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Top Fishing Charters in Shelly Beach

Fishing in Shelly Beach

Sitting at the southern tip of the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, Shelly Beach has been a holiday hotspot for years. Tourists flock to the area to enjoy the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. And they don’t stop at swimming. 
 
Jump aboard one of the many fishing charters Shelly Beach is home to, and you can head out in search of a huge range of fish. From tasty reef species to big game monsters like Tuna and Billfish, Shelly Beach has it all within easy reach.

Types of Fishing

You’re in for a lot of fun wherever you fish in these legendary waters, and how you fish is often decided by when you’re in town. Here are the main trips you can expect to choose from.
 

Deep Sea Fishing

Humans aren’t the only ones who spend their holidays in Shelly Beach. During the summer, warm currents bring a who’s who of big game pelagics within an easy cruise of the shore. Yellowfin Tuna are the local favourite, alongside tasty Mahi Mahi (known locally as “Dollies”).
 
If you’re here more for the sport than the spoils, you can also enjoy Shelly Beach’s great Billfish bite. Blue, Black, and Striped Marlin all show up in good numbers during the summer, as do Sailfish and the occasional Spearfish.
 

Bottom Fishing

If the summer focuses on the bluewater bite, winter is all about bottom fishing. The reefs around Shelly Beach are popular with both anglers and divers, particularly the Protea Banks. Scuba enthusiasts and Shark lovers flock here for the huge packs of Bull and Tiger Sharks. There’s a lot more than Sharks here, though. Bottom fishing trips reel in Musselcracker, Kob, Yellowtail, Rock Cod, and Protea Bream, which is found nowhere else on Earth.
 

Backline Fishing

One place you can always rely on reeling in fish is just the other side of the waveline. Backline fishing will hook you some tasty Shad and hard-fighting Snoek throughout most of the year. The bite hits its best in June and July. Huge Sardine migrations sweep past the town this time of year, chased by big Garrick and Bluefish (or “Elf”, as they’re known here).

Fishing Techniques

Shelly Beach deep sea fishing mainly sticks to the topwaters, following birds and searching out flotsam on the hunt for Yellowfin Tuna. There’s nothing more exciting than coming across a feeding frenzy right on the surface. Get into the middle of it, and you can expect a real fight!
 
Fly fishing is also popular, with Bluefish, Garrick, Skipjack, and Bonito putting fly fishers through their paces. Bluefish and Garrick are a seasonal speciality, but Bonito and small Tunas can be great fun any time of year – there’s never a bad time to break out your fly rod!
 
One of the most iconic parts of a Shelly Beach fishing trip happens before you even leave the shore. The town has no harbour, so charters are “dry-launched” right into the surf. Timing this with the waves and the tide takes some real skill, and local skippers spend their lives perfecting the art. It’s as sure to get your heart pumping as the fish themselves.

Need to Know

So you’re set on a trip to Shelly Beach? lucky you! You won’t regret it. Here are a few final tips to help plan your visit.
 

Fishing Permits

You need to buy a recreational fishing permit whether you’re on a charter or fishing from shore. Most rod-and-reel fishing is covered by a basic angling permit, but certain species do need a supplementary license. If you fancy going head-to-head with your next meal, you’ll also need a specific spearfishing permit.
 

Charter Prices

Most fishing charters in Shelly Beach last between 6 and 8 hours and cost around 1,000 Rand ($70) per hour. If you don’t have enough people to book out the whole boat, many skippers run shared trips for as little as 800 Rand ($55) per person. These can be a fun way to learn from the locals, but you’ll have less flexibility as to what you target than you would on a private charter.
 

Getting There

Shelly Beach is under an hour-and-a-half from Durban by car or just over 2 hours by bus. You can also get express coaches from Johannesburg. You'd better pack for the journey on one of these, though, as they take at least 10 hours.
 
Shelly Beach is a perfect seaside getaway, which has been growing in size and popularity for years. Whether you come for the beautiful beaches, the warm waters, or the exciting nightlife, you can’t miss out on the area’s angling. There’s a trip for every budget and action every month of the year. So jump aboard, crash through the waves, and head out for hard fights and a tonne of fun!
Shelly Beach
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Based on 14680 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Shelly Beach Fishing Seasons

Venture offshore and you can find some serious big game action this time of year. Yellowfin Tuna and monster “Dollies” put up a real fight. They also make for a real feast at the end of your trip.

The bluewater bite goes from strength to strength, with Blue, Black, and Striped Marlin, Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, and more. Even experienced anglers will be put to the test in February.

The summer heat shows no sign of cooling, and the action is just as hot. Take on big game pelagics or local favourites like King Mackerel (often known as “Couta” among Shelly Beach anglers).

This is your last chance to enjoy the best of Sandy Beach’s deep sea fishing. Head out in search of Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna, and more in the deep waters offshore.

May is a month of change on KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast. Pelagic predators move off and tasty bottom fish roll into town. You can target pretty much anything this time of year if you know where to look.

The annual Sardine run bursts onto the scene in June. Known as “the greatest shoal on Earth”, this massive migration brings some monster Snoek, Garrick, and Bluefish with it.

Ambitious anglers take to the water for the Shelly Beach Ski-Boat Festival fishing tournament in July. Hit the beach to see huge fish and a fleet of boats launching into the waves. It’s a real spectacle!

August is a great time to hit the local reefs for some productive bottom fishing. Take on monster Musselcracker, Cape Salmon, “Dagga Salmon” (Kob), Rock Cod, and so much more.

If you want to reel in tasty fish like Musselcracker, Kob, Rock Cod, and Geelbeck, you’d better be quick. The bite starts to cool down as the waters warm up in September.

Shad, Bluefish, Red Steenbras, and Galjoen are all closed for harvest throughout October and November. Not that you’ll miss them, with the first few Billfish showing up offshore.

Test your fly game against Bonito and Skipjack Tuna or go after bigger fish like Marlin and Tuna. Whatever you’re after, you’ll find plenty of action fishing in November.

Shad, Bluefish, and Red Steenbras are back on the menu. If you fancy setting your sights higher, big game season is well underway. Battle huge fish then head to the beach to ring in the new year in style!

Shelly Beach Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Shelly Beach

"7 hour trip with Wesley"

Jon W. fished with Sosume Fishing Charters on February 7, 2018

Bring a big cooler and ice to take away your catch

Top Targeted Species in Shelly Beach

Marlin (Blue)

Marlin (Blue)

Sailfish

Sailfish

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Tuna (Skipjack)

Tuna (Skipjack)

Wahoo

Wahoo

Marlin (Black)

Marlin (Black)