Stanford Lake – Nov 2023

Misty forest at Stanford Lake Lodge
Misty forest at Stanford Lake Lodge

We had a terrific couple of days at Stanford Lake Lodge in the Limpopo province during November. Bordering the spectacular Ebenezer Dam, it’s located between the charming town of Haenertsburg and Tzaneen. During our stay we faced some of the weirdest weather ever. It was super hot and sunny one day, and then super cold and misty the next. But all throughout the fishing was fantastic, and we caught some surprisingly big bass.


Fishing

The lake itself is quite big, around 500m in length, and has a very healthy population of aggressive bass (and is stocked with trout, but we didn’t see any). There are a variety of jetties all along the side which allows for easy access to the water, and we caught quite a few bass from these. But most people are on kickboats, and we used our trusty small inflatable with an electric motor.

View of a jetty at Stanford Lake Lodge
View of a jetty at Stanford Lake Lodge
Fishing from a jetty at Stanford Lake Lodge
Fishing from a jetty at Stanford Lake Lodge

The water was semi-clear and we very quickly figured out that they loved anything with some form of curly tail. Any grubs, or frogs that have a swimming motion were energetically smashed. They seemed to love all colours, from junebug and black to watermelon red, they weren’t very fussy.

And the bass seemed to be everywhere. We were catching them all along the sides and in between the reeds and lily pads. But even random casts into the middle of the lake produced quite a few fish. In terms of size we caught dozens of dinks, but we were pleasantly surprised by the occasional monster that gave us some exciting and lengthy fights.

Monster bass caught at Stanford Lake Lodge
Monster bass caught at Stanford Lake Lodge

At Stanford Lake Lodge you also have access to parts of the spectacular Ebenezer Dam which borders the farm. We visited quite a few sections of the dam which is accessible via a very short walk through the beautiful forest. Here the bass fishing was tougher but we still had a lot of success. It wasn’t as lucrative as the lake but we got quite a few in a short period using mostly flukes.

Forest view of Ebenezer Dam below Stanford Lake Lodge
Forest view of Ebenezer Dam below Stanford Lake Lodge
Sunny bay at Ebenezer Dam below Stanford Lake Lodge
Sunny bay at Ebenezer Dam below Stanford Lake Lodge
Nice bass caught at Ebenezer Dam below Stanford Lake Lodge
Nice bass caught at Ebenezer Dam below Stanford Lake Lodge

You also have the promise of catching a smallmouth bass in these waters, but we didn’t have that kind of luck on this occasion. We also noticed schools of huge carp swimming around lazily. When we go there again we’ll definitely be taking our carp gear along…   


Accommodation

The accommodation was beautiful. There is a single-storey, double-storey and honeymoon cabin, but we stayed in the 4 bedroom cabin which is the closest one to Ebenezer Dam. It’s a big cabin complete with kitchen, dining room, lounge (with fireplace), and an outside porch with a gorgeous view of the whole lake (and a portable braai). There are two complete bathrooms, which are en-suite to the two main bedrooms.

There was lots of wood, charcoal, and even firelighters that guests can buy by making use of the honor system (putting cash into a jar). And overall we found it very comfortable, clean and neat, with everything you would possibly need.


The area itself is also pretty amazing. We visited some of the local establishments and were blown away by the town of Haenertsburg. It’s similar to places lake Dullstroom, but smaller and in our opinion even nicer. They have a few interesting restaurants, and the local pub is called The Iron Crown. We also visited the local brewery called Zwakala which had a fantastic tasting setup. And just across from Stanford Lake is Blueberry Farm which offers great food (and you can buy ice here if you run out).

Sign outside the Iron Crown in Haenertsburg
Sign outside the Iron Crown in Haenertsburg
Zwakala brewery tasting in Magoebaskloof
Zwakala brewery tasting in Magoebaskloof
Blueberry cafe in Magoebaskloof
Blueberry Heights cafe in Magoebaskloof
Stellas deli in Haenertsburg
Stellas deli in Haenertsburg

Summary

Just another fabulous fishing venue in the Limpopo province. Lots and lots of bass (with occasional monsters), great accommodation, spectacular scenery and an area with some really interesting attractions. What more could you ask for…

Anything with some of curly tail worked very well, and color didn’t seem to matter. At Ebenezer flukes were very popular in the clear water.
What worked
Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail – Green Pumpkin
McArthy McCroaker
McArthy McCroaker

Damiki Armor Shad – Black
(3 days)

bass x3 (very big)
bass x60 (medium)

0795199211 (Gavin)

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