Flyfishing report: Saltwater - Upper South Coast

Date of Report: Friday, 1st December 2023
Name: Martin Smuts
Phone: 078 9620111

It’s really heating up here in Durban, both the weather and the fishing. By 4am the sky is lit, and the sound of birdlife fills the early morning air. Numerous reports of good fishing have been on the airwaves too.

“The harbour is firing”, is the word from the dropshot guys. Springer (also known as skipjack or ladyfish) have been caught regularly over the last month in Durban harbour. The yacht mole on the high tide, and the drop offs into the channels on the low tide, have seen multiple fish landed per outing. Oxeye Tarpon too have made an appearance in amongst the Springer.

The north bank of the Umgeni River mouth has also been very productive for the guy’s fishing spinning gear. Mixed bags of Kingfish, Cob and big Shad have been landed. Fish activity, chases and smashes into fleeing baitfish, within a few meters of the beach and well within reach of a well-presented fly.

The Umgeni River estuary has also produced some good fishing recently. Water clarity has been fantastic, the clean water reaching well upriver. Aside from the usual variety of small Kingfish caught on fly in the estuary, two beautiful Rock Salmon were caught on a small #4 Shrimp Flipper, the larger specimen measured 40cm and put up a respectable fight on a 9-weight rod.

Early sunrises and late sunsets make for more opportunities to get out onto the water. There has been a lot of fish activity recently. If you’re keen to get a fish on fly, this is a great time to get out and enjoy some fly fishing.


Springer caught in Durban harbour.