Report from Tourette Fishing.
Pierre Swartz,Tourette fishing guide at the Makhangoa Community Camp (MCC) reports:Winter is well under way and the fishing at the MCC has been nothing short of spectacular this month. Large schools of big rainbow trout have been making their way into the Bokong River and its confluence with the Katse dam below camp. It has been a record breaking season with more than a dozen fish over 10lbs landed. Many of the camp guests achieve their personal best catches, whilst a few have been treated to fish that are quite clearly one of a lifetime. Tony landed a monstrous 15lb fish, and this past weekend Michael and Gerhard from JHB each landed fish of 12lbs. Soon after Michael bought in his trout of 12lb to the net, he landed what we think may well have been an unofficial all African record, which we conservatively put at 9 – 9.5kg’s (20lb or more). There have also been a few brown trout up to 3lbs coming to hand, as well as the odd yellowfish still feeding deep. The Makhangoa Community Camp continues to provide world class fishing and we look forward to seeing how the season progresses as we break new ground on a daily basis keeping the camp open for winter.
Please make sure you book with Tourette before visiting this destination.

Vanderkloof (VDK) Dam:  Update on the proposed small-scale commercial fishery

YWG has been receiving feedback from Dr Aidan Wood who has been asked by SASACC (South African Sport Anglers & Casting Federation) to represent the interests of anglers on matters relating to a commercial fishery at VDK Dam. While not officially representing the YWG he has agreed to voice our views at the stakeholder’s advisory committee which has been set up to discuss and monitor the experimental and small-scale commercial fishery at VDK Dam. Some concern has been expressed by anglers including fly fishers that netting the dam commercially will negatively impact on the dam’s angling potential.  Aquatic Scientists and conservationist have, similarly, expressed concerns that this activity might be unsustainable if not properly managed.  Unfortunately very little data exists about the population dynamics and conservation status of, especially the largemouth yellowfish Labeobarbus kimberleyensis, to conclusively predict what impact a commercial fishery may have on this species.  Here in lies the problem, old and outdated information has been used by the project proposer’s that a commercial operation at VDK is possible. This, and the fact that similar operations in other parts of the country have failed has given reason to the apprehension expressed by both scientists and anglers about the project. Dr Wood has kindly forwarded us three documents which have been posted elsewhere on this website at http://www.fosaf.co.za/ywgDocuments.php. These are:

  • The Environmental Fisheries Management Plan for the project.
  • The most recent minutes of the forum – March 2015.
  • SASACC’s objections to the use of gillnets for this project.

While the YWG is not opposed to the project we will by exerting pressure to ensure that correct measures are put in place to monitor the impact of this project on VDK Dam. You are welcome to share your views and to engage with us via Facebook and email on this matter. We trust these documents will provide more detailed information on this project.

Roger Gurr’s Saltwater report for Upper South Coast

Roger Gurr.
Upper South Coast

13 May

Hello Everyone,
Starting in the north, JP Bartholomew has been fishing hard and having great success with Bluefin kingfish, Grunter, Stone Bream small Cob and a Concertina fish all on fly .
Peter Lehman and I fished the Vetchies pier area on Sunday morning. I managed to catch a Blue Emperor on a Rapallo lure which was just drifting along while I was fly fishing over the reef and followed that up with a beautiful Natal Rainbow Wrasse on fly and then hooked into a strong fish which bit me off. Peter caught the reef at least six times with his fast sinking line so we moved off to fish the shark nets but the only fish there were shoals of Garfish.

Marius and I fished Durban harbour the previous Saturday morning. I was once again targeting Grunter on the centre banks but only caught Sand Gurnard . Standing perfectly still the occasional grunter came within three meters of me on several occasions and it’s quite exciting casting to Grunter as they drift along with the current and blow sand up in their feeding manner. I shall just have to tie more shrimp flies and persevere. I always enjoy the harbour because there is a lot to see, with ships coming and going, other fishing and sailing boats moving around and bird life around you. I watched three pelicans following two Darters around obviously harassing them as they hunted in an attempt to steal their catch. At times they would jump right on top of them really bullying them and when the Pelicans take off they are truly graceful birds in the air. With the tide retreating and the sandbanks getting exposed hundreds of Pigeons settle on the banks feeding on whatever they can find.
Anyone wanting to fish Durban harbour from a ski can get a permit by joining Durban paddle Ski Club. You will need the usual safety equipment and have your ski inspected but with a second hand ski and basic safety X
Fishequipment it won’t break the bank.

Not much news from further south with Shad at Winkelspruit and a few Natal Snoek and Garrick coming out on live baits.
Stan Stanton and his son Mark fished the Impenjati River again, both of them catching some nice fish. Stan landing a 41cm Rock Salmon and a 35cm Kingfish .
Peter Lehman spent a few days at Giants Cup in the southern Drakensberg and caught a number of rainbow trout up to about 1,5kgs
Finally last Saturday some of the guys from our group “Fly Flickers Anonymous” fished the Umkomaas River at Mapstones farm with Craig “the Troll” Gartrell catching the biggest Yellow of about 45cm.
That’s it until next time.

2015 YWG Conference

This event will be held at the Champagne Sports Resort near Winterton on Sunday 28th June, the day before the start of the SASAqS Conference. All welcome, especially anglers, guides and landowners. Cost only R340,00 per person which includes lunch, teas, registration etc. Please contact Peter at mwardern@mweb.co.za.