Deep Sea Fishing
The South Coast offers one of the best fishing grounds in the world and our surging seas are home to a wide variety of fish.
The best deep-sea fishing spot is Protea Banks, a reef formation about 7 kilometres off Shelly Beach.
A huge reef, 2kms long and 600m wide with average depths of 30 – 40 meters it is home to many different fish, yellow fin tuna and sharks are especially plentiful at Protea. There are also smaller reefs closer to shore in 20 – 23 meters of water all along our coastline.
The following fish are amongst the most popular caught in South Coast Waters.
Yellow Fin Tuna – found all year, taking drift bait or trolling lures, prefer deeper water.
Marlin and Sailfish – make appearances around November and stay through summer months, take best to live bait or trolling lures but one never knows when one of these huge majestic fish will surprise you.
Dorado, like sardine with a skirt and also caught on lures or live bait, around from November to February.
King Mackerel or Couta – from November through to July these fish can be caught on drift or live bait. They generally feed in shallow water 20 – 30 meters
Garrick – follow the shad so are around from June till September. Live shad or mullet is the best bait.
Salmon- also appears in the winter months and takes sardine or live bait.
There are also many types of bottom feeding fish such as rock cod slinger, stump nose, Scotsman and mussel cracker.
You must have a fishing license which can be purchased from any post office and one must also adhere to bag limits and minimum size restrictions, details which can be found at most fishing shops or from the Parks board.
All launch sites on the South coast are surf launches, which is through the waves and not from a harbour.
Launching a boat in these conditions takes skill and ability and knowledge of local conditions helps.
A skipper’s license is required before you can take a boat out to sea.
Shelly Beach has the most popular and safest launch site, named the Sonny Evans small craft harbour; it has a permanent beach controller on duty.
This is where most deep sea fishing charters, whale and dolphin watching boats and divers leave from and there is lots of activity especially on calm days when the sea is relatively flat.
Other launch sites are,
The Umzimkulu river mouth at Port Shepstone,
Ski boat bay in Ramsgate,
Glenmore Beach and Port Edward.