“Backyard Bassin – Boskop Dam (Potchefstroom)”
Situated about 14km from the town of Potchefstroom and on the road to Carletonville, lies Boskop Dam with its crystal clear waters and incredibly aggressive bass.
Situated about 14km from the town of Potchefstroom and on the road to Carletonville, lies Boskop Dam with its crystal clear waters and incredibly aggressive bass – John Badenhorst
I’ve fished this venue only once before and chose one of the worst days in summer to do so. The wind was howling from the top part of the dam and by the time the waves arrived at the launch site, it was almost impossible to get any fishing done.
This time however, careful planning went into our endeavour to fish the dam and after checking and rechecking weather patterns; we headed out in search of those that dwell in the deep.
Arriving at Tanglewood Estate for the launch just before sunrise, it was surprising to find the office open and ready for business as early as 5am. After doing all the paperwork, we quickly managed to launch the Crackleback Lite 360 Bass fitted with the Yamaha 15hp outboard. Being new to the venue, we sat for a while and decided to fish the opposite bank from the launch and slightly to the right of the dam wall and headed out in that direction.
All the material we’ve read about the venue indicated heavy grass banks and weedbeds with reeds and of course some other underwater structure as
being the target areas for bass. We stopped just short of the reeds and made a few casts right up into the reeds, resulting in two quick decent fish being landed. I turned and cast out into the open water and got a massive pull but sadly didn’t manage to set the hook on that one.
As the day progressed, we moved around a bit and managed to find some deeper patches of aquatic weeds holding fish in a round 9 to 12ft of water. With a threatening storm we decided to head back across the dam towards the launch and held position about 60m from the bank and while waiting to see what the thunder clouds were going to do, we managed to land yet another couple of solid fish. The storm thankfully didn’t hit the water and moved away, giving us the chance to fish down on the left side of the wall past the cliffs and into a shallow basin at the bottom end of the dam. Here, the fishing turned on in a big way and we were getting bites on almost every cast. Kevin, myself and Valerie even managed a triple-up here, landing three fish at the same time of around 1kg each.
I had a massive fish pull me down into some thick weeds and sadly, another denizen of the deep won the battle with me having to re-tie.
Boskop Dam is an incredible venue with a very large surface area to cover and enough space for many anglers to be out on the water at the same time. From cliffs to submerged weedbeds, reeds and rock piles, the dam offers a truly diverse array of techniques that can be fished. Boskop Dam can be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to fishing and getting used to fishing thick areas of grass can alone be a daunting task for even the most experienced angler. We found that a light sliding Mojo rig with a Wolf Lures Seboko in ATG and Spectre Colours did the most damage. These we rigged with the new range of LRF rods. It’s incredible to note how strong these fish are. On calm days it is possible to spot fish and cast a little bit ahead of them and actually watch the fish attack the bait. For anyone wanting to get underwater footage of bass fishing, this is probably one of the best venues I’ve ever experienced with water clarity at times being on par with the likes of Sterkfontein Dam near Harrismith.
If you want a venue that’s not too far to travel, has incredibly strong fighting fish in stunning surroundings and at times, gin-clear water, then this has to go on your list of venues to fish.
We spent an incredible day on the water and followed it up one week later with similar results.
Any baits, fished the correct way will produce good quality fish at Boskop and the only trick is to figure out how to fish your choice around weedbeds. Over the two days that we spent there, we found fishing plastics slow and right on the bottom to have the best results but some anglers have had incredible results using large swimbaits, cranks and spinnerbaits too.
Tanglewood Nature reserve is also one of the only places along the shore of this venue that offers a safe launch with clean ablution facilities, conference hall, dining area, restaurant, kiddies play area, excellent camping facilities and splash pools to mention but some of the attractions. This also explains why many clubs and private individuals regularly use this venue for their bass fishing and this is also the venue to be used for the upcoming SA Bass magazine’s FLW Small Craft Championship in September of this year.
When planning a trip to this little gem of a fishing spot, remember to abide by the no-wake zones and the demarcated areas where boats and anglers are not allowed. A full map of these areas is on display in the registration office. One last point to mention is that as mentioned earlier in the article, wind can play absolute havoc with any boat on this body of water and careful planning needs to be done to avoid those days where the wind could become dangerous.
Grab a friend, some tackle and if the weather looks good, head on over to Boskop and Tanglewood Nature Estate for an incredible day out on the water.
In our next issue of Backyard Bassin, we will be discussing the particular techniques and baits used
during this series in more detail.