Fabulous fishing spots in Gauteng

If orange hotspot nymph, woolly bugger and Duckworth’s Dargle Delight sound like the names of local drinks, you’re probably not a trout-fishing enthusiast.

In addition to these exotic-sounding fishing flies, a selection of juicy earthworms, salmon roe or canned corn kernels is fairly certain to reward you with a trout on the line. Or, if you’re in the mood for honing your casting skills, pack a selection of lures and find a patch of slow-moving deep water where these tasty fish like to hang out.

Although fishing for trout is usually rewarded with a “take-home-your-catch” reward for the effort, other species, such as carp and yellowfish, may usually only be fished on a “catch-and-release” basis. Always check on this status before signing up for a particular destination as permissions vary depending on fish stock and size.

There are few outdoor pursuits as relaxing as flicking a fly over a river or lazily casting into a dam in search of freshwater fish. We found four spots in Gauteng that you may not yet have visited with your rod.

Bersig Carp
Sizeable carp such as this one are a catch-and-release species. (Image: carp_kay)

Bergsig Trout Farm

Bergsig Trout Farm is a riverfront venue in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site adjacent to Swartkop Mountain.

There are five dams stocked with bass, carp and trout, while yellowfish may be caught in the adjacent river. Bass, carp and yellowfish are catch-and-release species, while trout catches may be taken home. The largest carp landed to date weighed almost 20kg. Trout stocks, ranging from 400g to 1.2kg per fish, are replenished weekly.

Fishing runs on day and night shifts: 6am to 6pm or 6pm to 6am. Safe overnight camping facilities are provided along the dam wall and riverfront.

Families are welcome to braai (barbeque) or picnic at the venue. Ablutions include warm water showers and secure parking.

Bergsig is 20 minutes from Sandton and a 30-minute drive from Pretoria. To book, call +27 (0)66 252 1125 during office hours only.

Brookwood Estate

Brook Wood4
Brookwood Estate.

Excellent yellowfish angling can be enjoyed in the Blaauwbank River at Brookwood Estate – or, if still waters are more appealing, five well-stocked dams hold some legendary rainbow trout. For added interest, the largest of the dams is stocked with bass, yellowfish, carp and bream.

Get going nice and early for a 7.30am start during the week, or over the weekend a dawn arrival at 6am is even better. Fishing closes at 6pm daily, but there’s night fishing on the third Wednesday of every month.

If you’re keen to spend more time at Brookwood, there are two luxury two-bedroomed chalets with fireplaces, and three camper’s cabins. A handy tackle shop is located on site.

Brookwood Estate is also in the Cradle of Humankind. For reservations and directions, email info@brookwoodtroutfarm.co.za or call +27 (0)72 256 7561 (Sunday to Tuesday) and +27 (0)82 856 2448 (Wednesday to Saturday).

Barbus Haven

Ideally suited to the beginner or novice fly-fisher, Magaliesberg destination Barbus Haven offers eco-friendly (catch-and-release) fishing for youngsters and adults.

Under an hour’s drive from Pretoria and Johannesburg, the venue offers fishing for trout, bass and yellowfish (Labeo barbus marquensis), for which the place is named.

Although it began as a venue for the experienced fly-fisherman, Barbus Haven has grown sufficiently to offer instruction to those who are new to the sport and need to learn the basics.

If you’ve never tried it before, fly-fishing is also a great idea for a corporate team-building activity.

Fishing is open from 6am to 6pm daily. Booking essential. The fishing franchise is located on the farm Steenkoppies in the Magaliesberg.

Call +27 (0)83 414 0391 or email wayne@sundowner.co.za for bookings and information.

Trout Hunters

Trout Hunters came into being as founders of the Magalies River Conservancy, one of whose aims is to protect yellowfish species in the river.

The family picnic and fishing venue boasts stock of bass, vlei kurper and carp in five dams, while largescale and smallscale yellowfish provide a challenge for more advanced anglers trying the river waters.

All fish caught in the conservancy are via a fly on a catch-and-release basis, and only barbless hooks may be used.

To cater for day visitors, the venue is open from sunrise to sunset, and for camping from 4pm to 10am the following day. Landing nets and rods may be hired, but you need to bring your own tackle and bait.

Find Trout Hunters 10 minutes’ drive from the Cradle of Humankind near Krugersdorp in the Tarlton area. Follow the R28 towards Krugersdorp. Take the Robert Broom turn-off left and turn left again. Follow the R24 to a T-junction and turn right onto the R24 Magaliesburg/Rustenburg road. Turn left onto Ventersdorp N14 then right on the second dirt road towards Tarlton. The venue is 1km from that point.

SMS Quinton Painter at 083 250 5556 or email him at qip@global.co.za for trout and carp fishing instruction costs and bookings. Instructors provide tuition from 8am to 1pm.