeks. South – The south coast has been consistently producing some good catches of kob from all the hotspots. The sand spit has seen some giants already and will keep getting better as the month goes on. Stock up on some good quality chokka and flotation to make sure you are ready if you get the call to catch some of these beautiful gamefish. The gullies and ledges on the south coast have also been producing good edibles with bronze bream and stone bream being the main catches. Prawn and sardine are your best scratching baits to cover most species. Freshwater: The freshwater fishing has been going extremely well with many anglers catching new personal best fish. The summer is here and the fishing is on fire, don’t forget your sun protection. Bass – The bass fishing has been the highlight of the freshwater scene with some amazing fish being landed in the last few weeks. Midmar dam has produced some quality fish with a few fish reported over the 5kg mark. The rest of the KZN dams are not far behind with plenty fish over 4kgs being landed by anglers on the boats and some from the shore. In terms of successful methods over the past week, the jumping barometer has made finesse tactics a go to on most days but some of the more aggressive methods have also produced fish. The warmer days have seen good top water fishing with frogs producing most of the bites. The hot afternoons have been best fished with soft plastics in the deeper water. The rest of the day has seen good results with bladed jigs. Carp – The carp fishing is picking up in numbers very quickly as the warmer weather starts to move in. Remember with summer comes a few challenges for both specimen and conventional anglers. The summer sun makes sun protection essential and the warmer weather brings with it the summer insects. With these two nuisances in mind, make sure that you have the adequate protection for both ready. Nothing worse than getting to the dam and opening your tent or umbrella only to find a hole or worse a dead mouse… Fishing has been good in most venues with Albert Falls being the least reported venue due to current environmental conditions… The rest of the KZN waters have all fished well with sweeter flavours producing for the anglers. Keep some garlic or aniseed scents in the bag just in case you need to mix things up. Trout – The trout fishing has been very good over the past season. The Stillwater’s have been the main attraction and all of the venues in KZN have seen good fishing. As long as the stocking has been done and the dam is big enough, you will definitely catch some fish. The generic “bugger” style flies have been the most successful as they are easy to cast, easy to fish and they catch fish almost anywhere. For those looking for some more finesse fishing, the streams and rivers are calling your name. Look at smaller black coloured nymphs and buoyant dry flies to fish a dry dropper rig. Personal favourites are the Zak nymph fished under a DDD. This combination works in most flowing water situations. News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “As mentioned last week (and with fingers and other appendages crossed), it does indeed seem like the Spring Rains are here. What a pleasure to have water falling from the sky so early on in the season! The Midlands farmers are saying that it’s the best Spring rainfall in the last 10 years … hope we get good and wet over the next week or so. As expected, perfect weather to be out and about throwing a line, so there was lots of fishing activity over the recent Heritage Day long weekend. The river anglers (myself included) reported some good fish on both The Mooi and Bushman’s Rivers. Flows are still somewhat on the low side, and temperatures are up (I measured 17deg.C on The Mooi) so the forthcoming weeks’ worth of rain will hopefully ameliorate both conditions. If the flows pick up 6+ inches or so, we are in for a fantastic bout of fishing. Fish were happy to take sub-surface offerings (Black PTN with a gold beadhead and Black Jig Bugger), but with the high water temp, only happy to rise for the dry fly early morning and late afternoon / evening. The stillwaters will also benefit from the incoming rains, getting waters levels up and also cooling the waters. Summer surface water temperatures in the late teens, and even up in the 20’s, will drive fish down in search of cooler water. Sub-surface lines – at least an intermediate line, and even a full sink for the so called “dog days” of summer – and fishing deep and slow becomes the norm. An often-asked question is whether there are good and bad times to be fishing … answers usually revolve around best time of early afternoon and late afternoons. While this may hold some merit, the only truism in fact is that if you are NOT fishing, you are NOT catching … simple as that. So the other maxim holds true : there is NEVER a bad time to be fishing… Reports from the bass anglers indicate that the fish are starting to move onto the nest, and the spawn is underway. If practising Catch-&-Release, please handle any hen fish with the greatest care to ensure your fishing in the forthcoming years. The Tugela and Umkomaas Rivers are providing some great action for anglers targeting Scaly (Natal Yellowfish) – time to get in on the action before the main Summer rains arrive and rivers turn to chocolate. No reports received as yet on yellow taking the dry fly, so weighted nymphs are the go to patterns at present. As each month rolls by, we get closer and closer to prime time for Sterkfontein! No reports from any anglers venturing north as yet, but as the waters warm, there will be some itchy feet. Reports do however indicate that sadly the SANParks entrance remains closed, and seems that it will remain that way for the time being”. Thanks Jan. Tight lines and screaming reels. 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