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From my fishing trips to Witbank I can say the following.
The first area I hit is the pump station (if you don't know where it is don't worry you can't miss it just ride around and when I say you will say ahh there it is you will know what I mean) and the bank that runs down to it. This is deep water so its Carolina rigged "your favorite plastic" and I will also mogo rig this area if the sinker is getting stuck to often.
I also fish deep diving crank baits with long parallel casts, I have found this area offers quality fish.
From here I move around the corner into the bay to the right of the pump station (if you are facing the station) there are some nice drop offs (Ok I found 1) on the same side as the pump station and during September there were stacks of fish on the opposite bank, I rip spinner baits through this area and let it die down the drop off, you will feel it easily, the water is very shallow and your bait will bump the bottom and suddenly stop hitting bottom, stop and resume when it has dropped a bit.(your boat should be 25 m off the bank as you move down cast within 5 meters of the shore)
Then I head out into the dam again and turn left down the gorge, there is a little bay off to the right, by the huge houses, outside the bay on the opposite bank of the house is a point there are fish here.
There are also walls and jetties by these houses, which can hold fish.
Then its further down the gorge and there is a long bank with steep drop offs on the right as you head down, mogo rigged dead ringers work here, this is a limit quickly area, but the fish don't seem to go over a 750g.
Then look directly across the dam there are two tires and some rocks in a pile. If they are under water enjoy the two bass that will be there...(pick it out by the other man made pile of rocks on the bank) If it is all under water well think of me I'll catch then when next I'm there.
Then its right down the gorge and up the river, because of water levels this is dangerous ,go SLOW and I don't mean just up the river there is a huge sandbank in the big open area between the gorge and the river I have only managed to go about 1km past the first bridge and then onto a sandbank there are fish at the first bridge though, spinner baits and flukes work. (I can't explain nicely how to find the river entrance just ride around, I found it first time)
Then just past the bridge there is some sort of water pump on the right bank, just past that is a buoy in the water, for some reason there are bigger fish in this area, I have taken fish up to 2kg of that buoy.
Now look at the bank see all those trees in that bay by the house, just wait till the water level rises, that is what those fish are waiting for.
I hear there are pigs further up the river, never been able to get there so I have no clue.
Now depending on time I go back towards the launch, there is a biggish bay past the yacht club rig a weightless worm and go slow in this bay, there are Monsters here.
Now hurry to the rip rap Steve mentions if you need to fill a limit.
There are other areas I fish (usually trying to replicate the pump house bank) thatís the thing with Witbank fish can hold on any bank on any given day) but these are the main ones.
I have had no luck at the yacht club but others swear by the grass areas there.
Iím sure other guys also have their best spots.....
That's the theory as Steve also mentions Kind and Cruel please don't blame me if you Blank, that's Witbank.
One other thing, Witbank's water level is very low they say the dam is at 59% full, when you fish make notes on every spot that is currently out of the water, when the levels rise again you will have a totally clear idea of exactly where you want to be fishing, there are some honey holes out of the water at the moment, (remember the trees by the buoy) have fun trying to identify just where you want to catch a big bass one day.
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Witbank, Kind & Cruel!
This dam has been very kind to us. Recently my 11 yr old son earned his Southern Division team place there during the September fish - offs.
During two other one day sessions on the dam this summer, I was just about totaly beaten with only one or two fish.
As far as I know, the best fish taken this summer was a 4.35 kg hen caught mid afternoon in very shallow water near the Yacht club on a spinnerbait by Shandon "BIG FISH" Hawman during the September round of the BW Tour.
You should be prepared to run around a bit at Witbank, I budget on 50 litres of fuel through a 150 hp motor each day.
A good spot for quantity, is, however, the rip rap in front of the Chalets and between the launch ramps (so close that you don't even need to run the outboard !)
I am still to land my BIG Witbank fish. Due to the fact that the water is relatively clear, I have watched in dismay on several occasions as "supa duma" bass follow my lure back to the boat but then spook away.
Some day I believe that my luck will change (Please make it soon)
Tight Lines & Smokin'Drags
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The Witbank Dam excursion was a nice break and it was good to see some new scenery. No big ones for me though! I did, however, have a good opportunity to "test the Trout" (the big Castaic Soft Bait Trout) for the first time and am now quite familiar with what it can do in the water.
The water at Witbank Dam is clear, but has a dark green/ black tinge due the very dark rocky structure and bottom. I did not get one follow or hit on the "Trout", but I just kept on regardless willing to forego the chance of hooking smaller Bass. At least the rod I built for casting the big lures (the Calstar GF800L with the "Spiral wrap") performed really well from the point of view of casting and retrieving. I was fishing off the back of Mark Nurse's boat. Mark took quite a few Bass of between 500g and 1,5kg on a Mojo rigged Zoom Dead Ringer. From my observations, Mark is an excellent percentage Basser with a good chance to pull someting off in the upcoming Heyshope tournament!
There was quite a bit of wind and rain and other boats on the water only reported small fish on Flukes and Dead Ringers ...
Witbank is a deep dam (by South African standards) with lots of rocks and no timber or weeds (also not much indication on the shoreline of what may be expected under the surface of the water - barren rocky shoreline). I think one would have to spend quite a bit of time there with a good depthfinder to locate the kind of places to hold the few big Floridas there are in that dam. The current SA record Bass was taken there some years ago during the spawning season (September). Mark fished Witbank during the past spawning season and managed good numbers of fish, but nothing over about 2,5kg, if I remember correctly.
Come on, Mark, if you are out there lets have a report on your catches and observations for the weekend!