CarpFever 2015


South African Specimen Carp Fishing Digital Magazine.



Exclusive Q&A




» How to


your catch

» The best

pics of 2015



Would it make

you a better



Glugs and

hookbait tips






December 2015 | A



December 2015



Note from the editor.



News, tips and tricks of the trade.



What does 50 grams mean to you?




Two friends, two years, one fish.


Glugs and hookbait edges.


Exclusive interview

with Mark Pitchers







How to photograph your catch.


Recap the best of 2015.


The latest news, tips and tricks.


Hotdog hat trick.













My next carpy

purchase will be…

Daiwa Basia reels.

Current rig I’m

fishing… Hinged

Stiff Rig and a

blowback variation.

My favourite

bankside grub

is… biltong and

also two-minute


If I’m not catching

carp, I’ll be

catching… muddies.

My highlight of

2015… That would

have to be the

success I had on

homemade boilies

this year. The best

fishing season of

my life.

» Check out his

article on page 22.

My next carpy

purchase will be…

a tarty rod pod.

Current rig I’m

fishing… Chod Rig.

My favourite

bankside grub is…

butter croissant

with coffee in the


If I’m not catching

carp, I’ll be

catching… sea fish,

bass and yellowfish.

My highlight of

2015… Passing my

Project Management

Professional. On the

carpy side, enjoying

carp fishing even

more for what it is.

Being on the bank

and having a good

chat with friends!

Let’s not forget

Spotty – the carpy

dog, my fishing


» Check out his

opinion piece on

page 6.

My next carpy

purchase will be… a

carp cradle.

Current rig I’m

fishing… Combi Rig.

My favourite

bankside grub is…

chops, rump and


If I’m not catching

carp, I’ll be

catching… bass.

My highlight of

2015… My highlight

of 2015 was the

privilege to have my

Dad joining me in

search of big carp,

like we have done

throughout my life

and will continue

to do for years to


» Otto

provides some

tips and tricks on


your catch on

page 24.

My next carpy

purchase will be… a

new throwing stick.

Current rig I’m

fishing… KD Rig.

My favourite

bankside grub is…

anything on the


If I’m not catching

carp, I’ll be

catching… trout.

My highlight of

2015… was being

fortunate enough

to catch my new

PB from a very

difficult venue;

while my best friend

was visiting from

overseas. Special

moments I’ll cherish


» Read his article

about Peach

Tank on page 16. December 2015 | 1

2 | December 2015

Editor: Pieter Grobler

Proofreaders: Paul Reich,

Wynand Roest

Contributors: Jaco Jacobs, Razvan Vlad,

Wynand Roest, Otto Kruger

Photography: Christelle Grobler,

Pieter Grobler

Design: Pieter Grobler


The Journey

It is with great pride and excitement that I present CarpFever’s

first digital magazine in celebration of our one year anniversary.

We hope that you enjoy the magazine and that our love and

passion for angling shines through, because that in itself is

what made this happen. We’re an independent team that works

after hours to produce the content you see regularly. It’s been

challenging at times as we all want to be behind our rods,

soaking in the sun and landing those golden beauties. But, I

found a different set of rewards while working on CarpFever

friendships. The amount of wonderful people I had the chance to

meet and chat with has been amazing and showed me that you

can only ‘catch’ so much with a rod and reel. Thank you all!

Then there’s the team. Wynand Roest, Jaco Jacobs, Razvan

Vlad, Otto Kruger and Paul Reich. No amount of words could ever

thank you guys enough for the hours spent writing, answering

questions and proofreading articles. Your dedication and hard

work is admirable. True legends amongst men. I also want to

thank everyone else who contributed articles, Q&As and snippets

during the year. You guys rock. Then there’s the lady of the crew,

my wife Christelle. She had my back from the go and supported

me all the way without hesitation. Keeping the team and I on our

toes all the way. Thank you, I would never have been able to do

this without you.

Then the big one, our readers and fans! All this hard work and

effort would have been in vain if not for the support and positive

feedback. You have made it worth our while. I hope you all enjoy

the read and good luck with the final push into 2016. Next year is

going to be a big one!


Cape Town Office

Howard Hamlet

University Drive

PO BOX 10410

Cape Town, Pinelands


Follow us on:


All rights reserved. No part of this

publication may be reproduced without

written consent to CarpFever. While

reasonable precautions have been

taken to ensure the accuracy of advice

and information given to readers,

the editor and contributors cannot

accept responsibility for any damages

or inconvenience that may arise from

incorrect information.

December 2015 | 3


News, tips and tricks.


We asked: YAY OR NAY?

What do you guys think of this little innovation from

Mustad Hooks Europe?


Yay for the unorganised and quick overnight

sessions, but I still believe in tying my own rigs.

You get more satisfaction doing so. Going to try

the multi rig soon, easy to do, so let’s see.

– Wayne Malan

Nah... Fox once did a better version and it wasn’t

a great seller… – Adriaan Van Der Merwe

Nee wat... sal die selfde rig kan bou met ‘n stiff

hair link. – Heinrich Hanekom

Nay I like to do it myself and be different – it is

almost like buying a ready tied rig. – Otto Kruger

I would personally give it a shot, just to test it out.

But I am not a fan. No room for any adjustments.

Plus I love tying my own rigs way to much. One

thing is for certain, the bait will move up and down

these hooks like a hot knife through butter.

– Pieter Grobler



The guys up in Gauteng might not

have this problem often, but the

crew in the Western Cape is in a

constant battle with the wind. We’ve

seen some nasty stuff like gazebos

bending, pods taking a dive, dams

with waves like the ocean and the

most bizarre – wind blowing across

the river causing a rain-effect with

no cloud in sight! Your heart sinks

into your stomach when expensive

gear starts flying around. CarpFever

came up with a clever trick to secure

your pod – all you need is a lonely

tent stake and a cable tie.

WHAT TO DO: Secure a tent stake

with a hammer underneath the pod.

Tie a cable tie around your pod and

the tent stake to secure the setup.

Hopefully you won’t have to wake up

in the middle of the night with a pod

turned upside down.

4 | December 2015



know how many other anglers can handle

pressure and fishing on a lake with some of

the country’s best and target one specific

fish. He is not claiming any bait guru glory

or new inventions; his watercraft is from

another world and he might look cocky and

infatuated to some, but in his book he is

modest and to the point that makes it even

more interesting to read. – Razvan Vlad



What I liked about the book is that Darrell

didn’t try to sugarcoat and make his captures

something of a supernatural angler. He

admits that he put a lot of time in which

wouldn’t have been possible for a normal

working person. He also admits that if he

wouldn’t fish tomorrow he would most

probably be on the streets, as he doesn’t

have any other set of skills except driving a

forklift and fishing. A very good heads-up

for the upcoming anglers that think they

will become fishing stars and live out of


He is one of the very few, maybe thousands

of anglers, that succeeded. He wrote about

his addiction as well and how it almost ruined

his life. He is a straightforward angler that

doesn’t look for the magic tricks, but puts his

head down and fishes long and hard. I don’t



Jim Shelley or Uncle Jim as most people

know him is definitely what you would call

marmite. You either love the uncle or you

don’t. With that being said, you can’t argue

the fact that he is one of the most successful

anglers in the UK. Carping Re-Cut takes you

through Jim’s angling journey while sitting in

the front seat. And you better hold on as Jim

Shelley puts his foot to the floor, covering

lake for lake while pumping the trans music.

It’s an inspirational read that showed

me what true dedication, watercraft and

persistence really is. What I enjoy the most is

the way Jim Shelley paints a picture of each

catch; it forces you to take a sneak peak on

the next page just to satisfy the cravings

while reading your way through the 566

pages with over 400 photos. There is only a

handful of books left and they are selling out

quick. Great read with plenty to learn.

– Pieter Grobler

It’s an


read that

showed me

what true





really is.


CarpFever entered the 2015 South African Blog

Awards and we need your help. Please vote for us

before 8 January 2016 in both categories, Best

Lifestyle Blog and Best Sport Blog. We thank you

for the support and hope to bring you much more

content in the future.

Click here to

vote now December 2015 | 5



The achievement, the rush, all

those hours spent behind the

rods. Will it be the same if you

told friends a little white lie?



6 | December 2015


Razvan Vlad

But, it has

never crossed

my mind to

call it more

than what

it was, 50

grams or not.

Would being

part of the 50

pounder ‘club’

make me a

better angler?


Razvan with

his new PB of


his year I was fortunate


to catch a new PB.

It was the same fish

I caught little over

a year ago, and it

weighed about 1kg

more compared to my

previous record. I was buzzing from this new


The fish had put up a battle of note, pulling

me through weed beds several times before

finally giving in. It was an astonishing battle

that will stay with me for a very long time.

After netting it, I let it rest in the shallows

while I soaked the mat and filled a bucket

with water. Lifting a 20kg plus carp out of the

water between the weeds is not an easy task,

so I had to use a weigh sling – it has more

cushioning, and the carp is more secured.

The electronic scale announced my

new PB at 22,650kg. That is an awesome

achievement for any carp angler. We all have

goals and targets, and one of those is the

almost mythical weights that the UK carp

anglers have made famous over time... the

40 to 50 pounders. You may ask what it has

to do with my story? A quick Google search

will reveal that 50 pounds equal 22,680kg.

I had checked my scale a day later and it

had an error of 20 grams which, as the title

says, put me 50 grams away from the famed

50lbs mark.


Now to get to my grief: I have noticed a lot

of posts on social media with carp reported

at certain weights. They spark arguments to

the point where individuals are threatening

one another, and arguing about who the

better angler is and which fish weighs

how much. I have avoided these types of

arguments as they are not constructive at

all. I could have called my fish a 50 pounder

and (most probably) no one would have

noticed or argued with me (we are talking

50 grams here). But, it has never crossed

my mind to call it more than what it was, 50

grams or not. Would being part of the 50

pounder ‘club’ make me a better angler? I

don’t think so, but that’s not the argument

I am trying to make. What happens when I

catch an actual 50 pounder? I would be very

happy, but if I had lied, this ‘achievement’

would only be a second fish for me, which

would not make it as great as it would be

when I know it’s my actual first 50. I would

be the only one knowing that.

I see a lot of young anglers posting

pictures with alleged 16 to 18kg carp that

at a quick glance would need a few more

years to get to that size. The big questions

are: are they educated in operating their

scales correctly, and secondly, why would

they lie about the size and post it on social

media? What happens if in two month’s time

the angler catches a ‘real’ 16 to 18kg carp?

Then anyone can match the two pictures

and decide for themselves. I’m not pointing

fingers here, and I do understand that we

are designed to push our limits and achieve

more every time. But, in not being truthful,

you will have to face yourself every time you

catch a carp and report its weight. What if

the carp is 12kg and you report it at 14kg,

then you catch a 14kg and report it 16kg,

then a 17kg and report it at 21kg. Where

does it stop?

If I see an angler with four carp over 10kg,

I will think that he knows more about what

he is doing right then someone else who

caught that one ‘fluke’ 16kg and no other

notable catches. The angler with more carp

on the bank will catch a bigger one when the

time is right. He will know what he did right

and wrong, being able to repeat the catches

compared to the lucky angler who got a fish

in a lifetime, for a lifetime.


So far I have mentioned more numbers

than what you will find in a boilie recipe.

At the end of the day this is what they are,

just numbers. In a pond where you have

an average of 5 to 6kgs, a catch of 10kg

will be an awesome achievement. A 50

pounder, in a big carp lake in France, is only

an average size fish. At the end of the day,

anglers should be enjoying themselves and

not worry about reports; the weight should

be a personal achievement. From my side,

I will not post weights anymore and if I do

catch a PB; it will be just that, a personal


I would like to leave you all with a quote

from the classic book The Carp Strikes Back

by Rod Hutchinson and Friends. “If it makes

you rush to the garage, grab the rods and

head for the lake, don’t forget to smell the

hops along the way.’”

Until next time, catch a big one. December 2015 | 7



8 | December 2015




Mark’s favourite capture of 2015 is this

stunning 40lb 6oz common from a very

busy (and very tricky) day-ticket water. December 2015 | 9

Mark Pitchers needs no

introduction. We all know him from

the extremely popular series by

Fox International, The Challenge.

CarpFever had the privilege to ask

him a few questions:

Mark Pitchers

Age: 37

From: Middlesbrough, North East England

Personal best catch: 56lb 8oz

Daily occupation: Angling consultant, journalist,

tutor and fishery owner

Sponsors: Fox and CC Moore

Where did your interest in angling start?

It started when I was just five years old and

I use to catch small fish in the local stream

with my bare hands. Then one day I went into

the local village shop to buy a hand net and

the guy behind the counter said something

along the lines of “I think you’ll do better with

one of these” and he gave me one of his old

fishing rods. It’s amazing to think that that

one event set me off down the angling path;

no one in my family fished, so if that hadn’t

happened who knows what I would have

ended up doing.

Mark, you are very popular down here

in South Africa due to The Challenge

series, how did your ‘break’ in the industry

came about?

Well, I’m sure it sounds pretty sad but carp fishing

is always on my mind, I have fished from a very

early age and I have never lost that ‘buzz’.

Where did it all start? I guess it started

when I was 16 years old. Back then I was

a match angler and was representing the

Drennan England Youth Team. I fished

two World Championships and Home

International, picking up a team gold and

team bronze in the process. It was around

this time I started writing for the match

fishing magazines, and when I made the

transition to carp fishing I began writing

for the carp mags. In 2003/04 I had a

crazy 10 month period when I banked fish

of 49lb 15oz, 50lb 10oz and 56lb 8oz and

as a result I got nominated for the Carp

Angler of the Year award. I didn’t win, but I

guess it did get me ‘noticed’ by a few more

people within the industry.

You are a consultant for CC Moore and Fox

International, what does it take to become

an consultant for these top brands?

Becoming a consultant doesn’t happen

overnight, a lot of people catch a couple of

big fish and think that’s all they need to do,

but it is being able to do that with consistency

over a long period of time that is the mark

of a good angler. Also, it’s not just about

catching fish, it’s about having a strong media

presence too, both in the magazines and also

on social media, so I would say good writing

and photography skills are a big advantage.

The chances are, if you are doing everything

right, companies will notice and approach

you, rather than you approaching them.

Above: Mark’s

biggest fish of

2015 (so far), a

chunky 46lb 1oz


10 | December 2015


What does a busy day look like in the life

of Mark Pitchers?

What was your biggest achievement

in angling the past 12 months?

It is pretty hectic. I hold around four

24-hour tutorial sessions a week which

by the time travelling is taken into the

equation means being away from home

for five days at a time. Around these I also

fit in magazine features, filming and my

consultancy work, as well as carrying out

work and maintenance on my fishery. It is

very demanding of my time; I’m lucky I have

a very understanding family.

Below: Mark

and Harry


busy filming last

year’s C.A.R.P.Y

Challenge for the

Fox Edges DVD.

Wow, that is a tough one. I would probably

have to say the whole Challenge concept.

I never thought for one moment it would

become as popular as it has, and I am very

proud, and also incredibly humbled by the

positive response it has received.

What makes you a carp freak?

Well, I’m sure it sounds pretty sad but carp

fishing is always on my mind, I have fished

from a very early age and I have never lost

that ‘buzz’. I love everything about the sport;

the nature and the environment, be it either

urban or rural, and when the alarm sounds

the adrenaline still pumps, and regardless of

size I just like catching carp. So, I think that

makes me a carp freak…

We’re not used to naming our fish…

what is the craziest name you have heard

someone name a catch in the UK?

I’m not a fan of naming fish. Some lakes in

England allow you to name a fish if you’re the

first one to catch it or if it’s over a certain

size. As a result there are fish with silly or

inappropriate names. However, some of the

fish in my lake do have ‘descriptions’ rather

than names, just as a way of identifying them

for my records really. One fish has a white

waxy patch on its face, it’s had it for years,

I’m not sure I can say here what it gets called,

it’s a bit X-rated! December 2015 | 11

The word ‘carpy’ has become synonymous

with Mark Pitchers, how did this come

about and how would you describe a true

‘carpy’ individual?

It was whilst filming episode 2 of The

Challenge that I mentioned the word ‘carpy’

to describe a few scenarios and it snowballed

from there really. It’s not really for me to

say what’s carpy and what isn’t, I think we

all have our ideas on that. I get hundreds

of messages every week on Facebook and

Instagram from people asking me if their

setup is carpy or not; it’s brilliant and I have

great fun looking through everyone’s pics.

Do you have a venue that is close to

your heart?

That would have to be my own fishery. My dad

and I created it back in 1994 and these days

it is the leading carp water in the northeast of

England. In fact, I now have more 30lb+ fish

swimming around in there than all the rest of

the northeast carp waters combined.

In South Africa, a lot of guys are against

syndicate waters and believe it’s similar

to canned lion hunting. As a fishery owner

yourself, can you please give us a few

positive points surrounding ‘privately

owned/syndicate’ waters? And do you

believe the mindset associated with

syndicate waters is justified?

No, it’s quite the opposite here in the UK.

My own water is ran as a syndicate with

members going through a screening process

before being able to first go on the waiting

list, and even then that doesn’t guarantee

a place on the syndicate. I keep the

membership numbers down to a minimum,

that way the banks are quiet and the carp

can go lengthy periods without receiving

angling pressure, which in turn will provide

a more favourable environment for them

to grow. That’s not to say it results in easy

fishing, however, in fact, the ‘top rod’ on

there this year has fished most weekends

for nine fish which is very good going. Most

of the inhabitants only see the bank once

a year, although some are entering their

fourth, fifth and even sixth year of

evading capture.

Above: Stood

in the predawn


looking out

across 1000+

acres, kettle

steaming away

– carpyness in

pixel form…

12 | December 2015


If you had the choice, which would it be:

large, wild non-stocked waters or stocked

UK waters and why?

What would you say are your main

strengths in carp fishing?

All UK waters have been stocked at some

point in time, either legally or otherwise, but

I get what you’re asking. I think we would

all like to be fishing for the ‘unknown’ on a

large untapped water, after all it’s the air

of mystery that attracts so many people to

angling in the first place.

Because I fish such a huge variety of venues,

I like to consider myself an adaptable angler.

One week I could be fishing a huge inland

sea, the next it could be a tiny farm pond,

and I find myself employing lots of different

tricks and tactics to try and achieve the best

results. Because of this constant variation

I like to think I can adapt quickly to most

venues or situations that I encounter.

Below: Mark’s

most memorable

catch; his first

river carp caught

while filming The


Please tell us more about your most

memorable catch?

That was earlier this year actually whilst

filming episode 8 of The Challenge; River

Revenge! I had never caught a river carp

before and we had filmed a river challenge

the previous year but unfortunately I failed

after hooking a carp but then unfortunately

the hook pulled. This time round everything

went to plan. We fished on the opening

night of the season and the atmosphere was

electric. To our surprise that night passed by

uneventfully, but the following day I found

several carp cruising around a slow moving

back channel and I was able to stalk one on a

piece of freelanced bread crust just feet from

the bank. It weighed around 19lb and I was

shaking just as much when I landed that as I

did when I landed my personal best, which

was nearly three times larger.

When you arrive at your selected venue,

what is the first thing you do?

I know it sounds obvious, but I find the

fish, regardless of how long it may take.

So many people are in a rush to get set up,

often jumping in the first aesthetically

pleasing area they see, but I’m happy to

walk around all day, and into the night if

need be. On many venues I fish the carp are

more active during darkness and it’s not

uncommon for me to be setting up in the

dark once I have located them.

Lead size and arrangement preference?

Depends on the situation. For PVA bag work

it’s a flat inline lead, which is less cluttered

than other lead arrangements and folds

neatly into the confines of the PVA bag. For

long-range work I’d employ a helicopter

setup, which is more aerodynamic and

reduces air resistance to enable me to gain

extra yards. But, for the majority of my

fishing I use a simple lead clip with a fairly

heavy 4 to 4.5oz distance shaped lead. I

prefer a lead of this size to improve the

hooking potential and it also cuts through

any side winds and aids accurate casting. December 2015 | 13

What is your favourite rig, regardless

of conditions?

What is your favourite bait you fish with?

The Hinged Stiff Rig. It’s virtually tangle free

and has superb hooking properties. It’s the

rig I use for around 90 percent of my fishing.

I do like fishing with boilies, it’s such a

positive way of angling, and I always believe

that in the long run a positive approach will

bring about better results.

Do you prefer fishing with braid or mono?

Do you roll your own boilies?

I prefer to fish with a braid because the

lack of stretch results in far superior

bite indication than a mono. I do like to

incorporate a short length of 6 to 7ft of

Trans Khaki Fluorocarbon as a leader

though, to ensure the last few feet is pinned

down and invisible, and also give me some

sort of cushion when playing fish at close

quarters. Having said that, however, most

of my fishing is done with mono, simply

because many waters in the UK ban the use

of braided mainlines.

What would you say is the single most

important thing to remember when

fishing for big carp?

Regardless of the size of carp, the most

important factor above all else is location.

Watercraft is not something that can be

learned in books or on videos, only by

spending time at the water, either in angling

capacity or simply by just being there. The

more time you spend by the water the more

in tune you become, and even the tiniest of

carpy signs seem to jump out at you.

I used to make my own boilies but these

days I’d much rather leave it in the hands of

people who have much more knowledge on

the subject than I do! That’s one less thing to

worry about when I’m fishing.

Preferred weather conditions?

I tend to just go when I can regardless of the

conditions. The big low air pressure systems

that bring with them overcast conditions and

strong winds are certainly more favourable

feeding conditions though.

Which do you enjoy the most: short, blitz

sessions or are you in it for the long haul?

I don’t really have the time to fish long

sessions to be honest, generally speaking it’s

24-hour or 48-hour sessions for me. On the

rare occasions when I have fished for longer

I always tend to break the session down into

individual 24-hour periods and take it one

day at a time rather than setting my stall.

Above: Mark has

been having a

lot of fun on his

tutorial sessions

this year, and

finds great

joy in seeing

others achieving

their goals and


What’s you favourite feature to fish?

What is your favourite boilie flavour?

I don’t really have one to be honest, as

I would just fish wherever the fish are.

However, as I mentioned earlier I do enjoy

fishing in the margins, especially if the water

is gin clear and you are able to observe the

carp’s every move.

The new CC Moore Pacific Tuna has already

become my favourite bait of all time. It

smells, looks and tastes like a ‘familiar’ old

skool bait but with modern ingredients and


14 | December 2015


I’m in the process of writing my

first book! It’s something I’ve

always wanted to do...

Who’s your biggest inspiration in

carp angling?

Oh, that’s a tricky one. I can’t think of any one

person, but there’s a number of people who

spring to mind that have, and continue to

inspire me. Lewis Porter, Shaun Mc Spadden,

Scott Day and Harry Charrington from Fox

are not only some of the most exceptional

anglers I have come across but are also

people I have a huge amount of respect for.

Do you have any lucky charms or special

routines you like to follow?

No, nothing like that. I’m not superstitious

at all, and I’m not religious, but occasionally I

have been known to say a little prayer to the

carp gods when things haven’t been going

quite to plan!

Have you set any goals that you wish to

achieve this year or in the future?

Not really, I just want to keep going fishing,

catch a few carp and enjoy myself along

the way.

Do you enjoy fishing for other species

of fish?

In my earlier angling days I used to fish for

anything that swam and I’ve tried my hand

at fly fishing, predator fishing, sea fishing and

match fishing; but nothing has given me that

buzz that carp fishing has.

What is next for Mark Pitchers? Any new

stuff you’re working on?

Well, actually yes, I’m in the process of

writing my first book! It’s something I’ve

always wanted to do ever since I was a young

match angler, and it feels great to see that

come to fruition.

Above: A 38lb+

mirror from last

year’s C.A.R.P.Y

Challenge on the

Fox Edges DVD.


Mark! December 2015 | 15



16 | December 2015




Targeting a public day-ticket venue

is challenging. And not knowing

what stock of fish a water holds;

leaves one with only one option.

Start catching. Over the past

two years, Pieter and I dedicated

ourselves to targeting a public

day-ticket venue; fuelled by our

curiosity of wanting to know what

lurks beneath this wild water. This

is a story about two friends who

share a passion for carp fishing.

And one special catch.

Wynand Roest

Above: Wynand

Roest with Peach

Tank, caught for

the third time.

n 2011 a friend and I


started fishing a venue

near Cape Town. Armed

with the maddest mix

of particles (or so we

thought) and loads

of boilies; we were

convinced that we’ll catch the biggest fish

simply by piling in loads of bait.

Not quite.

Blank after blank; our over-confident

approach was greeted by extra fat slices of

humble pie. Looking back, it was Mother

Nature’s way of saying: “Thank you. Come

again”. I remember us spodding out a 15L

bucket full of feed all in a day; maze, tiger

nuts, hemp, your good’ol classic pap mix,

whole boilies, chopped boilies, a few tins of

tuna, peanut butter, you name it. We did not

realise that we were ruining our chances of

catching even before we put a rod out.

Seeing that you’re only allowed to fish

during the day; such a large spread of bait

drastically reduces your chances of catching

from the get go. There are simply too many


back, it was



way of



you. Come

again” December 2015 | 17

freebies. And too little time. We had to

change our tactics.

But in life (as in fishing) you learn through

experience. And even though fishing was

tough going (landing the occasional carp

here and there); we knew we had to be

persistent and put our time in next to the

water to start unlocking its secrets.

Every chance my friend and I got we

went fishing; dreaming that one day we’ll

be fortunate enough to catch one of the

venue’s gems. I started keeping a logbook;

detailing information about our sessions

in the hope that it’ll help us identify

patterns, patrol routes and how the venue

operates. For me it almost became like

a puzzle that I wanted to figure out. I

included information about the weather,

the different spots we fished, the amount

of runs we had, the size of fish we caught,

what bait we used, time of captures, etc

and soon started reaping the rewards.

In 2012 we put a good run of sessions

together where we were catching about

six carp on average a day between the

two of us (but all being between 2 to

8kgs). Don’t get me wrong, I love catching

fish of all sizes, but when you’re trying to

catch a specimen and don’t know if you’re

searching for something that doesn’t

even exist; it will result in some serious

introspection. The question remained: “how

do you go about catching one of the biggest

carp at a day-ticket venue; when it’s filled with

loads of nuisance sized fish?”.

We weren’t disheartened. In actual fact

it had the opposite effect; as it made us

want to try harder, spend more time on the

bank, refine our rigs and tweak our tactics.

Because in the back of our heads we knew

the effort we put in had to pay off eventually.

I normally fish with three rods. Two

targeting spots I feel confident about or

caught fish out of before, and have one

maverick rod. When I say, “maverick” I mean

unorthodox, different, targeting spots other

anglers might have overlooked. This approach

has served me well over the years; producing

quality fish from some unusual places.

In 2013 I fished the venue with a friend

and decided to target a spot I haven’t fished

before. My maverick rod for the day. I

remember getting action on my other two

rods (catching about five carp throughout

the morning), but my maverick rod wasn’t

Above: Peach,

caught by

Pieter Grobler

weighing, in

at 12,9kg.

moving an inch. Seeing that I was only

allowed to fish for another few hours, I

decided to leave it out for the rest of the day.

And in hindsight I’m really glad I did! Just

after 2pm my maverick rod tarred off. The

result. My first 20lb fish from this venue; an

uncaught, pristine 9,5kg common. I could

start to hear the specimen calling and knew

it was only a matter of time.

Later that year I had the privilege of

meeting Pieter through a mutual friend.

And after targeting the venue together for

about a year (catching loads of nuisance fish);

we both managed to finally catch our first

specimen from this difficult venue. Pieter

caught a 10,3kg common and I caught an

11,2kg common. Proud angling moments.

To put things into perspective. Over the

past five years I’ve fished the venue more than

50 times, catching 202 carp (196 commons

and just six mirrors) and managed to land

carp over 10kgs on only three occasions.

But just as we thought we were starting to

unlock the venue’s potential; the unthinkable

happened. Three times.

18 | December 2015


I remember looking at Pieter

and saying: “it’s a beast”.


Pieter was eager to try out a spot none of

us had ever fished before. Two hours after

putting our rods out, Pieter’s one alarm let

out a few single bleeps; the bobbin dropped

and he was in! To our surprise the fish

swam straight towards us and didn’t put up

much of a fight. All of a sudden we saw the

scaly shoulders rise out of the water and I

immediately slipped the net under the fish.

It all happened so fast and it’s only once

upon looking inside the net that we realised

the true size of the fish. A 12,9kg mint

mirror! Which Pieter named Peach.

Standing holding the net in utter

amazement and disbelief; I remember

looking at Pieter and saying: “it’s a beast”.

* 8 March 2014 – Peach (12,9kg) December 2015 | 19

Above: It is

clear she loves

bearded men.

Tank weighing

in at 13,77kg

caught by

Wynand Roest.


I went fishing with two friends and seeing

that none of them had any fishing equipment,

I let each of them fish with one of my rods.

Evidently that day I was only fishing with one

rod, targeting the same area Pieter caught

Peach from. Within the first half an hour, my

friend had a run and managed to catch an

8kg carp. He really struggled to land the fish

and in the process took out my line. But that

was completely understandable seeing that it

was the first fish he had ever caught. I reeled

in, attached another PVA bag and got it back

out there. Bang on the spot.

An hour later my alarm started screaming.

Upon striking the rod, I was met with

unexpected resistance as the fish took off

like a submarine. I could feel it had weight to

it and just stood there holding the rod. I tried

to turn the fish as it was heading straight for

a snag, but there was no way I was going to

force this fish to change its course.


I couldn’t believe it. All I could do is keep

pressure on the fish and hope it somehow

comes loose. However, some days the carp

gods are just on your side; as I could feel the

fish suddenly free itself. I was back in the


After getting the carp loose, I remember

seeing it multiple times before we could

finally net it. An absolute battle royal. And by

far the nerviest fight I’ve ever experienced.

When I saw it going into the net I was

so elated and relieved; I just screamed:

“YESSSSSSSSSSSS! Get in.” In that moment,

all the hours and effort next to the bank was

worth it. Weighing in at 13,77kg; it was my

first ever thirty-pounder and new personal

best at the time. I named her Tank.

After catching Tank; I didn’t realise it was in

actual fact Peach (seeing that it had put on so

much weight in such a short period of time).

But after comparing photographs it was clear

that it was the exact same fish. That’s when

Pieter and I decided to combine the two

names. And “Peach Tank” was born.

We couldn’t believe we caught the same

20 | December 2015


fish; but isn’t it strange how history tends to

repeat itself…

* 1 May 2014 – Tank (13,77kg)


My friend (who I initially started fishing the

venue with back in 2011) was visiting from

overseas, so we planned to fish the venue for

three consecutive days. On the first day, we

caught nothing. Mother Nature again gently

reminding us who’s in charge. It was as if she

was testing us, but we were prepared.

The next day a massive cold front came in

and we decided to give it a skip; knowing that

the two warm days that were to follow will

give us a better chance of catching.

After the cold front had passed, we were

back on the bank; determined to catch carp.

That day we had an epic session catching

nine carp between the two of us. Quantity

wise we were content; all that was missing

was that one quality fish.

I remember on our way home that night

that we were talking about the day’s fishing

Above: Peach

Tank roaming

free once more.

Until we meet


and jokingly said that “tomorrow we’re

coming back for quality” (and aim to catch a

10kg plus carp).

The next day Pieter joined us on the bank.

He arrived first, but being the gentleman he

is; he allowed us to fish the spots my friend

and I had been targeting (and baiting) over

the past few days. The weather was looking

really good, yet the rods were dead quiet. It

was the calm before the storm. I could almost

feel how it was building up to something.

At 10am my middle rod ripped off. Having

my best friend there (who I started fishing

the venue with) netting the fish and Pieter

taking photographs; made the whole

experience all the more special. Peach Tank

you beauty. This time weighing in at 14,51kg


It was such a surreal experience catching

and holding her for the second time. But

that’s what makes fishing so special. Anything

can happen. Whilst sharing ideas, memories,

and sometimes even catches.

* 6 August 2015 – Peach Tank (14,51kg) December 2015 | 21




Jaco Jacobs

Every angler I know has their own secret

combination of baits and flavours. Often these

secret ingredients are only boosting one’s

confidence and are hardly contributing to

attracting the fish. But, there are certain definite

edges, and I’d like to discuss a few of mine.


Glugging a hookbait is one of my favourite

ways to entice a quick bite. By glugging

a hookbait in liquids, you are essentially

accomplishing two things. Firstly, the liquids

are absorbed meaning that the hookbait will

not absorb any of the smells or scents on the

bottom. This method is especially effective

when fishing over silt. Secondly, you are

drawing the carp’s attention to your hook by

making it stand out from the free offerings.

22 | December 2015



It is important to keep in mind that carp do

not ‘smell’ flavours the same way humans do.

They make use of chemoreception, which

consists of at least two types: olfaction

(smell) and gustation (taste). The best way

to exploit this is to add substances that

stimulate the carp’s senses. I’ve found the

best way to stimulate them is by adding

amino acids combined with other stimulants.

Amino acids are the basic building blocks

of protein. Proteins have been discussed

extensively in carp fishing; I don’t think it

needs any introduction. By adding proteins

to your baits, you are effectively adding

amino acids and increasing the bait’s

attractiveness. Additional stimulants that

could be considered in a glug could be

compounds like betaine and aspartic acid;

betaine by far being the most commonly

used. Betaine is basically a sugar beet extract

that is available in liquid form as well as a

powder form, and aspartic acid is a form of

amino acid. These elements have shown to

enhance a carp’s response to soluble aminos.

So how do you put this information to use

you may wonder? I always try to match my

glug with the liquids in the actual boilie I’m

baiting up with and boost the glug with some

stimulants. I never use any concentrates, as

I believe the carp can detect the chemical

composition. Carp are deterred by bitter

tastes, which could render your hookbait

very unattractive if it is heavily scented. If I’m

fishing with a pineapple boilie for example, I’ll

add the following liquids to my glug:

» Corn steep liquor

» Aminol Feedstim (Minamino or any other

free amino acids)

» Liquid betaine

» Pineapple liquid food

» Syrup from tinned pineapple

» Pineapple oil

There are no rules in carp fishing, so there

aren’t any limitations to the ingredients you

can use. These general guidelines can

however assist you in making a simple,

yet effective glug.

Carp are

deterred by

bitter tastes,

which could

render your




if it is heavily



Apart from making the hookbait appeal

to the carp’s taste and smell, you can also

enhance the bait visually. I’ve had some

phenomenal results by adding Robin Red to

my hookbaits, a well known and effective

additive in the carp fishing world that

makes the bait a dark red colour. Apart from

the obvious reasons for its inclusion, the

variation in colour could make the hookbait

stand out nicely. You could also add bait

dyes and colourants to accomplish this.

Bright popups also add to the visual effect

and could balance out the weight of the

hook, giving you a nicely balanced hookbait.

Washed out pink and bright yellow popups

have landed me many carp in the past, and

are also amongst my favourite colours.

Balancing the hookbait by adding some

cork dust is another useful tip. I have been

applying this to my fishing for the past few

months and have had some really positive

results. If the hookbait is pinned down by the

weight of the hook only, it becomes really

difficult for the carp to eject the hook as it is

sucked into its mouth further than expected.

These small edges can sometimes make

the difference between a blank and a

special capture. December 2015 | 23




Otto Kruger

Preparation is key to catching that

once in a lifetime carp, and when

you’ve succeeded all your time

and effort will be captured in

a photograph. The last thing you

want is a rubbish trophy shot.


here are many factors

that play a role in taking

quality photos of your

catch – despite the

camera’s settings, there

are a few more things to

take into consideration.


There are two things to think about when

holding a carp – safety of the carp and how

the photo will look afterwards. Carp safety

is a priority in big carp angling and holding a

carp correctly is no exception. The correct

way to hold a carp is to limit discomfort and

reduce pressure to its organs. When picking

up the fish don’t push your hands underneath

the body, rather slide one hand down the

head of the fish and get your fingers around

the ball joint of the pectoral fin. The fin

on the other side should be flat against his

body to reduce discomfort. Slide your other

hand down the tail of the fish and grip your

fingers around the anal fin. Make sure you

can fully balance the weight of the fish before

lifting it too high. If you don’t feel confident,

make sure you keep the fish close to the

unhooking mat.

When photographing your catch, the

sides of the fish should be perfectly vertical,

not leaning back or forwards and when

you look down on the fish, it should be

straight from head to tail thus showing its

full magnificence. If the fish is leaning back

towards you or bending its body, you will

make the fish appear far smaller.

When you hold your catch, don’t push the

carp away from your body to make your catch

appear bigger. Banana fingers are a dead

giveaway! The best way to hold a carp is to

keep your elbows bent close to your body and

as low as possible from the unhooking mat.

If the carp starts to tense up, which usually

happens just before it loses control, simply

roll the carp back towards you into your arms.

Just let the fish flip backwards and forwards,

but keep it low on the mat until your catch is

calm enough to pose for the camera. If the fish

is very heavy and you find yourself wobbling,

then use your knees to support your elbows.

24 | December 2015




December 2015 | 25


Preserving and caring for your catch is an

essential part of specimen angling. The main

goal is to release your catch in a healthy

condition for others to catch and enjoy again.

Or, for yourself to one day stare the monster in

the face once more after it gained another kilo

or two. Care can be given in a number of ways:


Before the carp is placed on the mat, wet the

landing mat with a bucket of cold water. It

helps to prevent the carp from losing mucus,

particularly in summer.


Always have a container of water next to

you and keep the fish wet at all times. This is

for the fish’s safety with the bonus of a nice

shine that will look great on the photographs.


Do not hold a carp too high from the mat, or

even worse, stand up with the carp. If you

should drop the carp, you can cause a lot of

damage to the fish or it could even result in

its death.


Never leave the fish unattended on the mat

unless you have a carp cradle and the carp is

wet and closed up.


Use clinic or something similar on all

wounds including the hook mark – it helps

to prevent infections. Apply clinic after you

have taken the photographs, as a big yellow

stain on the fish and your fingers doesn’t

look great.

Above: When

you photograph

your catch, hold

the carp over

the landing mat.

When it decides

to flop around,

simple catch it in

your arms, and

lay it down until

it’s calm again.


and caring

for your

catch is an

essential part

of specimen


26 | December 2015


shining on the fish and angler, but make sure

the photographer’s shadow is not seen in

the picture. If the sun is behind the angler

holding the fish, then the shot will be very

dark. Another mistake the photographer

tend to make is to stand up straight when

taking the photo. By getting low on the

ground, level with the angler and their catch,

will result in a far better picture; showing the

carp’s full magnificence. The angler and fish

must be the centre of attention in the picture

and the shot must be taken from close range.


When choosing the background for your

trophy shot, make sure that the area is clean

and clear from any rubbish, trailer or pickup

truck. Capture nature at its best in the

background. Choose more than one place to

photograph your catch and keep the position

of the sun in mind for sunrise and sunset.

A photo is all that’s left of your trophy

catch. Put more time and effort into the

photography to ensure you have a trophy

shot to match your trophy catch!

Left: When holding you catch, tuck your fingers

gently under your catch’s pectoral and anal fins.


and caring

for your

catch is an

essential part

of specimen


Below: Always

have some clinic

handy to touch

up any bruises.


Transport your catch back to the water with

a weigh sling or an unhooking mat the carp can

fold into. Do not transport the fish by hand.


Keep your catch in the water either in

the landing net or slide the fish into your

weigh sling – this will give you time to

gather and prepare all your gear on the

bank and keep your catch save and time

to recuperate after the battle.


The photographer’s part in capturing the

perfect shot is the most important and

can make or break your trophy shot. The

sun should be behind the photographer – December 2015 | 27


2015 in pictures.




The latest photography news, tips and tricks.




If you own a digital SLR camera, the

correct way to hold your camera when

photographing is to support or rest

your lens in your left hand. You should

be able to zoom or focus with your

left hand with ease while you grip the

camera with your right hand, enabling

you to to control your dial buttons and

press the shutter release button with



We truly enjoy the spectacular

photographs by tattoo artist

and CarpCrossing owner

Ed Skillz. Ed is a passionate

carp angler and nature

photographer based in the


Follow Ed Skillz on:




Other things to consider:

1. Keep your camera sturdy by keeping

your arms close to your body.

2. Always have the camera strap

secured around your neck, you don’t

want any unnecessary accidents with

your gear.

3. When switching to portrait style,

simply flip your camera anticlockwise,

applying the same principles

from above.

Always have the camera

strap secured around your

neck, you don’t want any

unnecessary accidents with

your gear.

34 | December 2015



* Read

the full




Know your camera – Take the time to study your camera’s

manual. The buttons or functions you avoid may be the key

to unlocking your camera’s full potential.

Shoot in high quality – Smartphone users should always opt for

HD when photographing or taking videos, simply make sure you

have enough storage capacity!

Get your horizon straight – Make sure that you have your

horizon straight – it will drastically improve the overall look

of the image, and it will appear more professional.

Up close – Cut the clutter by moving closer or ‘zooming in’ to

your subject, and only frame the essential parts of your scene.

Avoid harsh shadows – The best times of the day to pick up

your camera is in the early mornings or late afternoons when

the light is still soft.

Love clouds – Clouds can add a dramatic touch to any scene

you photograph.


UK’s Stuff magazine has put

five of the best smartphones

to a camera test. The

‘Shutter Shootout’ involved

the Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6

Plus, HTC One M9, Samsung

Galaxy S6 and LG G4. They

tested things like detail,

zoom, colour, exposure, etc,

and the phone that came out

tops in their view was the

Samsung Galaxy S6.


The leading

camera manufacturers


Nikon and Canon.

If you want to

buy a starter kit,

we recommend

the following

affordable camera


Canon EOS 100D DSLR Camera Body

* 18.0 megapixels

* Full HD 1080p video

Price: R3 989

Get this at

Nikon D3200 DSLR Camera Body

* 24.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor

* Full HD 1080p video

Price: R4 195

Get this at Orms December 2015 | 35



Hotdogs are convenient and easy to

prepare – the meal of choice for many

hungry anglers! This traditional campsite

meal received a three-way makeover.


Bockwurst sausage with coleslaw and apple

(Makes 4)

• 4 bockwurst sausages

• 4 hotdog buns, buttered

Salad ingredients:

• 1½ cup coleslaw mix

• 1 apple, grated

• 2 radishes, sliced

• 3 Tbsp mayo

• 2 tsp Dijon mustard

• Salt and freshly ground

black pepper

• 2 Tbsp toasted almonds flakes

Mix the salad ingredients and set aside.

Lightly score the bockwurst, then heat

them over your gas stove or fire. Once the

bockwurst sausages are cooked, add to your

bun and top with the salad.

36 | December 2015


Christelle Grobler


Boerie with a sweet and spicy

tomato relish

(Makes 2)

• 1 Tbsp oil for frying

• 1 small onion, sliced

• 1 Tbsp brown sugar

• 2 chillies, chopped

• 1 pinch cinnamon

• 1 pinch cumin

• 1 pinch cloves

• 1 pinch ginger

• 200g pack of cherry


• 2 Tbsp water

• salt and freshly ground

black pepper to taste

• 2 hotdog buns, buttered

• leftover boerewors from the previous

night’s braai

Heat a pan with oil and caramelise the onion.

Add the sugar, chillies and spices and fry for

another minute or two. Add the tomatoes

and fry until soft. Add the water, and season

with salt and pepper. Reduce the liquid

slightly, then remove from the heat. Reheat

the boerewors, then place them on the

hotdog buns. Top with the tomato relish and



Toast the



buns over

the coals

for extra



Go the

extra mile

– top the


dog with

fried or




Porky with breakfast mix

(Makes 4)

• 2Tbsp oil for frying

• 8 pork sausages

• ½ onion, chopped

• 125g bacon, diced

• 2 tsp honey

• 125g button mushrooms, quartered

• ½ tsp mixed herbs

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 4 hotdog buns, buttered

• 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skottelbraai

and fry the pork sausages until cooked,

then set aside. In the same pan, heat the

rest of the oil and fry the onions and bacon.

The onions must begin to caramelise and

the bacon needs to become slightly crisp.

Add the honey, and fry for one minute. Add

the mushrooms and fry until cooked. Make

sure your pan is hot to prevent liquid from

forming. Season with the mixed herbs and

add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Take your buttered hotdog buns and

layer it with grated cheddar cheese, add

the sausage and then add the bacon and

mushroom topping. Enjoy!


If you have any leftover

breakfast dogs, wrap

them in foil. When you

get the fire going again

in the evening, simply

reheat them and enjoy! December 2015 | 37

Similar magazines