Beacon Vlei – Howick – Nov 2018

beacon vlei view
View from the braai area

This is just a quick report on another very successful trip to Beacon Vlei in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. It just seems to get better every time we go there and this trip was no different.


We arrived at Beacon Vlei with high hopes only to find that the dam was almost 80% covered in grass (duckweed). At first this really dampened our spirits not knowing what to expect but it actually turned out being a blessing in disguise. Because of all the grass the bass congregated in the open pockets which made finding them super easy. And we really capitalised.

We think we caught over 350 bass in the 5 days we were there which is obviously some kind of record for us. We had an absolute blast. All fish were safely released too which was no mean feat. The Tuesday was possibly our best day of fishing ever, we caught over 100 bass in great weather and I caught a nice 2.1kg. 

beacon vlei big bass mouthbeacon vlei big bass





This was also our best topwater experience anywhere ever, period. They smashed any frog (or even fluke) skipped over the grass, and poppers were also mercilessly eaten. Every second or third cast resulted in a blow-up which was super exciting. They missed the lure half the time but it was great seeing it.

Here’s a few the many fish including a greedy small bass which swallowed a frog. 

beacon vlei smallest bassbeacon vlei small bassbeacon vlei night bassbeacon vlei decent bassbeacon vlei frog bass



We really didn’t spend much time away from Beacon Vlei but we did do some sight-seeing on Wednesday while getting supplies. In Howick we visited the falls and ended up at a new pub we’ll definitely be visiting again. It’s called Pub’s End and is built on the old Howick railway station. Inside there are all kinds of railway memorabilia and the place even boasts a couple of resident ghosts. Our kinda place.

After that we made the obligatory visits to Rawdons and Notties Pub. Rawdons to buy some craft beer and Notties to have their famous Beef & Guinness pie.

Have a look a the video below which briefly shows ours travels.


Another fantastic stay at Beacon Vlei, it just gets better and better. As always it was very difficult to leave, and we’re already looking forward to our next visit.

Find the pockets in the grass and you find the bass. But they were especially concentrated on the furthest side of the dam and all long the reeds. Anything worked really, even topwater frogs but the humble junior fluke was still the most popular.

(5 days)

bass x200 (small)
bass x150 (medium)
bass x1 (large)


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