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Elf, also known as shad along the South African coast, are found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. They can grow to 60cm in length and up to 14kg in weight.  Adult elf are known to be aggressive fish that live in loosely formed groups. They prey on other fish and seem to hunt and attack their prey even after they appear to have eaten their fill.  Elf are highly sought-after as sportfish and in some areas have been widely overfished. Restrictions such as bag and size limits, as well as a closed season for recreational fishers, are in place.

Minimum size: 30cm

Bag limit: 4 per person per day

Closed season: 1 October – 30 November

SASSI: Orange – traditional line fishing, Red – no-sale (recreational) in Kwa-Zulu Natal


Photo: Geoff Spibey

Adults are known to be aggressive fish.
Can grow up to 60cm in length.
On both Orange and Red lists of SASSI.