Selling snoek at Kalk Bay harbour for 25 cents each

Long-time Kalk Bay fisherman “Riemhou”.

Many years ago before Kalk Bay harbour was commercialised with restaurants who buy their fish from commercial fisheries in Cape Town, the harbour was a real fishing harbour. Boatloads of snoek, yellowtail and bonito (katonkel) were brought to the quayside for sale from the boats.

In those days there were so many boats in the harbour that skippers had to queue up while the boats ahead of them threw up their catches onto the quayside.

Peter Swart, Skipper of the Freda, outside Kalk Bay Harbour.

One summer in the mid-1970s, I went out fishing with my father on his ski boat for snoek outside Glencairn. The snoek was so plentiful that we all filled the fish hold and decks, ran to Kalk Bay harbour and sold our first boatload. Continue reading “Selling snoek at Kalk Bay harbour for 25 cents each”

The power of invisible links

Kalk Bay Harbour (Copyright: Chesney Bradshaw)

When I was growing up in Kalk Bay a seal clubbing trawler called the Malgas worked out of the harbour. It would go down to Seal Island where the crew would club seals to death, load them onto the trawler, bring them back to Kalk Bay harbour and send them away for further processing.

As a little boy, I once saw a baby seal pup stuck in one of the big rubber tractor tyres that was used as a ballard to stop the wooden fishing boats bashing against the side of the key. A crew member from the Malgas took out a long gaff, gaffed the pup in its throat, pulled it aboard and skinned the baby seal alive. Continue reading “The power of invisible links”

The mackerel are biting! Let’s go down to the harbour

English: Kalk Bay harbour and town in Cape Tow...
Kalk Bay harbour and town in Cape Town, South Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the summer afternoons I would take my reel of nylon line, penknife and a sardine from my father’s bait deep-freeze and run from our home in Kalk Bay down to the harbour.

The mackerel were biting in the harbour. Huge shoals of mackerel, maasbunkers and chokka (squid) would move into False Bay during the summer months. From October right through to March you could catch bait fish in the harbour.

At the quayside a whole crowd of boys would be sitting with their legs dangling over the edge or the taller boys with their feet touching the big black tractor and truck tyres used as fendors around the concrete harbour walls. Continue reading “The mackerel are biting! Let’s go down to the harbour”