Cape Town is a popular destination for avid fishermen from all over the world due to the marine biodiversity and the unbeatable scenery. Here’s a list of four popular fishing sites in and around Cape Town and what you might expect to catch there, as well as some guidelines on permits and sustainable fishing.
Fishing off of the cliff ledges at Rooikrans is a great spot for catching blacktail, yellowtail, galjoen hottentot and kob (kabeljou). Rooikrans is located just inside the tip of Cape Point and is widely considered as one of South Africa’s best fishing spots. Rooikrans is a spot for the more advanced fishermen as the cliffs make landing fish very difficult and when the swell is big it can be pretty risky, many fishermen have found themselves washed off into the sea.
Kommetjie Bay is particularly popular for its deep sea fishing, especially when the Barracouta and Cape Snoek start their winter run. You can also catch Tuna, Albacore, Black Marlin and Mako Sharks.
Melkbosstrand is a great beach for recreational shoreline fishing. The long, wide beach is spacious and a great family setting with restaurants and cafes nearby. You could expect to catch steenbras, kob and blacktail at this spot.
Another great fishing spot is Jacobs Bay. The mussel covered rocks attract blacktail and steenbras and if lucky you might hook a giant trevally that’s out hunting smaller fish. Jacobs Bay is suitable for all levels of fishermen and easily accessible.
The best bait to use includes squid, sardines, mullet, bloodworm, rock worm, black mussel and prawns. What bait you use ultimately depends on what you are targeting and time of year. Due to the abundance of squid during the summer months this makes the best all round bait.
Remember to clean up after yourself. Litter is hazardous to marine life and people, remove plastic, waste, lines/nets, sharp items (like hooks) before you leave and remove hooks from your catch. If you’re planning to release after your catch please safely remove the hook from the fish to ensure your catch doesn’t suffer. Keep a tackle box with your line/side cutters and pliers close by to make sure you can do this process quickly and not cause the animal too much stress.
Marine fishing licenses
Annual and temporary permits can be purchased from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.
Costs vary depending on the type of fishing permit you’d like to purchase.
Marine fishing licenses can also be applied for and purchased from any Post Office in the province.
It’s important to remember that there are specific regulations for different types of fishing.
- You’ll need a fishing permit.
- You may not sell and trade fish.
- You need to use a rod, reel and line only, and follow the angling regulations when fishing.
- Your cast net mustn’t be larger than 6 meters in diameter.
- If you have approval for spearfishing, you’re allowed to catch fish of Class Pisces (that’s bony fish, sharks, rays, skates and chimaeras) with a spear gun only.
- You’re allowed to fish from a vessel (like a boat) if you have approval to fish from a vessel.
Keep a copy of the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) guide with you. This guide indicates which species are green, orange or red according to their vulnerability.
Green means you can buy these species legally. Orange means that the species is vulnerable or threatened. Red means that these species numbers have collapsed and it’s therefore illegal to buy, sell and consume that species.