Map of east coast of South AfricaThe waters off Kwazulu-Natal coast in South Africa are more than generous to the avid spearo. Many spearfishing sites here have fabulous diving conditions all year round and waters teeming with gamefish action. Warm Agulhas and Mozambique currents sweep into this area of ocean from the east to meet a rich array of unspoilt marine life. And as spearfishing in this area is much less common than angling, productivity is plenteous.

Recommended Spearfishing Equipment for Spearfishing off the Kwazulu-Natal Coast

Kwazulu-Natal enjoys a sub-tropical climate with steamy summers and mild winters. Summer (November-May) water temperatures reach up to 24°C, dropping to 18°C in the winter (May-August).

Whether you’re planning on diving offshore or from a boat then here’s the recommended spearfishing equipment you’ll need for the local conditions:

  • Wetsuit: 3mm for summer, 5mm for winter

  • 1.2m-1.3m barrel speargun with a 1.7m spear. One rubber is adequate.

  • Low volume goggles/mask

  • Snorkel

  • Long bladed flippers with removable blades

  • A rubber, quick release waist belt

  • A moulded foam float with a 30m line for a shore dive and 40m line for a boat dive

  • Neoprene booties or socks

  • Knitted gloves with a flexible but tough coating

  • Small knife

  • 20cm stainless spike stringer

Spearfishing Sites off the Kwazulu Natal Coast

SpearfishingThe Kwazulu-Natal coastline stretches 560km from Port Edward in the South to Kosi Bay in the North and is home to a multitude of spectacular spearfishing spots. These sites can be grouped into 3 areas:

  1. Zululand

  2. North Coast

  3. South Coast


Most of the Zululand area is covered by the Maputaland and St Lucia marine reserves, making the spot a hub for gamefish. With warm water temperatures, clear visibility and relatively calm currents, the area is suitable for spearfishing at any time of the year.

In January, shoals of king mackerel migrate down this area of the coast - this is known as the Cuda Run. Spearfishermen can also take their pick from a teeming selection of queen mackerel, wahoo, kaakap, sailfish and tuna. Many big black marlin have also been speared in these waters.

Key spearfishing spots in Zululand:

  • Kosi Bay is an awesome spot for a boat dive. Here, you’ll find extensive coral reefs which are great for hunting ignobilis and various other species of gamefish. Dive where the reefs meet the sand at the drop-offs to touch fins with the most fish action.

  • Nine Mile is the most famous spearfishing site in the area as a 242kg black marlin was shot there just a few years back. Its best to take a dive here during a north-south current and you’re most likely to find gamefish roaming the seaward edges of the reef over the sand. The area is also home to a shoal of big yellow spotted kingfish that wander the northern tip of the reef.

  • Lighthouse Reef is one of the best diving spots in the whole of South Africa. The pinnacle is 12m above the surface and drops off to more than 27m below. Boat dive this area during calm days in the winter months to hunt an astonishing array of gamefish and big reef fish.

North Coast

SpearfishingThe North coast has Durban as its southern limit and is bounded by the Tugela River. Many other rivers also flow through the area and open into the sea during the rainy months (November-March). As the inshore conditions deteriorate, large amounts of silt are deposited. Yellow peril lurk at the bottom of these murky areas but are easily stirred up by a North-easterly wind, making this the prime time for a hunt.

Visibility is at its best here between April and July. It’s also a good idea to look out for a south westerly wind followed by a light north easterly as these too can help to clean up the visibility.

Key spearfishing spots on the North Coast:

  • At Durban you’ll find the No1 reef which is perfect for a boat dive. Here, the pinnacles reach up to 21m and when the water is clean, spearfishing here is a real thrill. Head further North and you’ll find another man-made reef with a sunken trawler wreck. This is a great spot for hunting kingies and grunter.

  • Zinkwazi is approximately 100km north of Durban. Here there are plenty of productive spearfishing spots with lots of reef fish. As most of the reef is flat you will need to search the caves for some good fish action and the reefs out 50foot+ are the most productive.

South Coast

Stretching southwards from Durban to Port Edward, the South coast runs a distance of 160km. Like the North Coast, there are lots of rivers on this strip, making the conditions inshore during the rainy months almost unsuitable for diving. But if you’re prepared for a challenge then you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Abundant with short beaches, rocky headlands and reefs, the South Coast is home to the annual winter sardine run where shoals of the fish migrate to the area. This is the most exciting time for spearfishing with many record-sized game fish and huge sharks often encountered. The 50-60 foot reefs teeming with unique marine life also make the dive experience simply unforgettable.

Key spearfishing spots on the South Coast:

  • Aliwal Shoal is a spearfishing spot that absolutely cannot be missed. 5km out to sea, off the greenpoint lighthouse, the shoal is part of a huge reef system. When the warm Mozambique current is pushing in and conditions are calm, you’ll be spoilt for choice on your hunt for kingsih, wahoo, seapike, sailfish, tuna, cuda and a variety of other gamefish and reef fish. This spearfishing experience is nothing less than exceptional.

  • The Produce and Nebo Wrecks are near the Aliwal Shoal and they provide excellent spearfishing sites when the conditions are good. The Produce was a 13500 Norwegian tanker now lying starboard. The wreck attracts large shoals of salmon and a large family of brindle bass. The Nebo lies further inshore from the Produce – she was an iron steamer and now lies hull-up on the sand also attracting shoals of salmon and making for an exciting dive.

There are abundant spearfishing sites in South Africa. From deep sea wrecks, to astonishing reach and masses of huge gamefish, hunting here is nothing short of exhilarating.

This guest post was written by Hannah Richards on behalf of, the spearfishing and freediving equipment specialists.

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