The Galjoen is South Africa’s National fish

(Dichistius Capensis)




Other Names

Damba, Blackfish, Black Bream

Identification of the Galjoen

The Galjoen is a robust fish with a relatively small head and mouth. The body colour can vary depending on the habitat. Close to kelp beds or among rocks the colour can range from silvery bronze to black, and species that frequent sandy areas being almost white. This fish has a strong powerful tail. This fish can reach a weight of about 6.5 kilograms, although stories are told of bigger ones being caught.

Distribution through South Africa

From Namibia all along the coast to the southcoast of Natal.

How to locate this fish

Look for the Galjoen between reefs and red bait pods, in kelp beds and in rough seas that open up new holes or that clears out sand from gullies where they feed on small black mussels on newly exposed rock.

Baits to use for the Galjoen

The best baits to use for Galjoen is red bait, white mussels and wonderworm.

Tackle to use when fishing for Galjoen

A rod of 3.5 to 4 metres with a fast to medium taper and mainline of up to 12 kilograms with a small hook such as a 1/0 or 2/0 can be used.

Galjoen Fishing Video

Here is a Galjoen being caught by the ESA team

A Smaller specimen being caught but still a beautiful fish.