South African fishing is unaffected by the relatively few deep rivers and lakes. Instead, it thrives. The abundance of food seems to make the trout bigger, the bass wilier, the yellowfish more feisty. Chat to the locals, and soon you'll be out there, wondering what's tugging at your line.

Did you know?

An astonishing 16% of the world's marine fish species are found in South African waters.


There are many fishing activities in South Africa. As you drive around our coastline, especially down in the Western Cape and up the West Coast, you'll see fishing villages gleaming white in the afternoon sun. These are communities that have lived off the bounty of the sea for centuries.

It is said humans may have had their brain power radically upgraded on a diet of seafood gleaned from the ocean's edge.

Matching that, wildlife experts believe the seafood-eating baboons of Cape Point are smarter than their inland counterparts. Fish equals brain food.

In South Africa, fishing also equals fun. Hundreds of tour operators offer some form of sport fishing, be it in the deep blue seas around our country, standing knee-deep in the water and casting a fly into the ocean, or just being at one with a flowing river in the hope of outwitting trout, catfish or carp.

Each fish species has its own traits, spawning habits, feeding preferences and level of awareness when it comes to being caught.

Fishermen revel in this, study them, come up with lures and bait to match them – and then talk about them at length at night, with a whisky on the rocks and something fishy sizzling on the grill.

A variety of deep sea fishing expeditions can be undertaken along South Africa's east coast, with species such as Marlin, tuna and Dorado among the thousands that anglers can land.

'Catch and release' is the latest mantra in South African fishing circles, and for some species that's the way to go. Fishing must be sustainable and maintained for future generations.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Sport Fish Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 792 3043

Best time to visit

Fishing is offered all year round in South Africa.

Get around

Hiring your own vehicle will give you the option to explore South Africa's variety of fishing locations more freely.

Length of stay

Give yourself a week or two if you have the time.

What to pack

Fishing equipment can be bought or hired in South Africa, but bring your own equipment if you prefer.

What to eat

Snoek and chips is a must for anyone visiting fishing villages near Cape Town.