I returned to Bass-o-Mania this past weekend (30 August 2008) to what I thought again would be the first great day of the new season, after my previous miss prediction, a couple weeks ago. Again, I was wrong…
This time I returned with a newly found angling buddy, Damien, and our Ark Inflatable. I say again, what a dam for light boats and float tubes. Just too bad we are not the best at predicting weather just yet, as we were literally blown off the water, double anchors and all! BUT at least this time I eventually managed to land one of those green flashy fish we like so much, albeit a 650 gram tiddler. A fish is a fish! And caught on a slightly new rig for me, which consists of a 4” Yum Dinger (watermelon red), with a tiny ball sinker mojo-rigged between 20 and 40cm up the line. I’m used to the big old Yamamoto senkos, but at about R45 a bag of 15 Dingers I am pleasantly surprised with the Yums. Especially since they are not only completely filled with salt on the inside, but also covered with salt AND a product called Live Prey Technology (LPT), which is basically a scent attractant. Just holding the full bag of visually salted, senko-like baits gave me confidence in them. To put it simply, the salt basically allows them to sink nice and quick and on top of that the action of the bait as it sinks makes ME want to dive in and bite it myself!
So that is my boring story of one small fish and a bag of fake senkos, but Damien’s is a far more exciting one. After battling with the wind until lunch time we decided to do what no die-hard angler ever should… We decided to go home. For a guy who is hardly deterred from fishing by the setting sun and threats of grievous bodily harm from his girlfriend, you can imagine this decision a heartbreaking one. Not even lunch time and the mission had officially been aborted. Anyhow it was only after beginning our return to the opposite bank of the dam where we had parked the bakkie that the fishing gods smiled upon us.
While I rowed frantically against the wind, unbeknownst to me Damien had been trawling a watermelon seed Horny Toad behind, or rather, to the side of the crabbing boat. At that very moment he yelled for me to stop: “I’m stuck” he said. All of a sudden whatever he was stuck on began to shift… it began to move off… and it began to fight!! His tune changed: “Nice fish!” he yelled to me as he began to fight an obviously decent specimen. What a mission, I paddled myself silly against the wind to keep us off the rocks while Damien carefully and methodically played the barley hooked fish towards us. At times I had to stop rowing as the fish got nearer so as not to scare him into erratic, mad dashes.
What were the chances!? Not high, that’s for sure, but the fishing gods must have felt sorry for us to give us the gift of a near 2kg fish (seen above) for our troubles on the water. The day may have been windy and short, but a 2.5kg bag between two is not bad for a couple hours, and it’s always satisfying watching a friend land a largemouth bass of that size. What was learnt on this trip is to diversify our angling stratergies. The fish Damien caught was hooked in a seemingly structure less area that I would never actively decide to fish. In future, I at least, will return to similar spots (with rocky sloped bottoms) to throw crank baits of various shapes, colours, and sizes, along the length of the bank, and just maybe a fish or two will be inspired to strike.