Emanzini – Vrede Dam – Feb 2017

We did another trip down to Beacon Vlei over this period and managed to include two other fishing venues along the way. Bassfeather Country Lodge near Reitz, and Emanzini Resort on Vrede Dam.

Bassfeather Country Lodge

The first was a little known place near Reitz in the Free State called Bassfeather Country Lodge. It really wouldn’t do the place justice to comment on the quality of fishing there since we only really overnighted and fished in total probably 3 hours on a coldish windy afternoon. And in that time we caught a single small carp

only one little carp for the day
Only one little carp for the day

The cabin we were given was a highlight. Nice and cozy, and not too far from the water.

The lodge in general has a nice pub area and probably serves more as a hunting venue rather than fishing, with lots of game running around as you drive from the gate. 

bassfeather fishing cottage
View from the side of our cottage
carp fishing with beautiful sunset
Beautiful sunsets make waiting for the next carp worthwhile

All things considered it was an enjoyable overnight stay and is a great venue if you are planning a hunting trip but want to do some fishing on the side as well.

Beacon Vlei

Beacon Vlei delivered once again, I don’t want to bore you with all the detail because we’ll be adding posts about this wonderful place every now and then, but we had a fantastic time and caught some amazing bass. Each day we caught close to 50 small to medium bass and nights were spent by the fire watching the fireflies in the reeds. And just to whet your appetite, here is what we woke up to most mornings.

view from front of the boathouse of the bass dam
Beautiful view from the front of the Boathouse


Emanzini Resort

So on the way back we stopped off at Emanzini Resort in Vrede for some carp fishing. It took us a while to find fishing accommodation halfway between Pretoria and Howick, this sounded pretty good and wasn’t much of a detour. After settling into our secluded little chalet we got our rods in the water but a storm once again ended all hope of catching fish. Not that we had any bites either.

The next day we decided to hit the town to get some advice and supplies. Vrede is another little town which probably is way past it’s golden years, but we’re sure there are some hidden gems we didn’t see in the hour we spent there. The only place we could find that sells carp stuff was the “kooperasie” and they actually had a good selection to be fair. We also got some advice from the local expert to use gumtree (bloekom) flavoured baits. So that’s what we did.

Back at Emanzini we promptly got our new bait in the water and although it was still slow going we did start to get a few bites and eventually caught quite a few small carp.

One notable thing did happen. My line ran the one time and while reeling in the fish I was making it clear that this was definitely a bigger fish purely on the weight and fight it was giving. Turns out it was two smaller carp on the same line, both picking up the two baits simultaneously. That was an absolute first for me, must have been a school that passed by.

fishing at vrede dam
Fishing at Vrede Dam, two for the price of one

After that we caught some more, and generally just enjoyed the surroundings. We also tried for bass but without luck. It wasn’t a fantastic fishing experience but it wasn’t a massive disappointment either. 

The cottage was great, it was completely secluded on the left hand side of the resort right on the water, and perfectly catered for us. The other chalets also seemed nice but were a bit more expensive and closer to the main fishing areas. While we were there the place was a bit empty but it has the potential to be very popular to camping\fishing families.

emanzini vrede dam cottage view
Our cottage on the banks of Vrede Dam
fishing vrede dam
View from the cottage
fishing at vrede dam
Cottage at Vrede Dam


The fishing was fair in the short time we spent there, no big ones but at least we got a few bites. It’s a great family venue with some really good accommodation options, and possibly very busy during peak periods. 


Gumtree floats and mielies worked for us

Fish count (2 days)

carp x8 (small\medium)

Map \ exact Location


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