Footprints in the Sodwana Sand

photo of of beach at mseni

The Beach Below Mseni - Sodwana, South Africa

We left our footprints in the sand and nothing else. Who would leave trash on this pristine beach? Anyone doing so should be expelled from the reserve without refund. During the night it rained, and heading down to the beach on the Mseni side we found sand showing no sign of human presence. If not for the wooden stairway leading to the beach one could easily believe the we were the only people ever to have set foot on this beach…

Early Fishing and Small Pan Fish

An early start found us fishing in front of Mseni. Two large baits out on slides got no response at first, and we had to settle for a pair of pan fish of a species I had only ever seen tiny examples of before, wave garrick or large-spot photo of wave-garrickpompano. Having never tasted these fish, the two caught were kept – each weighed over 1kg so made a good meal for the two of us.

The Largespot feeds close in to shore, often right in the beach break, and will take a variety of small carefully prepared baits. Both our fish were caught on small redeye sardine baits with #2 chemically sharpened hooks and light (4kg) fluorocarbon leaders.

The species is popular among light tackle anglers on this coastline, fly fishermen have a lot of fun with these fish. If anything, our spinning tackle was a bit heavy for the task, but the wave garrick is an energetic fish, when on the line it feels much larger than it actually is. If I lived here, I would invest in some much lighter tackle – but back in Mossel Bay opportunities to use ultra-light gear are rare – there are just too many rocks where we fish.

The Day Hots Up

By 10 am the sky had cleared and the sun turned into a raging furnace. Too hot for us to spend much time exposed to the UV. Although I spend a lot of time outdoors, and have an almost permanent tan, the sun on the north coast is simply too strong. So rather than risk over-exposure, we headed back to camp for a late breakfast.

Ray the Fisherman


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