Bait anglers don’t go home when the sun sets, they just hunker down

2013-10-12 00:00

THE saying that nothing good happens after 2 am certainly hasn’t acted as a deterrent to the bait anglers lining the banks of dams all over the country on Sunday mornings.

Some anglers speculate that carp fishing dominates the number of recreational hours spent trying to catch a fish. It is difficult to determine how accurate this is, but one thing is certain: bait anglers do spend an inordinate amount of time watching and waiting to catch a fish.

You will have noticed that bait anglers are often the first people on the water on a Sunday morning. This is because freshwater bait anglers don’t go home when the sun goes down, like the rest of us do. They often find a nice comfortable spot at the side of a dam on a Saturday afternoon, set their rods up, throw in one of their long casts and settle in for a 20-hour fishing spectacular. Bait anglers aren’t built like Olympic shot putters but they could certainly give them a run for their medal when it comes to distance casting.

Most anglers consider themselves to be outdoors people, but if freshwater bait angling from the bank is the roughing it of fishing, then freshwater boat angling is like spending a night in a luxury tented campsite and calling it camping. There is no comparison. When the conditions get bad and the wind picks up, many bass anglers will head for shore before calling it quits for the day. Home is a lot more comfortable, especially when the going gets tough and the fish go off the bite. Not bait anglers. They just wrap up a little more tightly in their jackets before going to check their lines and settling into their favourite deck chair for the night. Bait anglers often spend entire nights out in the cold with little more than a fire and a bottle of Old Brown Sherry to keep them warm. In lieu of a comfortable bed and down duvets, they make do with camping chairs and conversation.

As someone who values her sleep, the idea of spending an entire night fishing from the banks of a dam is almost inconceivable to me. We all enjoyed an all-night bender or two during our student days but, as 30 begins looking a little closer than 20, going to bed after midnight is more of an occasion than common practice.

The SAPS Midlands Angling Club recently held an overnight club event at Albert Falls, fishing from Saturday 10 am until Sunday noon. At about 8.30 pm on Saturday evening, one of their members, Wayne Kotze, hooked and landed a 4,176 kg largemouth bass while targeting carp.

It is very rare for a bass to take any of the doughy baits that line a carp angler’s arsenal. Bass are usually interested in feeding on live bait, or on the lures used by bass anglers that attempt to imitate live bait.

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