We spent a few days bass fishing at Arabie Dam (aka Schuinsdraai, aka Flag Boshielo) in April 2021, and we were pleasantly surprised by this relatively unknown venue. It’s popular in bass fishing circles but we don’t often hear it mentioned alongside dams like Rust de Winter, Boskop or Witbank. The reason might be the fact that it’s slightly further than those venues (from Gauteng). But we will gladly make the trip again soon to this unspoiled haven.
We were there primarily to look for the monster bass that have been caught there recently. Every now and then a very happy angler shows off a 3kg bass caught at Arabie somewhere on social media. But not knowing much about the dam we decided to spend the 3 days we had in different parts of the dam.
Day 1 was spent in the central and western parts of the dam where we caught lots of bass on topwater baits in windy conditions. Day 2 we tried out the dam wall which was less lucrative but when we moved a little bit south we were catching bass at will in the shallows of the eastern bank. And day 3 we attempted to reach the river which was just a little bit too far in the end so we fished some islands in the southern parts of the dam with moderate success.
Here’s some of the catches over the 3 days, in total we caught close to 80 bass…
On day 3 we also attempted to catch carp from the boat which was a totally new experience for us. We didn’t expect much but it turned out pretty great as we caught quite a few carp and the reel runs on our tiny bass rods were very exciting.
In general we had a fantastic time fishing at Arabie. We didn’t quite catch the record bass we were hoping for but overall it was very successful. It does give us a huge incentive to return soon to catch that big one, and also knowing that even if we fail we’ll still have a great time at this stunning venue.
We stayed at Matlala Aloe Park on the eastern side of Arabie. It’s possibly the only place along the dam that actually offers decent accommodation. There is ample place to camp and you can also rent huts, but there are also a select few private houses that can be booked. They also have a small shop and 2 boat launches.
Here’s a map of its location on Arabie and a close-up of Aloe Park’s layout.
We were lucky enough to stay in one the houses which was well-equipped and very comfortable. Please watch the video below to get a better idea of what it looked and its location within Aloe Park.
Note: Arabie is notorious for its healthy population of massive crocodiles. We saw at least 2 dozen of them on day one in a single location which was kinda scary as some of them disappeared underwater in our direction and never resurfaced. Again watch the video to see where this was and also see the amazing footage we received off Instagram of a crocodile stealing an angler’s trophy bass…
And lastly here’s some random shots of Arabie’s beauty…
Fantasticly beautiful place, unspoiled, unpolluted and still wild. The fishing was amazing even though we missed out on our monsters. Aloe Park was great and the venue we stayed at very comfortable. We say this a lot, but we’ll definitely be back soon 🙂