Carp Fishing in South Africa
Carp fishing in South Africa has come a long way since the days of fishing with brown bread and curry powder or vanilla powder and the old “Vaaldam Stroppe”. These days the tackle, rods and reels are of a better quality and the ranges of carp baits have greatly improved. The fishing hasn’t gotten easier but is still just as enjoyable as ever.
European carp fishing is run like a coordinated business. They have different carp venues each specializing in a unique style of fishing. All their lakes have strict guidelines with managers, guides and groundskeepers that work at and run these lakes on a permanent basis.
South Africa doesn't have these kinds of structures at our dams, but we have something far greater. We have what is known as wild waters. At these dams carp get to grow well past 10kg. Some of the more famous wild water dams include Doorndraai Dam, Fanie Botha Dam (Tzaneen Dam) and Buffelspoort Dam just to name a few. These dams house gorgeous carp and have standard camping grounds that anglers can go to. Our dams have started to grow in such a big way, that they have begun to get a name worldwide as a prime fishing spots.
Our dams might not be as structured as the European dams and we might not have all the rules in place as yet but the upside is that as specimen carp fishing grows in South Africa and people start to see things differently regarding fishing and the preservation of carp, thanks to the etiquette involved with specimen carp fishing, our dams are on their way to be protected and will survive for many more years.
Lately more and more conventional anglers have started to go over to specimen carp fishing. Provincial angling clubs have set rules that prevent damage to carp. This has started to change the way older anglers think and the way they go about fishing. This in tern changes the way the younger anglers fish because they look up to the older guys. As the saying goes ”knowledge is power” and if we can teach the young anglers to take care then they will be the better anglers of tomorrow.
About our dams.
South Africa has some great carp fishing dams where wild carp of sizes over 10kg can be caught. Some of these well-known dams include Doorndraai Dam in Limpopo, Fanie Botha Dam (Tzaneen Dam) in Tzaneen, Donaldson Dam in Randfontein, Klaserie Dam in Mpumalanga, Koppies Dam in the Free State and many more. All these dams have beautiful carp and some also have great camping facilities at your disposal. These are all great dams for specimen, competitive and recreational carp anglers.
South Africa also have some dedicated specimen carp fishing venues such as Rushmere, Donaldson top lake and Bass O Mania where they cater strictly for specimen carp anglers. These dams have fixed rules and regulations regarding the tackle that may be used, the safety of the carp and some even on what types of carp baits may be used.
In South Africa we have a lot of wild waters that are truly vast in size such as Buffelspoort dam, Fanie Botha dam, Doorndraai dam and many more delivering stunning carp. But these waters need to be protected from the catch and kill types of fisherman, which we were unfortunately taught growing up.
Finding a good dam.
There are a couple of different ways that you can find a new dam with potential. Here is some advice on how to find that next perfect dam.
It can happen by accident that you drive past a new dam with medium sized fish that you never even new existed. some great dams are hidden among residential areas that you might not even know about.
Newspapers and Magazines.
Keep an eye on your local literature. Every now and then an article appears with fotos about a dam that you didn't know about. Naturally how older the dam is the better. Find out if the dam has ever run dry and if it has how dry did it get.
Syndicate dams are not yet very popular in South Africa but there are a couple of dams that do work in this fashion. With a syndicate there is total control over who is aloud to fish the dam and the catch and release of fish can be regulated very stiptly.
Friends and fellow fisherman.
If your friends know that you are a fisherman and love going out on weekends then they can always have a look out for you when they are traveling. Some times they can come across a dam that only a hand full of people know about. Fellow fisherman can also tell you about a dam but this is a very rare situation as fisherman don't really like sharing this type of information.
Getting to know farmers or people that do own farms or game reserves is another way of finding new dams. A lot of the times these dams never have any one fishing them and they are totally wild waters where any thing is possible. A truly great find if you are lucky enough to fins a gem like this.
Albert Falls Dam
Bloemhof Dam (Oppermansdrif)
North West Free State
Latitude: -24.530269 Longitude: 31.061681
Free State Gauteng
Advice on choosing a dam.
Articles in magazines.
Read through all the magazines that you can get hold of. A lot of the times they will have good articles giving away some secrets on the different dams. Read up about on the different dams as much as posible to find out where good fishing spots are and what baits other fisherman are using.
If you get a chance to talk to fellow anglers intruduce yourself and ask some questions. They might give you some good advice on where to fish, at what times of the day are fish being caught and what baits to give a try.
Visit the dam.
If it is possible take a trip to the dam to go have a look at it yourself. With your first visit to the dam have a walk around the dam, if small enough, or at the side where you are able or allowed to fish. Look for structures in the water where carp might be found. Make a sketch of the dam and make as many notes as possible. Big carp like to show themselves espesially in early mornings and late afternoon. Make a note of where you saw them. Talk to other anglers that are there and ask them about the dam and where they like to fish and where they have observed carp. They might not always tell you exactly where to fish and where the best spots are but after talking to a couple of fisherman you can start to form a general idiee where the carp might be.
The very best Carp Angling in South Africa
Beautiful shots of the quality Carp Fishing that's available in our waters.
Carp Fishing with Tiger Nuts
View the action as the guys from SACS catch a beautiful 12.8kg Common Carp on Tiger Nuts.
A sample of the excellent carp fishing available in South Africa.