The potential of S. Africa as a big carp destination has already been proven but so far we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Bruce Johnson of Eagle Fishing Safaris has been working hard behind the scenes to locate waters that will produce big carp consistently. Original plans, back in 2000, to develop Bloemhoff Dam as an angling holiday destination were revised when early expeditions of UK anglers found it difficult to get through the thousands of carp averaging 18-20Lb and catfish in the 30 ñ50lb bracket. Although there is clear evidence of huge carp in Bloemhoff, Bruce has switched his attention to two smaller venues where the carp have been present for over 50 years and where he has the sole fishing rights for the waters. Both these venues are in the North Western Province of South Africa.
Venue one: The Willows
One small corner of the Willows (100 Acres)
The Willows, built in 1948, covers an area of approx 100 acres. Extensive reed beds line the majority of its banks, and there are several old trees in the water providing ideal cover for the monsters that hide in its depths.†Most of the lake is approx 4 meters deep. This lake is fed by a underground stream so is full most of the year round. The†Willows was stocked with carp in the early 50's.†
Bruce has established two camps on the venue, a bush camp with trailer/caravans/ marquee eating area and bush showers etc. The second camp is a fully developed permanent traditional building with all amenities, hot and cold running water, flush toilets, bar etc.
Bruce, his son Robert and a few ì exploratoryî clients started fishing the Willows in November 2001 and between then and August 2002 Have landed 139 carp to 48 Lbs. Amongst those have been 2 other 40s, 10 over 30 lbs and numerous fish in the high 20s. Bruce admits that there have been other fish hooked which, in his words, ìhave cleaned us outî.
Just before Xmas Ultimate Angling arranged for one angler, Jeremy Hyde, to spend 3 days with Bruce whilst he was on business in S. Africa In that time he caught 10 fish to 32lb, and went home a very satisfied customer. Bruce informs me that the biggest fish in recent years, caught just before he took over the lease was a 57lber which was returned to the water unharmed.
(Most Pictures attached show weights and all were caught from the Willows)
Venue 2 Leopards Lake
The second venue is called Leopards Lake. Bruceís newest acquisition, this venue covers an area of approx 475 acres. The lake was built in 1935 and according to†government records this lake has never dried up in its history. It is believed that it was stocked with carp in the early 40's. The lake is built in a valley and has very deep water.†The deepest part of the lake is 22 meters deep.†The lake bottom is very rocky in places.†Bruce has established a bush camp on Leopards lake similar to the one on The Willows and has spent many weeks creating comfortable swims and is now ready to take clients. As the venue is new and relatively untested Bruce is offering special, what he calls ìfield testing dealsî to highly competent and knowledgeable carp anglers who fancy their chance at fishing a water which has not been fished by the public for 10 years but is known to hold massive specimens.
For more details of these deals and the fantastic fishing to be had on The Willows contact Ultimate Angling on 01206 571110.