Bett: Patience and finding honey holes paid off

2012-10-20 00:00

THE BETT final, as you know, was held two weeks ago at Albert Falls. 26 teams attended the event and were part of the qualifying complement from the Gauteng and KZN regions, as well as a few wild card entries.

Day one greeted the anglers with cool weather and overcast skies, prompting the aspirations of awesome fishing, which was definitely the case for some. Andrew and I put a decent limit in the boat, in a pretty short order, and started getting to work on the bigger fish as we needed to climb the ranks. We pulled up on a deep brush pile and added two two-kilogram fish to the live-well, and then another. We were on a roll, but not for long because the bites shut down. We jumped around for the rest of the day, only managing minor upgrades, and finished with a bag of just under eight kilograms. The day one leader-board had the KZN teams commanding most of the top positions, using the home ground advantage to their benefit.

The calibre of the Gauteng teams also shone through by way of observation and versatility. By day two, they had seen and learnt enough to put themselves on the fish. The major turn of events was on day two when Julian and Martin of Team Yamaha ShoRapala brought a mammoth bag of 14,6 kg to the scale, after a dismal day one. This unbelievable comeback catapulted them into second position behind the Gauteng winners, Team Xtreme Fishing SA, who also made a huge stand on day two with an 11 kg sack of fish. Andrew and I finished in a mediocre ninth place after a decent day two.

Although most of the fish to be found had already transitioned into the post spawn mood, the teams that hit it big were fortunate enough to pattern the small percentage of pre-spawners and spawners that were moving into the shallows. These fish were found in the textbook pre-spawn areas, namely flats and islands, with the nearby retreat of deeper water, and were positioned on harder bottom cover.

The trick was to locate these key spots, have confidence in them, and then display enough patience to wait out the fish’s movements in and out of these honey holes. The anglers who effectively put this pattern into practice were the ones who made pay day.

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