Where to find those bass

2011-10-29 00:00

THE post-spawn period in our current bass-fishing season is looming. We have enjoyed the spoils of the pre-spawn and spawn months with most of the KwaZulu-Natal dams giving up awesome fishing to say the least.

Albert Falls, Inanda, Goudetrouw and even the new venue on the calendar, Woodstock Dam, have been stellar venues of late with some truly epic catches and stories being reported.

With the spawning period being rather predictable and the bass’ location given away by their shallow habits and tempestuous attitudes, the post-spawn movements can be slightly more difficult to follow.

Fishing the common areas will undoubtedly put decent numbers in the boat, but consistently locating the larger fish will take some effort. Once the rituals have passed, the spent female fish will generally start making their way back to the break lines and channels to recuperate after the stressful antics of the spawn.

To keep it simple, the kind of areas you should shift your attention to would be similar areas to where you would have focused your pre-spawn efforts.

Obviously, the first areas to look at would be the contour changes closest to the highlighted spawning areas bearing in mind that by now you should be on track with where the fish spawned this season?

Another factor to pay attention to is the understanding that a small percentage of the female fish will stay in the vicinity of the spawning areas to feed before heading off to the depths.

These fish will often cruise the shorelines and stack up on shallow points, especially during the early morning hours making for a great starting tactic when you hit the lake. Start your day by chucking a fast-moving topwater bait along shallow shorelines and points before the piercing rays of the sun shut this bit down.

This is often a classic way to put some good fish in the boat to kick your day off. The smaller male fish will stay shallow for the next few months as they now protect the newly spawned fry before canning their parental duties and duly start eating their own!

This gives their position away as the busting bass can often be seen from a far making locating these fish rather simple. Any reaction-type bait will tempt these fish into biting and don’t make the mistake of oversizing your baits. The fish are honing in on small targets, so more often than not, the smaller the bait the better.

Lighter tackle and thinner line is the way to go here. Soon after all this action, the female fish will start with their summer routines whereby they will move shallow early and late in the day to feed and restrict their movements to deeper areas during the heat of the day. As mentioned, the smaller male fish will spend most of their time in the shallows for the next few months as this is where the major concentrations of bait fish will be found.

Make sure you check out my next column with the report back from the first BETT event which is being fished at Woodstock Dam while you are reading this. Pre-fishing reports have been mind-blowing with anglers locating good numbers of quality spawning fish. This is the last stop in the BETT league before the top 10 teams will do battle at Craigieburn Dam next month. The pressure is on and with the results leaving no room for error, every bite will count.

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 zorthewitt@hotmail.com

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