Bruiser bass wins boat

2012-09-08 00:00

THE weekend saw over 150 boats line up on the shore of Albert Falls Dam for the annual classic.

Weather forecasts were completely demotivating, but knowing we could not choose or change the weather, we went fishing anyway.

Winds on day one peaked at over 50 km/h, with an air temperature of 33°C. Day two saw a 180 degree shift in the wind, which brought rain and dropped the temperature to 13°C. If these conditions would not test us, nothing would.

We took to the task and knowing a fully rigged boat was up for grabs for the heaviest fish, we downgraded the weather to a secondary concern. Andrew and I put a solid limit in the boat in reasonably short order before the bite shut down and the weather worsened. We stuck it out in the wind and I went tight with a good fish on a Carolina rig.

At 2,5 kg, the fish was a welcome addition to the live well and set us up with an eight kilogram first-day bag. Leader after day one was local angler Tyrone Smith, who boated a lunker of 3,4 kg and had first prize in his sights with a day’s fishing to go. Day two saw fishing toughen up considerably, with the adverse change in weather, but the big one still bit.

Graham Gauche strolled in at his 27th appearance at this tournament with an absolute bruiser weighing in at 4,8 kg, which took first prize of a fully rigged boat and motor. This is the second year in a row the biggest fish has been caught on the second day.

Andrew and I had a reasonable day, which was enough to secure us second in the team race, narrowly beaten by the two most casual yet talented anglers I have the good fortune of knowing, Zander Potgieter and Mac Mackenzie. It is always a pleasure to lose to anglers I have coached over the years.

Special mention is made of Tyrone Smith for his second heaviest fish, Thomas Bower for the third heaviest and Zayne and Paul Kemp for taking third in the team standings.

After hearing of numerous big fish reports from the famed Goudetrouw Dam, I loaded my boat after the classic and headed in that direction.

It only took a few casts to realise why I was there. My custom- painted Hardman crankbait was crushed in the first half-hour by an angry fish that fought violently before succumbing to my counter efforts. She was a healthy pre-spawner, tipping the scales at 4,3 kg.

After that, I struggled for fish as I jumped from spot to spot looking for more takers, only managing mediocre results for the rest of the trip.

Talk about an anti-climax. Inanda has flourished since the one-month respite from the bass anglers, and with rising water and good reports, the conservation concept seems to be a winner.

Please remember Albert Falls is now closed to bass angling for September, which leads me to believe Midmar will start producing awesome fish. My suggestion is to head there while Albert is closed. I’m sure you will find a surprise there.

Get out on the lake, catch some bass and remember to release your catch alive to prolong the sustainability of our resource. E-mail reports, pictures and questions to

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