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The Unknown
by Naas Le Roux
15 June 2010
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It is not every day that one gets the opportunity to fish waters that lie barely untouched by fisherman and has certainly not seen any carp specimen angling in its time. As a big carp hunter the first challenge is to work out if this new venue holds any prizes and whether it is worth the time effort and money to pursue the monster that might lurk in its belly.
Now this is a river that is very well known although almost all the land that border it is privately owned and it is not fishable in all its length. We could get access to about a kilometre of this water that was dammed up in the early 1920’s. The river reaches depths of up to six metres and is in average about 15 metres wide. The river is fed by a natural spring which means it is slow flowing with very clean water and although its levels was very low in for some time in the 70’s and 80’s it has always had sufficient water levels to sustain the aquatic life and there has never been any fish deaths and this was confirmed by the owner that grew up next to the river and who didn’t even know that there were carp in the sizes that we were looking for (Him not being an angler and not allowing any fishing on his land other than his son catching some big catfish).



The first thing that got me interested in this place is when my mate, Frans, told me that while in pursuit of the striped black bass that also inhabits this water he crossed paths with a submarine from the family of cyprinus carpio. The second and very alluring factor was the fact that it was a river and I have very fond memories of river fishing in my younger years. The last but not the least of the features that got my carper blood boiling was the scenery and tranquillity and more so the exclusivity.....this place looked bloody CARPY!!!!!
I invited Frans, being mostly a bass fisherman, to join me for a session of some serious carp fishing at another very prolific big carp water. He was to only bring himself and I would supply all the bait and gear for the session. Our session went well and he was getting a grip on the Specimen carp fishing semantics and after baiting all of his lines himself and dropping them on the spots that he has worked on for the whole preceding three days it was a wait I told him, but no big fish was showing themselves and I stood on the point of complete ridicule. Then on our last night it happened. His middle rod started with a few beeps and we were out of the tents as the beeps gradually grew into a line stripping event. For the next three hours he was fighting this fish of which I felt the strength of and it is not like anything I’ve felt in any freshwater fishing scenario....This was a monster of some sorts. Then as gut wrenching as anything one can think of the hooklink gave after more than three hours of cat and mouse. Although he didn’t get his monster on his first session he was hooked and there was no turning back. We got him a proper setup out of some of my extras and other bits here and there and he would arrange for us to get access to the river to go get the submarine...
He couldn’t wait to get onto the river so the next weekend found him doing an over nighter in the middle of winter sleeping in his car with only one blanket....BRRRR This paid off since he landed a new PB carp weighing just over 8kg. Landing it on his own in a snaggy swim with a 42 inch soft mesh landing net he turned out to be a bit of a natural at this. The momentum of his excitement was now running out of control. Our first session together was planned shortly after and I was now as excited as he was.

When Approaching a new water like this it is very important to get a proper baiting strategy going. The idea was that we would fish this as one of our target waters on a regular basis and we want our bait to be beneficial to the fish over the long run. This water gives us access to about 2,5 hectares of water which is reasonably small and a good bait could easily be established here. To choose a bait was not that difficult because firstly we were dealing with wild carp that haven’t seen all kinds of funny baits. Secondly we wanted to get the fish onto a bait that will benefit them over the long run and we would benefit from the fish cleaning out our baits being a good additional food source. Our decision was then ....Only boilies and high protein pellets will be fed. I have a trusted base mix that have given me and a few other anglers, for whom I prepared bait, constant results. In addition to the plain boilies which we would use as the base in our feeding we also added two variations to up the attraction value of the boilies and these were also to be used as hookbaits. We firstly added some of Nash’s Formula 1 to the recipe which is probably one of the best carp attractors ever and secondly we made a boilie containing 30% powdered high protein pellets the same ones we were feeding together with robin red.
In the next issue I will take you through our approach to this water and some of the tactics and results that we had in our first session.

One of the first fish
One of the first fish
One of the first fish that fell to our presentation

The Spot
The Spot
The piece of water that I targeted



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