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Kwaggaskloof / Brandvlei Dam

Kwaggaskloof (sometimes spelled Quaggaskloof) and Brandvlei Dam is considered by many to be one of the prime Smalmouth Bass waters in South Africa, some would argue that it is THE prime Smallmouth lake. Regardless, the lake is certainly one that has some BIG Smallmouth Bass, until recently it was the holder of the South African record, a fish of 3.23 kg (7 lbs) caught on a crawdad coloured soft plastic worm in 4 metres (12 foot) of water in September 1998.


When full, Kwaggaskloof is joined to neighbouring Brandvlei Dam creating one massive impoundment. When the water level drops the wall that divides the 2 is exposed, creating separate bodies of water. The "wall" as it is known is an excellent spot to catch big Smallies, fish of 2.5 to 3 kg are regularly taken along it's length. 


Structure is not immediately apparent on this lake but it is there, much of it is in the form of  deeper ridges, channels, drop-ofs, points, old quarries and humps, a boat is a pretty much essential to fish Kwaggskloof properly and anglers need to be willing and able to read their electronics. Visble structure is there, it's just not that obvious, mainly along the South Western bank, this is also where Largemouth Bass are more likely to fall to a well placed spinnerbait or shallow running crankbait. Another choice piece of structure is an old road that runs into the lake in the most Southerly corner of the dam, partially exposed at low water, it's usually submerged and can easily be missed.


The water varies from quite murky after heavy rains to clear in the summer months. Boat traffic can be heavy, it's a popular venue for water skiers, inflatable boat races are sometimes held on the dam, this can cause havoc for Bass anglers. It's worthwhile checking that no such event is taking place if a visit is planned.



Kwaggaskloof 171 million cubic metres, Brandvlei 289 million cubic metres, making a combined volume of 460 million cubic metres.


There are 2 launching ramps at Kwaggaskloof, one is reserved for anglers and another for leisure boats, although nobody really worries too much about which one you use. The launching ramp for Brandvlei is at Nekkies Resort.

Fish Species Available

Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Carp, Cape Witfish, Bluegill, Gilcristela.


Not always readily visible but includes everything from grass, submerged weed, submerged and exposed shrubs, lay downs, standing timber, brush piles, stumps, reeds and willow trees. There are drop offs, humps, steep rocky banks, sandy banks, old roads and pump stations.

Recommended Lures

Kwaggaskloof is a great crankbait lake, lighter colours are the order of the day, (try an DLN Lavender Shad), spinnerbaiits and soft plastics, especially flukes work well, also Yamamoto Stretch 40 and good catches can be made on Junebug coloured lizards, worms & grubs. Mojo rigs work well in the rocky areas.


There is an excellent camp site at Kwaggaskloof with ablutions, electricity, a small shop and club house. The camp site is small and quite popular so bookings are esential.

Nekkies Resort at nearby Brandvlei has camp sites, wooden bungalows on stilts overlooking the lake and a slipway. The resort is owned and run by the Worcester Municipality.




1). Wind - it can come up very quickly and become unpleasant and even dangerous to boaters when a Westerly or North Westerly wind starts to blow. Anglers planning on launching a boat should be aware of the weather and heed the advice of launch officials.

Contact Numbers

Kwaggaskloof: 023 340 4163
Nekkies Resort: 023 343 2909

Bank Fishing Potential

Bank fishing is possible in many areas. Most bank anglers concentrate on the areas around the camp sites, for the more energetic who are prepared to do some walking, the rewards could be good.

Good Kwaggaskloof Smallie Bass fishing at Kwaggaskloof Bergie with a Smallmouth Bass A Perfect Summer Fishing Day Winter bassing at Quaggaskloof Quaggaskloof largemouth bass

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"I was at Kwaggaskloof this past Saturday (March 14th). What a stunning day, many fish were landed, mostly in the 500g to 1 kilo range and mostly largies. There was the slightest breeze, just enough to ripple the water surface and cool things down. The fish were relating to bushes in a big way, a junebug lizard or white/transparent spinnerbait thrown to, especially isolated, bushy trees in half to 1 metre of water resulted in strike after strike. I went through an entire packet of lizards over the course of the day. We fished until around 4PM before heading home, all in all it was a day to remember."

Posted by Bassassin on 2009-03-16 09:19:10

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Detailed Map:

Kwaggaskloof dam map
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Selected Images: Chris Corbet Photography - Travel blog: A Travel Junkie