If there’s one thing that defines South Africa fishing, it’s the country’s unique location and over 3,000 miles of coast – exciting angling action happens everywhere from backwater streams all the way to blue waters. The fishing is just that good!There’s a fish for every breed of angler in South Africa. You can head inland in one of the 3 large natural lakes: Lakes Barberspan, Groenvlei, and Zeekoevlei. Although it’s just 3 lakes, they make up for it with the quality of the fishery. Most freshwater anglers go after Carp, Sharp Toothed Catfish, Blue Kurper (known as Tilapia to the rest of the world), Yellowfish, as well as Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass. Additionally, the rivers and streams of the country are chock-full of Rainbow and Brown Trout – the fishing pressure is pretty low so it’s likely you’ll have the stream to yourself!The East Coast of South Africa is developing a strong fishing industry, with several towns investing in good marinas and boat launch locations. Richard’s Bay is one of those towns, great for offshore and nearshore action. You can go after pelagic predators like Sailfish, Black Marlin, and Striped Marlin stalking the blue. Interestingly, the nearshore action is more popular than offshore, especially on light tackle. Anglers from all over come to test their fishing skills against Wahoo, Kingfish, Queenfish, Tuna, and Mahi Mahi.
Kwa Zulu Natal, also known as Durban, is one of the only deep water harbors on this coast. It’s very close to a great natural boon – coral reefs stretching all the way to vast offshore trenches. This creates the perfect place for pelagics to feed, attracting trophy-chasing anglers in turn. Port Shepstone is also a popular launching location, thanks to the deep waters starting around 6 miles away from the shore. This allows charters to bring their clients to top-tier offshore action a short ride away from the dock. The south side of South Africa is arguably the best region for saltwater fishing in the entire country. The Atlantic and Pacific ocean and their undercurrents meet just south of Cape Point – perfect fishing grounds for Yellowfin, Skipjack, and Albacore Tuna, as well as Black and Striped Marlin, and Mahi Mahi.
Right next to Cape Point is the famous Cape Town fishery of False Bay. The one thing Cape Town fishing charters share are sheltered waters that allow for great inshore fishing. The water infrastructure is well-developed – there are many great slipways and two good harbors. It’s not hard to see why it’s a popular location for charter boats! Anglers can look forward to hooking up Yellowtail Amberjack, Kob, Red Steenbras, and Garrick closer to shore. There’s a bounty of various Sharks to go after, as well, including Hammerhead, Dusky, and other species.
Anglers need a valid fishing permit in order to fish in South Africa. You can buy it at any government-approved office. You also need special permits in order to harvest Lobster, or to go spearfishing with diving equipment. There is a cumulative bag limit on almost all species that you can legally target in South Africa. You can keep a total of 10 fish, unless your catch includes a species whose bag limit is larger than 10 (such as Halfbeaks, Mullet, and Squid). It’s always best to check local regulations with your charter captain, as they are updated and changed regularly. South Africa has good air connectivity, with major airports in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, and Pretoria, as well as smaller ones across the countryside. The entire coastline of the country is connected by Highway 2 – perfect if you want to take a tour of all the saltwater fisheries! So book that trip and get fishing.