Witbank Dam

The information and related images should be verified with the relevant resort beforehand.

Witbank Dam is a buttress type dam located on the Olifants River in South Africa. It was established in 1971.


Bait according to the manufacturers

Conoflex

Dip kombinasies:

  1. 1. Blind side + Black Magic + Caramel Plus
  2. 2. Raptor + WW7
  3. 3. Kiana + Black Magic
  4. 4. Tjop - Tjop + Kap Kap

Stroppe: Rietvlei asook boerstroppe

Hoek asies:

  1. Wurmpies in lente en winter
  2. Foaties en degies
  3. Pitte met degies
  4. Degies en backings (custard backing)
  5. Brei dippies in backings in veral in custard backing

Verdere inligting: Hengel op ‘n kol 80 – 100 meter. Haal boonste hoek af as gras pla.

Inligting verskaf deur Conoflex

MaGic Baits

GRIEKSE GRONDE

DIPS

  • 1. DCX, RHONE & BANANA X
  • 2. DCX & GTA
  • 3. HLX, GTA & CARMA
  • 4. DCX, LULU & AVA
  • 5. SPYKER & GTA

HOEK AAS

FLOATIES: VAMPIRE, BOORGAT, GEEBEE, TFC, ALM X, BANANA X

DEEG: ALM X, HLX, VAMPIRE, OORLOG 1, BEAST, FBI


MAANLIG OORD

DIPS

1. DCX & GTA
2. DCX, RHONE & BANANA X
3. HLX, GEEBEE & GTA
4. JUST BLACK, HLX & GEEBEE
5. CARMA/DCX & GEEBEE/TFC

HOEK AAS

FLOATIES: VAMPIRE, WARRIIOR, TFC, BEAST, BANANA X, HLX
DEEG: ALM X, HLX, VAMPIRE, OORLOG 1, BEAST, FBI


WOLVEKRANS

DIPS

1. SPYKER & GTA
2. DCX, RHONE & BANANA X
3. DCX, OORLOG 1 & ROBBY
4. CARMA/DCX & GEEBEE/TFC
5. DCX & GTA

HOEK AAS

FLOATIES: BOORGAT, VAMPIRE, GEEBEE, WARRIIOR, TFC, HLX
DEEG: ALM X, HLX, VAMPIRE, OORLOG 1, BEAST, FBI

INLIGTING VERSKAF DEUR MAGIC BAITS

SuperCast Manufacturing

Dip

  1. Stuttaford
  2. Mission
  3. Perdeby
  4. GP
  5. Sweet 16
INLIGTING VERSKAF DEUR SUPERCAST MANUFACTURING

Trucella

Dip Kombinasies

1. Fireball/Caramel Extreme
2. Yellow Activator/Banana Cream
3. Fizzer/Ultraspice

Hoek Aas

Floaties: Fireball, Banana Cream, Caramel Extreme
Mieliepitte: Fizzer, Passion Fruit Plus, Dominator

INLIGTING VERSKAF DEUR TRUCELLA

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Information is provided by Bass Angler.

There are no half measures where the popularity of Witbank Dam is concerned – bass anglers either love it or hate it with a passion..! The country’s largest municipal reservoir, Witbank Dam is not known for its picturesque environment and scenic vistas – it is not a venue for those seeking serenity and libation for a weary soul – rather it is a downtown, sometimes gritty in-your-face kind of a bass fishery, and definitely not a place for the meek and mild.

From the mid-seventies into the eighties of the last century Witbank Dam was known to have “some” bass in it, but it was mainly the preserve of a select few locals and their close fishing buddies who really knew what sort of bass fishing the dam was capable of dishing up. No one knows for certain who first released bass into the dam, but a widely held opinion is that a private farm dam higher up in the Olifants River catchment broke and deposited its fish into the river, eventually reaching the dam.

Old photographs of those years show anglers with stringers full of bass, their faces drawn with fatigue from the rigours of a full day of bass ”harvesting”. The few grins apparent appear to be more apologetic about the catch than from any sense of pride. But those were other times, and the bass were on the up and up, and anglers were warned continuously to keep the bass numbers in check. In addition the abundant prey fish of the time – ghielemientjies, silwer robbers and labeo species were present in an over abundance, not to mention the common carp, so despite the lack of traditional bass habitat and the cold winter months the abundant food supply ensured high spawning rates and relatively quick growth rates.

Since then however Witbank has come under the guardianship of dedicated bass anglers and conservation is a key component of most outings. The catch of a South African record of just over 6kg by Jan Steytler served to place Witbank firmly on the map as a recognised bass fishing venue, not that its fishing has become any more gentlemanly-like!

Bass have certainly influenced the dam’s biomass – previously carp anglers were used to many but small fish – indeed the light tackle boat facet had to reduce its minimum weight rule for weighable fish to 300 gram so as to allow more anglers to at least weigh fish, but today carp of five and more kilograms are being caught, testimony to the bass’s ability to rearrange a water’s biomass – and to the good as well!

FACILITIES

Being a municipal dam, one would expect the local municipality to maintain a public resort of sorts at it, and indeed the Witbank Municipal resort on its northern shoreline next to the dam wall has over the years provided excellent facilities. The spacious caravan park and camp ground is serviced by sufficient ablution blocks, although at peak holiday times and over long weekends crowd control can become something of a problem. During weekdays however, with its broad slipway and parking for vehicles and trailers (and of course the cheap entrance fee!) it is a pleasure to visit.

Further along on its western shoreline is the yacht club which also has a good slipway and facilities, and then there is the Maanlig resort – very spacious but with no slipway launching can be a problem. Steve’s Place /Barnham Bay on the southern shore line has a slipway and restaurant and chalet facilities. On the upper reaches of the dam on the eastern shoreline is the Inkwazi Nest resort that was operated by the late Frits Beumer – it is still operational but alas there is no more of the expert advice that was freely offered.

STRUCTURE & COVER

Structure, namely objects that make up the physical topography of the dam, consists mostly of steep, rocky cliffs and chunk rock on the shoreline, and submerged boulders, rocks and shale beds.

Cover in the form of water grass was sparse in previous years, but now pan and finger grass has made its appearance and many of the shallower bays have large mats of the stuff. Jetties and overhangs that have been built over recent years as the Golden Mile Estates development has expanded can also be regarded as cover.

FISHING

Especially amongst tournament circles Witbank was for many years considered a prime tournament venue with winning bags frequently tipping the 7 – 9 kilo mark, which would more often than not include a 2,5kg kicker. But consistent pollution from multiple sources have caused a downturn in the overall population over the past five years, resulting in the dam becoming over populated with smaller fish and hundred-plus fish days not uncommon, the only problem being that an average size bass would be no larger than the length of your bait!

But this deep, rocky, clear water venue is once again on the ascent as our reader’s catches have shown, with bass in the kilogram size once again becoming commonplace. The reason isn’t quite known, but many theories speculate that further pollution sought to actually remedy the problem killed an entire year class of small bass, so allowing the rest of the population to once again thrive.

With the increasing quality of fish, the population seems to be a lot more spread out in terms of prime target areas, but a key to catching bass at Witbank is definitely noting water clarity, with the main lake generally gin clear, tapering off to slightly stained the further towards the river you travel. Slap bang in the center of this clarity zone is the gorge, the obvious community hole which apart from the river has claimed many a tournament win. The gorge is a unique area in the dam that offers deep water close to the bank with the opposite banks gradually sloping into feeding flats, making finding fish slightly more predictable, especially in the summer months. Incidentally it is also where Jannie Steytler took his record fish.

Other popular areas include:

The pumphouse

The old muncipal pumphouse has large boulders to the left of it with a large shelf that leads towards the small inlet on the right of it.

The Yacht Club:

Popular during summer when the grass returns this area is known to hold numbers of fish; don’t ignore fishing the shady sides of moored yachts if the water is crystal clear.

The river:

Dominated with boulders the river section has always been a consistent producer of larger fish; the water always has some colour to it and creature type baits in darker colours do excel here.

Dam wall bay:

This area holds the largest concentration of grass creating large mats during summer. Considered by tournament anglers as the “limit spot”, this area has also churned out the greatest number of lunkers over the past two seasons.

Municipal slipway

The area directly in front of the municipal slipway is a great place to start. If the dam level is up, don’t ignore the isolated timber, and if the water is down start at the point closest to the dam - it extends out more than 50m into the dam and offers good depth variations with scattered timber at the bottom.

Houses:

All the areas directly in front of the waterfront properties are definitely worth targeting - during construction the building rubble was either dumped in front of the houses or used to build retaining walls for when the dam level rises. This is a popular way to find a pattern after the water level rises.

Baits:

When it comes to bait selection Witbank veteran and current third in the National rankings Tewie Wessels comments: “Witbank has always had a bit of stigma about it, but it’s a challenging venue that can pay great dividends. Anglers fishing it should come armed with a range of cranks - with all this rock it is always a deadly bait and colours such as lavender shad and sexy shad, anything with a white body and a darker back, work really well, especially on the points and paralell to the cliffs. When it comes to plastics I’ve been having a lot of success on smaller profile plastics fished on shakey head, mojo or even light texas, and my general rule is a colour such as watermelon for clearer water, and junebug and black for darker sections. The dam from the outset looks like a jig anglers dream, but they rarely produce much. In summer anglers can start fishing shallow water reaction baits such as white and chartreuse spinnerbaits up in the grass, and frogs. But don’t only throw your frogs around the grass - one of our club members throws a frog everywhere, even in the rocky gorge, and I’ve seen him sit in one spot and hammer fish cast after cast.”

Secret Stuff:

When fishing Witbank and the water is ultra-clear, switch to light fluorcarbon in the 6-lb range and fish extremely slowly, making long casts and working the entire area thoroughly. If you start catching smaller fish don’t move - the dam seems to churn out better fish the slower you present the bait.  

Location:

Mpumalanga, Witbank. GPS: -25.8997993, 29.2908993

Facilities: