Fishing Spots Close to Stellenbosch | iinfo TZANEEN

Frantic fishermen who find themselves in Stellenbosch, have no need to feel stranded inland. Stellenbosch is a mere 23km from Strand, the closest place to wriggle your toes in the sea sand. From Strand, a 9km drive takes you to Gordon’s Bay. The magnificent Clarence marine drive is the portal to several ideal fishing spots.  
 
The most common fish in the area is the Steenbras (all year round) and kabeljou (summer), with galjoen (South Africa’s national fish), elf and snoek in season. The catching of crayfish/lobster between November and January is a limited and strictly-monitored exercise.
 
Diving is also popular and with luck, delivers abalone (‘perlemoen’), rock lobster, mussel, octopus and oyster. Permits are required and restrictions apply. Abalone and rock lobster have a closed season. (The poaching of these creatures is a very real challenge to local authorities.)
 
The best time for fishing is early morning or late afternoon. Some species, however, are good to catch at night like cob, geelbek (yellow mouth) and white Steenbras. As it is essential for fishermen to know where the best spots are for the most favourable results and what bait is best to use for which specie, the relevant information is given below. 
 
The first town after Gordon’s Bay is Rooi-Els (Red Alder). To get to the rocks for fishing, drive through the village to the last road, turning right down to the beach. If the kelp-rich water doesn’t deliver here, expand your fishing safari to Pringle Bay, 12km further. Here you also fish directly from the rocks along the shoreline.
 
· Pringle Bay’s name came from Sir Thomas Pringle. In the 1700’s he was in charge of the Simons Town Naval Base. The plan was to turn the area into a port for shipping farm produce across False Bay to the naval base and surrounding town. It would not have been the peaceful retreat it is, if the plan had realized.  
 
Three businessmen, Harold Porter (whom the Botanical Garden in Betty’s Bay is named after), Arthur Youldon and Jack Clarence (whom the beautiful meandering coastal route is named after) bought the land with the idea of developing the area into beach estates. This was the birth of these closely joined towns – Rooi-Els, Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay.
 
· Thankfully, development was halted during World War 2, when the military built a secret radar station on the side of the mountain above Pringle Bay, which tracked U-boat activity. On the outskirts of Pringle Bay there had been a prisoner-of-war station for captured Italian soldiers. When you drive along the picturesque Clarence Drive, whisper a word of thanks to these soldiers, who extended this coastal road. On a dusty road off the main road linking the towns, you find the hidden Hangklip Hotel, which was used as army barracks for British Servicewomen.
 
BUT! Back to the present and fishing! Near Hangklip you find Maasbaai, for fishing directly from the slipway or your fishing boat, which can be launched here.  Maasbaai is good for geelbek in the evening, cob in summer, galjoen and crayfish in season, and the odd ‘poenskop’.
 
Beautiful Betty’s Bay is stretched out on the strip between the mountains and sea, generously offering three glorious beaches, ideal for swimming and surfing (for the non-fishing family members!) and enchanting walks from the botanical garden into the mountains (Red Disa and Leopard Kloof hikes), and more enchanting walks in the mountain reserve near Palmiet River.
 
The coastline is suitable for surf and rock fishing. Tom se Klip (Tom’s Rock) near Silver Sands Beach, Dawidskraal, Silwerstrand (Silver Beach) and Jock’s Bay deliver the goods. (The Silver Sand Dunes are famous and popular for dune-surfing).
 
The harbor wall in view of the protected Stony Point Penguin Colony is another favoured spot. Wonder worm is the best bait in this area, and expected catches are geelbek, cob, steenbras, belman and galjoen. Mussel as bait can be found at Dawidskraal along the shoreline. The sharks you can find are spotties, smoothies and the odd cow shark.
 
· Sadly, it is from this harbor that whaling boats went out and returned with their massive catches. The practice of whaling in South Africa gained momentum at the start of the 19th century and ended in 1975. By the mid-1960s, South Africa had depleted its population of fin whales, and subsequently those of sperm and sei whales. They had to resort to hunting the small and less-profitable mink whale. Minke whales continued to be caught and brought to the Durban whaling station from 1968 until 1975. South Africa comprehensively banned whaling in 1979.
 
Another 11km along the coast reveals Kleinmond (‘Small Mouth’ – referring to the river mouth) where in June, anglers come from all over to catch snoek at the harbour. At Palmiet beach, near the caravan park and the river mouth, use prawn and mussel to try for galjoen and steenbras. Beach fishing: along the Main Beach to the High Dune, Cape salmon in November. Rock fishing: from the rocks along the shoreline at Sandown Bay.
 
· The Kogelberg Mountain range rear-guarding the abovementioned towns, used to be populated by nomadic people. Khoikhoi tribes roamed the area from the 5th century AD. This fact proves that they were the first people in an extensive area in the Western Cape, They were discovered by Dutch settlers in the 1600’s.
 
The fish of False Bay
 
Cape Salmon – Geelbek
Season: Summer (no closed season)
Location: Boat or rocks at Rooiels, Hangklip, Hermanus:
Bait: Sardines, mullet mackerel, ‘chokka’ (octopus)
Regulations: Size > 60cm, Bag limit = 2
Eating Quality: Excellent
 
Elf – Shad
Season: Summer, Spring
Location: Hangklip area, Kleinmond and Hermanus lagoons
Bait: Strips of sardine or mullet, spinners
Regulations: Size > 30cm, Bag limit = 4
Closed Season: 1 October to 30 November
Eating Quality: Good when fresh
 
Galjoen – Hottentot
Season: Winter
Location: Rooiels, Hangklip, Kleinmond, Onrus, Hermanus
Bait: Rotten redbait, bloodworms, white mussels, sand prawns
Regulations: Size > 35cm, Bag limit = 2
Closed Season: 15 October to last day in February
Eating: Good
 
Kob – Kabeljou
Season: Summer (no closed season)
Location: Hangklip, Dawidskraal, Kleinmond lagoon, Hermanus
Bait: Sardines, mullet mackeral, chokka, sand prawns, bloodworms, spinners
Regulations: From shore or lagoon: Size > 60cm, Bag limit = 1, by boat: size >50 cm, bag limit 5 but only 1 > 110cm per day
Eating Quality: Good
 
Leervis / Garrick
Season: January to April (no closed season)
Location: Kleinmond and Hermanus lagoons
Bait: Live bait, mullet, mackeral, chokka
Regulations: Size > 70cm, Bag limit = 2
Eating Quality: Medium – Good when Smoked
 
Poenskop
Season: Spring, Summer (no closed season)
Location: Maasbaai
Bait: Chokka, Red Bait, Pilchards, Octopus, Red Crab, Prawn Bait
Regulations: Size > 50 cm, Bag limit = 1
Eating Quality: Good
 
White Steenbras – Pignose Grunter
Season: All Year (no closed season)
Location: Hangklip area, Kleinmond and Hermanus
Bait: Sand prawns, wonderworms, bloodworms
Regulations: Size > 60cm, Bag limit = 1
Eating Quality: Good
 
A fishing permit must be obtained from the local Post Office. The permit contains detailed fishing regulations. Special note must be taken of prohibited species. The permit must be available at any time for inspection.
 
The new regulations stipulate that all powered vessels, jetski’s and other toys require proof of being surveyed and issued with the necessary certificate and stickers, no matter where they are used and what for. Stiff penalties exist for not complying and insurance will be invalid.
 
If you have a boat and need to launch it from one of the harbors, have your skipper’s license handy!
 

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