Home­stead Dam

SA Bass - - >> Sa Bass - >> John Baden­horst*

Rated by many as a great place for a stroll with the kids or the dog, a pic­nic, braai or even a swim in the lake. This dam also boasts a very healthy pop­u­la­tion of bass, kurper, carp and bar­bel. Home­stead Dam is prob­a­bly one of the most pop­u­lar spots to fish on the East Rand, with am­ple park­ing and safety pro­vided by reg­u­lar pa­trols by not only the lo­cal EMPD, but SAPS and lo­cal se­cu­rity com­pa­nies like CMS.

A brief his­tory

Prior to the sec­ond An­glo Boer War, plans had al­ready been made to de­velop both Kle­in­fontein Dam and Home­stead Dam to pro­vide wa­ter to the min­ing com­mu­ni­ties of Boks­burg, Springs, Brak­pan and Benoni. Min­ing op­er­a­tions were sus­pended due to the out­break of the Sec­ond An­glo Boer War in 1899 and were only taken up again dur­ing the spring of 1902. Sir Ge­orge Far­rar was in­spect­ing the dams that were to sup­ply the ERPM mines with wa­ter, and was pleas­antly sur­prised to find once ster­ile and unattrac­tive earth­works dams had been transformed into shore­lines of lush, green rushes, young wil­lows and crys­tal clear wa­ter. Sir Ge­orge Far­rar had truly in­spi­ra­tional ideas and was ap­pointed of­fi­cial town plan­ner

of the new Benoni town­ship. The Home­stead Dam and Kle­in­fontein Dams were sit­u­ated in what was then known as the Bles­bok­spruit Val­ley. Un­der the guid­ance of Sir Ge­orge Far­rar, thou­sands of trees were planted and the town­ship of Benoni was of­fi­cially de­clared in 1906. The res­i­den­tial area of Far­rarmere was named af­ter Sir Ge­orge Far­rar and is sit­u­ated on the Eastern shore of Home­stead Dam.

In the early days of Home­stead Dam, species such as kurper, yel­low­fish and bar­bel were plen­ti­ful but sadly species such as the yel­low­fish have gone. For the an­gler though, in later decades, ei­ther by ac­ci­dent or on pur­pose carp and bass had been in­tro­duced to this sys­tem. Home­stead Dam forms part of a chain of in­ter-lead­ing lakes. Star­ing with Blaauw­pan on the bor­der of Kemp­ton Park, fol­lowed by Home­stead Dam, Mid­dle Dam (run­ning next to the N12), Laun­dry Dam (next to which the Lake­side Mall is built), Kle­in­fontein Dam (which even­tu­ally ends up all the way down in Springs) and fi­nally flows into the Bles­bok­spruit. Home­stead Dam hap­pens to be one of the most at­trac­tive man­made but nat­u­ral look­ing dams and it’s right on many an­glers back door.

Tar­get­ing Home­stead bass

Over the last decade, Home­stead has seen a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­bers of fish of the olive and gold va­ri­ety, but has also seen an in­crease in the sizes of these fish be­ing caught. Some an­glers like my­self will at­test to get­ting their PB from this dam. If they haven’t got their PB here, they are still hav­ing a fun time with the smaller 500g to 900g fish which are plen­ti­ful and with the right lure, any­thing can hap­pen.

Early De­cem­ber to the end of Fe­bru­ary sees thou­sands of bass fin­ger­lings cruis­ing for a snack, and any small lure would end up re­sult­ing in a fish. Some­times these fish hap­pen to be the same size as the ac­tual lure. With per­sis­tence the big­ger fish are to be had too. Dur­ing this past spawn­ing sea­son it had been no­ticed that there were way more tiny fish than ever be­fore, and this also in­cludes thou­sands of ju­ve­nile carp and kurper. Get­ting the big­ger fish to take a lure can be tricky dur­ing these times, as the wa­ter hap­pens to be a buf­fet of nat­u­ral food for the pre­dat­ing bass. As the end of sum­mer slowly draws to a close and we head into au­tumn, we tend to find that the smaller fish be­come fewer. The big­ger fish move into warmer shal­lows, and start feed­ing up for the com­ing win­ter months. On those lazy days with no wind and a slowly set­ting sun, re­triev­ing a

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