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Unlocking the Charms of Witsand: The Ultimate Fishing Destination on the Breede River


Discover the Enigma of Witsand: A Fishing Paradise on the Breede River.

If you've ever wondered why my YouTube videos titled "Witsand" consistently garner skyrocketing views, the answer lies in the enchantment of this remarkable location. Known as "Windsand" by some, Witsand holds an irresistible allure for both saltwater and freshwater fishing enthusiasts alike. But to truly grasp its magic, we must embark on a journey upstream spanning 337 kilometers.

The sprawling Breede River, the largest in the Western Cape, originates in the Skurweberg mountain range near Ceres. It's almost unbelievable that Witsand, a fishing haven, emerges from a river one could easily leap across. Yet, such is the course of rivers. Slanghoek, an area renowned for its aggressive smallmouth bass, offers an exceptional opportunity to connect with these fish in their natural habitat. Notably, Slanghoek stands as not only the premier smallmouth bass location in the Western Cape, but across all of South Africa, particularly considering the challenges faced by Clanwilliam in recent years. The Slanghoek river stretch features predominantly shallow, rapidly flowing rocky zones, making it a perfect fit for the maneuverable Vanhunks Mahi Mahi kayak with its concealed rudder system. Utilizing natural-toned soft plastics like the 4-inch Senko or amber laminate or green pumpkin blue-flaked fluke weightlessly in the swift currents has proven highly effective. Employ the technique of casting your Senko or fluke upstream, allowing the current to entice the bait towards you as you maintain tension on the line. This strategy imitates injured baitfish drifting downstream, an irresistible enticement for the smallmouth bass. Additionally, employing a small popper yields excellent results during low light conditions, early mornings, late afternoons, or cloudy periods.

Around 80 kilometers downstream, in close proximity to Robertson, the Breede River lives up to its "breed" namesake. For competitive bass anglers like myself, this segment of the Breede holds immense appeal. The waters here host a thriving array of bass species, and should you wish to target carp or barbell, the opportunities are equally abundant. It's an idyllic spot to introduce newcomers or novices to the joys of fishing. The area is safe, conveniently accessible, and promises enjoyment both on and off the water. While the Robertson stretch maintains some clarity, it's slightly more stained compared to the Slanghoek region. The abundance of attractive spots and structures here can be overwhelming, yet intriguingly, most Breede fish tend to gravitate towards man-made structures such as walls, jetties, and slipways. Eddies near fast-flowing waters are also favored by these fish. With the river teeming with structural elements, a variety of techniques and baits prove effective. Personally, I find success with a Texas-rigged 6th Sense Stroker Craw in nirvana color, a weightless amber laminate D-shad, and a white spinnerbait. However, these fish aren't overly finicky, so feel confident in using your preferred techniques.

As the Breede River widens further downstream, especially near Swellendam, the scent of the ocean looms, yet the area remains a stronghold for bass and barbell. This stretch is renowned for its impressive bass population. Another personal favorite stretch of the Breede is found in the Swellendam vicinity, consistently delivering sizable catches. The water here is notably darker, attributed to the Buffelsjags River's tenebrous waters merging with the Breede. Similar to the Robertson stretch, this region boasts an abundance of structure, from trees and rocks to grass and rapids. Interestingly, my experience has shown that these fish are particularly fond of grassy areas and, once again, the swift currents. Employing a white toad or buzzbait along grassy banks has yielded favorable results. Furthermore, applying the same technique described for Slanghoek but with a slightly larger 5-inch Senko in black and red flake proves effective in fast-flowing waters. This approach even rewarded me with a substantial 3kg Breede bass during a TBC competition in May. Beware, though: if you opt for a spinnerbait, you might come face to face with the Breede's less attractive inhabitant, the barbel.

Now, if you've had your fill of freshwater species, and you're eagerly anticipating insights into Witsand's saltwater realm, hold tight for part two. As my dad often quips, "Freshwater is for drinking, and saltwater is for fishing." Stay tuned for the forthcoming installment!

Authored by Hanro Loots, Pro Staff Member