Fishing on the Wild Coast
The Wild Coast has long been a favourite with anglers and there are few places along the coast that don't have a few fishermen's cottages scattered about. In the days before quotas, catch-and-release and subsistence fishing, it was not uncommon to catch up to 40 fish in one day. Things have changed however, and there are not as many fish around as their were in the past, but the Wild Coast still offers excellent angling opportunities both in the estuaries and along the coast. There are many great fishing spots, but facilities are often limited at the more remote locations, where access is via rough roads and 4x4 tracks.
The fish caught vary from season to season. Sharks and rays are caught predominantly in summer and autumn, while winter brings the first shoals of the Sardine Run, which make their way up the coast in May. They are followed en-masse by predatory fish and the angler can expect to catch sharks and game fish such as barracuda and bonito. Mazeppa Bay is known for its hammerhead sharks that come to feed on garrick, kob and shad. Kei Mouth, Umngazi Mouth, Hole in the Wall and Coffee Bay are also popular with fishermen. Other fine fish caught along the Wild Coast include: galjoen, bronze bream, queenfish, mackerel and musselcracker.
Mnyameni is a bit of a fishing hot spot in the Transkei, simply because it is seldom fished (it being a challenge to get there and reachable by 4x4 only). Among the species caught in abundance: Copperbream, Blacktail, Black Musselcracker, Rock Cod Kob, Stonebream, Queenfish and others.
Cast a line from the surf or the rocky ledges, or go fly-fishing in the lagoon. Mbotyi is a fisherman's dream. The wide lagoon estuary is perfect breeding ground for many species.
Port St Johns
Good fishing is to be had in the Mzimvubu River which is navigable for several kilometers upstream as well as at places like Poenskop and Bird Rock in the Silaka Nature Reserve.
Mbolompo Point, just south of Hole-in-the-Wall near Lubanzi, is legendary among shore fisherman as an excellent deep-water spot. It is excellent for garrick and shark. There's also plenty of live bait around, namely shad, sardine and blacktail. Experienced anglers only and not for the faint of heart.
The Mncwasa River and estuary is generally closed over the winter months and only produces during summer. It is a firm favourite with keen fly-fishermen, as well as for drop-shot baits.
Mazeppa Bay is unique as it has its own Island to fish from. The suspension bridge which links the island to the shore is a landmark feature and has provided passage for thousand of fishermen over the years. Another feature of Mazeppa Bay is its versatility in providing fishable locations in challenging weather conditions.
Mazeppa Bay is a great spot for game fishing, particularly for garrick and various species of shark. With several famed points to fish from, like the island and Shark Point, where the water runs deep very close to the shore, Mazeppa Bay can be fished safely and comfortably. Know mainly for its shark fishing the bay is renowned for catches of Bull Sharks (Zambezi), ranging from 50kg up to unstoppable, Blackfins, ranging from 20kg up to 160kg, Bronze Whalers (Copper Shark) up to 200kg, Dusky (Grey) Sharks up to 150kg other species that are commonly caught are Hammerheads, Ragged Tooth Sharks and various smmoth and hound sharks.
Mazeppa Bay is renowned for catches of Garrick which can be targeted throughout the year. Under the right conditions these prized, hard fighting fish can come strongly onto the bite providing endless action on light - medium spinning tackle. May/June sees the Shad (Elf, Tailor, Blue Fish) coming up the Wild Coast as they greedily feed on the shoals of the world famous Sardine Run. Spots such as the Island, Shark Point and Cable Rock are renowned artificial lure angling locations. Mazeppa Bay has a variety of edible fish for those anglers who don't want to target sharks. These include Kob, Black Steenbras, White mussel crackers, Bluefish, Galleon, Blacktail and many more.
The area is popular with anglers and offers superb fishing both at the coast and in the Kei River. Experienced anglers can head for ledges on the nearby Morgan Bay cliffs. You can also charter a deep-sea ski boat or launch your own from the Kei River mouth.
In the interests of conservation, please stick to size and bag limits and practice catch-and-release. Please note, that as with everywhere else in South Africa, driving on the beaches is strictly prohibited.