My Favourite Spots for White Musselcracker
Port Elizabeth Region: Having spent most of my fishing life in Port Elizabeth and the surrounding areas, I have caught more white musselcracker in these waters than anywhere else.
Cape Recife on the Marine Drive ranks top of my list – simply because in my younger years this was within walking distance of home, so I spent more time fishing here than anywhere else. Favourite spots at Cape Recife are Cracker Rock, Musselcracker Alley (Trainline) where I have landed the only Black Musselcracker I’ve ever caught from the shore, and the flats. Today Cape Recife is no longer a place to venture alone. Parking near the lighthouse is dicey, with a lot of unsavoury characters hanging around.
Cape Recife is a Nature Reserve, and a permit is needed to enter and fish there.
The Blue Hole is another top spot for white musselcracker (and other species – Blue Hole is a great fishing spot all round. This spot is possibly the safest area to fish along the Marine Drive after leaving Summerstrand and before Schoenmakerskop.
The Blue Hole is a popular angling spot and locals are usually found here. Some of these fishermen are there for subsistence and can get aggravated if newcomers try to be obnoxious. Please remember – these guys are only trying to survive; a chat before invading the rocks works wonders, and a shared beer or a smoke won’t be rejected.
On the Northern side of Algoa Bay, Hougham Park is an excellent fishing ground. Access is across private farmland, so anglers need to play by the rules, ask permission, drive with care, and above all CLEAN UP YOUR MESS. A four-wheel drive vehicle is almost essential to get down to the beach as much of the last section is a beach sand track.
The other way is to park higher up, nearer the main road and hike down to the beach. This is a long but rather pleasant walk, but there are no car guards and the safety of your vehicle is a problem.
Every fisherman in Port Elizabeth will recommend Maitlands as a place for Musselcracker. This spot produces good size musselcracker but can be totally dead at times. The best spots are the rocks north of the car park and the stretch of rocky shore heading back to Seaview. The beach can be good place for musselcracker at in the very early morning, late evening and at night. If you fish the beaches at Maitlands, be sure to have grapnel sinkers (those ones with the arms) in 6, 7, 8 and 9 oz weights as the side-wash is almost always present, and can be very strong.
Maitlands is a good place for a family outing on weekends, but during the week it is a bit quiet, unless you go in a fair size group.
Bather Warning: This is not a good beach for swimming unless you know the area well and are a strong sea swimmer. Currents are treacherous, and there is no lifeguard service, although sometimes club volunteers are there on weekends. Even then, if you don’t know the area, stay out of the sea. (I’ve assisted more people who found themselves in trouble to safety here than anywhere else in South Africa)
Cape St Francis – The Wild Side
Having lived here for a short time on two separate occasions Cape St Francis is one of the places I really like. Fishing here can be hard – the rocks are treacherous, and eat tackle. The wild side, South of the Seal Point Lighthouse, has produced some excellent musselcracker for me. Apart from being a beautiful part of the world with friendly locals, fishing here can be awesome. One does need to do a bit of hiking and clambering over rocks to get to the best spots. For the most part this is a safe area to fish, even at night. But this doesn’t apply to the sea – The rocks here can be treacherous, with large waves suddenly rising out of nowhere to catch the unwary angler by surprise.
KwaZulu Natal Spots for White Musselcracker
Rocky Bay – Park Rynie:
Rocky Bay, in front of the Caravan Park and further south is a hot spot for white musselcracker, or brusher as it is known in the area. This is a relatively safe area to fish, even at night if you stay close to the caravan park. The whole mussel bait described in a separate article produces good results at this spot.
There are two caravan parks within walking distance. Rocky Bay Caravan Park is right on the shore front. Step out of your tent or caravan on to the beach. Caravan Cove is just north of the bay (top right of photo) and set back behind the first dunes so gets more shelter. This resort has a wide choice of chalets as well as camping facilities.
Chain Rocks – Doonside
Chain rocks is the place to catch musselcracker if you are looking for somewhere nearer to Durban. Located between Amanzimtoti and Doonside, Chain rocks has produced white musselcracker for me on regular occasions. To fish chain rocks you will need to park your vehicle at Amanzimtoti or Doonside and walk a few kilometres along the beach. There is no public road access to Chain Rocks, although members of the Ski-boat club have access by private road.
If fishing in the sheltered gully, remember this is a ski-boat launching area, and these boats have priority use of the water and landing area
The are hundreds, if not thousands of good places to catch white musselcracker along our shoreline. I have only mentioned those I know very well, and where I have caught these fish on regular occasions.