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ShowMe’s Top Fishing Spots near Paarl in the Winelands

There are some great fishing spots in and around Paarl. Whether you like the calm waters of a dam or the flowing waters of a river, there is a fresh water fishing spot that will tickle your fancy. Be sure to bring your rods, reels, stands, feed and all your syrups and enjoy a peaceful day waiting for the first bite!

Fishing in Paarl

Dams on Paarl Mountain

nantes damThere are 3 dams on Paarl Mountain – Nantes, Bethel and Victoria. These are is ideal for bass and trout fishing, with black bass being especially plentiful.

The Bethel dam was also stocked with the endangered indigenous white fish, but because of the low nutrient levels in Bethel dam, it is not expected that the population will grow enough that subsistence fishing could be allowed. 

For now, Nantes and Victoria dams will remain as they are.  In the future Nantes might permit piscatorial clubs and societies to do spinner fishing, which will require periodic stocking. Catch and release is still allowed at Victoria dam.

Remember to look for signage at the dams as this will detail what the regulations are.

Berg River Resort

berg riverThe Berg River is known for its excessively large population of indigenous fish. It contains smallmouth bass and carp and in smaller amounts Mozambique tilapia, sharp tooth catfish and smallmouth bass.

The Berg River Resort is open daily from 8h00 to 18h00 for day visitors and camping facilities and chalets are also available if you want to make a weekend of it.

Other fishing in Paarl

Fishing1There are several privately owned farm dams in Paarl where fish are abundant and fishing is allowed.

You’ll have to get permission from the individual farmers, but is well worth the effort.

When you get your fishing licence, you will also get a list of dams that allow fishing.

Fishing Close to Paarl

Du Kloof Lodge – Du Toitskloof

du kloofDu Kloof Lodge is the perfect destination for trout fishing enthusiasts. In the trout-rich river and six dams Rainbow Trouts of up to 50cm are regularly caught here, and average size is in the region of 38cm

Du Kloof Lodge is a great outing for the whole family with braai facilities, a wine shop and farm stall. It’s also great for mountain walks, bird watching, white water canoeing, mountaineering spots, jogging and mountain biking.

The Elandspad River – Du Toitskloof

elandspadThe Elandspad River in Du Toit’s Kloof is a great spot for fly fishing and is situated in the beautiful Du Toit’s Kloof Pass. Rainbow trout is bountiful and fish sizes range from 30 – 36 cm. Higher up in the river, trout of up to 40cm has been caught. In the harder to reach spots, the fish are easier to catch due to less foreign activity in the water whereas in the busier spots the trout are known for being picky eaters and thus, trickier to catch.

Higher up in the river is nicer to catch fish, due to its remoteness, but your level of fitness needs to be better, for it is not easy to reach. You’ll find that the variety of pools all along the river makes it ideal to fish anywhere on the stretch of the Elandspad River.

The Smalblaar & Molenaars River – Du Toitskloof

smalblaarThe Smalblaar is probably the most popular river in the Western Cape because of its easy access and good fishing. The Smalblaar holds a good number of fair-sized rainbow trout. Spring time is the best time to fish here.

The bigger pools of the Molenaars river lower down Du Toitskloof is where the big fish can be found. The best time to fish here is in early summer as the river dries up quickly and the shallow waters cause the fish to become scarce.

Do keep the weather in mind when planning to fish here as south-east and north-west winds can be quite strong.

The Witte River – Wellington

witte riverThe Witte River, deriving its name from the white quartzite boulders, is situated in Bainskloof Pass in Wellington. The river has a large population of Loch Leven brown trout. Trout used to populate the whole river, but due to the high summer temperatures and water abstraction, the majority of fish can now be found at the top part of the river.

First-time fishers are advised to make use of the guide when fishing here as the fish are quite crafty in hiding is more hard to reach places.

The trickiest part of this stream seems to lie in selecting the right day, weather-wise, and time of the year.

There is safe parking at Eerste Tol (Bains Village) at the top of the pass, from where anglers will travel by foot on the service road and numerous hiking trials heading up the valley.

Voëlvlei Dam – Wellington

voelvleiVoëlvlei dam is situated 30km North outside Wellington just off the R44. It is a large reservoir which supplies drinking water to Cape Town and several other towns, therefore petrol motors are not allowed.

The inlet canals near the walls and “Monster Bay” at the far end of the dam, are recognised Bass hotspots. 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. The average size of the range from 500g – 1,5kg, but 2kg has been caught here before. Please practise “catch and release” with all fish except the carp.

Le Ferme Trout Fishing Farm

la fermeLa Ferme, situated in Franschhoek, offers excellent fly fishing with exquisite views and absolute silence. La Ferme has four unique lined dams, teeming with Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Bass, Carp and Witvis. If you bring the kids, there is a special dam just for kids using bait.

Of the four dams on the farm, the trout dams are strictly for fly fishing while the others are stocked with Bass and Carp to suit fishermen who want to use spinners, lures and bait. The dams are incredibly well looked after and catching is normally on the cards. The Wemmers River runs through La Ferme. There are natural Brown and Rainbow trout in the river, although not easily visible. No booking is required. Parking is available, right next to the dams and there is a small shop which sells flies.

Open for day fishermen and day guests from 09h00 to 16h00 and closes at 14h30 on Sundays.

Theewaterskloof Dam – Villiersdorp

thhewaterskloofApproximately 40minutes drive from Paarl, just outside the town of Villiersdorp, is Theewaterskloof Dam.

The dam is home to some trophy largemouth bass, with specimens of over 4kg having been caught. Carp, Bluegill, Barbel and Kurper can also be caught here. Bank fishing is possible and productive in many areas around the yacht club.

Please be aware though that if you want to take a boat out on the lake, that you will also need a Certifcate of Competence for your boat. Without this, officials will not allow you to take your boat on the lake.

Fishing Permits

A Western Cape Provincial freshwater angling license is needed to catch fish at some of the dams and rivers in the Western Cape. This is to protect fish numbers and endangered species.

The great thing is that if you join the Paarl Fishing Club and get help with obtaining the permit from them, they will also give you a list of places where fishing is allowed. You’ll have to pay a once off joining fee and obtain a license that is valid for a year. As part of the club, you’ll also be able to take part in fishing competitions and meet other fresh water enthusiasts.

For more information about permits contact the Paarl Freshwater Fishing Club by emailing Nico Joone.

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