Bass Fishing in South Africa
Black Bass fishing in South Africa goes back to the late 19th century when the first Largemouth Bass fry were imported to the country. Soon afterwards Smallmouth Bass were introduced, their descendants have thrived and expanded. For Bass fishing fans this is great news with some world class Bass angling to be had within 2 to 3 hours drive of Cape Town.
Bass fishing in South Africa is on a catch and
release basis, please return all bass caught to preserve future stocks. Three
of the most popular and easily accessible lakes are listed below.
Visit our new site, Go Bass Fishing in Africa for details on these and many more Bass fishing destinations.
Approximately 1 and a half hours drive from Cape Town, Theewaterskloof Dam is a large impoundment with a capacity of 480 million cubic metres when full.
This inland lake is set in beautiful surroundings and has excellent boat launching facilities with camping, self catering accommodation and restaurant available. The closest town is Villiersdorp. The lake is home to some trophy Largemouth Bass, with specimens of over 4KG having been caught. Structure is mainly drowned trees with some rocky drop offs and grass beds.
Theewaterskloof can become unpleasant to boaters when the wind starts to blow, which can happen very quickly. Anglers planning on launching a boat should be aware of the weather and heed the advice of launch officials.
Theewaterskloof Yacht Club:
Phone: (+27) 028 840 1334
Kwaggaskloof / Brandvlei Dam
Outside the town of Worcester, just over an hours drive from Cape Town, Kwaggaskloof (sometimes spelt Quaggaskloof) - 174 million cubic metres capacity - and Brandvlei - 284 million cubic metres - are in fact 2 dams, when full the wall that divides them is below water level making one very large lake with a capacity of 458 million cubic metres.
Kwaggaskloof / Brandvlei is a prime Smallmouth Bass fishery, one of the best in South Africa and has the honour of being the lake which produced the previous South African Smallmouth Bass record (3.23 KG). Also present are some good size Largemouth Bass. The lake has little visible structure, finding fish is not easy but the rewards are well worth the effort. Structure for Smallmouth is mainly rocky banks and drop offs with the dividing wall being a popular spot to find a trophy. Largemouth are usually found in the reeds and grass that surround much of the lake and when full in flooded Blue Gum plantations.
Launching and camping facilities are available at Kwaggaskloof and Brandvlei. Nekkies Resort at Brandvlei also offers self catering accommodation in wooden bungalows overlooking the lakes.
Nekkies Resort: (+27) 023 343 2909
Kwaggaskloof Camp Site: (+27) 023 340 4163
Approximately 3 hours drive from Cape Town, Clanwilliam Dam lies on the Olifants River. Clanwilliam is a clear dam and is considered one of the prime Smallmouth Bass fishing lakes in South Africa. At 122 million cubic metres it's the smallest of the 3 lakes featured in capacity but it's a relatively long lake, around 22 kilometres and not very wide, maybe 2 km at it's widest point.
The current South African record Smallmouth Bass (3.41 KG) was caught in Clanwilliam at the 2007 Winter Classic competition. The lake is also home to some good sized Largemouth Bass. Structure is plentiful and varied with rocky banks and drop offs being the most common, the odd tree and grass bed is always worth a cast and when full the river inlet delivers some big fish.
Launching facilities can be found at the municipal camp site just outside the town of Clanwilliam, self catering bungalows and shady camp sites are also available. There are a variety of private accommodation venues around the dam, make sure they are on the water though, the lake is used for irrigation and towards the end of summer the upper reaches are often dry.
Municipal Resort: (+27) 027 482 8000
Lebanon: (+27) 027 482 2508
Rondegat: (+27) 027 482 2527
Other Lakes and Rivers
The 3 lakes mentioned above are the largest bodies of water in the Cape Town area, however there are numerous smaller dams that are well worth a visit; Bulshoek (20 KM beyond Clanwilliam), Buffeljags Dam, Misverstand, Korentepoort and Groenvlei (the only natural lake in our list) are all quality Bass fishing destinations. The 2 major rivers in the Western Cape, the Breede and Berg rivers are excellent Smallmouth Bass venues. Sadly the Berg River is somewhat polluted these days, although the upper reaches are still clean, the Breede River is still relatively unspoiled. The newly completed (filled in 2008) Berg River Dam on the upper reaches of the Berg River has a capacity of 127 million cubic metres and has promise of being a quality Smallmouth water in the future.