20th March 2020

The South African duo Jono and Lee update us with their results from a summer campaign on the local syndicate.

As the warmer months draw to a close over in South Africa, Jono found the time to get us up to speed with how his and Lee’s summer campaign went. As with their report from Christmas time it is filled with a variation of interesting characters of all shapes and sizes, showing us yet again what an interesting place the country is in terms of carp fishing!

Jono revealed:

“We have put in as much time on the bank as work constraints allowed and have been greeted by an exceptionally rainy summer when we have managed to get out on the bank.

“On our fifth session of the campaign (carrying on from our previous update), taking place in mid-January, we were subject to fishing through persistent heavy rainfall, however we managed to land three fish including two ancient looking 25lb commons. On that session we used The Krill Shelf Life and Bloodworm Shelf Life combined in mixed sizes with special 20mm Krill Wafters as hookbait.

Low and behold Lee pulled one out the hat in the form of a 36lb 2oz lump that fell to a Signature pop-up.

“We managed to get back on the bank one more time in January, but we unfortunately lost the only two bites we had. Seeking revenge, we didn’t wait long to return to the water, and we were rewarded with a stunning mirror pulling the scales to 32lb 8oz, this time on a Vortex pop-up. Considering the conditions were far from ideal, we felt it was a result.

“The next session was productive; however, we were pestered by shoals of small fish that continued to beat the bigger fish to the hookbaits. The only notable fish fell to Lee, yet another of the old commons at 28lb plus, again on the 20mm Krill wafters.

“Frustrated by the small fish we returned soon thereafter towards the end of February, armed with a slightly different approach. The new tactics consisted of fishing Signature Pop-Ups over a big spread of bait to combat the competitive feeding of the smaller fish. The change of tactics seemed to work with Lee managing a 25lb 8oz mirror, whilst I was able to snare a 32lb 14oz mirror, once again in the pouring rain of South Africa.

“We decided to take on the syndicate again in mid-March for our 11th session of the campaign, with the temperatures cooling we were lucky not to encounter further wet conditions. We got ourselves plotted up in a very popular swim and our confidence was high of landing something special! Low and behold Lee pulled one out the hat in the form of a 36lb 2oz lump that fell to a Signature pop-up again.

“I managed to follow up her fish with a lovely hard fighting 27lb 8oz common that took a liking to a snowman constructed out of a 20mm Vortex Shelf Life tipped with a 16mm Signature pop-up. This time around as well as the Krill and Bloodworm boilies, we added a large quantity of Vortex in 20mm to give them something different.

“The battle I had with the common was one of notable interest from my fishing life thus far, the line somehow became snagged on a submerged bucket (see image) that had washed into the lake from the illegal gold miners of times gone by. I could feel the braided mainline shaving on something peculiar and only upon heading out on the canoe to free the snagged line did we discover what an odd snag we were presented with. Thankfully Lee was able to free the line for me before the braid frayed, allowing us to safely land the fish.

“Since starting our campaign, we have landed 15 fish over 20lbs and 10 fish over 30lbs, with a total weight of fish landed to over 770lbs so far. With the temperatures dropping, we are heading for a harder period of fishing but with that comes the larger fish, so we are hoping for some bigger fish over the next few months. We will be changing our approach in baiting slightly as we set ourselves the target of landing some proper chunks.

“Thank you to Sticky Baits for assisting us as always to keep the results coming, we hope to report with our Autumn/early Winter feedback soon!”