Hartbeespoort Dam could possibly be the most well known Dam in South Africa. Its a very popular tourist destination in the North West about 30km outside Gauteng which attracts thousands of anglers and other water sports enthusiasts every year who enjoy the big public waters. Its known to be a great Carp Fishing destination with large schools of fish of up to 22kg (and stories of even bigger fish). It holds mostly common carp but every now and then a beautiful scaly mirror makes its way onto the bank. It has also become famous for its large amounts of hyacinths which has affected the fishing massively over the last few years and is still a huge challenge at the moment.
The dam covers about 20 square km in size and its deepest point is 45 meters deep with an average depth of 9 meters. Its was originally build and completed in 1923. It has quite a lot of angling banks to choose from all around the dam and loads of private angling spots as well. The most popular fishing banks/resorts are Meerhof, Ifafi, Schoemansville, Eagle Waters, De Rust, Kommando Nek and Roos se oord which sits on the Crocodile River inlet of the dam. Each of these venues can sometimes have their own tactics. At the moment (2018) before choosing one of these venues for a session its a good idea to first find out where the Hyacinth are (a massive plant island floats around the dam according to the wind direction) and try look for available spots on the opposite side of the dam. Note: this could also change without warning and within a few hours you could find yourself with a frustrating plant land in front of you. So be wise when choosing your spots.
When fishing most of the banks on Harties the first tactic would be to look out over the water and try spot some fish activity. Sooner or later you will see carp crashing and that will help you in finding the fish and selecting the right spot to set up camp. The 2nd thing is to find underwater features of any kind – even the slightest variation in depth out in open water can mean the difference between blanking and catching. Harties fish (like all carp) like to hang out around features and you might need to go very far and deep to find a feature. For example: Schoemansville you will need to go out around 250 – 400 meters (look for 8m depth). Kommando Nek in some areas around 150m- 200m in 8m depth. In some swims especially close to the gullys you will find steep drop off right in front of you. 7-8 meter depth seems to be a good depth when fishing out in open water. Even fishing to any man made structures also pays off like Yaghts, bridges, sunken Jettys etc.
Harties carp love mielies so your basic feed should include a good helping of mielies and you can also add some oily particles like hemp and maples. Even adding some oil to your feed helps to get their heads down. Tigernuts are always a good idea and in some cases (especially in winter) you can do very well on boilies as well.
For hookbaits that worked for us:
Banana tigers / mielies topped with a bright fake maize or popup
and good flavours to use are pineapple, peach, banana and any sweet fruity flavour have worked well for us.
Harties is not considered a safe fishing destination at all so always be alert when fishing Hartbeespoort Dam. Some resorts like Kommando Nek have upped their security which helps but it seems that the thieves strike from the water side so keep that in mind when you visit Harties. Be safe out there!
Meerhof 082 925 9678
Schoemansville: 079 215 6382
Kommando Nek: 079 747 3406
De Rust: 083 282 7292
Ifafi: 012 259 0063
Eagle Waters: 012 941 9929