The definitive South African trophy Bass fishing site



About the Dam

This is an excellent Smallmouth Bass fishing venue in the Western Cape.

Voelvlei is about the same size as Hartbeespoort Dam and situated just off the R44 between Tulbagh and Hermon only an hour from Cape Town (100km north on the R44). It is a large reservoir which supplies drinking water to Cape Town and several other towns, therefore petrol motors are not allowed.

Surrounding scenery is beautiful.

As at most Western Cape venues, the wind can come up rather suddenly so make sure your craft is seaworthy as you will only be able to depend on human or electric power!

The water is usually slightly stained and there is not much visible structure. The inlet canals near the wall, the rip-rap of the Dam wall itself and "Monster Bay" at the far end of the dam near the bluegum plantation, are recognised Bass hotspots. There is a submerged island near the pump station (water filtration plant) on the southern shoreline and some prominent drop-offs (one where the second canal enters the Dam on the northern shoreline in the vicinity of the Western Province Artificial Lure Angling Society (WPALAS) campsite). Use a depthfinder if you have one. Also make a point of looking for gravel and broken rock on the shoreline - this usually extends into the water and Smallmouths love gravel and rock.

A variety of lures, including in-line spinners, crankbaits, jigs and soft plastics are productive.

Apart from Smallmouth Bass there are carp, some tench, rainbow trout and Cape witvis (Barbus andrewi). The average size of Smallmouth range from 500g - 1,5kg. 2kg Smallies are a distinct possiblity at this venue. Please practise "catch and release" with all fish except the carp!


Licenses and access

You will need a Western Cape Provincial freshwater angling license (obtainable from the Offices of the Reciver of Revenue in Cape Town).

Public access is via a gate near the Dam wall. There is a parking area where vehicles must be left. There is no charge for entry and one can walk along the shoreline of the Dam in the public area.

If you want vehicle access to prime angling spots or you want to launch a boat, you will have to become a member of one of the following organisations with the privilege of obtaining keys for such access:

* the Western Province Artificial Lure Angling Society (WPALAS) (Contact Persons: Urs Schwarz tel. (021) 424-1578 or 083-541-4143; Albe van der Westhuizen tel. 082-881-4566);

* the Western Province Board of Lure Anglers;

* the Western Province Freshwater Angler's Association;

* the Tulbagh Angling Club;

* the Witzenberg Angling Club;or

* the Cape Piscatorial Society.


How to get there

Take the N1 out of Cape Town and travel north (Paarl). Take the Klapmuts turnoff onto the R44 towards Wellington. This road passes through the fringe of Wellington and about 30km after Wellington, you will see Voelvlei. The Dam is situated between Hermon and Gouda some 100km from Cape Town.


Map of the Dam

[Thanks to Wally Smith for the map - reproduced from the April 2001 issue of Stywe Lyne/ Tight Lines]



Try Silwerfontein Guest Farm on the shores of Voelvlei. For more info on Silwerfontein, click here.

There is a hotel, guest houses and self-catering accommodation in Tulbagh itself. Try this link for more details.

Lemberg Wine Estate and Guest Farm also has a Bass dam. For more info on Lemberg, click here or contact Klaus Schindler (tel. (023) 230-0659; 083-270-3449).


Other useful Voelvlei links

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Voelvlei photos and catches

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