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Shore Angling Southern Angola


Nathan Broedelet explains the richness of southern Angola’s coastline and all it has to offer.
Image: Southern Angolan shore Image: Southern Angolan shore

Southern Angola is a truly unique area to visit. It offers plenty fish, amazing scenery and great hospitality – and all of this on a budget that won’t break the bank. Flights and transfers are a breeze and absolutely hassle free for the visiting angler. The area is well-known for its abundance of fish which feed within close proximity of the coast line.

It’s simply a paradise for anglers who enjoy artificial lure angling as well as bait fishing. Great catches of species such as garrick, kob and shad are taken on spoon, and paddletails and plugs can sometimes be caught in plentiful numbers in a short session. The avid non-edible angler will also have bronzies, gulley sharks and plenty more to keep themselves occupied with.

Angler’s paradise

Nothing beats waking up with the sound of the ocean on your doorstep and being able to walk 50m to throw a cast. The fish are very aggressive on this part of the coast and not afraid to attack lure thrown at them. Winter is by far the best time, with the season starting in April, going right through to September.

During this time the garrick, kob and shad are plentiful. The coast line of southern Angola has a lot of structure which helps hold the fish close to the shoreline and this is great for all fishermen, as the fish is within casting distance for light tackle spinning gear. Here, a 9-11 ft spinning rod with a medium sized spinning reel loaded with 20 – 30lb braid is best suited; and is what you will be using 90% of the time. Don’t be fooled by the light tackle, as these outfits will help you pull double digit kilogram garrick and kob in no time. The most popular lures would be spoons, paddletails and plugs. All within the 1.5 – 2.5 oz range.

Shad. Is it game?

The shad are by far the most plentiful along the coast and will keep you busy all day. These fish are not shy and will eat almost any lure thrown at them. They put up a great account for themselves and with schools of individual shad weighing more than 4kg, they are great fun on the light tackle. The shad are very acrobatic and on most occasions will give you a good show, they really do see themselves as a game fish.

The beauty of the shad along this coast is their aggression towards the plug; one of the best sights still, is seeing your lure being smashed on the surface and as we all know, shad will never disappoint. They seem to come a lot closer than the fish in our home waters, and have even been caught on fly in the surf, when feeding closer than normal. The possibility of catching a shad which weighs more than 4kg on a 7ft ultra light spin set-up is extremely high – it is also a very popular method of targeting these greedy fish.

Kob. High risk equals high reward

Kob is one of the most sought after fish among most fisherman and even more so on lure. Much like the South African coast line, the kob stay close to structure and reefs, but the plus side is that they sit a lot closer along the Angolan coast. With the great weather conditions in these southern parts of Angola there is no wind till about 11 o’ clock on most mornings. It is much easier to throw a paddletail, than in normal windy conditions like in South Africa.

Unfortunately with fishing between structure, losing tackle is always an issue, so we try and use weedless methods of rigging the paddletails and use circle hooks on our spoons, to try lessen the loss. If you feel the lure bumping the rocks or bottom, then you know you are in the right area, and as we all know, high risk equals high reward.

Garrick. Putting up a fair fight

The most prized species is the garrick. This is one of the strongest fish to catch in this area. What makes the garrick so great is the clean fight it gives, reflecting the true strength of it. Throwing a 1.5oz – 2.5oz plug is all you need to be able to catch a fish as big as 20kg. Once it has exploded on your plug, the fight is on and the light tackle starts to show its great strength. The Garrick sometimes requires a slightly longer cast as they tend to sit in the back breakers or over the lip, but this is all still within a comfortable 60m cast.

These fish appear in their shoals throughout the winter months and can be spotted in the waves, in fact, you could almost call it sight fishing at times. Southern Angola is by far one of the best places to come and catch your personal best garrick.

Bronzies. Leave the bait and have a beer

Bronzies are by far one of the best fighting sharks to catch and is always a prized catch between rock and surf anglers. They are plentiful along the Angolan coast and relatively easy to target and catch when the sea is small: you can leave a big bait in front of the restaurant, sit and have a beer and a meal while waiting for the big one to bite.

The formation along the coast makes a throw bait for a bronzie relatively easy and sliding is not always a must. It is also possible to target other non-edible-catches such as big gulley sharks, pylies and large guitar fish while fishing for the bronzies.

Cunene. A playground for 4×4 enthusiasts

Cunene mouth is situated on the border of Namibia and Angola. This area boasts one of the best kob fisheries and is really unique – you can expect beautiful rolling banks leading into deep channels along with amazing bronzie drop-offs. The journey is half of the adventure and a very special one to experience, especially travelling through the famous Doodsakker and passing through the ‘ghost’ Island of Tigres. This is a heavenly playground for 4×4 enthusiasts and anglers; and catching up to 100 kob per group, per day is not unheard of. The combination of formation, sea temperature and lack of human interference has created a region which reminds of the ‘good old days’.

Southern Angola. Don’t let the big one get away

Angola is a sought-after angling destination with waters teeming with fish and surf fishing opportunities are unbeatable. The best fishing spots are in southern Angola and around the mouth of the Kunene River Mouth.

Travelling approximately as far as 40km south of a small town named Namibe in southern Angola offers a landscape of protected beaches, surrounding cliffs and a desert backdrop. This coastline offers a paradise for anglers and 4×4 enthusiast alike. The town of  Namibe (pre-1985 it was called Moçâmedes) is the capital city of Namibe Province in modern-day Angola.

Flights are now more frequent into Angola and it is easier than ever to make it to this amazing fishing destination. (Remember your passport must be valid and you do require a VISA to enter.) You can fly from South Africa and be at your destination on the same day, ready to fish and no time wasted on tedious travel. Driving presents a different set of challenges – it is a long journey and should be thoroughly researched before making the three-day trip from South Africa to southern Angola.

Catch and release

‘Catch and release’ is practised throughout the fishing waters of Angola. This helps to keep this fishing paradise accessible and ensures a healthy eco system for many generations still to come. It also teaches anglers to follow this practice worldwide. Protection of our fish stock is very important, no matter where we are. Every angler makes a difference.

For more information email: Flamingo@aasafaris.com.

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