A brief guide for the angler visiting Namibia, the surf anglers’ paradise.
The main species here are kob, steenbras and galjeon, with blacktail making a comeback in some spots. Though for the dedicated shark angler, the main target species are the copper shark or bronzie and the spotted gullyshark.
A long-standing government policy to preserve a healthy marine resource means that there is an active inspection policy on the recreational fishery regulations, which require every angler to carry a valid fishing licence. Licences are available in Luderitz, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Henties Bay, at all the Ministry of Fisheries offices.
Here the angler can also get precise information about daily catch limits,
size limits and allowable bait types; however, the biggest issue is that all
worms are prohibited. Running alongside these fishery regulations
is a very active regime of fishery inspectors who patrol the beaches daily and are entitled to inspect all anglers, their catches and bait; however, they are also one of the greatest sources of accurate fishing information on where fish are being caught.
it is not unusual to see certain game species in the area between the roads and the beach. Once on the beach, free access for 4x4 vehicles (not quad bikes) is available, though there are admonitions to respect other beach users, so cautious and steady driving speeds are recommended.
This dedication to fishery management means that Namibia now has very healthy fish stocks, and pretty much all of the species can be caught year-round, though obviously the summer period from October through to April is perhaps optimum. During the winter months, there can be equally good fishing, but sea conditions might dictate how many fish you catch. Best bait types are usually sardine, mussel and occasionally squid (chokka), and the local bait types tend to do better than imported bait.
Fishing for edible species is generally best with 13’ to 14’ surf rods that can handle 5oz to 7oz sinkers, though lighter tackle can be used to great effect for some of the smaller species. While for the shark anglers, heavier tackle is needed to handle the fast-running shark species, reels with at least 600m capacity are recommended, and rods that can cast heavier sinkers and big baits of mackerel or mullet are preferred.
For ‘on the ground’ information, the local tackle shops are often the best resource. As these are run by dedicated and enthusiastic anglers, they generally have a wealth of knowledge to share and are found in all the coastal towns. Certain times of the year are pretty popular, and at these times fishing can become a little difficult, with the sheer numbers of people driving on the beach. At these times, some of the best fishing can be found ‘where other folks aren’t’ – quieter places where the fish haven’t been disturbed by the traffic on the beach.
Access to the beaches is now restricted to signposted routes from the main coastal road to the beach. These are part of a recent programme initiated to preserve Namibia’s coastal strip from damage, and they are working – for now
Lastly, should you be visiting Namibia for fishing, whether for steenbras at Canopy or kob at Rondeklip, please respect Namibia’s regulations on fishing while enjoying the splendid unspoilt beauty of its beaches, and take all your litter and used fishing tackle back to town for safe disposal.
Come and enjoy some of the finest surf fishing to be had in southern Africa, in one of the last unspoilt environments – where the Namib Desert meets the Atlantic Ocean.