by Eugene Kruger and Pieter janse van Rensburg
Roodekoppies dam is one of those true South African Carp fishing venues where you can catch amazing carp whilst being surrounded by wild african bushveld. Only a few minutes drive down the road from Hartbeespoort dam makes this dam extremely popular amongst anglers of all sorts and have even hosted a few of the largest carp tournaments in South Africa. Large schools of carp well over 10kg are in abundance and there has even been rumors of 18 to 20kg carp that have been caught by locals in the area a few years ago.
The dam is located on the Crocodile river which flows out of Hartbeespoort dam and was originally built in 1986 to serve as an irrigation dam for the many farms and local communities around it. Roodekoppies dam is more than 1500 hectares in size and its deepest point is 25 meters. The dam has a few very decent angling banks and resorts to choose from. The most popular being the old Northern Transvaal Grounds which is now managed by Louwtjie Lewies and is known as Roodekoppies Hengeloord. Other resorts include Dennekruin, Roodekoppies Waterwese and Emanzini Fishing resort. Not only is this dam home to some amazing common and mirror carp but it is also the home of some pretty big crocodiles. Just like Harties, Roodekoppies Dam have also been affected by Hyacinth. Luckily, thanks to a collective effort from farmers and resort owners this infestation is properly managed and does not really affect the fishing
Like any large wild water venue the most important tactic is to locate any showing fish. At Roodekoppies Dam the fish are normally very easy to find. Just look out over the water and chances are you will see a few crashing in the distance within minutes. Most of the angling banks have a very gradual slope and it sometimes takes some time and effort to find the good under water features. A good place to look for is around 5.5m and 8m depth in the river bed just before the silt. In most areas (excluding Dennekruin) you will probably find that depth at around 100 and 200 meters out, depending where you are. Dennekruin and Emanzini are situated in the narrower River section of the dam and has some great river features to fish to.
Baiting tactics at Roodekoppies is normally straight forward and once you can get the schools of fish onto your feeding area you can be in for non stop action sometimes lasting days on end. A good mixture of Tigernuts, Mielies and Hemp is a winner. Dont be shy to feed large quantity’s once the bites start coming. Another great tactic is to add some snails that are found all along the bank into your feed mixture. One Hookbait that worked really well was a single Tigernut topped with a bright fake maize. Good Flavours for hookbaits were Almond Supreme from Super Cast, Almond and Grenadilla Twist from Conoflex.
Roodekoppies is not considered a very safe venue in terms of crime. There have been a few incidents at various banks around the dam and resort owners are introducing more and more security measures to protect anglers visiting their shores. Always be alert when fishing at Roodekoppies Dam. Also be on the look out for Crocodiles especially when fishing at night and when out on the boat. Waders are also advised when entering the water to protect yourself from any bad water. Remember to have your camera ready at dawn to capture some of the most amazing African sunsets you will ever see.
Roodekoppies Waterwese: 072 743 3568 / 083 234 4135
Roodekoppies Hengeloord: 082 704 6629
Dennekruin hengeloord: 082 820 3095
Emanzini hengeloord: 083 755 4440