Fishing and Crayfishing at Port Owen, St.Helena Bay and The Berg River
St. Helena Bay, The Berg River and the waterways of Port Owen offer good fishing for various types of fish at different times of the year. The municipal information office can give you up-to-date information on what is biting and the best place to go at the time of your visit.
The Western portion of St. Helena Bay is a Crayfish reserve and no crayfish may be caught by any method in this area. However, good catches of Crayfish can be had on Britannia Reef, Britannia Bay and on North Blinder as well as Elands Bay.
Crayfish may be caught with ring-net from boat using any fish bait. The direction of the wind does not affect Crayfishing but the barometer should be below 1020 for best results. Crayfish may be dived only from the shore and without scuba-gear.
These shellfish can be found on reefs around Stompneus Point and down the coast.
Caught on the reef off Dwarskersbos in February and March, “when the Hannepoot ripen” they are at their best but can be caught throughout the year. The time of day seems to make no difference in catching Galjoen and they bite well at night. Close inshore, with a rough sea and high tide seem best and for this reason they are mostly caught from the shore. Popular baits are red-bait or white mussel which are most commonly used and most effective.
During the winter and late summer large shoals of Snoek are sighted off Stompneus Point and great quantities can be caught with handlines. The most popular spot is North Blinder, but it is worthwhile asking where the most recent catches were had as the shoals move from place to place and local knowledge is invaluable. Snoek are caught on handlines using pilchards for bait or with lead “dolly” lines. For more info Click here for Escape Magazine’s article
Hottentot (Bronze Bream)
Between October and May large shoals of Hottentot are to be found off Dwarskersbos, North Blinder and Doctor’s Reef. Fresh crayfish is the best bait but white mussel, well tied on is the most common. Light tackle is best as they will suck the bait off the hook and leave you none the wiser. I have found girls using handlines the best catchers of these from my boat Absolutely!.
Between September and May, Cob can be caught from the sea shore at Swartbos and the reef in front of Soverby Lapa (between Laaiplek and Dwarskersbos). Sardine and Squid (Chokka) are the best bait but they will also take White Mussel some times. Big Cob is caught in the Berg River as well from time to time. The best place is at the railway bridge on an incoming tide. They feed mostly after dark.
Between November and middle May are the best time to try for Steenbras and Stump Nose. These fish can be caught from the shore at the Soverby Lapa and they also run well in the Berg River. A good mussel, sand prawns and mud prawns are the favourite baits to use. They also like bloodworm.
Middle November and the end of March is the best time to try for Shad. They are more likely to be caught in the Berg River or in Port Owen. Sardine is the best bait, but they also like other fish bait. You will be more successful if you use a piece of cork close to the bait to keep the bait slightly afloat. You can spin for Shad too.
Sometimes caught in the river and the waterways of Port Owen. they feed on the surface mostly at night. A great spot for them is Little Venice in the Port Owen waterways. Bait is crayfish or white fish bait.
Gurnard (West Coast Knorhaan)
Can be caught on the bottom of the bay around the reefs or on the bottom of the waterways.
Caught with nets or on light line, small hooks, white mussel.