Hot Spot Durban

By Kirk Newton
1st Jan 2013

FISHING SOUTH AFRICA’S PLAYGROUND

FISHING SOUTH AFRICA’S PLAYGROUND We have looked at different areas all along the coast and even across the border and have overlooked an area that has probably been fished by all of us. It’s on our back doorstep and really does produce fish when it wants to…Its South Africa’s Playground- Durban. I hooked up with the fisherman who is probably the most qualified to give us info on Durban, the spots that lie in its waters and the fish that roam them-lure manufacturer and charter boat owner, Ryan Williamson, owner of Pulsator Lures. The best time to fish Durban is generally the end of February through to Mid April when the gamefish are most prolific in this area and you can get anything from Couta, Tuna and Wahoo to all types of Billfish. Game Fish Species found in our Waters Queen Mackerel (Natal Snoek) – Season - All Year Usually found near backline until about 15m depth near the surface to mid-water King Mackerel (Couta) – Season – Summer - Autumn Usually found from 10m – 50m depth from the bottom till mid –water and surface. Queenfish – Season – Summer - Autumn Usually found from 10m – 50m depth from the bottom till mid -water. Garrick – Season – Winter—Spring Usually found from 10m – 50m depth from the bottom till mid -water. Wahoo – Season - Spring to Autumn Usually found from 50m to very deep in sub surface water. Yellowfin Tuna – Season All Year Usually found from 30m to very deep water from the surface to 200m deep Eastern Little Tuna – All Year Usually found from Backline to 100m depth near the surface to mid-water. Oceanic Bonito – All Year Usually found from 100m depth to very deep water on the surface and sub surface. Dorado – Season – Summer Usually found from 30m to deep water Sailfish – Season – All year These can be found anywhere as they move from the shallows to the deep. What to do and where to do it? When the clean water moves in, that’s if we don’t have a cyclone off Mozambique you get a lot of Dorado, Wahoo, Black Marlin and Sailfish from number 1 up to the two hundred metre mark. Work the two hundred metre mark from the Bluff all the way to Umhlanga/Umdloti and you can expect a lot of Frigates and Bonnies. Look out for the colour line, any structure or floating debris and work this area which, if its been in the water a while will attract gamefish onto it. Around this structure or Debris, in the clean warm water you will often find the smaller Dorado being fed on by the larger Gamefish; Wahoo, Marlin and others. After a strong westerly or a few days of it, these areas work extremely well and preferably on a North/South current. Often if you fishing spots off Umdloti like 27 Umdloti or any of the other good spots you have off Durban, it is a good idea to drop anchor and set your live baits right on the bottom. Around that time of year, there are some large fish in the area and they seem to hang on the bottom. Put a bait a couple of reels up from the bottom and one mid way or on the surface. While you waiting for a take, fish for bottoms, this brings the gamefish in for a closer look and it brings them up as well. Working a Couta spoon also brings the fish up and you might even get a hit or two on the spoon. Great live baits are Mackerel, Live shad and Maasbunker and if you can get a live bonito then that is absolute gold. Durban is also a great place to target Queen Mackerel or Snoek and can be done from Limestone reef just off Durban Ski Boat club launchsite all the way along the backline to Umdloti, with Blue Lagoon, Umhlanga and Selection off Umdloti being particular points to target. Trolling the area of Durban More tailored to ski boats and jetskis, trolling the area off of Durban from the end of February through to the beginning of April can yield some great catches. Lures that work particularly well are konas between 7 to 12 inches long and jet heads. In particular from the Pulsator range of lures the Stripey tickler 2 and 3 in the size 11 and 8 inch has had awesome success. The BBI size four and the Smoking Machine size 4. Other good trolling lures for this time of year are the Halco 160dd size trolling lures in Purple and chrome, striped pink, red head and the orange striped colours. The Rapala X-Rap Slash baits in size 14 in white, yellow and blue. The Williamson Jetheads and feathers are deadly, particularly the Dorado Catcher. A nice general spread would be a combination of skirted lures like Feathers or Kona’s as the side lures and lipped, hard plastic lures like Rapala’s in the middle as most of the fish above would go for these and so you would have a better chance of catching what ever may be around. You can run smaller lures closer to shore and larger lures deeper out. Wahoo like deeper run lures and Couta like very deep runners, Snoek, Dorado and Sailfish prefer surface or sub surface lures and the Tuna Species will go for any of them. The spots to concentrate would be • Limestone Reef: S29°51.908 E31°03.225 Close in to shore, a good spot for live bait. Small Couta and Snoek also make this a hunting ground. • Number 1: Couta, Dorado and even Sailfish and smaller Marlin have been caught here. You will get bait here, bottoms and any other gamefish. S29 50.792 E31 06.101 • Containers: S2949470 E 31 04 535 – 22m of water and great spot for bait. 27 metre mark off the Bluff: • The Barge: S 29 44 602, E 31 05 751. 27 metres of water. Stores bait, good bottom fish and is a great spot for all gamefish besides Marlin and Wahoo. Come on the inside for Snoek and look for rips. • Blue Lagoon: Top Spot for Snoek, work the rips from the river mouth, past Shoprite and to the start of Beachwood Golf Club. • Selection Reef: Great spot for snoek. • Umdloti Drop Off: Great spot for all gamefish except Marlin. S29 40.098 E31 08.071 • Selection S29 41.069 E31 06.920 • DROP OFF Umdloti • • No 1 pinnacle
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