Aaaaah, our new secret fishing hole… what a spot. A magnificent, unpressured body of water endowed with a thick perimeter of wide leaved lily pad fields, all surrounded by a beautiful landscape characteristic of the untapped Highveld. Oh and the fishing, well, it is not a particularly large dam but the fishing is simply phenomenal. Our recent excursion took us there on a day when most might have rather left their rods undisturbed in their dark cozy hideouts, and their lines high and dry. Put simply it was not the ideal outdoorsy day that we had been longing for the entire week leading up. None the less we braved the cloudy, near-cold, sunless-Saturday in pursuit of our large-mouthed fishy friends.
They obviously weren’t expecting us on such a near-miserable day as from the moment our lures began exploring the sub-aquatic dwelling of our aforementioned slippery friends, we were into the fish. Bang! The first largemouth bass took a dunebug Super Fluke with a distinctive thump. That was a little soon, I thought, but took a solid strike at it anyway and sure enough the first fish of about 1.1 kg’s was boated. Next it was “The Bass Bugger” Shaun Taylors’ turn. A weightless dunebug Dead Ringer was his weapon of choice, and obviously the order of the day for him as most of his catches were taken on this particular rig, with the odd exception of the few takes he managed with a dunebug Senko. For me it was the fluke which seemingly taught me a thing or 2 about fishing, the fish took it so readily it was as if I hardly had to make the effort of a cast. In fact there were times when we each had a fish on the line and in the boat simultaneously.
An extremely soft cast towards vertical grassy structure near the bank, which was complimented by the lily pads seemed to entice the bite, with most of our catches being taken on the fall, and if not on the fall, then on the sloooow upward movement of the bait that we inspired with a gentle upward motion of the rod tip. All-in-all we took a total of 16 fish for the day, one of our better bassing days I might add, with most of the fish recorded around the 1 kilo mark. The largest weighing in at 1.4 kg’s and the smallest 500g’s.
An old Zimbabwean friend once told me that when all else fails, switch up colours to dunebug. Well I’ll tell you it is fast becoming my favorite colour, and in a situation where you are completely stumped for lure selection, I would turn to a weightless dunebug fluke, or light-texas rigged dunebug 7” worm of whatever variation you are confident with, whether it be Berkleys Powerworm, or my favourite Zoom U – Tail worm. A larger variation of this (that also proves to be a killer) is the Zoom Mag II worm. I have personally had much success on that Particular lure with a lightly jigged texas rig presentation. In saying that , it was not ONLY the dunebug lure variations which brought us success, the Aruka shad Lipless crank also demonstrated its bass attracting power…
For those who either throw lipless cranks regularly or who want to experiment with that kind of technique for the first time, I would highly recommend the Spro Aruka shad, colour selection and size is purely up to you. Simply throw it into open water around structure, and crank it back. Once you become comfort able with that basic action, start varying your retrieve. A little jerk here, a pause there and the bass will be smashing your lure in no time, in fact I have even heard stories of this lure performing in winter. So give it a try, I know I will… Good bassing.