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Pongola Game Reserve Fishing Report
|Temp (River):||17 – 19°|
|Water Clarity:||100 % River Stretch * Main Dam – 100 %|
|Fishing Area:||River Stretch and entrance to main dam|
|Average Size:||500g – 3,5kg|
|Artificial Lure:||Spoons 3g – 10g, 3 g Effzett spinners (silver/bronze)|
|Bait:||Sardine/Fillet and Chicken Hearts|
|Biggest Fish:||3, 5 kg tiger fish – Omni Fertilizer|
|Skipper of the month:||Sunny Boy|
The season is still quiet but we have managed to find a couple of ways of eluding the winter blues. ( OBS ). I would like to take the credit myself, but unfortunately cant as I’m sure some of my clients will be reading this report.
We were fortunate enough to have some return clients, Omni Fertilizers, who did extremely well considering the conditions. They brought up some live bait, and on the first morning came back with a beautiful 3, 5 kg. They had numerous strikes and a couple of fish between the 1, 5 kg and 2, 8 kg where landed, and obviously a couple lost too. The trick seemed to be fishing the 5- 6m water in the morning and as the day progressed moving shallower in. By mid to late afternoon the 2m depth seemed to be the ideal. The live bait was mostly fished on cork, ranging between 30 cm and 2m. The area targeted was mainly on the northern side of the river towards the bridge, especially on the bend in front of Nkwazi Lodge.
Sardine was also used with the odd occasional strike, but the barbell seems to be the targeted species. I went out on the same day and had great fun too, also putting sardine fillets on corks with similar results. Just before and after the sun set seemed to be the best time, but as soon as the light started fading, so did the fishing.
Trawling has also worked extremely well, with Dumisani landing another fish in the 3, 5 kg mark and a couple smaller ones. Duncan McKinnon, also a return client, was trying out some soft plastics and had a lot of strikes, but struggled landing anything of size. He then started trying his variety of spinners and spoons with some good results. The ideal method with trawling seemed to be very slow and very close to the reed banks. The stretch to the train bridge on the southern side definitely produced better results. Duncan and Cheryl fished most of the dam and mentioned the river stretch was most active too.
The weather obviously is still playing a major role in the fishing at the moment, with the slightest temperature drop affecting the next couple of days fishing. We are promoting a bit of a later start than normal, and rather fishing the mid day and late afternoon. Spring is definitely on its way, and with the last couple of week’s weather definitely pushing up our water temperature. As mentioned the odd occasional cold front does seem to still have a big affect on the next two or three days fishing. I am hoping by mid August for the temperature to reach 20 degrees and then for all hell to break lose.
I unfortunately have not managed to do much fly fishing, but Mavungana Fly-fishing is going to be with us for two weeks in early August, and we are hoping for some excellent results.
The Tiervis Bonanza is creeping up to us, and there are still places available. The contact number is 034 413 2256, speak to Ina. I have seen the entry form, and apparently the limiting the number of boats to 300, not 400 as the mentioned last year. Thank God for that. The dates are 23 – 25 September. I know Mvubu Lodge has still some space, but unfortunately Nkwazi Lodge and Mpalane are already full.
We are still having problems with illegal gill netting, and another two poachers were caught. After the nets were seized, we removed 742 bream, 38 barbell and a handful of tigers!!!! And this was only two guys and one boat. We have been doing weekly patrols in the river stretch to main dam, and have been finding numerous nets. We have spoken to the authorities and the ideal is to take a GPS co ordinate or mental note and contact us. Please do not remove them and contact Kemp Landman on 083 680 5433 or Chris 083 520 5519. On the positive side the SAPS are trying to get in a permanent water-wing unit for Jozini, so the more evidence we can get the better the chance of it. Please any suspicious behavior or signs of nets, rather contact us than trying to do something yourself.
Finally I must apologize for the brief fishing report last month, but I arrived back on the day it had to be submitted. It was Willard’s first winter fishing, and I have mentioned that he has some much to look forward too soon. Cant wait, all my tackle has been checked and re checked, come on summer.