Complements of the season to you and the Sacs team. Here's to hoping pb's get shattered in 2014.
Thought I would send you a small report on a recent session at African blessings.
Booking was easy and efficient, directions were simple and precise. Upon arriving at the gate we were met by the friendly security Gaurd who gave us directions to the dam, told us about security cameras, electric fencing and patrol guards. He arranged for some one to escort us to our swims. Once at the swims the staff helped offload the boat and offered to bring us wood for a fire (being summer we declined)
It's a small water, with reeds all round, Lilly pads in a few places and a few visible tree stumps in the water.
Upon scouting the water in front of our two swims, we decided on our spots to drop baits. The dam is quite shallow with the deepest parts being about 2.8m and an average depth of about 1.5m.
Rods in and ready for action, we went about setting up our camp. Not ten minutes later and the rod we dropped last goes screaming off, straight into the reeds, so it's into the boat I go to land what looked like a 5kg-6kg fish, caught on a barnoffee boillie topped with a red fake maize, released it there and then and dropped the rod back in its place. Getting back to finishing the camp and again the same rod screams off, snagged up, so we rush for the boat and head to retrieve the fish, half way there and it's loose and the fish is lost. What a positive start, seemed we were in for a busy session. The farm owner came past to check if everything was fine and chatted for a bit, telling us fishing stories from the past. A few hours of no bites, so we fished for some bass as the sun was starting to set. Not watching the time we sat chatting and waiting for night fall for the action to start, only to be surprised that the sun finally set at 20:30. Our next run came at around 10pm with the fish snagging in the reeds we went in the boat to retrieve it but it came off as we were untangling the line from the reeds. With the rod placed back on its spot 20min later it's running again, with a slow beep beep then a screening run when Wessel picked up the rod the fish was on, but not for long as the line went slack first thought was hook pull, on rig inspection we found the 25lb hook link clean off about half way down the hook link. From then on we had constant action every hour till morning, so much so that eventually we didn't redrop any rods that ran. The sun rose early and it was light at 4:30am and extremely hot by 6am.
We waited till after 9am to redo our rods that were left, and weren't disappointed, we had a 4 more runs that morning. We were then visited by one of the rescued dogs from the farm, a small black dog who made himself at home by us, following everyone around. The farmer told us his name but we forgot and named him blackie. Being so hot we thought we would get no action till later when it cooled down, but we got bites from 11am till 3pm then quiet till about 7pm where we had a string of runs, one after the other including a double up and soon had no rods left in the water. Most of the fish heading straight for the reeds or tree stumps we had to be fast, even 5meters from your rods was to far. We had found two spots were producing most of the runs and they would run within minutes of being dropped. Fishing with tight drags to give us a chance of being in contact with the fish before it hit the reeds we had to be quick as one run almost took the rod into the dam. These fish fight hard even the small ones and are in good condition. All rods reset and ready to settle down after a busy day, only there would be no settling down as from 8:30pm the fish were on the bite again. The first run of the night was a one toner and I started playing what seemed like a decent fish after a minute or two nothing, just slack line, On reeling to the end of the rig I note the weight hadn't been dropped, so no snagging and again 25lb hook link clean off about 2/3 of the way down. Rod reset and ready for action. I settled into my bivvy with blackie lying under my stretcher, only to be woken by Wessel calling for the landing net and that was the last we rested with runs coming every hour. The next morning we decided to pack up early and call it a day as we were tired from the two busy nights. Leaving the rods and boat to be packed last delivered a bonus three fish while we were packing up the camp. All in all a great weekend, nice clean and safe venue.
With plenty fish, carp as well as bass. The average size was just over 5kg, with the smallest being 5.3kg and the biggest 7.4kg. We ended on 28runs, 16 fish landed. All caught on boilies critically balanced with fake maize. Any red boillie or red fake maize got picked up the fastest. The fish are in good condition with only one having a sore by its tail, 90% of the fish didn't have any previous hook marks, three fish landed were treated for a lost scale, all fish were released after getting carp clinic on the hook hold and one fish had a fat pair of lips like the tzaneen carp. We had a great time and were now packed to head home, leaving only blackie behind at the waters edge.
Here are photos of the last 2 fish we landed before heading home.
We would like to thank sacs for the awesome work they are constantly doing and for the great venues that they have secured for their members. We have not been to one sacs venue and had a bad experience. All venues have been safe, clean and good value for money.
Mark & Wessel