Fishing At Brazenhead & The Ledges In The Transkei
Brazenhead, in the Transkei area, is truly one of the most beautiful rural areas you could ever wish to visit for angling purposes. The natural beauty and fishing spots are endless. The only disadvantage of the area, is that you have to have a 4x4 and you need to be quite fit to walk up and down the steep hills. Brazenhead is one of the most well known angling spots in South Africa. It is very unique. One can target anything at Brazenhead, from Kob to Blacktail to Garrick to Bronze Whaler sharks.
Brazenhead & The 3 Ledges
When you arrive at the top of Brazenhead you will be greeted by lots of Gillies who will come and help you carry your stuff down the 1.5km slope, and trust me you need all the help you can get. The surface is very slippery and very steep and one must be very careful walking to Brazenhead. Once you get to the bottom you will be at First Ledge. Lots of good water for targeting edibles and Gamefish and further on at First Ledge, there is a large drop off into deep water where one can target Sharks. First Ledge is the safest of the 3 Ledges and easiest to fish off and land big fish.
A tricky walk around a narrow path at the end of First Ledge will bring you to Second Ledge. For Sharks and big Kob, this is the spot. This is where caution must be practiced however.
If you hook into a large fish, you will have to walk back to First Ledge to land it, as the elevation at Second Ledge is twice the amount of First Ledge.
Once you feel comfortable at Second Ledge, the fishing is great. When the water is very clear you might struggle to get any decent fish out. Further along Second Ledge is a 'step down' which can be accessed when the tide starts to drop. One can drop a bait 10 meters below into the rolling deep white water that hits the gap between the second and third ledge. Here you can find plenty of Blacktail and sometimes Musselcracker.
One of the scariest moments of my life was walking to Third Ledge. It is a very tricky and dangerous half a foot damp path with a 20 meter drop on one side, a sheer rock face on the other and 4 feet above you is a rocky overhang. I can see why many Angling Companies do not take their guests to Third Ledge. It must of taken me about 5 minutes to crawl along the side of the rock to get to Third Ledge... And I did not even have any tackle with me! Once you get across you are greeted by one of the most stunning and breathtaking views... The fishing here is apparently very good with many Gamefish and big Sharks being hooked here; the problem is you have to guide the fish back to First Ledge to land it! When I was on top of Third Ledge which is very high above the water, I saw a school of good sized Kob swimming in the clear water below.
Fishing At Brazenhead
As mentioned above, one can target almost any fish along the 3 Ledges of Brazenhead. One thing that is necessary here is heavy tackle. Tackle up for whatever species you are targeting whether it's an edible or non-edible fish specie. The heavier the tackle, the more likely you are to be able to land the fish. When fishing with the intention of releasing fish, especially Sharks, a gaff is not essential. There is a slope on First Ledge where one can walk down and grab the leader, or at low tide, access the rocks and land the fish there. Pictured left is a 10kg Grey Shark we landed without a gaff; obviously this would be more difficult with a 200kg Ragged Tooth Shark, but it has been done.
There are normally Shad that move through the area throughout the day and then the fishing can be frantic. The Shad often bring Garrick and other Gamefish species closer to the rocks as well as large Sharks.
All in all the Three Ledges of the famous Brazenhead are amazing for fishing and set in such a beautiful area! Every angler in South Africa needs to visit this place at least once in their lifetime; and trust me, the walk is worth it!