FISHING REPORT 24 September ’21

The weather has given most facets a run-around but the gaps that have been fishable have proven to be worth the wait.

Top tip: summer ready.

The summer season is here and the catches are starting to get bigger and better. The worst thing you can do is hear the fish are biting and then realise your braid needs to be changed or that all your traces are rusted. Use this time to get everything in tip top shape. Avoid the rush on the day and it will make your fishing so much more enjoyable.


The offshore fishing has been fantastic in the gaps of the bigs seas. Those with iron stomachs and unshakeable sea legs have landed some amazing fish.


The north coast has mainly seen gamefish action as the bottomfishing anglers have been focussed more on the central and south coast.

The snoek have kept the backline anglers very happy with most of the success coming on smaller lipped lures and fillet baits. Pink and Pearl skirts have been the best reported colour in front of the fillets and redeye sardine fillets have been most effective (if you can get).

The deeper waters have mainly yielded a couple of big tuna on poppers, trolling lures and livebait. Mackerel have been the preferred livebait while the darker colour lures have been the pick of the bunch for both lipped trolling lures and poppers.


The Durban area has seen more launches with the protection from the harbour and Vetchs launch. Trolling lures has seen some very good action in the deep. Skirted and faster lipped lures have resulted in some early summer action including Dorado and some billfish. Get yourself some quality skirted lures and make sure your tackle is ready for the summer giants.

On the lighter side, there have been a whack of snoek off the Umgeni mouth and trolling on the backline has yielded good success in the early mornings.


The south coast has still got some sardine shoals around and there has been some action with these shoals but the fish seem to be tired of the taste of sardines.

Aliwal has seen some epic action and the bottomfishing down south has put a few chiropractors back in business. These deeper waters require a KP setup with good quality braid and a strong rod or why not try the Tanacom  electric reel. The currents can be nasty so speak to your skipper and get a game plan in action before just dropping.

Rock and surf:


The summer fish are starting to dominate the catch reports. That being said, there have been some fantastic edibles caught along most of the coast over the last week.


The ledges of Cape Vidal and surrounds have produced a handful of edibles this past week. The main targets have been cave bass, speckled snappers and stumpies. There are however a lot of other species you can catch while fishing for these fish. Look at using a double hook trace with a 4/0 circle hook on top and a 6/0 circle at the bottom. Remember to keep the length of your trace and the branches fairly short to avoid tangles in the rougher water. Chokka and sardines are the most effective baits in these areas.

Further south there have been a few early summer inedibles landed by both the drone and casting anglers. Mackerel and redeye sardine have been the most successful baits reported.


The Durban beachfront has seen some of the early summer action. The basin area in front of the new ski boat club has produced a good few diamond rays, sandies and a mix of other inedibles. The crowds have been an issue though and it is important to follow all angling ethics when fishing there as tempers can flair.

The basin and other beachfront beaches have also produced a lot of shad and some quality stumpies this past week. Prawn and crab baits have been the ticket for the stumpies. Rig these on a 4/0-5/0 circle hook and fish on the pushing tide for the best results.


The south coast has been a hub of garrick activity with some good fish being landed on livebait and lures. Plugs have been very effective in the early hours of the day but during the brighter hours, the stickbaits and bucktails have produced better results.

The rest of the south coast has mainly seen edible action in the form of stumpies on the sandbanks, kob in the deeper holes and bronze bream in the rocky gullies. All of these have their preferences for favoured baits but if you are going to multi-target then make sure you have prawn, chokka and sardines in your bait box.


The dams and rivers are all producing fish for the freshwater anglers. The bass are aggressively feeding, the carp are looking for food and the fly fishermen are having a hard time deciding whether to chase scalies in the rivers or trout.


The bass fishing has been going very well these past few weeks. The fish have been feeding strongly in most of the KZN venues. Most of the popular methods have had their moment in the spotlight this past week with reports of everything from finesse to power fishing producing the goods. The key has been to find what is working on the day and then figuring out the pattern. This is the big difference between catching a couple and slaying the fish.

If you are wanting to cover water, using a crankbait or bladed jig is a great way to locate the fish. Both of these methods require some special tackle to be properly fished. Softer rods allow for proper action and keep loaded on the fish during the fight.


The carp fishing has been fire in the KZN waters. The summer patterns have set in and fishing has been best before the fronts. Once the pressure gets too high, after the front sets in, the fish tend to lock their jaws and head for deeper waters.

Inanda has been the pick of the specimen venues with some proper fish being brought to the net. Most of the successful baits have been kept a secret, but boilies have been a firm favourite. The fruity additives have been producing good results for the past few weeks.

The conventional anglers have also seen good results with the sweeter/fruitier flavours. Midmar and Albert falls have been fishing well for the conventional anglers.


The cooler temperatures have made for some fantastic fishing in both the rivers and the stillwaters. The changes in the atmospheric pressure has made the fishing a bit tougher to figure out on some days but there is always something willing to feed. The stillwaters are still producing good numbers of fish. The sizes have gone a bit post spawn but the fishing is still worth the trip. Crystal buggers and similar type streamers are great searching patterns for this time of year.

In the rivers, nymphing has been the most effective way of racking up good numbers from any stretch of water. Fishing with an indicator is the easiest way to detect strikes. Alternatively, tight line nymphing has become the new hit method. The use of a two-tone indicator section in your leader allows for very subtle bite detection. This method is also the most used method of catching the ever-popular natal yellowfish (scaly).

Herewith this week’s report from Jan at the Fisheagle in PMB:

Some Spring rains have made a welcome early appearance, which will make for a verdant green Midlands (very) shortly – a most welcome change to the landscape after the winter burns.  Some 20+mm falls have been report from closer to the mountains, and reports indicate that the rivers have already picked up a bit.

The increasing flows in the rivers will have the fish starting to move up – there are already some reports of better fish since the season opened 3 weeks ago now.  Water temps are in the mid-teens, which will get the bug life going.  For a list of what you should be fishing, turn over some rocks to see what is crawling about underneath – mayfly (clinger) nymphs and caddis are the most common, followed by stonefly nymphs.  A hopper remains a great searching pattern, which can then be utilised in a hopper-dropper if necessary to suspend a nymph.

Reports from the Natal Fly Fishers Club indicate water temps in their stillwaters in the greater Midlands area are in the mid teens, while some of the higher level waters are still in single figures.  As the prey spectrum starts to come out winter hiding, larger patterns like dragonflies and baitfish will come into their own.

The Finals of the TOPS Corporate Challenge took place last weekend on the waters around Nottingham Road – once again, the weather rolled in, but anglers did well under the challenging conditions. Over 300 fish were recorded by 48 anglers in the 4 fishing sessions over 2 days – of which, there were 3 fish in the 60+cm / 23inch making it to the net.  Chatting to the anglers, most popular fly was the ubiquitous “beadhead woolly bugger” … no colour given as the anglers still playing their cards close to their chest!

On the bass front, reports indicate that water temps at Albert Falls and Midmar Dams are already over the 20deg mark.  While the spring spawn should be in full swing, anglers are reporting fish being in the deep, and not on the nests.  Michael Dickason (Kingfisher-PMB) happily reports that he broke his longstanding PB with a fish of 5kg taken at Midmar Dam on a Kingfisher Reaction Plastic … come and chat to Michael to get the details!

For the anglers targeting Scaly (Natal Yellowfish), time to get in on the action before the main rains arrive and rivers turn to chocolate. A recent report mentioned good success using a black weighted-jig fly.

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.

For the best in tackle and advice, pop into The Kingfisher 8am-5pm Mon-Fri, 8am-1pm on Saturdays and Sundays – NOTE NEW SUNDAY OPENING HOURS!


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.

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