Top angler shares five tips for the ultimate #GoSouthKZN fishing trip

With its wide sandy bays and many rocky points, the KZN South Coast shoreline has many incredible fishing spots for anglers, from those starting out in the sport through to professionals. To ensure visitors reel in the biggest catch on any #GoSouthKZN fishing trip, renowned South African angler and KZN South Coast local, Craig Thomassen, has shared some useful tips.

“The KZN South Coast has great fishing spots to suit every level of angler, a wide variety of species available and plenty of accommodation to suit every budget,” said Thomassen, a Pennington local and presenter on SuperSport’s popular ‘Inside Angling’ fishing show. “I’m always excited to share some inside fishing knowledge with visitors to the area, because that’s how we do it on the KZN South Coast!”

Fishing Tip #1: Pick the right spot

It’s difficult to cast a line and not catch a fish on the KZN South Coast, but Thomassen has shared some of his favourite local spots depending on level of expertise.

Rock and surf angling:

  • Umkomaas River mouth and beach are good for kob and shad – all levels.
  • Scottburgh point is good for sharks, shad and garrick – all levels.
  • Rocky Bay is good for shad and garrick – all levels.
  • Umdoni Point and Pennington are good for queen mackerel, kingfish and sharks – experienced anglers.
  • Stiebel Rocks and Pumula are good for sharks, kob, garrick, shad and pompano – experienced anglers.
  • The Sandspit Beach in Port Shepstone is good for kob, shad and garrick – all levels.
  • Orange Rocks at St Michaels is good for sharks and gamefish – all levels.
  • Margate Pier is good for shad, kob and garrick – all levels.
  • Ladder Rock at Glenmore is good for sharks – experienced anglers.
  • Splash Rock in Port Edward is good for sharks and gamefish – experienced anglers.
  • Uvongo Pier is good for shad, garrick and kob – all levels.

Deep sea angling:

  • Umkomaas – experienced skippers.
  • Rocky Bay – easy launch for all levels of skipper.
  • Pennington – experienced skippers.
  • Shelly Beach – all levels of skipper.
  • Port Edward – all levels of skipper.
  • Ramsgate – all levels of skipper.

Fishing Tip #2: Use strong gear for the #SardineRun

Thomassen said the annual Sardine Run along the KZN South Coast is on most anglers’ bucket lists, providing a unique opportunity to cast baits at massive sharks swimming right in the shore break, or fish for gamefish around the shoals of sardines.

“My advice to those fishing the Sardine Run is to make sure that they are using gear strong enough to handle the big fish and sharks that come with the sardines,” he said. “Many fish and sharks are left with hooks in their mouths and line trailing behind them due to break offs when unsuitable tackle is used. Use line that is visible as you will need to move through many other anglers’ lines – with a big fish on at some stage – and it will help a lot to be able to see your line easily.”

Fishing Tip #3: Pick your season

The temperate climate and year-round sunny skies make the KZN South Coast the ultimate destination for year-round fishing. However, Thomassen said there’s a big difference between summer and winter fishing in terms of the type of catch.

Summer fishing:

During the warm summer months, anglers can expect to reel in shad, bronze bream, pompano, brusher, stumpnose, stone bream, blacktail, cave bass, sharks and flatfish.

Winter fishing:

Mid-year, when the weather cools somewhat and the annual #SardineRun gets underway, anglers can expect to catch shad, garrick, kob, bronze bream, stumpnose, blacktail and sharks.

Fishing Tip #4: Chat to locals

The KZN South Coast has warm, inviting locals who are always ready to share information with visiting anglers. Thomassen suggests heading to the local tackle stores where store owners and other fisherfolk will be willing to share the latest fishing news.

Fishing Tip #5: Pick your time

Although fishing along the KZN South Coast is always great, Thomassen advises heading out early mornings and late evenings when there’s less chance of wind and a better chance of catching fish. This also frees up the remainder of the day to check out the KZN South Coast’s many other exciting tourism offerings. Among these are the five Blue Flag beaches, two world-renowned dive sites, 11 golf courses, KwaXolo Caves Adventures, the Ntelezi Msani Heritage Centre, hiking in nature reserves and extreme adventures.

“Fishing is one of the favourite pastimes of KZN South Coast locals and one of the top reasons this is such a renowned tourism destination,” explained Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) CEO, Phelisa Mangcu. “Whether visiting for something as iconic as the Sardine Run, or just looking for a beautiful place to fish, the KZN South Coast is the ideal spot. We also have many fishing charters available and fishing equipment for hire, so you’ll find everything you need right here.”

Covid-19 safety protocols

Because of the many outdoor activities offered on the #KZNSouthCoast, visitors benefit from reduced Covid-19 risk at these open-air venues and sites. In addition to this, USCT has been communicating up-to-date Covid-19 information with all tourism establishments via the website’s dedicated Covid-19 portal, as well as the many social media platforms.

USCT has made fishing along the #KZNSouthCoast simple with the launch of the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores. Once downloaded, visitors can easily plan their stay, from booking accommodation and finding local eateries to discovering specials and planning day trips. Visitors can also visit the website www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za, or follow the ‘South Coast Tourism’ Facebook page, or @infosouthcoast on Twitter.