Racking up the big ones

2012-11-03 00:00

IF the weather cannot make up its mind, the bass sure can. They have decided to bite, bite and bite some more, with absolutely no complaints from the anglers who have braved the weather.

Woodstock dam was once again on the agenda, with Predator Bass Club making the trip for a weekend club outing. My old fishing partner, Garth, joined me for what was dubbed the Team Ruff Thumb Comeback Tour, which was designed around having fun and catching fish.

We were fortunate enough to pull up on the fish at our first spot and located a school of fat pre-spawners on a rocky bank. No less than eight fish found the live-well, with three of these fish touching the three kilogram mark. The balance of the fish caught on the spot were no slouches either, all breaking the two kilogram mark. It was an epic start to an awesome day, which did not stop there.

We moved off to the next area and continued the onslaught of hefty fish. Before we knew it we had a boat load of abnormally large fish and had the rest of the day to jump around catching fish, with no pressure attached. By the time the weigh-in came, we had caught over 60 fish, many of which were over the two kilogram mark. Garth’s five fish weighed in at a staggering 11,2 kg, putting him in second spot.

My five fish tipped the scales at 13,1kg, which secured the top spot for the day. It was a great weekend, with a great bunch of guys.

With a day’s leave to spare, I made a trip to Albert Falls in some less-than-glamorous weather.

Rain, excessive wind and unseasonably cold temperatures were the factors to overcome before catching a fish, but it was worth it.

We started shallow, and had no problem catching fish on top-water baits and weightless plastics. While the average sizes were on the small side, the constant bite made up for this. We moved around, fishing the common areas and racked up a good days catch, before I decided to change to a deeper running crankbait. I selected a deep diving crankbait, custom painted by Steve Hardman in a spawning red-breast tilapia colour. This did the trick and I immediately started attracting better quality bites. This continued until a solid fish stopped the naturally painted bait in its tracks and, fortunately for me, had no intention of letting it go. She pulled hard, but I tentatively played her until I inevitably boated her. I was unable to weigh the fish, but she was definitely close to the 3,5 kg mark, finishing off another memorable day in less than memorable conditions.

Albert Falls, Midmar, Inanda and basically anywhere else that bass live, are where you should be right now. The fish are biting with intent amidst the adverse weather, which goes against all popular belief. Why you ask? The spawning routines have superseded the weather, which has held the process back, but it cannot prevent it. The fish have had no choice but to carry out their rituals, albeit later than usual.

We are finding fish in the pre-spawn movements, some that are on the beds and a large majority that are already post-spawn. This means that fish in all phases are on the move, which makes patterning them rather tricky, but catching them rather easy. The larger fish are definitely reacting to bigger baits and, in particular, crankbaits.

Water levels are rising and the numbers of fish on the bite are doing the same, and, hopefully, temperatures will start rising soon. My advice is to stop letting the weather keep you at home and start letting the bass control your mood. Trust me, there is plenty of fish catching still to come.

So get out on the dam 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@

hot mail.com

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