Tinus van Zyl spent a couple of days fishing the beautiful Bivane dam off his Froggy Pontoon. He caught a stunning PB fish of 4.7kg!

Thanks for the awesome report back Tinus. Photos and article credits Tinus van Zyl


After much anticipation, our long planned trip finally arrived and we were off to Bivane dam again. The dam is pretty much at full capacity?? and even though the previous week saw horrendous amounts of rain I was amped to get onto the water. Soon the car was loaded and off I went with my old man. We booked 2 nights in the 2 sleeper chalets which are really affordable, mid-week rates are only R300 a night.

Bivane Dam Largemouth Bass
Bivane Dam wall Bivane Dam Wall
Bivane Dam Bivane Dam
Bivane Dam Bivane Dam
Bivane Dam Bivane Dam
Bivane Dam Chalet Me ready to go catch a hog
Bivane Dam Froggy Pontoon ready to go

The beauty of this place always amazes me. The dam is only 50km from where I live in Vryheid so we were able to arrive nice and early. The roads to the dam are well managed dirt roads. Upon arrival I eagerly assembled my pontoon and off I went. I didn’t realize how far you actually need to paddle to reach the spots. I spent about 15mins of constant kicking to only cover about 400-500m of water. After eventually reaching my destination, I fished hard but sadly didn’t get one bite, however the scenery made it all worth while.

Later on at about 4pm I got my 2nd breath and decided to go hunt for some pigs:

Actually a tame wild hog the manager found in the road

It’s actually a tame wild hog the Manager found in the road


Before launching the pontoon I decided to make a few casts in the shallow launch area, on my 10th cast I hit into a monster of a fish. I had 20lb flouro on with a black & red spinnerbait. At first I thought I got stuck in some rocks, but no, this “rockfish” swam towards me, over a drop-off and headed for the deep and broke my 20lb line on the rocks… frustrated after 100s of casts and finally hooking into a huge fish and breaking me off, I threw down my rod and cracked the tip which then snapped off while testing my line… there went my quantum rod… grrrrrrr.

I was now really motivated after that huge bite . I hopped on my toon and made my way towards the opposite koppie where I knew there was a submerged island. I kicked for about 15mins and got my first strike on a little paddle tail swimbait (pumpkin seed red flake)… I let it drop and felt that trademark twitch on the line, set the hook and landed a 500-700g bass.

Bivane Dam Largemouth Bass

Bivane Dam Largemouth Bass

As I made my way around the point of the koppie where the submerged island is, I tied on a spinnerbait again and cast towards the reeds and got an overrun on my new baitcaster, after fixing it I started to reel it and, WHAM! I started swearing as I thought I hooked into another horrendous monstrous barble. This thing took line off a reel that was almost set at full drag, bending my little replacement rod into the water as it made runs from one side to the other for about 10mins. I paddled myself into deeper water to make sure this beast didn’t dive into the submerged trees. Eventually it ran off to the side and it turned close to the surface and I saw the famous silver flash of a bass, this thing was huge! I never experienced a fight like this! I pulled it in and landed this MAKULU!

Nice fish
Finally I doubled my PB

Literally shaking from adrenaline I knew I had to let someone take a picture of me with the fish as I was scared I would loose it by attempting a self portrait of this beast. I decided to paddle back after I strung a piece of rope carefully through the mouth. I immediately got on the phone and called my dad to come have a look.

Not sure how accurate the scale was, but the Oomie next to us was kind enough to borrow his scale. The right hand side is the KGs and the left the grams. I estimated it to be about 4.7kgs but it felt like a 5kg fish.

Bivane Dam Largemouth Bass Bivane Dam Largemouth Bass
4.7kg Bivane Dam Largemouth Bass My dad holding the beast
BivaneDam_bassfishing_floattube_11 Safely Released
Bucketmouth Safely released

Its been the toughest fishing I’ve had in a long time. Only caught 2 fish in 3 days of fishing. Its really frustrating being on the water so much and hardly getting a bite, but also very rewarding when you catch a monster bass.

[youtube t_D-8LZ-3Uc]