Flourish of summer fish in the north zone
THE fishing has been good recently with carp and bass in the freshwater reports, trout for the fly guys, late season summer fish for the rock and surf crew and couta for the offshore boys.
Ray’s tip: When rigging bait for couta you need to use the right treble hooks. First make sure you are using at least 4x strong trebles. This will allow you to put pressure on the fish and pull hard enough to get them out without fear of straightening a hook. Secondly, look at the bait to determine the colour of treble to use. If the bait has a dark back, use a black treble to blend in. If the bait is shiny like a shad or mozzie, use a silver hook.
Finally ensure you use the right size hook. The general rule is: small mozzies (size 6 silver); big mozzies and small to medium mackerel (size 4 silver or black); big mackerel, shad, bonnies and walla (size 2 silver or black).
On the ski boat side, a reminder that the Umhlanga Ski Boat Competition is this weekend. The competition sees ski boats, jet skis and paddle skis pitted against each other. Visit www. ursc.co.za to enter.
The lower North Coast saw snoek around the river mouths and garrick behind the backline. For these fish use a frisky live bait, normally a mackerel or a shad.
A piece of fluorocarbon will prevent it being rubbed off and will produce more pulls. To do this you snell a 6/0 Mustad Tuna circle. Now troll the bait as close to the backline as you dare. Have someone watching for waves as this can be dangerous fishing.
The upper north coast saw couta off Zinkwazi, some close to 30kg. 52kg Tuna on popper off Durban, yes you read that right. This is a spectacular catch! Very well done to the angler.
The central zone has been fishing well for the offshore guys. The river mouths produced snoek on fillet baits and spoons. When spinning for these fish, use the smallest spoon possible as they are feeding on small sprats and will bluntly refuse bigger lures. The Kingfisher Anchovy spoon has been doing a lot of damage.
In the wrecks and reefs the bottom fish have been the usual customers of reds, rockcod and daga. Live bait, fleshy fish baits and squid are the way to go when fishing these areas. The game fish have been around most of the spots and it is worth pinning a mozzie or mackerel on the trap stick while catching bait.
Lower water temps saw amberjacks down south. These strong fish require strong tackle. Even with 100lb braid you will lose more than you land.
In rock and surf edibles and inedibles were landed all along the coast.
The main species were eel-tail barbel, speckled snapper and rockcod. Other interesting species included lemonfish, rubberlips and sweetlips.
All you need in the bait box is chokka and redeye sardine. There was a flourish of summer fish along the lower north coast zone with sandies, diamonds, brown skates and honeycombs feeding on mackerel baits.
The inedibles have been on the upper central coast as well. These are best targeted with a large bait, be it slid out or thrown out. Using a bite trace is recommended as the shad and grey sharks can either bite through the nylon trace or damage it.
The best fishing has been after a day or two of NE wind. The guys spinning off the beaches had some luck with the odd snoek and garrick falling for their offerings. The lures have been bullet spoons for the snoek and needle-nose Chaos plugs for the garrick.
The South Coast saw garrick at the usual spots. Using either a live shad or live mullet as a bait is the best way of targeting these fish. You can either slide these baits out or throw them.
Make sure to let the garrick feed for long enough before setting the hook. These are very clean-fighting fish so they do not require very heavy tackle. There have been some very good inedibles coming out. The honeycombs have made an appearance on the lower south coast along with some blackfin sharks. The honeycombs have been enjoying a mackerel bait while the blackfin have favoured a live mullet. Make sure to use enough steel wire for the blackfins as they are renowned for breaking and rolling off once they are hooked.
The harbour has been very kind to the grunter guys. There have been some cannons coming out from the center bank as well as from the wading bank. These fish have all fallen for crackers shrimp fished on as light a sinker as possible.
Remember that these fish love white bread. Make sure that you do not squash the bread when you put it on the hook so that it doesn’t sink. This fishing is a game of patience, but the reward is worth it.
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