BIG BASS

The definitive South African trophy Bass fishing site

 

GOEDERTROUW DAM

About the Dam

 

Goedertrouw Dam, also known as Lake Phobane, is situated about 15km north of Eshowe.

 

 

Goedertrouw is the second largest dam in KwaZulu-Natal and is fed by seven rivers of which four flow all year round. The Dam, constructed by the Department of Water Affairs on the Mhlatuze River, was completed in 1980. The dam was built to provide an assured water supply to the developing industrial complex and port of Richards Bay and for the expansion of irrigation for agriculture.

 

The dam is set in the Umhlatuze Valley with Mabelebele Mountains offering a spectacular backdrop. The habitats along the dam vary from dry acacia scrub to tall mixed woodland, riverine forest patches and mountainous areas with cliffs up to 100m high dropping into the water. The dam itself is mainly open water with a few areas of quiet backwaters with plenty of overhanging vegetation. Where the rivers feed into the dam, shallow rocky areas have formed. The water can be slightly murky at times.

 

Goedertrouw Dam is probably the only public dam in Southern Africa which has only pure Florida strain Bass with no Northerns or hybrids (F1s) whatsoever! It was stocked with Florida strain Bass in 1981. By the mid 1980's 3kg plus fish were regularly taken there. There is not too much information forthcoming about recent conditions and catches at Goedertrouw Dam. Perhaps a few people are keeping things secret ...

 

The weather is warm year round and the growing season would therefore never stop. Given the long lifespan of the Florida strain even in very hot climates (12 - 15 years) and the potential to gain more than 1kg per year, there must be some real monsters in Goedertrouw after more than 20 years of undisturbed breeding, feeding and little fishing pressure! For a realistic chance at a 4 - 8kg Bass, there is, in my opinion, no better place to try in South Africa (south of the Limpopo River). Inanda Dam would be the next best bet followed by Albert Falls ...

 

Not much information is available about other fish in the Goedertrouw Dam, but one would expect Catfish, Bream (Redbreast and Mozambique Tilapia) and the Natal Scaly. Just heard (2008) that Nembwe (Serranchromis robustus) are also present!

 

 

Licenses and access

For KwaZulu-Natal you no longer need a Provincial freshwater angling license.

The southern shores of the dam are under the control of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and is known as the Umhlatuze Community Conservation Area. A variety of animals have been reintroduced here including Giraffe, Waterbuck, Kudu and Impala. Leopard have also been seen.

 

Also situated nearby is the cultural village known as Shakaland. This facility provides an introduction to Zulu culture and offers hotel accommodation.

 

 

How to get there

From Eshowe head towards Melmoth/Ulundi on the R66. About 10km out of Eshowe is a dirt road to your left (formerly signposted Goedertrouw Dam, now Lake Phobane and Shakaland). Follow this road (suitable for a sedan car) for 7km (pass Shakaland entrance and keep going) and cross the dam wall to the northern shore.

 

This northern shoreline from the wall is about the only place to fish from the side. You can also launch a boat from here.

 

Security may be a problem and you do not want to leave your car unattended (speak to Clifford Coetzee of Alpha Security Group on 082-945-7205 to make arrangements).

 

A sketch map showing directions can be found here.

 

 

Map of the Dam

Click here for a map of the dam.

 

 

Accommodation

 

1. Shakaland (about 5km from the dam), is a Protea Hotel providing accommodation in Zulu huts.

 

2. About 10km from the turnoff to the dam on the R66 to Eshowe are three possibilities for accommodation:

2.1 Eshowe B&B: a great self-catering venue with reasonable rates which is highly recommended (ask for Unit 3 or 4). Contact Louene or Hayley Chittenden at chit@intekom.co.za; (035) 474-2276, 474-2979 or 083-286-2246. (R145 ppn single; R125 ppn double)

2.2 Fleurdale B&B: B&B only, no self-catering. Contact Carey Symons at (035) 474-2604 or 082-926-3471. (R140 ppn)

2.3 Gratton Farm Cottage: Self-catering or B&B. Contact Sharon Yardley at (035) 474-1619 or 083-777-3815.

3. If you prefer a caravan or camping site, speak to Mark or Ronel Hulley at (035) 474-1141, 474-3060 or 083-256-5516. They run the Eshowe Caravan Park and the Eshowe Social Fishing Club!

 

4. A little further on, just outside Eshowe (about 20 - 25km) from the Goedertrouw Dam/ Lake Phobane turnoff, is Brocklee Farm Lakeside Chalet. This just has to be too good to be true! Not too far from Goedertrouw Dam and the chalet is built overlooking a private Bass dam in which guests may fish! Bream and Bass abound - the biggest Bass to come out of this dam to date (October 2002) is 4,1kg. If you are interested, contact Hugh or Renee Lee at (035) 474-4711.

 

5.   The George Hotel is in Eshowe only 15 min from Goedertrouw Dam. E-mail the owner, Mr Richard Chenells (richard@eshowe.com or richard@zulublonde.com or richard.chenells@gmail.com) or call 035-474-2298 or 082-775-9998 to book.

 

 

Other useful Goedertrouw links

None so far!

 

 

Goedertrouw photos and catches

 

This is Bobby Flaxman with a 4,575kg (10.065lb) pure Florida strain Bass caught at Goedertrouw Dam in KwaZulu-Natal in 1987. This fish probably started the "Florida revolution" in South Africa and since then, the SA record has regularly been broken. As these fish can gain approximately 1kg per year under favourable conditions and an abundant fodder fish base and can live for up to 12 - 15 years, a new South African record is imminent!

 

 

Drew Cairncross is one happy Basser! The reason for the smile is a 3,3kg (7.26lb)

Goedertrouw beauty taken on 11 October 2008.

 

 

Goedertrouw - another smile, another Bass!

"Norkie" latched onto this 4,11kg (9.04lb) specimen on 14 October 2008.

 

 

 

Barries Barnard seems delighted with his 6kg (13.20lb) Bass taken at Goedertrouw on 20 August 2008. Barries reports that this big momma bit a mojo-rigged fluke in 4 - 5 ft of water (17.5 degrees) at 06h30 in rainy weather on 20 September 2008. The weight was checked on no less than three electronic scales and witnessed. This could well be the new Goedertrouw lake record. Its just a matter of time before Goedertrouw gives up the new SA Record Bass!

"Great catch, Barries!"

 

 

Barries Barnard, again, this time with a 4,63kg (10.12lb) Bass taken at Goedertrouw in December 2006 on a mojo-rigged fluke near submerged rocks. The weather was hot and humid as summers are in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

 

 

Danie Barnard just missed the 5kg mark with this 4,9kg (10.78lb) Goedertouw Bass taken on 6 June 2008 on a DLN Tennessee Shad crankbait.

"Great stuff, Danie!"

Danie and Barries (above) make a great father and son Bassing team!

 

 

Carl Gutzeit displays a wide grin and a 6,16kg (13.55lb) Bass taken at Goedertrouw on 9 August 2008. No other details are available as yet ... Could this be the new Goedertrouw lake record?

 

 

Shane Redman with what was the 2007 official Goedertrouw Dam (Lake Phobane), KZN, lake record Bass of 5,88kg (12.94lb) taken on 8 September 2007 on a green pumpkin Super Fluke in 4ft of water. The magnificent Bass was, of course, released.

"Congrats to you, Shane, keep on catching (and releasing!) those big ones!"

And here's another view of that same Bass below:

By the way, Shane reports that another great Bass of 5,6kg was also taken

at Goedertrouw that same weekend! Goedertrouw is a fantasitic Bass fishery.

 

 

John Easton (also known as Fishton) spent some time at Goedertrouw in July 2008. The result - a mid-winter "piggy" of 4,40kg (9.68lb) taken on Monday 14 July 2008 at 08h25 in 15 deg C water on a DD22 crankbait!

"Stay on 'em, Fishton!"

 

 

Wendy Watson displays a 4kg (8.8lb) Bass taken in August 2004 at Goedertrouw Dam

(Lake Phobane) in KwaZulu-Natal on an 8" Dead Ringer.

 

 

And here's Kieron with a 3,5kg (7.7lb) Bass also taken in August 2004

at Goedertrouw Dam.

 


                                        All content copyright