Cape Town  - Klein Brak River

Klein Brak River
Mossel Bay

This is me fishing at the prawn banks where the Black and Klein Brak Rivers meet

The Klein Brak River (small salty river) is situated on the coastline a couple of kilometres to the east of Mossel Bay . It's not a very long or important river and most probably the only reason it gets recognised is that it is big enough to have bridge built over it. In fact there are two bridges crossing it and they are approximately 100 metres apart. The old N2 highway runs along next to the new N2 highway to Port Elizabeth. The old bridge can only handle one lane of traffic at a time and if there is a car on the bridge a car from the other direction has to wait for the bridge to clear before it can cross.

The river at its source is very shallow and is dammed up by farmers to provide water for their crops and animals. The further south you go the wider the river gets.( about 100 metres at it widest point.) Near the campsite at Riverside the water gets to be about a metre and continues at more or less this depth for a kilometre or so downstream from the campsite. This river is small boat country.

A rubber duck with a light outboard motor 5-10 hp is quite sufficient although some boats have bigger motors and people ski in the deeper channels. Unfortunately the skiers do not have much respect for guys like me. My small glassfibre bathtub is a bit like the Titanic and might negotiate the first wave of a wake but will be swamped by the next one.

Klein Brak is generally quite safe and has no heavy currents to negotiate. As the tides change the river ebbs and flows and this of course makes the river interesting as the fish tend to bite when it happens. Fishing can be great or awful, and depends on the weather, the moon and water temperature.

The Island about a kilometre downstream from the campsite is the place where the Klein Brak and the Black River meet. The water to the left of the island looks quite deep at high tide but at low tide you get stranded on the prawn banks. It is here as the sun sets where the Grunter feed. If you sit quietly on your boat you can watch them standing on their heads blowing into the prawn holes for their supper.

The last time I visited this river I was fishing near the prawn beds and my sister, in another boat, cast her line onto the prawn bed. Suddenly a large Grunter picked up her bait and made off at high speed. As it did so it jerked her line so taut that it snapped with the crack of a gunshot. Everybody nearby dived for cover as the line snapped.

In the evenings the river is a hive of activity. You can hear and see the fish feeding close to the banks and jumping out of the water as they try to escape the jaws of the Leervis which abound in this river. After an evening fishing trip, on our way back to the campsite we sometimes drag a piece of bait behind the boat. Often a big fish takes the bait as it bobs along behind the boat. When it happens you normally have some fun as you need to stop your boat, keep your line taut and play the fish all at the same time. It's this surprise that makes your fishing trip.

The river in the evenings is really peaceful. One can sit and listen to the birds as they settle down for the night.

In the mornings one can see and listen to the fish eagles as they go about their business. Motoring slowly along the river you often come across cows standing on the banks. They are most interested in watching you pass by, often mooing as you pass.

For folks who love the outdoor life this is a place to visit. There are plenty of pathways to walk and if you are a mountain bike enthusiast hundreds of kilometres of gravel roads leading into the interior to explore.

Klein Brak is not a major tourist attraction, it's terrible in winter as the area becomes flooded, but, in the summer time its a gem. Why not arrange to visit this lovely area on the south coast of South Africa in an area which is well known for its fantastic scenery.

You will be glad you did!

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Cape Town - Klein brak