Why the fish don’t bite in Albert Falls

2011-01-08 00:00

THIS week we are profiling one the country’s most accomplished bass anglers.

Throughout the season, amongst my normal bassing feedback and related tips and techniques, I plan to profile many of our local bass fishing talents for you the readers to learn from and relate to.

My first target was Brendan van Zuydam, an angler who has no shortage of credibility as well as a wealth of untapped knowledge.

Brendan van Zuydam is a big man with even bigger achievements.

Take a look at these accolades — 22 years experience, largest bass at 5,1 kg as well as 20 over 4 kg, more than a dozen tournament victories, which includes winning the South African Bass Champion for 20102011.

Brendan’s talent and track record has attracted many sponsors namely Yamaha, Diverse Industries, Lowrance, Aqua Academy, Panasonic and most of all, “my wife and family” adds Brendan.

Brendan comes into his own on a Tornado Bass Boat.

“This boat is in my opinion a great value for money option when taking into account deck space, fish-ability and most of all performance.

“My motor of choice is a 300 horsepower Yamaha V-max HPDI as this amount of reliability and horsepower gets me and my partner where we need to go, fast, even when fully loaded.” he says.

Brendan believes that his most powerful attribute on the water is his flexibility in most situations and his intimate knowledge of productive patterns. A spinnerbait is one of the most powerful tools in his arsenal and when asked which one bait he would choose if only one choice was presented, a mojo-rigged super fluke was his answer.

He says his greatest weakness “is not making the right call to change spots or baits quick enough when the situation calls for it.” This is unfortunately a common weakness amongst bass anglers!

Brendan also acknowledges anglers such as Martin de Kock and Kevin van Dam as role models.

He believes these anglers have been instrumental in his success over the years and rightly so, these are some awesome anglers!

With the poor fishing still haunting Albert Falls, I asked Brendan what factors he believes are responsible for the fishing slump?

He said he had given this much thought.

“I believe the dam is in a cycle, where the majority of the fish have been killed by the unconventional anglers, which I feel could have reduced the population to around 30%.

“This leaves the surviving 30% of the fish to eat what a full population of fish would have normally had to forage on.

“Because the bait population has not been reduced, only the predators, the 30% of fish gorge themselves on the natural fodder and are not in competition for natural food, thus making them way less likely to compete and take artificial lures.

“Until the remaining fish population reduces the fodder and the next generation breeds up, the fishing will stay bad for a good few months.”

Like most anglers, Brendan and partner Gavin Richardson are now preparing for the 2011 BETT season.

The season promises to be a memorable one with a few untapped fisheries being thrown into the mix for this year.

Remember to release your catch alive to prolong the sustainability of our resource!

Email me with reports, pictures and questions at zorthewitt@hotmail.com

Catch em’ up!

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