Epic Woodstock will ensure a fierce Craigieburn

2011-11-12 00:00

WOODSTOCK Dam was the last stop on the BETT calendar for the 2011 season. The top 10 teams going into the event were not safe, as the anglers just out of the top 10 were hungry to make the cut and the pressure was on. The standings were set to change and with reports of awesome pre-fishing, there would be no room for error.

With plenty of water to explore, an epic race to the hotspots ensued from the start with most teams running to the dam wall section, no less than 15 kilometres from the launch.

Garth and I made it to our starting spot first thanks to the scintillating power of the Evinrude E-tec, only to discover that the water level had dropped by two feet. We had found a shallow gulley in practice that was loaded with giant spawners.

Unfortunately the lower level had pulled the majority of them out and although we boated three keepers off the spot, we needed to make a change. We started to run and gun, looking for active fish on isolated weed beds. Before long we had a solid limit and knew we were only a few bites away from securing our spot in the qualifying 10 to fish the penultimate final event.

We stuck to it and culled fish throughout the day, until we had a commanding limit touching 10 kg.

We made a final stop on an area where I had pulled off a big fish earlier in the day to see if we could better an already epic sack of fish.

Fortune was on our side, the bite came and I reared back feeling the weight of a solid fish. I was using light spinning tackle so let the fish run clear of the cover before I got to work on putting her in the net.

She was a beautiful egg-laden spawner and tipped the scales just shy of three kilograms, pushing our bag weight to 11 kg and putting us on the podium in third place. Much to our delight, this finish also catapulted us to third in the league from an uncomfortable eighth place, with the final event at Craigieburn this month being the venue for the “no holds barred” climax of the season.

The total purse for the final event will be in the region of R80 000.

Albert Falls has also been on my menu this past week and with reports of good fishing I wasted no time in taking to the water. Plenty of male fish still use the flats and are biting readily. I also found a lone post-spawner on a shallow bank that inhaled my weightless bait, fished once again on my light spinning rig. The fish peeled line and jumped at the end of a long run and then stayed down for several minutes before succumbing to the boat.

It was an absolute giant and a welcome reward for a fun day on the water. I weighed her at 4,1 kg, a truly beautiful fish and my biggest from Albert’s this season.

You will also notice in the photo that I am wearing a compact life jacket. This is a self inflating device that inflates in the same way a car’s airbag would, but only when submersed. So should you have a mishap and end up in the water the jacket will automatically inflate. These jackets are the only self-inflating jackets with SAMSA approval so will have no problem passing the boating safety test. If you do not own a jacket, make sure you get to Aqua Academy and get one!

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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