Struisbaai harbour wall has always been a special place for anglers of all ages coming to this lovely seaside village from all over South Africa. During summer weekends and holiday season the wall is generally packed with anglers of all ages enjoying a wide variety of fishing techniques. The harbour wall is a safe and secure place (most of the times) where a lot of angling wisdom is shared, experience gained and the love for the sport of fishing passed down from one angler to another.
Struisbaai harbour wall is an interesting angling spot as it offers such a wide variety of fish species to target. It is a place where toddlers get their first feel for a rod and reel, and get to touch a puffer fish for the first time. It is also a place where the big boys with the big tackle come to hunt massive stingrays and huge raggies. In between all that you can expect to find elf, garrick, cob, musselcracker, smaller sharks, grunters and kolsterte.
Many a mom, dad or grandparent have taken the young angler to this safe angling spot and introduced them to the sport of rock and surf angling. I wonder how many chilfren have caught their first fish from the harbour wall? Taking a light rod and reel or a handline and using sardine or chokka for bait these youngsters hone their angling skills on puffer fish, strepies, kolsterte, tjor-tjor and maasbankers.
Elf on the Wall!!
Many a summer evening, on the outgoing tide, the wall resembles a porcupine with quills standing erect as the anglers, young and old, gather for the elf run, and also hoping to get a fast swimming garrick. The favourite bait is a whole sardine slowly trawled on the inside of the harbour. With the elf around it normally does not take long for any angler to get their bag limit.
Garrick / Leervis
From January to March you will see quite a few anglers throwing spinners and top water poppers from the rocks in fronth of the harbour wall hoping for a massive strike and a hard fight . Garrick from 5-20kg are normally around early in the morning or late afternoon, feasting on the elf in the sheltered harbour water. Some anglers prefer running a live elf out on the right hand side into the bay, hoping for garrick or a cob.
Cob, kolsterte and spotted grunters are the other main targeted species during the months of Nov to March, but the odd white musselcracker, galjoen and belman are also landed. The spotted grunters are normally caught in the shallower waters at the 2nd and 3rd lamppole on very light tackle using prawn or sardine tail as the bait.
The average size of the cob are between 2 and 5kg, but quite a few biggies over 20kg are landed on a regular basis. The best time for kob is at night using chokka and / or sardine or running some live mullet or maasbanker. Once a cob is hooked it is best to work the fish towards the sandy beach between the harbour wall and Die Las as the rocks in front of the harbour has ended many a fight with a line parting.
Sharks and Rays
We all know that Struisbaai harbour is home to a few massive black stingrays weighing well over 120 kg’s, but it is the area just in front of the harbour wall and to the right where huge black rays as well as smaller blue rays and duckbill rays are regularly caught. Many an angler has overestimated his own prowess and tackle capabilities only to have a knot come unraveled, a line break, rod snap or reel bust trying to take on these sea bulldozers.
Stingrays are caught during the day and night, and chokka or fish heads seams to work the best for these bottom feeders. Rhe smaller rayus atre awesome fun on light tackle, but for the big black stingrays you would need a rod with a strong backbone, at least .45 line, a decent reel and lots of energy as most of the fights lasts up to 4 hours.
The best time to fish for sharks are at night time. Some anglers target smaller shark species like smooth hounds and spotted gully sharks, or even South Africa’s very own pajama cat shark, while other angler slide out big baits for spotted ragged tooth sharks over 150kg that frequent this area, or hoping for a big bronzie or tope shark to land.
The preferred bait for the smaller sharks are a live mullet or maasbanker, or fish fillets and chokka, but with the latter the small fry normally have a feast and you have to replace bait on a regular basis. For the bigger sharks most of the anglers slide yellowtail or cape salmon heads or half a skipjack, You can also slide a big maasbanker or smaller elf with success.
A Few Rules
1) Remember, you are not allowed to use a throw net inside the harbour at any time. Rather use small baited hooks to catch mullet or maasbankers.
2) Please keep the harbour wall clean. There is a big drum provided for all your rubbish.
3) Watch out for children and other anglers when throwing your bait. No one enjoys a hook in the ear or worse.
4) Be considerate towards other angler. Don’t push in or throw over their lines.
5) Keep to the size and bag limits. If you are not going to eat it or use it for bait, throw it back.
6) The rocks are slippery and dangerous when going to gaff a fish. I don’t think you want to be in the water with a 200kg raggie!
7) Be careful of the water!! Watch the waves.
8) You are not allowed to drive onto the harbour wall with your car, bakkie or scooter.
Struisbaai harbour wall will provide you with endless hours of pure angling joy, even those times when the fish don’t want to bite. The idea for Overberg Angling was born on that wall one night while waiting for some action, and the harbour wall holds many other great memories for me, my family and friends. Hopefully you too will soon enjoy this very special angling spot at the southern tip of Africa.