SKZN Winter Estuary Gamefish Package



SKZN Winter Estuary Gamefish Package

SKZN Winter Estuary Gamefish Package: the 2024 SKZN Winter Estuary Gamefish Season is coming up fast. The water can come clean as early as March or April. But the real clean saltwater really starts to dominate from May through October and even November some years.

Stay with us at the Umzimkulu Marina. And fish the river all day and night. From the river bank. Or from the many boats and kayaks. We go out on the water twice a day. Night trips are the go when conditions permit.

Choose between catered or self-catering.

The price quoted is merely a guide at this point. It includes accommodation and fishing for three nights/four days.  But get in touch and we can prepare a quote tailor-made to your requirements. The more anglers the better the price works out at. For a group of 4, it can be nearly half that price per person.

We have tackle for sale. And we have rods to rent out.


Is at the Umzimkulu Marina, right on the edge of the Umzimkulu Estuary. You can fish from here flat out, all night and day. We have the only spot in the estuary that is completely unaffected by the tide flow, no matter how strong – we have a neat little counter current keeping things fishy at all times.

We catch live bait right here too.

You can see pics and more detail at the Umzimkulu Marina website right HERE.

The Gamefish of the Umzimkulu Estuary

This place gets red-hot. Yes, you need the stars to line up. And you need to be completely dialled in. But when it’s on, it’s phenomenal.

Happy Daze, a local sport angler crew, count over 200 kingfish per season often. Then there are the kob. The perch. And the Rock Salmon. Nkulunkulu!

Shad. Zebra. Blacktail. Even the formidable ox-eye tarpon puts in an appearance.

Oh yes, and the odd Zambezi too…!


Shad. Silver Bream. Blue-tailed mullet. All the other mullet. And prawns! All these make fantastic live baits. But never forget to deploy the number one bait in any estuary…the sardine head!


This is artificial lure fishing, and live baiting, at its best. It would be prudent if you tackled up. You could hook a trophy anytime you chuck a bait in this water.

Ultra-lights have their place on the boat when we are in open water and away from the edge. Small lures – lotsa fun! Baby garrick and kinghfish at the mouth.

But beware the Rock Salmon…he will smoke you. Thirty-pound spinning sticks are just about right. But 50lb would be even better to help stop those fish from heading into the mangroves and cutting you off. They jump on a popper too. The most exciting fishing possible. See that slab of maroon and purple and red heaving itself at your surface lure! The perch, kingfish, garrick and shad also jump on those poppers.

Fishing deeper, with paddletails or bucktail-type lures, even spoons puts you in range of the koblets. They are known to shoal inside here. Check this video of my Dad and some kids catching three kob at once – all on lures. And right in front of the lodge.

Lay of the Land

The Umzimkulu Marina is situated luckily, right at the end of the second bank. This is the hottest section of the river and we fish it extensively. With a decent casting rig, you can easily fish this zone from the banks on the river’s edge at the lodge.

First bank is down at the mouth, a kilometre and a half away. We can ambush first bank fish on the incoming tide right at the mouth. All the fish have to swim through there to get in and out of the estuary.

This spills out out into the ‘basin’ – a large bowl of water extending all the way to second bank. With a cool channel down the middle (river in river) where we have recorded perch in numbers. This is the zone where interaction happens. Gamefish charge through here on their way even further up. Along each side of the second bank, are little streams and channels that do their own thing in attracting fish and action.

But as we go past the second bank, the north bank becomes high and very steep. This inclination extends right down to 12 metres sometimes. There are some 8 and 10 metre holes too. That are formed as the river flows scouring that entire section down to bedrock. We have 3D scanned the entire area. It can look like Disney Land down there on some days. So much going on.

Then up and around the corner, to the bridge foundations. Which drop straight off from a metre to 8 metres. An almost vertical drop full of obstacles and things that the big fish up here use to cut you off with. Many lures lost in this area. Under the bridges is very rocky and difficult to fish. But its a real hotspot, in clean water we can get ourselves right in amongst the rocks and reef. Malabar rock cod, perch and rock salmon love these hunting grounds.

Bonus – fishing the Sandspit

The Sandspit, down at the mouth, separates the estuary from the ocean. You can fish both sides! It’s all the fun when we moor up on the inside…and set live baits. Then grab your spinning stick, stroll over the sand – and you are faced with the vast blue Indian Ocean. With its garrick, kob, shad, kingfish, grunter, queen mackerel etc…

Throwing small spoons and jigs puts you in the game for all sorts. Or throw a big old paddletail and see what happens. The river mouth empties into the ocean in the corner…making for all kinds of sand and structure arrangements. Currents and seams to stalk. This is great beach fishing. Watch this video to get that picture…

Catch and Release

Both the fish above were released. Along with literally ALL the fish we catch. Estuaries by nature are hunting grounds. And breeding grounds. To many fish, it’s a huge nursery and they use it for their development.


Contact Sean at +27 79 326 9671 or You can also use the green WhatsApp button on your screen here somewhere, for a direct line.


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