This is just a short post about a trip we took to Bronkhorstspruit dam, mid September 2009. The weather was bad for this time of year, it was windy, cold, and the fish were not biting as readily as we would have liked. We did however manage to take a few small fish though. 6 in total, which obviously is nothing to scream about, HOWEVER, we learn a lot from the trip. The first thing we learnt is that spinners DO work in frontal conditions when the fishing is tough, as demonstrated by the fish in the picture above, caught by “the Skip” Alan Will, on a white/chartreuse Terminator spinner.
He caught this fish in fairly shallow water ripping the spinner through the vertical grass structure that the fish seemed to be holding too tightly. I caught a couple on natural coloured stretch 40’s as well as on a watermelon red junior fluke, which I dyed with red garlic Spike-It. I have really discovered the significance of scent for catching bass over the last few months, and the dyed junior fluke and I are fast becoming friends, and best friends at that. I rarely go out on the water these days without a bit of Spike-It quite frankly.
We found that the fish seemed to be relating to not just one type of structure, but rather to areas where 2 or more types intersected one another, for example where the broad leafed surface-mat vegetation was broken by upright structure like reeds. These were the spots that held fish. In these situations placing the lure as tightly to the structure as possible is key. Half a meter away and you have missed the strike zone.
So to recap, we learnt:
- Reaction baits like spinners still work in tough conditions, even when you think the fish will probably be sluggish;
- Scents like Spike-it, are not just gimmicks, they DO WORK, especially in tough conditions where fish may just want that little extra motivation to strike; and
- In frontal (cold) conditions, more often than not, one has to cast literally inside of the target structure or as close as possible in order to entice a bite.