Bottom or Game Fish at Meerensee Boat Club
All your Meerensee Boat Club facilities and membership fees info, fishing competitions, boat launch and download membership forms, plus: fish species and locals’ best fishing spots
From tuna and dorado in the deep to an amazing list of common bottom fish species, there’s such a wide range of fishing to do at Meerensee Boat Club on Commodore Close in Richards Bay. The club locals share some of the best fishing spots with us, and we bring you all the info about Meerensee Boat Club and membership: info, contacts, facilities, membership fees, boat launch and boat services, plus all the popular fishing competitions, including the 21 Species.
Here’s what’s to discover at Meerensee Boat Club.
ABOUT MEERENSEE BOAT CLUB
Home to the annual SA Marlin Cup in April each year, Meerensee Boat Club is situated in very near the waterfront and yacht club in Richards Bay. And it is a multidisciplinary club, featuring everything from boat fishing (deep and bottom fishing) to light tackle, canoe and kayak and even shore angling.
This because the Richards Bay area sits on a lagoon/estuary zone that gives you access to the deep ocean, making for a very wide range of fishing options. You can fish anything from marlin, tuna and dorado to rock salmon, sandfish and cave bass – and of course nearly every species of mackerel, garrick, grunter, dusky, cod, shad and more in between. All right here from Meerensee Boat Club.
Meerensee Boat Club is fully kitted with nice common areas, a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and lapa – all for membership to use. There’s a big events space, and the club even helps host small functions, such as birthdays, weddings and get-togethers.
And the general public and non-members are welcome to come and say hi and spend the day or grab a bite to eat at the restaurant. Just note, all visitors pay an R20 visitor’s fee on entry.
BOAT LAUNCH, FACILITIES AND SERVICES
In terms of facilities for boats, there are demarcated and very safe parking zones for boats and trailers. And do note that the club adheres very strictly to local, provincial and national safety regulations. But the club is also geared to help members get all necessary documentation and certificates of fitness, from seaworthiness to skipper tickets etc. Just ask at the club, they’ll gladly assist.
In terms of boat launching, Meerensee Boat Club has two slipways on the premises. And they also have a very good relationship with Richards Bay Ski-Boat Club nearby (where the caravan park is), who often make an additional three slipways available, especially during big competitions at Meerensee Boat Club.
FISHING COMPETITIONS AT MEERENSEE
Although Meerensee will often work together with Richards Bay Boat Club down the road, the Meerensee Boat Club has built a nice stable of their own fishing tournaments that are quite popular. Most recently, Meerensee hosts the annual South African Marlin Cup in April each year.
But Meerensee is perhaps best known for the one comp that brings all the various fishing disciplines together in one big festival: the 21 Species.
HISTORY OF MEERENSEE BOAT CLUB
Started in 1981 by a collective of bay boaters who fished the estuary and harbour areas, Meerensee Boat Club officially got its name in 1984. A light-tackle division, as well as canoe and kayak fishing division, became part of the club in 1986, while the ski-boat division joined the club in 1994.
Today the club still caters to a wide range of boats and fishing disciplines.
FISH SPECIES AT MEERENSEE AND RICHARDS BAY
There’s a remarkable range of species fishable in the area around Meerensee Boat Club and Richards Bay. From true deep sea game fish to bottom fishing and even a vast number of species fishable directly inside the Richards Bay harbour.
There are sailfish and marlin, but a good way to get an idea of the richness of species here is to consider the qualifying fish in the club’s annual 21 Species competition. You can expect to find tuna, dorado, snoek and couta, but also garrick, lantern fish, grunter and dusky. Slinger, cob and rockcod, shad, stumpnose, sandfish and even rock salmon are all also very common here.
And, according to club commodore Crone Kleinschmidt, the majority of these species are so common that you can fish them right inside the Richards Bay harbour.
But, of course, there are a few lekker fishing spots that the locals will tell you about.
MEERENSEE AND RICHARDS BOAT FISHING SPOTS
One of the most popular fishing spots, especially for grunter etc. is to the south from Richards Bay, down towards the border of the marine protected areas. There’s a landmark that locals know as Rooiwalle – the surrounding area referred to as Rooiwalle Beach – where the fishing is very good.
About 20km north of Richards Bay, about 4km out from shore, there’s another landmark known as Groenkop where there’s a lot of bottom fish species and an average depth of around 20 metres. And locals will tell you this is where they go looking for couta and snoek.
Ask the Meerensee Boat Club members, they’ll know.
MEERENSEE BOAT CLUB
MEERENSEE BOAT CLUB MEMBERSHIP FEES
Club fees are around R1000 per year, and you can download the application form here.
Restaurant, bar, receptions and functions venue, pool and lapa. As well as two slipways for boat launching and secure parking for boats and trailers.
Thanks to club commodore Corner Kleinschmidt, Alida and team for contributing to this feature!
And also check out all of the year’s big fishing competitions.
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