The Famous Island at Rietvlei
- Carp Common
- Tilapia Canary
- Tilapia Threespot
- Barbel Sharptooth
- Fishing day visitor
- Fishing overnight
- Fly fishing (not renowned)
Rietvlei Dam is notorious for two things.
BIG fish and BLANKS!
Some call it black outs, others know it as dummies, it doesn't matter. It's the worst thing that could ever happen to any fisherman. Apart from the money spent on your fishing trip, to sit there for a whole day, even a weekend, and not catch the tiniest of fish, must be the most disapointing feeling ever. And this, my friends happens a lot at Rietvlei.
Now before everyone thinks I'm dishonoring this dam, I'll be the first one to congratulate this establishment.
For putting up signs that prohibit all fishermen to take out any fish (I think this applies to carp only) over 4 kilograms.
The signs run all along the bank, just in case you missed the first one. What I don't understand is why they have to put up signs. Aren't we supposed to put the fish back just on principal? I mean, if the fish weighs 3.8kg I know there's a few that see this as a green light to go show everyone at home what he's caught and therefore leaves the fish no chance.
If I had any authority at Rietvlei, I'd have taken down the signs and put new ones up, stating that NO fish shall be taken out the water, regardless of size. Being an easily accessible dam from Pta and Jhb, as with all dams within the region you know it was and always will be over fished. It's a matter of distance, and anything within range will then of course be exploited. It's not the authority's fault, nor the dam itself. It is us to blame! If we can not even look after ourselves, how are we going to look after the fish? Thus by forcing everyone to put back all catches, you ensure the people after you of the possibility of doing the same. I'd rather catch a couple of undersized fish than no fish at all.
Maybe we can start this as "The campaign against the Blank"... surely it's to everyone's benefit.
Calvin Crous posing proudly with his Canary.
Now I have heard from some people that you have to know Rietvlei to catch fish. And I have recently come across a certain individual that claims he knows Rietvlei. His name is Alf Clappen and this God fearing creature KNOWS how to catch God's water creatures from Rietvlei.
I was not so long ago ready, again, packed, again, and with new vigor and armed to the teeth next to the cold water of this Rievlei dam. You know 5 days goes by fast if you're preoccupied with all sorts of things like running after the kids, entertaining guests etc.
I swear I even saw my one policeman move slightly but this might have been the wind. On day 5 we calmly packed up, cleaned up, FED UP! I WAS! Nothing, nada, zilch! How is this possible? I made all kinds of promises to myself to never come here again, never to braai, or picnic with the kids. I have had enough of this place. The fishermen can share the only 3 big fish here whichever way they like! I won't have any of it ever again.
I might mention that on day two I kind of saw what this week was turning into and as always turned to my fly rod to keep myself busy. I mean a man can only sit still for so long. I went to a few spots to watch for movement, walked around in the water looking for fish. This was with my wader on. You should never walk in the water there barefoot, as the water leeches will suck onto your feet so fast it will look like spots of mud. The water there is infested with water leeches. Anyways not too far from where we camped I saw Tilapia swim and jump around, sometimes fully clearing the water surface. This all happened around or underneath strings and strings of spirogyra, better known as Pond scum or Waterslyk.
I took a San Juan worm and a DDD fly and managed to catch about 150 Canary Tilapia (Kanarie Kurpers) within two days. THAT, was great fun.
Probably why I kind of sort of...left in a better mood than totally foul!
It's so nice, we post it twice! Alf Clappen.
In comes Mr. Alf Clappen.
Two days after me to be exact. He was only there for the weekend. I was supposed to go meet up with him but I have had enough and did not feel like it. I told him about our weekend whereupon he just laughed. I couldn't see what's so funny so he told me.
He went there the day before he was supposed to arrive and "scanned" the water. I didn't ask him just exactly what he did but I can imagine. And it seemed like work, so I wasn't interested. Fishing is supposed to be relaxing.
Then came his total, 17! 17? Yes, SE-VEN-TEEN. How the ..... did you manage to catch 17 fish in Rietvlei in just one weekend? He replied: "It was 17 Carp". So how the ..... did you manage to catch 17 carp in Rietvlei in just one weekend? He replied: "Because some got away".
And then I saw the photos. Not only was Alf not pulling my leg, but he proved it with a few photographs. Even the photographs had the date in the corner, with the biggest one tipping the scale at a monstrous 18 kilograms.
Seeing is believing, go have a look at our freshwater section, under carp. I posted the pic there.
Now Mr. Clappen might be put under a select few, but there are quite a few guys like him that "knows" Rietvlei.
Rietvlei is notorious for his Big Fish and if I'm not mistaken, was the dam mentioned with a fishing record or two concerning fish size and line class.There might not be a lot of fish in Rietvlei dam, but believe me, they are BIG. I saw the photos. And not the ones from the magazine that shows the best of the catches every month, but from guys that regularly post these fish on my group. And it doesn't look like the same fish over and over again, it's different sizes and colors, which proves that there's fish alright. Catching them is another thing. Maybe one day I'll have the courage to take on this dam again. But not alone. I'll drag Alf along and shake his secrets out of him.
I can only dream.
Martin Schoeman, with what looks like bobbing for apples, 'cause the fish ain't biting.
Maybe one day.