All that’s needed is an hour before work, a spoon and some tackle

2013-10-05 00:00


I HAVE joined a low-key yet high-profile saltwater fishing clan known as the Ballito Spinning Group, and instead of hitting the gym or going for an early morning jog, these guys hit the rocks with their long-distance, lightweight spinning tackle.

All they need is an hour or so before work, and with no bait or mess involved, they can literally catch a fish or two on their secret spoons and make it back to the office for the first meeting of the day. This facet of the sport is definitely what I would call situational convenience, and is often handsomely rewarded with epic catches. The “secret” spoon that anyone who knows what is good for them chooses, is the Chase Bullet Spoon, which comes in a variety of weights and profiles, and casts a country mile on the right tackle. They are designed and manufactured by Rob Jameson, the proprietor of Chase Fishing Tackle, who also happens to be the magnet that the Ballito Spinning Group revolves around.

Tom Latham, who is one of the active anglers on the rocks here, defied angling law this week by landing a healthy sized Cape Yellowtail, also known as an Albacore, at one of the popular points in Ballito. This particular species is generally a frequenter of deeper water, but when conditions are right, they put themselves in range and are savage fighters, which often gives them the upper hand, but not in Tom’s case.

On the freshwater side of life, Goudetrouw Dam once again failed to disappoint this past weekend during a KZN trail event. A severe cold front had swept through and although some anglers found the fish had tightened up, the anglers in the know blew the roof off with some unbelievable bags. James van Rooyen and Gregg Howard of team Live Target, brought a record-breaking sack of 16,95 kilograms to the scales, bombarding their way to victory in their first appearance of the season. Second place was taken by Derek and Morné Duvenhage, followed by Lew and Gary Halverson in third place. I mentioned in the last issue that top-water baits should be involved in your primary attack and I received a few questions on which top-water baits should be employed. To summarise the vast array of surface lures, it is safe to categorise them into walking and popping baits. Walking baits are epitomised by the Zara Spook range of walking baits — as the concept suggests, they “walk” from side to side when the correct rod movements are imparted.

Popping baits, such as the Pop-R and Skitter Pop, can be easily understood as baits that “pop” and even so, some of the new ranges walk and pop. I almost always start my top-water session with a walking bait, and a big one at that. They have a faster action and longer range, so I cover water with them in low-light conditions. As the day wears on and the light intensifies, I stick with a walking bait but downsize to a smaller Zara to reduce the surface noise and profile of the bait, which normally appeals to wary fish. If I am fishing targeted and isolated shallow cover, I go for a popping-style bait, which gives me the option of slowing way down, yet still generating a controlled surface attraction. Popping baits work well in high sun and calm conditions. They should be fished with a laboriously slow pop and pause action, and you should allow the ripples around the bait to subside before kicking it back into gear. Top-water baits need be fished on a medium-action rod that allows tip action to propel your cast and impart action on the bait. So get out on the lake and catch some bass, and remember to release your catch alive to prolong the sustainability of our resource. E-mail me with reports, pictures and questions at

Catch em’ up.

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