Fishing in KwaZulu-Natal
Big game fishing
Big game fishing is hugely popular largely due to the warm seas and large numbers of game fish in the Indian Ocean which include dorado, tuna, barracuda, kingfish, black and blue marlin, sailfish, spearfish, wahoo among many other species. Offshore sport fishing boats are known as ski boats and there are numerous competitions at fishing towns along the coast, mostly from Easter onwards when the main game fishing season gets underway. All sea life along the coast of KwaZulu-Natal is protected. Permits are required for fishing (surf and deep sea) and for removing crayfish, mussels, octopus, oysters, sea lice and mud prawns.
For big game fishermen, the waters off the Elephant Coast are a major draw with the deep zones off the continental shelf being home to species such as marlin, sailfish, barracuda, tuna, king and queen fish. Deep sea fishing launches are available from Maphelane, St Lucia, Cape Vidal and Sodwana Bay.
Coarse & fly fishing
Filled with mountain water from the Drakensberg, the rivers of the Midlands region are stocked with healthy numbers of trout and bass introduced in the 1880s by colonial settlers. Kamberg Nature Reserve is one of the most popular locations for anglers with fishing for bass, carp, blue gill, scalies, eels, tilapia and tiger fish popular at Midmar Dam. Highmoor is famous among competition-class wilderness fly fishermen. The river fishing season is limited from September to June while dams are open all year.
There is an abundance of trout and bass fishing in the Drakensberg. The villages of Underberg and Himeville are at the heartland of a trout fishing Mecca that extends from the Loteni river in the north-east through to Matatiele and Kokstad in the south-west. The Southern Drakensberg has more fly-fishing locations than any other district in South Africa with wild-spawned fish of up to eight pounds taken from the rivers, and fish of ten pounds and more from the dams. Recent seasons have seen steadily increasing streams of visiting anglers in search of trophy trout. Bass are mostly found in dams, while trout occupy both rivers and dams.
Lake Sibaya, Kosi Bay, Cape Vidal and Lake St Lucia are well-loved fishing spots with grunter, kob, perch and shad frequently taken. Inland, at Lake Jozini (also known as Pongolapoort Dam) in the heart of Zululand, tiger fish weighing more than 8kgs have recently become prolific.
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