FISHING REPORT 24 December ’21

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

Happy festive season! The sea has been giving gifts early with some amazing fish caught in all facets over the last week.

Top tip. This time of year can get interesting with the large numbers of people. Remember to be accommodating and kind to your fellow anglers and the general public. Also, try to give everyone space especially under the current circumstances.

The festive season can also get very hot on the beach; make sure you have adequate sun protection in the form of clothing and sun cream.

Offshore:

The offshore fishing scene has been on fire! Couta, dorado and much, much more.

North – The north coast has been fishing very well from Umdloti all the way to Sodwana. The closer inshore reefs have seen some amazing couta caught, mostly on live bait. Down rigging your live bait has been key to getting the bigger bites. Try and fish one bait close to the bottom and another slightly higher in the water column. The general rule is to start fishing closer to the surface and move deeper as the day goes on.

The dorado have been full up and most of the coast has seen good catches of these amazing gamefish. Pink and purples are their favourite colours and try to fish close to structure of some kind.

Central – The dorado have also been caught with fair regularity along the Durban coast. The most successful method has been using live bait while fishing around structure that is holding dorado. The best way to find them is to troll skirted lures along colour or current lines. Pinks and purples are the most successful colours.

The rest of the Durban coast has seen a lot of tuna. Thankfully they can be caught on exactly the same methods as the dorado, so you can target multiple species at the same time.

The bottom fishing off Durban has been a bit slow this past week but there have still been good numbers of rockcod and reds for the guys to catch.

South – The south coast has seen a lot more bottom fishing action than the rest of the coast.  There have been some massive rockcod and daga caught. Most of the bigger fish have been caught dropping live bait to the depths. This method has also accounted for some big yellowtail and amberjack. If you hook one of these, hold on.

The dorado and tuna have been full up on Aliwal. Trolling faster lipped lures and skirted lures is the way to go. Closer inshore has seen some good couta on live bait.

Rock and surf: The shore based fishing is going extremely well. The summer fish are here and the drags are screaming!

North – The north coast has been the place to be. Any of the deeper points will be a good bet. The lighter tackle has produced a lot of grey sharks. Those looking for bigger fish have done well with mackerel and redeye baits on FMJ traces. Look for an area where you can get in to the deeper water. This can be off a rocky point or if you can clear the sandbank on the beach.

The edible fishing has been a bit slow but there are plenty of shad and kob around. The kob have favoured chokka baits mixed with a bit of sardine. The shad have loved a sardine bait with plenty of flash on the outside.

Central – The Durban beachfront has seen plenty swimming action so make sure you are fishing in the quieter areas. The stumpies have been feeding well in the night mostly on chokka, crabs, sea lice and sardine heads. Find the areas where there is enough working water and hold tight.

There have been inedibles around most of the deeper beaches. Diamonds and grey sharks have made up the bulk of the catches but there are also a host of other flatfish on offer. Smaller floated baits are the choice for the grey sharks while the others have preferred a meatier bait on the bottom.

South – The south coast has still got some action for the guys throwing plugs and spoons. The bigger shad have eaten both and can be great fun on the spinning tackle. There have been some garrick around but the season is coming to an end.

The rockier areas down south have seen some bronze bream on prawn baits. The river mouths have produced some good kob on both live mullet and chokka baits.

The drone anglers have been the only ones consistently hooking the bigger flatfish and sharks down south. Any of the beaches will be a good choice if you are after a long fight.

Freshwater:

The freshwater fishing has been very good for the start of the festive season. The bass fishing has been wild and the trout have been eager to attack a fly.

Bass – The bass fishing has been wild in most of the KZN venues. From the smaller private dams to Inanda, the bass have been eager and aggressive so get out there and get some bass.

Weightless soft plastics have been the most successful target method for the smaller dams. With the shallower water and general weedy nature of these dams, the weightless plastics excel. Those looking for the bigger fish will do well to use a hollow body frog.

Inanda and Albert Falls have been the pick of the bigger venues. Both dams have fished well for the shore and boat anglers but the boat guys have done better. A mix of techniques have been reported but spinnerbaits and cranks have been the two most popular.

Carp – The carp fishing has been very slow this past week. The smaller fish have been wild in most dams but there have been no reports of bigger fish received.

The small carp are still on the sweeter scents. A floaty or mielie in a bright colour with a sweet scent will do very well in most of the venues. The conventional anglers have caught the most fish from Inanda and Albert’s this past week.

Those looking for the bigger specimens will be better suited to Inanda. Remember this dam is accuracy dependent so work on landing your baits in the same area cast after cast. Banana is always popular so make sure you have some in your collection.

Trout – The trout fishing in the Berg has been a happy escape from the heat close to the coast. The cooler temperatures have made for some decent fishing in both the rivers and the Stillwater’s.

The rivers and streams have been full of smaller fish which makes for a busy day amongst some beautiful scenery. Dry flies have been the pick for most anglers as the surface take from the smaller fish is always enthusiastic. Flies like the ever-popular DDD or the elk hair caddis are great in most situations.

For the Stillwater’s, the bigger streamers like the paparoach or zonker are a good bet to get the fish to come out of the shadows. Fish the deeper water with a sinking line and don’t be afraid to speed up your retrieve every now and then.

News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in PMB – “The summer storms continue to run interference to the best laid fishing plans, but with S.A, being a water scarce country, we cannot actually complain.  For those who are already enjoying the Festive Season down time, a break in the weather can be taken advantage of at short notice.  As expected for this time year, water temperatures are on the high end of the scale, but there are fish willing to play the game so when the gaps presents itself, get out there and throw that line…

Rivers are full from the rains, and as reported last week, the mid to lower sections will be impacted the most.  So for the most part, fishing for Natal Yellowfish (aka Scaly) will be put on hold unless one is prepared to dredge some chocolate water with heavily weighted patterns to get the flies down to the fish.  Better to head upstream (as high as possible) in search of cleaner water and the salmonids that inhabit our mountain streams … “broon troots” locally in the uMngeni, Mooi and Bushman’s Rivers, and rainbow’s further afield in the Njesuthi and across the range in Underberg.  Both dry fly and nymphs are working well currently … flow and tour preference dependent!

Reports tell of water temperatures in the 18-23deg.C range for our local stillwaters.  Trout will be shy of these temperatures and will tend to be found in the cooler depths, so an intermediate (or even full sink) line is required at this time.  The ubiquitous black Woolly Bugger (so called “Speed Cop” with its blue flash) has resulted in a number of fish of late … no doubt a result of being THE most popular fly which probably holds the unreachable record of the one fly that has spent the most time underwater in The Midlands.  As mentioned previously, a tandem rig is always a good (better) option when fishing a stillwater, as it gives the fish a choice … my ideal rig is a leading (weighted) Speed Cop (black) and trailing (unweighted) damsel or dragonfly pattern (olive).  A simple 3-part rule for fishing a tandem rig is to change a) shape, b) size and c) colour … to give the fish widest choice of food.  If nothing happening, keep changing combinations till you find a pattern that gets you a fish and you can start narrowing down from there…

Report from Albert Falls is that there are big fish out and about, but hard to find and no particular lure or colour that is consistently producing the goods … so it’s a case of “Tour d’Lurebox” to find The One for the day.  Chatterbaits are still high on the list however, and word on the water is “rain = frogs” … we have seen an increase in requests.  By comparison, Midmar seems quiet with few reports.

Big news last week was the reopening of the Parks Board Resort at Sterkfontein Dam, although the accommodation is still closed.  So anglers are staying close by and launching through the Resort, opening up access to the eastern shores of the dam.  With holiday period in full swing, Sterkies will see a big jump in the number of anglers, so best to have a boat and search for the less populated areas.  Again, weather is a (serious) consideration on this vast piece of water – you don’t want to be caught out, or on the wrong side, of the dam if the wind / a storm gets up … best advice is to stay put and wait it out.

Dam levels in The Midlands are still looking good with Albert Falls sitting at 49%, Midmar on 88%, Spring Grove at 80%, and Mearns and Wagondrift Dam (on the Bushman’s River) overflowing at 112% and 102% respectively.  With all the recent rain, one might have expected Spring Grove and Midmar to be higher, but with Hazelmere down at the coast sitting at only 38%, water is being pumped down for the coastal holidaymakers.

May we take this opportunity to wish all Our Customers Very Merry Festivities and Happy and Safe Holidays – please see our Facebook for opening times for the rest of the Festive Season”. Thanks so much 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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