SA Bass1 Apr 2016>> John Badenhorst
Rated by many as a great place for a stroll with the kids or the dog, a picnic, braai or even a swim in the lake. This dam also boasts a very healthy population of bass, kurper, carp and barbel. Homestead Dam is probably one of the most popular spots to fish on the East Rand, with ample parking and safety provided by regular patrols by not only the local EMPD, but SAPS and local security companies like CMS.
A brief history
Prior to the second Anglo Boer War, plans had already been made to develop both Kleinfontein Dam and Homestead Dam to provide water to the mining communities of Boksburg, Springs, Brakpan and Benoni. Mining operations were suspended due to the outbreak of the Second Anglo Boer War in 1899 and were only taken up again during the spring of 1902.
Sir George Farrar was inspecting the dams that were to supply the ERPM mines with water, and was pleasantly surprised to find once sterile and unattractive earthworks dams had been transformed into shorelines of lush, green rushes, young willows and crystal clear water. Sir George Farrar had truly inspirational ideas and was appointed official town planner
of the new Benoni township. The Homestead Dam and Kleinfontein Dams were situated in what was then known as the Blesbokspruit Valley. Under the guidance of Sir George Farrar, thousands of trees were planted and the township of Benoni was officially declared in 1906. The residential area of Farrarmere was named after Sir George Farrar and is situated on the Eastern shore of Homestead Dam.
In the early days of Homestead Dam, species such as kurper, yellowfish and barbel were plentiful but sadly species such as the yellowfish have gone. For the angler though, in later decades, either by accident or on purpose carp and bass had been introduced to this system. Homestead Dam forms part of a chain of inter-leading lakes. Staring with Blaauwpan on the border of Kempton Park, followed by Homestead Dam, Middle Dam (running next to the N12), Laundry Dam (next to which the Lakeside Mall is built), Kleinfontein Dam (which eventually ends up all the way down in Springs) and finally flows into the Blesbokspruit. Homestead Dam happens to be one of the most attractive manmade but natural looking dams and it’s right on many anglers back door.
Targeting Homestead bass
Over the last decade, Homestead has seen a significant increase in the numbers of fish of the olive and gold variety, but has also seen an increase in the sizes of these fish being caught. Some anglers like myself will attest to getting their PB from this dam. If they haven’t got their PB here, they are still having a fun time with the smaller 500g to 900g fish which are plentiful and with the right lure, anything can happen.
Early December to the end of February sees thousands of bass fingerlings cruising for a snack, and any small lure would end up resulting in a fish. Sometimes these fish happen to be the same size as the actual lure. With persistence the bigger fish are to be had too.
During this past spawning season it had been noticed that there were way more tiny fish than ever before, and this also includes thousands of juvenile carp and kurper. Getting the bigger fish to take a lure can be tricky during these times, as the water happens to be a buffet of natural food for the predating bass. As the end of summer slowly draws to a close and we head into autumn, we tend to find that the smaller fish become fewer. The bigger fish move into warmer shallows, and start feeding up for the coming winter months. On those lazy days with no wind and a slowly setting sun.