HEY, all you Bass addicts, I am back with the latest info from the local Bassing scene, which I must say has been enticingly busy. Reports have been coming in consistently from most of the major dams, including one or two surprises, and an update on the KZN Bass Equalizer Tournament Trail (BETT).
The fifth BETT event of the season was held recently at Albert Falls Dam. Seventy-plus teams competed in this leg of the trail, which confirmed the magnitude of the BETT following. A teeth-chattering start sent the anglers to their hideouts, most of which included shallow vegetation and submerged grass. This was the predominant and most productive pattern for the top 10 teams of this event, who targeted these classic winter areas with an array of baits ranging from hard baits to plastic baits. Garth and I managed a quick, early limit on top water baits in Pelican Bay, and then moved off to the Otto’s Bluff banks, where we culled this limit a few times over on slow-rolled Spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps. The only team to really separate themselves from this pattern were Team Flying Dutchman, who walked off with the win. Jigs, fished over deep rock piles in the Umngeni Mouth area, did it for these guys.
Check out the results below for the Albert Falls event and the log standings after five events. Visit www.bett.co.za for more detailed information.
I have had confirmation that Albert Falls is still producing good fish in the vegetation areas. Kyalami Bay and West Street are definite stops at this time of year, but remember: Don’t just target what you can see, look for some deeper, less pressured contours with vegetation available. Most anglers target what they can see, so use your electronics to locate some offshore areas. The fish will be using these types of areas all winter as long as there is a deep retreat nearby. If there is submerged vegetation, there will be baitfish, and if there are baitfish there will be Bass!
Garth and myself visited Inanda during the week. We found tough fishing in the middle of a nasty cold front. Strong winds and dropping barometric pressure resulted in a challenging practice session. The fish we did catch were held up on the banks, but were extremely inconsistent. Slowly fished plastics found most of the bites. Anglers who fished Inanda on the weekend had better results. The front was over and weather conditions had stabilised. Reports of good-sized Bass came in, the common denominator was steeper rocky cliffs with isolated timber. Texas-rigged creature baits and Drop-Shotted finesse worms accounted for most of the action in these areas.
Nagle Dam, that’s right Nagle Dam, stole the recent spotlight. Local tournament angler Andrew Read had cranked up a boatload of reasonable-sized Bass before his StrikeKing Sexy Shad crankbait was crushed by a giant. He recalls, after a tedious battle on light cranking tackle, the fish finally broke the surface close to the boat, extinguishing all doubt that it was a Bass and not a Barble as initially thought. This mule weighed 4,657 kg and was released after being photographed. Epic fish, Andrew!
Finally, word from my correspondent on the ground, Brandon Brokensha, the entrepreneur from The Fish Eagle in Victoria Road, Pietermaritzburg, says the local Bass anglers are focusing their purchases on Lipless baits, Jerkbaits and Spinnerbaits. This confirms the fact that anglers are using search baits to elicit reaction bites from slightly chilled down Bass. That’s the way to go!
So get on the lake and catch some fish. Remember, release your catch alive to prolong the sustainability of our resource. E-mail me with info and questions at zorthewitt@-hotmail.com
Catch ’em up!
ALBERT FALLS BETT TOP 10 RESULTS
1st Team Flying Dutchman - Pieter du Bruyn & Joffre Hannaway - 5 fish - 9,77 kg
2nd Team Garmin Ruff Thumb - Grant Hewitt & Garth Liefeldt - 5 fish - 8,54 kg
3rd Team PTY Unlimited - Hannes Viljoen - 5 fish - 7,575kg
4th Team Span Africa - Mark Holder & Cameron Harvey - 5 fish - 7,495kg
5th Team Evinrude Rapala - Carl Gudzeit & Grant Lindeque - 5 fish - 7,30 kg
6th Team Aquaholics - Carl Freese & John Bestell - 5 fish - 6,88 kg
7th Team Status Insurance - Hendrik Korf & Johan van Rooyen - 5 fish - 6,835 kg
8th Team Rebel - Pieter Slabber & Jon Warburgton - 5 fish - 6,325 kg
9th Team Lunkerbusters - Glen & Travis Middleton - 5 fish - 6,28 kg
10th Team Yamaha Rapala - Martin de Kock & Grant Mackenzie - 5 fish - 6,015 kg