Cape Town - Fish Hoek Beach

Fish Hoek Beach
Cape Town, South Africa

Fish Hoek Beach

Fish Hoek Beach

Fish Hoek beach is found on the east coast of the Cape Peninsula and has been in the news recently. A resident was out surfing on his ski when a Great White shark decided that one end of his ski looked like something good for lunch and bit the end off. He fell off and made sure that he was at the other end of the ski while the shark was having a snack. When the shark let go he paddled the ski back to the beach unharmed. A true story but not a regular occurrence at this beach or any beaches in the area.

The beach is about three kilometres long and runs from Clovelly in the north to the bottom of the mountain range in the south. It has pristine white beaches and is a very safe swimming beach except for the incident related above. It lends itself to many water sports. You can swim and body surf in the waves. The sailors with their catamarans can launch them off the beach and sail around the bay.

The waves are good for surfers with surfboards and there is plenty of wind for windsurfers. The beach is protected by a railway line that runs from Simonstown to Cape Town all along the coast. To get onto the beach one has to cross the railway line at the level crossing at the south end of the beach.

In the summer months it is nearly impossible to get onto the beach as it is so popular. Getting your car into the parking area on the beach is firstly going to cost you a few Rand if you are lucky enough to be allowed to cross the railway line with it. What makes the beach so popular are the long walks, both to the north and to the south. Jaeger's walk is a pathway that runs all along the coast to Glencairn and is a good spot for watching the many whales that are in False Bay at the moment.(July to November annually) They come in so close that if you fall off the rock you are watching them from you could end up on their backs.

The beach is protected by lifesavers throughout the summer months and the Fish Hoek club is quite well known throughout the world for their prowess in the various competitions that are held.

Fishermen use the beach for trek fishing They have a lookout sitting on the hill above the bay and when he spots a shoal of fish close to the beach he radios or phones the fishermen who arrive with their net and boat. The boat is launched and while one end of the net is held by helpers on the beach.,the fishermen row out and around the shoal dropping the net behind the shoal. The fun begins when both ends of the net are pulled ashore simultaneously and the fish are forced in to the back of the net. Many thousands of fish can be caught at one time in this type of operation.

Rock anglers like myself are saddened when fish like the Steenbras which is an endangered species are caught in their hundreds by the trek netters (Trek = pull). We anglers are limited to one or two per day and yet these guys can catch a whole breeding stock in one shot.

Fish Hoek valley

A view of the Fish Hoek valley.

Occasionally long distance swimming races are held and the swimmers swim from the beach in Fish Hoek out of the bay and around the Kalk Bay Point to land at Muizenberg beach. A distance of about 10 kilometres. It is fun to watch them as they look like a large shoal of fish splashing their way to Muizenberg. Of course this swim always causes a major traffic jam between Fish Hoek and Muizenberg as cars try and follow their swimmers in the water.

There is a restaurant on the beach front and one can purchase light meals and refreshments during the day. Just around the corner along Jaeger's walk is an ideal spot to scuba dive and look at the many small fish that abound in the kelp that grows there. You might even see some large sharks.

Of course I must warn everybody again, that sunbathing in SA is dangerous. The sun is very strong and if you intend to tan use plenty of sunblock and wear a hat. Sunburn is not pleasant and over indulging can cause cancer not to mention spoiling your holiday for a couple of days. I donít know whether other beaches around the world have bathing boxes. (wooden huts about 4 square metres in size) You will find many along the Fish Hoek/Muizenberg coastline. They are normally brightly painted in reds, blues and greens. I cannot remember seeing anybody actually using them but I suppose they do. They appear to be unique to the Cape Town area.

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Cape Town - Fish Hoek Beach