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VISpas Hotspots: Zwarte Water (Overijssel)

VISpas Hotspots: Zwarte Water (Overijssel)

The Zwarte Water runs from the canals of Zwolle city centre to the Zwarte Meer, which is connected directly to the IJsselmeer. The 20-kilometre-long river offers anglers a wide variety of predatory fish, carp and coarse fish.

The Zwarte Water is part of the same watershed as the Overijsselse Vecht, with many tributaries, oxbows and channels along the main streams. As a VISpas holder, you can fish almost everywhere here, but always check the free VISplanner App in advance to easily find the exact locations where you are allowed to fish (including the access rights and special provisions). Boat anglers can fish almost everywhere, but the stretch of the river between Zwolle and Hasselt (Hasselterdijk and Zwolsedijk) are more interesting for fishing from the shore.

Coarse fish

Coarse fish anglers mainly catch roach in the Zwarte Water, but you might also hook a silver bream or common bream, especially in spring. Some places along the banks are reinforced with boulders, so when fishing here with a pole make sure to cast far enough from the banks to avoid hooking the countless round goby hiding among the rocks. You can expect fewer rocks starting from 10 meters away from the banks, so that is a better place to focus on catching coarse fish. But it is still a good idea to check the local conditions first!
A 1-2 gramme float should be sufficient, depending on the current. Shallower reed-covered waters along the banks are good spots to fish from spring to autumn. In most places, you can use a feeder rod and speed feeder cage weighing between 30 and 60 grammes. But in others the river can be up to 150 meters wide, making it impossible to reach the shallower stretches along the opposite bank.
Busy shipping traffic can make it a better choice to fish on the near side, so you don’t have to reel in for every passing boat.



The length of the Zwarte Water and the carp stock’s lust for travel have earned it a reputation among anglers as a difficult place to fish for carp. But it is still an interesting river for carp anglers: the average carp weighs around 25 pounds, but some individuals can be much larger. The shipping channel (average depth: 4 meters) is the best place to hook a carp, but it is not easy to find a place to fish from the banks. Pre-feeding a few times can pay off, but it is generally hard to lure fish to a specific area and then keep them there. Crayfish are also known to steal bait and feed here. So we recommend using large, hard boilies as bait, and don’t forget to secure the bait with anti-crayfish wrap if the situation requires.

Predatory fish

Every species of predatory fish in the Netherlands call the Zwarte Water home. But pike and perch are by far the most common, and the stocks include some XL specimens. The varied river bottom, with shallows, steep slopes and deep channels of up to 7 meters, make it a good place to cast with plugs, softbaits and spinners. The Zwarte Water’s quays, which stretch from the city centre to the suburbs, are ideal for street fishing. Boat anglers can use one of the two free boat ramps in Zwolle (Holtenbroekerdijk 98) and Hasselt (Van Nahuysweg 1C). From a boat, you can either fish vertically or troll with lures, but the irregular bottom profile means you need to keep a good chart of the river handy when trolling.


Several angling associations and Sportvisserij Oost-Nederland (Dutch Angling Association, East Netherlands division) have laid out special fishing spots along the Zwarte Water. The local clubs have created 30 fishing spots just outside Zwolle (Hasselterdijk 49). The first pier is completely furnished as a handicapped fishing spot, with a designated parking spot. There are concrete slabs laid out especially for anglers at Hasselt (Cellemuiden 43 – access rights for H.S.V. Het Zwarte Water) and Genemuiden (Sasdijk 14).

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