Category Archives: Bronkhorstspruit

Catching Carp with Bombs!

I finally caught a carp using the traditional mielie bomb method of fishing. This is a method used commonly in South Africa when targeting carp, but not a method or species that we, ourselves fish very commonly at all.

Decent Carp

The rig I used was a sliding baby shoes trace. For a feeder or “Bomb”, as it is often referred to, I used a Super Cast Original Super Cast Dry Feed Ground Bait mixed with Oorlog Quadro Ground Feed. I then used a variety of Floaties by Super Cast and Champion Dips for the actual hook bait along with Eco Catch carp dough and earthworms. Because the baby shoes trace consists of a feeder bomb with two small hooks attached, it allows you to use a variety of hook baits per rig. What worked for me was hooking a tutti-fruitti flavoured floatie on one hook and a small piece of Eco Dough on the other. I then hooked a small Kariba worm as an extra attractant on each hook as well. I also used a variety of dips on both the actual feeder ball and each baited hook for extra flavour. Carp seem to like sweet attractants so for the hooked baits I used a Super Cast banana concentrate dip and for the feeder ball I used bomb dips by Champion Dips in Honey Glo and Tutti-Fruitti. It is often clever to use different coloured dips for visual variety, and if you walk into any fishing store you will find these in a wide variety of flavours. In fact selecting flavours and colours for floaties, bomb dips, and bait dips can be an extremely intimidating exercise if one considers the hundreds of types that exist.

Mielie bomb

All dams fish differently so it is wise to find out what flavours are working at particular venues before making your selections. Because I had no knowledge of Bronkhorstspruit carp baits, I decided to rig three different rods each with its own bait flavour configurations. I simply mixed and matched floatie bomb dips and bait dips randomly for each rod. Floaties I took in Tutti-Fruitti; Caramel; and Pink Sweets flavours, bomb dips I took in Honey Glo; Bubblegum; Vanilla; and Tutti-Fruitti flavours, and bait dips I took only Caramel and Banana.

My Tackle

Because I never really fish for carp I also had to buy myself the appropriate hardware. As a beginner I did not want to spend a fortune on my first Rod and reel outfit and what I ended up buying could, in my opinion, be the greatest entry level rod and reel carp combination out there. The rod that I chose was the Sensation 10’ Carp hunter and I matched that up with a Shimano Alivio 4000RB Spinning Reel. I picked these up for Just under R600 for the set, and the combo casted, and fished BEAUTIFULLY. I would recommend spooling the reel with 10 Lb monofilament line. The lighter line makes a massive difference in casting distance, and when fishing for carp one often has to cast as far as possible. The line I chose, purely for its attractive price, was Rovex CARP monofilament, which turned out to be exceptional value for money. I then tied a thicker 15 lb leader about twice the length of the rod to the end of this. I used Jackel Adaptive Camouflage Fishing Line.

Alivio 4000RB

Again, I would seriously recommend the above setup for anyone thinking about giving carp fishing a go. And on a final note I would strongly suggest that all those exclusive trout and bass fanatics out there open their minds, broaden their horizons and give carp fishing a shot. You won’t be disappointed.

Netted

 

 


Bronkies Barbel

I made my way to Bronkhorstspruit dam again on a rather cloudy, windy Saturday morning. I decided to fish for barbel in the heat of the day with platties. Conventionally barbels aren’t major daytime feeders, but in our experience they seem to make an exception with platties. Unfortunately due to water conditions and wind, fishing off of my small Ark inflatable was rather awkward which resulted in many missed strikes. Below are a couple pictures of the lone fish that I landed for the short time we spent fishing.

On

Side profile

Catfish


Bronkhorstspruit time again!!

Finally, it is summer again. Thank you thank you thank you! We took a drive out to Bronkhorstspruit dam this Sunday the 12th September 2010. Wow… we have been fishing this venue for a long time and I can literally see the patterns emerging,  and I know exactly what the water is going to look like at any time of year, before we even arrive. For example I know that at this time of year the thick matted vegetation that impedes just about every type of sit-and-wait fishing there is, no longer exists along the banks. Unfortunately for us bass fisherman, though, we really like having that matted vegetation around. The bass seem to like it, a lot.

Blaine always fighting with the locals

Unable to take the boat, all the bassing that we did was off the bank, and this experience was a solid reminder of how fortunate we are to have one. The difference between bank and boat fishing is immense. You are limited with structure, depth, and angle of approach just to name a few. But still there is something special about it, it sort of takes you back to your roots, where all the fishing began. The fishing was poor and we were only able to land 2 fish for the day. The first coming from my rather smug adopted sister, who ALWAYS manages to out-do us on the water. She pulled in a bass of about 500 grams after which I pulled one of a similar size, thankfully putting us at a draw for the day and saving me weeks of relentless touchdown banter.

Little miss smug

The lures of choice were a large green pumpkin Brushhog for her and a 5 inch stretch 40 in the same colour for me. Both seemed to have the same result with both of us losing a couple of fish in the small amount of vegetation that the fish always managed to find. On a final note, although the water at Bronkies is still slightly chilli, the fish have woken up for sure, with most of our bites taken on a fairly quick retrieve. I’d give Bronkies a good 2 weeks and get out there on the boat, it is going to wake up with a bang this season, I can tell.

My bass


Sometimes All You Get Is Bass

Bait Poacher

Just a short post about the weekends fishing. We hit a wind torn, pre-frontal Bronkies this past Sunday, the 18th April 2010 in pursuit of the GIANT barbel that we know lurk in the depths of those waters. Sadly, no Barbel came out that day, without even an enquiry from our whiskered friends. Interestingly though, we managed to land 3 ok sized bass, which could not stay away from our Barbel bait. Who would have thought that Bass, our favourite target species, could actually be a nuisance? I guess it’s like the old saying goes: “Sometimes you go out to catch Bass, and all you get is Barbel. Sometimes you go out to catch Barbel, and all you get is Bass”.

Small Fish

Small Fish


BASS-O-MANIA: THE RETURN

I returned to Bass-o-Mania this past weekend (30 August 2008) to what I thought again would be the first great day of the new season, after my previous miss prediction, a couple weeks ago. Again, I was wrong…

My 650 grammer

My 650 grammer

This time I returned with a newly found angling buddy, Damien, and our Ark Inflatable. I say again, what a dam for light boats and float tubes. Just too bad we are not the best at predicting weather just yet, as we were literally blown off the water, double anchors and all! BUT at least this time I eventually managed to land one of those green flashy fish we like so much, albeit a 650 gram tiddler. A fish is a fish! And caught on a slightly new rig for me, which consists of a 4” Yum Dinger (watermelon red), with a tiny ball sinker mojo-rigged between 20 and 40cm up the line. I’m used to the big old Yamamoto senkos, but at about R45 a bag of 15 Dingers I am pleasantly surprised with the Yums. Especially since they are not only completely filled with salt on the inside, but also covered with salt AND a product called Live Prey Technology (LPT), which is basically a scent attractant. Just holding the full bag of visually salted, senko-like baits gave me confidence in them. To put it simply, the salt basically allows them to sink nice and quick and on top of that the action of the bait as it sinks makes ME want to dive in and bite it myself!

So that is my boring story of one small fish and a bag of fake senkos, but Damien’s is a far more exciting one. After battling with the wind until lunch time we decided to do what no die-hard angler ever should… We decided to go home. For a guy who is hardly deterred from fishing by the setting sun and threats of grievous bodily harm from his girlfriend, you can imagine this decision a heartbreaking one. Not even lunch time and the mission had officially been aborted. Anyhow it was only after beginning our return to the opposite bank of the dam where we had parked the bakkie that the fishing gods smiled upon us.

While I rowed frantically against the wind, unbeknownst to me Damien had been trawling a watermelon seed Horny Toad behind, or rather, to the side of the crabbing boat. At that very moment he yelled for me to stop: “I’m stuck” he said. All of a sudden whatever he was stuck on began to shift… it began to move off… and it began to fight!! His tune changed: “Nice fish!” he yelled to me as he began to fight an obviously decent specimen. What a mission, I paddled myself silly against the wind to keep us off the rocks while Damien carefully and methodically played the barley hooked fish towards us. At times I had to stop rowing as the fish got nearer so as not to scare him into erratic, mad dashes.

Damien's 1.9 toad crusher

Damien's 1.9kg toad crusher

What were the chances!? Not high, that’s for sure, but the fishing gods must have felt sorry for us to give us the gift of a near 2kg fish (seen above) for our troubles on the water. The day may have been windy and short, but a 2.5kg bag between two is not bad for a couple hours, and it’s always satisfying watching a friend land a largemouth bass of that size. What was learnt on this trip is to diversify our angling stratergies. The fish Damien caught was hooked in a seemingly structure less area that I would never actively decide to fish. In future, I at least, will return to similar spots (with rocky sloped bottoms) to throw crank baits of various shapes, colours, and sizes, along the length of the bank, and just maybe a fish or two will be inspired to strike.


BASS-O-MANIA

As promised here is our post regarding our recent trip to Bass-O-Mania, which we have decided to conclude before we make mention of our personal tackle and technique choices for the upcoming season.

Plenty of reeds surround the clean open water at Bass-O-Mania

Plenty of reeds surround the clean open water at Bass-O-Mania.

Bass-O-Mania*…. Where do we start?! What a venue to say the very least. I contemplated for a while whether it a wise decision to post about such a reasonably untapped bassing resource, knowing that it could well be lost to the potentially destructive, and often ruthless, angling onslaught that has knowingly hit other, previously magical, inland angling destinations of our country in the past. However! This is a venue we simply could not help but be compelled to write about, and on top of that we have full faith in the consistently proactive founder/manager of Bass-O-Mania, Danie, who we know will do everything in his power to keep the venue alive with bass for a long time still to come.

Bass-O-Mania consists of a number of dams, I want to say 3 but somehow Danie constantly manages to get his hands on more and more exceptionally healthy bodies of water, all of which are absolutely alive with bass. The main dam is a fairly large body of water as well, which could probably accommodate a number of floatation devices and small boats, with a source dam slightly higher up from that boasting a rather large crystal clear body of water, that could carry the promise of some magical sight fishing this summer.

The "Bass Bugger" and his 1st Bass-O-Mania largemouth

The "Bass Bugger with his 1st Bass-O-Mania largemouth

Our recent excursion found us at Bass-O-Mania on the 2nd of August on what we initially thought would be the best bassing day of winter so far but turned out to be an average, colder than predicted and windy, angling Saturday. However, that did not stop “the Bass Bugger” Shaun Taylor from outshining me on the water from dusk till dawn on our brand new Ark Seal SP 300 series (which is a future post all on its own). From the first solid hook-set and noisy disturbance of the waters glossy surface he managed to land his 5 fish bag limit by the end of the day, without letting a thing get away. This performance hardly mirrored my own, which saw me landing a grand total of not one, not two, but in fact ZERO fish for our approximate 7 hour total out on the water.

Plenty of these, with the odd report of catches over 2kg's

Plenty of these, with the odd report of catches over 2kg

I think, after a few lost fish, the one thing that I really took away from the trip, and something that I have slowly began to learn over my short angling career is that no matter how powerfully rewarding angling can be, it is also at times agonizingly heartbreaking as well. On a happier note however, Bass-O-Mania is a location that we are going to be returning to time and time again, hopefully for many years to come in the hunt for that illusive 7 pound plus fish, we believe he is there!

And another...

And another...

* Fishing at bass-o-mania is by appointment only, Contact Danie at: 082 551 8088


OUR GREAT ADVENTURE!

bronkies-sun.jpg

And so they embarked on their adventure… the Zimbabwean, the German, and the South African. This adventure took place once again at Bronkhorstspruit dam. Myself and a couple of fellow fishermen, Gregor Rohrig and Russell Manchip decided to spend this past Saturday night (3rd March) on the bank of Bronkies in the hopes of hooking into some decent bass and missing the thunderstorms which had been forecasted for the entire weekend.

car-or-tent.jpg

After a not so short visit to the tackle shop and a quick bite to eat for breakfast we made tracks for the dam, a one and a half hour drive from Boksburg on the open road. It did not take us long to arrive at our favourite spot, set up base camp, tackle up, and get our baits into the warm shallows! Only after a few hours of casting and retrieving our Baby Brushogs over and over again did the bites begin! Although they were very few, and very far between both Gregor and Russell got one bite each that stuck! With both of them pulling out a one kilo beauty I was left behind missing almost every strike I got, and letting two off the hook, so to speak, on account of thick weeds and one over zealous attempted hook set.

russ-catch.jpg

As night fell we settled in around a warm charcoal fire to chat about the days fishing and annihilate a case of ice cold beer, shortly after gorging ourselves on Gregor’s braai grilled chicken, chop, and boerie cuisine. With flashes of lightning all around us, only threatening to come closer, and the full moon brightening our surroundings with beautiful moon rays, the likes of which we had never seen, we decided to throw another line into the water, this time with molded bread at the end, while we sat covered in our sleeping bags talking about absolutely everything and nothing of importance at the same time. Our peaceful, quiet surroundings were broken only by the sounds of faint music and voices, which traveled across the still water from a party taking place on the opposite side of the dam. Upon deciding to turn in for the night at about half past eleven Russell began to reel in his rod only to find a firm tugging at the end of his line! To be honest I never believed him until he tore his pants off in excitement and headed for the water. True as nuts he emerged from the water with his first ever carp (app. 500g)! This was not his last as the next day the ‘Carp King’ managed to land another slightly larger carp in the same manner with only bread on his hook.

gregors-catch.jpg

 

The next day we were not as fortunate as the previous, as far as bass fishing was concerned, and so we ended the weekend early, shortly after guzzling down our lunch. As a final word I’d like to end off with a an important message from Confuscious, brought to light by the newly appointed ‘Carp King’ Russell Manchip, that we could all take away from our weekend adventure… “Man who gets hit in balls with rod, not necessarily homosexual”.

 


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