Fishing the Poort and surrounds

Fishing in the poort and surrounding areas from a boat, canoe, ski or other water crafts can often lead to a great reward and catches

Fishing in the poort and surrounding areas from a boat, canoe, ski or other water crafts can often lead to a great reward and catches can include Silver Cob, Dusky Cob, Garrick, Shad, Blacktail, White stumpnose, Geelbek , Squid/Chokka and countless other edible and non-edible species like Smooth hounds, raggies, bronzies, cowsharks and more.

When fishing the poort the conditions need to be right in terms of wind swell and water temp and colour. Clean water is generally a turn off for many anglers but when fishing in the dark it doesn’t play a big factor then temperature is more important. When fishing in the day you need a dirty coloured water as the cob and sharks often hunt in this water with their sences and lateral lines. The preferred temperature to catch Cob, shad and other edible fish can vary from 15-21 degrees depending on how early or late in the season you are.

Fishing for edibles:

When targeting Cob the preferred bait is Chokka, octopus leg  sardine, pike maasbanker and almost any other natural baitfish even blennies/klipvis and sea catfish have been found in their stomachs when cleaning, lures like small rapalas and paddletails also deliver great results when worked slowly in between the sand patches and reefs. Remember a Silver cob has a bag limit of 5 and a size limit of 50cm and usually occurs west of Cape Agulhas in the colder more turbulent waters, and they only reach about 30kg (sexually mature around 30-40cm), whilst the Dusky cob has a bag limit of 1 at 60cm and occurs in the warmer waters East of Cape Agulhas and these are the largest species of cob and can reach up to 80kg but they are only sexually mature at around 1.1m or roughly 10-12kg. The trace I prefer using is a Paternoster trace with a 3-way swivel with the hook snoot being around 40-50cm of .50 – .60 leader line and the sinker line being shorter at around 30 – 40cm and a thinner line than your main line ( if your main line is 30lb use 20lb sinker line). Drift line is always worth a try. Hook sizes are between 5/0 and 8/0.

When targeting Garrick the best to target them would be with lures or livebaits, but strangely in this area they are more fond of lures like spoons, topwaters and paddletails and bucktails with every season changing, they have even been caught late at night on lures on numerous occasions. Livebaits that will deliver is mullet, streepie, Piggy’s and shad. The only negative about livebait fishing in this place is that there is always a toothy critter wanting it and smoothounds, raggies and bronzies will often be the end result. Remember Garrick has a bag limit of 2 and a size limit of 70cm. My best success for the Garrick has been on 5 inch paddletails, Strike Pro “thai stick”, Pro Hunter  “Top Gun 110”,  and nr 20 and 22 or nr 10 spoons.

Targeting Shad would be pretty similar to the Garrick, however Shad will gladly take any fleshy baits as well as most lures you put in front of them. Shad has a bag limit of 4 and a size limit of 30cm and also has a closed season between the 1st of October till the 30th of November. The best lure ever for targeting shad in my opinion has to be the s curve tobey spoon.

Fishing for other smaller edible species such as Kolstert, Blacktail and Galjoen the best is to use a natural bait such as redbait, white or black mussel and worms, but you can always be surprised to catch a stumpnose or blacktail on sardine or chokka. Some big specimens of over a kg are caught each year in the Poort. The trace to use is similar to the Cob trace but the hook sizes are downsized to a 1/0 – 3/0 hook.

Fishing for Non edibles:

The species that are most regularly caught in the Poort are Smoothounds, Raggies, Cowsharks, Brozies, Black rays, Blue rays and Duckbill rays.

The only species I target is normally the Smoothounds and duckbill ray and my trace consists of a 1mm leader of around 8m tied to a Paternoster and a heavy 3way swivel with a 70cm 1.1mm hook snoot tied to a 8/0- 10/0 hook and the sinker line around 50cm. The best bait for these two species are octopus leg, squid/chokka and fresh fleshy bait such as harder, maasbanker, strepie and more. These species are however very dirty fighters and you will often hook one that will take you straight in between reefs and reef you. Both these species are also known to hit a paddletail or spoon and I personally have landed 2 Smoothounds on paddletails and lost countless more and my friend Andre Boshoff got a 50kg + duckbill on a paddletail as well.

Squid/Chokka and Octopus also frequent the area and whilst fishing for cob and other species they often latch onto your bait and when reeling up let go, the experienced fisherman knows that it is Chokka or Octopus and can put Chokka Dollies on and catch some.

Other good areas to fish around the Poort include Blakes island, Blinde riff, Die Gaatjie, Ocean Basket Gaatjie , and Melkbaai. All these areas also deliver good fish and often some off these areas have good colour and others don’t.

There are plenty other stories of the old days and what used to be caught in the Strand and Poort area and some of these catches are still made but not very often, species like Katonkel and very big yellowtail used to be plentiful in this area 20 years or more back and that illusive fish makes us go fishing time after time.

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