We all know how popular St Francis area is for anglers, but do you know the best spots? The hidden gems that all the locals go to in order to spend a satisfying day fishing? In this post we look at some of the best spots, what you can catch there, and how you can catch it.
The Kromme River Mouth is a big lagoon style area with lots of open beach, brack lagoon and a good mixture of surf and quieter water. Often fish such as steenbras, kob and bellman can be found just off the beach in the surf, or in the mouth of the lagoon should it be open.
Be sure to plan your trip to go at low tide, as this is when things get the most active. Not only that but you will very likely be chased up onto the rocks of the beach at high tide, which leaves little space for manoeuvre. The beach directly in front of the parking lot is often very productive, and also makes for a great family beach outing too. Bring light tackle, but beware those white horses who may throw it around when the seas get a bit rough.
I have found the best bait for the area is fresh prawn, pencil bait and bloodworm to entice the steenbras in cold water. Chokka is a close second, and is really useful should you walk down the beach toward the river mouth where there are deeper sand banks and gullies that the fish like to rest in. there are also a few scattered reefs in the area that are the best to cart at during low tide. These have been known to produce a variety of blue rays, smooth hounds and sand sharks, which will take any bait thrown out there.
Peter Road beach is pretty flat, so you will need to wade quite far out if you want you lines to get anywhere near anything exciting. That being said, the occasional steenbras and flat fish like skates and diamonds have been caught here, although there are better areas for more exciting angling.
Anne Avenue, just a bit further down from Peter Road is primarily a swimming spot, although some sweet bites have been known to happen. Young kob and steenbras are often taken on bloodworm and sardine. Wading out with a big chunk of bait could net a hugely exciting day as big raggies and rays have also been known to come here to feed. Just be aware that if you are after shark, not only do you need the correct tackle, but they are also protected s you need to know the correct procedure for catch and release.
Die Bak is the furthest western point on this stretch of beach. Here the rocks form a sort of sheltered gully which acts a nursery for many fish. Many youngsters of all species are caught here, including stumpies, blacktail, steenbras, small kob, shad, gully sharks and the like. In stormy weather you can ever get a crack at galoen or crackers, but be aware of their angling seasons.
Now for the good stuff! This whole point is synonymous with great big fish and exciting caches. Weather its trophy shark hunting or casting your lures at the crack of dawn for yellowtail, there is something for everyone at this neat little outcrop.
Casting a sardine right at the little bay by the parking lot can get a surprising little elf or even a kob. The round boulders create a reef in front with a patch of sand behind that the bog fish live to chill in. Bear in mind that you are very likely to lose lots of tackle in this area due to the rocks, so be sure to have loads of spares in your box.
Spinning with lures to the left can get you some Garrick or elf, both nice game fish that would be super on the braai later. For those who just muck about scratching there are loads of reef species that abound here during the day, making this a really cool little spot for pretty much every level of angler.
Here, there are pretty much two types of fish available, sharks and rays! Those who come early are able to get a good spot on the beach in to land your fish, but those who come late may have to be closer to the rocks, which makes for difficult landing. Be aware of the permits and rules needed for catching these protected species.
Another shark palace, but not as popular for the big cartilaginous fish, as landing big fish on sharp rocks is not easy or recommended. When the water is cold you can get a good look in at geelbek, roman, gurnard etc. Elf is also often caught here. When the weather conditions are just right, i.e. the north east wind is blowing, schools of yellowtail come close by the rocks and can be caught on spinner with a bit of skill.
This spot has its name for a very good reason, and it’s not because of the angelic fish you can catch. It’s much more about how the spot turns fishermen into angels, and not in a good way. This is an incredibly dangerous spot with sharp rocks, towering swells and super deep gully that will swallow you whole. It is great spot for cracker, galjoen and poenskop, if your fish is more important than your life.
Another spot only accessible at low tide, you can catch a variety of galjoen, poenskop, elf and cracker. It is accessed by quite a difficult walk over some pretty big rocks, so be sure that you are fit and don’t have little kids with you. After a couple of minutes of walking over loose round boulders and cross reefs, you will get to a deep gully with access to the open sea left and right. Throw out some drift bait for elf and sometimes yellowtail or rock baits for various reef species including blacktail, galjoen, cracker, bronze bream, zebra and the like. Some romans are also caught here from time to time using chokka or octopus.
Remember that no matter what you are fishing, all of our coastal fish are on the SASSI red, green and orange list. Be sure to know your species, and whether you need a permit for them or if they have a particular season.
Sharks and other big cartilagenous fish often have to be released; be sure that you how to do this before you try to catch them. We all love angling, and we would love the fish to still be around so that we can teach our kids how to love fishing too. Remember guys, our environment comes first.
If you are planning a fishing trip to St Francis, we have some great accommodation available.
We also recommend putting an adventurous spin on your trip and booking a deep sea fishing adventure with one of the local operators. It’s definitely a worthwhile experience!