Midmar Dam near Howick in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands offers excellent bass and carp fishing throughout the year, with various designated areas around the region’s largest body of water. Other species that can be landed include scalies and bluegill. Stay a few nights and see how many big ones you can bag.

Did you know?

Midmar Dam hosts the annual Midmar Mile, which is the world’s largest open water swimming event.

Some of South Africa’s largest recorded bass and carp in the last 20 years have been pulled out of Midmar Dam. This large body of water situated in a lush farming region is where anglers gunning for big freshwater fish should be heading.

A scenic 90-minute drive from Durban is all it takes to get to Midmar Dam, which also offers a variety of affordable accommodation for those wanting to spend a few days fishing in the countryside.

At Midmar Dam in September 2004, Julian Van Zuydam broke the South African bass fishing record, capturing a fish that weighed 6.29kg. Van Zuydam released the bass back into the water in the knowledge that his record would be difficult to beat.

Variations of bass at Midmar include smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and spotted bass. During dry times when water levels are lower than normal, plastic worms and flying lures have proven fairly effective.

Carp in Midmar Dam weigh as much as 28kg and offer anglers as good a fight as they can get.

Late afternoon (4pm to 6pm) and early mornings (5am to 8am) are generally the best times of day for fishing at Midmar Dam. If you are staying in one of the campsites, you can even leave your line in the water overnight.

Fishing stories are an age-old tradition throughout the world. Some crackers have come out of Midmar in recent years and some of them are even true. In the late 90s, for example, a man was walking along the water's edge when he saw a monster grass carp frolicking about. He did not have a rod with him, but went after the fish nonetheless, diving into the water and wrestling it out. According to a respected local newspaper, the carp weighed more than 20kg.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Midmar Dam Nature Reserve
Tel: +27 (0)33 845 1002

How to get here

Midmar Dam is approximately 90 minutes' drive from Durban, north on the N3. Follow signs from the Howick South / Midmar Dam off-ramp. Self-drive is the most convenient option.

What will it cost

General entrance is R20 per person per day. A chalet for two will cost around R400 per night, depending on location and season.

What to pack

Your lure box should include a variety of rapalas and colourful worms.

Where to stay

Self-catering chalets are available within the Midmar Dam Nature Reserve, a short drive or walk from the best fishing spots. For more upmarket accommodation, the four-star Fernhill Hotel is right across the road.

Best buys

A general dealer across the road from the main entrance to Midmar Dam Nature Reserve sells a variety of fishing equipment at good rates.