Amazing vibe as 922 compete in New Hanover bass tourney

2012-03-24 00:00

I WAS absolutely amazed to feel the patriotic energy that inspired the New Hanover farm dam bass tournament last weekend.

From the farmers to the anglers, young and old, bass fishing reigned supreme and to see literally 1 000 people support the sport of bass fishing was truly overwhelming.

While every single angler had a blast, a particular family had extreme fun and worn out arms from catching big ’ol bass and even carrying so many prizes.

There were 922 anglers, which made up a monumental field of bass maniacs battling for the biggest fish — a 59 cm farm dam bruiser caught by annual contender Claude Howard.

Claude walked away with plenty of cash as well as a kick-boat and a mounted bass trophy.

The biggest junior bass was caught by Claude’s grandson Luke — measuring a whopping 49 cm.

There is definitely something special happening in this family, and if Claude’s son, Owen, could just start catching some fish for a change then this will be a family effort to be reckoned with.

This was a fantastically well prepared and executed tournament that still remains the largest gathering of bass anglers countrywide.

I have joined a social bass fishing club called Predator Bass Club, which was started by a group of guys who just want to catch bass for fun and enjoy the camaraderie that the sport brings without any unfortunate politics.

We fish a social event once a month at a local venue with a half-time braai and chat session.

This past Sunday we gathered at Nagle Dam for an enjoyable match-up and were hoping to see higher water levels than we did.

There were plenty of baitfish in the shallow, but very little vegetation to keep them there.

Nevertheless we had a great day on the water, which started off cloudy and cool before clearing to let the searing sun shine through.

There were a few limits caught, including a three kilogram fish that I caught on what I will call an expertly lucky cast made with a floating jerkbait.

This was about the only fish of substance caught, but should the water levels rise I guarantee the bass will come to the party.

So if the Durban residents could just slow down on their water use, then maybe this will happen.

Albert Falls continues to produce good fishing. The dam is unfortunately dropping at a steady rate due to more water being let out than what is coming in.

This has reduced the excitement levels of the shallow water bite, but has put more focus on the very reliable off-shore bite.

The fish are by no means giants, but the amounts of fish available are making up for this.

Tactics seem to be rather straightforward, with most anglers adopting the standard plastic bait rigs to ensure their fish catching.

Please remember that it is vital to release all fish caught when they are in a susceptible mood. Don’t be fooled into thinking that there are “too many” fish in the dam.

The dam is in good condition, with plenty of baitfish and cooling water, which is allowing for such predictable fishing.

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 zorthewitt@hotmail.com. Catch ’em up!

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