When they look like this, the size doesn’t matter.
By Sean Tucker
Sometimes finding small unfished farm dams may hold some pretty spectacular surprises. My friend, Rico Schrama, and I decided to target a small farm dam near Pretoria for a two night session. The dam sits underneath power lines and feels almost deserted in a way.
Rico had fished the dam the week before and had some good success, landing seven fish on an overnight session all of which were stunning mirrors. Other than that, very little was known about what size and strain of fish the dam held. Therefore we were excited to see what the session had in store for us.
Bivvy’s set, rods prepped, boat pumped, we ready to scan the dam and look for promising spots to drop our lines. We dropped the lines in roughly 1.5-1.8m of water. Our approach was very simple, sticking to the basics and feeding mainly maize and small amounts of hemp, tigers and other seeds. This tactic seems to work when approaching dams that never really see any bait.
Hookbaits ranged from a single pineapple tiger with yellow or purple fake maize, maize stringers and fake maize stacks.
After each dropping our lines the bites started relatively quickly, we never really picked up a specific feeding pattern, bites were pretty random at most. We managed to catch fourteen mirrors between the two of us of which two fish were recaptures.
The special one which we named ‘Lin’ due to the stunning linear scale pattern, came out exactly a week apart and what a stunner she is. We were both fortunate to land her such an amazing looking character fish from such a small deserted little farm dam.
I landed a beautiful fully scaled mirror twice in a 24hour period, clearly this one was hungry! Rico had also managed to catch a few stunners by managing to keep them feeding on his right hand marker and simply dropping his bait on the same spot every time.
Throughout the session we had the cameras rolling and made sure we captured every special moment. Even though the fish were not big they certainly were beautiful which made every capture special. As most of us say ‘‘When they look like this, the size doesn’t matter.’’
All in all we were very happy with the session, fish landed, iconic South African sunrises and sunsets, two nights under the stars and the sweet smell of the outdoors.