Look forward to some bigger fish and a winter to remember

2013-05-04 00:00

I AM not one for “I told you so’s”, but a few weeks ago I was bold enough to document that after the next cold front or two, the larger fish would start making their way into areas where we can catch them.

Well, I told you so. The changing season and cooler nights get the fish, especially the bigger fish, lined-up for more predictable feeding routines and shallow feeding migrations, which are substantiated by the high-water levels. The short version of this change in behaviour is the fact that the fish sense this change and are aware of the fact that food supplies will start thinning out as winter approaches. Based on what you know now, listen to the following run of big fish.

The Inanda Bass Classic was held last weekend and although Inanda has been fishing well, the tournament itself saw some chunky fish hit the scales. No less than four fish over three kilogrammes were weighed, which included a 3,6 kg fish caught by Zayne Kemp in the dying moments of day two. It took second place, after the winning fish of 3,9 kg.

The heaviest fish, which came with a prize tag of R45 000, was caught by Jason Lupke, a new name in the sport who I am sure now plans to become a regular name. Over the past few years, the tournament has not seen many big fish, so competitors were more than grateful to see some pigs.

Albert Falls is never far from the headlines and rightly so, as I loaded the boat last week with over-aggressive and under-educated fish.

I lost count at 68 fish and that was just after midday. The negative highlight of my day was watching a fish between four and five kilogrammes come up just metres from the boat and absolutely annihilate an unsuspecting hand-sized tilapia. In its violent display of predation, the fish cleared the water, boasting its obese proportions. I instinctively dropped my rod, picked up another loaded with a jerk-bait and put the bait in the strike zone. I twitched the bait twice and then left it motionless.

The raging fish inhaled my bait and found the hooks, which it straightened and spat out after a train-like run for cover that I could not stop. It took me a while to get over that, in fact I am still not over it.

During the same week, Marc Meyer found a school of fish and did what he does best, he caught them. The biggest, at 3,6 kg, sealed the deal on an awesome day for him. If that wasn’t enough, Clive Vorster weighed a 3,8 kg fish on Workers’ Day and Eugene Potgieter topped the same day with a fish that weighed a tad over four kilogrammes.

Not to be left out, Michael Veitch ventured down to the less frequented Nagle Dam recently and a good choice it was, as his day ended with a 3,9 kg fish to add to his record books.

My next prediction, apart from this week’s Lotto numbers, is that the fishing will remain as good as it is until the next severe front hits.

That will reduce the number of bites in a day, but will help with the average sizes. The fish are fat and healthy, and will continue to be catchable as long as the water levels stay constant.

With a tournament or two looming in the near future, the anglers are excited about the stories of big fish. This winter will be a winter to remember.

We will catch fish throughout and will undoubtedly see some more giants.

Until then, 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.

Catch ’em up.

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