St Lucia is the fishing Mecca of the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast. The St Lucia estuary and marine life is very much rich and diverse, making fishing in this area a popular activity. Any fishing preference can be satisfied in this pristine natural coastal wonderland – ski-boating, rock and surf fishing, estuary fishing from boats or from the shore and fly-fishing. A number of competitions are held annually.
Kite fishing for sharks is very popular in St. Lucia particularly from May to July when shoals of mullet visit the area. Live mullet and shad make perfect bait to catch large sharks, kob, kingfish and king mackerel.
Fishing from the shore of St Lucia is very popular amongst locals. An estimate of 70% of fish caught by shore anglers along the shore is Shad. This species can grow to be about 120cm long with a weight of about 14kg. The Shad fishing season in St. Lucia closes at the end of September and re-opens in December. Reason being is to protect the breeding stock, as most of these species start breeding and laying eggs during October. Bag limits of shad per day include only 4 Shad may be caught per person per day and each shad has to be no smaller than 30cm long. Other popular catches include Kob, Spotted Grunter, Square Tail Kob and Pompona. The beach is so extensive that literally hundreds of fishermen can easily spread out along its reaches.
Deep Sea Fishing:
A number of charter companies are registered to offer visitors deep sea fishing trips. With deep sea fishing, a number of different types of game fish can be caught during the summer months in the St Lucia waters, such as Marlin, Sailfish, Garrick, King and Queen Mackerel, Dorado, Yellow Fin Tuna and Bonito. Other species that may be caught all year round include Muscle Cracker, Yellow Belly Rock Cod, Geelback, Soldier, Red Romans and Slingers.
Fishing in the estuary:
Depending on the salinity of the water in the estuary, fishing from a boat can be very productive but when the salinity is low due to rainfall it is better to stay on the beach and on the rocks. Since the return of high water levels to the Lake St Lucia system, lake fishing at Charters Creek has become possible again with typical fish catches including Natal stumpnose, springer, seapike and salmon. The estuary is also famous for its kob, shad and grunter, particularly during the grunter run which takes place between August and November.
Fishing licenses must be bought at post offices prior to visiting the area as these are not sold at resorts.
Daily charter permits – apply via firstname.lastname@example.org at a current charge of R1000 per boat per day (2013/2014).
A list of licensed charter fishing operators is available on iSimangaliso’s website http://www.isimangaliso.com.
For copies of the iSimangaliso Wetland park rules contact email@example.com.