Nagle Dam Makes History

2009-10-10 00:00

HEY, bassers, what you are looking at is probably one of the largest bass officially caught in South African history — if not the biggest. This behemoth of a bass was caught by Colleen Veitch of Pietermaritzburg at Nagle Dam while fishing with her husband, Mike.

Mike and his partner, Tim Stander, had decided to target Nagle Dam last Sunday in conjunction with the waxing moon and the notion of the spawn. Their wives accompanied them, but hadn’t expected to make history. Colleen was fishing a mojo-rigged lizard on a sloping bank averaging about five metres deep when the gargantuan hit. Great care was taken to land the fish, and Mike and Colleen ensured a successful release after weighing and photographing it. A massive achievement: well done to Colleen for her 6,5 kilogram bass.

Albert Falls has been hit and miss. Some anglers have capitalised on the meagre spawning action and landed some decent fish, while other anglers have had dismal results. I fished this past Saturday and Sunday and had mixed results.

Saturday was extremely hot and clear, making for tough conditions and unusually clean water. By midday, Peter Smith and I had landed a dozen or so fish, most of them caught by Peter. We focused on the shallower banks where most of the anglers were concentrated and never really patterned the fish.

Sunday was different and far more rewarding. I fished with my dad and brother, and we caught around 35 fish in about four hours. We again targeted the shallow areas, which were holding more aggressive fish in the overcast weather. Weightless flukes and senkos did the damage, but most of these fish were the smaller male fish still milling around.

In the afternoon, the wind picked up considerably, which prompted me to throw a spinnerbait through the visible vegetation. Fortunately, Preston Dale of Goya Trading had just supplied me with a new batch of Picasso spinnerbaits, undoubtedly the finest bladed bait available. These enticed a few of the larger fish to bite and we rapidly put a few two-kilogram class fish in the boat. A spinnerbait is an unbelievable producer of big fish. They produce insane shallow-water bites when used in overcast, windy weather. Fish it fast, just under the surface so that you can see the bait pushing a wake as you burn it through the cover. Make sure it crashes into the vegetation and make intermittent pauses in your retrieve to trigger strikes. I get asked all the time which spinnerbaits I use and the answer is Picasso spinnerbaits.

On the slipway, I had a chat to Brian Moores-Pitt and his son Alistair, who recently earned his junior Protea Bass Angling colours at Rust de Winter dam in Limpopo last month. Alistair commented that they had enjoyed a great day at Albert’s catching 15 or so good-quality fish, including a few in the two-kilogram range. Congratulations to Alistair and the other Natal juniors who achieved this phenomenal accolade.

I have not had many consistent reports from Inanda Dam, but Gauteng angler Eric Gander fished Inanda last week and reported a memorable day. He was concentrating on shallow gravel banks, a sure bet for this time of the year, and was throwing a topwater bait. A female fish of well over three kilograms inhaled his bait and was soon landed and released.

Here’s an opportunity for all you bass fisherpeople, as well as your families, that should not to be missed. The Bundu Shellhole Boston Moths are holding a family bass fishing weekend in the Boston area on the weekend of October 30. There will be grand prizes for tagged bass, biggest bass and most bass caught, as well as women’s and junior prizes. The entry fee is R100 per angler if paid before October 20, and camping will cost you R30. Make sure you book your spot by contacting Vernon at 083 286 5207 or 033 396 3068, or e-mail vernonvogt@ telkomsa.net. You will get to fish six private dams not accessible to the public.

So get out on the water and catch some bass. Remember to release your catch alive to prolong the sustainability of our resource. E-mail me with bass fishing reports, pictures and questions at zorthewitt@hotmail.com

Catch ’em up!

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