Mercury Overnighter @ Rynfield Dam


This annual boat angling competition has become synonymous with generous prizes and is a social occasion on the fishing calendar that boat anglers look forward to each year. This year’s event, presented over the weekend of 2-3 March attracted 450 spectators on the banks and 225 anglers in the boats, and was once again a huge success.

The competition spans 12 hours overnight and took place at the well-known Rynfield Dam in Benoni. The big prize hunted (fished for!) every year is the R60 000 tagged carp that is caught, tagged and released a few days before the competition.

The prizes were awarded in four divisions: heaviest carp, heaviest barbel, heaviest combined carp and barbel and juniors. 

As always, the organisers – the East Rand Boat Fishing Club – did an excellent job. The feedback from the anglers emphasised that this annual event continues to go from strength to strength.
Wessel Grimbeek (left) and Shane MacLeod hosted the event and were in charge of the lucky draw giveaways and prize giving.

The competition works as follows: everyone receives a number with their goodie bag when they enter the competition and that determines the order in which their boats are launched. The organisers have experienced teams that help with this task, so on Saturday afternoon around 80 boats were safely launched and ready for the twelve hours of action. The boats were launched from 14:00, but anglers were only allowed to start fishing at 18:00 when the start flare lit up the sky.

A big shout-out to all our loyal sponsors! Please support them.

Launch time

Rynfield Dam is not one of the biggest dams, so this many boats crowd the water quite a bit, but this only adds to the fun of this event – all the boats are anchored close together, so the anglers have a good time entertaining each other and sharing stories of the ‘big ones’ that got away. What adds to this family-friendly event is the fact that all the visitors can spend time together on the bank, braaiing and hanging out until early in the morning while the anglers on the boats ‘work hard’ to target the big, tagged fish.

The 12 hours ended at 06:00 on Sunday morning when the red lines-up flare joined the half-moon in the dawning sky.

The red lines-up flare joined the half-moon in the dawning sky signaling the end of the competition.

Although the elusive R60 000 tagged fish once again evaded the anglers, the sponsored prizes – to the value of R250 000 – were so generous the winning anglers didn’t mind at all! There were also many lucky draw giveaways to put smiles on the non-winning anglers’ faces as well.

Anglers show their catches

Aasif Abdool.
Albert Verster.
Brandon Jones.
Elton Human.
Edwin Pretorius.
Connor Morton.
Francois Newhart.
Gert Maree.
Grant Boucher.
Johan Franklin.
Jaco van der Westhuizen.
Matthew du Preez.
Hanri Jansen van Rensburg (left) and Gerrit van Rooyen.
Kishin Chetty (right) with his boat partner.
Johan Schoeman.
Nathan Booysen.
Riaan Booysen.
Vernon Bekker.
Zaaki Hoosen (left) and Shaaz Tharman.


  • Heaviest Carp (Snr): Riki Hales on the boat Rickelieu – 4,87kg;
  • Heaviest Barbel (Snr): Bianca Trauernicht on the boat Expression 600 – 4,72kg;
  • Heaviest Combined Catch (Snr): George Johnstone on the boat Tradunsie – 9,6kg;
  • Juniors Heaviest Carp (3rd biggest carp overall): Wesley Fish on the boat Reel Busy – 2,95kg.
The grand prize was sponsored by Escape Boating – the Crackleback 360 Lite boat on a trailer and a Mercury 5HP 2-stroke hand tiller, with its proud winner, Riki Hales

Heaviest Carp

  • 1st: Riki Hales 4,87kg;
  • 2nd: Michael Johnstone – 3,29kg;
  • 3rd: Brandon Jones – 2,91kg.

The winner of the grand prize sponsored by Escape Boating, the Crackleback 360 Lite boat on a trailer and a Mercury 5HP 2-stroke hand tiller outboard was Riki Hales with the biggest carp of 4,87kg. 

Grand prize winner, Riki Hales with the heaviest carp – 4,87kg.
Shane MacLeod (left) hands the registration papers over to Riki Hales.
Michael Johnstone in 2nd place with his carp of 3,29kg. He won a Garmin Striker Vivid 5CV with Transducer fishfinder.
Brandon Jones with his 3rd prize winning carp – 2,91kg.

Heaviest Barbel

  • 1st: Bianca Trauernicht – 4,72kg;
  • 2nd: Johan Schoeman – 2,8kg;
  • 3rd: Zaaki Hoosen – 2,58kg.
Bianca Trauernicht won the prize for the heaviest barbel – 4,72kg. On her left is Wessel Grimbeek from ERBFC.
Omri Cronjé (left) who won 2nd prize for heaviest carp & barbel combination is congratulating Bianca Trauernicht.
Johan Schoeman with his barbel of 2,8kg gave him a 2nd place.
In 3rd place was Zaaki Hoosen with a barbel of 2,58kg.

Heaviest Carp & Barbel combination

  • 1st: George Johnstone – 9,6kg;
  • 2nd: Omri Cronjé with a nice bag of fish;
  • 3rd: Charl Greeff – 4,45kg.
George Johnstone was first in the carp & barbel combination division – total weight of 9,6kg.
Omri Cronjé came 2nd in the carp & barbel combination division.


  • 1st: Wesley Fish – 2,95kg carp;
  • 2nd: Sheldon Kruger – 1,79kg carp.
  • 3rd: Markus Boshoff with a decent-sized carp.
Wesley Fish was in 1st place in the Juniors division with this beauty of 2,95kg.
Sheldon Kruger was 2nd with his carp of 1,79kg carp.
This decent-sized carp earned Markus Boshoff the 3rd place.
A proud Sheldon Kruger with his 2nd prize winnings.
Arms full of prizes for Markus Boshoff who came 3rd in the Juniors division.
Kishin Chetty (right) and his boat partner won the R20 800 kitty cash prize.
Riaan Riekert of For Anglers telling the anglers and visitors more about the For Anglers digital magazine platform.

Congratulations to all the winners and a big shout-out to all the sponsors. Thank you to every angler and spectator, as well as the people who prepared eats and drinks for everyone.

This event was once again a huge success – see you all in 2025!

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