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South Africa’s Great Ocean Drive 🌊 Rooiels, Pringle Bay, Hangklip, Betty’s Bay, Kleinmond, Hawston, Onrus, Hermanus via Stanford to Gansbaai & Pearly Beach. Whale watching June till November. Nature, art, wine, science & adventure. 🐋
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Local expert’s guide to fishing on the Cape Whale Coast

Distrikspos 21 December 2022

We’re well into the holiday period and there’s a “Christmasy” feeling in the air. We’re seeing lots of holidaymakers in the shop, looking at the newest rods and reels, and asking for fishing advice.


This can be a really nice outing for the family as the drive to Betty’s Bay along the mountain pass is breath-taking. It offers amazing views over the ocean, as well as whales, bait fish schools being hounded, dolphins and, if you’re lucky, a cruising shark or two can all spotted along the drive.

However, Clarence Drive (R44) has been closed to all traffic since heavy rainfall caused mudslides and rockfalls to damage the road, and it is unclear when the road between Gordon’s Bay and Rooi Els will be reopen. If you wish you travel to Betty’s Bay, you will need to use the N2 highway via Sir Lowry’s Pass.

The fishing in Betty’s Bay is not easy, so time and patience is key to success. Good catches of kob, steenbras and galjoen are made on the beaches, between the rocks and outcrops between Betty’s Bay towards Dawidskraal each year.

One can walk and explore the beaches around Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond, throwing chokka and fish baits or mussel and prawn baits in the various holes and gutters which make up the sandy stretches. There is always a good chance of hooking a kob or a white steenbras.

Also remember there is a closed season for galjoen from 15 October until 29 February, as this is the time that the galjoen spawn. Respect this closed season rather tag-and-release the fish to keep the species and population healthy for future generations.


Hermanus is a well-known and well-visited holiday destination but is also the perfect foil for a quick getaway to the fishing waters.

Hermanus Lagoon can be a fun place to take the children for a spinning session or to catch small fish on light tackle. If the conditions are right, they can have fun catching a couple of leeries in the lagoon.

Hermanus Plaat is more popular among anglers for great catches of big steenbras and galjoen in winter. The guys catch kob there under certain conditions, especially when the water has some colour in it.

Areas like Onrus, Fisherhaven, as well as the new and old harbour can all be fished. Here you may find hottentot, blacktail and galjoen, especially on white mussel and redbait.

In the past, areas like the “Gang” were famous for great fishing. Today one can expect to catch kob, roman, hotties and blacktail in this area. The best baits to use are chokka, sardine, mussel, octopus baits.


Gansbaai is close to a few great fishing areas, the most popular being De Kelders and Uilenkraalsmond.

Both areas are within the Walker Bay Nature Reserve, where access is controlled by a boom gate. One pays a minimal fee to enter, but it is well worth the money – fishing aside, if only for the beauty of the area. It allows one to drive or walk along the beach and dune areas to really beautiful fishing waters.

De Kelders is more of a rocky outcrop and sandy bank area with holes and gutters, where one can fish for a variety of species like big steenbras, kob, galjoen and a host of others.

Uilenkraalsmond consists of a long beautiful sandy beach, followed by loose rocky areas with patches of rock in the water. This area is known as the Grys.

The beach at Uilenkraalsmond produces good catches of kob, elf, steenbras and big galjoen in winter. Chokka baits, prawn, worms, sardine and live baits are your best bet.

Moving toward the Grys, one can expect to target small reef species like black tail (das) and galjoen which are mostly caught on redbait, mussel and prawn baits.


Moving further along, we find the famous Pearly Beach – a well-known holiday destination which also offers anglers a great opportunity at fishing for kob, steenbras and galjoen. The beach in front of the holiday resort produces great catches each year, right on the doorstep of any holidaymaker.

Die Dam is a quick drive from Pearly Beach and is a great area to fish and explore. There is no shop or facilities, so make sure you pack enough water and food as the walks can be long to the correct fishing ground. It is, however, well worth the reward.

Die Dam is famous for producing big mussel cracker every season as well as good catches of kob, elf, steenbras, belman and galjoen. Moving on from Die Dam, one can fish areas like Rietfontein, Brandfontein, Suidestrand and Agulhas.

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