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Where to Go Fishing in South Africa

Any nation with two oceans on its borders is undoubtedly a fishing haven. However, nothing comes close to South African fishing. The Indian and Atlantic Oceans are home to gigantic offshore species, but the nearly 3,000 km of coastline is also home to countless bays and coral reefs.

And that’s before we even discuss the possibility of freshwater fishing in this area. See trophy-sized trout in the many mountain streams. Investigate the enormous dams that mimic the ocean. Visit any of the reservoirs and rivers stocked with highly sought-after fish. With a rod and reel, you can have a wonderful adventure anywhere in South Africa.

You can join deep-sea charters as long as you have a specific license to fish the ocean, as the waters are home to plenty of barracuda, sailfish, and tuna. Deep-sea fishing is most enjoyable in the Cape Town area from October to December. The official fishing season in KwaZulu-Natal province is from December to March.

You can also fish for carp and bass, but it’s advisable to practice catch and release. Brown and rainbow trout are abundant in the mountain rivers and streams. Seasonal fly-fishing in the highlands is becoming more and more popular in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, and the Eastern Cape.

The best time to catch trout is from September to May. The optimum seasons for fly-fishing are spring (September–October) and autumn (April–May), when the water is warm and the fish are active. While these are the ideal months, there is no closed season for many dams and lakes. Thus, if you really want to go fishing, you might be able to discover some opportunities all year round.

Fly Fishing

Let’s start by looking at the fly-fishing grounds.

The Mpumalanga province, not far from Dullstroom, offers a true fishing paradise. The fly fishing industry is the main activity in the area, and there are many resorts designed just for anglers. The gorgeous misty creeks and rivers have a year-round, almost autumn-like atmosphere.

There is also so much flying action on the Eastern Cape that you won’t be able to move. The town of Rhodes is located near a remarkable length of trout streams, and it has access to hundreds of kilometres of excellent fishing grounds.

Other excellent locations are Somerset East and the Drakensberg region, close to the Lesotho border. Yellowfish and trout reach remarkable proportions in this area. Other excellent places to start are the Vaal River in Gauteng, Stellenbosch, and the Cape Fold Belt mountains in the Western Cape.

Avoiding winter will give you the best chance of catching a trout wherever you go. The greatest times to come are at the beginning and conclusion of the season, in September and October, and in March to May.

Bass fishing

Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass are all abundant in South Africa.

It is important to note that there is a current controversy in South Africa regarding the value of bass. They are considered by many environmentalists to be invasive species that damage the ecosystem. This is particularly true in the Western Cape, where certain native fish species have all but disappeared from the rivers due to the smallmouth bass. You are free to land as many as you like here and carry them with you!

Alternatively, you might try your luck in the spring or autumn in the Berg, Breede, and Liesbeek Rivers. Get out early in the morning or late in the afternoon if you want to go fishing in the summer.

Seek out dams and lakes where these animals cause less harm if you want to engage in some catch-and-release action. Only the Western Cape’s Clanwilliam Dam is home to all three species of bass. Meanwhile, well-liked locations include Roodekopjes Dam in the northwest and Ebenezer Dam in Limpopo.

Other freshwater fishing

Freshwater fishing in South Africa offers plenty of options. The nation’s rivers and dams offer a variety of fish to catch, such as whitefish, catfish, carp, and tilapia, known locally as blue kurper.

Visit the Misverstand Dam, the Zandvlei and Zeekoevlei Lakes, and the Berg River in the Western Cape for a diverse experience. In Gauteng, you may visit places like Aston Lake, Bajadam, and the appropriately called Yellowfish Paradise to get away from the bustle of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Additionally, the Rietvlei offers the opportunity to catch a variety of species, including bass, catfish, and tilapia.

You’ll find private dams throughout the Free State and Limpopo; however, residents of Bloemfontein also like Kalkfontein Dam. Mpumalanga’s best places to fish are the Grootdraai, Loskop, and Vygeboom Dams.

Saltwater fishing

South Africa is home to 15% of all marine species worldwide, providing endless opportunities for exploration and activity.

Durban’s deep-water port is the eastern gateway to several voyages, and with good reason. The coral reefs draw pelagic fish quite close to the coast for miles around. Prepare for sailfish, blue and black marlin, as well as an array of other fish like kingfish, queen fish, tuna, wahoo, and mahi.

When you travel to the west coast, nearshore activity is everything. The pelagic is far away due to the current that runs past the ocean’s meeting point, but you might occasionally spot tuna. That doesn’t matter, though, because this list of light tackle targets is excellent as is. Target the local favourites, including kob, elf, yellowtail amberjack, and snoek.

Numerous aquatic species come into contact at the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Traveling outside of any of the coastal towns or cities in the Southern Cape may expose you to three different species of tuna: black and striped marlin, as well as mahi.

The true gem of South Africa’s fishing industry is Cape Town. Experience fantastic nearshore, offshore, and inshore fishing in False Bay and beyond, pursuing A-listers such as yellowtail amberjack, kob, red steenbras, garrick, sharks, and more.

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