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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    17

    Default First feeder comp of the year - South Africa

    Hi all! Thought I would post a bit on the first comp I had for the year, actually the first in almost 3 years, seeing as I was working in Mozambique. With the copious amounts of rust on my fishing skills, I set myself a target of finishing in the top half of the anglers.


    Some Background Info
    There is a very limited competitive feeder angling scene in SA, truth be told, we only have one! Our Feeder Elite Series is comprised of a bunch of comps once or twice a month (with minor cash prizes); each angler gets points according to their performance of the comp, at the end of the year the points get tallied and the top 20 anglers gets invited to the finals which has substantial cash prizes. I assume somewhat similar to what it is like in Europe?

    We fished at Vaal Dam (one of the biggest water reservoirs in SA with a volume of ‎2,609,799,000 cubic meters and a surface area of ‎320 square kilometers (120 sq mi). Target species here during summer are Mudfish (muddies), Carp and Grass Carp with the occasional sharp tooth catfish thrown inbetween. Muddies (see photo below) are a schooling fish with weights that go up to 4lbs, but generally are below a pound, once you get them on your groundbait they never go off it so are an excellent target, they just have very small mouths.

    First feeder comp of the year - South Africa-img9f4.jpg

    The comp itself
    I had never fished the venue before so I had an huge learning curve ahead of me, even with all of my research. The bank we were pegged on was shallow dipping meaning I had to fish at 65m to get about 9ft of water (my "happy place/depth" for Vaal Dam) and is renowned for the Muddy fishing in Summer. Game plan for the day was to target Muddies and every 5 or 6 casts try to get some bonus carp (they tend to weigh much more on average than muddies).

    Groundbait wise, I was using the generic corn based groundbait we have in SA, I just added chopped worm, diced sweetcorn and 5 or 6 dead maggots every second cast. Hookbaits consisted of sweetcorn, maggots, worm and some flying ants . Muddies love their earthworms and maggots, so my focus bait was on them with the sweetcorn and the ants for the bonus carp.

    With the wind from behind I easily hit my clip and was into the fish quickly getting 8 muddies and grass carp on a double maggot in the first hour, on the hour I started using the sweetcorn every few casts to test for carp and managed to get 2 decent carp (3lb) in 10 minutes, after that the sweetcorn started only giving me muddies, albeit at a much slower tempo. I made the decision to go back to the maggots/worms and got my bag up to about 24 fish by the halfway mark (probably placing me 2nd or 3rd on the bank)... Then my troubles (a.k.a stupidity) started

    The wind picked up substantially and turned to blow diagonally across my face, I was still hitting my clip, but did not realize how much of a bow the wind was still putting in my line, needless to say the bite went way down and I only got 3 fish in the next hour. Eventually I measured the distance my line was starting to tighten at after casting: I was fishing at 58m, 7m short of my target depth and distance! Needless to say, added 7m to my clip and voila! Was immediately back into fish, albeit much more liners and missed bites. In the next hour my bite tempo went to less than 60 seconds with me only converting one out of about seven bites into fish. The fish were there but I wasn't getting them into my net!

    Eventually, with 25 minutes to go, the light went on in my head and I downsized everything, going down to my smallest hooks (still too big), thinnest hooklink, and the tiniest of pinkies that I had. SUCCESS! I was converting every second bite into a fish, giving me 8 or 9 fish in rapid succession.

    Leaving me with 36 fish for about 15.5lb and a 5th place for the day, between myself and 3rd was only 212 grams, so a lot of "what if"s. However I am happy with were I ended, and that I managed to learn a lot from the session.

    Sorry for the loooong post!

  2. #2

    Default Re: First feeder comp of the year - South Africa

    Always interesting to hear how things are done in other parts of the World.If we had your problem on a big lake the usual answer would be to take off the 35g feeder that was fine with the wind behind and replace it with something like a 50g Browning window feeder which would hit the original line clip distance easier and more accurately and would be heavy enough to pull the bow straight.
    What you did by reclipping at a greater length was to explore the outer area just off your initial feed where some fish tend to hang back which is a very common tactic over here at some point in the competition.
    Not knowing the water there is a lot of assumption in my comment but it would be interesting to know what sort of tackle you use,rods reels end tackle line etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Bangladesh
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: First feeder comp of the year - South Africa

    First feeder comp of the year - South Africa-image.jpeg
    First feeder comp of the year - South Africa-image.jpg
    Your mudfish(top) looks surprisingly similar to our kalabans (Labeo calabasu - bottom)

    All the best

    Lakhyaman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: First feeder comp of the year - South Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by kenpm View Post
    What you did by reclipping at a greater length was to explore the outer area just off your initial feed where some fish tend to hang back which is a very common tactic over here at some point in the competition.
    Thanx for the reply kenpm! I don't think I had moved off my feed area, I use Fox Prism Braid that has the meter marks, hence I am able to reasonably accurately get an idea of how much line is off my spool after I have tightened/sunk the line. After I had extended my clip, my line tightened to almost exactly where it was prior to the wind picking up? Well that is my theory anyway! I also went to an slightly heavier bullet feeder to get into my clip a bit harder.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: First feeder comp of the year - South Africa

    [QUOTE=
    Your mudfish(top) looks surprisingly similar to our kalabans (Labeo calabasu - bottom)

    All the best

    Lakhyaman[/QUOTE]

    That is a surprising similarity!

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