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the website for Saltwater Surfcasting with a South African perspective


The definitive South African trophy Bass fishing site



About the Dam

Chicamba Dam, also known as Lake Chicamba Real, is situated inside Mozambique in the Manica Province near the Machipanda Border Post (formerly Mutare Border Post) on the Zimbabwe/ Mozambique border.



The Chicamba dam wall was completed in 1968 on the Revué river (the major tributary of the Buzi river) before Mozambican independence to provide hydro-electric power, with the lake filling for the first time in the early 1970's. The full capacity of the lake which has a surface area of approximately 160 square km, is two billion cubic meters. Chicamba has lots of structure: inlets, coves, river lines, granite koppies, standing timber, grassy shorelines.


The following fish species are present: Florida strain Largemouth Bass, Carp, Catfish, Bream (Oreochromis niloticus, Oreochromis mossambicus and Tilapia rendalli), two types of yellowfish (Barbus) and the red-eyed mudfish (Labeo cylindricus). The Common Carp and the Nile Bream (Orecochromis niloticus) probably found their way into the dam from the Chizzizira Fish Farm hatchery situated near the town of Chimoio. The Bass probably originated from Zimbabwe (rivers, farmers, Bass anglers ...)


The local fishermen target these fish (including the Bass!) by using four principal methods: gill netting, seine netting, hook and line fishing and trapping. To read more about this, click here.



Licenses and access

As far as I could ascertain, no angling license is needed.


Probably the best area to access the water would be at Casa Msika on the shoreline of the Dam.



How to get there

All I know is that Casa Msika is approximately 40 Km’s from the Machipanda Border Post on the Zimbabwe/ Mozambican border. If anyone has proper directions, please e-mail me.



Map of the Dam

If anyone has a map, please send me one!




1. Casa Msika would be the venue of choice - it is also the only venue! 

Click on the link, e-mail the owner, Pip Thornycroft, write care of PO Box 1370, Mutare, Zimbabwe, or try these telephone numbers: (092)58-512-2675 or (092)58-332-2796 and these fax numbers: (092)58-512-2701 or (092)58-332-4589.


Accommodation facilities (rondavels and camping sites) are apparently quite good and cheap! There is a restaurant and bar on site or you can self-cater. Apparently the water is not drinkable, so you have to bring your own or buy bottled mineral water.


View over Chicamba Dam from Casa Msika's restaurant/pool area
(Photo courtesy of





Other useful Chicamba links



Chicamba photos and catches


J Mauvis with a brace of Bass weighing in at 5,7kg (12.54lb) and 4,9kg (10.78lb), caught on plastic worm and spinnerbait in early 2003 ...



Marius van der Merwe was at Chicamba in late November 2007 and managed to boat this  Bass weighing in at 4,6kg (10.12lb) and 70cm in length. The Bass was rather lean and would have weighed more if it was well-fed.

Marius reports that his Bass was caught in 20ft of water in the river channel at around
16h00 on 26 November 2007. The lure was a Yamamoto 8 inch grub in watermelon seed colour. In general, all the fish taken on the trip seemed to favour big baits - "dead sticking" the largest size Senkos and the larger "Zim flukes" triggered a lot of bites ...



SA Basser, Justy Varkevisser, displays a 6,14kg (13lb8oz) Chicamba Bass taken sometime in 2007/ 2008. He caught an 11lber (5kg) on the same trip. No further details are available.


Reports (unconfirmed by photos) of two 15lb (6,82kg) and one 17lb (7,73kg) Bass surfaced in 2007 (apparently caught by a Zimbabwean Basser known as "Zimbo" Clint) in just two trips to Chicamba! See entries on Forum on


If 5kg plus Bass were caught in 2003, it is plausible that Bass of 7kg plus could be present by 2007/ 2008, given the size of the water and the abundance of fodder fish (although there is reportedly netting - especially of bream - being practiced by the locals on a large scale ...)



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