Fishing in Kosi Bay

What to expect when fishing the Kosi Bay Area. The beaches with rock and surf, dropshot and fly and the lakes either from the shore of from boats.

Fishing in Kosi

Fishing in Kosi Bay

 Fishing opportunities abound in the Kosi Bay area. Anything is possible from light tackle boat fishing on the lakes to shore side fishing in the lakes or for those who are more interested in fishing in the surf on our stunning beaches.

Fishing Permits

Fishing anywhere in South Africa requires a permit, these permits have now been standardized and cover the whole of South Africa. They are available at most post offices, our local parks board office used to make them available but no longer do so. It is advisable to purchase this permit prior to arrival as you will be better prepared that way when you get here. Permits will allow for one person to fish and are not transferable. Please acquaint yourself with the regulations relating to species and bag limits these should be available where you purchased your permit and are usually available at our parks board office.

SASSI – South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative

Please note SASSI (South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) information available at Also note that when you purchase any fish in the area from the traditional fishermen its important to determine if these fish were caught by rod and line or fish trap. It is illegal to use gillnets in any South African estuary. Many people use gillnets to trap fish and sell them to unsuspecting tourists for profit thus destroying the fish stocks in our estuary systems.

Red List Species:

This group includes unsustainable species as well as those that are illegal to sell in South Africa, according to the Marine Living Resources Act. These are species you should never buy. If you happen to catch them on your own tackle it is acceptable to keep what you need for your own consumption, bag and size limits apply.

Some of these “no-sale” species are very important recreational species that cannot handle commercial fishing pressures, and may therefore only be caught for your own enjoyment and use, subject to the possession of a valid recreational fishing permit and other restrictions that may apply (such as daily bag limits, closed seasons and minimum sizes).


Kingfish  – No Sale

Spotted grunter – No Sale

Elf or Shad – Linefish

Large Spot Pompano – No Sale

Southern Pompano – No Sale

River Snapper / Rock Salmon – No Sale

River bream – No Sale Species

Springer – No Sale

Natal Stumpnose – No Sale

Potato Bass – No Catch policy this fish must be immediately returned to the water you may not keep it

This leaves actually very little that you can purchase from the locals and responsible tourists will respect this. Without controls our natural resources are under huge pressure only your cooperation will save them.

Well enough about the bad side and the legalities what about the fishing?

Fishing Kosi Lakes

Kosi Lakes are best fished from a boat and although the fish are difficult to locate and catch without local knowledge you can be assured of a wonderful experience with or without catch. There are 3 methods used in the lakes lure fishing for sight hunting predators, live bait fishing, or static bait fishing. All methods can be productive if you are in the right place at the right time. If you don’t have a boat you can fish from the side of the lake, it is advisable to have local knowledge once again. And the above methods apply here too. It’s not advisable to use heavy tackle and any medium to light tackle is ideal either if casting or fly-fishing.

Rock and Surf fishing the Kosi Area

If the lakes are not your bag then the beaches are sure to excite you. Most beaches are closed after 18h00 and only open at 06h00 winter or summer. If you wish to fish Kosi Mouth after dark this can be arranged at the parks board office with a night fishing permit. This permit costs R50.00 per person and rhino cards do not apply. This will enable you to fish up to 23h00. During turtle nesting season there should be no night fishing and certainly if you are on the beach you are requested to use only red light so as not to disturb the sensitive turtles. This is not always enforced but with additional pressure by tourism on our area its only a matter of time before rangers are going to stop this practice. Turtle season occurs from November to February.

Many methods of fishing on our beaches are used from heavy surf rods and tackle to light tackle depending on what is being targeted. The heavier rods tend to slide either live or dead baits for bigger fish and sharks.

Lighter tackle for inshore game fish species is these days very popular. If you are fishing the heavier brand of tackle then night fishing would produce better results as the larger predators move closer to shore in the dark and approaching darkness. For the light tackle guys drop-shot and fly-fishing often produce something and you can be surprised by what is caught in daylight hours in the surf.  Normally the best time for any fishing is after the turn of the tide with the tide pushing in. This is when fish are more readily found entering the surf zone to hunt.