Craigieburn gives anglers a tough BETT

2011-12-03 00:00

WELL, the 2011 BETT season has come and gone. We competed in the qualifying final event at Craigieburn last weekend with most anglers in the event being grateful for the season’s end after such a testing event.

During practice the anglers were somewhat disheartened by the rewardless venue and the modest goals for the biggest event of the season. To add to the negative disposition, the weather building up to the event tossed a drastic curveball into the mix and the rapidly dropping water level further darkened the scene.

One thing was for sure, the top anglers in KZN were not going to let a few setbacks stop them from proving their point.

Besides, we had fished the whole year to be there and a bad choice in venue had only increased the competitive edge. Garth and I were scoreless by 11 am until we found a small school of fish huddled in the grass. We sieved through a handful of scrappers, which Craigieburn is full of, until we boated the first small keeper.

Garth followed up soon after with a circumstantial giant of 1,2 kg and a few minutes later I boated another small keeper. We were on a roll and were enjoying a constant bite, albeit from more undersized fish than weighers.

We ascertained that two more keepers could seal the deal for us and we were vying for the win. Anyway to cut a long story short we made every cast count for the rest of the day and fished with victorious intent … and didn’t catch another keeper!

Congratulations to Kieron Sampkin and Gerhard Nortje of Team Hotdoggy for snatching the win from under the noses of father and son duo Lloyd and Barry Muirhead of Team Yamaha KZN by 35 grams.

Lloyd and Barry had a season to remember with a victory at the Inanda Classic as well as a BETT event win at Goudetrouw. All this plus a second place in the finals will have their sponsors signing on the dotted line for next season. Third place went to another father-and-son team, Lew and Gary Halverson, of Team Halfstone. The results from top to bottom spanned a range of a mere 1,2 kg, making this the closest event I can remember.

The new BETT season starts in January , and I will be fishing with a new partner, Andrew Read, because Garth has stepped out for a season to focus on some personal business. Although I have teamed up for the new season, I too will be making time for other aspects of my life so will only be competing in the local, convenient events.

Either way I will still be on the water more than you, so will have no shortage of reports and advice to keep you reading.

Good reports continue to come in from most of our dams, with a confirmed report of a five-kilogram-plus fish from Nagle Dam this past week. The rain could ruin your day on the water, but trust me, it will only benefit your next day out. The tilapia are in full swing of their spawning, and with rising water levels to come, hopefully, the shallows will be alive with baitfish and bass on the hunt. What’s more, the dams need this biological rejuvenation, which will ensure a prolific summer season.

So get out on the lake 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 Catch ’em’up.

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