Outing to “The Origin”– 10th to 12th September 2021
Blog by Ben Venter, Barry from BoaTmanZA's regular peggie, fishing with Darren Allsop from Catching Carp magazine ... Ben writes ....
I had a last-minute opportunity to fish "The Origin", which is part of the Winelands syndicate with Darren Allsopp from CatchingCarp Magazine.
After a busy week that was more down than up, I made my way to the water. After getting stuck in traffic on the N1 due to an accident and the normal "rubbernecking", I arrived at Winelands Friday at around 14:30. After all Covid protocols were met I could get my kit and rigs sorted. Darren gave me a few bits and pieces of his TactiCarp end tackle to test during the session and let me tell you, I was impressed with the quality and how simplistic it made tying absolute bulletproof rigs. (I am now a TactiCarp platoon member representing the brand in the Western Cape alongside Darren.)
I arrived with a preconceived plan of what I wanted to do. Due to the initial warmer weather that lasted for three days and a cold front making its way in and arriving Saturday afternoon, I initially decided to fish a shallower spot with both my rods placed close together and then to bait up a deep-water spot to rest and fish from Saturday onwards.
Oom Barry Theron from BoatmanZA.com, who was fishing Mountain View, another lake on the syndicate the weekend, was very generous and gave me his Boatman Actor Pro2.2 to use and test the weekend. He helped me to set 3 waypoints which I identified by using the fish finder and by utilizing the autopilot it made baiting and rebaiting an absolute breeze. A must have piece of kit.
Darren got his lines in first by using his tried and tested canoeing skills, where after I placed my rigs. Baiting up with a buffet of Fish Clinic products and a new product Johan Van Der Westhuizen from Fish Clinic gave me to test. The Mega Carpy "Spicy Malt" and "Peanut & Krill" feeding boosters can only be described as a Liquid Food Source because just referring to it as a feeding booster does not do it justice. You can just see why he is the best in the game and an absolute legend. Thanks Johan.
My traps were set and we settled in for a "lekker" social and braai, waiting on a lump to make our alarms sing. Around one o'clock I had a funny pickup on my right-hand rod and after lifting it there was nothing at the end of my line, she had done me...
Seeing that the water temperatures dropped on the Actors fish finder and still having another rod place on the shallow spot. I decided to rather place my rig on the deep-water spot we pre-baited and not to disturb possible feeding fish still close to my other rig. A move that would pay off significantly during the session.
Loading the Actor bait boat with my rig and bait proved to be an absolute breeze rebaiting in the darkness early morning. Darren made us a cup of tea and we settled in for the rest of the evening.
We woke up just after sunrise and you could feel the anticipation growing and the conditions looking spot on for a run. Just after seven o'clock my left had rod, which I repositioned during the early morning was off and I lifted into an absolute maniac of a mid-double dark orange and black spotted Koi... Dragon tail weighing in @6.9kg (15lb 3oz).
Ben with his first for the weekend .... DragonTail - 15lb 3oz
After a few stills, I released her safely back in the lake. I rebaited and two hours later the same rod rumbled off again with another mid double light yellow almost Ghosty looking Common, slightly bigger @ 7.52kg (16lb 9oz).
Ben with his 2nd for the weekend .... almost Ghosty - 16lb 9oz
The rod went back to the spot and we had a quick lunch, where after we went on a new spot search for Darren's rods. Using the Actor Pro 2.2 bait boat and its fish finder we found and marked two new spots for him as waypoints.
Just before 4 o'clock, my right-hand rod on the shallower spot roared off and after an epic fight that saw me running around the lake away from some snags. 28 minutes, that felt like an hour and many prayers later I managed to net an absolute brute of a Common Carp. After netting the fish, which I must add had a perfect hook hold in the middle, on the edge of its bottom lip, the hook got stuck in the net. I called to Darren to bring me a pair scissors and he ran to assist me. As I cut the hook free from the net and the fish shook her head imbedded the size 6 wide gape deep into my left-hand middle finger.... but the buzz and adrenaline of just landing this beautiful fish overshadowed any feeling of pain.
Darren assisted me with getting the lump safely back to our swim and between the four of us fishing the syndicate the weekend, you could say we had a whole emergency room on standby. Jared Allsopp, Darren's brother who was fishing with Oom Barry on Mountain View, swiftly removed the hook and gave me a manicure... LOL
We treated the fish’s mouth and my finger with Fish Clinic propolis and weighed the fish. I was sure she would break the magical 40lb mark, but she weighed in @ 16.34kg (36.02lb) and a new South African and Common PB. We got some amazing stills and an amazing release video. So, I took a celebratory dunk in the lake to seal the occasion, what a memory...
**** PB ALERT ****
Ben's third and SA PB Common - 36.02lb
I was still busy getting my rig sorted to rebait when Darren’s right-hand rod took off. After an intense fight, his line getting tangled on a branch and wiping out the two remaining lines in the water, Darren showed some top angling skills and he landed one of his target fish and the biggest Mirror in the lake, weighing in @ 14.44kg (31lb 13oz). Well done mate!
**** TARGET FISH ALERT ****
Darren's first for the weekend - Mirror @ 31lb 13oz
Rebaiting went smoothly and while I had some work to do, Jared cooked some steaks on the fire and I quickly tied a couple of fresh rigs, in between doing work, for the remainder of the session. We enjoyed our dinner, had another cup of tea and settled in for the evening, confident that we will see some action during the night or early the next morning.
We woke up after a well-deserved, uninterrupted night's rest, we had some coffee and sat waiting in anticipation, knowing that it was bite o'clock. As if it was scripted my left-hand rod roared off taking line ferociously and then just decided to give up, wobbling in, all the way into the back of my net. Bagger, initially I didn't think the fish was that big, but after unhooking her and placing her in the cradle, the weigh sling revealed a deep, long Common in impeccable condition. Weighing her the scale came to a halt @ 18.44kg (40lb 10oz) ... a new Common and South African PB for me breaking the previous one I just set the day before, mega chuffed with this chunk. After taking a few breath-taking stills with my prize catch, I rebaited my rod and started with a slow pack up.
**** PB UPON PB ALERT ****
Ben's 4th and NEW SA PB Common - 40lb 10oz
An hour later the same rod had a drop back and I lifted into another fish and a beautiful mid-double Mirror fell into my net, a slightly smaller but beautiful fish @ 10.4kg (22lb 15oz). Photos were taken, the fish released and the rod repositioned.
Ben's 5th - a beautiful Mirror - 22lb 15oz
An hour or so passed and the same rod had a couple of beeps, I picked up the rod and reeled in a small, but impressive Common of about 4/5lb. One that came from the last spawn. Photos were taken of both sides of the fish, for Johan’s record and to track the progress of the fish and so the fish was safely moved to one of the stock ponds.
Ben's last Common - a baby for the stock pond
Winelands is an absolutely amazing place, with breath-taking views and amazing fish, it’s a place where memories are made and friendships are forged.
Magnificent view of the mountain
Johan Van Der Westhuizen Winelands Carp Fisheries (Fish Clinic)has truly outdone himself. He has more than 25 years of fish management and specimen angling experience and it truly shows through his venues and Fish Clinic products.
Johan from a previous session with ET .... a lump @ 29.30kg (64lb 9oz)
Unfortunately, our time ran out and we had to reel in our lines, pack in our rods and point our cars in the direction of our homes and families.
Massive shout out to Johan Van Der Westhuizen from Winelands and Fish Clinic, TactiCarp, Oom Barry Theron from BoatmanZA and Darren my partner in crime for a memorable session.
"Don't follow the path, rather go to where no one has gone before and leave a new path..."
What a session!
To be continued...