FISHING REPORT 3 December ’21

The Kingfisher’s annual Clearance Sale will take place this Friday 3rd of December till Sunday the 5th December 2021   (NB. At 53 Hunter Street only). Samples, Demos, Trade Show Stock, Seconds, End of Ranges etc. All to be offered at massive discounts.

A reminder that all branches will be open for trading on all Sundays in December 8-1pm. We will also be open on Thursday the 16th, 8 to 1pm. Friday the 24th and Friday the 31st, 8 to 1pm.

We are almost at the end of the 2021 year. It has been a rough one so let’s focus on some quality fishing to cap off the year.

Let the festive season begin…

Top tip: Sun protection, this is a topic that is spoken about a lot but it needs emphasis. Now that we are in the heat of summer and the fish are starting to bite, often the last thing on our list is protection from the sun. Irrespective of it being a hat, long-sleeve shirt or suncream. These are all items that should be first on the list if you are going to be fishing during the day in summer. Make sure to wear proper light-weight, UV-resistant/protective clothing and do your best to keep as much covered as possible.

Offshore:

What a time it has been offshore! There have been too many billfish hooked than can be mentioned, the tuna are large and charging while the couta keep most of the guys and girls happy.

North – The north coast has been the most consistent spot for those targeting the gamefish. The areas around Vidal and Sodwana have been producing some amazing catches for those willing to travel north. Couta and tuna have been the main targets on the hit list. The couta have been enjoying a frisky live mackerel down rigged with about a 6oz sinker (depending on the depth you are fishing). The bonnies have been around but the sharks have found these too tasty to leave alone.

Speaking of which, the shark tax has been extremely high this past week. The sharks are in the mood to feed so this is the right time to bring out the heavier tackle to try to get the fish in as quickly as possible. Either follow the fish with the boat or pull as hard as the tackle allows.

Central – The areas off Durban have seen some good dorado numbers lately which is a good sign for things to come. Live bait and colourful lures are your best bet to target these aerobatic fish.

The Durban coast has seen some massive bottom fish caught this past week with daga tipping the scale over the 30kg mark! Most of these bigger bottom fish are caught on live bait. The rigs generally consist of a long sinker line attached to a good quality three-way swivel with a short branching line attached to a 9/0 circle hook. This is then pinned in to the live bait and dropped to the depths.

South – The south coast has seen plenty of both bottom fishing and gamefish action. The bottoms have been a mix of reds and bigger predators. The slinger have been making up the bulk of the catches in terms of numbers but the geelbek have made up the weight. The soldiers have also remained a decent size.

The gamefish have been mixed down south. The deeper waters have also seen a good number of billfish. Trolling skirted lures has been the most successful method of actively targeting these fish. Make sure you have the right tackle for these beasts as you are in for a good fight!  In terms of colours to use, it really does come down to personal choice but the “Captain Morgan” colour (Black/red)) has been very popular. The tuna have also been hitting the poppers so make sure you have your setup ready to throw.

Rock and surf:

The summer heat is here and so is the open season for shad. There are plenty of fish around for both the fishermen after edibles and inedibles. pick your target fish and go get them!

North – The north coast has been hot! This heat plus a flat sea and a few days of northeast wind will produce some back-breaking fish. Mackerel and redeye sardines are your best baits to use for 99% of the summer inedibles. Make sure your knots and right and that your tackle can handle the fish you are targeting.

Most of the north coast has been producing fish but the deep-water points are the places to go if you want the bigger fish. Make sure to add some floatation to your baits if the sea is very calm and shorten your hook snood if the sea is rough. These techniques will improve movement and reduce tangles respectively.

Central – The central coast has seen some amazing fishing this past week. The grey sharks have been out of control at both Blue Lagoon and the basin area by Ushaka. Meaty baits and mixed chokka and mackerel baits are your best bet for these fish.

The shad season is now open so you are free to target these sporty gamefish again. Spoons and whole sardines are the best baits for the bigger specimens. Any of the beaches in Durban will produce these fish so get down to the water and have some fun.

South – The south coast has seen a consistent stream of decent scratching fish being caught. There have still been some garrick around for those throwing plugs and bucktails. The kingfish species have also hopped on to these lures as they fly past. The bronze bream have been the most targeted fish in the south with plenty of success being reported. Pink prawn has been the top producing bait for these rocky fish. Crackers have been very productive but have not lasted as long when the smaller fish have been around. Other than the bream, the blacktail and stone bream have been the next most popular on the target list. Luckily, they are all caught in the same area with only small adjustments needed to specifically target each one.

Freshwater:

The freshwater fishing has been dominated by the bass being caught. If you are more in to your carp then the evenings will work for you. The trout have been feeding well in the streams and the cooler Stillwater’s.

Bass – The bass fishing has been much the same as it has been over the past month. That is great news! The bass fishing has been insane with fish being caught on most methods and in most venues.

Midmar has produced some proper fish this past week with some large fish being landed on spinnerbaits and weightless flukes. The summer season brings with it a lot of fodder fish so mimicking these are key to success.

Inanda has been the pick of the coastal venues, also seeing some big fish filling live wells. Remember that these big fish are the breeding stock of the population so please look after them and get them back safely. The surface bite has been explosive in the early mornings. Surface or top water fishing has been extremely productive recently. The warmer summer weather and post-front fishing has made for some amazing surface action. This type of fishing can be done in any sort of cover from the thickest weeds to open water. In the thicker structure where snagging is an issue, the hollow body frog is your answer. In the sparser cover such as grass, the buzzbait comes in to its own. Open water is the home of the poppers and walking baits. Poppers allow you to fish more static while the walking baits let you cover more water.

Carp – The carp have been enjoying the summer feast of insects and vegetation.

Inanda has been the best of the venues if you are looking for the bigger fish. Albert Falls has produced a lot fish but they have been smaller.

Fruity and sweet flavours are the best choice for all the KZN dams. Banana has been the most popular choice for the hook baits while a bit of colour in the mielie bomb has been the key to getting the quicker bite. The choice is yours between floaties and mielies. The mielies last longer but the floaties seem to have the edge for attraction.

The specimen anglers have slowed down a bit in terms of catch rates but some decent fish are still making it to social media.

Trout – The Bushman’s River has been producing some amazing browns and rainbows. Some of these fish have gone over the 40cm mark! That is a trophy fish for any flowing water.

Dries and smaller nymphs have been the most reported patterns. Stick to slightly darker coloured nymphs and a buoyant dry.

The Stillwater’s have been producing good fish as well but the summer heat does take a toll on the fish so they generally sneak in to the depths to seek some cooler water. Keep your eyes on the water and see what is happening and fish to the occasion.

News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “With the summer weather cycle now in full swing – we can expect a pearler start to the days ahead, with a good possibility of an afternoon storm … the 1st proper afternoon thunderstorm with some marble-size hail in the mix peeled over The Midlands this week … all over in under half-and hour and followed by blue skies and steamy turf.  Anglers should take note of the weather conditions and any weather warnings when venturing out in the forthcoming period – speaking from experience(!), no fun being caught out on the middle of nowhere (up a river valley or out on a stillwater) in a thunderstorm with hail … especially with your highly specialised lightning conductor in hand!

With the recent rains, the rivers are full to the brim – The Mooi River tends to pick up colour most easily, and reports indicate the current state to be ”chocolate milkshake”.  On the other side, The Bushman’s River is very seldom coloured (usually only in conditions of exceptional rainfall), and has been fishing well.  Some excellent brown trout (up to 17” / 43cm plus) have been reported from the Natal Fly Fishers Club (NFFC) beats in the amaHlubi Community waters.  I for one, am looking forward to heading up river shortly.

For the most part, the stillwaters are also fishing well – water temperatures are getting up however (a recent report mentioned a surface temp of 22deg.C), and fish will be on the bottom in the cooler water … fish “deep and slow” for best results.  Note that if practising Catch and Release, care should be taken to limit the fight with the fish by upping your tippet so as to be able to “horse” the fish in and send it back to the depths as quickly as possible.  While a fish might appear to swim off after an extended fight in the warm, oxygen-poor surface waters, all too often 20min later and you have a belly-up fish floating next to you…

Word from the bass anglers is the both Albert Falls and Midmar Dams “are on fire” at present.  At Albert Falls, tilapia is the current favoured meal – incl. chatterbaits, dropshot rigs, lipless lures as well as soft-plastic flukes.  For Midmar, “anything Junebug” in colour is doing the business.

For the yellowfish anglers frequenting Sterkfontein Dam, much lamenting still going about the fact that the Parks Board Resort is still closed – the resort was being used a COVID isolation camp, but these were apparently closed down in Aug.’20 already  … enquiries to local government have not been answered, so The Minister has  been approached.  Currently the only access to the main dam is through Qwantani Resort.
Last weekend saw the 24th annual The Complete Fly Fisherman ‘Sterkfontein Experience” taking place.  While the weather wasn’t kind, anglers experience high wind and rain, some good fish came to hand.

National guide, Mark Yelland, is currently operating out of Qwantani Resort and also reports that after days of overcast, cold weather and very strong winds, when the sun comes out and the wind calms down, sight fishing with dries is the name of the game”. Thanks Jan.

Tight lines and screaming reels.

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!

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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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