South Africa's Fishing Regulations and Fishing permits

SA RECREATIONAL FISHING REGULATIONS 

 

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South Africa's Fishing Regulations and Fishing permits required, including permitted bag and size limits, permitted bait collection, boat fishing, rod and reel fishing, spearfishing, cast nets, closed season for fishing, permitted species in KZN South Africa, minimum fish sizes, prohibited species in KwaZulu-Natal South Coast

RECREATIONAL FISHING PERMITS

  • Be it bait collection, rod & reel fishing, boat fishing, spearfishing, or cast-netting, each fishing activity requires the correct permit which are available at any local Post Office.
  • Note that boat skipper, spearfishing and cast net permits must be specially endorsed for their particular activity.
  • The standard permit is fine for rod & reel fishing.
  • Permits are issued in the holder’s name and are not transferable.
  • Permits must be available for inspection at the time the activity is taking place.
  • No permit is valid for species during their closed seasons, or for the listed prohibited species.
  • No recreational permit holder is allowed to sell any part of their catch.

BOAT FISHING

  • This covers any form of free-floating vessel or object, including paddle- and jet-skis.
  • All bag and size limits and closed seasons that apply to recreational anglers also apply for boat fishing.
  • Boat owners to note they must launch only from legal KZN South Coast launch sites and that driving on any beach can result in the impounding of the boat and motor vehicle. Check with the nearest ski boat club for directions to the nearest one to where you stay.

SPEARFISHING

  • Spearfishing is not allowed in harbours, estuaries, or tidal rivers and lagoons.
  • All bag and size limits and closed seasons that apply to recreational anglers also apply for spearfishing.

CAST NET

  • Circular nets must not exceed 6 metres in diameter and may only be weighted at the circumference.
  • You may not cast your net between sunset and sunrise.
  • Cast net permit holders may only catch and be in possession of the stipulated cast net species.

CLOSED SEASONS

  • Shad/Elf: 1st October – 30th November
  • Red Steenbras: 1st October – 30th November
  • Galjoen: 15th October – Last day of February

LANDING FISH

  • A gaff or landing net are the only additional equipment permitted for landing fish caught on rod and line.
  • While they may be gutted, all landed fish must retain their heads and tails for size confirmation in the event of inspection.

GENERAL REGULATIONS

  • Other than a facemask and snorkel, no person shall use any artificial breathing apparatus for fishing.
  • No person shall engage in fishing, collection or disturbance of any fish by means of a gaff, spear, club, flail, stick, stone or similar instruments, although with the right permit one may spear up to five sole per day.
  • Except when fishing for octopus, cuttlefish or squid, no person shall engage in fishing by the jerking of a hook or jig in the sea.
  • No person shall disturb, catch or kill dolphins or whales and must not approach closer than 300 metres from whales.
  • Unless in possession of the correct permit, no person shall engage in the collection or removal of any aquatic plants, shells or shell grit from the sea or seashore.

 

PROHIBITED SPECIES

  • Basking Shark
  • Brindle Bass
  • Coelacanth
  • Great White Shark
    Natal Wrasse
  • Pipefish
  • Potato Bass
  • Saw Fish
  • Sea Horse
    Seventy Four
  • Whale Shark

 

PERMITTED CAST NET SPECIES BAG & SIZE LIMITS

 

Anchovies  MIN. SIZE  none  BAG LIMIT none    

Chub Mackerel  MIN. SIZE none  BAG LIMIT  none    

Glassies  MIN. SIZE none  BAG LIMIT  none  none 

Halfbeaks  MIN. SIZE none  BAG LIMIT none    

Horse Mackerel (Maasbanker) MIN. SIZE none    BAG LIMIT none 

Mullet (Harders) MIN. SIZE none  BAG LIMIT  50

Pinky MIN. SIZE 7.5 cm BAG LIMIT   10

Sardines/Pilchards MIN. SIZE none  BAG LIMIT none     

Sauries MIN. SIZE none  BAG LIMIT none 

Scads MIN. SIZE none  BAG LIMIT  none    

Karanteen  MIN. SIZE15 cm BAG LIMIT 10

   

PERMITTED SPECIES BAG & SIZE LIMITS

 

IMPORTANT: Excluding those species with no bag limit and those species with bag limits of over ten, no one person is allowed a total of more than 10 fish of other species per day –note also that species not listed do form part of your full daily bag limit.
Size is determined by measuring the fish from the tip of its snout to the extreme end of its tail and * denotes those species effected by closed seasons.
NOTE: Species’ sizes and bag limits may vary from time to time, so be sure to obtain a current list when obtaining your permit/s.

COMMON NAME

MIN. SIZE

BAG LIMIT

Anchovies

none

none

Baardman (Tasselfish, Bellman)

40 cm

5

Banded Galjoen

none

5

Bill Fish (Marlin/Sailfish)

none

5

Blacktail

20 cm

5

Blue Hottentot

none

5

Bronze Bream

30 cm

2

Cape Knifejaw

none

5

Cape Stumpnose

20 cm

5

Carpenter (Silverfish)

35 cm

4

Catface Rockcod

50 cm

5

Chub Mackerel

none

none

Cutlassfish (Walla-walla)

none

none

Dageraad

40 cm

1

Dane

none

5

Englishman

40 cm

1

Fransmadam

none

10

Galjoen*

35 cm

2

Garfish

none

none

Garrick (Leervis)

70 cm

2

Geelbek (Cape Salmon)

60 cm

2

Glassies

none

none

Hake

none

5

Halfbeaks

none

none

Horse Mackerel (Maasbankers)

none

none

Hottentot

22 cm

10

John Brown

none

5

Kingfish

none

5

Kingklip

none

1

King Mackerel (‘Couta)

none

10

Kob (caught from boat off KZN)

40 cm

5- only 1 may exceed 110 cm

Kob (caught from shore/estuary/harbour)

60 cm

1

Karanteen

15 cm

10

Large spot Pompano (Wave Garrick)

none

5

Leopardcat Shark

none

1

Mullet (Harder)

none

50

Natal Knifejaw

none

5

Natal Stumpnose (Yellowfin Bream)

25 cm

5

Pinky

7,5 cm

10

Poenskop (Black Musselcracker)

50 cm

1

Queen Mackerel (Natal Snoek)

none

10

Raggedtooth Shark

none

1

Red Steenbras* (Copper Steenbras)

60 cm

1

Red Stumpnose (Miss Lucy)

30 cm

1

River Bream (Perch)

25 cm

5

River Snapper (River Salmon)

40 cm

5

Roman

30 cm

2

Soldier (Santer)

30 cm

5

Shad (Elf)*

30 cm

4

Sardines (Pilchards & Red Eye)

none

none

Sauries

none

none

Scads

none

none

Scotsman

40 cm

1

Slinger

25 cm

5

Snoek (Cape Snoek)

60 cm

10

Southern Pompano

none

5

Spotted Grunter

40 cm

5

Spotted Gully Shark

none

1

Springer

none

5

Steentjie

none

10

Stone Bream

none

5

Striped Cat Shark

none

1

Swordfish

25 kg

5

Squid (Chokka)

none

20

Tuna (Tunny)

none

10

Tuna – Longfin (Albacore)

none

10

Tuna – Big Eye

3,2 kg

10

Tuna - Bluefin

6,4 kg

10

Tuna - Yellowfin

3,2 kg

10

West Coast Steenbras

60 cm

1

White Edge Rock Cod (Captain Fine)

40 cm

5

White Musselcracker (Brusher, Cracker)

60 cm

2

White Steenbras (Pignose Grunter)

60 cm

1

White Stumpnose

25 cm

10

Wolfherring

none

none

Yellowbelly Rock Cod

60 cm

1

Yellowtail

none

10

Zebra

30 cm

5

 

 

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