|Date of Report: Wednesday, 17th January 2018|
|Name: Scotty Kyle
Some amazing fish have been caught at Kosi Bay during the recent holiday period. On some days all the lakes and even some of the ocean seemed full of nice fish and many excellent ones were caught and some tagged and released. The lakes produced some amazing GT’s but none to compete with the 47 kg on caught in the lakes in November. These fish seem to hunt in packs and, if you can find them and they are feeding, the frenzy is not only from the side of the fish.
Excellent seapike have also been evident in the lakes with several of well over 80 cm being caught and tagged. They are usually in the deep water but occasionally can be seen in the shallows where casting in front of them can be an adrenaline rush second to none. Landing these beasts is another issue as their teeth are extremely long and sharp and they are dirty fighters. Not only that but their friends often remain by their side until they are right at the boat and they also have very sharp teeth. Even in the boat it is essential to remove hooks carefully as they know exactly what their teeth can do and nearby legs can all too often suddenly sprout copious blood.
On one day recently the lakes seemed full of great game fish from the south of Lake Three right through to First Lake. And then the next day all was quiet despite even better-looking conditions. All the usual fish are present although springer have been very few and far between and rock salmon are not as abundant as in recent years. Greenspot and bigeye kingfish are in all the lakes and some really nice bigeyes of over 60 cm have been caught. Most of the greenspots have been smallish but there have also been really nice ones of over 2.5 kg in the lakes.
As usual the action is unpredictable and it is best to “sight fish” by following the terns diving or scanning for surface disturbance. Much of the feeding is associated with the shoals of estuarine roundherring which, although not as abundant as in recent years, are not too difficult to find. Fishing effort, by recreationals, is down on previous years and so it is often possible to fish alone, even if you have found some fish.
Poaching, however, has not declined markedly and remains a serious problem. Recently a 2.5 kg Natal stumpnose was sold locally for R250 showing just how valuable these fish are to the poachers. Netting is just too lucrative and cheap to replace and so despite management action there is just too much netting still going on.
Most good fishing has been early in the mornings or evenings although at times midday in the blazing sun has been productive in the clear shallows. The bottom line is that you do need to prepare well, put in the time and use your brain and skill to be successful. Do not use old leaders and too light tackle as there are monsters around and you do not want to hook into one and lose it due to using a frayed leader.
The ocean has been less than excellent most of the time. There have been highlights, mostly at points and specifically at Kosi Mouth where I recently saw a beautiful 4 kg bluefin caught and tagged on very light tackle in late evening. There are also excellent greenspots and Bigeye kingfish there but, again, the silly ones were killed many years ago.
Along the shore the pompano and species like bastard mullet have been scarce, for no apparent reason, but again persistence will usually yield some results. I have found pompano to be most confusing and yet, almost always, if you move round enough you can find a small group that are feeding.
There have been a few large GT’s around in the ocean, particularly at Kosi Mouth, but the numbers have been low and not many have been reported caught.
All in all, although there are no guarantees, most people who visited Kosi Bay recently and put in the time, thought and effort have been happy with the rewards. The season is not about half gone and, although it has not been consistently good, it has had some amazing interludes and the fish are still there!
Note from editor: After many years of acting as FOSAF’s correspondent for Kosi Scotty retires to Maritzburg in March. While we thank him for providing the website for such an extended period with excellent reports and wish him a happy retirement we urgently require a local flyfisher to take over as correspondent for Kosi.
Scotty Kyle with a greenspot kingfish.