The information and related images should be verified with the relevant resort beforehand.
Roodekoppies Dam is a concrete gravity type dam located on the Crocodile River (West) near Brits, North West, South Africa. It was established in 1986 and serves mainly for irrigation purposes and domestic and industrial use.
Dip kombinasies: Roodekoppies rivier se kant
Stroppe: Gly Rietvlei strop is al wat jy nodig het. Skoon Suercast voer met SA Poeier as opsie om alles in te sku
Hengelafstand: 60 tot 300m beste afstand. 110m gemiddeld.
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Opening date: 1984
Dam Wall: Height 25 metres ; Length: 4,008 metres .
Impounds the Crocodile River Crocodile River (West) ;Capacity: 103,000,000 cubic metres
Catchment Area: 1,571 hectares
HOW TO GET THERE
From Johannesburg or Pretoria travel to Brits, pass straight through the town on to the R511 to Thabazimbi. Some 30 km further on take the second Roodekoppies turn off on the left, go across the bridge over the Crocodile River and at the T junction turn right. Follow this gravel road until the main resort is reached.
Built in the Crocodile River below Hartbeespoort Dam in 1984,
Roodekoppies Dam serves as a reservoir for the adjacent farming community, and is governed on behalf of the Department of Water Affairs by a local Water Board.
Blessed with a good population of Blue Kurper, Carp and Catfish, among other minor species, and only some 70km from the Pretoria and Johannesburg metropoles, it soon became a popular venue for anglers, so much so that in the early Nineties the then Northern Transvaal Freshwater Angling Association secured a lease on a section of the shoreline on its southern banks.
Here it established a camping and caravan park with good ablution facilities, and indeed the Association took the venue very seriously, appointing a full time manager and instituting its own fishing “rules” (anti-littering, catch limits and so on).
The resort was used not only as a bank angling venue, but soon also became a popular destination for boat anglers, with its kurper being the main attraction. During this time certain members of the local farming community attempted to remove the NT Association in favour of other commercial interests, but the intervention of the Public Protector’s office ensured that its surface remained accessible for public recreation. An interesting - but laughed at! - feature at the time was that its upper left hand fork had a section blocked by a fence that demarcated the border of the then Republic of Bophuthatswana and was out of bounds to South African boat anglers - it has since been opened and the entire dam is open to boat angling.
Roodekoppies began establishing itself as a recognised bass fishing venue some twenty years ago when both bank and boat anglers started catching Largemouth Bass on their kurper and even carp baits as an occasional by-catch.
The bass fishing community, always on the lookout for new venues, soon became aware of this and quickly latched onto the dam as a new bass fishing destination.
During the Nineties and into the first decade of this century however, bass anglers enjoyed varying levels of success, with isolated reports of 2kg and 3kg-plus fish providing the excitement, although in reality there was no abundance of bass and catches on average were sketchy.
Over recent years however the bass population has evidently managed to establish itself as one of the dominant species and catch rates have improved considerably. Originally stocked with pure northern strain bass as recent research conducted after the BFS event has shown, the fish are characteristic of the Crocodile River system, built like footballs and strong as can be.
Although Roodekoppies depends largely for its water on the outflow of Hartbeespoort Dam, it does not at present suffer the same pollution problems, although water hyacinth is a definite cause for concern.
Indeed, if it wasn’t for the bridge over the Crocodile River inlet the dam’s surface would be unfishable. Agricultural pollution is however increasing and algae blooms are occurring more than in the past, but while no large scale residential development takes place on its shores, as is the case at Hartbeespoort, no action can be expected from government authorities to combat this. The overall fish population is however very healthy, with the bass enjoying an abundant food base consisting of various tilapia species, minnows, crabs and crustaceans.
Roodekoppies Dam came onto the bassing scene with a bang in the early 2000’s with both SABAA sanctioned events and local cast for cash tournaments being hosted at the venue. That was until 2003 when a large sewerage spill in the upper reaches of the Crocodile River wiped out a considerable population of the orginal bass stocks. It has taken almost nine years for the population to bounce back and Roodekoppies can once again be recognised as a bass venue, albeit a challenging one.
The recent Bass On Fishing series hosted in March this year put the venue back on the map with the Gauteng BETT series following suit, proving that the venue indeed has a recovering population of bass.
Local anglers Hennie du Preez and Loutjie Louwies have been fishing the venue for the past 3 years, noting that each season has seen siginificant growth in the population with fish throughout the age groups now being caught, something they attribute to the downturn in the canary kurper population that has always plagued bass in the dam.
“We used to regularily catch canaries on crankbaits and even flukes,” remarks Loutjie, “but the balance has changed and it’s most likely because the water quality in the entire Crocodile system has been getting better. With the grass returning to the dam giving bass enough cover to spawn they’ve been giving the Canaries a good go” he explains.
From a textbook perspective Roodekoppies offers everything a bass angler would want to target- from broad-leafed pondweed to Chicamba weed, flooded timber, rocky banks and in a few sections large boulders which litter the shoreline, and last but not least the dividing fenceline which is partially intact.
With all the cover on offer bass do seem to have a prefference to holding in timber and outside grass lines. Note that due to the rocky bottom the grass does not extend out deeper than 8ft, making it a tough winter venue.
Having been relatively unpressurised for almost 9 years it would stand to reason that bass will jump onto just about any bait, but of late anglers fishing the venue have attributed the majority of catches to a spinnerbait worked throught the vast expanses of timber, especially when the water gets a bit of colour to it. But regardless of bait type it is imperative to force reaction bites from these bass by crashing the bait into the timber. After catching one of these stocky specimens it is easy to understand why you need to force a bite - they are hardly hard up for food! Plastics in darker colours have also been known to excel, especially soft plastic jerkbaits and senko style baits fished on lightly weighted rigs.
The venue is still relatively unknown in terms of “hot baits” but most natural patterns should go along when visiting the venue.
Being fed by Hartbeespoort the dam level can fluctuate quite dramatically during the rainy season as water is released from Harties. Hennie du Preez suggests that you need to give the venue time to recover after the dam rises significantly, often fluctuating from 100% to 113% percent overnight which floods the shoreline cover. A key aspect to note is that the bass don’t move much and that they will still be staging in the deeper water before the dam level rose. “Look out for the standing timber for clues on where to start fishing after heavy rainfall,” he advises.
Ultra Important Stuff:
Roodekoppies is home to some quality specimens and it must be reiterated that no bass be removed from this venue under any circumstances. The venue is on the brink of seeing a population shift and bass becoming a dominant species, but there is still intense pressure placed on bass with the massive population of carp and barbel present.
North West, Brits. GPS: -25.4120998, 27.5884991
|Tel:||082 472 9413|