Jul 21, 2023 | Events, International Events, Local Events

by Eugene Kruger

The World Carp Classic is one of the premier Carp Fishing events in the Carp Fishing World that takes place every year in Europe where almost every Carp Angling Country is represented. In this tournament only the three biggest fish count which makes it very exciting and gives any team the opportunity to showcase their ability to single out only the biggest specimens in the lake. South Africa has a rich history of competing against the world in this prestigious tournament but have had to sit on the sidelines for the past two years during the Covid pandemic. 

Even Though we were not able to compete in France last year, we have had the privilege of hosting our local World Carp Classic South African Qualifier event at Roodekoppies Dam. The winner of the World Carp Classic SA Qualifier tournament secures his place in Team SA and wins a paid trip to France to compete against the rest of the world. 

The Run up

This year’s opening ceremony was certainly one to remember not only because of the anticipation of the competing teams who finally get a shot at the title but also because of the great number of sponsors that were involved in this year’s event. The opening ceremony included a very delicious lunch and of course the ever important Peg draws which determined where each team will be spending the next 6 days on the bank. Like any venue there were certain pegs and areas that were favoured above others. 

One of these areas was peg 1 right against the dam wall which was drawn by Team Fish who  also happened to be one of the main sponsors of this years event. Other good pegs were the pegs on the ends of each zone that had a small inlet or other structures and margins to fish to. But those who know Roodekoppies Dam knew that the big ones could be found anywhere in open water as well so it was anyone’s game to win. 


Day 1 started with the boat inspections where the marshals needed to sign off each boat that was used in the tournament. Boats needed to be equipped with all the necessary safety equipment and be cleared to go onto the water. This was shortly followed by a boundary marker session where teams were able to mark their swims on the water using h-blocks and other markers so that everyone knew in which direction they were able to fish to. As the starting hooter blew teams were eager to get bait into the water. Most of the teams opted for a heavy feed approach and we saw hundreds of kilos of freshly cooked bait go onto the spots in the first hours of the tournament. Team Fish on the dam wall were the first to log a qualifying fish of over 10kg and put their team into a good positive position from early on. Any fish under 10kg would not count as a weigher in this year’s tournament which meant that the anglers needed to work hard for the larger specimens. The action continued on Peg 4 where Team FTA had managed to climb into a school of big fish landing multiple double ups. Team FTA lead the field on day 1 and looked to be unstoppable. Jurassic Carp on Peg 6 were also getting into the action and soon landed a stunning 12kg common. Specimen Junkies who were right on the other side of the bank started landing bigger fish and were sitting in 3rd overall as we headed into the first evening. 

Day 2

Day 2 was a warm sunny day packed with action. Most of that action came from peg 4 where Team FTA were tearing up the field catching fish every hour. Dirk Booysen from FTA managed to land a massive 13.8kg common which was the biggest fish at that stage of the tournament. But his title lasted only a few minutes. Specimen Junkies on the far side of the bank were locked into a school of bigger fish and they managed to get a fish of 14.5kg on day 2. This fish had a beautiful round potbelly shape and kept the title of biggest fish for the next 2 days. Meanwhile on peg 3 Team Fish had started to catch a few bigger fish as well including a 14.4kg common and were climbing towards the top.

Day 3

On Day 3 the weather had changed completely. After a rainy night we entered a cold and wet spell for the remainder of the tournament. And in some spots the bigger fish seemed to come out of their hiding spots. Peg 2 which had Team Fishtec all the way from Durban landed a nice 13kg fish. Leslie Barnard using incredible fish finding skills with the Lowrance fish finders to locate the bigger fish in the Dam wall section. After the mornings action we headed over to the other side of the bank where Team Masterclass from Limpopo were also constantly landing good fish on peg 2. At midday the fish had moved more towards the middle section of the bank. Teams like Chunky Monkey and Rooispan were getting in on the action as well. 

Day 4

Day 4 started with a bang. Louis Brits and his team from Rustenburg Team Specimen Tackle were getting the odd bite when suddenly out of the blue Louis had a screaming take on a rod that has been lying dormant for more than 12 hours. Louis jumped on his dingy to go get the fish and what played out was a moment I will never forget. Louis spent 25 minutes on the boat battling with this fish as we looked on from the bank. One could see that this was a better fish and as it slipped into the net it was confirmed purely because of the big celebration that Louis had on the boat from afar. The fish pulled the scales at 14.8kg and brought tears to the teams eyes as they realised that they had a chance of winning if they could keep this up. Later that day we saw some bigger fish arrive at Peg 9 Team Fishing Game and Peg 10 which belonged to previous champions Molli and Wors. We knew that Hannes van der Merwe could easily pull out something special at the last minute as he usually does. Both these teams had 13kg fish and were climbing the leaderboard slowly but surely. Later that afternoon we had a call from Peg 17 who had landed only their 2nd fish of the tournament but it was a monster. Fishing Myself Single had landed a stunning 14.4kg common which was to me the most beautiful fish of the competition. That evening it was Dries Bezuidenhout on peg 1 that landed 13.7kg for Team Fish which put them into the lead. 

Day 5

Day 5 started cold and misty on the bank. Big fish weather was upon us. The underdog team Molli and Wors had a sleepless night and had managed to land a new biggest fish during the night. A massive fish of 15kg bumped them into 2nd place overall and Hannes van der Merwe was once again giving his everything. Chunky Monkeys also landed a monster 13.5kg that morning caught by the oldest angler at the tournament oom Pierre Kemp. Team Fishing Game on Peg 12 had also been lucky with a few decent fish and managed to land a 14.3kg common just before sunset which pushed them into 3rd overall ahead of Team Specimen Tackle. 

Last knockings

The final morning was a nail biter as Molli & Wors had once again pushed right through the night to try get a bigger fish. Just before the final hooter they managed to get a huge fish that looked like it could push 13kg and all they needed to win was a 12.9kg fish. Unfortunately the fish pulled the scales at 12.6kg and and that semented the win for Team Fish on peg 1 with Molli and Wors on peg 13 in 2nd and Team Fishing Game in 3rd place overall. The zone winners were Team FTA in the Cold Factor Zone, Chunky Monkeys in Brits GWM Haval Zone and Specimen Junkies in the Ridgemonkey zone. 

Big congratulations to all the teams that competed and fished their hearts out. Stay tuned to the WCCSA Facebook page for the highlights video to be released end of April. And follow the page to see how Team SA takes on the World at the World Carp Classic 2022 in September. 

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.

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