Post-frontal fishing blues

2011-07-09 00:00

IN the last Information Bass we were discussing post-front tactics and how these dreadful conditions affect bass and their behaviour. The BETT event held two weeks ago at Albert Falls gave the anglers and myself the opportunity to put these theories into practice. We were bombarded with a severe front the day before the event and found ourselves fishing in extreme post-frontal displeasure.

At the slipway the air temperature was -2ºC. The water droplets were freezing as they landed on the boat and toes and fingers were brittle to say the least. Fortunately, the wind was not blowing and although the water temperature had dropped, it was stable.

Going against common perception, Garth and I started out with deep diving crankbaits in the hopes of triggering one or two bigger bites. We had no problem triggering bites, but definitely not the big ones we were looking for. We eventually slowed our approach to slow moving plastics and quickly upped our numbers. Anglers around us were also catching good numbers with the talk on the water being light drop-shot and mojo-rigged baits doing the business.

After the morning session, the bite slowed. Around midday a savage westerly wind came through sending many anglers off the lake and forcing the die-hard anglers to push their equipment to the max. A few boats could not take the punishment and paid the ultimate price — they sank! If I can give any advice at this point, when the wind blows at Albert Falls, it blows. Rather get your boat on the trailer or run to the leeward bank of the dam to wait the wind out.

Garth and I finished with a respectable ninth place finish, sneaking us into third place overall. Team El Grande Lures weighed a limit of 6,4 kg securing yet another victory for the season, lengthening their overall lead even further. Martin de Kock and Julian van Zuydam of Team Yamaha SHO Rapala are placed second overall.

Continuing with post-front tactics, offshore bass call for my two go-to options. If I am targeting a break line or channel drop I start with a specific style Carolina rig. First of all I opt for a lighter leader line, normally 10 or 12lb. I will also lengthen my leader to about four feet and load up a floating plastic jerk bait or senko-style worm. I will keep my sinker at half or even 34oz.

So what is the point of all this? The heavier sinker always maintains bottom contact and stirs the ground up considerably. The floating worm obviously floats up and the lighter, longer leader promotes this. You also need to adjust the way you fish it and that is with long, aggressive twitches of the rod tip.

Picture it; the bottom is being churned up, a crazy-looking baitfish-style bait is dancing erratically from side to side four feet off the bottom. When that recipe comes dancing by, inactive fish don’t really have a choice! My second choice involves pin-pointing brush piles with a light line drop shot rig — 8lb line is normally my choice here and I will bury the tiny drop shot hook in the head of the plastic. I will get that rig directly in the brush because, as mentioned before, these post-front fish will be as tight to the cover as possible. Leave the bait there for as long as possible and just tentatively shake it every so often. Keep the baits small and slender in profile. They are not going to move far to get it, so don’t try and make them.

The Fish Eagle in Victoria Road has recently indulged in Strike-Kings’ new range of floating plastic baits as well as a phenomenal range of crankbaits. I suggest you get there and widen your range of baits.

So 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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