07 February 2013 by Roy Barford

Bass-fishing spots for beginners

Bass fishing is a fantastic holiday activity, even if you’re not really any good at it. South Africa has some fantastic spots to get outdoors and unwind with a rod in one hand and a cold beer in the other.

My last bass of 2012 – proof that even rubbish fishermen can catch in KwaZulu-Natal

Let it be known upfront that I am a rubbish fisherman – I snap rods, hook other fishermen’s lines, drop whoppers when I finally snag them, and some days I feel there’s more chance of me catching a cold than a fish. I also don’t do the whole fly-fishing thing that requires two hands to cast a line – I don’t like to spill my beer.

A bass caught at Midmar Dam in KwaZulu-Natal, weighing more than 5kg

That said, I’ve managed to reel in a few decent bass while fishing around South Africa – mainly because of good local advice I’ve been given about which lures to use depending on the weather conditions and time of day.

Below are some different spots in South Africa to try out.


For many years growing up, I lived down the road from Midmar Dam in KwaZulu-Natal, and have seen bass pulled out of the same stretch of water that hosts the popular Midmar Mile open-water swimming event. Some have weighed up to 5kg.

I've found that bright yellow lures work best in KwaZulu-Natal, with simple plastic worms being my most regular bait. Rapalas also work well on warm afternoons.

Other dams to consider include Albert Falls, Inanda Dam and Craigieburn Dam.

North West

Roodekopjes Dam, which is approximately 70km from Pretoria, offers a welcome break from the city for many fishermen and is home to a fair number of bass weighing between 3kg and 4kg. Local advice is to use weightless senkos and crankbaits to bring these fish in.

Some days I feel there’s more chance of me catching a cold than a fish.

If you are staying in Johannesburg, my advice is to seek fishing sites in the Magaliesberg, or other dams in the North West province.

Western Cape

If you are visiting Cape Town, take a 90-minute drive out to Theewaterskloof Dam and enjoy the fantastic scenery while you throw a line or two. You probably have as much chance of hooking a carp or barbel here, but these are also of decent size.

The fishing website, www.bassfishing.co.za, recommends using mainly soft plastics and spinner baits here.

Category: Attractions

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