For ocean enthusiasts, the east and west coast offer truly different opportunities because the east is warmed by the Agulhas Current, which flows in a southerly direction, and the west coast is cooled by the rising deep waters of the Benguela Current. The warm Indian Ocean hosts an abundance of Marlin, Sailfish, Kingfish and Wahoo amongst others, while the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast is the place to go for Long Fin and Yellow Fin Tuna.
So whether you are a salty sea dog who braves the big blue or a country sort who revels in the meditative art of fly-fishing, you’ll find many happy hunting grounds in South Africa to test your metal. To preserve South African fish stocks and maintain them for the future, a “Catch and Release” policy is in effect at a number of destinations.
Here are a few Great Fishing Spots to investigate in South African Reserves:
Lake Jozini near Hluhluwe is a hotspot for Tiger fishing and the most southerly point where these ferocious fish are found. The lake is massive and you can enjoy superb houseboat safaris where fishing and cruising go hand in hand. Jozini is surrounded by the Pongola Game Reserve so you will be able to spot Big Five game and many other animals such as Cheetah and Wild Dog. Guided game drives and Rhino Walks can be enjoyed alongside excellent Tiger fishing.
Lilydale Rest Camp is a hidden gem when it comes to fly-fishing on the Riet River near Kimberley. The river has a reputation for being quite unique with spectacular clear waters. Mokala is a great getaway offering guided game drives and river rafting plus good facilities for recreation and relaxation. The Northern Cape is the place to go when the rest of the country is in the depths of winter.
This mega game and marine reserve near Port Elizabeth, encompasses a unique range of options which attracts fly, freshwater, surf and deep sea fishing enthusiasts – how many reserves can boast such a combination? Visit the northern section in the semi-arid Karoo and fish in the renowned Darlington Dam, or head for the picturesque Zuurberg Mountains and try your hand at some exclusive fly-fishing. Alternately, experience the wonders of the mighty Sundays River where the tidal flow is mild and water sports abound. Enjoy surf fishing at Bushman’s River mouth or set off on a deep sea adventure. All this is apart from Addo’s many other attractions, including malaria-free safaris, horse-trails, walks, hikes and trails, history and culture, birding and 4x4 routes.
The Breede River is the longest river in the Western Cape and the fishing opportunities vary depending on where you are stationed. The upper reaches are great for fly-fishing, while the middle section is superb bass fishing country in optimal conditions. The estuary at Malgas is popular for catching Kob. You can access the riverbank at certain points or float on a boat or canoe from one bridge to another (arrange transport at either end or you will be stranded!). The Bontebok National Park (a World Heritage Site due to its rare flora) is located near Swellendam and offers access to the river for fishing and swimming, plus biking, hikes, walks and trails, game watching and excellent birding in a beautiful setting against the Langeberg Mountains.