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Hiasinte en ons damme se voortbestaan
Roelof van den Berg
Decisions we make as Fisherman...
Hein Henning
Maak van die Twister Strop
Gilbert Foxcroft
Maak en laai van die Gooi Strop
Gilbert Foxcroft
Kies die korrekte eindgerei...
Gilbert Foxcroft
Voer akkuraat en effektief met die regte Kettie...
Gilbert Foxcroft
Voer Akkuraat met die "Bait Rocket"
Gilbert Foxcroft
Volg n effektiewe voer strategie
Gilbert Foxcroft
Ontleding van jou hengel area
Gilbert Foxcroft
Kies die regte Oewer om by te HENGEL
Gilbert Foxcroft
Kies die regte uitleg vir jou hengel kampie
Gilbert Foxcroft
Fishing for large carp in spring
Carp Fishing Tactics
2009 Karphengel SA's
Gilbert Foxcroft
The never-ending road to monster carp fishing
Maruis le Roux
Word ons aan ons neuse rondgelei?
André Dicks
Wat is verkeerd in Suid Afrika?
André Dicks
OutdoorPAGES toets die nuwe Carp Fanatics floaties
André Dicks
10th World Carp Angling Championships
André Dicks
My pad na sukses
Manie van Eeden
  Doorndraai Dam - 'n Fees van Hengel
André Dicks
Bow Fishing - The fight continues
André Dicks
Is dit al kurpertyd?
Andries Maree
  Hier is die regte manier om deeg voor te berei
Johan Marx
Look after our carp
Michael Demesmaeker
Michael Demesmaeker
  Carp rod basics
André Dicks
  Choosing the right rod pod
André Dicks
  A dark cloud is hanging over our future
André Dicks
Tangling with Eels
Barry Kurten
Part 11 - Protect our sport
John Dearden
  Part 10 - Bait Presentation
John Dearden
  Part 9 - Underwater Blues
John Dearden
Part 8 - FAQ
John Dearden
Part 7 - Early winter session
John Dearden
Baber Hengel - Deel 3
Henry de Beer
Somertyd is Kurpertyd!
Henry de Beer
Specimen Carp Fishing - Step 1-3
André Dicks
Baber Hengel - Deel 2
Henry de Beer
Grass Carp - A Solution or a Problem
Johan Grobler
Wat behoort in my Hengelkas te wees
Baber Hengel - Deel 1
Henry de Beer
Wurm waarhede
Johan Marx
  Part 6 - Rigs & End Tackle for Carp
John Dearden
  Part 5 - Winter Fishing
John Dearden
Part 4 - Attractors, Stimulants and Enhancers
John Dearden
Part 3 - Specimen Angling
John Dearden
  Particle Fishing
Gilbert Foxcroft
  Effektiewe kort sessie karphengel
Gilbert Foxcroft
  Part 2 - Understanding base mixes and flavours
John Dearden
Part 1 - Specimen Carp Fishing
  John Dearden
  Kom ons maak boilies!
Gilbert Foxcroft
The day I got hooked on specimen carp fishing
Johan van der Westhuizen
Vaaldam Bonanza 2004
Bernard Venter
Spesie karphengelaars maak geskiedenis
Gilbert Foxcroft
  Hartebeespoort Dam? You must be joking!
André Dicks
  Stroppe vir spesie karphengel
Gilbert Foxcroft
Moderne karphengel toerusting
Gilbert Foxcroft
Waar sal ek gaan hengel?
Gilbert Foxcroft
  Visse is met die maan gepla
Johan van der Merwe
Areas wat karp huisves
Gilbert Foxcroft
Die uitwerking wat seisoene op karp het
Gilbert Foxcroft
Opsporing van karp
Gilbert Foxcroft
Hantering en bewaring van karp
Gilbert Foxcroft
Dis gazebo koud by Ifafi
Schalk Nolte
Platannas is taboe
Schalk Nolte
  Believe it or not…
Flavio Ferreira
Rekord baber vir TV aanbieder
Joe Lategan
Rietvlei dam. Die dam vir groot karpe.
André Dicks
Wilderness Raft Fishing
Joe Lategan
André Dicks


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Part 1 - Specimen Carp Fishing by/deur John Dearden

John Dearden

Specimen Carp fishing is the fastest growing section of freshwater fishing in the World, with over 2,5 million registered Carp Angling societies members worldwide plus millions of unregistered recreational anglers. From humble beginnings in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s in the UK, it then progressed in France and then into every other European Community member country, before entering the likes of Czechoslovakia and Romania, home of the current World Record Carp venue, Raduta Lake.

Canada, the US and South Africa are among the newer countries to tune in to this style of angling, but the quality of our waters together with a favourable climate, put us firmly up there with the other big fish countries. It will not surprise me to find the world record coming out of one of our waters again in the not to distant future.

With this new style of angling comes new equipment, bait and angling methods, all which when used in combination produce phenomenal results, the likes of which previous methods were unable to produce consistently.

The knowledge of these methods and styles of angling have until now been limited to a small number of specialist anglers who have been importing on a very small scale from Europe the necessary equipment, which while fine for themselves and a small select number of friends, it left many anglers in the dark when it comes to how to fish using these methods and where to obtain the equipment. Companies like Anglers Inn / African Gold and The Smarter Carper has come to the rescue for all those looking for European Style equipment at affordable South African prices, by sourcing from overseas manufacturers and manufacturing locally all the equipment needed to get started and begin producing consistent results.

Among some of the essential pieces of equipment such as quality rods, reels, electronic bite indicators, unhooking mats etc., the boilie has been one of the fundamental baits an angler needs to target the bigger species.

Previously quality ready-made boilies were difficult to come by in South Africa with only one or two companies producing them. Boilies for Africa has come to the resque and their boilies can now be bought all over South Africa. There are three basic types of boilies.

  • High nutritional value boilies, which are a complete food source for the fish, providing all the fishes nutritional requirements.

  • Hi-attraction boilies, which attract the fish but are made from a less nutritional base.

  • A combination of the two.

I will go into more detail on the make up of these when we discuss ingredients in another article.

Anglers contemplating fishing with boilies need to be aware of a few facts and fallacies currently being bandied about at the moment on the subject of boilie fishing.

Boilies are just another weapon in the specimen angler’s ever increasing arsenal of carp baits which when used the appropriate way and under the correct circumstances will enable the angler to produce quality fish. Boilies are not the “Nirvana” of carp baits, which anglers seem to be constantly seeking but in the right conditions there can be no finer bait.

Two common misconceptions about boilie fishing is that one, you need to pre-bait a water very heavily over weeks in advance before being able to fish it and secondly the boilie is attached directly onto the hook.

On a recent trip to the Vaal Dam an angler who was familiar with boilie fishing decided to really give it a go one weekend, so on the Thursday he sent his younger brother down, to begin ground baiting prior to his arrival on the Friday evening, by which time he thought the fish would then be feeding.
The younger brother dutifully set up all the rods, rowed out the lines and pre-baited using a combination of both 18mm Fishmeal and Strawberry boilies. The hook baits were single boilies, hair-rigged on helicopter rigs.
The afternoon passed by uneventfully for the younger brother except for one or two boats, then at about 5pm one reel just took off, and the older brother’s brand new alarms got their first take from a Vaal Dam torpedo and the younger brother was into his first fish of the session. A small Catfish/barbel of about 6kg was quickly landed, and after a couple of photos as proof, the fish was released.

By the time big brother phoned at 7.30pm to check up on his ghillie, he was to hear, much to his dismay, that the fish were feeding, and that his young appie had started to catch almost straight away and not only had he picked up the Catfish but an additional 3 Common Carp in the 5 – 7kg class, all on the Fishmeal/Strawberry combination.

The older brother arrived a little earlier than planned the following day and both he and his brother had a very good weekend, with 6 Catfish, which actually became a nuisance on the fishmeal boilies, plus 9 common carp in addition to the younger brothers first three. The fish were all in the 5 – 7 kg range except for one 11,35kg common, which took a two double-hooked 18mm CVB Cream boilies. All fish were weighed, photographed and released immediately, the use of keep nets unnecessary.

If pre-feeding was a pre-requisite it would be impossible to get the fish turned onto Boilies on a water the size of the Vaal Dam, so if the angler applies a little thought to his or her fishing they should not leave a water despondent.
It was known for instance that the fish in the Vaal Dam/River feed well on baits flavoured with Strawberry, and that Fishmeal boilies in all waters are a great way to get into fish quickly, due to the fish oils, natural attractors and stimulants emitted from them. The results were based on common sense and local knowledge. The CVB Cream was a gamble the older brother took, anticipating the other flavours would be pulling the fish into the area and that there was a chance that the alternative flavour may appeal to one of the fish in the area, fortunately it was one of the bigger specimens.

The other common misconception is that the boilie is attached directly to the hook.

We are quite fortunate in some ways when it comes to Boilie fishing in this country because we are able to learn from various other boilie fishing countries and in this way we can jump straight in to a style of angling without having to go through the teething troubles the UK anglers did during the mid-seventies and eighties.

However, we are also left a little in the dark on the various processes they went through to bring boilie and specimen carp angling to where it is today. One such development is that of the hair-rig.

The hair-rig has been around since the time of the Pharaohs in Egypt, when fishermen then used a crude form of today’s rig when fishing with live-bait in the ocean.

The hair-rig of today’s carp anglers was made popular and is generally accredited to two anglers who made it public in the early 1980’s, Kevin Maddocks and Len Middleton.

The story goes that they were both fishing with boilies and were looking at various other ways of attaching boilies to the hook. Over many cups of tea and late evenings at the kitchen table at Kevin Maddocks house, one of them pulled a hair from their head and tied it directly onto the bend of the hook and attached a boilie to the other end.

The end result was the first hair-rig. This very crude form was tested and re-tested using various materials and tying techniques. Judging from Kevin Maddocks hair today, they could have gone onto another material sooner, but today’s hair-rigs are generally made using braid and monofilament.

At the time I am sure neither Kevin Maddocks nor Len Middleton realised the impact of their discovery both from a commercial point of view and from a practical one.

The secret to the hair-rigs success lie's in the way a carp feeds. Carp feed by sucking up and blowing out quantities of food, gravel, mud, twigs etc from the river/dam bed, and during this they filter out the rubbish before swallowing the food. The action of the hook in the fish’s mouth while feeding is such that during the carp's sucking and blowing of material, the hook is constantly rotating and changing direction in and out of its mouth as the fish feels and assesses the potential of the bait as a food source. It is during this ejection that the exposed hook point invariably pricks the fish’s mouth and if the hook is sharp enough it will become slightly imbedded. As the fish then becomes uneasy and finally panics because it cannot get rid of the bait in its mouth, it turns to flee and either the weight of the lead will force the hook deeper, or in the case of a running lead all the angler has to do is to set the hook. So even if the fish decides not to eat your bait you still can hook it.

If you are using current bait/hook methods the fish still has to decide to eat it before you stand a chance of catching it. Even when fishing with the hook point exposed, it does not have the same hooking potential as the exposed hook / hair combination.

Initially it was thought that the fish would see the hook and refuse to take the bait but this is simply not true, and the rig is now used in all forms of angling.

The most common way to tie a hair-rig is by using a method known as the Knotless Knot. Follow these steps to tie your own hair-rig.


Take a small piece of braid about 20cm long and tie a simple loop in the one end. Trim with braid scissors to neaten the knot. Monofilament line can also be used.


To attach the boilie to the rig you will need a boilie needle and a boilie stop.

Thread the boilie onto the needle. Thread the loop of the hair over the barb of the needle and pull the boilie back onto the hair by pulling the loop though the center of the boilie.

Thread the boilie stop through the loop and pull the boilie tight against the stop. Trim off any excess stops using nail clippers or scissors.


Thread the other end of braid through the eye of the hook, from the back.


Wrap the braid back down the shank 6 – 8 turns.


Holding the wrapped shank firmly re-thread the braid back through the eye.

Note. When using smaller hooks it may be difficult to pass back through.


Pull the braid tight to finish the hair-rig.

The finished rig, complete with swivel.



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