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Jozini Dam Fishing and Tiger fishing Information

Jozini Dam Fishing Spots - Boat fishing

The Pongola River

The Pongola river flows into the Jozini Dam in the north eastern side, near the town of Golela. The railway bridge across the Pongola river is the uppermost limit for fishing and you will see 'No Entry' signs painted on the pillars of the bridge. If you go beyond the bridge, the men in green will give you trouble, and the river is shallow and will destroy your prop.

The channel below the bridge is long and straight and slowly widens into the Jozini Dam. The river is a very popular area for fishing and many competitions have been won with fish caught in the Pongola River, especially in the area opposite the lodge above the cliffs on the southern side.

This section of the Jozini Dam also has many small bays and inlets which offer excellent fishing for Tiger fish, Kurper and Barbel. The advantage of the river section is that there is always protection from the wind and is the safest part of the dam to fish.

The northern bay

If you continue down the river section and take a left once you reach the main body of the Jozini Dam, you are in the northern. Don't go too far or you will be in Swaziland, and officially you may not cross this international border. You will see a pole planted in the water and the border fence running up the mountain to the east of the dam.

The entire northern bay is shallow with vast weed beds and offers very good fishing, especially in the winter when the water is clean in that part of Jozini.

The western shore

The western shore of the Jozini Dam is also called 'the flats', because the bottom is flat and shallow with water levels receding by up to 300m when water is released from the dam in October every year. The western shore is one of the best fishing areas in the Jozini Dam, probably because of all the aquatic vegetation which offers cover for small bait fish, thus creating good feeding ares for tiger fish. A pole on board helps to manoeuvre  your boat through shallow areas. Usually the water in the south west of the dam is the warmest and cleanest, making for good tiger fishing.

The eastern shore

The eastern shore is characterized by steep drop-offs, bays lined with dead trees and shallow areas with weed beds. The bays are deep and the structure of fallen and standing trees attracts fish. When traveling along the eastern shore, stay far from the edge to avoid getting your props destroyed by gill nets. Thankfully most of the Tiger fish are able to bite their way out of these nets.

The gorge

The gorge looks like the best fishing area in the Jozini dam, but the water is very deep (up to 70m) and fishing is difficult. The fishing in the gorge is best close to the edge and in the small inlets and bays. The barbel fishing in the gorge is good, but fish with heavy tackle so that you can keep the fish off the bottom and out of the trees. The shallow areas in the bays are also teeming with tilapia, which are notoriously difficult to catch in the Jozini Dam.

Shore Fishing

The 2 places where shore fishing is possible is at the Phongolo Game Reserve camping site near Golela and the Fish Eagle camping site on the southern side of Jozini.

Jozini Fishing Techniques

Tiger fish

Tiger fishing at the Jozini Dam is excellent if you go to to right places and use the correct fishing techniques. There are several way which work well to catch lots of tiger fish at Jozini dam. I will discuss these fishing methods in detail below.

Artificial baits

Spoons such as the Effzett range by DAM and spinners like the Meps work very well to catch tiger fish of all sizes in the Jozini Dam. Many people will tell you that artificial lures don't work in the Jozini dam, but I have had excellent results and caught tiger fish of up to 6.5kg on spinners and spoons.

Spoons work best when retrieves very fast in the shallows, especially over and between weed beds. Spoons can be fished over weeds very easily by keeping your rod tip high and reeling fast, almost skipping the spoon across the surface. Spoons and spinners can also be trolled, but use thicker line on your trolling rigs because spoons twist your line. When you are finished trolling, remove the lures from your lines and let the line out behind the moving boat for a few minutes to untwist themselves.

The secret to catching tiger fish with artificial lures is to fish very shallow, as shallow as 1m, but you have to move and find the fish. A good way of finding tiger fish in the Jozini dam is to drift along the bank with the wing while casting, or trolling spoons in shallow water all along the edge, preferably on the outside of weed beds.

Artificial lures work best in cleaner water, but when the whole dam is crystal clean in the winter, often there are concentrations of tiger fish in dirtier areas of the dam.

VERY IMPORTANT - Remove treble hooks and split rings from your lures and replace with single hooks and extra strong split rings. When a tiger fish jumps and shakes its head, the forces are so great that treble hooks and weak split rings pull open. The aim is to land the biggest fish you hook, and weak tackle will fail every time. Always use fluorocarbon line and steel trace!

Meaty Baits

Smelly baits such as chicken liver, sardines and Tilapia fillet work well when the water is brown and the tiger fish can't see lures. Use 50cm of single strand steel trace, not nylon coated trace because the tiger fish bite through it. Hooks must be very sharp and strong.No sinker is needed.

The secret is to find at what depth the fish are moving. the best way to find the fish is not to choose spots at random. Start in shallow water (+-2m) and slowly work deeper until you start to get bites. If there is no action, move on the the next spot and do the same and don't stop until you find the fish!

Live Bait

The best live bait to use in Jozini is tilapia / kurper / bream. I always us a 2 hook trace, one hook behind the head, the other just behind the dorsal fin. The problem with live bait is that the bait swims around and can tangle lines. To avoid this, you can use a balloon or condom as a float. The wind will keep your large float on the lee of the boat.

I provide this information free of charge and ask in return that you book your accommodation through us. In return you are free to call all hours for free information about the fishing at Jozini Dam and you will get the lowest accommodation prices.

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Jozini Dam information. accommodation & camping
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