Kwelera River Rats May 2018 – Tips on Esturine Angling East Coast – the follow up article no. 3

Posted on: May 7, 2018, in Adventure & Fun, News

Kwelera River Rats will be fighting to preserve the Kwelera Estuary for future generations

Compiled by John L M Brown

ESTUARIES are the meeting places of the rivers and the sea, and are characterised by the interaction between the two. Conditions in an estuary are always changing, and this instability or variability is one of the most important features of estuaries.

The salinity of estuarine water varies depending on the tide and the strength of the inflowing river. In addition, a river also brings silt and nutrients to the estuary in varying quantities, depending on conditions in the catchment (drainage basin) of the river concerned.


Water plays an important role when it comes to fishing. From our experience fish seem to prefer warmer water.  In cold water they don’t seem to feed as well, we have also found that when the water is too warm the fish become very lethargic. We have found a temperature range of between 18 and 22 degrees C produces the most fish. We have always thought that water colour played a major role in that being clean was always very good; a lot of fish have been caught in dirty post flood water. Different species tolerate different levels of salinity, remember too that fresh water is lighter than salt water and floats on top, mixing of the two can take a long time, look out for the pushing tide driving a wedge of clean saltwater under the fresh water


Fish can be caught throughout the day but there are some times during the day that will give you a better chance. Predatory fish enjoy hunting in low light conditions. Early morning and evening conditions are definitely the most productive times to fish. Do not write off the rest of the day. If a pushing tide occurs in the middle of the day then by all means fish a drop-off area if you have one in your estuary, but the action will generally not be as good as it will in low light conditions.


There are many dangers that you should be aware of when estuarine fishing First of all you must have a good idea on where the sand, mud and rock banks are in the river. If you are not too familiar with the estuary seek advice from someone who does, or if no one is available navigate your way cautiously. Check the river out at a low tide, as this will give you an indication as to where the hazards lie. Always have some form of first aid kit with you. We have seen a few people with a hook which has penetrated the leg or the arm. In a remote area these things must be dealt with and removed if possible. Beware when wading around on any sort of structure. Things such as rays and skates, glass, blue bottles and jelly fish all present problems. Shoes of some sort are an absolute necessity and can prevent some nasty injuries. Always keep your eyes out for other boat users. Not all people are good skippers so care must be taken as boat accidents do occur. The sun is a huge danger factor. Sun block, hats and protective clothing are always a must. Watch out for lightning storms, as electricity, water and rod materials do not mix well together. The fish themselves are also very dangerous if not handled correctly. Fish spines and teeth can cause nasty injuries and all care must be taken to avoid this.



Areena Resort, Kwelera River, Kwelera, East London, South Africa

EMAIL: Ph: 0732727851

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