Fat bass gorging on tilapia

2011-02-19 00:00

ALBERT Falls is the stage for the next BETT event scheduled to take place next Saturday. In preparation for this, Garth and I have been pre-fishing Albert’s with mixed results.

On our first practice outing we set a team record for this piece of water, but not the kind you might be thinking of. We fished the entire day with intent and never boated a fish. In fact we never had a bite!

One thing for sure, after this day we definitely knew where the fish weren’t; problem was, that was most of the dam.

We spent the next few days of pre-fishing searching for the ever-elusive bass of Albert Falls and eventually managed to find one or two, let me repeat that: one or two. The consolation from all of this stressful fishing was that most of the other anglers brought similar stories to the slipway.

Amid other extenuating factors, the incredible presence of baitfish has indeed toughened up the fishing. Wherever you go, vast schools of tilapia smother the surface and blank out your fish finder.

This would be a major drawcard for anglers if schools of bass were devouring the bait, but trust me, this is not the case.

Brendan van Zuydam hit this point right on the head when he provided some insight into the problems being experienced at Albert Falls: way too many baitfish, not enough bass to eat them.

On a positive note, the bass are ridiculously overweight and therefore feeding well — probably under the cover of darkness — setting themselves up for a great winter.

Other good news is that affordable tungsten weights are now available to every angler. Goya Trading went to the source to stock the shelves with their own brand of tungsten weights and The Fish Eagle in Victoria Road has a comprehensive range.

Anglers who have experienced the tungsten difference know the extra sensitivity this dense, hard metal can give you over lead or brass. When you drag a tungsten weight along the bottom, you’ll be able to distinguish between sand, gravel, rock, mud or wood much more easily than with any other conventional bullet weight. Along with extra sensitivity, the smaller tungsten weights allow them to slip through snags.

The New Hanover farm dam bass competition takes place on Saturday, March 12, and promises to be a day to remember for seasoned anglers and weekend addicts.

Entrants get to choose from 15 well-stocked private dams. Entry fee is R60 for juniors and R100 for adults. Entries received before February 28 get a free T-shirt.

Tournament information is available at www.newhanover.co.za, or call Jurgen 082 785 8166 or Cliff 082 880 7088.

Do 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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