Stock image. Photo credit: Federico Giampieri

SA is home to excellent freshwater fishing: 7 Spots listed below

South Africa’s fishing resources are extremely diverse. There are numerous excellent angling locations in South Africa, depending on the type of freshwater fish you want to catch. It is quite tough to limit down the fishing areas because there are hundreds of excellent high-quality venues where freshwater fishing is excellent. Freshwater fishing in South Africa can take you to some of the most dramatic settings on the continent. Fishing is, after all, about where you are, and in South Africa, it may be in majestic mountains, amidst golden grasslands, or beside a pond isolated from civilization.

Freshwater fishing in South Africa has recently developed into somewhat of an obsession with catfish. Previously mocked as a dirty bottom feeder, the whiskered barbel now makes for thrilling angling. However, the major draws continue to be the tough yellowfish, bass, and carp. Think about South Africa’s 150 or more common freshwater fish species. They go by names like climbing perch, short-tail pipefish, moggel, pennant-tailed suckermouth, spotted killfish, guppy, lungfish, oxeye tarpon, river sardine, mouthbrooder, chubbyhead barb, and papermouth. You also get your various types of bass and eels.
If you are planning a fishing excursion, this will be my choice of the top 7 freshwater spots in South Africa:

1. Vaal River/Vaal Dam

The Vaal Dam/River is home to a variety of fish species, including carp, yellow fish, bass, and the mud monster known as barbel, and it provides a wealth of fishing opportunities. It’s a well-known fishing location where several tournaments are place. Clubs for water activities offer fishing equipment, such as launch sites.

The sport of fishing can be successfully practiced on the Vaal Dam in busy regions or in lovely hidden spots, whether you’re calmly fishing from the bank, from a boat, or trying your hand at fly fishing. The Vaal Dam has everything you need for a well-planned fishing expedition, including advice, tackle,
bait, and bait.

2. Loskop Dam

Situated in Mpumalanga, Loskop Dam lies in a beautiful area with many camping and other facilities. The Loskop Reservoir is home to many native fish species including red breast kurper (tilapia), blue kurper (tilapia), canary kurper (tilapia), largescale yellowfish, river sardine and sharptooth tetra. The dam is situated in a Nature Reserve which is home to a variety of antelope, leopard, hippo and crocodile.

3. Dullstroom Area

Lying in the Highlands Meander, Mpumalanga, the Dullstroom area is known as the country’s trout mecca by passionate fly-fishers. This huge stretch of the Mpumalanga Highlands has an abundance of unspoilt fishing waters. Dullstroom has some of the best Trout resources in the country and if you enjoy fly fishing and catching trout, you have to fish here. The area boasts some of the best trout resources in the country.

4. Hartbeespoort Dam

Although Harbeespoort Dam is not in its most pristine form there are still some great spots to fish at. Around the dam is a number of fishing resorts which give you a lot of options to fish, from deep water drop off at Kosmos to shallow bays at De Rust and river inlets at Meerhof and the river itself at Roos se Oord. It is a great angling area with numerous species to catch such as carp, bass, barbel, and mudfish.

5. Groenvlei (Lake Pleasant)

Groenvlei is a natural lake near Sedgefield in the Garden Route region of South Africa. Most of the lake falls within the Goukamma Nature Reserve. Groenvlei is a conservation worthy lake because it represents a naturally rare ecosystem in the Western Cape, a natural lake. It has a genetically distinct populations of two indigenous fish species, namely Estuarine round herring and Cape silverside, which are only found in this lake. It is also a great place for bass fishing as well as bluegill, barbell and kurper.

6. Komati River

The Komati River is home to numerous species of fresh water fish, of which the most famous is the tiger fish. Tiger fish is known as Africa’s finest fresh water fighting fish with supreme game fish status. There are a few different areas to fish on this river that stretches from Badplaas to Komatipoort. The further north you go the more likely you are to catch tiger fish. Big barbel and carp are also found in this river.

7. Vygeboom Dam

Vygeboom Dam is on the Komati River just north of Badplaas, situated in the grasslands region of Mpumalanga. The dam always proofs itself to be in perfect balance, with all fish species blooming and the bass being very healthy. Anglers have reported catching carp, kurper, babel, eels, yellow fish and bass. A venue most worthy of staying at is OppiDam. Not only does it offer camping facilities but you can also hire a houseboat. It is a fisherman’s mecca.


Whatever fishing you are into be sure to go grab your rod and head out to one of the spots mentioned above. Not only will you be out in nature and relaxing away from the bustle of city life, but you will have an unforgettable fishing experience.

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