On the 1st May 2001, the Tri Star Carp Bonanza Open Competition was held at Tago on the Vaaldam. It had been raining the whole of the previous night and I wondered if many anglers would attend this competition. I arrived at the gate at 06:00 am to find that there were already many anglers waiting for the gates to open. I estimate that there were approximately 300 anglers with a couple of national and many provincial anglers putting their skills to the test in an attempt to win R3000 first prize. The weather remained cloudy for the full duration of the day with a threat of rain looming all the time. The rain eventually did come down at the weigh-in after the competition. The competition was won by one of the Mpumalanga provincial anglers with a carp of 5.400kg. All the prizes were taken by provincial anglers, once again proving that angling is not all luck.
I started the day losing three good carp of about 2kg in grass at approximately 80m after picking them up at about 120m. I eventually moved over to the right because of the snag and neighbours on my left who kept on pulling my lines out. About 2 hrs into the competition, I picked up a good carp which I estimate at around 4kg which swam into a marker and snapped my trace. This fish would definitely have taken 2nd or 3rd spot. I managed to bag 4 carp, the biggest being 2.3kg, 150g less that the 3rd place carp.
The baits that brought me the most success were worms with banana marshmallows with my bottom hook dipped in Armadillo and the top hook in Caramello. The bomb was finished off with a touch of Springbok bomb dip, before the bait was cast out into the swim. Due to the weather conditions, the fish picked up the bait after an hour and all bites resulted in a reel run.