Donaldson Dam – Top Lake

by | Feb 2, 2018 | Private Venues, Venues

By Alex Willers
The famous Donnies Top Lake also known as African Gold Syndicate lake is and should be on most South African (and even international) Anglers’ bucket list, and what a magical place it is! This venue has some of South Africa’s largest carp in it growing up to 25KG and has attracted a number of international anglers even the likes of Danny Fairbrass from Korda! The venue is run by Eve and Jan after the sad passing of Gary who was a much Respected angler in the specimen community.
The dam is by no means easy as everyone makes it out to be, unless you have fished it a few times then you will know how challenging it can be! The venue itself is very clean and well maintained. It is safe as there has not been any incidents there as yet. The dam is one of the few syndicate venues in SA –  which means there are members who pay an annual fee to get preference on bookings and the waiting list to become a member is quite long. However anyone can book a session at a price if there is availability!

The Dam
The dam is about the size of 1 or 2 rugby fields and has got a lot of water grass in it, and is surrounded by reeds. It also has nicely build jetties on every swim which gives you a bit more access to the water. The best thing to do is to spend some time scanning the water for movement of carp and signs of rolling fish, and if you cannot see any movement then find holes in the grass beds and drop baits in-between as the carp usually feed in-between the grass beds! The other options are to fish the opposite bank about 5 m away from the reeds in-between the bamboo shoots(old reeds that are cut down and the stems stick out just under the water ) as Jan calls them ! That’s the best option for swim 1 to swim 6 the last swim no 8 they just built is a great swim for pre spawn with loads of lily pads and a willow tree over hanging the water with a little bay to fish into!

The Carp a do love pop ups especially when fished on a snow man presentation, coconut is always a winner and the venue also rolls their own boilies which is great to use when nothing else is working! No particles are allowed during the year, besides December month. Psycho sweet corn boilies has also produced some great fish up into the 40 pound weight! Best thing is to fish a bait that you are comfortable with and using what you know has produced you fish at other venues. This dam is hard to crack but once you find what the fish are feeding on you will be rewarded! For your feed you can crush up some boilies and mix it with some pellets add some flavour to them (white choc)! And feed hand full scattered out around your bait!

The Venue
• 8 swims in total

Make sure you book for at least a 3 day session to give yourself a real chance of catching a monster!

No mono is allowed only braid and no mono leaders or led core is allowed, try keep your rigs as simple as possible at this venue some advice I got from Jan!

If you are looking to break a PB then this is the place for you! I would not suggest this venue for inexperienced specimen anglers as it is a hard venue and can bring even the best anglers down to earth, but when it rewards you, it is truly an unforgettable moment.

To enquire about the Top Lake Membership or a possible open swim

Call Jan – 079 944 7700

Eugene Kruger

Eugene Kruger


Passionate and dedicated, Eugene is an avid specimen angler with an insatiable love for the pursuit of carp in the waters. Eugene doesn't just write about specimen angling; he lives and breathes it. His experiences on the water, coupled with an insatiable curiosity, make his insights invaluable to both seasoned anglers and those just dipping their toes into the world of carp fishing.

You May Also Like….