Epic tournament at Albert Falls

2012-02-25 00:00

ANGLERS are gearing up for what promises to be an epic BETT event at Albert Falls today. The standings are tight after just one event and with positive pre-fishing stories, an 8-9 kg will be what it takes to win this event.

The dam is filling rapidly and vast plains of vegetation have been recently flooded. Fortunately the baitfish have been rampant, drawing the bass up on the banks during a time that normally put the bass on the back foot.

Temperatures are set at over 30°C for the tournament day with little to no clouds, so even though the fish should be lined up, getting the bigger fish to bite could make for some extra pressure in the high, hot sun.

My shallow water pattern will typically be most reliable in the mornings when conditions are stable, cool and low light prevails. Not only do these conditions pull the fish shallower, but they also influence the behaviour of the baitfish. The baitfish will “stack up” and make the biggest mistake of their short lives — they move away from the cover! The bass know this and start patrolling the key areas way before daylight waiting for their appetisers to line up.

I look for banks with vegetation and, in particular, points with vegetation. When the baitfish school in the morning and start drifting away from the cover, points become gathering areas for the bait and bass in pursuit.

If you just spent the first few hours of your day only targeting the likely type points, moving from one to the next, you will catch way more fish than you would running long stretches of monotonous banks.

On the points you will undoubtedly see baitfish fleeing the onslaught of the bass which habitually school up in hunting packs of three or more fish so make sure you are ready for this with baits loaded that can be cast a long way.

Top-water baits are the starting line-up for my autumn mornings and I fish them to get eaten and spark a reaction from the fish which clearly have no shortage of food during this period.

Fish it fast and erratic, pausing intermittently before moving it again. I prefer walking style baits as I can work them faster, covering more water. After I have put down the top-water rod, I will throw a weightless soft plastic jerk-bait with an oversized hook to help with casting distance. Same story here, fast and erratic is the deal, but when I see the bait running away from the lure, I will kill it and let it drop for a good few seconds. Man, this is the ticket! I will then barrage the remaining fish on the point with a lip-less bait and a suspending jerk-bait.

It’s that time of year again when New Hanover Prep and surrounding farmers put on their annual bass fishing extravaganza. The New Hanover farm dams bass fishing competition will be held on March 17 and with a targeted 1 000 anglers participating this year, this event is set to break all bass fishing participation records. Sixteen farm dams will be available to fish so if you or your family are keen to get into the bass fishing groove, e-mail me for an entry form or visit your local tackle dealer who should have the entry forms.

The annual Artlure Satellite Skins bass tournament is also just around the corner, being held on March 10 and 11. This is another awesome event to fish and is your only chance of fishing this fantastic private venue. Contact Rod Freese for tournament inquiries on 082 573 4544 or e-mail me for an entry form.

So get out on the lake and catch some bass. 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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