Fishing in Kwazulu-natal

KwaZulu Natal provides an amazing spectrum of fishing possibilities from oceanic blue marlin to small river trout, often in exotic localities.
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About Kwazulu-natal

KwaZulu Natal is the second most populous province in South Africa and, although not the largest province, it has a 500 kilometer (310 Mile) coastline that provides great fishing from virtually tropical in the north, to temperate in the south. The coastline has over 100 estuaries and coastal lakes including some of the largest in Africa. On the terrestrial side it offers everything from cascading mountain streams and dams right through to powerful tropical rivers populated by crocodiles and hippopotami. Generally the infrastructure is good, with modern airports, such as Ushaka Airport just north of Durban, many smaller airports and a comprehensive network of paved roads. There is an excellent spectrum of accommodation from “Top of the range” five star hotels and bush lodges complimented by “rustic” but clean and safe destinations to suit every pocket or taste. Overseas visitors arrive in large numbers to see the “Big Five” animals in many exciting Game Reserves as well as stunning scenery, pristine looking tropical beaches and, of course, some of the best fishing in Africa.

Fishing Types

For saltwater species, both offshore and onshore fishing opportunities exist in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The shoreline provides hundreds of kilometers of open sandy beaches, rocky outcrops and sheltered bays. Offshore there are blue, striped and black marlin for the game fishing enthusiast and excellent bottom fishing for everyone else. “Ski boats”, both commercial and private day tripping boats, are launched from many sheltered bays along the coast and Sodwana Bay, with about 5 000 launches per year, is possibly the busiest launch site in the southern hemisphere. Inland, there are excellent fishing opportunities in rivers and lakes, including those created by artificial dams, and backcountry fishing in the remote areas may have you casting your lines while admiring iconic species of African fauna.

Targeted Fish Species

With almost everything on offer from massive blue marlin to small stream trout, it is essential to carefully prepare for your fishing visit to KwaZulu Natal. You must decide what you will target this time and what must be left for the next visit. The commonest fish caught on the KwaZulu Natal coast is the shad, or bluefish (Pomatomus saltator) but, at the same time and place, it is likely that you could also catch one of several large shark species or even the mighty giant trevally. In the northern areas warm water species such as giant trevally are targeted in summer while the internationally renowned “sardine run” in the south in winter can provide predator fishing second to none. Last century, European settlers brought brown and rainbow trout for sport and in the cooler, higher altitude areas, there is excellent trout fishing. Through good management trout may now be caught “wild” in many mountain rivers or in a multitude of well stocked dams. Tiger fishing is available in the far north, and fly fishing for indigenous fish, mostly what are usually called “yellowfish”, is becoming popular during the winter.

Fishing Techniques

KwaZulu Natal offers excellent fishing throughout the year and the best times depend on the preferred type of fishing as well as the species being targeted. While light tackle is clearly best for some species, heavy tackle equipment is essential for the others. Many methods, such as natural baits, spinning, using plugs and dropshotting are used for saltwater fish. Fly fishing in the ocean, lakes and rivers for indigenous species is popular and excellent rainbow and brown trout can be caught in the cooler areas. While most fisheries operate throughout the year, it is best to check when the optimal times are when investigating your visit. Good bass and carp fishing are also easily available. Few anglers visit KwaZulu Natal only once, as there is just so much on offer from amazing target species, exceptional accommodation, stunning vistas and occasionally fishing with one eye open for crocodiles and hippo.