Within Namibia hides a fishing experience filled with adventure, bliss, and tranquility.
With a vast sand-swept coastline, kissed by the waves of the sea and hugged by the beauty of nothingness. Within Namibia hides a fishing experience filled with adventure, bliss, and tranquillity. The cold Atlantic ocean isn’t home to many different fish species, but the beauty along this treacherous landscape is what makes the experience unique. Along the coastal road going north, many of the fishing spots are named after the distance in miles from Swakopmund, and other names are derived from the memories of legendary locals. Namibian waters are home to a few species of edible fish easily targeted from the shore, mainly Galjoen, Blacktail, Kob, and West Coast Steenbras. A total of 10 fish per person per day may be bagged which may consist of one or a combination of multiple species.
From May to August when the water temperature drops, the Galjoen and Steenbras become target species to fishermen willing to brave the foggy mornings and the howling of the cold south-westerly winds. Galjoen can be found in the turbulent shallows and rocky reefs. They love the icy winter water and are known for their vigilance and ability to evade a hook. These pretty fish are a sought-after delicacy and thus have become a threatened species, their minimum bag size in Namibia is 30cm. The West Coast Steenbras, like its South African cousin, prefer calm rolling water and are known for their elusive traits. These silver bream-like fish are slow-growing and are highly susceptible to overfishing. The minimum bag size is 40cm and only 2 fish above 65cm may be bagged.
In summer, from September until April when the water warms up, shoals of Silver Kob migrate south along the coast en route to their spawning grounds and become an easy target to many recreational anglers. Their minimum bag size is 40cm and only 2 fish over 70cm may be bagged. In recent years further conservation measures have been put in place by annually closing some previously accessible areas to provide some extra protection to these purple-sheened drummers. The warmer currents also bring an abundance of sharks, rays, and other less common species like Shad and Garrick. A fresh white mussel, soft sardine bait, chokka, mullet, mackerel, and dangling octopus leg are baits of preference and can be bought from any tackle shops along the coast.
There are many respected tour operators in Swakopmund and Henties Bay who offer guided fishing tours, accommodation, and any fishing-related advice. A fishing permit is required and can be obtained in the coastal towns at the Ministry of Fisheries along with a copy of the local regulations. The ministry of fisheries have vehicles that patrol the beaches in search of lawbreakers. You will be fined for having undersized or surplus fish and illegal bait. Catching a fish has become an intricate ‘art’ based on experience, knowledge, and science, caused by many years of neglect to conserve. As certain fish species get put under pressure and become more difficult to catch, new technology emerges to improve hookups.
Namibia aims to protect and conserve its fishery and although most of the pristine coastline is protected by National parks, it is equally important for anglers to adhere to the bag limits and size restrictions while also keeping the Namibian coastline clean.