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Mossel Bay | Garden Route

5 Reasons to Fish With Salt Life Fishing Charters Mossel Bay

An excited Salt Life Fishing Charters Mossel Bay guest with his red stumpnose (Miss Lucy) catch. A large, pretty, red/orange colour fish.
Corne with his Miss Lucy / red stumpnose catch caught during one of our fishing charters Mossel Bay.

Before we launch into our own reasons, just read 5 glowing reviews from our guests, who blow our trumpet for us. We are very proud of our 5-star Google review rating as giving our guests the best possible boat fishing charters Mossel Bay is our main goal…

“I had the opportunity to partake in a fishing expedition with Salt Life Fishing Charters and I must express that it was an outstanding experience from beginning to end. As a passionate angler, I have had the pleasure of experiencing numerous charter companies. However, I must say that this particular one truly distinguishes itself from the rest. The trip was flawlessly executed, thanks to the professional and accommodating staff who left no stone unturned. Justin stands out for his commitment to marine conservation. He taught us about ethical fishing techniques, stressing the value of catch-and-release fishing when it was suitable and following size and bag limitations to protect the ecology. Everyone on board developed a feeling of duty and respect for nature as a result of his infectious enthusiasm for conserving the maritime environment.”
“I recently went on a fishing excursion with Justin and Salt Life Fishing and could not be happier with my experience! From the moment we arrived to the harbor to our braai at the end of the day with our catch from the day, everything was perfect! Everyone was very knowledgeable and friendly and would recommend this to everyone!”
“Really Good experience! Got to be prepared for the early morning start to catch the sunrise. Well worth it and really good and decent guys working on the boat with you. Great fishing spots out in the ocean and plenty of bites! Personal experience, don’t be hungover though! I paid the toll for that.”
Salt water fishing with guests showing their catches of red stumpnose (Miss Lucy), and red roman, caught in July
Maynard (right) with his brother (middle) and friend and their catches of Miss Lucy and red roman.
“What a fantastic trip with Justin and Salt Life. We caught a variety of fish from Red Stumpnose, Red Roman to Santers and Cob, plus a number of different sharks (which were all released). What a fantastic experience!“
“This experience was amazing! The day was beautiful, and we saw some whales and two albatross. We caught fish we were able to braai and the skipper Justin for Salt Life Fishing Charters made it such a fun time! Highly recommend!”

If our guest’s reviews aren’t reason enough when you’re considering activities Garden Route, to get you to book a fishing charter trip with us, read on…

Deep Sea Fishing Charters Mossel Bay

There are a few deep sea fishing charters in Mossel Bay and we honestly can say that they each have their merits. There are some we’ll very happily recommend and a couple we’ve fished with ourselves in the past. But we wouldn’t be doing ourselves justice if we talked about the others! So what we will do, is tell you what sets us apart.

Introducing our owner and skipper, Justin McCarthy. He has been saltwater fishing for over 30 years and has been landing edible fish since he came out of nappies. He has a natural gift for reading the ocean and finding the hot spots for target fish species. He has lived locally all his life and deep sea fishing tops the activities Garden Route.

Owner & skipper Justin McCarthy with one of his largest kob catches on a sea fishing trip | Activities Garden Route
Owner Justin McCarthy a large kob (kabaljou) he caught

The Salt Life Fishing Charter team are highly committed to sustainable fishing and marine conservation. We always adopt ethical fishing techniques, respecting our marine life and ensuring that we stay well within the regulations set out in the Marine Living Resources Act (Act No. 18 of 1998).

Long-term sustainable utilisation of our fish resources is imperative. Effective fisheries rely on scientific advice and ecological information that lead to such regulations, but can only work if they are adhered to by any recreational line-fishers in South Africa‘s marine and estuarine environments.

Our fishing charters Mossel Bay include all bait, tackle, fuel and the skipper. We just ask our guests to bring their own water, snacks and fishing permit unless you’ve been in touch with us to organise your permit in advance.

Fishing Charters Mossel Bay Info

Our owner, Justin, has a long history in the maritime environment. He joined the National Sea Rescue Institute at the age of 15 and spent 16 years volunteering with the organisation. He spent his latter years holding the position of deputy station commander. As you can imagine, safety is our highest priority on each and every charter.

Our 26ft Buttcat fishing vessel was purpose-built for deep sea fishing activities Garden Route
Our 26ft Buttcat, Instagator, purpose-built for deep sea fishing activities Garden Route

As one of the few South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) appointed surveyors in the area, our 26ft boat is kept in tip-top condition. We regularly conduct statutory surveys and issue Certificates of Fitness (COFs) for recreational vessels, ensuring that our own vessel is fully compliant at all times. We also provide consultancy to recreational vessel owners on maintenance, technical, and safety matters. You can chat to us if you need a survey or any vessel repairs.

We also offer expeditions for filmmakers, documentarians, photographers and researchers and tailor our trips to suit your needs. Our specialised trips have been very well received and photographers and filmers love the set-up of the boat with its large platform on the bow that can hold camera equipment to capture that all-important sweeping view.

Mossel Bay’s Fish Species Info

Mossel Bay is best known for its catches of select fish species. Kob and shad are a favourite target species, since both are very tasty and good for the braai. You’ll find both of these more in summer, although shad is subject to a season and should never be targeted in October and November.

A beautiful juvenile silver kob caught by one of our sea fishing trip clients from the USA while Mossel Bay fishing
A beautiful juvenile silver kob caught by one of our sea fishing trip clients from the USA

Stokvis/hake are a great target species for our winter months. This is certainly South Africa’s most popular eating fish and is very versatile in lots of dishes.

Dream catches for many of our fishing charter anglers are stumpnose, steenbras and musselcrackers. The bag and size limits for these are highly restricted so we will often release some of them.

A skipjack tuna caught by a young angler in Mossel Bay
On occasion, we catch tuna and yellowtail fish. We’ve even caught a snoek here before, pretty far from its usual haunting grounds!

You can learn more about the different species we catch and Mossel Bay’s Fishing Seasons in our last blog.

One of our youngest guests’ favourite species to catch are Atlantic bonito or bonnies. These are caught via trolling using Rapala, and offer an opportunity for a quick fishing charter trip within the bay.

A toddler taking part in one of the best family activities Garden Route, a deep sea fishing Mossel Bay trip, with her first bonito catch
Salt Life Fishing's eldest daughter with her first bonito catch. Ad extra-special moment as she was fighting leukemia at this time.

Our 2-Hour Fishing Charters Mossel Bay

There’s nothing that beats the dip of the tip of your fishing rod when you hook onto something. When it comes to bonito, this feeling is often doubled or quadrupled as where there’s one bonito biting, there are usually many more, since they’re a schooling fish.

The great thing about bonito fishing is it’s a quick and easy fish, that usually only takes you to sites a few minutes from the harbour. For families, this is ideal, as young anglers tend to have limited patience.

One of our favourite things about Bonito is that they make delicious sashimi. We’ll have ours that same day just sliced up raw with some dark soy sauce and wasabi.

Deep Sea Fishing Prices Mossel Bay

Our 2023 prices are R1,200 per person for our deep sea fishing Mossel Bay day trip. You can book the whole boat to yourself, for up to six friends or family members. You can reach out to us to discuss the price.

The winter kob are biting!

We currently have a winter special running until 31st August 2023.

Our sea fishing client with a kob
Our winter specials offer until 31st August 2023

Get R200 off and book for only R1,000 per person or book a private charter for only R6,000 (valid until 31st August 2023).

Activities Garden Route | A Typical Day Out Deep Sea Fishing

Just like the fish, we are early risers and usually set sail at the crack of dawn. Our guests meet us at Mossel Bay’s harbour and have to come through one of two security gates. Be aware that the security guards will often breathalyse the driver, so make sure you take it easy the night before if you’re taking part in any alcohol fueled activities Garden Route!

Mossel Bay Fishing Spots

We will head straight to one of our favourite fishing spots or a spot recommended by our friends in the local fishing community. The spots vary depending on the time of year, the species that are around, and the weather and sea conditions.

Our vessel, Instagator, on the open ocean
Our vessel, Instagator, on a deep sea fishing spot

We’ll spend enough time at each spot to see if the fish are biting. If there are no bites, or just small nibbles we’ll move on to another spot. The same for only catching sharks, which are certainly not a target species unless we’re tag-and-release fishing with researchers.

If we are getting good bites and landing desirable fish, we’ll stay at the spot for as long as we keep catching. And so the morning goes like that. Sometimes, the fishing spots will be just a few kilometres from the harbour and sometimes we’ll have to travel several kilometres down the coastline. It all rides on the fish and what they’re up and where they are.

Ocean Safari

During fishing, we’ll always be on the lookout for interesting marine species. Winter is best for spotting whales, and we see plenty of humpback and southern right whales. Dolphins are around all year, and we get the bottlenose, common and humpback species here.

Summer sees hammerhead shark aggregations and other species such as white sharks, thresher sharks and even makos can sometimes be spotted. Orcas are a sporadic visitor to the bay and a very impressive sight. Birders will love the variety of seabirds we get, including albatross, shearwaters, petrels, and gannets.

A stunning albatross spotted during a fishing trip | one of the best activities Garden Route
A stunning albatross hangs around our boat while we are sea fishing.


On the way back to shore, and if there’s time at the end of the trips in season, we may troll for bonnies to see if we can land a couple for a sashimi treat.

Book Your Fishing Charters Mossel Bay

There is, of course, an element of luck to fishing. We will use our decades of knowledge to guide our guests to the fish and help them land their dream species. You can chat to us about our charter trips or to book your deep sea fishing adventure. We promise you it’s one of the best activities Garden Route.