NOW: 10 Things to Discover at PE Club PEDSAC
From all the fish species and famous nearby fishing spots to membership fees and contact details, all-new Wheelhouse function venue and Off The Hook restaurant at PEDSAC in Port Elizabeth
Boat safety certification. PE’s famous Tuna Classic. The popular Off The Hook restaurant. The Wheelhouse function venue. All the best fishing spots around Port Elizabeth. And, of course, the famous slipway for launches straight into the harbour. Here’s what you need to know about the facilities, membership, fish species and reasons to visit the Port Elizabeth Deep Sea Angling Club, PEDSAC in PE.
One of the best-known boat and angling clubs on SA’s coast, PEDSAC is one of only three clubs in the country that is located on Transnet land inside a working commercial harbour – Port Elizabeth harbour. This means PEDSAC has direct access to the harbour, with both a slipway for trailer launches and moorings to accommodate larger boats.
PEDSAC has around 330 members, who get full access to all the club’s facilities and services – this is one club that really ploughs resources back into the club to make it a great experience for all its members (and even non-members).
AWESOME FOOD AND DRINKS: OFF THE HOOK RESTAURANT
The PEDSAC premises features the very popular Off The Hook restaurant, bar and grill, which specialises in a range of good food, especially seafood. Members get a discount here, but the restaurant and bar are open to the public and everyone’s invited to come and enjoy the hospitality (try the calamari and the prawns, they’re delicious!) while overlooking the marina and working harbour.
PORT ELIZABETH FUNCTION VENUE: THE WHEELHOUSE
PEDSAC is proud of the fact that it puts its resources back into improving the club’s facilities for members. And they should be. Recently, PEDSAC revamped an old outdoor braai area and converted into an awesome indoor entertainment facility known as The Wheelhouse.
It boasts indoor braai facilities, a full bar, loads of tables, chairs and ample room for dancing. This makes The Wheelhouse an excellent choice for functions in Port Elizabeth. From weddings to work functions and office parties, year-end celebrations to birthdays parties as well as corporate functions and product and media launches right on the Port Elizabeth harbour.
Want a beer after a long day? PEDSAC has the perfect selection and view! #PEDSAC #Sundowners
PEDSAC FACILITIES FOR BOATS
PEDSAC also boasts and fuel bowser on their walk-on jetty. The club is, therefore, able to provide members with an on-site refuelling point for private boats as well as commercial vessel operators needing to top up their fuel tanks. There’s a boat wash bay, a weighing station, fish cleaning station with a lapa, and the club has its own mooring facilities.
Plus: Did you know that PEDSAC recently received written permission from the Harbour Master to allow members to launch their jet skis via the slipway? You now have access to the harbour with a jet ski, as long as the craft complies with SAMSA safety regulations, which includes a handheld VHF radio receiver.
THE HISTORY OF PEDSAC
It wasn’t always like this. PEDSAC’s history dates back to’s history dates back to the late 1940s when most of the original founding members often use to fish together on a local charter vessel. During the 1950s, the idea of forming a formal club gathered momentum with these early pioneers, and they would often meet in various old hotels, Hasties Sports and other venues near the harbour until the club was officially formed after the first club AGM was held in 1957.
It was PEDSAC that pioneered the building of the famous slipway at its current location in the harbour somewhere in the early 1960s. And in 1963, the South African Railways & Harbours gave permission for the club to build a clubhouse nearby, but under one condition, they couldn’t call it a “clubhouse” to comply with legislation at the time. Through fundraising and personal sacrifices, work began in earnest and the clubhouse was officially opened in 1964. It is still standing in its same location to this day but has seen many extensions and improvements made to it over the years to accommodate the ever-growing needs of its members and the club’s day to day operations.
PEDSAC: BOAT SAFETY AND SPECIAL SERVICES
PEDSAC is well known for providing boat safety inspections and extending Certificates of Fitness. The club arranges an annual mass boat survey that always takes place on the first Saturday of November each year. The club’s Safety Officer performs mass safety survey inspections most Wednesday evenings of every month to cater for those members who do not make use of the annual mass boat survey. Booking for this mid-week survey is essential. It’s vital that every boat owner reads and understands the SA Maritime Qualifications Code for Small Vessels and all necessary SAMSA safety checks for commercial and pleasure vessels.
JUNIOR ANGLER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES AT PEDSAC
The club is also well known for developing young anglers. The Junior Anglers Development project sees some of the most experienced club members – those with their provincial colours and several caps for national teams – devote some of their time in workshops with young anglers, teaching them the ropes and the ins and outs of fishing, as well as taking the kids on short fishing trips for much needed “on the job” training experience.
PEDSAC CALENDAR: PE TUNA CLASSIC & ECM FORD SPECIES
PEDSAC is perhaps best known for the annual Tuna Classic in Port Elizabeth. And the club’s own Super 6 League is also very well supported by members.
More recently, PEDSAC started a new competition, the ECM Ford Species Challenge, sponsored by Eastern Cape Motors, Ford and many other smaller sponsors whose contributions forms a vital part in this tournament’s success story. It’s unique in that it’s one of the first – if not the very first – competition to promote the conservation of bottom fish species.
PEDSAC worked with a special team from the Rhodes University Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Sciences Department to develop a first-of-its-kind catch and release competition methodology for bottom fishing. Catch and release is nowadays commonplace for bigger game fish competitions. But this is the first time in SA that anyone has attempted to make catch and release of bottom fish species a rule in their competition. This is one of the main future drivers for PEDSAC, who promotes responsible fishing. And it mirrors the club’s slogan: PEDSAC – The conservation-minded club.
It’s still a lot of fun, though. And the prizes are excellent. Have a look at all the 2018 winners, as well as the ultimate winner of a new boat at the ECM Ford Species in 2018.
FISHING AT PEDSAC: WHAT FISH YOU’LL CATCH IN PORT ELIZABETH
Despite the Tuna Classic being what PEDSAC is most famous for, the fish most commonly caught in Port Elizabeth are bottom fish.
When departing from PEDSAC to fish the waters around Port Elizabeth, anglers can expect to find a lot of kob, yellowtail, basterman, red roman, daggerhead and miss lucy.
THE BEST FISHING SPOTS IN PORT ELIZABETH
There are several excellent fishing spots near PE, all easily reached when you launch from PEDSAC. For yellowtail and line fish, you can ask the locals about fishing spots on and around the Ryi Banks, which is 14 NM to the south-east of Port Elizabeth itself. The fishing off the point area also delivers a good amount of line fish and stockfish.
Going to the Van Der Rietz and the Sundays River mouth area, you’re likely to find some nice kob. And, one of the main fishing areas, with probably the most diversity of marine life (including great white sharks in the colder months) is around Bird Island. There’s a marine channel there known as Bird Island Passage. And here you’ll likely find fish ranging from yellowtail, daggerhead and kob, to poenskop, basterman and rock cod.
All round, there’s plenty of awesome fishing in Port Elizabeth. And these spots are all easily reachable when you launch from PEDSAC inside the PE harbour.
PEDSAC MEMBERSHIP FEES
R2073 per year
Restaurant, bar, functions venue, fuel bowser, private jetty, moorings, boat wash bay, fish cleaning station, weigh station with a lapa.
Thank you to PEDSAC chairman Richard Donaldson and team for contributing to this feature – you guys are rock stars!
Also see the big fishing competitions in June.
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