Hooking lunkers in a feeding rampage

2013-03-23 00:00

FINALLY, it seems that the relentless and overbearing heat has somewhat subsided and the cooling trends of the looming season change have taken effect. This is good news for bass anglers, as the bass have detected this change far earlier than you and me, or the weather report.

What does this mean for us anglers? Well, the baitfish will start becoming less prevalent and, with this dwindling source of food, the bass will initiate operation “annihilate everything”, where they go on a feeding rampage before the cold really sets in. Fair enough, it is probably a bit early to be expecting that, but I figured you would enjoy hearing it anyway.

I was fortunate enough to head out to a productive farm dam on a recent afternoon, which completely restored my bass fishing instincts. Andrew Read and I had just planned to make a few throws and, hopefully, catch a fish or two, but this turned into a bass extravaganza with every second or third cast eliciting a bite from obliging and ignorant fish. Naturally, we did not complain and caught them until the light faded to chilly darkness. The killer of the day was the Rapala six-centimetre X-rap, which completely deceived anything in its path, until I decided to chuck a Goya mini-spin spinnerbait between some lily pads. The lunker of the afternoon nonchalantly swum out in plain sight and had her way with my spinnerbait. It was by no means a wall-hanger, but was a solid 2,5 kg, which had our spirits high for a casual afternoon on the water. On the larger dams, reports have been slim but reliable, with the shallow-water bite still starring the headlines. As the water cools, we should see more consistent movements from larger fish into the shallow feeding areas and this is where you should be to meet them. A KZN fish-off held this past weekend at Goudetrouw Dam saw Brendon van Zuydam take top honours for the event and the season to boot. With the extremely high water levels, the fish were targeted in the flooded bushes and overhanging trees. Some absolute monsters were caught, with the biggest fish weighed at the event topping the five-kilogram mark.

My last trip to Albert’s was two weeks ago, to partake in the annual Wartburg Angling Club Barble Competition. I fished with my dad and brother Sean, and, as luck would have it, Sean landed the heaviest fish at 8,21 kg and snatched the R10 000 prize, what a bonus. Inanda has also been producing reasonable averages and should still keep up the shallow bite until early winter, which is normally a month or so later than most other venues. If you are heading out on the lake, I would suggest an early start in the shallows followed by an outside grass line effort with a shallow crankbait or lipless bait. These are sure bets for this productive time of year. I am heading up to Bell-park Dam in the Champagne Valley this weekend for an overdue family getaway. Apparently, the dam sports a population of bass. All it needs is one and I will know its name by the end of the weekend (watch this space).

So get out on the lake and catch some bass, and remember to release your catch alive.

E-mail me with reports, pictures and questions at zorthewitt@hot mail.com

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