Cooler weather, hotter fishing, hopefully

2011-04-16 00:00

CHANGE of season is finally upon us! The prolonged, relentless summer heat has kept water temperatures far higher than normal, but the passing of a few cool fronts as well as some solid rain has signalled the inevitable change of season and the approach of winter.

As I have said before, the next month or so is a fantastic time during the season to enjoy some fast-paced action as the fish sense the change in season and start feeding accordingly. The prolific amount of baitfish should start dwindling with the cooling off of the water, which normally creates a sense of urgency in the feeding patterns of the bass.

The late-season rain we are receiving will undoubtedly strengthen the fishing as our local dams will support shallow fish throughout the winter provided vegetation is present.

Vegetation is absolutely no problem at Inanda right now, whereas Albert Falls possesses absolutely nothing.

The lack of vegetation at Albert’s should drive the fish to break lines found adjacent to flats as well as offshore timber. The fish will still feed along the banks, but I fear this will only be during the dark hours not allowing us the opportunity to take advantage.

Inanda has maintained a reasonably steady success rate with reports of decent catches coming through on a regular basis.

I was at Inanda recently and landed a few solid fish among many smaller ones. The fish have started relating to main lake points and drops, which is a textbook pattern for the autumn months. Don’t ignore the vegetation though!!

At this time of year twitching a fluke or senko-style bait is a must as are shallow run spinnerbaits and crankbaits. On the deeper points and drops shaky-head and drop-shot presentations are definite winners. While idling my boat at Inanda I had the unfortunate experience of having the motor entangled in an illegal gill net, which was more than 100 metres long. I had no choice but to take the time to remove it from my motor and in the process released at least 15 fish of varying species, including bass, still alive in this death trap.

While I don’t recommend that you do this due to the fact that the locals can become extremely hostile towards anglers, I would suggest reporting the position of the nets to the Msinsi office at the dam for the wardens to remove. Gill nets are illegal in our waters and become the responsibility of the managing body of the dam, so please report them.

After much anticipation and numerous requests, Garth Liefeldt, Martin de Kock and I will be holding another seminar at the Fish Eagle on Thursday, May 12. This seminar will cover the feeding habits of bass and how this most important aspect of their behaviour will affect your approach. We will be screening some awesome American underwater footage depicting breathtaking scenes of bass hunting and crushing baits.

Call Brandon or Craig at The Fish Eagle to book your seat at 033 345 4224 or visit thefisheagle@telkomsa.net. Note that there will be a charge of R60 per person to attend, which will include your refreshments and burgers. There will be great deals available on rod and reel combos as well as a newly refreshed range of bass tackle to enhance your choice.

The Fish Eagle has expanded its hard bait selection to incorporate a wider variety of Rapala, Sensation, Bandit and Hawg Caller Spinnerbaits.

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

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