Winter chill makes it harder to hook the big ones

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The trout are in spawning mode which means that orange is the colour to go for.
The trout are in spawning mode which means that orange is the colour to go for.

The freshwater fishing has been dominated by the carp and trout catches these past weeks.

The bass fishing has slowed down but it is far from dead. The winter chill is here so make sure you have your beanie and your scarf.

The trout are in spawning mode which means that orange is the colour to go for! Make sure that you have a good supply of both egg and blob flies in your box.

Fishing these patterns can be a controversial debate, but it is still a lot of fun. The winter months generally mean crystal-clear water, so make the extra effort to be stealthy.

Earthy-coloured clothes and low-profiles are the way to go. Keep low when approaching the water’s edge and use lighter lines.

Remember this when fighting the fish and use a lighter hand. Don’t force the fish as this often ends in heartbreak. If you are wanting to fish a bit faster, use a blob or egg-sucking leech so that you can fish a bit faster.

Keep your eyes open as the surface bite has been on if the weather is warm enough. Use a simple pattern like an elk hair caddis or emerger.

Bass biting slower

The bass fishing is starting to slow down. The KZN dams further inland are getting properly cold so make sure you are prepped for the early mornings with a good supply of warm clothes and coffee.

Finesse is the way to go when the water cools down. If you want to fish a bit faster than you can have a go at reaction bites on a jerkbait.

Targeting offshore structure with a dropshot rig on a good quality spinning setup with braid will improve your catch rate. The quality rods allow you to feel the bites along with the braid.

The coastal dams and those on private farms are still pretty much in late summer mode. The top water bite is still on in the early hours of the day and in the afternoon.

The spinner bait bite is still happening and those who like to fight the bass on a locked drag in heavy cover will be happy to know that the pitching of creature baits in to the heavy cover is still producing good bites.

The colder waters and chilly mornings make the carp fishing a bit more difficult but the rewards are worth the earlier wake up. Inanda continues to top the list of productive venues for the specimen anglers. Successful flavour reports have been a real mixed bag of traditional summer sweet flavours and strong winter flavours.

I would suggest a mix of fruity and pungent — something like a banana and garlic or berries and menthol.

Honey draws the carp

Conventional angling has been very productive in all of the KZN carp waters, mainly for the smaller fish.

Albert Falls has been the pick of the venues for the conventional anglers as the fish have been feeding very well in the shallower areas of the dam. Honey has been the most reported flavour with floaties out fishing mielies.

Good catches offshore

The offshore fishing has been very kind of late. The boats along most of KZN are reporting good catches of tuna, snoek and couta. It has been a matter of getting a safe launch in and you are good to go.

The Durban coast has seen some good fishing for the offshore guys. The main targets have been the tuna, couta and the geelbek. The tuna have fallen for live baits and poppers around the bait spots. The couta have mainly been taken on dead baits like walla-walla and bonito. The geelbek and other bottoms have been feeding well in the deeper spots with good quality sardines being the best bait.

The guys have been doing extremely well with the wahoo on Aliwal. The couta are keeping the south guys busy and the south is where the bigger couta hunt. Look at using slightly bigger baits for these fish and focus on bait presentation, neatness of your trace and good knots/terminal tackle.

As always, remember to subscribe to The Kingfisher’s YouTube channel to stay up to date with all our new video releases and to brush up on your species knowledge, tactics, tips and tricks.

The Kingfisher’s trading hours are Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm, Saturdays 8 am to 1 pm. Like The Kingfisher Daiwa on Facebook for reviews, videos, fishing reports and great promotions. Please send any info about fishing or fish caught in your area to

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