Fishing on the Vaal River

Vaal River Fishing Activities

The Vaal River runs across or around Mpumalanga, through part of Gauteng and around the Freestate for over a thousand kilometers. It also borders a proportionate section of our North West Province. It serves mainly as a water supply to millions of people. As with basically all of our rivers it seems too small for shipping and industrial purposes by international standards, which leaves us the most important aspect apart from the water supply; fishing in any legal form. Fishing from a boat, bank fishing and what has become a big part of Vaal River fishing, fly fishing. Especially Yellowfish on fly. The Vaal River is probably the first place people will go to catch yellows. Home (or partly) of the Small- and Largemouth yellowfish.

Fish you can catch in the Vaal River

  • Barbel Sharptooth
  • Bass Largemouth
  • Carp Common (fullscale)
  • Carp Mirror
  • Yellowfish Smallmouth
  • Yellowfish Largemouth
  • Mudfish

Regarding the fish, everyone believes that fish in a river are better fighters than any fish in a dam. Reasons being, they swim harder, and it’s more challenging to reach food. Although I’m no expert in South African water structure, I have to agree, this makes absolute sense. One thing is for sure, you might not find as big a carp as in dams, but they do seem to put up one heck of a fight. It goes without saying that our Yellowfish need no river to put up an enormous fight, it does become trickier considering the flow and obstacles such as rocks, branches, islands and the rest. The same goes for that dirty fighter, the Barbel.

Anglers using our venue must adopt a catch and release /no keep net policy.
It is important to fish for the future so that future generations can also enjoy angling.
Please visit the South African Carp Society for more information.


Hi there,

Please find attached a picture of my son Neshan who is 15 years old and loves fishing. We went fishing three times in the last month and he has been after a barbel for quite some time now and he finally caught one on Monday at a place we went to – called Heaven on Vaal – it was 1.1m long and weighed 6.5kg. 

Neshan was over the moon about his catch,

Thank you
Krishnaveni Puckree