Hook to Plate

Ryan Nienaber behind the scenes fishing stories low impact fishing our passion western cape

Green fish with a story

 It’s 11pm and I’m climbing into bed after doing the tackle prep, readying the lines and lures and ensuring the boat is ready.  I set my alarm for 2am for the days fishing.  I’ve done this a thousand times yet I cannot fall asleep as the excitement of the day ahead mounts in my head - the endless possibilities of tomorrow and the hope of a great catch.

 A fisherman is the ultimate optimist; tomorrow will always be a better day with a bigger catch, so we keep pushing day after day, chasing that feeling of a full boat.

 It is not money or ego driven. It is purely man vs the sea that gets a fisherman up day after day. The ocean is our last frontier of true wilderness. She can rage and sink you or bless you with a calm sea and a good catch - forever changing and testing you against your fiercest opponent, or endless hours against yourself.

 Getting it right is a euphoria I cannot explain. Being able to put all your skills to the test of knowing which way to go, how to plan your lines, what bait to use for that day and tricking that fish to taking your hook is a high I cannot explain.

 The running joke is how do you make a small fortune in the fishing industry? Start with a big fortune.

 Any clever businessman would look at the scale at which we fish and tell me I’m an idiot.  The economies of scale just do not make sense.  If you want to make money you need to drag nets and catch thousands of tons at a time, not catching nothing to a couple of hundred kilograms a day. Yet I never want to do anything else. 

 I do this because I love it, I feel pride in delivering the freshest fish in Cape Town. I have harvested it in the best possible quality and condition that it can be, and then honour it and give it the ultimate respect for giving us its life from the sea.  The biggest compliment any chef can give me it to do little to nothing to that piece of fish so it can be the hero of the plate as well as to use every piece of the fish from head to tail.


We are proud to be a passionate family-run business that has a hands-on approach every step of the way, keeping control of our seafood from hook to plate.  We know each fish individually.

 We champion the way our fish is caught and the low impact this has on our ocean environment.  One hook, one line, catching one fish at a time. Handline fishing methods are often overlooked as they are deemed “small scale” or not economically viable for big corporations however this method of fishing has many benefits for our oceans. It does not damage habitats or seabeds like some other industrial methods with large nets.  Local communities are empowered. Local ownership and tradition have been passed down by generations and a community is bonded by the ocean they have become custodians of.

 The catch is very specific, and only the target species is caught by a manned fishing line.  This fish is then cut by hand and prepared to your order in our factory to give you the best quality fish in Cape Town, through our online store, and delivered to your door the same day.

We are passionate about the educating our consumers about where their seafood comes from, how it was caught and, with every fish, the story of who caught it. We pride ourselves on low impact fishing methods and the Greenfish experience as well as giving every single customer the freshest fish in Cape Town.

View a journey in 96 seconds from hook to plate here:


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