Stylish outfits just won’t fly — rather wear your trusty crocs

2012-10-13 00:00

YOUNG anglers or those new to the sport often struggle with patience. They want to catch a fish and they want to catch it now. Their enthusiasm often extends beyond their buoyant disposition to their restless hands as they struggle to stop themselves from constantly reeling in. Luckily, angling at this time of year calls for a somewhat more energetic approach. Bass and tilapia have started to spawn, ensuring that food is plentiful, and with baitfish lining, the shore and predatory fish have been accustomed to the dash and dart of these tasty morsels.

Spring heralds a rebirth and this is exactly what the spring rains have brought to dams across the province. The rest period granted to Inanda and Albert Falls, during the months of August and September respectively, have served both the fish and the fishermen well. Last weekend’s KZN BETT final was proof of the good that the month long break has had on Albert Falls, with a mind-blowing bag of 14,65 kg being weighed on the second day by Team Yamaha SHO / Rapala.

This was enough to land this team a second place spot on the podium, merely 0,02 points behind Team X-Treme Fishing SA who were the overall winners of the tournament. Team X-Treme Fishing SA managed an impressive 20,98 kg haul over the two-day final, confirming that the bass are out in force. Unlike the testing winter season, which lent itself to those few proficient anglers, spring is the perfect time for new would-be enthusiasts to test their arms on the lake.

In order to reach an expert level of proficiency at something, you need to invest approximately 10 000 hours into practising it, but becoming a proficient angler is as much about technique and tackle as it is about the nitty gritty details that make life more comfortable. So, while it is important to invest in quality tackle and durable line, remember that no-one can become adept at something if they are confined to their beds due to dehydration and sunburn. There is nothing attractive about a man left too long in the sun. Lobsters are best reserved for fish tanks in fancy restaurants and badgers are not meant to be worn on your face. Wear sunscreen.

Angling often means exploring your dirtier side, and I don’t mean in the bedroom. T-savs, T-shirts and crocs are the standard issue uniform of any committed angler, and, while condoms may only be 99,9% effective, crocs are foolproof. They may be unsavoury, but they are sure to save your feet from the bite of an unseen sharp stick cutting into the soft under-sole of your foot, as you wade through water searching for a kicker. Don’t fool yourself with delusions of grandeur. You will not get away with the stylish outfits laid out in popular fitness magazines.

Dressing for success in fishing means being able to blend into your surroundings. Bright colours aren’t your friend. Fishing is all about camouflage. And women, unless you are willing to brave a high speed rendition of Willow Smith’s “I whip my hair back and forth”, your sexy bed hair will be left in the bedroom as you slick your hair back through bleary tired eyes.

Anglers from other provinces often comment on the sight fishing that is typical of KwaZulu-Natal dams. Polarised sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats are your best friend on local waters. Not only will these allow your eyes to penetrate deeper into the water, but they will also prevent you from squinting into the sun and getting those crow’s feet, which have become the identifying feature of all adroit anglers.

As a species angler, it is always interesting to note what the baitfish are doing and determine how this affects the larger predators such as barbel and bass. Keep your eyes open. If you see movement in the shallows then you probably want to be targeting those areas.

The local Artlure club will be hosting a club day at Midmar Dam on October 14.

Those interested in an enjoyable day of angling from the banks of Thurlow can contact me at Kezia.Fitzsimmonds@gmail.com.

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